AN MP is calling for action to be taken after discovering that tooth decay is putting more children in hospital than any other ailment.

Copeland's Jamie Reed is urging the government to address the rising number of children being admitted to hospital because of tooth decay.

The MP has spoken out after studying recent figures which show that children in the borough are four times more likely to suffer from tooth decay than in Jeremy Hunt's constituency in south west Surrey.

Mr Reed said: “Inequalities in the oral health of British children are truly shocking – it is simply not right that kids are more than 4 times more likely to suffer from decay just because they happened to be born in Copeland and not in Jeremy Hunt’s constituency.”

Figures from Public Health England have revealed that the number of children admitted to hospital for tooth extractions has increased by a quarter over the past four years, with 64 children in Copeland going to hospital for this reason last year.

<strong> Watch this video for top tips on cleaning your teeth </strong>

It has also been revealed that tooth decay is the main reason for children aged between five and nine being admitted into hospital.

The figures also show that 28 per cent of children in the borough haven't seen a dentist in more than two years when check-ups should take place every six months.

<strong> Read more: Shocking new figures reveal area's high levels of child tooth decay </strong>

Appalled by the figures, Mr Reed is calling on the government to work closer with schools, families and dentists to help stop help reverse the issue.

He said: “It is simply not acceptable that tooth decay - an entirely preventable disease – is the number one reason our children are admitted to hospital.

"Politicians need to work with dentists, teachers and parents to ensure we can keep healthy teeth in healthy mouths, and give children the best possible start in life.”

Dr David Smith, of Holborn Hill Dental Practice, agrees with Mr Reed and says it is a "national disgrace" that the issue is allowed to continue.

He said: "It is a national disgrace that the most common reason children are admitted to hospital is due to an entirely preventable condition, and one which other countries have shown it is possible to drastically reduce with just a little bit of political will - something the current government's climb down on the sugar tax policy would suggest they lack."

In an attempt to raise awareness about the dangers of tooth decay, the practice is training a number of oral health educators who work with families and schools across the area to promote better health.

Dr Smith said: "Breaking the cycle means encouraging changes in diet and behaviour which are notoriously hard to achieve and maintain, so whilst it remains the responsibility of parents to ensure their child has a healthy, balanced and tooth friendly diet, we need to have enough staff available to support them achieving this."

Dental surgeries around the area are already working to halt the rise in tooth decay by holding special education sessions in school.