More than half a million teeth extracted from Scots mouths last year


SCOTLAND’s love of sweets and fizzy drinks has resulted in more than half a million rotten teeth being removed from over 300,000 Scots mouths last year.

The teeth of 13,940 Scots were so bad that they had to go to hospital to get them removed, a 10 per cent rise on 2008-2009.

Nearly 56,000 five to 18-year-olds and 578 children under five had to have teeth out.

And the figure is on the rise despite health warnings to brush teeth more regularly.

The figures were revealed in Parliamentary Answers to the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Ross Finne, Lib Dem health spokesman, said: “These figures show a worrying seven per cent rise in the number of teeth being extracted in Scotland since last year.

“Liberal Democrats have repeatedly warned the SNP Government it needs to increase the number of dentists, especially in rural areas or these numbers will continue to get worse.

“Bad diets coupled with lack of dentists in rural areas spells bad news for the health of Scotland’s teeth.

“Having access to a dentist stops more serious health problems developing, which saves the NHS time, money and resources.

“The Scottish Government has been complacent in making sure there are enough dentists country wide.

“Children also need better dental education so they can learn to take better care of their teeth.

A recent study found that in every area of Scotland, apart from Forth Valley, five-year-olds had on average more missing, decayed or filled teeth than England and Wales.

The areas with the highest number are Lanarkshire and Glasgow.

And the latest Government figures published in December show that children in Scotland have substantially higher levels of recorded decay compared with other European countries.

The Government has established a National Indicator with a target that 60 per cent of primary one children will have no sign or dental disease.

The latest figures for 2009-2010 show 64 per cent of Scottish five-year-olds have no obvious decay.

But they admit that the situation varies across the country with the least deprived areas meeting the target and the most deprived failing to do so.