Abstract: Reducing Disparities in Mother and Child Oral Health: Research Needed to Meet Healthy People 2020 Goals

Oral diseases particularly tooth decay stubbornly remain among the most common afflictions faced by the U.S. population. They impact nutrition, digestion and communication, and overall quality of life. Children with oral diseases grow more poorly and have more lost time from school. Adults with oral diseases may be malnourished and be less employable. At all stages of life, individuals with special health care needs are especially impacted. Healthy People 2020 specifies a series of goals that the country is attempting to address. The Affordable Care Act focuses particularly on access to care as one strategy to meet our national goals.

However, racial and ethnic and geographic disparities are profound. In stark contrast to medical care, just increasing access through insurance has not addressed the disparity issues. In his presentation, Dr. Milgrom will discuss oral health disparities and present examples of the largely community-based translational research carried out by the Northwest Center to Reduce Oral Health Disparities in Seattle that address the gaps in knowledge that must be addressed to ameliorate disparity.