The Facts About Childhood Tooth Decay
Pediatric dental disease, commonly called childhood tooth decay, is the most common chronic childhood illness in the world. It’s five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. If left untreated, tooth decay has consequences that reach far beyond cosmetic problems. Extensive tooth decay can deteriorate a child’s quality of life, slow their social development, and lead to problems like malnutrition, infection, and problems eating and speaking. If they maintain a state of poor dental health, children may face increased future risk of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and problems during pregnancy.
Tooth Decay: A Crisis Everywhere
Between 60 and 90 percent of children and the majority of adults in most industrialized nations are affected by tooth decay. Access to dental care is limited in many regions. Where dental treatment is lacking, decayed teeth are often extracted due to pain, or simply left untreated. In the U.S. alone, about 17 million children go without dental treatment every year. More than 51 million school hours are lost because of dental disease, and 43 percent of Americans lack dental insurance. More than a quarter of children between two and five years old and half of those aged 12 to 15 have significant tooth decay.
Basic Dental Care Can Save Kids’ Smiles
The simple but frustrating fact is that tooth decay is nearly always preventable with good oral hygiene and professional treatment from an affordable dentist. In some parts of the world, there are few resources available, but in Western culture, affordable dentistry and financial aid are within reach for most people. Don’t let your child become another statistic. Treat pediatric tooth decay aggressively, and increase your child’s health and well being for life.