The Belfast Telegraph has revealed that teenagers in Northern Ireland have the worst levels of tooth decay in the United Kingdom; the statistics quoted are taken from the British Dental Association and they show that the country ‘tops the league table for rotten teeth’.
Around 72% of 15-year-olds were found to be suffering with some level of decay compared to 63% in Wales and 44% in England. The BDA is hoping to a new strategy to be implemented in order to counteract this problem and reduce the number of teenage patients that are being admitted to hospital to have teeth extracted due to decay.
As well as teenagers suffering with decay, cases of dental caries in five-year-olds have risen to 40% and chair of the BDA (NI) Council, Roz McMullan said that the government had the choice to accept these numbers as normal or ‘tackle this epidemic head on’ to try and remove Northern Ireland from the top of the league table for rotten teeth. McMullan added ‘All decay is presentable, and dentists need to know candidates from all the parties are ready to step up and take their share of responsibility.’