A new report has revealed that people living in the North of England – more specifically the Tyneside area – are more likely to have lost all their teeth, compared to the rest of the country’s population. When asked, 18% of people who said they had not been to see the dentist in two years said that this was because they had no natural teeth remaining. The region has always had a higher number of people without teeth, in comparison to their counterparts in southern areas.
Head of the School of Dental Sciences at Newcastle University, Professor Jimmy Steele, said that the results did not come as a shock to him; he commented that ‘The findings of the report do not surprise me as we know that the North tends to have a higher proportion of people with no teeth than those in the south. Some of the reason for this are quite historical, as a lot of people in the area lost their teeth a long time ago, but the rate of tooth loss has been falling.’
Professor Steele went on to add that this problem was not generally related to the dental services on offer, saying ‘We know that dental services are generally very good in the north and the need for NHS dental services is high. All health is quite strong related to socioeconomic factors and there ARE significant health inequalities in the north.’