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Oral Health

Good oral health is about more than clean teeth. If your mouth is healthy, you are more likely to be healthier overall. 

Oral health is necessary for overall health.  Poor oral health can affect individuals from infancy to older age and can have a significant negative impact on quality of life and well-being.  Untreated oral health problems have an impact on a person’s ability to learn, to engage in social relationships, to gain employment, and on physical and mental health.  Dental care is the top unmet health need of Ohio children.  



HealthPath has selected oral health as one of our result areas for 2022-2024 to ensure that all Ohioans, especially those who are underrepresented, have access to the dental services they need for a healthy mouth.   

Many factors influence oral health

  • Social Determinants of Access to Care such as dental insurance or transportation to a clinic

  • Social Determinants of Health such as proximity to a grocery store, parent’s educational level and children’s exposure to trauma 

  • Social Determinants of Equity are underlying social, political, and economic forces, such as deeply rooted forms of inequality including race, ethnicity & gender 

  • Self-Care & Personal Habits such as oral hygiene, tobacco use and sugar consumption 

  • Workforce Shortages of oral health professionals, especially Medicaid providers, exist in communities across Ohio.  Primary care providers including Pediatricians, Family Practice Physicians, Obstetricians, Physician Assistants and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses are critical yet underserved partners in oral health prevention

  • Health Literacy is the ability of consumers to understand health information and providers to deliver health information in a way that consumers can understand their health condition and make informed decisions. 

What HealthPath Will Fund

HealthPath issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Community Connections Grants which provides $8,000 for general operating support for organizations doing work in HealthPath’s focus areas.  We also fund deep, concentrated investments which provides opportunities for multi-year funding.  Requests for Proposals for deep, concentrated investments are issued approximately every three years.  HealthPath may also make smaller grants to fund events or other projects aligned with our three focus areas.

HealthPath works to improve Children's Oral Health

Have Questions?

If you need further information about 
preventive oral health, contact Marla Morse, at 513-768-6137.

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