WHILE tooth loss is declining, a third of Australian adults have untreated tooth decay and an increasing number are avoiding treatment because of the cost, a new study has found.
The University of Adelaide has compiled the first national oral health study in 10 years based on data from 15,000 Australians across each state and territory.
Professor David Brennan, the director of the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health , says the study has also found the prevalence of gum disease is increasing along with levels of toothache.
“Almost one-quarter of adults rated their oral health as fair or poor, and one in five adults experienced toothache,” Prof Brennan said.
The study found the use of dental services was declining with 40 per cent of adults avoiding or delaying care due to cost.