Why your gum health is so important

Research has long found links between gum disease and strokes, diabetes, bacterial lung infections, heart disease and problems with pregnancy. There is now a risk that Gum Health (gum disease) and dementia could be connected.

Our Bexleyheath dentists and hygienists advise that gum disease is the single biggest cause of tooth loss. We have so much more to lose than our teeth if we don’t put the health of our gums as our top priority.

The fact that our dental wellbeing is so closely linked to our overall health means that regular visits to your dentist and hygienist are absolutely vital. We recommend that our patients from across Bexleyheath, southeast London and Kent and the surrounding towns come to Danson Park Dental Practice every 12 months as an absolute minimum.

Dentists and hygienists are well placed to spot the early signs of dementia and mouth cancer .These are other reasons why we encourage our patients to visit us regularly.

The Alzheimer’s Society estimate that there are currently more than 850,000 people with dementia in the UK . This will be over one million by 2025. Studies have shown that people with dementia have poorer oral health than those without the disease due to impairment of cognitive skills and a reliance on care providers.

Dental teams such as ours can identify the early signs of dementia through monitoring any deterioration in oral health. We help people to be diagnosed quicker by referring them to their GP for further investigation.

George McNamara from the Alzheimer’s Society said. “We recognise how important an oral health care programme is for people with dementia. This should be established early as possible so that people can independently maintain their oral health. Once the condition progresses their carer will need to support them in keeping their teeth healthy.”

We are also able to help people with dementia maintain a good quality of oral health and reduce discomfort.

If you have any concerns about your dental health or that of a loved one. Please contact us today on 020 8303 3726. We can provide lots of helpful advice and would be only too happy to help.

 

stress-free

Modern dental methods make for stress-free visits

Fear of the dentist has once again been in the media spotlight recently and we would like to remind our patients that modern dentistry methods make a patient’s visit to the dentist easy and almost completely pain free.

In the UK as a whole, more than 80 per cent of adults suffer from dental decay and 90 per cent experience a degree of gum disease at some time in their life. Regular visits to the dentist are a big factor in preventing this but very often it is dental anxiety that keeps patients away.

Around 50 per cent of our population does not visit the dentist – and a quarter of those fail to do so because they are too afraid. These statistics cause us great concern at Danson Park Dental Practice in Bexleyheath, Kent.

We are proud to have helped many dentally phobic patients overcome their dental anxiety – and even look forward to their dental appointments!

Our dentists, hygiene team and dental nurses all do their utmost to make dental visits as calm and stress-free as possible. We do this in a number of ways; by being patient, understanding, unhurried, genuinely empathic and investing in technology that helps relieve anxiety.

Overcoming fear in children

Trying not to pass on our fears to our children can be tricky. Our advice is to bring your child into your appointment with you from birth. That way they will grow up understanding that the dentist isn’t a scary place. We will encourage them to sit in the ‘big chair’ and won’t ask to look inside their mouth until they are about two years old. By that time we hope they will be so comfortable in the dental environment they will race to get into the chair before you do.

If you would like to feel less anxious about your dental appointments, please give Danson Park Dental Practice a call. Our door is always open to new patients and we look forward to meeting you and your family soon.

 

 

Smile and the world smiles with you

Smile and the world smiles with you

It stands to reason that if you feel confident about your teeth, you are more likely to smile. And the more you smile, the bigger the impact on yourself and those around you.

There are lots of benefits of smiling, so spread some happiness this summer with a beaming smile.

Smiling is contagious and studies report that just seeing one person smiling activates the area of your brain that controls your facial movement, which leads to a grin. Smiling also helps lower stress and anxiety. The act releases endorphins in your brain that make you feel calmer and lowers your heart rate.

Got any smile niggles?

If you have any niggles about your teeth that you’d like corrected this summer. Speak to one of the talented Bexleyheath dentists at Danson Park Dental Practice. Our dentists and hygienists offer a range of affordable dental, cosmetic and orthodontic treatments to our patients from across southeast London and Kent.

Fresh breath

After a thorough hygiene session your mouth will feel super clean. If you’re worried that your breath is anything less than minty fresh, then arrange an appointment with our hygiene team.

Snow-white smiles

Dazzle this summer with a brighter, whiter smile. Tooth whitening is quick, easy, long lasting and can give your smile and your spirits a real lift.

Same day smile makeovers

We are firm believers in minimally invasive dentistry wherever possible and offer composite bonding that conserves healthy tooth tissue and naturally strengthens the remaining tooth.

This quick, painless and reversible technique is particularly useful when creating less invasive crowns, bridges and reconstructions, closing unsightly gaps and revitalising old or worn teeth, making them whiter. Layers of super-strong and long lasting filling material is perfectly colour-matched with your teeth and built up to look like natural teeth – with amazing results.

Tooth-coloured fillings

Having a mouthful of metal fillings can make some people feel self conscious about smiling and laughing freely. If you would like to find out more about replacing any amalgam (metal) fillings with tooth-coloured fillings that blend with your natural teeth, please give us a call.

Our door is always open to new patients, so please feel free to pop into our lovely, welcoming practice on Crook Log. We look forward to meeting you soon.

 

Dental Phobia

Dental fear can ruin lives – as revealed in C4 show

Dental phobia (anxiety) was under the spotlight in a programme on Channel 4 called Never Seen a Doctor*. It followed a couple in their 50s who had avoided visiting the dentist following traumatic experiences in the dental chair.

Dental fear – also called dental phobia, dentophobia, dentist phobia and dental anxiety – is the fear of dentistry and of receiving dental care.

People who are very fearful of dental care often experience a ‘cycle of avoidance’ in which they avoid dental care until they experience a dental emergency requiring invasive treatment, which can reinforce their fear of dentistry.

Terrible consequences

In the C4 show, Janice and Greg hadn’t seen a dentist for 15 and 30 years respectively. Greg had developed severe gum disease that had left him with just nine, rotten teeth and serious gum and bone deterioration. His lack of teeth had resulted in him wasting away over the years, whereas Janice’s dental problems – and eventual complete lack of teeth – meant she’d become morbidly obese on a diet of soft, fatty foods. The couple hadn’t kissed in years because of their advanced dental deterioration.

As dental professionals at Danson Park Dental Practice in Bexleyheath, we found it incredibly sad that their lives had been so damaged by a terrible experience with a dentist.

Our Kent dentists and dental hygienists are ideally placed to help soothe dentophobics, so please don’t suffer in silence.

Please don’t neglect your teeth

We urge anyone who is fearful of the dentist not to neglect their teeth. As well as the problems highlighted in the TV programme, research has linked poor dental health to heart disease, bacterial lung infections, premature births, diabetes and strokes, meaning regular visits are vital to maintaining good general health and wellbeing.

If you have any concerns about your dental health or that of a loved one, please contact us today on 020 8303 3726. We can provide lots of helpful advice and would be only too happy to help.

* Never Seen a Doctor is available on demand.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Dreaming of a more perfect smile? Talk to our cosmetic dentists in Bexleyheath!

In the past, we Brits have been the butt of jokes for having rubbish teeth. While glaring white Hollywood gnashers are generally not our cup of tea, we are now more aware of our smiles and what can be done to improve them.

Advances in modern dentistry at Danson Park Dental Practice in southeast London mean that even the most crooked, stained, chipped, incomplete smiles can be transformed, and our Bexleyheath dentists have a huge range of procedures in their armoury of cosmetic solutions.

Adult patients who have spent years hiding their smile are deciding enough is enough – and this applies as much to people in their 20s as their 70s!

The popularity of adult braces is booming. Braces and appliances to straighten teeth are now more comfortable, can be almost invisible and can completely change smiles in a matter of months.

Dental implants permanently replace a missing tooth or teeth, and can also be used to securely anchor dentures. Porcelain veneers and crowns can be crafted in one day, allowing patients to hide discolouration or close unsightly gaps, improving their appearance instantly.

Stained teeth, discoloured by tea, coffee, red wine or smoking, can be brightened with tooth whitening, and metal fillings can be replaced with natural-coloured ones to allow people to laugh with confidence.

Looking to improve your smile? Visit Danson Park Dental Practice for a cosmetic consultation. Call us on 020 8303 3726 or click here to book an appointment.

Mouth Cancer

Are you mouth aware? Visit our dental practice to find out (mouth cancer) 

As of today the UK has had more than 6,700 people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the last year.

It remains one of very few cancers that is predicted to increase further in the coming years. The disease has grown by a third in the last decade.

Mouth cancer can affect anybody – that’s why it’s so important that we all know what to look out for.

Early diagnosis saves lives

The Bexleyheath dentists at Danson Park Dental Practice in southeast London offer mouth cancer examinations for patients all year round – so book your appointment now.

We screen our patients at least annually because early diagnosis saves lives, improving survival chances from half of cases to more than 90%.

Take action

Remember to never ignore:

  • Ulcers that do not heal within three weeks
  • Red and white patches in the mouth
  • Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth

Get checked out – you can call Danson Park Dental Practice on 020 8303 3726 to book.

Shocking statistics

Mouth cancer kills more than 2,000 people each year in the UK, which is more than testicular and cervical cancer combined. Mouth cancer also takes more lives a year than road traffic accidents in the UK. By knowing more about the risk factors, living healthier lifestyles and by learning what to look out for we can help reduce our risk and lower the number of lives that mouth cancer affects.

Know the risk factors

• Smoking – Considered the leading cause of mouth cancer with one in five people in the UK smoke.

• Alcohol – Drinking to excess can increase mouth cancer risks by four times. As alcohol aids the absorption of tobacco into the mouth. Those who smoke and drink to excess are up to 30 times more likely to develop the disease.

• HPV virus – The human papillomavirus, transmitted via oral sex, is increasingly being linked to mouth cancer. Younger people are particularly at risk as are those with multiple partners.

• Poor diet – An unhealthy diet has been the cause for 50% of cases

• Chewing or smokeless tobacco – Although some people believe this type of tobacco is safer than smoking, the reality is that it is much more dangerous.

Three-quarters of cases are linked to tobacco and alcohol so it is important that smokers are encouraged to quit and alcohol is drunk in moderation. Prevention is key and lifestyle choices can help minimise risks.

If you smoke or drink regularly, please make sure you visit us as often as your Bexleyheath dentist advises so that we can check your oral health.

For more information, please visit www.mouthcancer.org or www.mouthcancerfoundation.org

Healthy Smile

Bexleyheath dentist asks ‘what does a healthy smile look like to you?’

As dentists we strive to keep your mouth, teeth and gums in great shape , but what makes a smile look healthy in your opinion? This is the question the dental team  at Danson Park Dental Practice in Bexleyheath asked and here are the top five things we discovered:

 

Clean and shiny teeth

When it comes to our teeth, it seems that debris, plaque and dull teeth are the epitome of poor health. Healthy teeth  are spotlessly clean and shiny – and the best way to achieve this is by brushing our teeth for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. The areas between our teeth are incredibly important too and to get to these hard to reach areas, we suggest using interdental brushes. These tiny brushes are inserted between the teeth to ensure any food particles or plaque are removed.

 

Fresh breath

Sweet smelling breath helps our mouths feel healthy – for us and for those around us. Bad breath or halitosis can be caused by a number of things including eating certain foods, poor oral hygiene, alcohol or tobacco use, dry mouth, or by some medical conditions. If the cause of your bad breath is poor dental health, then speak to a dental hygienist . Hygienists are specially trained to help improve the health of our mouths and do so by meticulously cleaning our teeth and gums. They can also provide oral health and smoking cessation advice.

 

White and bright

Yellow may be the ideal summer colour but when it comes to our teeth, they have to be white. Depending on how white you’d like to go, you can choose a thorough hygiene clean , air polishing, which uses water and a fine powder to return our teeth to their natural brightness, or tooth whitening , a quick, impressive and cost effective way to give your teeth a boost.

 

Stain free

Our teeth become stained by drinking tea, coffee and red wine, by eating certain foods, such as curries and by smoking. Certain medications can also affect the colour of our teeth, as can the ageing process. Whatever the reason, stained teeth can appear unhealthy, even if they are actually strong and dentally sound. A hygiene polish can help, as can tooth whitening but for a longer lasting result, composite bonding may be the solution. Layers of a strong, white filling material are added to teeth for dramatic results.

 

Pink gums

Inflamed, red and sore gums do not make for a healthy smile. To keep your gums in the pink and gum disease at bay, regular visits to your dentist and hygienist are vital.

 

If you would like to enjoy a healthier smile, the door to our dental practice in southeast London is always open to new patients. We look forward to meeting you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Problems with Wisdom tooth

Wisdom teeth are something most people have to deal with at some point.

Impacted wisdom teeth are wisdom teeth which do not fully come through in the mouth. When the wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow they may come out sideways or at a wrong angle and put pressure onto the jaw, the tooth in front or even get infected.

Wisdom teeth usually lie very close to a major nerve in the mouth and the roots of the other teeth. They should be extracted and treated by a Specialist.

The typical signs of infection around wisdom teeth are:

  • Pain
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Swelling around the jaw
  • Bad breath
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Headache

 

Once wisdom teeth are infected the only option for treatment is surgical extraction. This procedure is best carried out by a specialist to avoid damage to the adjacent tooth and the major nerves in the mouth.

Danson Park Dental Practice is the recognised Oral Surgery centre in the Kent area, which provides specialist oral surgery procedures and happy to accept referrals from  colleagues. If you think you may have problems with bad breath, tension headache or bleeding gums that maybe due to an impacted wisdom tooth why don’t you call us and make an appointment to see our Specialist Oral Surgeon.

Please call us on 020 8303 3726.

 

Diabetes and Periodontal Diseases: A Two-Way Street

If you have diabetes, you know that it’s important to regulate your blood sugar levels for the well-being of your body from head to toe. But you may not know that what happens to you from head to toe can affect your diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is not a single disease; it occurs in several forms and has complications that affect virtually every system of the body. If you have diabetes, you may be at a greater risk for developing other medical conditions, including periodontal disease (also known as gum disease).

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial gum infection that inflames gum tissue and destroys the attachment fibres and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. Left untreated, the teeth may fall out or need to be removed. Periodontal disease is the sixth leading complication of diabetes. Studies show that diabetic patients are up to 4.2 times more likely to develop periodontal disease than those without diabetes. This is probably because diabetic patients are more susceptible to contracting infections.
Research suggests that the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes goes both ways – periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. Periodontal disease may increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with high blood sugar. Consequently, it is important for diabetic patients to treat periodontal disease to eliminate the infection. In fact, periodontal treatment combined with antibiotics has been shown to improve blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, suggesting that treating patients periodontal disease could decrease insulin requirements.
The good news is that if your diabetes is under control, you are less likely to develop periodontal disease than someone whose diabetes is poorly controlled.
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology concluded that poorly controlled diabetic patients respond differently to bacterial plaque at the gum line than well controlled diabetic patients. Poorly controlled patients with diabetes also have more harmful proteins in their gum tissue causing destructive inflammation of the gums.
See your dentist or hygienist for a periodontal evaluation, and begin taking care of your oral health today.

Listen To Your Mouth for Health Clues
Since doctors believe many health complications can be prevented with good diabetic control, it’s important to pay attention to what your oral health is telling you. Signs and symptoms related to oral health may provide clues about the presence of diabetes or uncontrolled diabetes. Investigate your mouth and take note of some of the following clues:
 Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
 Red, swollen or tender gums
 Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
 Dry mouth
If you notice any of the clues listed above, you will want to contact your dentist or hygienist and inform them of your symptoms. You can have periodontal disease without any symptoms, so an evaluation is the best way to know if you have periodontal disease. Proper oral hygiene is the best method to prevent periodontal disease. Prevention includes daily flossing to break up the bacterial colonies between the teeth, proper daily brushing to prevent plaque build-up and professional cleanings at least twice a year to remove calculus from places the toothbrush and floss may have missed.

NUTRITION & GUM DISEASE…

WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?

Gum disease, or periodontal disease as it is more correctly known, starts as gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums around the teeth, often characterised by tenderness, redness and bleeding during brushing. If untreated, it may develop into pyorrhoea, which is a chronic, degenerative disease of the gums, characterised by further gum inflammation, bad breath, discharge of pus and loosening of the teeth. As inflammation progresses, the gums recede from the teeth allowing deeper tissues -the collagen, ligaments and bone supporting the teeth to become affected. This is periodontitis.

As it becomes more advanced, deep pockets form between the teeth and the surrounding tissue, abscesses develop under the roots of the teeth, bone loss continues and teeth may fall out. In adults over the age of thirty, more teeth are lost from periodontal disease than from tooth decay.

In addition to causing pain, general malaise, fatigue and bad breath, periodontal disease is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, respiratory disease and nutritional deficiencies.

 

Gum Disease

CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT

The care of a periodontal specialist, combined with good oral hygiene and plaque control measures, is essential in treating gum disease. A periodontist will use techniques such as scaling to remove plaque deposits above and below the gumline, root planing to smooth rough root surfaces so that the gum can heal, and oral irrigation to flush out bacteria and toxins. If very deep pockets have formed around teeth and bone has been lost, periodontal surgery may be recommended to remove gum flaps, so that the roots of the teeth are accessible for cleaning. Recently, techniques for regenerating lost periodontal attachment have been developed. A gel containing the protein amelogenin has been used with some success as an adjunct to surgery, to reawaken the growth of periodontal tissue.

NUTRITIONAL THERAPY FOR GUM DISEASE

In general terms, the diet that provides for good gum health is no different from that which provides for optimal health of the whole body.

It should be nutrient-rich and based on fresh natural foods, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, fish, beans and seeds. It should be low in sugar, refined carbohydrates, salt and alcohol and should avoid damaged fats, artificial additives and allergenic foods. Foods that are high in bioflavonoids, such as blue-black fruits, onions, citrus pith and hawthorn berries should be included as these compounds are important in maintaining healthy collagen structure. A diet that is high in fibre may protect against gum disease by promoting the secretion of saliva.

Specific nutritional supplements have been used with success in the treatment of periodontal disease.

 

Nutritian and Oral Heath

The following daily supplement programme is likely to be helpful…

Coenzyme Q10 (50 to 150 mg)

Coenzyme Q10 (Co Q10) is chemically similar to vitamin E and is involved in electron transfer in the mitochondria. Early work suggested that people with periodontal disease may be deficient in Co Q10.(14) In double blind trials, 50mg a day of Co Q10, given for three weeks, led to a significant reduction in the symptoms of gingivitis.(15) More recent studies have shown that the topical application of Co Q10 may also improve periodontitis (16), although the conclusions of this research have been questioned.(17)

 Vitamin C (2 to 4g)

Vitamin C supplementation can improve the symptoms of periodontitis in people who have a low intake of the vitamin (below 35 mg daily) (18), although there is less evidence that it benefits people who already consume adequate amounts in their diet. (19) However, vitamin C is necessary to maintain a healthy immune system, to combat free radical damage and to promote healing. A daily supplement would seem sensible.

 Bioflavonoids (500mg to 1g)

The bioflavonoids that often accompany vitamin C in foods, which are important for collagen structure, can reduce gum inflammation when taken as a supplement. (20)

Beta-carotene (100,000i.u)

Vitamin A is necessary for collagen synthesis and wound healing, maintaining the integrity of periodontal tissues and enhancing immune function. Beta-carotene may be the best form of vitamin A to take, due to its affinity with gum tissue, potent antioxidant activity and safety at high dosages. (21)

Zinc (15-30mg)

Zinc functions synergistically with vitamin A, inhibits plaque growth and helps to stabilise membranes in the periodontal tissues. (22) Citrate or picolinate are the best forms to take.

Vitamin E (200 to 400 i.u)

Vitamin E has been shown to be of benefit in severe periodontal disease, due to its antioxidant and wound healing properties.

Selenium (200mcg)

Selenium and vitamin E act synergistically as antioxidants.

Folic acid (2mg)

Double blind studies have shown that folic acid can significantly reduce gum inflammation. (23) This is a particularly important supplement for women who are on the contraceptive pill or are pregnant.

A diet that is high in fibre may protect against gum disease by promoting the secretion of saliva

TOPICAL TREATMENTS AND HERBAL MOUTHWASHES

Co Q10, folic acid and zinc have shown to be beneficial when used topically for gum disease. A mouthwash containing copper citrate is claimed to be effective in preventing plaque bacteria from sticking to the teeth below the gumline. A herbal mouthwash containing chamomile, echinacea, myrrh, peppermint, clove, caraway and sage has been used successfully to treat gingivitis. White oak bark, tea tree, goldenseal, grapefruit seed extract and aloe vera may also be helpful, due to their immune boosting, bactericidal or anti-inflammatory properties.