The Health and Social Care Information Center survey says that the oral health of kids in the UK is getting worse. The situation is particularly alarming because of the thousands of decaying teeth removed in hospitals in England.
The figure shows more than 128,000 children 10 years old and below were required at some point to have at least one tooth extraction since 2011. Most of the tooth decays in these cases were said to have been avoidable.
For four consecutive years, the numbers have been but an increasing trend. In fact, there has been about a 10 percent rise of hospital admissions among children due to severe tooth decay during the said period.
Admission rates among children aged 5 years and below were about 14,445 between April 2014 and March 2015. Such statistic does not include children aged between 6 and 10 years old, which will add 19,336 cases.
In terms of gender, the report says boys were more likely to experience severe tooth decay than girls.
Decay For The Deprived
The authors emphasized that the number of tooth extraction has a solid correlation to the area deprivation. This is because the tooth extraction cases among the most deprived kids were five times higher than those living in least deprived areas.
Implications Of Worsening Oral Health
Royal College of Surgeons' Dean of Dental Surgery Nigel Hunt describes the 9.81 percent rise of tooth decay as unacceptable.
"Not only is tooth decay distressing to children and parents, it has serious social and financial implications," he says.
Hunt says the leading reason for hospital admissions among children aged 5 to 9 remains to be tooth extraction. Such an issue is urgent, especially because about 90 percent of tooth decay is considered preventable, he adds.
Another implication of the findings may be the lack of adequate primary dental care. The tooth decay of these children has gone worse, thus implicating that they may not be visiting their dentist on a regular basis.
The authors say the kids won't need to have their tooth extracted if only professional dental monitoring was in place. The tooth decay may have been addressed early on and cases would not have reached the stage of extraction.
Kids having tooth extraction under general anesthesia during secondary care also implies that the tooth decay has developed into severe conditions already.
Hunt now calls for further interventions from the government to address the issue. He emphasizes the need to heighten education regarding the effects of sugar on teeth.
In the past two years, access to NHS dentists has been improving. Government statistics say that there has been an increase of 100,000 patients seen by dentists in 2015 than in 2014.
Tooth decay is a dental problem that occurs when acids dissolve the outer part of the teeth.
Among the most common signs and symptoms of tooth decay include toothache, increased sensitivity, dark spots on teeth, bad breath and unpleasant taste.