Many individuals who live in rural and inner-city areas lack the access to dental care that may help them may help them avoid conditions like tooth decay, gingivitis and bad breath. Ten years ago, the Surgeon General issued a report which called oral health problems a "silent epidemic."
In recognition of the anniversary of this landmark report, groups of dental health professionals recently gathered on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to call for further commitments to improve oral health.
"In 2000, the Surgeon General referred to oral disease as a silent epidemic," said Congressman Elijah Cummings. "That silence still permeates through too many of our communities. If our vision is that all children would be able to go to school free of dental pain and suffering, we must collectively act on that vision to make it a reality."
The event was attended by oral health providers, lawmakers and nonprofit groups. It was organized by Oral Health America as part of its Fall for Smiles campaign, which seeks to improve the availability of dental education for children.