Get your teeth into better dental health

Cai Wenjun
Shanghai's children, middle aged and elderly have poor dental health, and the authorities advise people to have regular teeth checks ahead of the National Tooth Health Day.
Cai Wenjun
Get your teeth into better dental health
Ti Gong

Doctors from Shanghai Ren'ai Hospital treat an elderly man.

The city's children, middle aged and elderly have poor dental health, and people are advised to have regular checks of their teeth, according to the Shanghai Health Commission ahead of National Tooth Health Day, which falls on Tuesday.

Some 65.5 percent of local children aged 5-years-old have decayed teeth, while less than 10 percent of local middle-aged and elderly people enjoy periodontal health, while more than 90 percent have decayed teeth.

Dental health has become a disease burden and an important public health issue, the commission said.

"The theme of this year's tooth health is "dental health, overall health," said Dr Wang Ying, director of stomatology department of Shanghai Ren'ai Hospital.

"Loss of teeth can impact other teeth and also the whole health condition," she said.

"The first two to three months is the best timing for repairing the loss of teeth. Losing one tooth can cause periodontal disease and then influence other teeth, resulting in a poor masticatory function and then digestion and nutrition.

"Teeth health also can influence elderly people's cardiovascular system, as bacteria generating from periodontitis can enter the blood circulation."

Experts said most elderly people's loose teeth is caused by periodontal disease, decayed teeth or osteoporosis. Proper prevention and control can help elderly people enjoy healthy teeth and delay the time of loose teeth or loss of teeth.

"A healthy dental-caring habit and regular visit to dentists are important for a person's dental health," Wang said.

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