The shocking facts about child tooth decay in the UK
Shocking figures released in January 2017 by the Local Government Association (LGA), show that the number of children requiring multiple tooth extractions is still climbing year on year. In 2015-2016, over 40,000 under-18s had an operation under general anaesthetic to remove two or more teeth in England.
This works out at an average of more than 160 operations per day to remove decayed teeth in children. In these cases, the state of the teeth was considered so poor that a surgical procedure was required rather than the extraction being carried out by their dentist. This news comes hot on the heels of revelations last year that over 33,700 children aged 10 or below required at least one extraction, due to tooth decay, during the period 2014-15.
Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, commented:
“These figures are a stark reminder of the damage excessive sugar consumption is doing to our children’s teeth.
The fact that there are more than 160 operations taking place each day to remove teeth in children and teenagers should be a wake-up call to the urgent need to take radical action on our nation’s addiction to sugar.”
The Telegraph reported on a study by Public Health England (PHE) in January 2017 that show many children are consuming more than half of their daily recommended amount of sugar before they even reach school. Eating sugary cereals for breakfast, or starting the day with fruit juices, sugary jams or preserves, is thought to be the main reason why so many millions of UK children are having the equivalent of three cubes of sugar for breakfast every day.
While the increase in sugar intake is the reason for the rise of tooth decay among children and young adults, the Dental Law Partnership is concerned that some dentists are not spotting or treating that decay quickly enough. If dental decay is left and not treated by a dentist it leads to the knock on effect of the decay getting worse usually resulting in pain and the possibility of teeth having to be extracted. At DLP, we always promote regular dental check-ups, and have helped a number of younger clients who have suffered at the hands of negligent dentists after suffering from decay.
If you think your child’s dentist has failed to properly treat tooth decay, then contact The Dental Law Partnership to discuss your concerns, or complete our online claim form.