A State of Decay
The older adult population is the fastest growing segment of the United States and many are facing a dire situation when it comes to oral health. For older adults living on fixed incomes and dealing with other health problems, dental care is often expensive and difficult to access.
Oral Health America (OHA) is looking to address these problems with the launch of toothwisdom.org, a first-of-its-kind website focusing on older adults and oral health. The site connects older adults and their caregivers to local care and education about the oral health issues they face, the importance of continuing prevention as we age, and the overall impact of oral health on overall health.
In conjunction with the launch of toothwisdom.org, OHA has released A State of Decay, a report that analyzes state level data on five variables impacting older adult oral health: adult Medicaid dental benefits, inclusion of older adult strategies in state oral health plans, edentulism (loss of teeth), dental health professional shortage areas, and community water fluoridation. The results of the report reveal that more than half of the country received a “fair” or “poor” assessment when it comes to minimal standards affecting dental care access for older adults.
For a visual overview of the report, check out our infographic. You can also download and share here.