Oral health fair for adults with diabetes in tri-county region set for March 19

Improving oral health literacy is one goal of a University of Louisville health fair aimed at serving residents of Bullitt, Henry and Shelby Counties who are at-risk for diabetes or have been diagnosed with the disease.

The oral health fair will be held Tuesday, March 19, from 10 a.m.-noon at the UofL School of Dentistry, 501 S. Preston St. University of Louisville dental and nursing school faculty and students will provide oral exams, blood pressure screenings, diabetes risk assessments and oral health education.

Dental care is one of the most unmet health needs in the United States. Oral disease can affect general health, and it can be easy to overlook the implications of poor oral health. Diabetes, for example, can increase the incidence and progression of gum disease; likewise gum disease can affect glucose control in diabetic patients.

UofL is a partner of the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) Diabetes Coalition, which serves residents of Bullitt, Henry and Shelby Counties who are over age 50 and at-risk for Type 2 diabetes.

The tri-county region has been identified as having high incidence of diabetes. The coalition effort is aimed at reducing diabetes-related inequalities in vulnerable populations such as older adults, minorities and low-income residents.

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded KIPDA and UofL a five-year grant to help reduce the prevalence of the disease within the three counties.