Oral Health Advice
We have included some general advice on the two most common causes of Dental disease both of which can if left un-checked result in tooth loss.They are Tooth Decay & Gum disease.
This occurs when bacteria and sugar interact on your tooth surface over a period of time. Most of these bacteria are naturally present in your mouth, however sugar is not. So without sugar tooth decay cannot occur.
To help minimise your risk of tooth decay:
- Reduce the amount of sugar you consume in a day
- Reduce the number of times you consume sugary food and drinks during the day
- Regularly brush you teeth to clear away any sugar & food debris that may be present in your mouth
Foodstuffs with high sugar content:
- Sweets & chocolates
- Fizzy drinks
- Sugar added to tea & coffee
- Processed foods and sauces which often have sugar added eg Ketchup, mayonnaise baked beans
- Fruit squashes
Gum disease is caused by harmful bacteria that are found just below the gum line .To ensure the prevention of gum disease these bacteria need to be disturbed on a regular basis by the action of tooth brushing and the use of oral hygiene aids such as interdental floss and interdental brushes.
Importantly your tooth brushing regime also includes brushing where your teeth meet the gum and not just your teeth alone as this is often area where bacteria can build up and still cause gum disease.
- You should brush your teeth twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time.
- When brushing place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your tooth so the toothbrush bristles point towards the gum.
- Aim for the tips of bristles to clean just underneath the gum line.
- Brush the back of your tongue to remove bacteria that may cause bad breath.
- Your toothbrush cannot reach all the way in between your teeth so for those hard to reach gaps use floss or interdental brushes 3-4 times a week
Oral Cancer awareness
One of the most important roles of your Dentist is to screen patients for early signs of Oral Cancer which is another very good reason to visit your Dentist regularly.
During your Oral Health Check the Dentist will examine your mouth for any abnormalities which may be early warning signs of Oral Cancer. These might include:
- Ulcers, sores on the face,neck or mouth which have not healed within 3 weeks
- Swellings or lumps on the lips,gums or other areas inside the mouth
- White,red or dark patches in the mouth
- Repeated bleeding in the mouth
- Any numbness,loss of feeling or pain in any area of the face, mouth or neck
Also we'll update your medical history details at each check up which will help us assess if you are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
Risk factors include:
- Chewing tobacco products
- Consuming excessive amounts alcohol
- Exposure to sunlight on a regular basis
- Habits such as lip & cheek biting
- Ill-fitting dentures
Click here for more advice via the The British Dental Health Foundation website.