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Adults with disabilities struggle with dental health issues
Updated: 8/1/2012 5:30:02 PM

Adults with disabilities struggle with dental health issues  

Many Americans have trouble maintaining good dental health, but some populations have a more difficult time than others. For example, a recent study from Tufts University found that access to specialized dental care is not enough to meet the dental health needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. According to the researchers, these findings suggest that more needs to be done to ensure that these individuals have their basic oral health needs met.

The researchers studied the dental records of more than 4,700 people to come to their conclusions.

"People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are more likely to have poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease and untreated tooth decay than the general population," said researcher John Morgan, D.D.S. "Our findings highlight the need for greater awareness of the unique and complex dental health care needs of this population."

Morgan stated that many of these individuals with disabilities are not able to tolerate complex and time-consuming dental treatments. Co-investigator Aviva Must, Ph.D., added the further research is needed to determine measures to prevent dental disease in this population. 

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