According to the National Obesity Council, the UK is the world’s 6th most obese nation. And according to the World Health Organisation, nearly 100% of adults in industrialised countries (of which we are one) have dental cavities. That paints us in a pretty unhealthy light! When it comes to our health and overall well-being, more often than not we focus on what we perceive to be the more pressing health issues prevalent in our society today: Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes and arthritis – conditions which are often directly or indirectly associated with the alarming rise in obesity and our culture of unhealthy living. One issue that we don’t tend to prioritise, until we actually have a problem, is our teeth, or rather the health of our teeth and gums. Read More
Life is a miraculous thing when you think about the cycle of evolution and just how far we’ve come over the course of the centuries. We now know more about life and the theory of evolution than ever before, and what’s especially mind-blowing is that we still have not yet discovered anywhere close to all of the different species currently living on this planet with us. Read More
We all know that too much sugar causes tooth decay and that we need to go to the dentist regularly if we want our teeth and gums to stay healthy. But if you thought that tooth decay and gum disease were the scourge of a modern society, addicted to too much sugar and fat, or that ‘cosmetic dentistry’ was a modern trend, you may be surprised.
So how far back do such things as toothbrushes, toothpaste and dentures really go? Who first discovered gum disease? Who coined the name ‘Dentist’? And who was the first dentist – or periodontist for that matter?
Read on to discover some of the weird and wonderful facts about dentistry and gum disease you probably never knew (or even thought you’d need to know… until now!) Read More
Gum disease is a common problem that can indicate the presence of a serious infection. Amazingly, even after all of the advances in modern medicine, over half of all adults in the UK will suffer from gum problems at some time. However, far more worrying is the fact that if you are suffering from gum disease, or periodontal disease as it is also known, it’s not just your teeth that are at risk. Although gum disease can be something people fear more from a cosmetic point of view than a medical point of view due to its unsightly disfigurement of the teeth and gums, this is a very misguided viewpoint. Latest studies have linked this disease to other serious health concerns such as stroke, diabetes, heart disease and degenerative ailments. Therefore, quickly identifying the signs of gum disease is the best way to prevent the condition worsening and causing serious lasting damage. Read More
Our teeth are a fundamental part of our overall appearance, giving us the confidence to welcome the world with a smile. Because a good smile is such an integral part of our beauty-conscious culture, persuading people to spend money on products and treatments to make their teeth whiter, brighter and ‘healthier’ is easy. But your teeth are not the only component of a healthy smile. Healthy gums are an essential but all too often over-looked part of the mix. Minor symptoms, for example bleeding gums, tend to get overlooked and dismissed as “unimportant”, when in fact, they can be one of the early signs of gum disease and, as such, far more important than most people realise. Read More
Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, can be a major turn off and can even cause lower self-esteem because it makes you conscious of how close you get to people and how you interact in your social life. Since dealing with it means you need to address the root cause for lasting results, finding out the underlying cause of your bad breath is paramount. It is also important to note that bad breath has been identified as an underlying symptom of other more serious diseases, which, left untreated go far beyond the embarrassment and discomfort of having a bad taste in the mouth. Read More
Yes, it is possible to reverse periodontal disease. However, before you know how to treat this oral health condition, you must first know what you are facing. The first thing to know is that there are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the swelling of the gums that is caused by the accumulation of bacteria along the gum line. If the gingivitis is left untreated, it leads to periodontitis. Symptoms of periodontal disease include receding gums, inflammation along the gum line, pain, and sensitivity to changes in temperature. Read More
The number of people exercising to stay healthy is at an all time high. And the health industry is at its peak because everybody knows sport and exercise is a major component in avoiding disease and leading a healthy lifestyle. However, is there a darker side to all that exercise that the health industry and the exercise professionals are not telling you about? Exercise may be good for your bones but what about your teeth? Could all that exercise really be bad for you teeth? What if too much sport was actually giving you gum disease? Researchers have found a distinct correlation between the consumption of sports and energy drinks and an increase in gum disease, particularly amongst the teenage population. Read More
The most recent adult dental health survey (2009), the results of which were published by the Telegraph under the heading “Why not brushing your teeth can kill you” has shown that a staggering 83% of adults in the UK have some form of gum disease. Similar figures have been published in other countries.
Woah, let’s stop right there, rewind, and play that statistic again. “83% of adults in the UK have some form of gum disease”… Really? Sadly, yes. That means the overwhelming majority of us therefore have gum disease or will suffer from it at some pont in the future. Yet for the most part we are blissfully unaware of it because it has few, if any, symptoms. A bit of bleeding, a bit of sensitivity while brushing our teeth, a bit of tenderness here and there. Nothing that exactly rings alarm bells or sends us scuttling off to the dentist or hygienist for treatment.
And that is where a good part of the problem lies. Because for the most part, this insidious mostly painless condition that erodes away the foundations of the teeth and ends up with them moving about, getting loose, forming abscesses, and ultimately tooth loss, does not cause enough symptoms for us to seek treatment until it is too late, and major dental reparative work or tooth loss are inevitable.
But that is only the tip of the iceberg! When we have a chronic low-grade infections like periodontal disease continuously eroding away at the tissues in our mouths, cascades of “messenger molecules” are secreted from the cells that are being affected by the infection, that alert the rest of the body to the presence of a damaging process going on somewhere in the body. Increasingly, published papers are demonstrating that the effects on the rest of the body are far reaching, affecting our recovery from heart and other diseases, outcomes from pregnancy, and the progression of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, bowel disease (including IBS, cancer, and many others,) meningitis, and even strokes and other serious life-threatening conditions.
As more and more research is showing that this quietly ongoing infection of the gums has far reaching and sometimes even life-threatening effects throughout the body, we need to take it far more seriously than we currently do.
Most of us would say we go and have regular dental check ups. However, as the overwhelming majority of us have been proven to have some form of gum disease, and given that the condition comes and goes with periods of activity and non-activity, one of the most important reasons for going to see your dentist and/or your hygienist regularly is not to have your teeth checked to see if you need any fillings, but most importantly, to have your gums checked to make sure that you do not have underlying gum disease affecting not only your mouth health but also your general health and compromising your immune system’s ability keep you healthy.
Unfortunately, not all dentists or hygienists do periodontal examinations routinely, so when you go to your checkup please specify that you want your gums checked, and you want a print out of the results of the periodontal checkup for your records because, if you change dentist/hygienists at some time, it is always good to have these records yourself to share with your new dentist and/or hygienist, and to check yourself that the condition is not getting worse with time.
You never know, but you may just be saving yourself from a major medical disaster in the future!
For more information on the diagnosing and treating gum disease, please go to: http://Periodontal.co.uk
Despite the advances in toothpaste, tooth care and dentistry, dental problems remain one of the most common issues facing the Western world today. Most of us have experienced teeth complications at some point in our life. Considering the important role your teeth play, many of us are ready to do whatever it takes to retain a healthy set of teeth and avoid the dreaded dentures! Losing a tooth is not a good experience especially when you’re fully aware that there’s no chance for a new adult tooth to grow and replace the old one. The sad fact is that many people think that having to have surgery or losing their teeth is a natural consequence of periodontitis or gum disease and only visit a periodontal expert when it’s too late. Periodontal disease and gum disease can very often be reversed, without the need for painful surgery or having to have your teeth extracted. That said, as with most diseases, the chances of a successful prognosis are best if you start your periodontal treatment services as early as possible.
Recent breakthroughs in research may now mean that quite soon it could literally be possible for your dentist or a periodontal expert to grow you new teeth if yours get diseased. This would mean one day dentures could become a thing of the past! Scientists are currently working on a project, due to unveiled at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition, that could hopefully give your cells the ability to grow new teeth to replace the ones your periodontal specialist was unable to save. Of course this research is still in the very early stages but it would represent a massive advance in periodontal treatment services and the prognosis of patients in the advanced stages of periodontal disease.
Scientists have discovered that for Nature to grow new teeth, two different types of cells are required: epithelial cells and mesenchymal stem cells. One cell must send a message to the other cell to start the process of creating teeth. The goal of the researchers is now to find a way to replicate this cell production. If they can do this, periodontal specialists may one day indeed be able to grow you new teeth ‘on demand’ to replace yours if they fall out. Whilst it’s not time to throw away your dentures just yet, scientists hope that they can begin growing teeth in mice within the next five years.
In the past, the high costs of implants have deterred many people from replacing their lost teeth. Furthermore, implants carry the additional complication that they cannot be guaranteed to last for any significant period of time. This new research would negate all of this, making growing new teeth not only possible but affordable.
Using this new approach, a periodontal specialist would be able to not only successfully treat periodontal disease in the early and chronic stages, but work towards helping their patients to grow new teeth in extremely advanced cases where bone loss is too severe to save your current teeth.
Researchers have long known that shark and snake teeth are always replaced after a tooth breaks or falls out. They have also found that stem cells in adult bone marrow can produce other types of tissues—albeit only for 24 hours, so the notion of a periodontal expert being able to grow you new teeth in the future is not as far-fetched as it may sound. The goal now is to find a way of awakening the cell properties in a way that will sustain the ability to grow teeth for longer periods of time.
Will your dentist or periodontal specialist soon be able to grow you a new set of teeth to replace yours when they fall out? Quite possibly, but meanwhile patients are advised to stick with the more conventional methods of treatment that your current periodontal expert will be able to advise!
As well as lecturing around the world on advances in periodontal treatment services, Dr. Peter Galgut offers a referral programme to dentists. He is also happy to answer your periodontal questions and offers appointments at his private London clinic. To contact Dr Galgut and find out more about his work, please visit: http://periodontal.co.uk/ask-a-dentist/
If you are a dentist, or you would like your dentist to refer you to a periodontal specialist, please use this link: http://periodontal.co.uk/professional-services/