Tooth Decay Sill Silent Epidemic
More than a decade and a half after [Surgeon General] Satcher’s report, tooth decay is still the number one chronic disease affecting children. More than a third of elementary school children have untreated tooth decay. One reason is that only about one-third of U.S. dentists accept Medicaid. Another big reason is that a growing number of Americans live in communities were dentists are few and far between. In fact, since 2000, the number of people living in dental shortage areas, often called dental deserts, has nearly doubled, from 25 million to 49 million.
consequential disparities in the oral health of our citizens. Indeed,
what amounts to a “silent epidemic” of dental and oral diseases is
affecting some population groups.”