Many residents of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation suffer unchecked tooth decay, gum disease and other serious dental problems that can cause pain, infections and death, a W.K. Kellogg Foundation study found. Ninety percent of the residents showed signs of active decay, and 40% of children and almost 60% of adults had moderate to urgent dental needs, the study found. "A severe shortage of dentists willing to practice in isolated areas has left many Americans, including American Indians, with ongoing dental problems that threaten their overall health," said lead author Terry Batliner, DDS, of the Colorado School of Public Health.

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