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Tooth decay is no reason to smile

Decaying tooth (Credit: drbriandental)

The Philippine Dental Association (PDA) has called on the public to give priority to their oral hygiene as tooth decay is becoming a "serious disease affecting all ages”.

"Tooth decay, often dismissed as a minor issue, is a recognized disease requiring prompt attention," said PDA Executive Secretary Dr. Sheryl Anne Rose Lantican said in a media forum hosted by the Department of Health (DOH) in line with the observance of Oral Health Month. 

"Seven out of 10 Filipinos, particularly children aged 5-12, suffer from decayed teeth, impacting school attendance and self-confidence."

Lantican also debunked the misconception that baby teeth are unimportant, highlighting their crucial role in speech, eating, and self-esteem. 

Untreated dental problems, she warned, can lead to systemic health issues affecting the heart and lungs.

Sugar consumption was identified as a major culprit in tooth decay. 

"Sugar converts to acid, eroding teeth and causing cavities," explained Lantican. 

"Early detection and treatment are crucial, even for seemingly minor damage."

Beyond cavities, Lantican raised concerns about periodontal disease, characterized by swollen and bleeding gums, often observed in young children. 

"Neglecting basic oral hygiene, including brushing, contributes to this," she said. 

"Early-stage gum inflammation, if left untreated, can progress to dangerous periodontal disease, impacting bone and ligaments supporting teeth," she added.

Related story:

Celebrating Oral Health Month with a smile-ready Philippines

Regular dental checkups were emphasized as essential for maintaining optimal oral health. Lantican outlined key preventive measures:

1. Proper brushing technique: Angled bristles, circular motions, 20 per tooth group, cleaning tongue and surfaces.

2. Fluoride Toothpaste: 1000 ppm for children 6 months-6 years, 1500 ppm for older individuals. Fluoride strengthens teeth against decay.

3. Flossing: Reaches areas beyond brushing, crucial for complete cleaning.

4. Water: Drinking eight glasses daily promotes oral health.

5. Balanced Diet: Limit sugary foods and prioritize vegetables for healthy teeth and gums.

Lantican concluded by urging Filipinos to prioritize oral hygiene and seek regular dental care to prevent and manage tooth decay and other oral health concerns.

In case you missed it, you can access DOH’s ‘Kapihan’ through these links:




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