June 5th, 2019
A UK think tank has suggested that sugar consumption should be treated in the same way as smoking, in a bid to clamp down on public health issues, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and childhood decay.
In the last decade, every effort has been made to discourage people from smoking, and initiatives like prohibiting public smoking, adding warnings to packaging, banning advertising and selling cigarettes in plain boxes, have all had an extremely positive impact. In 2017, the number of smokers in England hit an all-time low.
Based on the success of measures enforced over the last 10 years, the Institute for Public Policy Research has compiled a new report, which suggests that sugary foods should be sold in plain packaging. Tom Kibasi, director of IPPR, believes that eliminating alluring wrappers and labels would help parents to resist “pester power.” The think tank would like to see this move introduced as part of a wider range of initiatives, including a ban on junk food advertising.
Representatives from the food and drink industry have been quick to respond to the report. The Food and Drink Federation suggested that branding represents a “fundamental commercial freedom,” which is vital for competition. Similar arguments were put forward by leading tobacco companies, but the government stood firm and it remains to be seen what kinds of measures will be introduced surrounding the promotion of sugary foods in the future.
A sugar tax has already been enforced on fizzy drinks, but with rates of obesity and childhood decay increasing, many health experts believe that more forceful action needs to be taken to reduce sugar consumption, especially among children. The latest research indicates that the average teenager in England consumers three-times the recommended intake of sugar.
January 20th, 2017
It’s a brand new year, and many of us have made resolutions. If you’re keen to boost your health this year, don’t forget about your teeth and gums. An attractive, healthy smile could be your best weapon if you’re hoping to find ‘the one’ or land that dream job this year. Here are 5 resolutions that will help you achieve beautiful, bright, healthy teeth:
- Quit smoking: many people automatically think of the lungs when they consider the impact of smoking. However, it’s also damaging for your mouth. Smoking stains the teeth, and increases the risk of gum disease. It also slows the natural healing processes after dental surgery, and it’s one of the main risk factors for oral cancer. Giving up smoking is no mean feat. It takes willpower, strength of mind, and commitment. If you’d like to try and give up smoking, we are here to help you.
- Cut down on sugar: most of us consume too much sugar. If you have a high sugar diet, this can increase your risk of dental problems, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Avoid adding sugar to hot drinks, and replace fizzy drinks with sugar-free cordial or water. Use a food diary or an app to keep track of your sugar intake, and always read the labels to check the sugar content of the foods and drinks you buy. Even ‘healthy’ products like cereal bars and bottles of juice can contain a lot more sugar than you’d think.
- Keep up to date with dental appointments: has it been a while since you went to the dentist? If so, make 2017 the year your dental attendance record is perfect. Seeing a dentist for regular check-ups reduces your risk of developing cavities and gum disease by up to 60 percent. It will also help to save you money on dental care in the long-run.
- Clean your teeth: Have you been lax with your dental hygiene routine in the last few months? If so, it’s time to make up for lost time, and get brushing. You should brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time.
- Exercise: you may not think that exercise has benefits for your oral health, but you’d be amazed at just how good for you a jog in the park or a session at the gym can be. Exercising boosts your immunity, which reduces your risk of oral infections, and it also improves circulation, which decreases your risk of developing gum disease.
October 4th, 2014
Sleeping disorders are relatively common and there are thousands of people suffering from sleepless nights as a result. If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnoea and it’s taking its toll on your energy levels, your health and your mood, we are here to help.
What is sleep apnoea?
Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder, which is characterised by periods of apnoea, disruptions in breathing. When you have sleep apnoea, your breathing becomes suppressed as a result of the airway becoming blocked; this is usually the result of the muscles in the airway relaxing. Sleep apnoea can be extremely dangerous and even fatal and it is important that it is managed carefully.
The main risk factor for sleep apnoea is being overweight.
Snoring is not the same as sleep apnoea, but persistent snoring often indicates that the body is struggling to get enough oxygen and this can be a symptom of sleep apnoea.
Managing sleep apnoea
There are various different approaches, which are used to treat and manage sleep apnoea. In mild cases, simple lifestyle changes, including giving up smoking, cutting down on alcohol and losing weight. The best way to lose weight and sustain healthy weight loss is to exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced and calorie-controlled diet.
If you have concerns about sleep apnoea, don’t suffer in silence; we can help you to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
April 4th, 2014
One of the most important and effective methods of diagnosing oral cancer cases at an early stage is dental checks. Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to keep tabs on your oral health, as well as giving them the opportunity to look out for changes in the soft tissue in the mouth and warning signs of oral cancer. Like most other forms of cancer, the earlier mouth cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis.
What causes oral cancer?
The main risk factors for oral cancer include smoking, drinking alcohol on a regular basis, a poor diet and HPV (human papilloma virus) infection. If you drink and smoke, you’re up to 30 times more likely to develop oral cancer than a non-smoker who only drinks occasionally.
Most cases of oral cancer are diagnosed in men over the age of 40 years old; however, there has been a significant increase in the number of cases reported among younger people and this is believed to be due to HPV exposure and an increase in binge drinking and alcohol consumption.
Why are regular check-ups so important?
When you have a dental check-up, your dentist will out for symptoms of decay and gum disease, such as cavities, swollen and sore gums, but they will also look for potential warning signs of mouth cancer. The earlier these signs are picked up, the earlier they can be investigated and a diagnosis made. Early treatment increases the chances of survival by up to 90 per cent and can literally make the difference between life and death. Currently, the 5 year survival rate is relatively low for oral cancer and this is largely due to the fact that most cases are diagnosed too late.
We encourage all our patients to see their dentist every 6-9 months and to look out for potential symptoms of mouth cancer, such as ulcers that heal very slowly, red or white patches, which appear in the mouth or throat and any abnormal lumps or swelling in the mouth.
March 20th, 2014
Most of us agree that a bright, white smile looks much more attractive than yellowy discoloured teeth, but are you aware that your diet could be influencing the aesthetic of your smile?
Certain foods have been proven to increase staining and these include:
- soy sauce
- fruit juice
- curry and spicy foods
- red wine
- white wine
- cola and other dark fizzy drinks
Smoking is also a major cause of tooth discolouration and poor oral hygiene is almost certain to result in the natural whiteness of the teeth fading.
What can be done to brighten the smile?
In addition to cutting down on the foods and drinks listed above, good oral hygiene also makes a massive difference to the appearance of the teeth. Brushing your teeth helps to polish the surface of the teeth, as well as removing plaque and bacteria, giving your teeth a healthy glow. Regular dental hygiene sessions are also really beneficial; your hygienist is able to use powerful cleaning instruments to banish plaque and remove surface stains from your teeth, making them look much whiter and brighter.
Tooth whitening treatment is really popular and it has instant impact. Whether you choose home whitening treatment or a professional in-chair treatment, your smile will look whiter and more radiant. Whitening treatment is very quick, simple and safe when offered by trained dentists and it makes your smile look lovely and healthy.
June 25th, 2012
While it has long been acknowledged that tobacco is highly detrimental to good oral hygiene, further research continues to be undertaken exploring the effects of cannabis on healthy teeth and gums. There is an increasing body of evidence that links the use of cannabis with the early onset of tooth decay and gum disease. A recent study followed a group of people who smoked cannabis from the age of 18 until 32. Those that continued to smoke cannabis until the age 32 were found to be 1.6 times more likely to have gum disease.
As with tobacco, there is a large quantity of tar that is inhaled when cannabis is smoked, in the process a lot of tar sticks to your teeth, gums and mouth. Over time this tar, along with plaque and food particles, can build up and begin to cause tooth decay. While it is essential to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, the tar can become very stubbornly stuck over time and hard to remove through your regular dental hygiene routine. Cannabis also has the effect of decreasing saliva production of the salivary gland. Adequate saliva is very important for the breakdown of food particles and self-cleaning processes in your mouth. Cannabis, and products commonly smoked in conjunction, are carcinogenic and so greatly increase your risk of cancer, including oral cancer.
There are a wide variety of risks associated with cannabis and tooth decay, for further information you should speak to your Central London dentist about the adverse effects and what preventative measures can be taken.