The perils of poor oral hygiene and gum disease

The perils of poor oral hygiene and gum disease

There's a whole host of risks that come with not keeping on top of your oral health, but did you know that a recent study has linked gum disease, often caused by poor oral hygiene, with several types of cancer?

The research showed that inflammation in your mouth can increase the risk of developing cancers such as breast, lung, oesophageal and gallbladder cancer by up to 14 per cent. This is because bacteria in the mouth encourages pathogens to move around your body, wreaking devastation on its way.

With this information in mind, we wanted to put together our top tips to ensure you steer clear of gum disease and stay as healthy as possible.

1.    Brush twice a day
This is perhaps one of the most basic oral health tips, but with a quarter of us only brushing our teeth once a day, it seems many of us don't take heed. At Riverside Dental Spa, we'd recommend brushing as soon as you wake up, and within about an hour of your final meal.

2.    Brush properly
When brushing, position the bristles of your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle near the gum line, ensuring that the gum and tooth are in contact with the brush. Use a back and forth, up and down motion, before cleaning the inside surfaces of the teeth along with your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

3.    Floss or use interdental brushes
Using floss or interdental brushes can help prevent gum disease by removing food and plaque that sticks between your teeth. If plaque builds up, it can irritate the gums and cause inflammation and conditions like gingivitis.

4.    Change your toothbrush
It's worth changing your toothbrush every two to three months, or sooner if it becomes worn. This will ensure that you're getting the best clean possible.

5.    Mouthwash
If you use mouthwash, try not to use it straight after brushing. This is because toothpaste includes enamel-building fluoride which can be easily washed away.

6.    Avoid sugary food and drink
It may sound like a no-brainer, but sugary foods and drink cause untold damage and encourage the growth of bacteria like nothing else. Try and limit sugary foods to mealtimes and remember - even though fruit is healthy, it still contains lots of sugar!

7.    Calling all cheese lovers
Did you know that eating a small cube of cheese after your meal can help reduce the acidic effects of your food and help protect your teeth? This is one of the rare 'old wives' tales that does actually have an element of truth, but for health reasons it's important to not go too cheese mad.

8.    Ditch the fags
We don't need to go on about the health horror of smoking - they're well publicised. But smoking can also cause oral cancer and periodontal complications as well as making your breath smell. If you do smoke, stopping can give you better oral hygiene and reduce your risk of contracting mouth related illnesses.

9.    Chew sugar free gum
Chewing sugar free gum in between meals can help remove tiny particles of food stuck between your teeth. In turn, this keeps bacteria from congregating in your mouth and reduces the risk of gum disease.

10.    See your dentist
Remember - prevention is better than a cure. We recommend visiting your dentist approximately every six months. By doing this, you can ensure you stay on top of any small issues that may quickly escalate and cause painful and costly problems.

If you want to make your oral health a priority, our highly qualified dentists at Riverside Dental Spa can help. Call us to make an appointment on: 020 7091 0677, or email:

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