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.

General dentistry: dental care for pregnant women

Pregnancy is an exciting time, and you are likely to be busy getting everything ready for your new arrival. With so many things to think about, it can be easy to forget about your dental health. However, thanks to the hormonal changes pregnancy causes in the body, some women experience unexpected oral health problems. These are nothing to worry about, but you should make sure that you visit your dentist regularly for help in managing any conditions that may arise.

Amsel and Wilkins dental practice in Banbury welcomes women for general dental appointments at any stage of pregnancy. As with any health issue, it’s always better to act sooner rather than later, so if you experience any dental health issues please come in to see us.

pregnant-womenA lot of women notice problems with their gums during pregnancy. Pregnancy gingivitis (gum disease) is a recognised condition, which is caused by increased levels of the hormone progesterone in the body during pregnancy. Levels of this hormone can be ten times higher than normal when you are pregnant, and it affects the body’s response to toxins – including those caused by plaque build-up. This can start as soon as the second month of pregnancy, and symptoms include gums that are swollen, red, and which sometimes bleed when you brush your teeth. If you notice this, come in to our Banbury dental practice for a check-up. We can help you to manage the condition, as well as providing reassurance that it is nothing to worry about.

If you experience severe morning sickness, your teeth may be susceptible to acid erosion. The enamel is worn away from the surfaces of your teeth thanks to constant exposure to acid. Symptoms can include increased sensitivity.

Some women also experience pregnancy granuloma, which are red nodules that grow on the gums. They are not dangerous but can cause discomfort. If you notice this or anything else unusual during pregnancy, do please come in for a check-up.

Bring your child to the dentist from an early age for better oral health

Children in the UK have a shockingly high amount of tooth decay. This is starting to improve but there is still a long way to go. At Amsel & Wilkins dental practice in Banbury, we believe that children should be brought into the dental practice from an early age to help combat this, and to familiarise themselves with the practice environment. We’re so keen to see young patients to help prevent decay developing that we offer free children’s dentistry up to the age of five for practice plan members.

childrens dentistryStudies have shown that children who visit the dentist from an early age are far less likely to experience dental phobia in later life. Fear of the dentist is often caused by a bad childhood experience, and our experienced dentists are keen to be seen as a friendly face by young patients. Early intervention, with treatments including fissure sealants and fluoride varnish to help strengthen teeth and combat decay, help to avoid the need for more invasive (and distressing) treatments such as extractions.

Children should start to visit the dentist as soon as their first teeth appear. By coming into the practice with their parents or siblings, they can observe and copy what they see – sitting in the chair and opening their mouth to let the dentist examine their teeth. Your dentist will make this a welcoming, positive experience for your child, and they will quickly learn that dental appointments are nothing to be frightened of.

Should your child already be suffering from tooth decay, they will be treated gently and painlessly. Treating a child from an early age also enables the dentist to spot early signs of underbites, cross bites or overbites developing. As with most things, the sooner you can start to treat it, the quicker it can be resolved.