Though a majority of adults are afflicted with various forms of dental disease, oral hygiene is often an ignored area, doctors say. Statistics from the World Health Organisation show that 60 to 90 per cent of school-going children and almost 100 per cent of adults suffer from some kind of dental disorder.
“While people spend at lot on treating lifestyle diseases, they are not that concerned about oral health. Adults rarely turn up for dental checkups,” says Dr K Manikandan, a city-based conservative dentist.
Nearly 80 per cent of the population don’t seek medical attention even after finding problems, he says. “Tooth cavity or dental caries is the most widely found dental problem. Lack of oral hygiene is the root cause. When small cavities are ignored, they grow to the next level and causes severe pain and further damage to the tooth.”
Dental caries is formed from plaque that gets deposited on the surfaces of teeth. Plaque acts as a proliferation ground for bacteria, which slowly damages enamel.
“Plaque formed around gum margins leads to gingivitis. Teeth, gums and mouth should be kept clean for a good set of teeth,” says Dr Sathya Priya, another dentist. Instance of gingivitis is as high as dental caries due to improper brushing habits, she said. Severe gum disease can result in tooth loss and is found in nearly 20 per cent of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults.
Dentists also warn of tobacco use, a habit which could affect oral health.