DENTAL HEALTH IN MELTDOWN
Posted on January 15
As a result of Covid 19 the number of dental appointments in the UK has halved in 2020. The impact on the nation’s dental health is incalculable. Set alongside the life and death consequences of the pandemic it could be argued tooth decay and gum disease pale into insignificance. However we believe that dental health is part of general health and well-being and this should not be overlooked.
Every check- up that has been missed is an oral cancer screen missed. The referral rate for specialist investigation has dropped by 80%. A delay in diagnosis delays treatment and equals a reduced survival rate for a condition that is a potent cause of death. We urge you to visit your dentist if you have swelling or ulceration in the mouth that does not resolve within two weeks.Even an image from a smartphone sent to your dentist could be a life saver.
CHILDREN’S DENTAL HEALTH
Pre- Covid the state of children’s teeth in the UK was in sharp decline. The number one reason for general anaesthetics given to children under age seven is the removal of rotten teeth. On this and on other levels we are literally poisoning our children with sugar and confectionery. Lockdown misery and boredom has led to increased snacking which will exacerbate this. Prevention is down to personal responsibility. Reduce the amount and frequency of sugar intake to a minimum. Use a fluoride toothpaste twice daily. Spit don’t rinse!
Most practices will have worked extremely hard to reinforce our already excellent cross infection controls. We believe we offer the safest primary healthcare setting and this is especially important for patients who require regular support from their hygienist. It is surprising how quickly a stable and healthy dentition can decline without this vital cog in the battle against gum disease and tooth decay.
We know that the effects of Covid 19 are most acute and dangerous in individuals with co morbidities. It is important to remember that dental health plays a major role in general health and dental practices must do all we reasonably can to maintain access to care for all our patients. If you need help or advice please feel free to call 01600 712020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.