*Top photo of girl and mother not referenced in the story
“Her gums and tissues in her mouth didn’t look normal. Her tongue was fissured, and her gums were overgrown,” she said.
The school nurse checked her medical record and found nothing of concern. Then, her parents’ medical histories were reviewed, and it was discovered that her mother had stage 4 kidney failure that was genetic. The girl was tested, and her results indicated that she had stage 2 kidney failure.
“If I had not caught that, then she could’ve easily progressed to an advanced stage of kidney failure like her mother,” Sherry said.
“Oral health is more than just about teeth; it is about your overall health. We want to identify any problems early on to set individuals up for a lifetime of good oral health.”
Oral Health is Overall Health.
Almost half of Maine children didn’t have dental coverage in 2019, and many children who have coverage are not using their dental benefits.
Integrating oral health into children's primary care as early as possible is vital to ensuring a healthier life into adulthood.
MCD Global Health has several oral health initiatives striving to improve children’s oral health and overall health. Our team is providing routine screenings and sealants to children in Maine and beyond, coordinating with health partners, and exploring innovative approaches to increase access to care.