Liverpool has some of the highest occurences in the UK of a serious dental disease which can cause tooth loss.
A new report has found that over half of all UK adults suffer periodontitis, with some of the worst affected populations residing in Liverpool.
In addition to costing the NHS over £2.7 billion annually, this chronic dental condition causes bad breath and swollen gums, which bleed on brushing or flossing and, left untreated, can progress to pus-filled cavities, receding gums and, ultimately, tooth loss. Despite its prevalence, more than 80% of adults surveyed have not heard of it or cannot identify its symptoms.
Poor levels of dental health in Merseyside has been cited as one factor but age, smoking and growing levels of diabetes could also be contributing to rises in the disease.