The inequality between those with good and poor oral health is widening in the UK, according to the British Dental Association (BDA).
The BDA’s new Oral Health Inequalities Policy shows that there is an ‘unacceptable and growing chasm’, with many people of low socio-economic status having poor oral health.
The organisation has put out the call for a more integrated approach from health and social care providers, along with the creation of priority groups, such as those with disabilities, older people and prison inmates.
Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the BDA, admitted that there has been a ‘significant improvement’ in the nation’s overall oral health over the last 30 years.
He said: ‘But despite that, we still see a huge disparity that is all-too-often related to social deprivation. It is completely unacceptable that in Britain, in 2009, such a wide gap should exist.’
A recent report published by the NHS Information Centre revealed that there was a small increase in the number of patients visiting an NHS dentist in the six months leading up to June 30th 2009.