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Archive for the ‘oral hygeine’ Category

How Your Tongue Affects Your Oral Health

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

3428792_blogThe tongue is an important organ made up from many groups of muscles. We use it to talk, taste, swallow and chew, it holds food in place and sends vital messages to the central nervous system reporting on changes within the mouth. However, it does all of this instantly and without any thought from us and because of this its important role in maintaining oral health can often be overlooked and underestimated, leading to not-so-pleasant consequences.

Looking after the health of your tongue

Your tongue should be treated with the same amount of care and upkeep as you’d give your teeth and gums. Just as you would clean the rest of your mouth, the tongue needs cleaning too. This is because, contrary to how it may look, the tongue is not smooth and is in fact covered in tiny, barely visible bumps called ‘papillae.’ These bumps are bacteria hotspots and if not regularly cleaned, the bacteria that build there can cause halitosis, affect your sense of taste and can even spread to other parts of the mouth, leading to a number of different infections that can lead to tooth decay, gum recession and even tooth loss.

Tongue cancer signs and symptoms

Unfortunately tongues are no less susceptible to developing cancer than other parts of the body and noticing the problem before it has advanced can be the difference between life and death. This is why it’s important to check the tongue regularly to see if there any irregular cuts, abrasions or swelling. I suggest sticking your tongue out in front of your bathroom mirror and swirling it around to get a good look from all sides, top, bottom and side to side. If you do notice anything out of the ordinary, consult your doctor immediately. For more advice on looking after your oral health contact us at City Dental Leeds.

Five Dangerous Foods That Harm Our Oral Health

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

302075_blogThere has been a huge amount of discussion about the impact of sugar on the health of the nation, but the dangers of sugar consumption are nothing new and dentists have been warning about the implications of excessive sugar consumption for many years now.

Sugar is a major issue because it causes the bacteria in your mouth to release acids, known as plaque acids, which erode the tooth enamel. Once the enamel starts to become thinner, the risk of tooth infection and damage rises and enamel cannot be regenerated by the body.

Five foods to avoid for good oral health

Cakes

One of the main problems is that many of the nation’s favourite foods and drinks are laden with sugar, including cakes. Cakes are an indulgent treat and they taste amazing, but if you’ve baked one from scratch or read the nutrition labels of a shop-bought product, you’ll be well aware of the amount of sugar that goes into a sponge or a gateau.

Crisps

Crisps are savoury, but they contain starchy carbohydrate, which is eventually converted into sugar. Crisps also tend to get stuck in the grooves of the teeth after chewing and this can increase the chances of plaque forming in and around the teeth.

 Chewy sweets

Chewy sweets are not just full of sugar, they also get stuck in the pits and grooves of the biting surfaces of the teeth.

 Sports drinks

Energy and sports drinks have become hugely popular in the last few years, especially among young people and studies have shown that they are incredibly harmful for the teeth. Many contain more sugar than fizzy pop, which not only increases the risk of decay and gum disease, but also contributes to an increased risk of diabetes and other health complications.

 Wine

Wine is a very popular tipple for people of all ages, but unfortunately, it is not good news for the teeth. Wine is acidic, which contributes to erosion and enamel wear and it also stains the teeth. Studies have shown that white and red wine contribute to discolouration of the white enamel.

5 Handy Tips To Get The Best Teeth Clean At Home

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

297243_blogGood oral hygiene is your best weapon against dental disease and it’s really beneficial to hone your home cleaning regime in order to enjoy a healthy, bright smile. Here are 5 handy tips to help you achieve that perfect clean at home:

  1. Choose the right brush: when looking for a toothbrush, try to go for a brush with a small head and soft to medium bristles. Electric toothbrushes are proven to remove plaque more effectively than manual brushes, but you don’t nee to spend a lot of money to achieve a really thorough clean.
  2. Swap your brush regularly: old, worn bristles are not capable of achieving the same depth of cleaning as new bristles, so make sure you remember to swap your toothbrush, or change your brush head if you have an electric brush, on a regular basis. Ideally, you should change your brush every 3-4 months.
  3. Use fluoride toothpaste: we strongly recommend using fluoride toothpaste, as fluoride helps to strengthen and protect your tooth enamel, the protective outer layer of the teeth. Follow the usage instructions and take care with children, as fluoride levels in adult toothpaste may be too high for younger children. It’s also important to make sure that you brush for 2 minutes twice a day, once in the morning and once before you go to bed.
  4. Brush gently: some people may assume that the harder you brush, the better the clean; however, this is not the case. Brushing firmly can actually do more harm than good, as it can damage the enamel. When you brush, be gentle, but thorough.
  5. Make time for inter-dental cleaning: your toothbrush can only clean part of your mouth and inter-dental cleaning should form an important part of your daily brushing regime. Inter-dental cleaning focuses on the cracks and gaps between the teeth and you can either floss or use inter-dental brushes to ensure a more thorough clean.

Three Ways Plaque Harms Your Teeth

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

364999_blogPlaque is a major threat to healthy teeth and gums and studies show that it can also increase the risk of potentially serious general health conditions, but what exactly is plaque and how does it harm your teeth?

What is plaque?

Plaque is a sticky colourless substance, which constantly forms in your mouth. You can often feel plaque if you run your tongue over your teeth having not brushed them for a while, for example in the morning. Plaque is easily removed with good oral hygiene, but it can be very dangerous if left alone. Plaque hardens and turns into tartar, which cannot be removed by standard brushing. Plaque is the main cause of dental diseases, including decay and gum disease and the best way of avoiding it is to remember to brush twice a day every day and keep on top of inter-dental cleaning, either by using inter-dental brushes or dental floss.

How does plaque harm the teeth?

Here are 3 ways plaque harms your teeth:

  1. Decay: plaque is the most common cause of tooth decay, a dental disease, which causes cavities to form in the outer layers of the teeth. The bacteria present in plaque released acids when they feed and this causes erosion of the enamel; once the enamel is worn, it is very hard to rebuild and the tooth is vulnerable to infection and injury.
  2. Gum disease: plaque acids irritate the gums and cause them to become painful and swollen; the outcome of this is commonly gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Plaque is constantly forming in the mouth and if it is not removed, it hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar beneath the gum line is a major cause of advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.
  3. Bad breath: plaque contains bacteria, which release gases when they feed; these gases have an unpleasant odour and they cause bad breath. The best way to tackle bad breath is to maintain good oral hygiene at home and brush the teeth twice a day and floss daily.

How Does Oral Hygiene Affect the Rest of My Body?

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

2823674_blogMany dentists refer to the mouth as a window to the rest of the body and problems in the mouth can suggest issues in the body. In recent years, several studies have suggested a strong link between oral and general health, so it’s important to take good care of those teeth and gums.

Oral health and heart health

Research into the link between oral health and heart health is ongoing. Yet many studies have now connected oral health problems with an elevated risk of heart disease. This is especially true of gum disease. Researchers believe bacteria from the mouth can travel to other parts of the body via the bloodstream. This triggers an inflammatory response that increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. A study in Scotland involving more than 11,000 adults revealed that you’re more likely to suffer from heart disease if you don’t brush your teeth twice daily.

Oral health and diabetes

If you have diabetes, your risk of developing oral health issues is increased. In many undiagnosed cases  it is dentists who spot the warning signs of diabetes. Around one third of patients who have diabetes also suffer from periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease). The increased risk is due to poor control of blood sugars.

Oral health and pregnancy

Pregnancy brings about significant hormonal changes in the body. One effect is an increase in the risk of gum disease. Dentists advise all pregnant women to visit them on a regular basis and arrange a check-up if they notice warning signs such as bleeding and swollen gums. Studies have shown that untreated gum disease can cause complications during pregnancy and increase the risk of premature labour and even stillbirth.

 

Teaching the Kiddies to Take Care of Their Teeth

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

318711_blogAt City Dental Leeds we are all about encouraging good oral health habits and championing prevention over cure and we are always here to offer advice to help you and your family enjoy beautiful smiles and remain free of oral diseases. If you’re eager to encourage your children to adopt good practices from an early age, here are some tips to teach kids to take good care of their teeth and gums:

Start early

It’s never too early to lay foundations and the sooner you start looking after your child’s teeth, the better. Encourage them to hold a brush as soon as they can and show them how to clean their teeth and work their toothbrush. Set a good example and let them learn by watching you and supervise brushing while they are still young. If teeth cleaning becomes part of a routine early on, children will be used to it and there will be a lower risk of tantrums and fall-outs when you ask them to go and clean their teeth in the mornings and before they go to bed.

Make teeth cleaning fun

Cleaning your teeth is perhaps not the most exciting thing to do, especially when there are toys or television programmes to distract your attention, but there are ways to make brushing your teeth more enjoyable. Try making up games and setting challenges, reward good behaviour and brush together as a family. Many children also like to use brushes and toothpastes that feature their favourite cartoon, literary or film characters.

Educate children

It’s important that children know why it’s essential to clean their teeth every day. If they have an understanding of why they need to clean their teeth, they will be more likely to do it without making a fuss. Teach them about what brushing achieves and what may happen if they don’t clean their teeth. There are some really useful guides, articles and books available to educate kids about oral health and show them how to perfect their brushing technique. Our dentists will also be more than happy to answer questions for children, show them how to brush and talk to them about healthy eating and the importance of brushing at home.

How to Have Happy Hygiene This Summer

Monday, June 15th, 2015

2823674_blogBeautiful, happy smiles are top of our wish-list this summer and we have some excellent treatments on offer, including hygiene and cleaning treatments and the latest cosmetic dental innovations. If you’re eager to start the summer with sparkly pearly whites, why not call and book a session with one of our expert dental hygienists?

What happens when you go to a hygienist?

Hygienists are experts in dental hygiene and have a range of important roles within the dental team. Hygienists offer advice about dental health issues and provide preventative dental treatments and treatment for gum disease, bad breath and cavities. When you go to see a hygienist, they will chat to you about your oral health, ask about any underlying health or dental problems and have a good look around your mouth. They may recommend specific cleaning treatments and offer advice to help improve your oral health.

Your hygienist will give your mouth a thorough clean to remove any plaque and tartar and polish your teeth. Deep cleaning helps to reduce the risk of oral health issues as well as making your smile look more attractive.

The advantages of seeing a dental hygienist

Visiting a dental hygienist has a number of benefits for all patients, even those who have strong, healthy teeth. Hygienist treatments achieve a more powerful clean than home brushing and this dramatically improves oral health. Cleaning treatments are also really effective for those who want their teeth to look whiter and brighter, as they remove surface stains. If you already have dental health issues such as bad breath or gum disease, seeing a hygienist can have very positive implications for your condition and help to ease symptoms.

If you would like to book a cleaning treatment or consultation with one of our brilliant dental hygienists in time for summer, contact us today!

The Importance of Tooth Brushing for Children

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

318711_blogAt City Dental Leeds, healthy smiles are at the heart of everything we do and we are eager to equip our patients, young and old, with the information and treatments they need to enjoy healthy, strong teeth and gums. We pride ourselves on focusing on preventative care and we welcome patients of all ages. With the summer holidays in sight, you may be thinking about booking your child’s dental check-up. Here’s why oral health is so important for youngsters:

Why is tooth brushing so important for children?

Oral health should be a priority for all children, as good oral health during childhood helps to increase the chances of healthy teeth in later life. Losing baby teeth prematurely increases the chances of dental health problems and orthodontic issues. Research shows that dental health complaints can also hold children back at school and affect their confidence and self-esteem.

One of the main problems among children is tooth decay and the number of children receiving treatment in hospital for this preventable illness is increasing year on year. As dentists, we are desperate for our younger patients to avoid suffering and pain and to enjoy confidence when they smile. We actively encourage good oral hygiene practices at home and regular dental visits from an early age. We are always on hand to offer advice and provide information about subjects related to oral health issues, including healthy eating and sugar consumption, brushing techniques and which oral hygiene products to buy for children.

Preventing oral health problems in young children

There are 3 key steps to good oral health and these include:

  • good oral hygiene: brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time
  • regular dental check-ups: ideally, children should see a dentist every six months from the age of 12-24 months
  • a healthy diet: sugar consumption is a real problem for today’s children. We advise parents to keep an eye o their child’s daily sugar intake and take steps to reduce the amount of sugar they consume

If you have any questions or concerns about children’s oral health or you would like advice about preventing dental disease in children, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Bye Bye Bad Breath!

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

4361359_blogIf you suffer from bad breath, we can help you say bye-bye for good! Our hygiene treatments will banish halitosis and enable you to feel confident in social situations.

About bad breath

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common oral health issue that affects thousands of people in the UK. Many people feel embarrassed and self-conscious, especially in social situations, due to bad breath. However, we can assure you that you’re not alone and there are easy ways to tackle this problem and increase your confidence.

Bad breath is sometimes caused by eating strongly flavoured foods such as onions, garlic and spicy food. It can also be caused by smoking and taking some types of medication. However, it most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene, which results in bacteria collecting in the mouth. When bacteria feed, they release gases that have an unpleasant odour. Most cases of bad breath are linked to bacteria located at the back of the tongue.

Treating bad breath

Temporary cases of bad breath can usually be alleviated by brushing the teeth and maintaining good oral hygiene at home. We also recommend chewing sugar-free gum after eating if you find that you are prone to developing bad breath after eating or drinking.

If you suffer from bad breath on a regular basis, the best course of action is usually to visit your dentist and dental hygienist on a frequent basis. Cleaning treatments are much more intensive than brushing at home and they target plaque and tartar to freshen up the mouth, remove bacteria and prevent bacteria build-up. We will also be happy to offer tips for cleaning at home and we recommend sticking to a thorough daily oral hygiene regime and cleaning the tongue, as well as the teeth.

If you’re embarrassed by bad breath or you’re looking for a solution that really works, call us now!

 

Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Your Cavities

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

3708143_blogCavities are holes that develop in the tooth surface. They are caused by tooth decay, one of the most common preventable illnesses among children and adults in the UK. If you have cavities or tooth pain, we urge you to get in touch with your dentist and make an appointment. Leaving cavities increases the risk of severe infection and may even lead to tooth loss.

What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by harmful bacteria that collect and multiply in the mouth. These bacteria release acids that attack and erode the tooth enamel, eventually wearing holes in the outer layer of the tooth. The most common risk factors for cavities are poor oral hygiene and a diet that contains a lot of sugary and acidic foods.

How can I tell if I have a cavity?

Sometimes it’s possible to feel or see a cavity. You may be able to see the hole in the surface of the tooth, especially if it has become discoloured. You might also feel it when you run your tongue over the surface of the tooth. Other signs of decay include increased sensitivity that manifests itself through pain when the teeth come into contact with hot and cold substances, toothache and a feeling of weakness when you use the tooth.

Why it’s important to treat cavities

If you have cavities, it’s important to get them sorted by your dentist. Once the enamel layer of the tooth has been penetrated, there is a risk of infection spreading through the tooth into the living tissue of the tooth, known as the pulp. It is possible for the pulp to become infected and this may result in severe damage or even loss of the tooth. In this case, it may be possible to save the tooth by means of performing root canal treatment. Decay can also increase the risk of dental abscesses, which are usually very painful.

As with all dental diseases, we believe that prevention is better than cure when it comes to tooth decay and we recommend a good daily oral hygiene routine, regular dental check-ups and steering clear of too many sugary treats!