The Oral Health Of The Homeless Is Not A Laughing Matter


Prolonged homelessness impacts dental and oral health.

People experiencing homelessness cannot easily access basic dental services due to a lack of money or insurance to cover the cost, and the inability to make and meet appointments. As a result, they have unmet restorative needs and poor hygienic care.

The longer an individual experiences homelessness, the greater the number of missing or decayed teeth and the higher the presence of periodontal disease.

Individuals experiencing homelessness are a special-needs group characterized by an increased prevalence of ill-health, chaotic lifestyles, deprivation and social exclusion.

Dental fears and anxieties about the appearance of their teeth are real concerns for this client group.

To be effective, an oral care program has dental care professionals collaborating with community care workers to understand and meet the needs of marginalized individuals.

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Haven Toronto provides clients with free access to a dental hygienist thanks to the support of Regina, a Registered Dental Hygienist. Regina volunteers at Haven Toronto. She also provides a mobile service offering in-home dental hygiene. Click to learn more.

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