If You Only Brush Once a Day

Post by: Gerarda on 05 Jul 2022

Maintaining good oral hygiene takes among other things, regularly brushing your teeth. Tell me something I don´t know, you may say.

Dental associations around the world recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time. That means brush after breakfast for two minutes and again at night for another two minutes. That is a whopping four minutes out of your day and yet not everyone follows this recommendation. More people than you might think actually go through the day only brushing once. While that is better than not brushing at all which is essentially 2% of the population, it actually increases your chances of incurring costly dental treatment later on.

Brushing your teeth twice a day as is suggested by dental professionals has a few advantages, it saves the embarrassment of having bad breath and stained teeth.

By brushing only once a day:

1. Cavities are almost a certainty and that increases your risk by 33%. When you brush your teeth, it helps to remove food particles and the sticky substance containing bacteria that forms on your teeth called plaque. This bacteria-containing plaque produces acid which attack tooth enamel and if not removed causes cavities.

2. Increases your chance of getting gum disease – only brushing once every 24 hours creates a feast for the existing bacteria in your mouth. The plaque that isn’t removed hardens and becomes tartar which makes it harder to keep the teeth clean. Tartar build-up on your gums leads to inflammation and bleeding gums that causes gum disease. This is also known as periodontal disease.

3. Can lead to more dental treatment. Needing a one-off filling is one thing and can happen to the best of us, but brushing only once a day almost guarantees more fillings and bigger fillings. Sometimes the tooth is decayed to the point of needing root canal treatment or a crown. Those costs can be avoided by adding another two minutes a day to your brushing routine.

One of the best ways to care for your teeth and gums is simple. Regular brushing. And that means twice a day. After meals.

Adding flossing to your routine is also beneficial, but that is for another day.

 

To Floss or Not To Floss

Post by: Gerarda on 23 Feb 2022

A common question we hear at Stockholm Dental is, “Do I really need to floss, or is brushing enough?” Unlike many things in life, flossing isn’t a mere suggestion; it’s actually an integral part of good oral hygiene, therefore, an indispensable part of your daily routine.

The purpose of flossing is to remove plaque and food particles from tight spaces between your teeth and hard to reach places. Flossing helps to keep your gums protected from bacteria which can cause periodontal disease. Flossing also keeps your teeth free of decay and your smile white.

The purpose of daily flossing is not only to promote healthy teeth, it further contributes to your health in other ways. There is increasing evidence linking periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart disease and an increase of inflammatory substances in the blood. (See blog post Jan 11, 2022)

Teeth brushing alone may not protect you from gum disease and subsequent tooth loss in extreme cases; however, adding flossing to your daily routine helps improve the health of your gums which in turn prevents gums from bleeding and feeding bacteria which causes tooth decay.

The American Dental Association has recommended flossing since 1908 and that recommendation hasn’t changed. Make the most of your oral care routine.

Don’t skip the flossing.

Link Between Gum Disease and Systemic Conditions

Post by: Gerarda on 11 Jan 2022

Many of the patients who sit in our chair suffer from some form of gum disease. Some of those patients may also have an increased risk for developing, or may already have a systemic condition. A systemic condition is one that affects the entire body and not just a particular organ or body part. For example, systemic conditions can be high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, kidney disease, anemia or bleeding disorders to name a few. Most likely patients are unaware that there is a link between gum disease and systemic conditions and this article will address this.

Gum disease is prevalent among many adult patients. The World Health Organization Europe (WHO) has found that severe periodontal (gum) disease can be found in 5–20% of middle-aged (35–44 years) adults and up to 40% of older individuals (65–74 years). Gum disease is also a major contributor to the loss of natural teeth. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that in the U.S. approx. 47% of adults over 30 years old have gum disease, as well as 70% of adults over the age of 65. It is not just a European phenomenon.

For more than 20 years, the U.S. Surgeon General has recognized the link between periodontal disease and other systemic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes; additionally, it found an increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Research conducted by The American Dental Association (ADA) likewise found a link between gum disease and serious systemic health conditions. They say their data is clear and suggests two possible explanations1:

  1. Chronic inflammation in the oral cavity could increase bloodstream inflammatory markers that affect the patient’s immune response or increase the patient’s burden of inflammation.
  2. The oral cavity collects pathogenic bacteria that infiltrate the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body or systemic pathologies.

The American Dental Association (ADA) also suggests that gum disease and other conditions share common factors such as poor diet and smoking that increase the risk for disease. To date though no research has provided a direct link to the cause between gum disease and systemic health conditions. Neither have they proven that if a person receives treatment for gum disease that it will avert any health condition or prevent any progression of systemic conditions.2

The importance of good oral hygiene at home cannot be understated, but in conjunction with ending your smoking habit, exercising on a daily basis along with a balanced diet. This will not only keep your teeth healthy, but could have a major impact on your body as a whole.

 

References

  1. Eke PI, Dye BA, Wei L, Thornton-Evans GO, Genco RJ. Prevalence of periodontitis in adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010. J Dent Res. 2012;91(10):914 -920. doi:10.1177/00220345124573732.
  2. Oral-systemic health. American Dental Association. September 23, 2019. Accessed January 3, 2022. https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/oral-systemic-health

oldman

The study wanted to determine if periodontitis played a role in dementia severity and progression.

A new study jointly led by the University of Southampton and King’s College London has found a link between gum disease and greater rates of cognitive decline in people with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Periodontitis or gum disease is common in older people and may become more common in Alzheimer’s disease because of a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. Higher levels of antibodies to periodontal bacteria are associated with an increase in levels of inflammatory molecules elsewhere in the body, which in turn has been linked to greater rates of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease in previous studies.

The latest study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, set out to determine whether periodontitis or gum disease is associated with increased dementia severity and subsequent greater progression of cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

In the observational study, 59 participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease were cognitively assessed and a blood sample was taken to measure inflammatory markers in their blood. A dental hygienist who was blind to cognitive outcomes assessed participants’ dental health. The majority of participants (52) were followed-up at six months when all assessments were repeated.

The presence of gum disease at baseline was associated with a six-fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline in participants over the six-month follow-up period of the study. Periodontitis at baseline was also associated with a relative increase in the pro-inflammatory state over the six-month follow-up period. The authors conclude that gum disease is associated with an increase in cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease, possibly via mechanisms linked to the body’s inflammatory response.

Limitations of the study included the small number of participants; the authors advise that the study should be replicated ideally with a larger cohort. The precise mechanisms by which gum disease may be linked to cognitive decline are not fully clear and other factors might also play a part in the decline seen in participants’ cognition alongside their oral health.

However, growing evidence from a number of studies links the body’s inflammatory response to increased rates of cognitive decline, suggesting that it would be worth exploring whether the treatment of gum disease might also benefit the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Clive Holmes, senior author from the University of Southampton, says: “These are very interesting results which build on previous work we have done that shows that chronic inflammatory conditions have a detrimental effect on disease progression in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Our study was small and lasted for six months so further trials need to be carried out to develop these results. However, if there is a direct relationship between periodontitis and cognitive decline, as this current study suggests, then treatment of gum disease might be a possible treatment option for Alzheimer’s.”

Dr. Mark Ide, first author from the Dental Institute at King’s College London says: “Gum disease is widespread in the UK and US, and in older age groups is thought to be a major cause of tooth loss. In the UK in 2009, around 80 percent of adults over 55 had evidence of gum disease, whilst 40 percent of adults aged over 65-74 (and 60 percent of those aged over 75) had less than 21 of their original 32 teeth, with half of them reporting gum disease before they lost teeth.

“A number of studies have shown that having few teeth, possibly as a consequence of earlier gum disease, is associated with a greater risk of developing dementia. We also believe, based on various research findings, that the presence of teeth with active gum disease results in higher body-wide levels of the sorts of inflammatory molecules which have also been associated with an elevated risk of other outcomes such as cognitive decline or cardiovascular disease. Research has suggested that effective gum treatment can reduce the levels of these molecules closer to that seen in a healthy state.

“Previous studies have also shown that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have poorer dental health than others of similar age and that the more severe the dementia the worse the dental health, most likely reflecting greater difficulties with taking care of oneself as dementia becomes more severe.”

The full study, “Periodontitis and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease,” was published in PLOS ONE. This research in its present form was reprinted from Dental Products Report.
Categories: Dental health,Dental Information,Gum Disease
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Posted on Tuesday 12th April 2016 at 8:39 am

Extend Your Life Span By Flossing Your Teeth

Post by: Stockholm Dental Clinic on 25 Jan 2013

Christmas is a memory and New Year´s resolutions are fast diminishing their importance as 2013 sees the near end of its first month. Many of our good intentions are quickly flying out the window as time slips by as if it were collecting triple air miles on some exclusive airline. Where is January going? And why is it travelling so quickly?

If one of those resolutions you made with very good intentions was to floss daily, then that is one resolution to keep. If though, you seem to be finding every excuse under the sun not to floss, then I am sure we have heard them all and we can also give you a way around them all.

Do you say that your gums bleed when they floss? Chances are you have gingivitis, something for which you really need to be flossing, or maybe you have the floss too long and it is snapping between the teeth instead of you guiding it with a shorter piece. If you say that the floss shreds when you floss perhaps you have a broken tooth or you have an ill fitting crown. Then you need to see your dentist. If you feel you don´t have time to floss then think of it as part of your daily hygiene. You wash your face and brush your teeth before getting into bed, then add an extra 1-2 min for flossing. What will you do with the 1-2 min you saved otherwise? If you don´t think that food gets between your teeth then you are mistaken, unless your teeth are so spaced that you can see between them. As your tooth brush doesn’t get between the teeth then you need to floss. The micro particles left after eating and drinking need to be flossed away as otherwise they become plaque. Plaque is what causes tooth decay over time, or inflamed gums or periodontal disease.

There are a host of other excuses people use for not flossing, but if research from the prestigious Emory University is to be believed then, “Periodontal disease is a serious health problem that is not just isolated to the mouth and gums,” says Dr. Steven M. Roser. “It can become a portal for infection to enter the body and cause other serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. It has also been proven to affect pregnancy, increasing the risk of low birth weight similar to that of smoking.” And if that is still not enough then, Michael F. Roizen MD states in his book “New Age” that “flossing can add 6.4 years to your life”.

Now what do you think of that extra minute?

Categories: Dental Information
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Posted on Friday 25th January 2013 at 12:40 pm