Is dental health critical to us all? Despite the importance of dental health too many people still neglect their teeth and gums. This...
Homeless people’s oral healthcare gives me great concern. In December 2016 I wrote about hard to reach patient groups which includes the homeless. Now, Groundswell, a leading charity supporting the homeless has published a peer-led health audit on the oral health of people experiencing homelessness.
Among many shocking finds, is the fact that 15% of homeless people have pulled out their own teeth. Furthermore, the survey found that 70% reported have lost teeth since they became homeless. Also 17% lost teeth following acts of violence and 7% have no teeth at all.
It is small comfort that 35% have had teeth extracted by a medical professional.
As a result, the British Dental Association has called on the Government to invest more in Community Dental Services. Michael Cranfield is the BDA’s Chair of England Community Dental Services. He says “The failure to invest in Community Dentistry hurts patients who cannot be cared for in traditional settings. This means the homeless, the housebound, patients with dementia, learning disabilities and phobias.”