04 December 2008

Tooth decay and hearing loss

Untreated tooth decay may lead to hearing loss.

In Peru, 90 percent of the population suffers from some type of tooth decay. When left untreated tooth decay may lead to the removal of teeth. In many Peruvians removed teeth are not replaced, and this may cause a dysfunction of the temporo-mandibular joint, which, in turn, is related to hearing loss.

?The total or partial lack of teeth causes a progressively increasing hearing loss over time, affecting the affected individuals' self-esteem, self-worth, and social and emotional relationships,? explained Jim Romero Lloclla, national strategy coordinator on dental health of the Peruvian Ministry of Health.

Hearing loss due to tooth decay is more common among women, according to the specialist.

In Peru, eight in 10 in the elderly population suffer from a complete lack of teeth, and 85 percent of the total population suffers from a gum disease which may cause the loss of teeth.

The government is carrying out a national campaign known as ?Smile Forever Peru?, in order to promote dental health. If successful, improved hearing health may be an important additional benefit.

Source: www.elcomercio.com.
Published on hear-it on December 4, 2008.

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