Dental health has emerged as a major global problem, as a large-scale international study by the University of London’s Queen Mary dental college revealed that billions of people suffer from problems with their teeth and gums.
longer life expectancy has lead to poor oral health
Researchers took three years to complete the study and found that almost four billion people, or more than half of the global population had poor oral health. The key reason for this was longer life expectancy, explained Professor Wagner Marcenes, leader of the project.
Naturally, the longer people use their teeth, the more care they need, he added. Overall, oral diseases had increased by 20% over the past two decades, the study concluded.
While in previous generations the most serious problem was tooth loss, modern people more frequently suffered from periodontitis and untreated caries. The latter was actually the most common of the 291 major diseases that affected people worldwide, as more than one in three had untreated cavities in permanent teeth or tooth decay.
Apparently, modern dental services are able to prevent tooth loss but they are not sufficiently effective in preventing the occurrence and development of gum diseases and tooth decay.
The main problem is that people who are suffering from less serious oral diseases, as small cavities or mild gum problems were not even included in these figures, Marcenes stated.
The research included 500 scientists who looked into extensive data on all diseases, analysing dental records from the past two decades across the globe.