June 1, 2023

Dental caries, gum and mouth diseases: affected 3 and a half billion people

Dental and mouth diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease are a major health problem for many countries and negatively impact people throughout their lives. The alarming numbers provided globally by the latest Global Oral Health Status Report (November 2022 on data from 2020) of the World Health Organization are clear: it is estimated that 45% of the population, i.e. almost 3.5 billion people, has one or more untreated oral diseases and conditions. Over the past 30 years, 1 billion more people have been affected by dental and oral diseases, more than the estimated population growth over the same period.

Globally, there have been approximately 2.5 billion cases of dental caries (permanent or deciduous teeth), 1 billion cases of severe periodontal disease and 370 million cases of missing teeth (or edentulism, caused by both pathological and from dental trauma). More than 370,000 new cases of mouth cancer are diagnosed each year and more than 178,000 people die from this type of cancer.

«These are the numbers that justify the presence of a World Oral Health Day (established by the International Dental Federation and celebrated on 20 March, ed) – underlines Bruno Oliva, national cultural secretary of the National Association of Italian Dentists (Andi) -. In Italy we are perfectly in line with the global trend». According to the Ministry of Health, in 2021 51.2% have at least one caries and of these 30.3% have untreated caries. Also, 9.4% of 6-year-olds have inflamed gums and 5.5% have traumatic injuries. As for the older ones, 45.9% of 12-year-old children have caries and 25.7% have untreated caries. Furthermore, 37.4% of 12-year-olds have inflamed gums and 24.8% have at least one tooth with a traumatic lesion. «So still the attention towards these pathologies is not maximum», comments Oliva who is a specialist in Dentistry and Orthognathodontics and adjunct professor of Dentistry at the University of Brescia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *