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The prevalence of oral health issues in Native American communities
Updated: 8/19/2011 9:00:44 AM

The prevalence of oral health issues in Native American communities Various areas in the U.S. include communities where dental health care is a precious commodity. Among these, reservations and communities largely inhabited by Native Americans are particularly known for a severe prevalence of oral health problems, according to the Indian Country Today media network.

The news source reports that a number of events had addressed the problem fairly recently, but that the issues remained significant. In major Native American communities, a total of 25 to 50 percent of pre-school children experience extensive tooth decay, to the degree that they require full restorative oral surgery.

To help deal with such alarming issues, the Arizona American Indian Oral Health Summit made the promotion and implementation of increased access to oral health care a major priority, in April 2011. The conference brought together Indian community leaders and public, state government and private sector health personnel to develop strategies and discuss the use of resources pertinent to this matter.

Later in the year, the news source reports that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill providing $4.3 billion in funding specifically designated for advancing the health of Native Americans.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay and dental cavities are far more likely to occur among children belonging to underprivileged or low-income families.

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