Health leaders meet to help address dental disease in Washington
Dr. Bob Crittenden, Senior Health Policy Advisor to Gov. Jay Inslee
Beth Truett, President & CEO of Oral Health America
Dr. Keith Grellner, President of the Washington State Board of Health
WHAT: Oral Health for Washington Symposium
WHEN: Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
WHERE: Tukwila Community Center, 12424 42nd Ave. S, Seattle 98168
Recognizing that having a healthy mouth is important to overall health, the Washington State Board of Health and the Washington Dental Service Foundation are hosting two symposia focused on improving oral health for the people of Washington. The Seattle event is the first of two symposia scheduled. The other symposium will be in Spokane on April 30 and is also sponsored by the Empire Health Foundation.
Dr. Bob Crittenden and Beth Truett, along with other speakers, will be available to speak to media and elaborate on how good oral health improves overall health and saves money. More than 100 state leaders in health care and health policy will participate at the Seattle symposium; another 50 are scheduled to attend the Spokane symposium.
The Washington State Board of Health (SBOH) has adopted seven strategies to improve oral health and prevent cavities. For example, the SBOH recommends more communities consider community water fluoridation and school based oral health sealant programs. This the first time the Board of Health has focused on oral health and encouraged communities to fluoridate water to improve public health.
Oral health is critical to overall health. Yet tooth decay remains one of the most common – and easily preventable – diseases in the US. More than 90 percent of adults age 20-64 are reported to have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 20 percent of children age 2-19 have untreated cavities.
Gum disease has been linked to serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and pregnancy complications. Cavities also can be expensive to treat and affect work productivity and quality of life. Tooth decay is the top chronic childhood disease and a leading cause of absenteeism for school-aged children. It also can have serious impacts on speech development and school readiness.
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