Tooth pain searches show 460% rise from 2010

Tooth pain searches show 460% rise from 2010

Google search data shows that internet searches for ‘tooth pain’ have increased by 460% in the UK since June 2010.

The term ‘toothache’ has also increased by 227% in the same period. Several other dental health problems have also increased in search frequency since 2010:

  • Chipped tooth – 329%
  • Gum pain – 330%
  • Yellow teeth – 268%
  • Bad breath – 133%
  • Bleeding gums – 110%.

The current search frequency for ‘how to remove teeth’ is 421% higher than 2010 levels. However, this figure peaked at a 614% increase in February 2021 during the third UK COVID-19 lockdown.

Searches for ‘NHS dentist’ reached their highest level to date in January 2024, at 112% higher than 2010.

‘Indignity and pain’

Mike Fleming, founder of the Church on the Street charity, discussed the ‘concerning’ rise in dental-related searches with the Mirror. He said: ‘Access to affordable dental care should be a basic human right, and yet people all over the UK are suffering the indignity and pain of relentless toothache or resorting to DIY dentistry.

‘This data shows just how serious the dental crisis has become after a decade of cuts, and it is truly concerning that we are living in a country where people are now searching how to pull out their own teeth, due to being unable to afford private care, or find an NHS dentist.’

A recent Oral Health Foundation (OHF) survey found that cost was a barrier to seeking dental care for four in 10 respondents. A further 17% of respondents reported difficulty in finding an NHS dentist, and 12% had struggled to get an appointment.

OHF chief executive Nigel Carter said: ‘Failure to act swiftly could result in a dental health crisis. This will have far-reaching consequences for public health.’

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