Dental health is an essential aspect of our overall well-being, yet it often remains overlooked. In India, dental health awareness is a concern that needs urgent attention. Despite the progress made in various sectors, oral health remains a subject that requires more focus.
This blog from Alux Dental sheds light on the oral health concerns faced by India, highlighting the significance of raising awareness about dental health among people of all ages.
The Current Situation of Indian Dental Health
India has only conducted two national health surveys to assess oral health conditions. The most recent survey, conducted in 2016, revealed alarming trends. The survey primarily focused on children aged 5, 12, and 15, as well as adults aged 35-44 and 65-74 years.
Dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay, emerged as a major concern across all age groups. The prevalence of untreated dental caries was particularly high, suggesting a lack of awareness about the importance of timely dental care.
Dental Caries and Treatment Needs
Dental caries was found to be most prevalent among children and younger adults, with the elderly also affected. Shockingly, in the 65-74 age group, the prevalence of caries reached as high as 84.7%.
Despite the availability of dental treatments, a significant proportion of the population had untreated caries. The need for dental treatment increased with age, primarily involving fillings, extractions, and pulp care.
Periodontal diseases, affecting the gums and supporting structures of teeth, were more prevalent in adults compared to children. Rural areas exhibited higher prevalence rates than urban areas. Loss of attachment, which indicates the severity of periodontal disease, was also found to be significant, particularly in older adults.
Malocclusion, a misalignment of teeth, was observed in varying degrees across age groups. Contrary to popular belief, malocclusion was more prevalent in males and rural residents among certain age groups. This highlights the need for early intervention and orthodontic treatments to correct these issues.
Fluorosis, caused by excessive fluoride intake, was a concern in certain regions. However, moderate and severe forms of fluorosis, which can lead to skeletal issues, were relatively infrequent. A few states showed higher prevalence rates, indicating a need for region-specific interventions.
Oral Cancers and Mucosal Lesions
The prevalence of oral cancers and mucosal lesions was higher among older adults. Oral cancer, in particular, was found to be significantly underreported in the survey. This suggests that there is a lack of accurate diagnosis and reporting, emphasizing the need for improved screening and awareness.
Complete tooth loss was most common among the elderly, with about 30% of individuals aged 65-74 being edentulous. Dental prostheses were used to address tooth loss, with full dentures being more common in the older age group.
The Urgent Need for Dental Health Awareness
The survey results underline the urgent need to raise awareness about dental health in India. Timely dental care, preventive measures, and regular dental check-ups are crucial to maintaining good oral health. Dental issues often start as minor concerns but can lead to significant problems if left untreated.
Dental health is an integral part of overall health, and it’s high time that India catches up on dental health awareness. The prevalence of dental caries, periodontal diseases, malocclusion, and other oral health issues highlights the need for education and action.
Alux Dental can play a pivotal role in spreading awareness, offering affordable dental care, and promoting the importance of oral health from a young age. Remember, a healthy smile is a reflection of a healthy you!