As referrals into hospitals for tooth extractions continue to sky rocket, medical experts call for the same measures used to deter smoking to be adopted on sugar-laden products
Experts have warned that British children face a tooth decay ‘crisis’ with huge numbers needing to be admitted to hospital to have teeth removed under general anaesthetic.
Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Royal College of Surgeons’ dental faculty has called for sugary food and drinks to carry health warnings similar to those branded across cigarette packages.
"In the same way as we have with smoking, that smoking can cause lung cancer and so on, we should be saying high levels of sugar will lead to not only poor oral health and decay, but the impact on general health," he said.
"We are reaching crisis point in terms of the number of children needing to go into the dental hospitals for full-blown general anaesthetics for extraction. Almost 26,000 general anaesthetics are being given to five to nine-year-old children every year to have teeth out now."
According to a report carried out by the The Sunday Times, hopsital are becoming overwhelmed and are running extra operations at evenings and weekends in order to cope with the 46,500 children admitted each year. The belief is that bold, shocking and potentially gruesome images, like those seen on cigarettes packages are likely to have a greater impact on people’s purchasing decisions.
Professor Hunt’s calls for urgency come as the British Medical Association also urges tax increases of 20% on sugar laden drinks to help tackle the global obesity crisis.