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Posts Tagged ‘Oral health Central Leeds’

The Link Between Oral Health and General Health Problems

Friday, October 16th, 2020

2823674_blogMany people are aware of the damage a poor oral hygiene routine can do to their teeth and gums, but have you ever thought about the link between oral health and general health? Many dentists describe the mouth as a window to the rest of the body and often, problems in the mouth reflect underlying general health conditions. There is also a significant body of evidence to support the notion that oral health issues increase the risk of general health problems.

Oral and general health

Numerous studies have established a link between oral and general health and the consensus is that looking after your teeth and gums can really make a difference to your general health. One of the most significant findings of research studies in this area is the potential connection between gum health and general health. Several studies have now established a link between gum disease and an increased risk of heart problems and strokes. Experts believe that harmful bacteria from the mouth can travel around the body via the bloodstream. This can trigger an inflammatory effect, contributing to a heightened risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Studies have also shown that poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of oral cancer and there is evidence to support a link between missing teeth and gum disease and a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. People with gum disease are also more likely to suffer from diabetes.

Ways to boost oral and general health

If you’re eager to enjoy good oral and general health, here are some simple steps to follow:

  • maintain good oral hygiene at home
  • eat a healthy diet, which moderates sugary, processed and fatty foods
  • see your dentist every six months
  • be aware of your mouth – look out for changes and see your dentist if you have symptoms including swelling, toothache, sensitivity and bleeding gums
  • drink plenty of water
  • drink alcohol in moderation
  • avoid smoking

How to Get Healthy Teeth and Gums

Friday, July 8th, 2016

297243_blogStart July with a bang by looking after your mouth by following our tips for great teeth and gums:

The first step to keeping your teeth looking great is by watching the colour of what you eat and drink. Red wine, coffee, black tea and cigarettes can all have a negative impact on the colour of your teeth. The best way to avoid staining is to brush your teeth after having anything that is likely to stain them. Using a bleaching agent recommended by your dentist can also help.

A healthier diet

You can also avoid problems with your teeth by cutting back on sugary food and drinks. Sugar can cause plaque, which leads to issues such as tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. Foods that are good for teeth include apples, celery and carrots, which help clean teeth due to being crisp and firm. Drinking water during the day also helps teeth by flushing out bacteria from the mouth and reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

At City Dental in Leeds we advise replacing your toothbrush every three months at most to ensure that your mouth is being properly cleaned. Using an old brush will mean that bacteria is being moved from the brush to your mouth.

Brush your teeth

Most of us spend just half a minute brushing our teeth, instead of the recommended 2 minutes. Start timing yourself while brushing your teeth and divide it into 30 seconds each for the front and back of both the top and bottom sets if that helps. It is also good to get into a regular routine with flossing. If you begin and end at the same point every time you floss, you can be sure that all every tooth has been cleaned. If you find it difficult to use floss you may find it helpful to get a floss holder.

Which Lifestyle Factors are Harming Your Dental Health?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Beautiful young lady smilingNo one wants to have poor dental health. People who are conscious of their teeth follow various oral hygiene steps to make sure that their teeth are doing well. However, even if you brush your teeth, floss and visit your dentist regularly, you can still have bad dental health if your lifestyle includes smoking, using other tobacco products and even sleeplessness.


All the effects of smoking are negative. Most people are aware of only few of the medical conditions, such as lung cancer, strokes and heart diseases caused by the use of tobacco. But there are quite a few dental conditions caused by smoking. Tooth discoloration, bad breath, build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, gum disease, oral cancer and many more are all caused by smoking. Regular smokers have a very high chance of developing gum disease, as the tobacco in cigarettes weakens the attachment between the soft tissue and the bone. It is also interferes with the regular functions of the cells in the gums. This interference increases the risk of periodontal diseases.

Sleeping disorders

Sleeping disorders can also cause many dental conditions, since they weaken the immune system. We use our mouth to eat food, drink water and talk. However, every time we open our mouth, germs and bacteria are ready to get in and cause infection. The immune system of our body constantly fights these bacteria and allows us to lead a healthy life. People get sick because their immune system had lost the battle with harmful bacteria, virus or germs, due to inadequate strength. Therefore, apart from cleaning the mouth regularly and eating fresh fruit full of vitamins, it is also important to give your body a proper rest everyday in order to keep your immune system strong.

Sweets and treats

Even if you brush your teeth every day, it is important to brush your teeth after having sweets or carbonated drinks. This is because both sugar and acid stay active for at least one hour after you have them. Both sugar and acid will team up with the bacteria present in the plaque to produce harmful bacteria, which in turn will slowly eat away the enamel and make your teeth susceptible to various dental conditions.


Excellent Oral Health is a Must No Matter How Old You Are!

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

2797271_blogAs a senior citizen you have every right to receive an impeccable standard of professional dental healthcare. After all, your mouth and teeth are a prized possession. They have served you during years of eating, drinking and celebrating, helped you speak and sculpt the smile and personality everybody knows and loves you for. They deserve your time and attention.

According to a survey carried out by Help the Aged, more than a third of over 75’s fail to have a regular dental check-up, a disconcerting discovery given that the elderly are more at risk of developing mouth cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure as a result of poor oral hygiene.

Although most people now regularly brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, simply brushing your teeth twice a day is not enough to sustain adequate oral health. Read on to discover how to maintain the dental health care you truly deserve.

Why senior dental health is a problem

Senior dental health is an issue in Great Britain for several reasons. Firstly, more and more elderly people are now retaining their own teeth, which can lead to the development of gum diseases that can in turn lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and oral cancer. Secondly, we are more likely to develop dental problems as we get older and oral cancer mainly occurs in people over 40. Thirdly, a lack of mobility means that fewer senior citizens are attending their regular six monthly check-up with their dentist.

The Link Between Oral Health and Heart Health

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

748875_blogIt has been confirmed at Hiroshima University in Japan that heart disease is strongly linked to oral hygiene. The idea of there being a correlation between the two has been debated in the past but the university study has proved there is a link.

According to the brain boffins of Hiroshima your chances of falling prey to a heart stroke are greatly increased if you have less than 24 teeth – almost 60% greater in fact – and are aged around 50 to 60.

The study was taken on 358 participants, all of whom were aged around 50 or 60 and strongly showed that those with 24 teeth or less had a 57% greater chance of having a heart stroke. Tooth loss is largely caused by gum disease and these finding have proved that those who regularly suffer from gum disease are at a much greater risk of heart problems as well as oral health problems, especially at an older age.

The doctors behind the research also discovered some other concerning issues while conducting the study. A large number of the people involved in the research had first begun to lose teeth around the age of 40, and given that the ages of those involved was between 50 and 60, many of the researchers expressed concern at the potential health problems and issues this entailed.

As well as the link to oral health, doctors are also emphasising the need to be aware of the effect of smoking, alcohol and obesity on the health of the heart and general healthy living is heavily encouraged to keep the heart in good condition and to avoid strokes and other heart diseases.

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


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 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 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.

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.


How Does a Good Diet Lead to Excellent Oral Health?

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

2429879_blogMost people are aware that eating a healthy, balanced diet can make a significant difference to their general health and wellbeing, but have you ever thought how the foods you eat impact your oral health? Paying attention to your diet can really help to keep dental disease at bay and ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy.

Foods to include in your diet

Many people focus on the foods that are bad for your teeth, but there are lots of foods you can add to your diet to boost your oral health. Good examples include dairy products, leafy calcium rich vegetables, and fruits and vegetables that contain important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C, D and E, potassium and iron. Calcium is really important, especially for children, because it helps to strengthen the tooth tissue, as well as the bones and nails.

Foods to try and avoid

The bad news is that there are lots of foods, usually ones we love, that are not so good for the teeth. Anything that has high sugar content, such as cakes, biscuits, sweets and chocolate, is not good news for the teeth and acidic foods and drinks are also harmful. Acids erode the protective enamel layer of the tooth and sugars cause bacteria in the mouth to feed and produce plaque acids, which attack the enamel surface. Examples of acidic foods and drinks include vinegar and vinegar-based salad dressing, wine, fruit juice, citrus fruits and fizzy pop.

Eating habits

Your eating habits are often as important as the types of food you eat when it comes to oral health. The frequency of eating has a major impact on oral health, as the enamel becomes temporarily weak after eating. It takes time for it recover and if you’re grazing throughout the day, this recovery period cannot take place. For this reason, we recommend trying to stick to three meals a day and ensuring that any sugary or acidic foods or drinks are consumed with a main meal. It’s also advisable to brush the teeth at least 45 minutes after eating, rather than straight afterwards; this helps to prevent damage to the enamel.

If you have any questions about healthy eating or which foods to include and avoid in your diet, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist or dental hygienist for advice.

Low Sugar Snacks for Sweet Lovers this Easter

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

4546258_blogLots of us have a sweet tooth and at this time of year it’s hard to resist chocolate eggs and Easter cakes, despite all the warnings of health and dental risks. But never fear! Here are some low-sugar alternatives to curb the cravings:

Sweet snacks

The 3 o’clock slump often brings with it a craving for comfort food, but eating snacks such as chocolate bars or a biscuit when you feel sluggish is actually counter-productive for your energy levels. It can also lead to an increased risk of oral health problems and weight gain. If you’re craving a sweet treat at work, here are some healthier ideas:

  • Home-made smoothies
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Granola
  • Low fat chocolate mousse

After dinner treats

We often fancy something sweet after a main meal, but there are lots of delicious alternatives to cakes and puddings if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth. These include:

  • Frozen yoghurt
  • Strawberries covered in dark chocolate
  • Sugar-free jelly
  • Oatcakes with a little bit of Nutella
  • Sorbet
  • Baked fruit served with yoghurt
  • Malt loaf
  • Greek yoghurt with berries, banana or peach

If you want to discuss questions about nutrition or diet or are seeking advice about the use of sugar substitutes to improve your oral health during the Easter period, we will be delighted to talk to you during your next check up. Alternatively you can call the practice at any time.