January 13th, 2010
Brushing is the first line of defence against tooth decay and gum disease and if performed properly is an effective barrier against both. However, it would seem by the levels of decay still happening in the UK that many people are still not brushing their teeth correctly, or for long enough.
Bacteria in the mouth attach themselves to tooth enamel using their sticky outer membrane. If the bacteria are not removed by effective brushing they can build up forming a plaque acid. This acid erodes the protective enamel of the tooth causing cavities that lead to infection and eventually tooth loss. Brushing twice a day for three minutes with an appropriate brush and paste can remove plaque forming bacteria keeping your teeth clean and strong and your breath fresh.
Dentists recommend that you brush at a forty-five degree angle to the teeth pointing the brush towards the gums. This way the gums are also brushed clean from bacteria and debris, but it is important not to brush the gums too hard as gum tissue can be eroded. It is also important to floss your teeth at least once a day to remove bacteria and food debris from places a toothbrush can’t reach. Brushing without flossing is the equivalent of only cleaning two thirds of your teeth.
It is important to remember to change your toothbrush every six months as bristles become bent and flat and do not provide a thorough clean when overused. Central London dentists can advise you which is the most suitable brush for your teeth at your next appointment.
January 5th, 2010
Second only to brushing, flossing is the most important way of keeping your teeth looking and feeling clean and healthy. Brushing alone is unable to remove all the bacteria that builds up in the smallest gaps and spaces in the teeth, so flossing is crucial to thorough dental care.
Flossing involves using a special thin dental wire to remove particles of food, bacteria and plaque form between teeth and below the gum line. Conventional toothbrushes can not fit in the gaps between teeth where food gets lodged, and it also cannot clean teeth below the gum line. It is these hidden areas where decay can really take hold so it is important to keep them clean.
It is also important to remove food particles trapped between teeth as they are responsible for 95 per cent of cases of bad breath. Rotting food particles release foul smelling sulphurous compounds which cause bad breath and lead to tooth decay. A London dentist can demonstrate the most effective ways to floss teeth removing as much bacteria as possible.
If bacteria and plaque does build up in hard to reach areas it can cause cavities and decay that is very hard to treat. By taking the extra couple of minutes each day to floss thoroughly you could save yourself hours of uncomfortable dental treatment and anxiety in the future. It is estimated that teeth cleaning without flossing is like only washing two thirds of your body, which still leaves plenty of room for bacteria to grow. So floss once a day for a complete clean.
December 24th, 2009
A Central London dentist has recently given advice on the prevention and treatment of gum disease. Tooth loss is generally thought to be due to the tooth simply coming loose, but in most cases it is actually due to a periodontal disease. This is an advanced form of Gingivitis. Is it preventable? A Central London dentist recently advised that gum disease is a natural product of modern living, the food we eat is full of chemicals that are necessary to keep it fresher for longer. The sugar, fat and salt content of our diet, even a well balanced diet, can affect our gums and create the breeding grounds for gum disease. It isn’t preventable entirely, but with a good healthy approach to oral hygiene and regular dental checks; we can lessen the burden. Removing the causes of the disease is a must to keep the mouth as disease free as possible. Plaque is the main contender and the bacteria it contains is in everything we put in our mouths. Keeping the levels down to a minimum will ensure a lot less gum disease. The disease will eat away at the base of the tooth and prematurely cause a breakage from the bone. It also causes the gums to shrink; gums are a protective layer over the teeth that guard against damage to the most vulnerable part of the tooth; which is the base. In losing the gums to a disease like Gingivitis it is not only painful, but in most cases irreversible, it really is a case of prevention rather that cure because there isn’t one. The best a dentist can do is to slow down the process, the rest is really up to us as the owner of teeth, and prevention is always better than cure.
December 18th, 2009
Gum disease is the inflammation and infection of the gum tissue that anchors teeth to the jaw. It is a very common condition affecting nearly half of all adults but it can be treated easily if caught early by a dentist or dental hygienist.
The two main types of gum disease are gingivitis and the more serious periodontitis. Gingivitis is when the gums are attacked by plaque built up after eating. Plaque can be removed by correct brushing and flossing and can also be removed in harder forms by the dentist. Periodontitis follows on from gingivitis and causes infections in pockets where the gum has begun to come away from the tooth. It causes gum tissue to die and shrink away from the tooth exposing sensitive areas of the teeth and causing decay. Periodontitis is not reversible, as gum tissue cannot be made to grow back.
Symptoms of gum disease include sore or irritated gums and occasional bleeding, and shrinking tissue in more serious cases. It can be treated by a process called scaling or in cases of periodontitis by gum surgery. However, the best form of treatment is prevention. Keeping teeth and gums clean and free from plaque helps to prevent gum disease in the first instance and regular visits to a Central London dentist can help to tackle the first signs of any problems. Dentists or hygienists can also show you the correct way to brush and floss that will keep your gums disease free.
December 4th, 2009
There are a number of very important reasons why you should keep up regular dental check ups with a London dentist. Reasons that could have a very beneficial effect on your overall health.
According to the Oral Cancer foundation, someone dies every hour from oral cancer, a statistic that could be prevented by earlier detection of the disease, leading to more effective treatment. Dentists are fully trained to spot the early signs of oral cancer including unexplained bleeding and painful sores. It could just make the difference between life and death.
Perhaps less seriously but no less important, dentists are also able to examine patients for the first signs of gum disease, which can cause painful irritation and has several links to heart disease. Gum disease can occur even in healthy mouths and early treatment can prevent a range of more serious dental problems that could occur as a result. Similar to gum disease is dental decay, which can also be present in patients with excellent hygiene regimes. Prompt treatment of decay prevents the formation of dental cavities that cause painful infections and abscesses, which in turn lead to tooth loss.
Having a healthy mouth and teeth can be a sign of a healthy body as many bodily infections can begin in the oral cavity, and likewise any problems in the body can usually be detected by some change or unusual activity in the mouth. Bad breath could be the sign of inadequate cleaning but it could also indicate a more serious digestion problem that may need treatment.
Regular check ups are obviously important for maintaining good oral health. Dentists can treat any sign so of decay early and thoroughly clean the teeth to prevent any more, but a dentist can also be the first clinician to spot many other health concerns. Make an appointment to see a London dentist as soon as possible for the sake of your teeth and your whole body.
November 19th, 2009
One of the most common dental concerns is gum disease, which is also known in its less serious form as gingivitis and more seriously as periodontitis. Most people will probably suffer from mild gingivitis at some point and not even realise it. Effective brushing and cleaning will help to beat the infection and prevent it from returning. For patients who have poor standards of oral hygiene and do not keep up regular six-month appointments with the dentist, gum disease can become very serious. Severe cases of periodontitis involve bleeding gums, tooth loss and can even result in the infection spreading to other parts of the body, including the heart.
Treatment for gum disease can range from increased cleaning, to antibiotics and in serious cases even tissue removal (also known as a gingivectomy). But of course the best treatment is prevention. By taking a few minutes each day to brush thoroughly and floss you will be able to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free from infection. Flossing is particularly useful for fighting gum infection as it cleans below the gum line where it is hard to clean with a brush.
If you are concerned about possible gum disease or if you have unexplained bleeding gums, make an appointment to see a London dentist who will be able to conduct an examination as part of a check up. The dentist will also be able to offer the best advice about effective cleaning methods. Healthy gums mean healthy teeth as the old adage goes, but they can also be indicative of your health in general so it really is worthwhile to keep them on good condition.
November 3rd, 2009
The old adage that prevention is better than cure is nowhere more true than when it comes to your teeth. The most important weapons in the war against dental decay, gum disease and tooth loss is effective cleaning and regular six-month dental check ups.
Dentists recommend that patients brush their teeth twice a day for three minutes using an appropriate brush and the correct toothpaste for their teeth. Brushing helps to remove plaque, which is a filmy substance that builds up around the tooth enamel. Plaque is made up of bacteria and other debris that attacks enamel, eventually breaking it down and causing cavities. If a dentist does not repair these cavities they will penetrate to the root of the tooth causing pain and eventual tooth loss. Plaque can be removed by normal brushing but if it is not it will turn into tartar which cannot and will require a dental hygienist to remove it.
It is also very important to floss everyday. Flossing cleans the spaces in between the teeth that cannot be cleaned by regular brushing, where plaque can build up undisturbed. Flossing also cleans below the gum line, another hard spot to reach with a regular toothbrush. Brushing and flossing are the front line defence against dental problems and should prevent most dental disease. However, brushing and flossing alone are not sufficient to prevent all dental concerns. It is crucial that patients visit their dentist every six-months so that they can check for the first signs of any problems. Even the most ardent of brushers may still be susceptible to tooth decay and catching it early really can save a lot of pain and financial burden in the future.
Dentists are also trained to examine patients for the signs of other oral concerns such as cancer. Oral cancer is a particularly virulent form of the disease but has an 80 per cent survival rate if caught sufficiently early. A City of London dentist will examine for the signs of oral cancer as part of a regular check up and can take a swab of any suspicious looking material.
Maintaining a good standard of oral hygiene could save you a lifetime of costly and painful dental problems. Most dental issues are easily remedied at early stages but treatment becomes more and more difficult the more advanced the problem. A few minutes spent brushing and flossing each day, combined with a twenty minute check up every six months from a City of London dentist could be all it takes to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life.
October 14th, 2009
One of the most common dental problems is gum disease, also known as gingivitis. This can be an irritating, or at times, very painful condition caused by an infection of the gums. If the infection is not treated it can lead to bleeding gums, tooth loss and further health complications such as heart disease.
As with all dental health, the first line of defence against gum disease is prevention. By brushing teeth for three minutes twice a day, with an appropriate brush and in the correct way you can significantly help to stop gum disease developing. A close second to brushing comes flossing. Flossing once a day not only cleans the areas between the teeth that regular brushes can’t reach, but also cleans below the gumline, which is a notorious place for the build up of plaque.
Your lifestyle can also affect how healthy your gums are. People who drink excessively or use tobacco products are far more likely to develop gum disease. Tobacco seriously affects the gums ability to heal themselves so it can be a major contributing factor to the onset of gingivitis.
These preventative measures help to control the build up of plaque, which is a bacteria rich, filmy substance that covers the surface of the teeth and gums and causes decay. If left, plaque turns into tartar, which also causes gum disease and is incredibly hard to remove. If gum disease is allowed to develop it becomes a more serious strain called periodontitis which can lead to tooth loss and further infection.
If a dentist discovers gingivitis, or periodontitis, he may prescribe anti-biotics to fight the infection. If the infection is too far developed they may be forced to remove some of the gum tissue in a process called a gingivectomy, or even extract the tooth itself.
It is also important to make regular six-month visits to your dentist. They will be able to spot the early onset of gum disease and treat it before it becomes a more serious problem. Gum disease can cause years of pain and costly dental procedures if not prevented or treated quickly. Make an appointment to see your central London dentist and have yourself examined for gum disease as soon as possible.
October 3rd, 2009
It is an often-used adage that prevention is better than cure. Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to looking after your teeth. As anyone who has suffered from any kind of dental problem, ranging from toothache to gum disease, will tell you, it really does pay to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
The easiest way to do this is to have regular six-monthly dental check ups, as advised by dentists. No matter how busy you are, or how frightened you may be, a regular check up with your dentist could save you years of dental related pain, not to mention thousands of pounds.
All sorts of problems can arise with your teeth if you do not visit your dentist on a regular basis. Even patients who brush correctly twice a day, and floss regularly, can develop dental problems they may not be aware of until it is too late. A tooth infection can very quickly develop into an abscess or spread to other teeth in the mouth if not picked up early enough by a dentist. In some circumstances, an infection may be so deep rooted that it will lead to the tooth itself dying and falling out. In extreme cases, a dental infection can cause a wider infection in the body and lead to heart disease and even heart failure. It really is not worth running the risk for the sake of half an hour every six months.
A regular appointment will help to catch these problems early, or even before they arise. For patients who have suffered toothache but believe it to have gone away, it may only be that the infection has killed the nerve endings in the tooth, thus stopping the pain. Only a dentist will be able to diagnose and locate these sorts of problems.
Dentists will also be able to spot the onset of various forms of oral cancer, including cancer of the tongue and throat. An early diagnosis of oral cancer means an 80 per cent or greater chance of survival. Missing the symptoms altogether leads to the unthinkable. City of London dentists will be able to thoroughly examine patients for tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer as part of a regular check up appointment. Prevent dental problems and save yourself the pain, cost and possible heartache of having to treat them.
September 22nd, 2009
The mouth is generally a breeding ground for bacteria but it is the protein-rich areas of the tongue that are home to over 70 per cent of them. The grooves in the surface of the tongue provide the perfect conditions for bacteria to multiply rapidly and then be transported around the rest of the mouth by saliva. This bacteria contributes widely to the onset of periodontal problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. The foul smelling sulfurous compounds released by decaying bacteria and food matter are also responsible for nearly 90 percent of cases of halitosis, or bad breath.
Tongue cleaning devices have been in use for thousands of years and have always played a part in both Chinese and Indian natural treatments. More contemporary tongue cleaners can help to remove some of the 500 million bacteria that live on the average human tongue. They are also able to remove fungi, such as the thrush causing candida, and the decaying food matter that gets lodge in the grooves of the tongue that can cause bad breath.
A dirty tongue is not just the cause of oral concerns, but it has also been linked to wider systematic health problems which include pneumonia, cardiovascular difficulties, osteoporosis and has links to causing diabetes. Dentists and other health professionals therefore empahsise the importance of having a clean tongue for maintaining not just good oral hygiene but a general sense of well being.
London dentists recommend using a specifically designed tongue cleaner as regular toothbrushes are not suitable for cleaning the spongy surface of the tongue. There are some toothbrushes which come with built in tongue cleaners, usually on the back of the head, but your dentist will be able to recommend which tongue cleaner will work for you. There are many reasons to keep your tongue clean and it really will only take a few extra minutes a day, but the benefits could last you a life time.