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Who is at risk and why

Adults :: Dental health in adults :: Who is at risk and why

Marked inequalities in oral health are evident, with people living in areas of material and social deprivation having much higher levels of tooth decay. They are more likely to have high and frequent sugar diets and less likely to brush their teeth. Vulnerable groups of society such as those with a learning disability and mental illness also have poorer oral health.

Other groups at risk include people in long–term institutional care (such as residential homes, psychiatric hospitals and prisons), homeless people and some refugee and asylum seeker groups. Some minority ethnic groups more likely to be living in areas of disadvantage may encounter language and cultural barriers to accessing care and advice.

Young men from semi–skilled or unskilled manual backgrounds are less likely to use dental services in the transition from childhood to adult life. Expectant mothers and nursing mothers require special consideration. Elderly people living in residential care tend to have a poorer diet than those living in their own homes. Other vulnerable groups include people requiring palliative care and people undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a bone marrow transplant.