Letters to the editor: The important connection between oral health and general health

Dear Editor,

As Dental Director for Health Net of West Michigan I work to improve the oral health of vulnerable populations in Kent County through education and access to dental services. I work with Kent County residents of all ages and backgrounds. Oral health is a key component of comprehensive health care and although it seems logical, Americans have not always publicly recognized the connection between oral health and general health. In the last twenty years, we have made strides in connecting the importance of regular dental check-ups and care with other health problems such as diabetes. Yet, some social services have not kept up with the need to have regular dental care – specifically, Medicare.