Apart from diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, and hypertension along with other mental health complications, leading doctors, especially dentists, have put forth another matter of concern. As per their recent observations and the sharp increase in the number of registered cases, the dental health crisis in India has been creating a stir in the past couple of decades. As a matter of fact, the disorder is a result of the lack of awareness about dental hygiene and oral care. Subsequently, more and more people (of all ages) are suffering from a myriad of dental problems.
To add to it, constant abuse of illicit substances like tobacco, alcohol, and cigarettes, mount up to the potential risks of mouth cancer as well. Let’s explore more about common dental problems in children and what can be done to resolve them.
The rising issue of dental diseases in India
For obvious reasons, India is considered the world capital for oral cancer. Our country has registered several million cases of dental caries like tooth decay, tooth pain, mouth cancer, and periodontal disease (infection around the structure of teeth, including gums).
In the past few decades, there has been an alarming increase in the number of dental health crisis cases. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare points out that around 60% of the Indian population is hit by dental caries, 85% suffer from periodontal disorder, more than 70% of schoolchildren suffer from dental problems, and more than 90% of adults develop periodontal disease.
According to Anil Kumar Chanda (a member of Dental Council of India), dental caries form one of the major causes of irritation, discomfort, and subsequently, absenteeism from school and work. Many people also experience tooth loss and other disabilities due to Gingival and periodontal diseases.
School-going children are at a higher risk
Recently, more than 170,000 schoolchildren, within the age bracket of 2 to 17 years, were screened under the School Health Screening Program, conducted by Jarma Wellness LLP. The report from this program suggests that apart from other problems like obesity and abnormal vision, more than 50% of students were found to have dental problems.
Around 27% of schoolchildren have gum and cavity disorders. On the other hand, the alignment of teeth and lack of awareness towards oral hygiene along with proper brushing techniques are also causes of concern for dental medical specialists in India.
Parents have still not realized that if problems like tooth decay and tooth pain are not addressed in time, they can lead to oral complications for the child in the long run. These dental problems are potential threats for disrupting a child’s oral health and can claim their permanent set of teeth as well.
Worse scenario in rural India
The case of increasing dental health issues is more prevalent in rural India. Due to a plethora of reasons like lack of awareness, shortage of dentists, improper dental infrastructure and public hospitals, people living in remote parts of the country have no other option but to rely on locally sought sub-standard oral care products.
As a result, there are no immediate or proper solutions available even for simple dental procedures. In such a crisis, the only solution is to forcefully get the affected tooth extracted as it is relatively cheaper and easier (for the concerned authorities).
Urgent need for dental care awareness
Looking at the Indian dental domain, the country is in urgent need of dental care awareness.
Parents and guardians should make sure that they not only provide their children with the best quality oral care products but also look after their child’s dental health. From a very young age, children must be inculcated with good oral care habits like brushing teeth twice daily, having a nutrition-rich diet, going for teeth screening regularly, keeping their parents informed about their dental health, etc.
If overlooked, dental problems may even trigger diabetes, preterm low-birth weight, and atherosclerosis. Effective dental health management and proper oral hygiene leads to strong teeth along with the improved overall health of an individual.