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PDA: 7 out of 10 Filipinos have tooth decay

Philippine Dental Association (PDA) on Wednesday said that seven out of 10 Filipinos have dental caries or tooth decay.

This number makes up 72 percent of the population, with many of these statistics being five to 12 years old. 

PDA executive secretary Sheryl Lantican said in a media Kapihan forum: “It [tooth decay] has become the leading reason why children are absent from school.”

“Based on my professional experience, madaming workers, employees also na di makakapasok sa trabaho (many workers, employees also who cannot go to work), only because they are experiencing toothache,” she added.

Tooth decay begins when bacteria in the mouth make acid that attacks the tooth’s surface, resulting in the teeth’s deterioration. Lantican said that the main cause of tooth decay is sugar and neglect of dental hygiene.

Moreover, five out of 10 or 50 percent of Filipinos suffer from various gum or periodontal diseases. 

Department of Health (DOH) Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Division chief Manuel Vallesteros said that such dental problems can be prevented. 

“We always think that dentistry is expensive, but it is dental neglect that is expensive. That’s why we need to strengthen dental home or oral health primary care,” Vallesteros said.

He gave some best practices to prevent tooth decay, such as observing proper toothbrushing, avoiding sugar, having regular dental checkups, and staying hydrated.

Camille Quirino

Camille Quirino is a Junior Writer at The Filipino Times, passionate about sharing the stories of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). She previously contributed to Magic 89.9 and various TV productions and finds fulfillment in crafting compelling narratives that shed light on the experiences of OFWs. Outside of work, Camille enjoys playing the ukulele and meeting new people to hear their stories. She believes everyone has a unique narrative worth sharing and is dedicated to capturing these stories in her writing. Reach Camille at [email protected].

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