Photo: Decaying teeth
73m people in Philippines suffer from tooth decay
No fewer than 73 million Filipinos suffer from dental caries, making the disease a serious health concern in the Southeast Asian country.
The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) raised the alarm after a committee hearing at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), dental caries is a major global public health problem and the most widespread non-communicable disease.
“Dental caries is a silent epidemic,” Manuel Vallesteros, a division chief at the DOH’s disease prevention and control bureau, said.
Vallesteros said the DOH data is based on the 2018 national health survey.
He noted that the number now is much higher compared to when the COVID-19 pandemic had restricted access to dental services for more than two years.
Vallesteros further said that eight of 10 Filipino children suffer from “childhood caries” or “decaying baby teeth” because they are fed with sweetened infant formula.
“The oral health status of Filipino children is alarming,” China’s official news agency, Xinhua, quoted the DOH as saying on Wednesday.
He added that the oral disease “continues to be a serious public health problem” in the Philippines.