Oral health is often overlooked. However, experts say that this is a mistake, as failure to take care of the mouth can lead to halitosis, cavities and gingivitis. These problems can grow even larger, as several recent studies have found that infections in the mouth can spread to other areas of the body.
Because of this, Christopher O'Connell, the CEO of the Hospital of St. Ralph's in New Haven, recently told the Public News Service of Connecticut that he believes oral health benefits should have been included in the recent healthcare reform.
"Dental work - and again you saw this through health care reform - has been literally ignored, both from a prevention perspective as well as from an overall oral health care perspective," he told the news source.
He added that a greater level of state and federal funding is needed to help dental providers continue providing affordable services to individuals who cannot afford treatment on their own.
Other groups, such as the American Association for Dental Research previously called on lawmakers to include some level of oral healthcare in the recent federal laws that were passed. However, these calls were unsuccessful.