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“THERE'S NOWHERE I CAN GO TO GET HELP, AND I HAVE TOOTH PAIN RIGHT NOW”: THE ORAL HEALTH SYNDEMIC AMONG MIGRANT FARMWORKERS IN FLORIDA

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Abstract

This article explores the syndemic interaction between poverty, food insecurity, and limited access to dental care among migrant farm laborers in Central Florida. Although a great deal of syndemic research examines the role of pathogen–pathogen interaction (PPI; Singer 2010; Ventura and Mehra 2004), social factors, such as poverty, may be of greater importance than the pathogens that infect the body (Singer and Clair 2003) and demand increased research and policy attention. The data presented in this article show how poverty, food insecurity, and limited access to dental care work synergistically to exacerbate poor health conditions, presenting a syndemic that necessitates increased attention to mitigate poverty circumstances and promote what I call “oral health security” in an effort to advocate for vulnerable populations.

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