According to a new study published in the Journal of Dental Research over 2.4 billion people across the globe have some level of untreated tooth decay and experts are saying that this is not just a problem among children, it is affecting a large number of adults also.
Professor Wagner Marcenes of Queen Mary University of London led the team of international researchers who analysed studies carried out on millions of people between 1990 and 2010. The results revealed that 2.4bn people have untreated tooth decay in their adult teeth and around 621million children have untreated cavities in their milk teeth. The study predicts more than 190m new cases of decay every year.
According to the results, around a third of the population in the UK had untreated decay in 2010. Prof Wagner blames the bulk of the problem on diet, with sugary foods and drinks being consumed in large amounts, as well as frequent snacking, exposing the teeth to high levels of acid on a daily basis. He said ‘It is alarming to see prevention and treatment of tooth decay has been neglected at this level. Tooth decay is a significant economic burden. And if left untreated, it leads to poor productivity at work and absenteeism in adults, and poor school attendance and performance in children.’