Study Finds Link between Gum Disease Bacteria and Oral Lesions

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth infecting and inflaming the gum tissue. It is a huge problem as many people will develop this condition, and if not treated promptly it can lead to tooth loss. Losing teeth is serious, but now scientists have discovered an even more worrying connection between the bacteria that cause gum disease and the growth of oral cancers.

gum diseaseThe study was carried out at Case Western Reserve University and researchers found that by-products from two bacteria commonly found in gum disease can incite the growth of a certain type of pre-cancerous lesion in the mouth. Kaposi’s sarcoma first appears as lesions on surfaces in the mouth, and if these lesions are not removed they can go on to develop into malignant tumours. It’s been found that people with advanced gum disease or periodontal disease have high levels of these bacteria in their saliva, but people with good oral health have much lower levels.

This latest finding could eventually mean that people will have their saliva tested for these bacteria, and that if they are found then these people could be treated and monitored for any signs of tumours. People who could be more at risk are those with compromised immune systems, particularly people with HIV, or those who are on medications following organ transplants, as well as the elderly and cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy.

Oral Cancer Screenings at Amsel & Wilkins Can Pick up Early Signs

This is just the latest study to link poor oral health to a potentially life-threatening condition, and is yet another reason why it’s so important to practice good dental care. Oral cancer screenings are part of your regular dental checkup at Amsel & Wilkins, and Dr John Adams and all of our dentists in Oxfordshire would always encourage patients to get in touch if they are worried about any lesions in their mouth. Although these lesions are unlikely to be oral cancer, it’s always worth checking so any suspicious areas of skin can be quickly removed and appropriate treatment provided.

Regular dental check-ups are important as the condition of your gums will be thoroughly assessed through measuring the depth of any pockets that might be developing around your teeth. Pockets are caused by the gum tissue pulling away from the teeth, and this allows plaque bacteria to colonise the pockets, increasing the level of infection. Healthy gums fit tightly around the teeth so the bacteria cannot get into the gum tissue. If you have noticed any bleeding while brushing or flossing then now is the time to speak up as this is a sign that something is slightly wrong. At this early stage gum disease is often extremely easy to treat, and with proper care your gums could return to health within just a few short weeks.

Regular Hygiene Appointments Help Keep Gums Strong and Healthy

Oral cancer screenings are very important, but it’s just as vital to keep up with hygiene appointments. Making sure the teeth remain free from tartar will help to keep the gums strong and healthy, decreasing the chances of periodontal disease developing. The hygienists at Amsel & Wilkins are an important part of the dental team and work closely with the dentists to help ensure your oral health is as good as possible.

Choosing a More Natural Looking Smile

Cosmetic dentistry in Oxfordshire has become increasingly popular over the past ten years or so, and you probably already know at least a few people who have had some work done. This might have been in the form of teeth whitening, dental veneers or perhaps adult orthodontics. Some results will probably have looked better than others, and the winners are likely to be those whose teeth still looked reasonably natural and who haven’t chosen straight white, bright teeth that are obviously not their own. Even though people want a perfect smile, more are choosing to opt for a natural look and are using cosmetic dentistry to improve on nature while still retaining some individuality in their smile.

cosmetic dentistry oxfordshireYou’ll find all the dentists at Amsel & Wilkins are very interested in cosmetic dentistry and put a great deal of time and effort into planning a smile transformation. The most beautiful smile isn’t necessarily the most perfect, but is designed to take into account facial features, skin tone and hair colour. If you have a wonky front tooth that you particularly hate then you’ll probably be pleased to have it straightened out through cosmetic dental treatments, but other features can be more desirable.

Some Minor Imperfections can be Highly Desirable

Having a gap (called a diastema) in between your front teeth can often be quite desirable, and is a feature you will see in many celebrity smiles. Of course if you hate it you can choose to have it closed up or perhaps narrowed slightly. But these are features that are worth bearing in mind when considering a smile makeover. You might love the ultra-white and ultra-straight toothed smile of your favourite film star, but it might look slightly out of place in the average high street.

It’s far better and far more achievable to improve on the smile you already have through making minor modifications such as adult orthodontics or cosmetic braces, or perhaps a few well-placed veneers and tooth whitening.

Contact Us If You’d like a Naturally Beautiful Smile

The best thing to do if you’re interested in improving your smile is to contact Amsel & Wilkins to make an appointment with Dr John Adams or with another of our dentists in Oxfordshire. They all have a lot of experience in creating beautiful smiles, and can listen to your aspirations before suggesting the most suitable treatment plan. If you have a certain budget in mind then you can discuss this with them, and they will be able to tell you how much can reasonably be achieved. The great thing about opting for a more natural looking smile is that it can be a bit cheaper to get, as you are less likely to require a whole mouthful of veneers.

If you’re thinking about improving your smile in time for a big event, or perhaps for a special holiday, then please contact us well in advance. Some treatments can take a little longer than others, and your treatment plan will include the time needed to complete your smile makeover.