The NHS has just published its annual dental survey. The rest of the media might have missed it, but I read the report avidly. So, what is the state of the Nation's teeth?
Overall, 94 per cent of adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were dentate (ie have some teeth).
Over the last 30 years the proportion of adults in England who had no natural teeth ("edentate") has fallen by 22 percentage points, from 28 per cent in 1978 to 6 per cent in 2009.
Eighty-six per cent of dentate adults had 21 or more natural teeth.
The average number of teeth among all dentate adults was 25.6.
Over three-fifths (61 per cent) of dentate adults said they attended the dentist for regular check-ups;
Twelve per cent of all adults (who had ever been to the dentist) were classified as having extreme dental anxiety.
However, the really shocking news concerned Wales. In England 6 per cent of adults were without teeth, whereas in Wales the figure was one in ten. Seven per cent of adults in Northern Ireland were without teeth. Scotland wasn't covered by the survey, but one can only imagine the state of their molars and incisors.
I say damn the deficit. More resources are needed in Wales to improve dental hygiene standards. So lets get some Dentists over there as soon as possible.
I am also quite worried about "Extreme Dental Anxiety". It is a malady that has not yet received an acronym, so I am going to invent one - EDA. So are you an EDA sufferer? I sense that the Welsh are particularly prone to EDA, hence the lack of teeth.