Many people view oral health as a dentist responsibility. However, health professionals are now acknowledging that role primary care providers play in oral health. In the 2000 “Oral Health in America” it was recommended that oral exams be included as part of a patient’s general exam and according to the Surgeon General David Satcher “You are not healthy without good oral health”. Particularly, low income seniors are at a greater risk of poor oral health due contributing factors from their already existing health issues and lack of dental coverage. A person with diabetes and periodontists has a six times higher risk of developing macro- and micro-vascular complications of diabetes. Interestingly, a study at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that only 12 % of seniors aged 65 and older had dental coverage. It is important primary care providers play a role in their patients oral health to reduce the chances of a patient developing other related health complications. Check out the article!!
By Julia Watson: http://communitymappingforhealthequity.org