There’s something wrong here

The number of children having teeth removed in hospital has risen almost a fifth in six years, new figures show.

Dentists said it was a “scandal” that so many teeth were being left to rot, amid a diet of too much sugar and too little toothbrushing.

The NHS figures show more than 45,000 hospital operations to remove teeth from teenagers and children in 2017/18 – a rise of 18 per cent since 2012/2013.

The severity of the tooth decay means that the treatment has to be undertaken in a hospital under general anaesthetic, rather than a dentist.

They included 75 cases in which children had to have every single tooth removed – a 40 per cdnt rise over the period.

Sugar consumption is lower than it used to be. So, what is it that they’ve done wrong to reach this result? Who knows, we might even be polite and assume they’re mistaken rather than just flat out lying.

24 thoughts on “There’s something wrong here”

  1. British Dental Association reports that cavities are at their lowest for decades. Sugar consumption is declining.

    Whatever the reason for this rise, it isn’t sugar consumption on a population-wide basis. It doesn’t matter though, whatever the true reasons, that will be blamed.

  2. “having teeth removed in hospital”

    Maybe they used to be removed at the dentists without hospital referrals?

  3. “Sugar consumption is lower than it used to be.”

    This is controversial but it is certainly true that self-reported consumption has fallen.

    The issue is that, as sugar has become more vilified, it’s likely people are tending to self-report lower levels of it.

    It would be interesting to see eg figures derived from retail sales – I’ve seen both”sugar is up” and “sugar is down” proponents claim these figures back their cause but I’ve not seen a proper citation.

    (There’s a side issue here that consumption trends across society may not be matched in eg high-consumption subgroups, and that dental hygiene practices and even dental care policies about who needs to be sent to hospital matter too and might not be constant over time, so I’m not sure what can safely be deduced about the overall population from knowing of a few extreme cases that were referred to hospital).

  4. @Rob

    “British Dental Association reports that cavities are at their lowest for decades. ”

    Do you have a link for that? I can’t find one, could just be that it isn’t scareworthy enough to have got press coverage, or my lack of google-fu.

  5. I remember similar stories coming out a few months ago based on the same statistics. Whilst there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth [sic] about sugar and austeritee in the handful of newspapers that ran the story, it turned out to be fake news.

    I can’t remember for sure the actual underlying reason for this, I recall doing some digging at the time. It was either something to do with immigration or new clinical guidelines about when an extraction requires hospital intervention

  6. I’m sure it’s to do with a policy change made a few years ago that effectively meant, that for children, extractions were carried out in hospitals rather than in dental surgeries. It’s the sort of change in methodology that journalists never spot. I suspect they don’t look for it.

  7. Ahh, found what I guess Rob was referring to:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tooth-decay-among-5-year-olds-continues-significant-decline

    “The oral health survey published today (Tuesday 10 May 2016) by Public Health England (PHE) reveals that less than 25% of the cohort suffers from tooth decay, a 20% drop since 2008.

    This continues the downward trend seen since 2008, in the first oral health survey of 5 year olds asking parents to opt-in. In 2008, 31% of 5 year olds suffered tooth decay; in 2012 it was 27%. The pattern of dental health improvement among the age group shows the impact parents and carers can have in establishing good dental care habits from an early age.

    Dr Sandra White, Director of Dental Public Health at PHE, said:

    “This is great news. However, one child with tooth decay is one too many and there is still much inequality in dental health around the country. Tooth decay is painful and too often results in teeth extraction, some under general anaesthetic.

    “This is further evidence that we can stop tooth decay in its tracks. Limiting sugary food and drink, supporting children to brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and regular trips to the dentist, will help prevent a great many more children suffering at the hands of tooth decay.”

    According to the survey an estimated 166,467 5 year olds suffer from tooth decay, compared with 177,423 in 2008.

    While there has been a significant decline in tooth decay at a national level, there is still a great deal of regional variation. In the North West, a third (33.4%) of 5 year olds suffer from tooth decay, whereas only a fifth (20.1%) do in the in the South East. As with the 2 previous surveys, areas with higher levels of deprivation tend to have higher levels of tooth decay.

    The proportion of 5 year olds who have had teeth removed due to decay was 2.5%, compared to 3.5% in 2008 – about 2,000 fewer children. Regional variation shows that only 1.9% of 5 year olds in the East Midlands have had tooth extractions due to decay, compared with 3.9% of children in Yorkshire and the Humber.

    The survey also shows the average number of teeth affected by decay per child was 0.8, down from 1.1 in 2008. For the first time, data has also been collected across the survey on ethnicity and dental health.

    The last 3 surveys have shown the dental health of 5 year olds is improving. There has been a 9% increase in the proportion of children with no obvious decay since 2008. Further analysis is needed to understand the factors that have contributed to this welcome trend. This will help local authorities identify the steps they can take to extend the improvement in decay levels to all sectors of their populations.”

  8. This is further evidence that. . .
    Further analysis is needed to understand . .

    So Dr White ( surely some nominative determinism going on there ) doesn’t understand how we got here, but feels she is the perfect person to tell us what to do next, and to do so using money extracted from you under threat of court.

  9. It is the health commissar scum of the state fiddling the figures to support their “Puritanism for you plebs but not for we in the boss class” line.

    Fuck ’em.

  10. As others have said, this story was around a while back.

    It turned out that the roolz had changed and dentists couldn’t give kiddies anaesthetic for extractions or some such…

    Fake news basically…

  11. You have to have an anaesthetist present to administer a general anaesthetic, the rule was changed some time ago. Obviously this isn’t economic for dental surgeries so these patients are referred to hospital for extractions that require this.

    I know there is something more recent than this, but I cannot find it:

    https://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2017/03/fake-dental-news.html

    Same story though – it gets recycled every year to keep the hysteria growing.

  12. The amount of sugar consumed is a red herring for tooth decay – it is how frequently you consume it that matters. Had a chat with the dentist about a month ago about this. Normally, saliva deals with sugar in the mouth, but you get about five goes per day when saliva is generated (after meals, really). You could drink a can of coke with lunch and it wouldn’t matter.

    Suck on boiled sweets throughout the day though and you’ll have a problem even if you brush your teeth morning and night.

  13. ‘suffer from tooth decay’

    Suffer? SUFFER ?!?!

    ‘The NHS figures show more than 45,000 hospital operations to remove teeth from teenagers and children in 2017/18 – a rise of 18 per cent since 2012/2013.’

    That’s going to get people to go to the dentist. [/sarc]

  14. ““having teeth removed in hospital”

    Maybe they used to be removed at the dentists without hospital referrals?”

    Ding ding. Check every word in a press release and if it seems pointless, it probably isn’t.

    Parents struggle to find an NHS dentist, so leave it, maybe go to hospital on a weekend….

  15. Bloke in North Dorset

    Mrs BiND needed a tooth out recently but the young dentist was reluctant to do it as he didn’t have the experience and sent he to an older consultant. He reckoned it was a major problem as most you dentists just do cosmetic work and minor fillings, and they don’t do many of those.

    Maybe that’s why the rules were changed?

  16. “if a qualified dentist can’t pull out a tooth these days I think we have a problem.”

    Whats the betting that the increased feminisation of the dental professions means there’s more dentists without the brute strength to extract teeth? Or at least more dentists who don’t feel up to doing so, regardless of their actual capability?

  17. @Rob

    Super-progressive Sweden forced “uneducable retards” at a mental hospital to consume a diet of specially-formulated tooth-sticking sweets in order to observe their rate of tooth decay.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vipeholm_experiments

    As a result of the study, Swedes were told to give their kids their entire week’s supply of sweets on Saturdays, because spreading it out over all seven days did far more dental damage – hence the Swedish tradition of lördagsgodis (literally, “Saturday goodies”).

    Oddly, the thing that was apparently really controversial about this study was that it was initially part-funded by the confectionery industry, who donated lots of free sweets to the project (presumably anticipating rather more favourable results than the total ruination that actually happened), and the researchers took a couple of years to report the results – with suggestions that they were suppressing them due to industry pressure. The ethical hoo-hah about informed consent when you’re experimenting on institutionalised mental patients seems to have only arisen decades later.

  18. ‘suffer from tooth decay’

    Suffer? SUFFER ?!?!

    Well, I had a molar with a lateral fracture right through the middle of the tooth, it was in fact now two half-teeth grinding together. My first dentist was so fucking useless he missed this, even after an x-ray. There were times when the pain was that bad rational thinking became an effort. While not cancer-level pain, teeth can be fucking painful.

    MBE:

    Yes, Sweden has a grand record in the tradition of Progressivism, the sort of record modern Progressives seem reluctant to own up to or even acknowledge. I bet this sort of stuff doesn’t get in Polly Toynbee’s frequent articles about Scandinavian utopias. L

    Eugenics too – they won’t admit it was their side who were big on this.

  19. @gareth, December 1, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Maybe they used to be removed at the dentists without hospital referrals?

    They did. Then after One child died, Blair introduced a plethora of new rules massively increasing Dentist costs and liabilities with no increase in fee. BDA & Insurers advised dentists to stop GA child extractions.

    iirc this is a repeat of similar TW article year or two ago.

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