data from 2014, 33.6 percent of West Virginia residents 65 and older have had all their natural teeth extracted. Second is Kentucky, at 23.9 percent, followed by Mississippi and Oklahoma (22.5), Tennessee (22.4), Alabama (22.2), Arkansas (22) and Louisiana (20.5). (CDC graphic: Where people 65 and older have lost all their teeth, by region)
While rich people can afford the luxuries of the best oral health care, poor people often resort to standing in line at free clinics, reports the Post. "High-end cosmetic dentistry is soaring, and better-off Americans spend well over $1 billion each year just to make their teeth a few shades whiter. Millions of others rely on charity clinics and hospital emergency rooms to treat painful and neglected teeth." The problem is that emergency rooms are not typically equipped to fix dental problems. That means they prescribe painkillers, which can lead to addiction, which destroys teeth, and dry mouth, which leads to more cavities.