I recently read that over 400 children in the greater Glasgow and Clyde regions of Scotland who have chronic tooth decay may have to wait up to 6 months for treatment. This is a serious issue as Tooth decay can be highly painful as the acid produced from a build up of plaque attacks the tooth and gum area of the mouth. The 6 month period of waiting can be a factor which leads to further issues in the future such as dental caries, gum disease or a build up of pus at the end of the teeth or in the gums (dental abscesses). Also, tooth decay is cheaper and easier to treat in its early stages. Within the current society where image is considered highly important, especially amongst children, symptoms such as brown spots appearing on the teeth could have impacts on the self confidence of the child who must wait 6 months to be treated.
The National Director of BDA Scotland, Pat Kilpatrick, said; “The impact of having rotten, septic teeth on a child’s health, wellbeing and development cannot be underestimated. Their symptoms are not confined to the mouth, as it can also affect their speech and growth, not to mention their confidence and ability to socialise wit their peers and family.”
However this issue is not simply confined to these areas with only 55% of children in deprived areas being free from tooth decay compared to 82% in less deprived area. This highlights the importance of funding to the NHS with the BDA blaming the figures on a squeeze on hospital funding and theatre-time for paediatric dental cases.