OVER a quarter of five year olds in England suffer tooth decay according to new statistics released by Public Health England.
The study also found that children with decay have on average between three and four teeth affected, either treated or untreated.
The National Dental Epidemiology Programme for England oral health survey of 5 year old children 2012 is a follow-up on a 2008 survey and demonstrates an improvement in decay and its severity among young children. Overall tooth decay in five year olds has reduced from 30.9 per cent to 27.9 per cent and the proportion of children with untreated decay has reduced from 27.5 per cent to 24.5 per cent.
But the results show a regional variation with levels of decay in the South East at 21.2 per cent compared 34.8 per cent in the North West. Decay levels are higher in the more deprived local authorities.
Dr Christopher Allen, the Chair of the BDA’s Dental Public Health Committee, said: "This report highlights a welcome improvement to the overall oral health of five-year-old children across England, but it also reminds us of the deep chasm that exists between those with the best and worst oral health. That divide is based not just on geography, but also on deprivation.
"The fight to close this divide must continue. Crucial to its success are ensuring that a full dental public health workforce is available to advise on initiatives and funding made available to implement preventive programmes that can make a difference, and that children have access to dental care in all parts of the country."