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Homeless in Whatcom County to receive dental care
Updated: 1/27/2011 11:00:13 PM

Dental care vans to help the homeless in Washington state. Of their many needs, the homeless are some of the least likely in our community to receive attention for their dental issues.

Responding, in part, to this fact, the Bellingham/Whatcom Project Homeless Connect in Washington state will offer dental care, in addition to medical exams and vision screening, for the homeless at a one day event, the Bellingham Herald reports.

According to the paper, four dental vans will be present. Doctors and volunteers are expected to serve nearly 600 individuals of the estimated 1,300 homeless in Whatcom County.

Speaking to the news outlet, Dan Hammill, an organizer, noted that "we expect to see more people because the economic downturn has continued, and job recovery and growth are stagnant."

In the homeless population, the dangers of receiving little to no dental care over a period of several years can prove fatal.

Studies published in the Journal of the American Dental Association have found that severe dental problems, such as periodontal disease and decay, can be linked to a higher risk of heart disease and pneumonia in older populations.

Moreover, having missing and damaged teeth may create significant barriers to employment for many.

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