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Oral health is a sometimes overlooked, often fascinating facet of health care coverage. When you start to look, the stories are surprising in their variety. While some concern the need for more care in rural places or nursing homes, others touch upon oral health disparities across racial or ethnic lines. There are accounts of local battles over water fluoridation programs, coverage of new dental care provider models, reports on research into connections between oral and systemic health and investigations into cases of Medicaid fraud.

This site will highlight the work reporters are doing to explore oral health within their communities and beyond, as well as point you to useful data, news about upcoming events and shared wisdom as well as a growing glossary of terms, and information about key oral health concepts.

The Pew Charitable TrustsWe thank The Pew Charitable Trusts for the support that made this Web portal possible. The foundation has not dictated the content on these pages, but rather has provided a grant or financial sponsorship that allows us to pay for the costs associated with collecting, writing, editing and presenting valuable resources.

Send us ideas, questions, suggestions. Share your successes. Point us to good stories. Let us know how we can be more helpful. We wish you success as you pursue one of health journalism’s core topics.

About your topic leader

Mary OttoMary Otto, AHCJ’s topic leader on oral health, is writing blog posts, editing tip sheets and articles and gathering resources to help our members cover oral health care.

If you have questions or suggestions for future resources on the topic, please send them to

Mary Otto is AHCJ's oral health core topic leader. She will be pointing you to resources and initiating a conversation about this facet of health care coverage.

Otto got interested in covering oral health in 2007, writing about the death of a child who had suffered complications from an untreated dental infection. At the time, she was working at The Washington Post. She left that job in 2008 in a newsroom downsizing, but has continued to write about oral health, as a freelance writer for the Post,, and other publications. Her book, "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America," was released in March 2017.

AHCJ is a community, a place for health care journalists, sometimes working in isolation from one another, to gather and share insights. This site should offer one more useful source of ideas and inspiration. Otto looks forward to other journalists weighing in with their own experiences, quandaries, needs and examples. Please send them to or leave a comment on the blog.