84% of all adults at an increased risk of tooth decay
Figures collected by the Oral Health Foundation and Colgate-Palmolive show that more than four-in-five (84%) of all adults in the UK fall into groups that put them at higher risk of the disease.
Research finds that one-in-five (21%) Brits have ‘moderate-to-high’ sugar diets, have not visited a dentist in the last two years (21%), or do not brush their teeth twice a day (19%) – all of which increase a person’s chances of developing tooth decay. 1
The latest data from NHS Digital shows there are 9.7 million band two treatments in England a year. These include fillings, root canal work and extractions.2
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says tooth decay can have a devastating effect on a person’s quality of life and more must be done to reduce the number of people affected by the disease.
'Tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease in the UK, yet it is entirely preventable. Anybody can suffer from tooth decay but there are a few things that can increase the risk.
'Tooth decay is caused by poor oral hygiene, as well as eating or drinking too much sugar too often. It is also linked with not having regular dental check-ups.
“Those on medications containing sugar or that cause dry mouth can also put a person at greater risk. We also know that diabetics and orthodontic patients are also more likely to have tooth decay. Together these makes up a significant proportion of the population.'
In the UK, around eight-in-ten adults have one or more teeth with decay, that are filled or have been pulled out due to decay. It is also extremely common in children, with more than one-in-five showing signs of tooth decay.3
To help more people identify their risk of tooth decay and how to spot the early warning signs, the charity has partnered with Colgate-Palmolive to launch a new educational campaign. The initiative, The Truth About Tooth Decay also gives advice for preventing the condition.
The Truth About Tooth Decay can be found at www.dentalhealth.org/thetruthabouttoothdecay.
- Oral Health Foundation and Colgate-Palmolive (2020) 'Dental Caries Awareness Survey', UK, Broadcast Revolution, Sample 2,008.
- NHS Digital (2020) ‘NHS Dental Statistics’, online at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-dental-statistics/2019-20-annual-report#related-links, accessed on January 2020.
- Office for National Statistics (2009) ‘Adult Dental Health Survey’, online at https://www.ukdataservice.ac.uk/media/428503/osullivanadhs.pdf
Author: Julie Bissett