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Oral Healthcare Inequalities

According to the Government of Canada, oral health can be measured by the “inability to chew firm foods.” The inability to chew can be caused by tooth decay, tooth pain, missing teeth, ill-fitting dentures, and illnesses. In Canada, lower socioeconomic status is correlated with an increased occurrence of being unable to chew in adults, worse oral health outcomes, more frequent untreated disease, lower rates of dental visits, and higher rates of not following through with recommended care. It is also evident that seniors have less access to dental care, mostly due to the lack of dental insurance upon retirement. There are many potential barriers to accessing health care, and the social and economic factors involved are referred to as the social determinants of health.

Social Determinants of Health in Canada


“Social determinants of health refer to a specific group of social and economic factors within the broader determinants of health. These relate to an individual's place in society, such as income, education or employment. Experiences of discrimination, racism and historical trauma are important social determinants of health for certain groups such as Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQ and Black Canadians.” 

- Government of Canada



Social Determinants
of Health

  • Indigenous Status

  • Race

  • Gender

  • Unemployment and Job Security

  • Employment and Working Conditions

  • Early Childhood Development

  • Food Insecurity

  • Housing

  • Social Exclusion

  • Social Safety Network

  • Health Services

  • Disability

  • Income/Income Distribution

  • Education

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