Hidden tooth infections increase heart disease risk by almost three times

September  2016

Undetected tooth infections could increase the risk of heart disease by almost three times, according to new research.

The study, published in the Journal of Dental Research1, has found that people with untreated tooth infections are 2.7 times more likely to have cardiovascular problems, such as coronary artery disease, than patients who have had treatment of dental infections.

With cardiovascular diseases being a contributor in an estimated 30 per cent of all deaths globally, leading health charity, the Oral Health Foundation, wants to encourage more regular dental visits, especially if we are experiencing toothache, sensitivity or bleeding gums.

Speaking on the issue Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “This research is very worrying as tooth infections are initially caused by tooth decay which is triggered by poor oral hygiene routines and a diet high in sugar.

“The major signs of root infection (usually known as a dental abscess) include pain, often when biting down on the tooth, and sometimes swelling. The tooth may also become discoloured. But sometimes infection does not immediately present with these symptoms and can go undetected for some time.

“Thankfully, maintaining good basic oral health and cutting your risk is very easy. By brushing our teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste; cut down on the amount of sugary foods and drinks and how often we have them and visiting our dentist regularly, as often as they recommend, we can help prevent disease, not only in the mouth but the whole body too.”

As well as looking after your oral health preventing gum disease can be boosted by a healthy diet, weight control, exercise and not smoking.

“Infections occur when decay reaches the centre of the tooth, the dental pulp, when the tooth dies a reservoir of bacteria spreads beyond the end of the root and can enter the bloodstream. Treatment for this would usually be a root canal treatment to remove all of the infected tissue and prevent bacteria spreading,” Dr Carter added.

“These new findings add to the existing links between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. It has previously been established that people with gum disease almost twice as likely to develop heart disease than people without it, this makes the need for good oral care even more important.

“Over recent years’ problems in the mouth have also been linked to other serious conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and problems with pregnancy, so it is vital that we see our oral health as a priority.”

The Oral Health Foundation welcomes more research into this matter as it may be a way to prevent many instances of cardiovascular disease around the world and ultimately save lives.

With thanks to the British dental Health Foundation 


Oral Cancer prevention

It’s common knowledge that the use of tobacco products can increase your overall risk of oral cancer, but there are other factors at play as well. Regular exercise, proper diets, and good habits are the

tooth painbuilding blocks for any healthy lifestyle, but they can significantly lower the possibility of many diseases. As always, regular brushing, flossing, and other beneficial dental care are your best tools for preventing the development of many diseases, and can aid in the fight against cancer. If you are already affected by oral cancer, this information may also help during your treatment and after.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Tobacco usage, especially smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco, is the only known cause of oral cancer. The best way to prevent oral cancer from developing is to completely stop the use of tobacco products. We know that it can be hard to quit this addictive habit, but it’s one of the best things that you can do for your health, and the health of your loved ones (secondhand smoke is a proven cause of other types of cancer). Your dentist and doctor can give you great advice and other tips to help you quit using tobacco products. Please turn to them for advice and let them know that you want to quit. They will be 100% supportive, which can really make a difference in your quest to stop!

If you drink three or more alcoholic beverages a day, you have a greater chance of getting oral cancer, as well as additional health problems. Drinking and smoking often coincide, which may attribute to the high cancer rates in those who use drink. However, studies have shown that frequent binge drinking also corresponds with an unhealthy diet, which can increase one’s risk for cancer. The best way to control these factors is to limit alcoholic beverage intake, and choose healthier foods. Leafy, green vegetables, foods which are high in vitamin B, green tea, and other antioxidant-rich foods have been continually linked to fighting or preventing cancer. You should avoid frying the vegetables as well, as this form of cooking effectively zaps the foods of any nutritive content.

Vitamin D is great for overall health, and has been known to lessen chances of acquiring cancer. High levels of vitamin D enable bones and teeth to absorb the calcium they need to stay strong and healthy. The natural way of getting vitamin D is from safe levels of sun exposure. Unfortunately, sun exposure is a risk factor for oral cancer on the lips, and for other types of cancer on other places in the body. Regular sunblock and limited time in the sun can help deter these unwanted effects. If you want to play it safe or if you’re exposure to the sun is already limited, you may want to talk to your dentist or doctor about vitamin D supplements. Adding these to your healthy diet could help you avoid oral cancer.

Need help? Don’t hesitate to ask!

If you’re unsure about your chances of developing oral cancer or other cancers, please turn to your healthcare professional. Your dentists and doctors want what’s best for your well-being, and should be able to provide helpful tips, or refer you to a trusted colleague who can. It’s never too late to improve your health!

For  further advice call the Harrow Dental Centre on 020 84272543 or contact us via our website www.harrow-dentist.com

Acknowledgement to Best Dentist News


Ditch The Smoking Habit for Excellent Oral Health

ditch your smoking habit.October 2015

There are a lot of tobacco users in this country. Whether it’s smoking, dipping, or any other kind of activity, tobacco can leave your mouth, and especially your smile, worse off. Think about it. There are countless carcinogens inside of a single cigarette that can have devastating effects on the appearance of your teeth. Yellow teeth are most often associated with smoking, but your tongue can turn yellow as well. It isn’t just the appearance of your teeth that should be important, your overall health is put into question with each puff. Oral cancer and other ailments are widely associated with tobacco use and for good reason. Gum disease and other ailments can also increase in size and scope when you smoke or dip. Do yourself a favor: stop.

Oral cancer: According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 90% of patients with oral cancer have partaken in tobacco use of some kind. Did you know smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers? Simply put, the longer you use tobacco, the greater your risk for oral cancer.

Gum disease: Tobacco doesn’t just do a number on your teeth, your gums are also caught in the crosshairs. Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it’s more commonly known, accounts for almost 50% of smoking-related diseases. That’s an astronomical number. The only way to combat it is through surgical and nonsurgical treatment.

There’s no such thing as a “safe” tobacco. All tobacco is bad for your oral health, period. There are certain steps you can take to avoid oral cancer or periodontal disease, or both. All it takes is dedication and the willingness to be proactive about your oral and overall health.

  1. Quit smoking. It’s that easy. Your risk of oral health problems is dramatically decreased. The longer you don’t have a puff, your risks are practically depleted.
  1. Go to your dentist regularly. Getting a regular dental checkup can work wonders for your oral health. He or she can detect oral cancer if any symptoms are present.
  1. Practice proper brushing and flossing techniques. Since tobacco has so many harmful carcinogens, it can leave your gums overheated. Brushing and flossing thoroughly can help combat against oral cancer and helps you maintain great dental health.

It’s never too late to kick the smoking habit. Your oral health is a huge concern when it comes to tobacco use. Don’t battle oral cancer or other ailments later on in life. Keep your mouth as healthy as it can possibly be – kick cigarettes, and other tobacco products to the curb.

We are here to help – contact us via our website  www.harrow-dentist.com  or call 02084272543

acknowledgement to Best Dentist News