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Shanghai locals suffer increasing rate of tooth decay
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About 91.4 percent of local adults between 35 and 44 years of age suffer from tooth decay, with each person suffering an average of 5.26 decayed teeth, according to a new national epidemiological research on dental health.

The report found the incidence of decayed teeth in local people was higher than the national standard.

Fewer than 10 percent of patients with tooth decay received proper treatment, it said.

The research, released ahead of National Tooth Care Day on Saturday, said the incidence of decayed teeth in local people from 35 to 44 years of age increased by 24 percent and each person had three more decayed teeth than 10 years ago.

It found children, especially preschoolers, had a high awareness of dental care and tooth decay among the age group had dropped 17 percent compared to 10 years ago. However, 16 percent more of the middle aged and elderly people suffered decayed teeth compared to the previous decade, and fewer than 2 percent of those went to dentists for professional care.

The research found that the number of people who brushed their teeth regularly was growing.

About 80.4 percent of correspondents aged five brushed their teeth at least once a day, along with 82 percent of 12-year-olds, 89.3 percent of people aged between 35 and 44 years, and 75.2 percent of people between 65 and 74 years, it said.

Dr Feng Xiping from Shanghai Jiao Tong University's school of dental medicine said there was one dentist for every 25,000 Chinese.

The Chinese Stomatological Association has called for dental services to increase prevention, treatment and communication between doctors and dental patients.

(Shanghai Daily September 17, 2008)

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