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GAO: Young Medicaid enrollees at risk for tooth decay

The federal Medicaid program is falling well short in treating tooth decay in millions of children, according to a new report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In response, an oral health advocacy group and the American Dental Association (ADA) have suggested reforms.

In examining statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the GAO concluded that one in three children between the ages of 2 and 18 has untreated tooth decay, and one in nine has untreated caries in at least three teeth.