Recently, Oral Health America (OAH), published the fourth volume in its series, "State of Decay." The current volume, is subtitled, "Are Older Americans Coming of Age Without Oral Healthcare?" (The series dates back to 2003.) Among other findings, the current report again concludes the state of oral health in this country is, in a word, poor. For example, one-third of older adults have lost six or more teeth, one in five have lost all their teeth (or are edentulous), disparities in oral health remain substantial, and the Medicare program still does not provide routine oral health care despite overwhelming public support and the fact studies show that compared to seniors with chronic conditions do not receive dental care, seniors with chronic conditions that do receive dental care would reduce Medicare program spending.
During this 24 minute conversation, Ms. Truett summarizes OAH's fourth "State of Decay" report, discusses what factors or performance measures explain the variation in oral health care by state (MN, WI and IA score at the top, LA, TN and MS at the bottom), disparities in oral health and oral health care, oral health care work force shortages, and OAH's advocacy efforts to include oral health coverage under the Medicare program.
Ms. Beth Truett is President and CEO of Oral Health America, a non profit dedicated to improving the oral health of all Americans. Ms Truett's has spent the majority of career working with consumer products, pharmaceutical, technology and defense clients to design global business solutions. Ms. Truett holds a Masters of Divinity from McCormick Seminary, a BS from Valparaiso University, and earned her Certificate in Non-profit Management from the Indiana University School of Philanthropy. She is an honorary Fellow of the American College of Dentists and was recognized as an Outstanding Advocate of the Year by Friends of NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) for her work on older adult oral health issues.
Oral Health America's fourth "State of Decay" report, "Are Older Americans Coming of Age Without Oral Healthcare?" is at: https://oralhealthamerica.org/astateofdecay/.
The Surgeon General's 2000 report, "Oral Health In America," cited during this podcast is at: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/data-statistics/surgeon-general.