Thursday, June 04, 2009

Promoting oral health care: More than just lip service - JAAPA: Official Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants

After 60+ years of fluoridation with up to 48% of school children exhibiting fluoride overdose symptoms (dental fluorosis), "One of our most vulnerable populations is children. The grim reality of poor or no access to dental care became a public tragedy when 12-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache. His mother had no insurance, and she couldn't find a Medicaid dentist. What could have been an $80 tooth extraction that might have saved her son's life became a fatal brain infection from his abscessed tooth. Added to this profound loss was the cost of his care, which totaled more than $250,000.5 In the 2000 landmark report Oral Health in America, then-Surgeon General David Satcher called untreated oral disease a “silent epidemic,” making it the single most common chronic disease of childhood—five times more common than asthma.6"