Drilling Down on Dental Coverage and Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries

(By Meredith Freed, Tricia Neuman, and Gretchen Jacobson for Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation)

Oral health is an integral part of overall health, but its importance to overall health and well-being often goes unrecognized.1 Untreated oral health problems can lead to serious health complications. Having no natural teeth can cause nutritional deficiencies and related health problems.2 Untreated caries (cavities) and periodontal (gum) disease can exacerbate certain diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and lead to chronic pain, infections, and loss of teeth.3 Lack of routine dental care can also delay diagnosis of conditions, which can lead to potentially preventable complications, high-cost emergency department visits, and adverse outcomes.  Continue reading briefing here…

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