More than 1,100 hospital admissions in Lancashire to remove children's rotten teeth

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said the state of children's oral health is "nothing short of egregious."

There were more than 1,100 hospital admissions in Lancashire to remove children's decaying teeth last year, new figures show.

It comes as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said the state of children's oral health is "nothing short of egregious".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Breakdown for Lancashire

Figures from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities show in the year to March 2023 there were:

  • 285 total hospital admissions in Blackpool for children's tooth extraction. Of these, about 260 were extractions for tooth decay.
  • 95 total hospital admissions in Fylde for children's tooth extraction. Of these, about 75 were extractions for tooth decay.
  • 185 total hospital admissions in Wyre for children's tooth extraction. Of these, about 150 were extractions for tooth decay.
  • 170 total hospital admissions in Preston for children's tooth extraction. Of these, about 125 were extractions for tooth decay.
  • 140 total hospital admissions in Chorley for children's tooth extraction. Of these, about 110 were extractions for tooth decay.
  • 145 total hospital admissions in South Ribble for children's tooth extraction. Of these, about 105 were extractions for tooth decay.
  • 270 total hospital admissions in Blackburn with Darwen for children's tooth extraction. Of these, about 185 were extractions for tooth decay.
  • 165 total hospital admissions in West Lancashire for children's tooth extraction. Of these, about 120 were extractions for tooth decay.

The numbers are rounded to the nearest five.

There were more than 1,100 hospital admissions in Lancashire to remove children's decaying teeth (Credit: PA)There were more than 1,100 hospital admissions in Lancashire to remove children's decaying teeth (Credit: PA)
There were more than 1,100 hospital admissions in Lancashire to remove children's decaying teeth (Credit: PA) | PA

Across NHS hospitals in England, there were 47,581 tooth extractions for patients under 19 years old.

Some 66% of these extractions – or 31,165 – were down to a primary diagnosis of tooth decay, up 17% from the previous 12 months.

David Fothergill, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: "These stark figures reveal that a lack of access to affordable dentistry is having a worrying impact on the state of children’s teeth.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The fact that, due to the severity of the decay, on average 119 operations are taking place each day to remove decaying teeth in children and teenagers is concerning and also adds to current pressures on our health service.

"Untreated dental care remains one of the most prevalent diseases affecting children and young people’s ability to speak, eat, play and socialise."

Separately, figures from the Government's annual Oral Health Survey of year 6 children showed 16.2% had experienced tooth decay, with those impacted experiencing decay in at least two teeth on average.

  • In Blackpool, about 18.3% of 10 to 11 year olds had experienced tooth decay.
  • In Fylde, about 10.1% of 10 to 11 year olds had experienced tooth decay.
  • In Wyre, about 11.8% of 10 to 11 year olds had experienced tooth decay.
  • In Preston, about 12.9% of 10 to 11 year olds had experienced tooth decay.
  • In Chorley, about 9.6% of 10 to 11 year olds had experienced tooth decay.
  • In South Ribble, about 8% of 10 to 11 year olds had experienced tooth decay.
  • In Blackburn with Darwen, about 14.3% of 10 to 11 year olds had experienced tooth decay.
  • In West Lancashire, about 16.7% of 10 to 11 year olds had experienced tooth decay.

Eddie Crouch, chairman of the British Dental Association, said ministers have "failed to grasp that decay and deprivation go hand in hand".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: "This Government likes to talk about prevention but has offered nothing. It has promised access for all but looks set to just throw money at target seats in rural England.

"Our youngest patients are continuing to pay the price."

Dr Helen Stewart, officer for health improvement at the RCPCH, added the state of children’s oral health in England is "nothing short of egregious".

She said the link between deprivation and decay is "undeniable", as children living in lower-income areas were more than twice as likely to have tooth decay than their more affluent peers.

The figures also revealed geographical variations, with 23% of children in Yorkshire and the Humber reporting tooth decay compared to 12% in the South West.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the North West, 20.2% of the cohort reported having tooth decay.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "Access to dentistry is improving, and last year around 800,000 more children saw an NHS dentist."

They added £3 billion is invested each year to deliver NHS dentistry and plans have been announced to increase dental training places by 40%.

"We are also taking preventative measures, such as expanding water fluoridation schemes to reduce the number of children experiencing tooth decay," they said.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.