Oral health literacy: a pathway to reducing oral health disparities in Maryland

J Public Health Dent. 2012 Winter;72 Suppl 1:S26-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2012.00316.x.


Oral health literacy is a relatively new but critical concept in our efforts to decrease disparities and increase oral health for all Marylanders. Oral health literacy is important because low health literacy contributes to disease which results in increased costs for all of us. Those with low health literacy are usually at highest risk for oral diseases and problems. These individuals include the poor, those with low levels of education, minorities, and the elderly. Prompted by the untimely demise of Deamonte Driver, Maryland has taken the lead in developing a statewide approach to improving oral health literacy with the ultimate objective of reducing disparities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Cost of Illness
  • Dentist-Patient Relations
  • Educational Status
  • Health Education, Dental
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Literacy*
  • Health Policy
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Maryland
  • Minority Groups
  • Needs Assessment
  • Oral Health*
  • Poverty
  • Primary Prevention
  • Risk Assessment
  • Vulnerable Populations