Published on August 8, 2011

Study reveals concern over youth oral health

A recent study has shown that 11-15 year olds in the UK are putting their oral health at risk by drinking alcohol and smoking.

The research was conducted by the NHS Information Centre that found nearly half (45%) of those surveyed consumed alcohol and 27% admitted to smoking. The worrying results are cause for concern as fewer young adults are maintaining good oral health from an increasingly young age. After the results were published British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) chief executive, Dr Nigel Carter aired a warning to parents and children who are putting their oral health at risk, saying:

“If you smoke, you are at a higher risk of developing gum disease, the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Smoking and alcohol are also the two predominant causes of mouth cancer and when combined they increase the risk of getting the disease by up to 30 times.”

He also comments from an oral health perspective on how binge drinking is an increasing problem in the UK and that more must be done to educate the public on the effects of such habits.

Although these statistics aren’t positive, they do represent an improvement over the last 10 years and with more oral health education they are set to improve further within the future.

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