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Fear of dental visits leading to vicious cycle of decay

A national oral health report card shows 90 per cent of Australians have experienced tooth decay. (AAP)

One in four Australians live with tooth decay, often caused by poor diet choices. However, those who delay going to the dentist are at risk of the vicious cycle of decay, often requiring more intensive treatments. Tooth decay can lead to further tooth loss which can result in the need for dentures.

Despite considerable advancements in dental technology and techniques, fear of the dentist is all too real for 85% of Australians, resulting in almost half (45%) avoiding their annual dental check-up[3] or cancelling appointments.

With the number of adults living with fewer than 21 teeth increasing2, the Australian Dental Prosthetists Association (ADPA) are warning that dental decay, if left untreated may lead to tooth loss and the need for replacement teeth.

Missing teeth cause facial muscles to droop and create a sunken-cheeked appearance. Full or partial dentures are often used to maintain a happy smile. However, it is essential for those who wear dentures to visit their dental prosthetist annually for adjustments, those who fail to do so may experience headaches, neck pain, bone loss and irritated gums.

A child during a dental exam
An enormous number of children are being admitted to hospital to treat tooth decay, dentists say. (AAP)

During Dental Health Week (6-12 August 2018), the Australian Dental Prosthetists Association is educating Australians about the importance of maintaining good oral health in every aspect of their lives and to “Watch Your Mouth” when it comes to oral hygiene by offering free denture checks throughout Dental Health Week.