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GAO Report: Millions of children in Medicaid have untreated tooth decay

Nationally representative data from the 1999 through 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey surveys indicate that about one in three children in Medicaid had untreated tooth decay, and one in nine had untreated decay in three or more teeth.

Projected to 2005 enrollment levels, GAO estimates that 6.5 million children aged 2 through 18 in Medicaid had untreated tooth decay. Children in Medicaid remain at higher risk of dental disease compared to children with private health insurance; children in Medicaid were almost twice as likely to have untreated tooth decay.

Report: "Extent of Dental Disease in Children Has Not Decreased, and Millions Are Estimated to Have Untreated Tooth Decay" (PDF)

Report highlights