Oral Hygiene

Health Matters

LINKS BETWEEN GUM DISEASE, DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE

Gum Disease is a chronic bacterial disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It is serious infection that if left untreated can cause major problems for your mouth including loss of teeth.

Prevention and treatment of gum disease is acquiring more importance amongst health care professionals due its links with diabetes and heart disease. Gum Disease can contribute to these illnesses through the addition of bacteria and inflammatory agents from the mouth into the bloodstream which carries them to the rest of the body.

HEART DISEASE AND GUM DISEASE

Presence of gum disease can increase a person’s risk of heart disease. Oral bacteria provoke inflammation which increases levels of white blood cells and a certain protein called C-reactive protein (CRP). This protein is found in the blood and linked to heart disease. In recent trials, treatment of gum disease reduced the patients’ levels of CRP. CRP levels can be tested for in the blood just like cholesterol can and this test can be requested from the doctor.

Studies also suggest that adults with the highest levels of some oral bacteria have thicker carotid arteries which can lead to heart attacks and stroke.

DIABETES AND GUM DISEASE

It is thought that a third of all diabetics will suffer from gum disease at some stage of their disease.

Patients with diabetes suffer from a list of impaired bodily functions, one of which is thickened blood vessels which reduces the efficiency of the flow of nutrients and removal of waste products from body tissues. The impaired blood flow weakens the gums and bones which makes them more prone to infection. If diabetes is poorly managed it can lead to higher glucose levels in the mouth which encourages the growth of bacteria that cause gum disease and decay. Once gum disease has developed in a diabetic patient it is difficult to shift. The relationship between diabetes and gum disease has a synergistic relationship. Periodontal disease makes it harder for diabetics to control their blood sugar levels as it increases the blood sugar in the body. The more severe the gum disease the higher the blood sugar levels which in turn leads to increase risk of diabetic complications.

Diabetics who receive good dental care and look after their gums are less likely to develop periodontal disease.

Tooth Brushing Technique

There are many techniques for brushing your teeth, but the main considerations for cleaning teeth effectively are discussed below:

  • Firstly it takes time to clean the teeth, whatever type of toothbrush or method you use, you should spend a minimum of two minutes cleaning the teeth twice a day.
  • Secondly, the toothbrush you use, is largely down to personal choice, powered toothbrushes are very effective, a manual toothbrush should have medium or softer filaments, and you should choose a brush with a relatively small head, this will allow you access to cleaning the very back teeth. The important thing to remember, is that toothbrushes should be replaced regularly, every six to eight weeks is often recommended.
  • Thirdly, the technique to effective toothbrush cleaning. Start by placing the toothbrush filaments against the tooth, where the tooth meets the gum. Have the filaments at a 40- 45 degree angle to the tooth. The toothbrush will be covering 2 or 3 teeth. Start to use a small circular action without dragging the toothbrush over more than 2 or 3 teeth at a time, after 5 seconds move the toothbrush to the next 2-3 teeth and repeat the process. This method of tooth brushing is often referred to as the mini scrub technique, and will help to keep the gums healthy as well as the teeth clean, When you have cleaned the outside and inside surfaces of the teeth, you can then proceed to move the brush along the top biting surfaces of the teeth.
  • You also need to bear in mind that tooth brushing alone does not guarantee thorough cleaning. Tooth brushing should be followed by flossing in between the teeth.
  • I would recommend that if you are unsure as to how effective your tooth brushing is, you should seek more specific advice from your Dentist or Hygienist.

Detecting Mouth Cancer

Smile Design Dental Practice are now the proud owners of a Velscope machine.

This allows us to detect areas in the mouth that may be cancerous; it can even detect pre-cancerous cells. This means that our examinations can be more thorough and we will be able to detect anomalies in the mouth sooner.

Fresher Breath in Wendover

Today we had a patient that visited us from Wendover that was suffereing from halitosis, otherwise known as  bad breath. One of the most common causes of bad breath is not following a correct oral hygiene routine.

In these situations patients will see our experienced hygienist who will look at your mouth and check if your gums and teeth are healthy. Any plaque or debris is removed from the tooth surface and they are throughly cleaned. Following this our hygienist demonstrates correct brushing and flossing techniques to prevent bad breath. We also have a wide range of mouth washes and fresh breath sprays.