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It was in 2000, in his landmark report "Oral Health in America," that then-U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher warned of a silent epidemic of oral disease in America. In spite of efforts made since to address its underlying causes, the epidemic persists today.
In covering this epidemic, it is important to keep in mind that the burdens of disease weigh most heavily upon poor children and racial and ethnic minorities of all ages, who are most likely to go without the care needed to prevent and treat tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth loss, oral cancers and other diseases of the mouth.