Monday May 12 2014

Rotten teeth cases on the rise, health experts say

By Stephen Otage

Government has started sensitising people across the country about the importance of dental hygiene due to the rising number of patients with rotten teeth.

According to Dr Ruth Aceng, the director general of Health Services, there has been a sudden upsurge of the cases mainly due to increased consumption of sugary foods and carbonated drinks such as sodas and packed juices.

“We have community health workers and dental surgeons moving around communities teaching people the importance of brushing teeth twice a day. We are aware of the challenges of lack of dental surgeons and dental nurses,” she said.

Dr Aceng’s comments follow recent findings by the Makerere University School of Health, which reported that six out of 10 adult patients with dental complaints have rotten teeth.

Most affected
While launching Sensodyne and Parodontax toothpastes in Kampala on Friday, Dr Isaac Okullo, the dean Makerere University School of Health, said 40 per cent of children below 12 years have rotten teeth.

“Tooth decay and gum disease are prevalent in Uganda. Studies among children below 12 years have shown a prevalence of up to 40 per cent while 60 per cent of the adults have gum disease and rotten teeth,” Dr Okullo said.

Dr Aceng said all regional referral hospitals have been stocked with dental kits, adding that a national survey is underway to assess the extent of the problem.