This series of fact sheets explains in layperson’s terms the interrelationship between oral health and major medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Each fact sheet offers important oral health tips for persons living with these medical conditions, as well as their caregivers, advocates, and health care providers. While individual prevention and management of oral and dental disease are important in the context of certain underlying health problems, access to affordable dental coverage and care can be absolutely vital as well. This latter component is one that too many Medicare beneficiaries currently lack. We hope these fact sheets will serve to illustrate why the meaning of health care needs to include oral health care, and why oral health benefits should be added to Medicare.
The fact sheets are developed in collaboration with Larry Coffee, DDS, the esteemed dentist who founded the Dental Lifeline Network, a national nonprofit organization that provides critical dental therapies to needy disabled, elderly, and medically fragile individuals through volunteer dentists. Like the Center’s advocates, Dr. Coffee has long been a champion for expanding dental coverage in Medicare, having witnessed the profound challenges faced by people who require but cannot afford medically-essential, and sometimes life-sustaining, oral health care.
- Fact Sheet – Rheumatic Diseases, Arthritis, and Joint Replacement
- Fact Sheet – Dental Issues Related to Cancer Treatment
- Fact Sheet – The Dental and Heart Disease Relationship
- Fact Sheet – The Diabetes and Dental Disease Connection
- Fact Sheet – Dental Issues Related to Pulmonary Diseases