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Childhood tooth decay is a hidden problem in California, dental experts have suggested.
The Monterey County Herald spoke to Dr James Musser, a pediatric dentist, who said he sees cases where the child's baby teeth are so rotten they have to be removed altogether.
"Parents think they get a free ride on the first set but baby teeth can decay and abscess and the child can go through severe pain," he remarked.
The newspaper cites research from the Sacramento District Dental Foundation that found that in a number of Californian counties, around 65 percent of children living in poverty do not have access to adequate dental care.
This situation may be worsened by a recent ten percent cut to the state's Medi-Cal budget, it suggested.
Gayle Mathe, manager of policy development for the California Dental Association, also revealed that the problem is particularly pronounced among Latinos. "All things are not equal eighty percent of disease is in 25 percent of children," she said.
Earlier this year the Modesto Bee reported that in Stanislaus County, California, 11 percent of children screened in the area had cavities serious enough to impair their ability to eat.
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