Oral Health Disparities


Case Western Reserve Oral Health Disparities group

We are the Oral Health Disparities group located in Cleveland, OH at  Case Western School of Dental Medicine in the Department of Community Dentistry. The goal of our group is to improve oral health disparities in the communities that we work in.

We have conducted a community based clinical trial testing the effectiveness of xylitol in preventing dental caries in kindergarten children followed until the second grade. The kindergarten children were given xylitol or fiber gummy bears together with other currently available best prevention practices such as oral health education, tooth brush and paste, fluoride varnish, and dental sealants.

From 2007-2014, an R01 level NIDCR study investigated the oral health problems of preterm very low birth weight (VLBW) and NBW infants. Assessments included dental caries, tooth enamel problems, S. mutans bacteria, oral hygiene behavior, diet, and DNA samples of infants.

Our current studies involve developing an illness perception measure for older adults using the Common-Sense Model of Self-Regulation. This measure will be instrumental in assessing the oral health beliefs of older adults and caregivers of children and would be conducive for developing behavioral interventions in the future.



  • Portrait of Dr. Suchitra Nelson

    Suchitra Nelson, PhD

    Professor and Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research
    Department of Community Dentistry
    School of Dental Medicine
    Department of Population & Quantitative Health Sciences
    School of Medicine

    Email: suchitra.nelson@case.edu

    Phone: 216.368.3469