Dental Health Survey Paints Bleak Picture For Low-Income Northern Va. Residents | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Dental Health Survey Paints Bleak Picture For Low-Income Northern Va. Residents

Play associated audio
Survey shows low-income Northern Virginia residents have poorer health than higher-income residents.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melissaclark/3740210248/
Survey shows low-income Northern Virginia residents have poorer health than higher-income residents.

 

Some health advocates are sounding an alarm about poor dental health among low-income residents.  

A first-of-its-kind survey commissioned by the Northern Virginia Health Foundation shows that 16 percent of low-income adults in the area have not gone to a dentist in more than five years, compared with just 3 percent of those with higher incomes.

Pat Mathews, president of the foundation, says the survey also shows that low-income adults rely much more heavily on emergency rooms for dental care.

"Emergency rooms are not where one should get their care, and by the time it gets to an emergency room issue, that means that there is a serious problem," says Mathews.

While the disparity in oral health between low-income and high-income adults may not be surprising, Mathews says the foundation hopes to repeat the survey every 3 to 4 years to see if the region is making progress. 

The foundation also wants to reinforce the link between oral health and overall health, so that physicians can educate their patients about oral health issues.

Mathews says another challenge for low-income residents in Virginia is limited Medicaid coverage for oral health. Virginia is one of 13 states where only emergency oral care is covered under the federal program. Basic care such as regular checkups or even root canals is not. 

 

NPR

For Actress Maria Bello, Family May Be Complicated, But 'Love Is Love'

In her memoir Whatever ... Love is Love, Bello describes the evolution of her "modern family," which includes her romantic partner (a woman), her adolescent son and her son's father.
NPR

How Dorothea Lange Taught Us To See Hunger And Humanity

Perhaps no one did more to show us the human toll of the Great Depression than Lange, who was born on this day in 1895. Her photos of farm workers and others have become iconic of the era.
NPR

Scott Walker Says Ultrasounds Are 'Just A Cool Thing'

Speaking about his state's law that requires an ultrasound before an abortion, the Wisconsin governor said he meets people all the time who are excited to show him ultrasounds of their grandkids.
NPR

How Will The Next President Protect Our Digital Lives?

For the first time in a White House race, the candidates will need a game plan for cyber policy for Day 1 in the Oval Office and will have some tough choices to make.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.