Tooth Decay: Australia's Most Common Health Problem
Dental Health Week fast approaching, Australians are being warned that tooth decay is the country's most prevalent health problem. Parents should be particularly concerned, with tooth decay being five times more common in children than asthma.
Official government reports show it is the second-most costly disease linked to diet, with approximately 11 million newly decaying teeth arising every year. According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA), what makes this particularly concerning is that 90 per cent of problems with teeth can be prevented.
With a healthy diet, good oral practices and proper dental care, there should be no reason why people need to suffer tooth decay, which can eventually become painful, unsightly and - in worst-case scenarios - irreversible.
study by the ADA showed 57 per cent of people in the country think they will get tooth decay at some point in their lives, but the organisation's chairman, Dr Peter Alldritt, said the themes of this year's Dental Health Week - which takes place from August 6 to 12 - could help tackle this belief.
He said: "It's clear from an aesthetics point of view, healthy teeth are important to us but it's concerning that so many Australians accept they or their children will at some point be affected by decay.
"This doesn't have to be the case and it certainly shouldn't make people complacent about their teeth."