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Oral disease has a greater impact on low-income families

The Spanish Society of Epidemiology and Oral Public Health (Sespo) organized the Spring Day “Alliance for a future free of caries”. It is an event that aimed to address the current state of knowledge in relation to the advances in the fight against dental caries, one of the most prevalent diseases in the world, and the current situation on the remineralizing agents for the prevention and repair of dental caries. To address this and other well-known professional public oral health experts did not want to miss the appointment to present their point of view on the situation of oral health in our National Health System.

Dr. Oscar Castro, president of the General Council of dentists, pointed out that oral health is the Great Forgotten health of the SNS. “From the General Council of dentists we insist that the most vulnerable groups-children, the elderly and the disabled-must be affected in particular. The action Plan is the intervention of the Ministry of Health, as well as the various councils of the autonomous communities through specific budgets,” said the president of dentists. In addition, Castro recalled that cavities are absolutely predictable and treatable. Therefore, if it is known how it is produced, preventive programmes can be made to prevent it from occurring.

For Jesús Rueda, president of SESPO, the most important thing is that children brush their teeth from the moment of the eruption of the teeth. Dental caries is a disease caused by bacteria. He also claimed that these bacteria produce an acid from which they metabolize sugar. That acid comes into contact with the surface of the tooth and destroys it. “What we have to do is on the one hand not to eat sugar frequently and on the other hand we have to brush the teeth to strengthen them with the fluoride that carries the toothpaste,” concluded the expert.

According to Elías Casals, a specialist in dentistry, the main deficiencies in the field of oral health in the SNS are still the school population, the adult population, our elders, as they continue to have a limited catalogue of benefits. Casals indicated that oral diseases always affect the same groups; with low income levels, low education levels, and socio-economic problems. “We always identify oral diseases with certain areas. Oral diseases are very much related to the zip code, where people live. These populations that we call vulnerable are the ones that have the most tendency to get caries, to such an extent that a small percentage of the population, 20%, brings together 80% of the pathology,” the dentist said.

Finally María Luisa Carcedo, Acting Minister of Health, said that ” any public health policy should be able to make it possible for oral care to reach the entire population regardless of its resources and to provide them with essential services to ensure oral health and with sufficient quality and safety.

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