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In Kentucky’s Teeth, Toll of Poverty and Neglect
NY Times ^ | December 24, 2007 | IAN URBINA

Posted on 12/24/2007 7:18:58 PM PST by neverdem

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. — In the 18 years he has been visiting nursing homes, seeing patients in his private practice and, more recently, driving his mobile dental clinic through Appalachian hills and hollows, Dr. Edwin E. Smith has seen the extremes of neglect.

He has seen the shame of a 14-year-old girl who would not lift her head because she had lost most of her teeth from malnutrition, and the do-it-yourself pride of an elderly mountain man who, unable to afford a dentist, pulled his own infected teeth with a pair of pliers and a swig of peroxide.

He has seen the brutal result of angry husbands hitting their wives and the end game of pill-poppers who crack healthy teeth, one by one, to get dentists to prescribe pain medications.

But mostly he has seen everyday people who are too busy putting food on the table to worry about oral hygiene. Many of them savor their sweets, drink well water without fluoride and long ago started ruining their teeth by chewing tobacco and smoking.

Dr. Smith has a rare window on a state with the highest proportion of adults under 65 without teeth, where about half the population does not have dental insurance. He struggles to counter the effects of the drastic shortage of dentists in rural areas and oral hygiene habits that have been slow to change.

“The level of need is hard to believe until you see it up close,” said Dr. Smith, who runs a free dental clinic at a high school in one of Kentucky’s poorest counties. He also provides free care to about half of the patients who visit his private practice in Barbourville.

Kentucky is among the worst states nationally in the proportion of low-income residents served by free or subsidized dental clinics, and less...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Kentucky; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: dentistry; health; medicine; teeth
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Audio Slide Show Trying to Fill the Gaps
1 posted on 12/24/2007 7:19:00 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Hey Kentucky, brush your freaking teeth. What do you think this is? England?


2 posted on 12/24/2007 7:21:45 PM PST by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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To: July 4th
Kentuckians are noted for their poor tooth condition.

All they have to do is move to a big city within 250 miles, get real jobs, and then they can afford to visit dentists ~ oh, yes, and buy toothbrushes and toothpaste!

This traveling dentist is simply encouraging them to stay in those hills and hollows and glory in their poverty and ignorance.

3 posted on 12/24/2007 7:26:27 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: TASMANIANRED

ping


4 posted on 12/24/2007 7:33:33 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem
If you really want to get sick and upset look at some of the things the Appalachian Regional Commission has spent money on. When they were set up years ago to help and prevent what they are talking about in this story. The ARC needs to be defunded having proved they are totally incompetent and a cash cow for the congressmen representing this area.

http://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/dispatch/moun_money.htm

Mercedes-Benz and BMW vehicles roll off assembly lines in thriving Alabama and South Carolina cities, thanks in part to $8.5 million in federal money designed to help poverty-stricken Appalachia.

5 posted on 12/24/2007 7:33:45 PM PST by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: theDentist

Hey Man.

You’re needed in Kentucky.


6 posted on 12/24/2007 7:34:48 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (Paul/Kucinich (MCKINNEY!!!) for 2008! [Yes, of course I'm insane - Why do you ask?])
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To: muawiyah

If it wasn’t a special day I’d make a comment about big cities!
There is a saying in those “hills and hollows”,”I kin make a livin on a flat rock”. Some birds were born to fly free!


7 posted on 12/24/2007 7:36:01 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (THE SECOND AMENDMENT, A MATTER OF FACT, NOT A MATTER OF OPINION)
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To: neverdem

We so often see these “OMG we’re just so negletful of people who desperately need our help” stories. The upshot is that YOU must vote for more programs, more wealth distribution and then the federal government will be able to solve these problems and save these poor people.

This seems aimed at people who want dental programs for people who are so malnourished that one might think to focus on something other than merely the teeth.

How obvious can these people be!!! Let us spend your money on fixing their teeth although they are not capable of figuring out how to live their lives at the most basic level and giving them great chompers won’t help one bit.

I get so tired of this stuff.


8 posted on 12/24/2007 7:36:53 PM PST by Bahbah
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To: neverdem

FORTY years AFTER LBJ’s War on Poverty. It is a quagmire motivated by Big Dem.


9 posted on 12/24/2007 7:37:09 PM PST by weegee (If Bill Clinton can sit in on Hillary's Cabinet Meetings then GWBush should ask to get to sit in too)
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To: neverdem

FORTY years AFTER LBJ’s War on Poverty. It is a quagmire motivated by Big Dem.


10 posted on 12/24/2007 7:37:09 PM PST by weegee (If Bill Clinton can sit in on Hillary's Cabinet Meetings then GWBush should ask to get to sit in too)
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To: neverdem

Normally I look with a healthy dose of suspicion anything the Slimes has to say.

Especially when Kentucky is such an easy target.

But.... other data seems to bear this out as true.

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:_lS-7_gFkNUJ:chfs.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/1E897A0D-1BB6-4A47-98C0-CB0118EC3900/0/OralHealthinKentucky.doc+kentucky+oral+hygiene&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=30&gl=us


11 posted on 12/24/2007 7:37:16 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (Paul/Kucinich (MCKINNEY!!!) for 2008! [Yes, of course I'm insane - Why do you ask?])
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To: July 4th; muawiyah

Hey Kentucky, brush your freaking teeth. What do you think this is? England?

. . .the shame of a 14-year-old girl who would not lift her head because she had lost most of her teeth from malnutrition . . .

Seems like this Christmas brought out the worst in some of us.

12 posted on 12/24/2007 7:38:26 PM PST by Racehorse (Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.)
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To: muawiyah

Yeah, but those city folks are weird. Most of ‘em thinks they’re too good to marry their own sister.


13 posted on 12/24/2007 7:39:07 PM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: org.whodat

“That money should be targeted to the most needy areas, to the most needy people,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who toured southeast Ohio and other struggling Appalachian communities last fall to focus national attention on their plight. “I don’t understand those priorities.”

What they really need is a bus ticket. Pumping money into the region is a waste of resources.


14 posted on 12/24/2007 7:39:37 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
Have you ever read the Foxfire books?

They are fascinating and there is a ton of stuff in there that is about to become lost technology/art

15 posted on 12/24/2007 7:41:29 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem
Nice try, NY Slimes.

As if there aren't crack addicts with rotting teeth sleeping in the doorways of the Times Building.

16 posted on 12/24/2007 7:46:44 PM PST by Texas Eagle (Could pacifists exist if there weren't people brave enough to go to war for their right to exist?)
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To: muawiyah

Hills and hollows beats the hell out of city any day of the week.


17 posted on 12/24/2007 7:47:32 PM PST by Rb ver. 2.0 (Global warming is the new Marxism.)
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To: Bahbah

Help for folks living in Appalachia is a bus ticket out.


18 posted on 12/24/2007 7:48:37 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: neverdem

Sounds like the American Dental Association needs to establish clinics with rotating volunteers, and with dental school students from across the USA. They can ask Colgate for supplies(but nothing made in China or South Africa,especially from those dollar stores).

It’s the end of 2007, and the article is saying that Americans are out there that don’t know the value of a toohbrush and toothpaste?

That’s a real stretch. At this point, that’s a personal choice, not societal cruelty.


19 posted on 12/24/2007 7:49:01 PM PST by exit82 (How do you handle Hillary? You Huma her.)
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To: mylife

Clint Eastwood was pretty good in that movie.


20 posted on 12/24/2007 7:49:26 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~~~Jihad Fever -- Catch It !~~~ (Backup tag: "Live Fred or Die"))
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To: Brilliant

Notice that Jesse doesn’t live in Appalachia. He lives in a big city.


21 posted on 12/24/2007 7:49:31 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: neverdem

when I read a story like this, the only thing that really crosses my mind is look at all the money that our government sends overseas to “help” poor countries and their citizens. look at all the money the rich and famous raise for charities that do nothing to help the least among us in OUR OWN FLIPPIN’ COUNTRY!!!

We must never forget that although we live in the best country in the world with the most opportunities it does not mean that everyone is fortunate.


22 posted on 12/24/2007 7:50:02 PM PST by annelizly
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

Until you need money, a dentist, or a prescription filled ~


23 posted on 12/24/2007 7:51:52 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Yeah, I liked it when he chinked that fireplace up and when Ma made them mustard pickles. ;0)


24 posted on 12/24/2007 7:52:22 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: July 4th

25 posted on 12/24/2007 7:53:35 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~~~Jihad Fever -- Catch It !~~~ (Backup tag: "Live Fred or Die"))
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To: mylife

Was that before or after he snuck into Russia to steal the plane ?


26 posted on 12/24/2007 7:54:21 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~~~Jihad Fever -- Catch It !~~~ (Backup tag: "Live Fred or Die"))
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To: annelizly

You can find plenty of those folks 70 mi from the glass and cash in Dallas


27 posted on 12/24/2007 7:55:04 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Afterward.

Remember when Bond was in KY in the film Gold Fiddle?


28 posted on 12/24/2007 7:59:07 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

I thought that was On Her Majesty’s Secret Outhouse ?


29 posted on 12/24/2007 8:10:48 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~~~Jihad Fever -- Catch It !~~~ (Backup tag: "Live Fred or Die"))
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To: fieldmarshaldj

L0L!


30 posted on 12/24/2007 8:13:00 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Thanks for the link. Merry Christmas!


31 posted on 12/24/2007 8:19:15 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: July 4th

32 posted on 12/24/2007 8:24:57 PM PST by B-Cause (“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it is free!”)
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To: Responsibility2nd

The story that really bothers me is the woman in DC who refused to pay $75.00 to have her son’s rotten tooth extracted. He died of an infection because of it. I would gladly paid for it, had I known.


33 posted on 12/24/2007 8:29:18 PM PST by Perdogg (Fred Thompson for President)
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To: muawiyah

remember, it is pronounced Aaap-paaa-laahhh-chah not Aaap-paa-layyyyy-chah.

;-p


34 posted on 12/24/2007 8:32:16 PM PST by Perdogg (Fred Thompson for President)
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To: mylife

I don’t know what to say.


35 posted on 12/24/2007 8:32:51 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Football player's cooling treatment is experimental, but also tried for stroke, brain injury

Everett Triumphantly Returns to Buffalo

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

36 posted on 12/24/2007 8:33:32 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: mylife

I have those books!! At least the first 4 or 5, I don’t remember which. My oldest son “borrowed” them from me last fall, probably the last I’ll see of them! :) They are fascinating. I could now make a rifle, barrel, stock and all, pound laundry on a stump with a paddle, tan deer hides, card and spin wool, then weave it into fabric, I could go on and on. I re-read some of them before he took them, and I was thinking as I read them that all the people who were interviewed for the books I have are most likely gone now, and all that knowledge gone with them!


37 posted on 12/24/2007 8:34:30 PM PST by buckeye49 ( Duncan Hunter for President '08)
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To: TASMANIANRED

No need to say anything. I hope I didn’t make you sad.

I just thought you may have some insight to the general health


38 posted on 12/24/2007 8:37:06 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Perdogg

I remember that story........ http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1792614/posts

It seems that you could give some people all the best health or dental care in the world. Give it to them for free if you like.

It still wont make a difference to some. They will continue to eat as they please and ignore basic hygiene.


39 posted on 12/24/2007 8:37:27 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (Paul/Kucinich (MCKINNEY!!!) for 2008! [Yes, of course I'm insane - Why do you ask?])
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To: buckeye49

I love those books as well.
Thankfully someone thought to document this stuff.

I found somethings in those books that I knew about but didnt understand the origins. (mustard pickles) I could murder some of those!


40 posted on 12/24/2007 8:40:06 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

I wouldn’t live in a big city again if someone paid me to. Heck, I wouldn’t even live in a small city.

But my mama did teach me how to brush my teeth. ;>)

You keep guarding that swamp and I’ll keep guarding my mountain. ;>)

I think I just saw Santa fly by and he’s towing a sign that reads, vote for......... . I can’t quite make it out.

Merry Christmas.....


41 posted on 12/24/2007 8:49:42 PM PST by Gator113 (My short list..Fred, Hunter, Romney.)
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To: mylife

I don’t remember mustard pickles. I do remember all the jams and jellies, though, from berries I never heard of.

My dad’s family came from Appalachia, and I have a deep appreciation for how they lived, and made do. I remember one of my aunts talking about how she always wished she had 2 bobbie pins, rather than just one, because she wanted to part her hair in the middle, not on the side!

Another one told about going to town and seeing people with their trash set out, and thinking that they must be very rich if they had stuff that they could just throw away.

Different world now, for sure.


42 posted on 12/24/2007 8:58:40 PM PST by buckeye49 ( Duncan Hunter for President '08)
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To: buckeye49

LoL! My family was from WV and I even have one of the old MT instruments here. Course Dad said we were to never admit it.

I never had to live with that sort of poverty. My parents did.
They rarely spoke of it.

Mom does now. They sure didnt then.


43 posted on 12/24/2007 9:03:42 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem

Northern California has similar problems. The environmentalists created a “New Appalachia” with their destruction of the timber industry. We have kids in our county that are in 6th grade and never have seen a dentist. 85% of our children live in poverty. What’s worse, is that the dentists here won’t accept MediCal dental insurance. We have a van that visits childcare and schools once a year to try and get screening of the worst cases done.


44 posted on 12/24/2007 9:14:09 PM PST by marsh2
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To: mylife

In the part on muzzleloading rifles Gusler mentions the “Honaker School of Design”, re early American rifles.
I’m a Honaker, although my branch spelled it Honiker when they left Virginia and came to Georgia, about 1798. They couldn’t spell, but they sure could work hardwood and steel. I can still make a decent mainspring, myself. Might have to make me some steel teeth, LOL!
I’ve always suspected that folks move to cities because they’re scared to be on their own!
Merry Christmas! On February 1st it will be 5 years since the docs sent me home to die! I sure fooled them!


45 posted on 12/24/2007 9:16:25 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (THE SECOND AMENDMENT, A MATTER OF FACT, NOT A MATTER OF OPINION)
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To: mylife

I’m not sure that they talked about it when it was so fresh for them, but they have told some stories over the years, that’s for sure.

I always asked them to write that stuff down, but they never have that I know of. They got into a big debate at a family gathering one time about whether they would have been considered “poor white trash” back then. The general consensus was that they would not, because they were always clean, and went to church!!


46 posted on 12/24/2007 9:17:13 PM PST by buckeye49 ( Duncan Hunter for President '08)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
I hope you all documented that KY rifle making.

Merry Christmas Sniper!

47 posted on 12/24/2007 9:21:12 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

My family (by marriage) was all from W.Va. They were poor, sure - but didn’t know it. They had a roof over their heads, food in their tummies, and shoes on their feet. They felt rich!

They grew every vegetable imaginable on their little plots of land, and loved to barter for whatever was needed, and there was always a neighbor to trade something with. They preserved and canned everything from ground beef to jams and jellies.

My favorite was (and still is) green tomato relish! There’s nothin’ better on a hot dog, to this day!

The old foot pump sewing machine was continually putting clothes together for the ever growing kids. The crochet hook and knitting needles clicked away all year for those beautiful scarves, sweaters and afghans that everyone got at Christmas.

The cow was milked by hand (for those lucky enough to have one), and the eggs were collected every morning in the hen house.

Rabbit, squirrel, ground hog, deer and elk were sometimes the only protein available, but the ladies knew how to simmer ‘the meat’ all day with those special spices and herbs (and a little tad from Gramps’ “medicinal” bottle of booze.)

Babies were born in the back bedroom, and the old folks were never sent to a nursing home. The whole family would pitch in to help with any dibilitating illness, always with loving, tender kindness and respect.

Their lives were simple, but so incredibly full.

And, they were never, ever ashamed.


48 posted on 12/24/2007 9:25:09 PM PST by yorkie ( For God so loved the world........................ that He didn't send a committee.)
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To: buckeye49

L0L!

I hope the lesser folks have a Merry Christmas.

Thanks for the tales.
I recall, cousins of a friend of mines. They all had a similar background, but the Divers never got with the modern world, they were frowned on. Bunch of junk collectors all with dirty bare foot L0L

Well Sir, the Divers are now Millionaire’s from the scrap business.

Merry Christmas!


49 posted on 12/24/2007 9:28:42 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: yorkie

A beautiful picture Yorkie.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!


50 posted on 12/24/2007 9:31:55 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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