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In an effort to fight gum disease, a state targeted family health insurance provider has awarded a grant to give dental care to women.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida will award a $100,000 grant to the Orange County Health Department to provide dental care for women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant.
Studies have found a relationship between gum disease and premature birth, low birth weight and infant mortality. This suggests women, especially those who are pregnant, should aim to have optimal dental health prior to the birth of their child.
The grant will reportedly be used to help approximately 300 African-American women find affordable dental care.
"Around 20 percent of Florida residents are uninsured," said Susan Towler, executive director of the Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida. "That's more than 3.8 million people who may forgo important medical care if they don't have access to free and low-cost services."
Women with periodontal disease who do not get it treated may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small.
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