The Importance Of Oral Health, Resettlement Group Adapts To Fewer Refugees, James Comey Testifies

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Former FBI Director James Comey testified for the Senate Intelligence Committee today about conversations with President Trump, during which he says he was was asked for loyalty. We find out more of what was said at the hearing. World Relief Fox Valley has been helping refugees settle in the Appleton and Oshkosh areas for years, but the number of arrivals has dropped sharply. The group’s director shares how her staff and new residents are adjusting.

Featured in this Show

  • The Importance Of Access To Oral Health Care

    A trip to the dentist is often the one that most people forego whether or not they can afford to visit a doctor. However, oral health can have a significant impact on our overall health. We’ll speak with Dr. Pradeep Bhagavatula of Marquette University about why access to dental care is crucial.

  • Dental Health Should Not Be A Luxury, Dentist Says

    When are teeth more than just teeth? When they’re a status symbol.

    In a 2014 federal survey, 25 percent of respondents said they had avoided necessary dental care in the past year because they couldn’t afford it.

    Those results were closely tied to income — lower-income respondents were much more likely to miss out on care. But dentists say oral health shouldn’t be a luxury.

    “To be completely honest, I’m not worried about the people we see, I’m worried about the people we don’t ever get to see,” said Dr. Pradeep Bhagavatula, a dentist and researcher at Marquette University. “There are a lot of people out there who don’t have an opportunity to get into a dental office, who have a lot of untreated disease, who end up going into emergency rooms to get even routine dental care.”

    For Bhagavatula, that’s a serious problem. Dental disease is preventable in most people, he said. Seeing a dentist not only gives an individual access to procedures, but education on how to prevent further damage.

    “We see patients here in Milwaukee who don’t have access to proper healthy food that can be helpful in helping people not getting cavities,” he said. “That’s one of the things that I’m concerned about, the social indicators. There’s so much disparity.”

    Poor oral health can lead to short-term problems like severe tooth pain, causing sleepless nights or the inability to eat and talk.

    But there are long-term effects as well. For example, some studies have linked gum disease with heart disease. The correlation hasn’t been proven, but it’s something to watch out for, Bhagavatula said.

    “If you have chronic inflammation in one part of the body, that can lead to some cascading effects that can lead to heart disease or at least increase the risk of heart disease,” he said.

    Bhagavatula said there is still a stigma around oral health, in that people believe it is less important than general medicine.

    “For most people it was almost a fact of life that they would lose teeth, and that has gone on for many generations,” he said.

    Dentists are working to fight that stigma. The American Dental Association’s Action for Dental Health initiative attempts to foster better collaboration between doctors and dentists.

    And locally, Bhagavatula said, dentists often have a hand in advocating for small community changes that make a difference in the long run, like encouraging dental check-ups.

    “I think if everyone bands together and tries to advocate for changes … improving access to grocery stores, etcetera, that will be a very good thing,” he said.

  • Refugee Resettlement Group Adjusting to Uncertainty, Fewer Arrivals

    For many international refugees settling in Wisconsin, help with housing, transportation, and schooling comes from World Relief Fox Valley. However, the faith-based organization saw a sharp drop in the number of people coming to the area this year. The group’s director shares how the organization and the refugees it helps are adapting to travel restrictions and political uncertainty.

  • Former-FBI Director James Comey Testifies In Front Of Senate Intelligence Committee

    For nearly three hours today, former-FBI Director James Comey testified about his conversations with President Trump and whether they demonstrate an obstruction of justice. We speak with Jessica Gabel Cino of Georgia State University’s College of Law to discuss what this could mean for the Trump Administration.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • J. Carlisle Larsen Producer
  • Dean Knetter Producer
  • Pradeep Bhagavatula Guest
  • Tami McLaughlin Guest
  • Jessica Gabel Cino Guest