The Importance of Dental Health: 24-Year-Old Man Dies of Tooth Infection

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24-year-old Kyle Willis, father of a 6-year-old daughter living in Cincinnati, passed away on Tuesday after having struggles with his wisdom teeth. Knowing they needed to be pulled (as was recommended by a dentist), Willis passed on the procedure because as an unemployed individual, he didn’t have dental insurance to cover or help with the costs. According to ABC News, after he decided not to get his wisdom teeth pulled, Willis’ face began to swell and his head started to hurt more and more. A trip to the emergency room left Willis with the option to pay for both antibiotics and pain medication. But once again, because of the costs, Willis just decided to only buy pain medication, which was not what he needed to deal with his teeth in the long run. As was stated earlier, Willis passed away on Tuesday. The issues with his wisdom teeth? They started two weeks ago.

Willis’ death has definitely pushed the conversations about receiving proper health care when you don’t have medical insurance to the forefront. With unemployment consistently increasing, more and more folks are left without coverage, so many people are skipping procedures they need because they can’t afford them. They believe they can just “tough it out.” As Willis’ situation proves, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

According to ABC News, the Kaiser Family Foundation recently reported that 33 percent of people surveyed skipped dental care or dental checkups because they couldn’t afford them. I know many of us know that toothaches are absolutely, positively no joke, and provide some of the most debilitating pain possible. But at the same time, many of us also wait until things get really bad to seek help. Hopefully if you’re reading this and know you’ve been allowing yourself to live in pain because of the costs of medical procedures you need done, you’ll be able to find a way to get what you need accomplished soon enough. I’m about to quit playing and get this root canal I’ve been avoiding ASAP…

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