Studies Suggest More Than 2 Billion People Have Untreated Decay

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A new study suggests that more than 2 billion people in the world are suffering from untreated decay.

The research, which was published in the Journal of Dental Research, claims that up to 2.4 billion people could be living with decay, despite the fact that it both preventable and treatable.

Experts involved in the study believe that the figures are extremely worrying, especially as it is fairly simple to keep decay at bay. They also warned that decay can have serious consequences for children and adults, contributing to days off work, school and college, pain, an increased risk of infection and development issues in children.

Although there has been a great deal written about childhood decay of late, researchers are eager to highlight the fact that this is not just a childhood issue and a significant proportion of adults are affected.

Lead researcher, Prof Wagner Marcenes, from Queen Mary University of London, said that the findings were “alarming” and they suggest that prevention is being neglected. Prof Marcenes lead an international team of researchers, which analysed 378 studies involving a total of 4.7 million people.

The latest figures for the UK show that around a third of people have signs of untreated decay. In Lithuania, one of the worst affected countries involve din the study, rates were estimated at 68 percent.

In response to the findings, Prof Marcenes stated that the main contributing factor is diet and more specifically, the consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks and frequent snacking.

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