There have been many reports in the press about the importance of looking after your mouth and gums and its connection with looking after your entire body.

In September 2010 there was an article published in the BBC which talked about the link between heart disease and gum disease. There has since been much media hype about the connection and whether there is a causal link or some other factor which links heart disease and gum disease.

Certainly it seems reasonable to suggest that if you do not look after your entire body health then certain aspects will begin to deteriorate, and that will include your teeth, gums and indeed your heart.

Here is what Whoopi Goldberg thinks, the key information she departs happens at 1 min 30 seconds.

Watch on You Tube

So really the best way forwards is to do everything you can to look after your entire body keeping a healthy, which in turn will reward you with a healthy heart and healthy gums.

The BBC have also written an excellent webpage on looking after your heart, please do click here to visit this page and find out what you can learn.

As dentists it is part of what we do which enables you to look after your teeth and gums, and if you take this seriously the chances are you’ll take your whole body health seriously and enjoy a healthy heart too.

So here is our complete guide to looking after your dental health.

Tooth Decay

This  is a widespread disease of civilization and is preventable. The way decay affects teeth is essentially very simple. It happens when dietary carbohydrates in the mouth are degraded by the bacteria of the mouth.

These refined carbohydrates once broken down into acid cause the tooth surface to dissolve. Different carbohydrates have different potential to damage teeth. Sucrose is the most common sugar that can be harmful to teeth. Talk to us if you think you may be prone to decay or you feel that you have holes in your teeth.

 More information on gum disease and prevention.

Gum Disease

Even in the 21st century there is still no cure for gum disease. 10-15% of the UKpopulation are still at risk of losing significant number of teeth from gum disease. However, with early diagnosis and modern techniques the irreversible effects of this disease can be reversed. Talk to us if you find that your teeth are becoming loose or your gums bleed when you brush your teeth or you suffer from bad breath.

 Toothwear

As people are living longer and keeping their teeth for longer, now it is becoming increasingly common for people to wear away the outer hard surfaces of their teeth, other than by decay or trauma.

In some people teeth may become loose or develop cracks or they slowly chip away. In extreme situations teeth become hypersensitive or develop dental abscesses. People who cannot adapt to this wear often end up with jaw joint, biting or chewing difficulties causing teeth to fit incorrectly.

When the teeth do not fit correctly, further teeth may be lost, in time. The distinction between acceptable and pathological toothwear at a given age is based on a prediction as to whether the teeth will survive that rate of wear in a functional and reasonable aesthetic state until the end of an individual’s life expectancy. Talk to us if you are aware of your teeth showing any of the above problems.

Loss of teeth is now considered to be just as devastating to some people as loosing any limb. Apart from the initial trauma of tooth removal, there are also functional disabilities as well as potential of social rejection in western society.

Replacement of teeth can be very time consuming, costly and not always predictable. However, simple preventative techniques can avoid years of misery of having to live with difficulties in eating and speaking especially when socialising due to active dental problems or missing teeth. Such problems cause discomfort or embarrassment and take away the self-confidence which means that an important ingredient is missing in people’s lives.

 Mouth Cancer

Although it is rare, it is still the 5th most common cancer that can affect people who are susceptible. If diagnosed early, treatment is simple and straightforward. However, if untreated, its consequences are devastating.

 What can you do to ensure your mouth is healthy?

Our role as Dental Health Educator is paramount in helping you prevent dental problems so that you can keep your teeth for life. So we recommend you follow these simple six steps to help you keep your teeth fit and healthy.

  1. Brush your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes with a fluoride containing toothpaste. You have to be shown how to brush for brushing to be effective and we recommend using a good quality electric toothbrush.
  2. Get the correct dietary advice which is appropriate for your lifestyle.
  3. Fluoride supplements may be necessary if you are at high risk of developing decay.
  4. Floss your teeth at least once daily.
  5. Use a mouthwash that is right for you to combat decay, gum disease or bad breath.
  6. Have regular dental checks at an interval as agreed between you and your dentist

Looking after your own teeth is actually a simple process of getting into a routine daily. Watching out for any signs of redness or bleeding in your gums and coming to see us if you notice any.

If you follow the simple six steps above and don’t ignore any warning signs then you are sure to enjoy a healthy mouth and healthy body for life.

People also often ask what is the best tooth brushing technique? Well, here is your answer.

Craigentinny Dental Care is a local Edinburgh-based dental practice dedicated to ensuring the people of Scotland enjoy a healthy mouth and healthy life.

Dr. Fraser Hendrie BDS (Glasg.) MFGDP (UK)

Fraser is a Glasgow graduate with over 20 years of experience. He is the one of the principal dentists at Craigentinny Dental Care in Edinburgh. He has a reputation for consistent, high quality work and a love of innovation. Many of Dr Hendrie’s patients travel from the far reaches of Scotland, the UK and beyond. So wherever you live from Portobello or around Edinburgh to further afield he will be pleased to meet you. He is a member of the Student Clinicians of the American Dental Association, British Dental Association, the Association of Dental Implantology, and has studied at the Pankey Institute in Miami on several occasions. Fraser has particular interests in Dental Implantology, Preventive dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry and information technology. Fraser has also been admitted to the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners by examination. Fraser is married with two young children and lives in Edinburgh. In his free time he enjoys running, cycling, and kite-surfing.