In an effort to encourage better dental health in the Appalachian region, the National Institute of Health has given a grant to West Virginia University to study oral diseases in children.
A previous study of children in the area between the ages of two and six found that Appalachian children have the worst oral health in the nation, due to the highest prevalence of cavities.
But the new study seeks to examine the oral health of children from birth to two years of age.
The school's dean of research, Richard Crout, told the Associated Press that the goal of the study is to determine the extent of the dental health disparity in the region and determine why it exists.
The study benefits from a $2.8 million grant from the National Institute of Health, which estimates that 40 percent of West Virginia residents who are 65 years old or older have none of their teeth.
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