High Percentage Of Young Boys Admitted To Hospital For Teeth Problems

New Figures Reveal Increase In Dental Problems

01.07.2015

New figures reveal that boys aged between the ages of five and nine are being admitted to hospital because of problems with their teeth more than any other age group.

Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has released statistics to also show wide regional differences for children in England, with the South Yorkshire region having more than nine times the rate of hospital admissions for dentistry among under 15s compared with Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, which had the lowest overall.

The largest amount of dentistry-related admissions to hospital were among boys aged five to nine (16%), with females between the ages of 25 and 29 were the second biggest group at 13%.

Across all age groups, the figures show far more people are going to hospital for teeth or gum problems in the most deprived areas of the country, with more than a quarter (28%) coming from the 20% most deprived areas nationally.

This is even more noticeable for children under 15s, with 35% of admissions coming from the 20% most deprived areas.

The HSCIC said the research that found that sugar-laden fizzy or energy drinks are being consumed four or more times a day by 16% of 12-year-olds and 14% of 15-year-olds, particularly in children eligible for free school meals.

The most common reason for being admitted to hospital was due to tooth decay and cavities, which made up nearly half (47%) of hospital admissions.

Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, said: "Today's data is a stark reminder of the inequalities in children's oral health that persist across the country.

"Hospital treatment is often required for dental problems that are more serious and complex. We strongly urge the Government to invest in further research to understand the variation.

"A national public health programme is urgently needed to tackle preventable tooth decay."

Serbjit Kaur, acting Chief Dental Officer at NHS England, said: "Accident and emergency attendances for dental treatments have decreased by 16% since 2011.

"Whilst the most common dental admissions to hospital are for the surgical removal of teeth resulting from cavities and decay, these admissions along with the reasons for dental appointment will vary from region to region.

"Our long-term approach is to continue to raise awareness about oral health care across England and increase the number of patients that are seen by NHS dentists thereby reducing any accident and emergency attendances, outside of unforeseen circumstances."

Expert Opinion
Irwin Mitchell represent a number of families of children who have concerns about their dental care and these new statistics highlight the importance for families and children to attend regular dentist appointments for check-ups and to ensure that any problems are diagnosed early and have the appropriate care.

“The figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre mentions that the increased consumption of fizzy drinks and sugary foods could have contributed to the increase in dental problems in young children; it is essential to encourage all patients and not just young children to seek advice about their oral routine and diet from their dentist.”
Hannah Wallace, Solicitor