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How Can a Cold or Flu Affect Your Dental Health?

When you have a cold or flu, your dental health probably isn’t a priority, but it can affect it considerably.

Dry Mouth

Usually, when you have a cold or flu, you cannot breathe through your nose and instead must breathe through your mouth. Consequently, your mouth can become dry and uncomfortable. Also, decongestants and antihistamines can all reduce saliva production, making your dry mouth feel even more parched.

When your mouth is drier, bacteria can thrive, increasing your chance of developing gum disease and tooth decay. A dry mouth also makes it harder to chew and swallow your food properly. Continue taking your medicines as they will help you in the long run, but make sure you drink plenty of water and suck on sugar-free throat sweets to stimulate saliva flow.

Sinus Pain and Toothache

When you have a virus like a cold, it increases the risk of sinusitis, an infection that can place pressure on your sinus cavities located just above your back teeth, making it feel as if you have a tooth infection. Usually, the symptoms will clear up on their own, but if they don’t, you may need antibiotics from your doctor.

Tips to Help You Maintain a Healthy Mouth this Winter

The colder drier conditions of winter can play havoc with your oral health. Follow these easy tips to make sure your mouth remains healthy this winter.

Cold Sores

Winter sun can cause cold sores, so make sure the skin around your mouth is protected with sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or higher. Make sure you wash your hands frequently to avoid the spread of bacteria.

Tooth Sensitivity

The colder temperatures can leave your teeth feeling sore and sensitive. If it’s been a while since you had a checkup, visit our dentist, so that we can check the sensitivity isn’t caused by an untreated dental problem like tooth decay or gum disease. Otherwise, toothpaste for sensitive teeth can be very effective, but you need to use it for several weeks to get the full benefits.

Chapped Lips

The wind, cold and winter sun can create the perfect environment for chapped lips. Use a good quality lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 or higher and reapply it frequently. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water, so your skin is hydrated. If the air in your home is too dry, think about installing a humidifier, so the air is moister while you sleep.

How Is Oral Health Connected to the Immune System?

Did you realise that your oral health is closely connected to your immune system? Unless you maintain good dental health, it can negatively affect your overall health. The connection is because of the bacteria that call your mouth home. At any given time, your mouth can play host to hundreds of species of bacteria, and the warm moist environment is perfect for them to thrive. Unfortunately, some of these bacteria are harmful, and if you fail to brush and floss regularly, they can quickly grow out of control.

When these bacteria grow out of control, they infect your gums, eventually causing them to bleed. As your gums bleed, the bacteria from your mouth can enter your bloodstream and once inside can set off an immune response in your body. In the short term, this response won’t do any harm, but when it continues, it can create the ideal conditions for serious health problems to develop. The inflammation caused by mouth bacteria is linked to health problems that include heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and respiratory diseases, and it can even affect pregnant women and unborn babies too. Luckily, if you practice good oral health and visit us regularly for professional preventative Read More

Why Do Some People Get Seasonally Sensitive Teeth?

Millions of adults worldwide suffer from tooth sensitivity and especially when teeth are exposed to colder weather. Healthy teeth are protected by tooth enamel and which covers the softer layer of dentine underneath. If tooth enamel is eroded or damaged, it exposes the dentine. Dentine consists of microscopic tubules that lead to the tooth pulp, housing the nerve. When cold air penetrates dentine and reaches the nerve, it creates that uncomfortable or painful sensation.

Other factors that can cause tooth sensitivity include brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush, gum recession, teeth grinding and clenching, or cracked teeth. It can sometimes occur if you consume lots of acidic foods, or if your tooth enamel is naturally thinner.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity

We strongly recommend you visit City Dental for a checkup so we can assess your dental health. If the problem is caused by any dental issues, we can provide the most suitable treatment. Often the pain of tooth sensitivity can be managed using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, but you need to use this toothpaste the several weeks as the effects are cumulative. Also, make sure you only use a soft-bristled toothbrush and don’t brush your teeth too hard.

What Your Gums are Telling You and When to See the Dentist

If you’ve noticed blood in the sink or on your toothbrush after you brush or floss your teeth, it’s a sign you shouldn’t ignore. Strong, healthy gums do not bleed, and one of the most common reasons for bleeding gums is gum disease.

Gum Disease

Bleeding gums are one of the signs of early gum disease, a condition called gingivitis. Luckily, gingivitis is entirely reversible, usually by professionally cleaning your teeth.

Afterwards, you will need to brush and floss your teeth meticulously to help them recover and gradually, they will stop bleeding.

Pregnancy

Hormonal changes can affect your gums, increasing their sensitivity to bacteria. As a result, your gums may swell and will bleed more easily, and which is a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. It’s important to see your dentist regularly during pregnancy, and we can help control these symptoms and offer other advice about how to care for your teeth while you are pregnant.

Medications

Sometimes specific medications such as aspirin and blood thinners can increase the likelihood of bleeding gums. It’s important to tell us if you take these medications so we can provide you with the proper treatment.

What to Do in a Dental Emergency?

We know dental emergencies can be painful and often frightening, but we are here to help and make every effort to see people in discomfort or pain quickly. Some situations are more urgent than others, for example:

Severe toothache
Gum or facial swelling near the affected tooth
Jaw injuries
Knocking out or loosening a permanent tooth
Bleeding that fails to stop after applying gentle pressure for fifteen minutes

If you do lose a tooth, store it in a little milk and come and see us immediately as we might be able to save the tooth. Swelling affecting your mouth or face can be relieved using a warm saltwater rinse made by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a mug of water. However, you must still see a dentist urgently as you could have a severe infection that may even become life-threatening.

Other situations might be unpleasant, but may not need emergency dental care and include:

Losing a filling or crown
Cracking or breaking a tooth where there isn’t severe pain
Food trapped between teeth
Damaging or breaking braces, a retainer or nightguard

We are still open for dental emergencies. Contact us for more detailed advice over the phone, and we can get you booked in to see our dentist.

Periodontal Disease and the Connection to Systemic Diseases

For decades it was thought that diseases affecting the mouth were completely separate from those affecting the body. However, we now know that oral health and particularly periodontal disease is closely connected to systemic health. Periodontal disease or gum disease is now linked to serious systemic conditions including Type II diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease amongst others. It can also adversely affect pregnancy.

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the tissues surrounding teeth and which occurs when bacteria in the mouth build up in dental plaque, usually because of poor oral hygiene. The body’s inflammatory response to this bacterial buildup can destroy the tissues around your teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. There are several stages of periodontal disease, ranging from reversible gingivitis to chronic periodontitis.

One of the most common symptoms of periodontal disease is bleeding gums, and these open wounds allow bacteria in the mouth to enter the body. Once these bacteria get into the bloodstream, they can travel virtually anywhere, and oral bacteria have been found in arteries of patients with cardiovascular disease. Periodontal disease can make conditions like diabetes harder to control and may increase the chances of developing Type II diabetes.

The good news is that periodontal Read More

Our Top Tips for Staying Active while Self Quarantining

The pandemic is disrupting every area of our lives, including our exercise routines. We can no longer simply go where we would like, visit the gym or play team sports. It is tempting to sit at home and spend more time on the couch and binge-watch favourite TV shows. However, physical inactivity is a major risk factor for developing a serious disease, and even before this pandemic, many of us failed to take enough exercise. While self quarantining, make it your mission to move more. There are plenty of things you can do at home, such as catching up on your gardening; if you have exercise equipment at home or a swimming pool, use them. Otherwise, take a look on YouTube to find a good home workout routine suited to your fitness level.

Muscle strengthening exercises are especially important to do at least twice weekly. You don’t need special weights; you can fill a water bottle or milk carton, or use your bodyweight. You’ll find plenty of ideas for bodyweight exercises online.

Avoid sitting for long periods by taking regular breaks and walking around your home. If you are on the phone, get up and walk around as you talk. While watching Read More

We Celebrate World Oral Health Day in March but What Does This Mean for You?

Regular visitors to City Dental will already know we are passionate about helping patients achieve their very best level of oral health. During March, we celebrate World Oral Health Day, during which dental health professionals pledge to inspire their patients to look after their mouth correctly. Despite the efforts of dental professionals, many people suffer from gum disease and tooth decay, both of which are preventable. Both these diseases can have a serious impact on dental health, making it tricky to eat comfortably and embarrassing to talk and smile with others. Also, it’s becoming increasingly evident that poor oral health affects overall health, and it’s linked with many serious problems that include cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and diabetes.

This month we hope people will take a few moments to think about their oral health, making sure they don’t take it for granted. It’s so important for helping you to enjoy life fully, so this March, if you haven’t seen a dentist for a while, make that appointment to come and see us. Our dedicated dental team can work with you, helping you achieve your healthiest and best smile. The nice thing about good oral health is that once you have Read More

How to Give Your Little Bunnies That Perfect Easter Hunt This Year

An Easter egg hunt is a very traditional part of many peoples celebrations, and it’s a lot of fun, but there are lots of different things you can do other than just hiding eggs around your home or in your garden.

Fill Their Eggs with Activities

Instead of traditional chocolate Easter eggs, write out some fun activities like a movie night or playdates and stuff them in eggs for your kids to claim.

Hunt for the Rainbow

Hide eggs in every colour of the rainbow. Your little bunnies will need to locate one of each colour to get a complete set and claim their prize.

Let Your Kids Plan an Easter Egg Hunt for You

Turn things on their head and let your kids hide Easter eggs for the parents. Instead of chocolate eggs, these eggs are filled with special coupons such as picking the film for family movie night, or choosing a special meal or skipping a chore. Parents have to grant whichever wishes they fail to find.

Search for the Golden Ticket

Hide eggs with a special golden ticket that can be swapped for a larger prize at the end of the Easter egg hunt. Make sure you hide enough eggs, so each child receives one.