Cavities in the dental health system of Karnataka

Dentists number only 21% of the total health care population in the state; less than the WHO recommended statistic

A document on the vision of health by the Karnataka The government found that dentists make up only 21% of healthcare workers in Karnataka and the density of dentists for a missing population is only 3.8 in the state, which is low compared to the World Health Organization recommendation of 1:75,000.

The document, Global Burden of Disease Study 2019, goes on to show that the number of registered dentists in Karnataka is also low with 41,601 registered with the Karnataka State Dental Board of which 374 work in government agencies. Out of 245 dental health officer positions sanctioned by the state government, only 183 are said to have been filled.

He adds that the prevalence of oral disorders is 46.6% in India and there is a lack of awareness and real-time data that estimates the lack of oral health care in health centers. primary health care. People aged 35-75 often neglect their oral health.

Oral health data in Karnataka has revealed that compared to the age group of 5, 12 and 15 years, a higher percentage of dental cases are seen between 35 and 44 years of age. with 63.3% and the 65-74 age group with 81.1%. Five-year-olds accounted for 40.5%, followed by 12-year-olds with 22.3% and 15-year-olds with 33.1%.

In the periodontal disease categories, 94.3% of 35-44 year olds had it and 77.2% of 65-74 year olds. Periodontitis is a gum infection that damages the gums and can destroy the jaw bone, it is caused by poor oral hygiene and can lead to tooth loss.

Doctor Sharon Colaco Dias, HOD & Consultant – Dental Medicine, Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road said: “Often people between the ages of 35 and 44 are very busy and people tend to ignore it until it gets too bad. Smoking, chewing tobacco, diabetes increase the risk of gum disease. This can lead to difficulty eating, sleeping, speaking and, in advanced stages, gum boils (abscesses) which may require the tooth to be extracted. They can lead to serious health problems involving the heart and brain and, in rare cases, can be fatal.

Doctor Sharon added that older people are more likely to develop periodontitis.

People aged 35 to 44 often overlook dental problems until they become too serious

– Dr. Sharon Colaco Dias, Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road

A lack of dental awareness is often the cause. Doctor saakshi hindujaAdvise Cosmetic Dentistry, Aster CMI Hospital said: “Brushing should be done twice a day, especially at night. Rinse your mouth after each meal. Avoid snacking in between. The use of dental floss and tongue scraper is essential. Regular checks every six months are very essential.

There should be increased awareness at the school and college levels. Raising awareness in obstetrics/paediatrics departments of hospitals and dental awareness talks in practices.

Dental camps in public schools and villages should be organized, Dr Sharon said.

The vision group subcommittee recommended developing health policies at the state level, integrating oral health centers into PHCs, and improving citizens’ knowledge and awareness of oral health.