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Dental Professionals Offer Free Dental Care for Mississippians

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 29 Apr 2013 04:43am | comments
Photo courtesy of Lawayne Childrey/MPB News
Poor hygiene has been linked to a number of health problems in Mississippi that includes diabetes and heart disease. Organizations are reaching out to Mississippians to offer free dental care. 
Derrick Taylor of Jackson was one of about two thousand Mississippians receiving free dental care in Pearl this weekend.
"They found a way to make me feel good about myself to make me want to smile again," says Taylor.
The free dental clinic is sponsored by The Mississippi Mission of Mercy. Dr  Mark Donald, a practicing dentist in Louisville chairs the organization. He says recent studies show a direct correlation between poor oral hygiene and other health complications.  
"Dentistry is where everything starts," says Donald.  "People who don't have teeth don't chew their food well, they have digestive problems, we have that actually periodontal disease can lead to some cardiac problems.  A mother that has periodontal disease, we find that their child has low birth weight, if a child starts off with low birth weight in life, it's hard for them to catch up," continues Donald.
Connie Lane, Executive Director of the Mississippi Dental Association says a growing number of adults are foregoing dental care even if they have insurance. 
"For example, adults that would qualify for Medicaid, there just aren't services covered under adult Medicaid that reallly address the oral health need, so there's no where for them to turn," says Lane.
A recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General says 75 percent of Americans have some type of oral disease due to lack of good hygiene. 


Photo courtesy of Lawayne Childrey/MPB News



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