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Posts Tagged ‘oral health 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.

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.

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.

Beginner’s Guide to the Sonicare Toothbrush

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

357249_blogIf you’re familiar with the confusion of standing in front of chemist or supermarket shelves stacked full of toothbrushes, allow us to make buying a toothbrush easy and hassle-free. We highly recommend Sonicare, a collection of brushes designed to make the teeth sparkle and shine and keep dental disease at bay.

Introducing Sonicare

Sonicare is a range of electric toothbrushes by Philips. We have recommended the Sonicare name for several years and we strongly believe that these products are among the world’s best brushes.

Sonicare offers something for everyone and there is a selection of brushes to suit patients with varying needs and budgets. Brushes range in price and there are additional features to combat common dental issues such as sensitivity and make brushing more convenient. You can now buy products with smart connectivity to track your brushing habits and flag up any issues or areas for improvement, in-built timers to make sure you’re brushing for long enough and brushing modes to suit your brushing preference.

Which brush is best for me?

Buying a toothbrush may seem like a simple task on the surface, but once you’re confronted with a range in which every option seem a good one, it can become more difficult. If you’re not sure which brush to buy, our dentists and dental hygienists will be happy to make recommendations based on how much you would like to spend and your individual dental needs and preferences. With Sonicare, you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money to guarantee that you’re getting a really high quality product that will definitely have a positive impact on your oral health.

If you need help with buying toothbrushes or toothpaste or you’d appreciate some advice about brushing techniques, don’t hesitate to ask. Our friendly dental team is always willing to help!

How to Get into a Good Oral Hygiene Routine

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

iStock_000006052729XSmallNothing sets you up for healthy, strong teeth and gums like a good oral hygiene routine. But what constitutes an effective regime and how can you improve oral hygiene at home?

Your daily oral hygiene routine

Ideally, you should spend around 5-6 minutes per day tending to your teeth and gums. This should include at least 2 minutes of brushing morning and evening and flossing or using inter-dental brushes. Brushing is really important because it cleans the teeth and removes bacteria and food debris. However, it is essential to back up rushing with inter-dental brushing or flossing, as these techniques clean the areas that cannot be reached with a toothbrush. When you’re brushing, use gentle circular movements and avoid brushing too hard. We recommend using a brush with a small head, so you can reach into the corners of the mouth.

If you struggle to brush for 2 minutes, try investing in an electric toothbrush with a timer, set a stopwatch on your phone or tablet or brush for the duration of a song.

How can I improve my oral hygiene routine?

If you think there are improvements to be made to your daily oral hygiene regime, we will be happy to help. Our dentists and dental hygienists can discuss what you’re currently doing and make recommendations to improve cleaning and help you to achieve a more effective result. We will be happy to advise you which products to buy and show you effective brushing and flossing techniques. We can also demonstrate how to use inter-dental brushes.

We also recommend regular sessions with our amazing dental hygienists in addition to routine check-ups.

How we Banish Bad Breath for Good

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

429735_blogBad breath is a problem that affects most of us from time to time. However, if you suffer from bad breath on a persistent basis it can take its toll and make social and professional situations awkward and embarrassing. If you suffer with bad breath, there’s no need to panic. With our excellent hygiene treatments and expert advice, we can banish bad breath for good and ensure you feel confident when you go on a date, arrange a meeting or take to the stage for an important presentation.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is caused by bacteria in the mouth releasing gases that have a very unpleasant smell. Most cases are linked to poor oral hygiene, but there may be other triggers such as eating strongly flavoured foods, taking some types of medication and smoking.

If you neglect your oral hygiene regime, bacteria gather and multiply and when they feed they release unpleasant smelling gases. The longer they are left, the worse the odour. Brushing, flossing and rinsing help to remove bacteria and ensure the mouth smells fresh and clean.

Tackling bad breath

If bad breath is a problem that haunts you on a regular basis, we recommend good oral hygiene and regular dental sessions. Initially, we will examine the mouth and check for underlying causes. We will give the mouth a thorough clean and then discuss treatment options with you. We may advise regular sessions with our hygienists to keep bacteria at bay and cleanse the mouth. We can also offer advice about maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home and help with brushing and flossing effectively.

If there are certain triggers that make the situation worse, we can help you deal with these. This may include avoiding spicy food or strong flavours such as garlic or coffee and changing the type of medication you take, if this is applicable.

If bad breath is getting you down, don’t suffer in silence! Call us today.

Low Or Non-Sugar Alternatives For Those With A Sweet Tooth

Monday, November 24th, 2014

302075_blogMany of us admit to having a sweet tooth and it can be hard to resist the lure of a decadent dessert or a sumptuous sweet snack even though we’re well aware of the health and oral health implications; if this sounds familiar, we can help! Here are some low or non-sugar alternatives to curb those sweet cravings:

Snack options

Many people like to reach for a chocolate bar or the biscuit tin when their energy levels start to drop mid-morning or around the 3pm mark, but doing this can actually be counter-productive for your energy levels, as well as contributing to an increased risk of weight gain, diabetes and oral health problems. If you fancy a snack and you’re constantly battling cravings and dreaming of puddings or treats, here are some healthier options:

  • fruit
  • natural yoghurt
  • low fat chocolate mousse
  • granola
  • nuts
  • home-made smoothie (avoid buying smoothies in shops, as they are usually packed with sugar)

Dessert options

Many of us are familiar with the craving for a morsel of dessert after a main meal but you don’t need to gorge on a full packet of biscuits or a giant wedge of cake to satisfy your sweet tooth. There are lots of healthier dessert options, as well as artificial and natural sweeteners, which can be used for baking and cooking to make puddings healthier and reduce your sugar intake. Suggestions include:

  • strawberries dipped in dark chocolate
  • oatcakes with a thin layer of nutella
  • baked fruit with yoghurt
  • Green yoghurt with peaches, berries or banana
  • fruit loaf
  • sorbet
  • sugar free jelly
  • frozen yoghurt

If you have any questions about diet and nutrition or you’d like advice about using sugar substitutes or cutting down your sugar intake for better oral health, we will be happy to chat to you at your next check-up; you can also give us a call at any time.