The oral health (good or bad) of the Indian population can be attributed to two primary factors lifestyle-related factors, and socio-economic factors. Let us try to examine some of the reasons behind the rise in dental problems in the country.
Unchecked sugar consumption and fast food consumption
The sugar in food items combines with the bacteria in your mouth to form acid. The acid attacks your mouth, and each attack lasts for about 20 minutes after you take every bite or sip. They weaken your tooth enamel to a large extent, and this has resulted in poor oral hygiene of the majority of the population.
Lack of awareness
Most of the time, the average Indian is not aware of what is bad for their teeth. At the same time, neither do they know how to properly take care of their teeth, especially after they consume junk and oily food. With no proper dental hygiene routine followed, diseases like cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis are bound to rear their ugly head. Instances like tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and bad breath have thus become prevalent.
Lack of access to proper dental care
Even if a certain percentage of the population is aware of some of the dental etiquette to be followed, to maintain dental hygiene, there is a scarcity of necessities like toothbrushes and toothpaste. This is especially true for the rural areas, and for people belonging to not so financially well-doing families, the count of which is quite high. To quote stats, only about 51% of Indians use a toothbrush and toothpaste to brush their teeth. This further explains why dental problems are on the rise in the country.
Impact of tobacco
Tobacco use, in any form, can lead to many health issues such as cancer, pulmonary diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Smokeless tobacco, being so prevalent in India, is one of the biggest causes of the country’s poor oral health. Chewing tobacco can lead to the development of receding gums, a disease known as gingival recession. Tobacco consumption also leads to the development of oral cancer.
Lack of infrastructure
In India, about 85 to 90% of adults develop dental cavities; the same goes for about 60 to 80% of children. Furthermore, around 30% of children have misaligned jaws and teeth. Additionally, over 50% of Indians with dental health issues receive treatment or advice from someone who is not a dentist, such as chemists. This is primarily because there is no proper infrastructure, where such a hugely affected population could receive systematic treatment.
Huge costs of dental care
Dental problems and treatment bring in another aspect that can never be overlooked -- the expenses of dental care. Be it a root canal or teeth braces, dental care is extremely costly. This further demotivates people from seeing a dentist or seeking proper dental care for themselves.
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