PREVENTIVE AND EDUCATIONAL MEASURES THAT CAN BE IMPLEMENTED TO REDUCE ORAL HEALTH DISPARITIES IN THE UNITED STATES: A LITERATURE REVIEW

Authors

  • Anna Lee Research Scholars Program, Harvard Student Agencies, In collaboration with Learn with Leaders

Keywords:

Oral Health, Disparities, Underserved Populations, Education, Medicaid

Abstract

Oral health is a crucial element of health, as it not only accounts for healthy tooth conditions but also overall health. Currently, oral health diseases are one of the most prominent non-communicable diseases in the world, and this problem is especially apparent in underserved, low-income populations. Therefore, initiatives must be implemented to change social and public health policies regarding oral health, resource allocation, and both individual and professional behaviors toward oral health. Enhancing dental schools' instruction on inclusivity and accessibility in dental care is one of these initiatives. Furthermore, policymakers should consider fully expanding Medicaid in all states, providing coverage for dental care for all, if not many, residents of the United States. Additionally, expectant women should receive adequate education on maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent the further spread of oral diseases. This research paper explores the three initiatives—education in dental schools, expansion of Medicaid, and adequate parental education in oral health—in detail and provides potential solutions to ameliorate conditions in dental health disparities.

References

I. Albino, Judith E.N.; Inglehart, Marita R.; Tedesco, Lisa A. (2012). ‘Dental Education and Changing Oral Health Care Needs: Disparities and Demands’. Journal of Dental Education 76(1): 75-88. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22262552/)

II. Bastani, P., Mohammadpour, M., Mehraliain, G. et al. (2021) ‘What causes inequality in the area of dental and oral health in developing countries? A scoping review’. Cost Eff Resour Alloc 19, 54. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12962-021-00309-0

III. Elani HW, Sommers BD, Kawachi I. (2020) ‘Changes In Coverage And Access To Dental Care Five Years After ACA Medicaid Expansion’. Health Aff (Millwood). Nov; 39(11):1900-1908. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00386. PMID: 33136492; PMCID: PMC8056359.

IV. Ghoneim, A., D’Souza, V., Ebnahmady, A., Kaura Parbhakar, K., He, H., Gerbig, M., Laporte, A., Hancock Howard, R., Gomaa, N., Quiñonez, C., & Singhal, S. (2023). ‘The Impact of Dental Care Programs on Individuals and Their Families: A Scoping Review’. Dentistry Journal, 11(2), 33. https://doi.org/10.3390/dj11020033

V. Gambhir, R. S., Nirola, A., Gupta, T., Sekhon, T. S., & Anand, S. (2015). ‘Oral health knowledge and awareness among pregnant women in India: A systematic review’. Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, 19(6), 612–617. https://doi.org/10.4103/0972-124X.162196

VI. Grembowski, D., Spiekerman, C., & Milgrom, P. (2012) ‘Social gradients in dental health among low-income mothers and their young children’. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 23(2), 570–588. https://doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2012.0054

VII. Green, R. (2023) ‘74 million Americans don’t have dental insurance-dental savings plans are the low-cost alternative that’s making it possible to get Oral Care Anyway’, News Direct. Available at: https://newsdirect.com/news/74-million-americans-dont-have-dental-insurance-dental-savings-plans-are-the-low-cost-alternative-thats-making-it-possible-to-get-oral-care-anyway-891400257 (Accessed: 29 August 2023).

VIII. Gurav, K. M., Shetty, V., Vinay, V., Bhor, K., Jain, C., & Divekar, P. (2022). ‘Effectiveness of Oral Health Educational Methods among School Children Aged 5-16 Years in Improving their Oral Health Status: A Meta-analysis’. International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, 15(3), 338–349. https://doi.org/10.5005/jp-journals-10005-2395

IX. Javali, M. A., Saquib, S. A., Abdul Khader, M., Khalid, I., AlShahrani, A. Y., Kanji, M. A., & Asiri, E. (2022) ‘Oral health knowledge, attitude, and practice of pregnant women in Deccan, South India: a cross-sectional prenatal survey’. Journal of Medicine and Life, 15(3), 420–424. https://doi.org/10.25122/jml-2019-0095

X. Jones, E. (2013). ‘Wright State University Core scholar. Improving Dental Care Access for Low-Income Populations’. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from https://corescholar.libraries.wright.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1099&context=mph

XI. Kenney, G. M., McFeeters, J. R., & Yee, J. Y. (2005). ‘Preventive dental care and unmet dental needs among low-income children’. American Journal of Public Health, 95(8), 1360–1366. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2004.056523

XII. MacDougall H. (2016) ‘Dental Disparities among Low-Income American Adults: A Social Work Perspective’. Health & Social Work, 41(3), 208–210. https://doi.org/10.1093/hsw/hlw026

XIII. Northridge ME, Kumar A, Kaur R. (n.d.) ‘Disparities in Access to Oral Health Care’. Annu Rev Public Health. 2020;41:513-535. doi:10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040119-094318

XIV. Oral Health. (n.d.). https://health.gov/our-work/national-health-initiatives/healthy-people/healthy-people-2020/healthy-people-2020-law-and-health-policy/oral-health

XV. Patrick, D. L., Lee, R. S., Nucci, M., Grembowski, D., Jolles, C. Z., & Milgrom, P. (2006). ‘Reducing oral health disparities: a focus on social and cultural determinants’. BMC Oral Health, 6 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), S4. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6831-6-S1-S4

XVI. Selvarajan, N. B., Krishnan, R., & Kumar, S. (2019). ‘Effect of Dental Health Education on the Knowledge and Attitude Among Expectant Mothers: A Questionnaire Study’. Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences, 11(Suppl 2), S194–S197. https://doi.org/10.4103/JPBS.JPBS_293_18

XVII. Shin, Kyung Hee. (2012) ‘Effectiveness of oral health promotion on the oral health education in some high school students’. Journal of Korean Society of Dental Hygiene, 12(5), 933-942.

XVIII. Singh A, Peres MA, Watt RG. (2019) ‘The Relationship between Income and Oral Health: A Critical Review’. J Dent Res. Jul;98(8):853-860. doi: 10.1177/0022034519849557. Epub 2019 May 15. PMID: 31091113.

XIX. Smith, Carlos S.; Ester, Todd V.; Inglehart, Marita Rohr (2006). ‘Dental Education and Care for Underserved Patients: An Analysis of Students’ Intentions and Alumni Behavior’. Journal of Dental Education 70(4): 398-408. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16595532/)

XX. STAFF, A. S. T. H. O. (n.d.) ‘Approaches for improving oral health outcomes for low-income Americans’. ASTHO. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from https://www.astho.org/communications/blog/approaches-improving-oral-health-outcomes-low-income-americans/

XXI. Subedi, K., Shrestha, A., Bhagat, T. et al. (2021) ‘Effectiveness of oral health education intervention among 12–15-year-old school children in Dharan, Nepal: a randomized controlled trial’. BMC Oral Health 21, 525. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-021-01877-6

XXII. Swe, K.K., Soe, A.K., Aung, S.H. et al. (2021) ‘Effectiveness of oral health education on 8- to 10-year-old school children in rural areas of the Magway Region, Myanmar’. BMC Oral Health 21, 2. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-020-01368-0

XXIII. Tiwari T, Franstve-Hawley J. (2021) ‘Addressing Oral Health of Low-Income Populations—A Call to Action’. JAMA Network Open; 4(9):e2125263. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.25263

XXIV. Wassihun, B., Ayinalem, A., & Beyene, K. (2022). ‘Knowledge of oral health during pregnancy and associated factors among pregnant mothers attending antenatal care at South Omo Zone public hospitals, Southern Ethiopia’ 2021. PloS one, 17(8), e0273795. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0273795

XXV. Wehby GL. Oral Health and Academic Achievement of Children in Low-Income Families. Journal of Dental Research. 2022; 101(11):1314-1320. doi:10.1177/00220345221089602

XXVI. WHO (2022) ‘Global Oral Health Status Report’. Available at: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240061484

Additional Files

Published

15-09-2023

How to Cite

Anna Lee. (2023). PREVENTIVE AND EDUCATIONAL MEASURES THAT CAN BE IMPLEMENTED TO REDUCE ORAL HEALTH DISPARITIES IN THE UNITED STATES: A LITERATURE REVIEW. International Education and Research Journal (IERJ), 9(9). Retrieved from https://ierj.in/journal/index.php/ierj/article/view/3081