Returning the Mouth to the Body: Integrating Oral Health and Primary Care (Sept. 2012)

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As noted in this executive summary and full report from Grantmakers in Health, dental disease is "one of the great preventable public health challenges of the 21st century." Tooth decay is currently the most common childhood disease and is almost 100% preventable.

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, obesity and other chronic conditions have been linked with poor oral health. Children's academic performance and behavioral and social development have also been associated with their oral health status.

This report and its executive summary discuss the case for integrating oral health in primary care settings and identifies some areas for funders to get involved such as:  implementation of integration models, workforce development and stakeholder education, among other topics.

The foundation has long been interested in oral health and how, through its integration with primary care, providers can achieve better outcomes in a more efficient manner.