Are Sports Drinks Destroying Your Teeth and a Risk to Your Health?

sports-drinksSome recent research from the University of Cardiff showed that of the 160 children that responded to their survey 89.4% of them stated that they drank sports drinks with half of them drinking them at least twice a week. These drinks are intended to improve performance and keep athletes hydrated and are not intended to be drank as recreational drinks, especially by young people.

Drinking these drinks has been marketed as being fashionable, trendy and often healthy which has led to a surge in popularity amongst the younger members of our population.

The main reasons for consuming these drinks was attributed to the nice taste (90% of respondents) With 80.4% of respondents purchasing the drinks from local shops. 77.9% of boys came to drink sports drinks during physical activity whilst only 48.6% of girls claimed the same thing however, more girls claim to drink socially, 51.4% compared to 48.5% for boys.

Alarmingly, a study reported in the independent.ie says that 55% of the sports drinks consumed at home rather than during any exercise at all!

The problem is not the sports drinks themselves, the problem is the fact that these drinks are formulated for enhanced exercise performance. The sugar in sports drinks is there to give fast absorption of carbohydrate so that the muscles can run at peak performance. Yet if these drinks are consumed with out the physical exercise then the body is not using the sugar in this way.

Lucozade sport, for example Contains 27 g of sugar or 7 teaspoons worth in a 750 mL bottle. The world health organisation recommends people consume a maximum of 50 g of added sugar per day, meaning one bottle of Lucozade sport is more than 50% of your daily recommended intake.

Obesity expert Dr Donal O’Shea says:

“If you’re a gold medal Olympian who’s burning 6,000 calories a day and can’t eat enough to replace that, maybe a sports drink is okay, but for everyone else they have no benefit,”

The government’s recent launch of their Change4Life campaign of the Sugar Smart app goes a long way to helping children understand how much sugar is contained in various drinks, because this is an app, children find it more interactive and a useful way to scan their favourite drinks to see how much sugar is included.

What are the risks to your dental health of too much sugar?

We’ve written in other blog posts about the effects of too much sugar with regards to diabetes and obesity but there are also risks to your dental health.

Dental decay is caused by the acid excreting from the bacteria in your mouth, these bacteria feed prolifically on the sugar in your diet, the more sugar you have, the more they feed on the more acid they excrete.

In the most part your saliva neutralises this acid but it can only work to a certain degree, too much acid and it attacks your teeth and causes dental decay.

One of the biggest problems is that these bacteria lurk in between your teeth which is notoriously difficult to clean, this is why using an interdental brush or floss is absolutely vital for maintaining your dental health.

Ways to reduce sugar intake

Tt is fairly easy to limit the amount of added sugar that you put on food, more difficult is being aware of the sugar that you don’t know you are eating. It’s important to doublecheck  things like sauces, dressings, cereals plus  prepackaged food like soup and ready meals.

Fizzy drinks contain a huge amount of sugar, a 500 mL bottle of cola contains the equivalent of 17 cubes of sugar. Even  when you drink fruit juice you are still consuming a large amount of additional sugar.

Here are a few additional tips to reduce sugar intake:

  • Consider sweeteners in moderation instead of adding sugar.
  • Remove the temptation of adding sugar by not putting  it on the table in the first place. Remember, syrup and honey also contain sugar, so keep these safely in the cupboard also.
  • Enhance your food with spices instead of sugar, things like ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg can add interesting flavours without adding sugar.
  • Purchase sugarfree drinks or get into the habit of drinking water, perhaps with a slice of lemon or lime to give it a fresh taste.
  • When baking reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by up to 1/2, often you won’t notice any difference.
  • If you purchase tinned fruit, make sure it is in water or natural juices rather than in syrup.
  • If you like sugary cereal, rather than add sugar, experiment with different fruits such as bananas, cherries, strawberries or dried fruits such as apricots, raisins or cranberries.

dental hygiene

Are you mouth cancer aware?

Mouth cancer is a very common yet also very treatable form of mouth cancer.

Could you be at risk? What can you do to lower the risk factors? How can you spot the early warning signs of mouth cancer? We answer all of this and more in our most recent blog post, but first, here are some oral cancer statistics.

Cases

The following are some statistics of oral cancer taken from Cancer Research UK (1).

  • 91%  are preventable cases of oral cancer, UK
  • 2119 Deaths from oral cancer, 2012, UK
  • 6767 New cases of oral cancer, 2011, UK

About mouth cancer

  1. Mouth cancer is a disease which can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat
  2. There are more than 6,700 new cases of mouth cancer diagnosed in the UK each year
  3. Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer, but it is more common in people over 40, particularly men
  4. Mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger patients and in women
  5. The number of new cases of mouth cancer is on the increase

What causes mouth cancer?

  • Smoking causes around 75% of all mouth cancer cases
  • Drinking alcohol to excess can increase mouth cancer risks by four times
  • Those who smoke and drink to excess are up to 30 times more likely to develop the disease
  • An unhealthy diet has also been linked to mouth cancer
  • Over-exposure to sunlight can also increase the risk of cancer of the lips
  • The Human Papillomavirus, transmitted via oral sex, is increasingly being linked to mouth cancer in younger people

What you can look out for…

  • Mouth cancer can strike in a number of places, including the lips, tongue, gums and cheek
  • Given early detection is so crucial with mouth cancer, it is important that everyone knows the signs and symptoms. These include: Ulcers which do not heal three weeks, Red and white patches in the mouth, Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth
  • If any of these are noticed, it is essential that you tell your dentist or doctor immediately

Early detection is vital

  • Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination
  • Please do talk about the examination with your dental professional – they will be more than happy to talk through exactly what they are doing, where they are looking, and what they are searching for
  • If mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good
  • Many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late
  • It is important to visit your dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist regularly, as often as they recommend

How you can make sure that your mouth stays healthy?

  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend
  • Look out for any changes in your mouth, and report any red or white patches, unusual lumps and swellings, or ulcers that have not cleared up within three weeks
  • When exposed to the sun, be sure to use protective sun cream
  • A good diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E, provides protection against the development of mouth cancer
  • Cut down on your smoking and drinking

Are you mouthaware?

Fact

Young, old, smokers and non-smokers, more than 6,700 people will be diagnosed with mouth cancer this year in the UK.  Without early detection half will not survive

Check

Self-examination is a simple, potentially life-saving process.  Look out for ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth, and unusual lumps or swellings

Act

Know the risk factors and regularly visit your dentist to ensure you are checked for signs of mouth cancer

What action can you take now?

To help you self examine for mouth cancer at home we’ve written a free guide which is downloadable below.

Free guide available for immediate download…

“7 Point Self Examination Guide for Oral Cancer”

A special guide by Drs Donna & Rodney Hill

One of the most important things with mouth cancer is early detection, so in this guide we will talk about how you can examine yourself at home, the risk factors for oral cancer and how you can lower them.

Our guide is exclusively available by e-mail so please enter your details below for immediate access.

References

Cancer Research UK, www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/oral-cancer , Accessed October 2015.

 

Ways to replace missing teeth

missing teethIt is unfortunately quite common for people to have missing teeth, many times nothing is done and people live quite happily with the gap, in this blog post we will look at some of the reasons why you may want to replace missing teeth and if you so choose, what are your best options?

We’ve written in a previous blog post that when you have a missing tooth the opposing teeth can begin to drift and the adjacent teeth can begin to tip, this is probably the biggest reason to replace missing teeth, in order to protect your surrounding teeth and bite.

Options to replace missing teeth.

You basically have three options to replace your missing teeth.

  • Dentures
  • Dental bridges
  • Dental implants

let’s look at each of these in turn.

Dental bridges

dental bridgeA dental bridge essentially uses the teeth either side of the gap as a support to replace the missing tooth in the middle. One of the biggest disadvantages is that there is often a requirement to remove healthy tooth structure on either side of the gap in order to accept this new support. The support is called an abutment in technical terms and often takes the form of a new crown.

The tooth which is replaced (called a Pontic in technical terms) is then attached to the abutments either side. You will generally find that to replace a single missing tooth that both teeth, on either side of the gap, are involved in this bridging process. This means that there will be a three tooth bridge required in order to replace a single missing tooth.

The biggest disadvantage in this process is that possibly healthy teeth on either side of the gap may need to have healthy tooth tissue removed.

Dentures

claspModern dentures can be highly asthetic so that no one would know that you are wearing them, the gum and acrylic teeth can be made to look highly lifelike and natural, mimicking a natural smile almost exactly. One of the biggest disadvantages of dentures is the fact that they are removable. Many people dislike the idea of removing their teeth at night.

Small dentures can be made to replace a couple of missing teeth, in this case a clasp will be used around the teeth either side to hold the denture in place. These clasps can we made in one of three different materials:

  • Gold. A more expensive option but an excellent material to use in the oral environment as it is inert and has good pliability.
  • Stainless steel. A cheaper alternative and with the similar properties to Gold
  • Acetyl resin. These are tooth coloured clasps, they often very expensive to make as the manufacturing process is relatively long and complex, they do however provide an extremely aesthetic option to retained dentures.

Dental implants.

implant_schemaA dental implant is often your dentist’s preferred option. When a dental implant is placed it will support the surrounding bone, this prevents the bone collapsing into the gap where the tooth was removed (remember to read our previous blog post on the subject). This means that bone is retained rather than lost after the extraction. It then but also means that the adjacent teeth do not have to be touched in order to take the abutment, as is common with dental bridges.

This means that dental implants can often be the best biological, functional and aesthetic way to replace missing teeth.

One disadvantage with dental implants is the immediate cost, there is the cost of providing the implant itself (this is a precision made dental appliance made to tolerances of thousandths of a millimetre), a dental implant surgeon to place the implant itself and then the final dental crown which is fitted on top of the dental implant.

However, an extremely important point to bear in mind is that the dental implant will typically last longer than any of the other restorations. As your teeth and gums change shape you will be required to have a new denture overtime, with a dental bridge, the gum underneath the pontic (the new tooth) can change shape as it is not supported, as this happensgaps appear underneath this pontic meaning it needs to be replaced.

Because dental bridges need three teeth to replace one single missing tooth, this can also be more expensive than you might imagine.

For this reason dental implants are often considered the best option for you.

How do I know which option is best for me?

This is a great question…

Minimum fuss.

If you want to have the simplest replacement of a missing tooth with the minimum number of appointments then a denture may be the best option. You do however have to consider the disadvantag that it is removable and will need replacing overtime.

Next on this list would be a dental bridge. You will need a couple of appointments at the dentist but once the bridge is fitted you can forget about it, apart from cleaning regularly of course, although again you do need to remember that it may need replacing a few years down the line.

Minimum cost.

Dentures would be the minimum cost way to replace missing teeth, apart from doing nothing at all. When it comes to dental implants and dental bridges it can often be a very close call. In the short term a dental bridge may be slightly cheaper but in the long-term, taking into account that a bridge may need to be replaced sooner than a dental implant, an implant can be the longest serving option.

It’s also worth thinking about what your budget could be when you first go to the dentist. Remember, many dental practices offer payment plans, often at 0% so you will not always be expected to pay the full amount upfront. Please ensure you discuss this with your dentist if you think a payment plan could work for you.

Trinity Dental Centre around local dental practice in Barnstaple, North Devon offering the local people dental health advice and treatments to help replace missing teeth as well as stay dentally fit and healthy for life.

Request your appointment online today.

 

How Can the New Sugar Smart App Help You?

Image Credit: nhs.uk/change4life-beta

 

It seems that, each day, many of us are eating too much sugar.

You may be surprised to discover the amount of sugar you are eating and how quickly the added sugar that many of us consume can build up during the day.

The government are now advising that parents take action by installing a new app onto their smart phone which is able to read the barcodes on many food products giving them a visual representation of the amount of sugar a product contains.

The “sugar smart app”, from Public Health England (PHE), functions by checking bar code scans and revealing total sugar content of the food in either cubes or grams. Authorities hope it can help combat tooth cavities, weight problems and type 2 diabetes and encourage families to select more healthy options with their daily diet.

TOOTH CAVITIES & DENTAL DISEASE

Approximately 46,500 children and young people under 19 were admitted to hospital for a primary diagnosis of dental caries in 2013–14 according to The state of children’s oral health in England report by the Faculty of Dental Surgery – that’s more children than were admitted for tonsillitis.

hospitaladmissions

As a nation, if we are going to reduce these hospital admissions for young people we need to get dental disease in our kids under control.

tooth decayDental cavities arise when the bacteria in your mouth secrete acid. This acid secretion happens as they digest the sugar in your diet. This acid attacks the hard enamel of your teeth and can continue to penetrate deep into the tooth structure.

If this acid attack is left unchecked then the tooth can become seriously infected.

The only way to stop the dental cavity from continuing to grow is to visit the dentist, have the caries removed and then the hole filled. Advice on a good oral health routine can then be given as well as dietary advice.

It is this acid attack which can be limited if we control the amount of sugar that we have in our diets.

There are however other reasons to limit the amount of sugar.

 

TYPE 2 DIABETES

Chris Askew, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said:

“Diets that are high in sugar are fuelling the rise in obesity, and in turn the dramatic rise in Type 2 diabetes, a serious health condition that can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputations and stroke. This is unlike Type 1 diabetes which cannot be prevented and is not caused by being obese. With the average child consuming three times the recommended daily amount of sugar, the need for action has never been more urgent. The new Sugar Smart app will help parents to understand and take control of their children’s sugar intake.”

sugar
Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

PHE states that young people are eating 3X more sugar than is recommended in their new Change4Life marketing campaign. Their research indicates that normally children aged 4 to 10 years of age are consuming 22kg of added sugar annually. That equates to about 5,500 sugar cubes which is more that the average 5-year old weighs!

It’s all as simple as 3 easy steps:

  1. Get The App
  2. Start Scanning
  3. Reveal The Sugar

HERE’S HOW TO USE THE SUGAR SMART APP

Image Credit: nhs.uk/change4life-beta
  • Download the application through the Apple Store or Google Play.
  • Based on how old you are, your everyday sugar allowance will differ. The application informs you on the maximum you should eat.
  • Select the product that has a barcode.
  • Open the application.
  • Permit the application the use of the digital camera on your phone- a box will appear requesting permission.
  • Line the barcode track up with the red-colored line and wait for a beep. If it’s doesn’t work, you may be trying to scan too close up, so move the camera further away.
  • The application will let you know just how much sugar there is in the product – however the application does not have every food item available yet as it is still in it’s development stage.
  • After that you can share the end result together with your connections on Facebook, Twitter, Google & other social media sites.
  • Clicking the menu button gives you more about sugar content in meals, a scanning history and let’s you go to the app’s website.

If you have children we can highly recommend that they download the app and begins scanning food, this can be a fun way to educate your case about the amount of sugar in food.

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Trinity Dental Centre is a private dentist in North Devon offering free dental health advice via their blog and social media streams.

 

Why replace missing teeth? #3 Might Surprise You!

We are often asked about the different ways to replace missing teeth, so we thought it would be helpful to the people of the North Devon and the local Barnstaple areas if we took some time to explain this in our blog.

We are therefore going to take an in-depth look at the reasons you might want to replace missing teeth (which may include some reasons you’ve never heard of before!), we will also take a brief look at the various ways of replacing missing teeth and what the advantages are with each method. (More to come on this in more detail in a future blog post).

Why replace missing teeth?

1. Because gaps don’t look great

It sounds obvious, but it’s rather true. Our smile is extremely important to the look of our face, take a look at these celebrities with their teeth deleted from the photographs… Your smile is extremely important and having missing teeth can change the way it looks completely.Replace missing teeth

2. Because other teeth can move around!

Teeth moving after extractionYour teeth are all in fine balance with one another. Teeth rest in what is known as the ‘neutral zone’. This neutral zone is created by the teeth either side, the opposing teeth on the opposite jaw and your tongue and cheek. All of these put mild pressure on the tooth, all in balance with one another, all keeping your teeth in pretty much the same place.

If this balance and harmony is disturbed, for example by removing a tooth, then the teeth either side will have a tendency to tip into the gap and drift. Your opposing teeth will also have a tendency to over erupt in to the gap.

This moving of teeth can have a cosmetic impact. Take a look at the image above and notice that the premolar that has moved has changed the gum line on the upper jaw. This sensitive gum line architecture will affect how your smile looks if it is compromised.

Moving teeth around like this can also affect the way your bite works

3. Because your jaw joint can be affected

This is a direct consequence of the teeth moving as described in #2. If your opposing teeth drift then you may have to move your jaw in a slightly different way to ensure that the teeth don’t interfere with each other when you bite.

This can be extremely subtle and you may not even notice that your natural muscles have changed the way they work slightly. One consequence of this can be that some muscles are overworked,. Because the muscles of your head and neck are all connected. this can lead to headaches and/or neck pain.

A rather surprising consequence of having a single tooth removed!

4. Because you can prevent additional bone loss

Bone lossWhen a tooth is removed, it leaves a socket or a hole. New bone doesn’t fill up this hole, rather, what happens is that the surrounding bone collapses in to fill up the gap. This collapsing means you lose over all bone quantity in this area.

This can have the impact of changing the line of your gum and also can compromise the placement of a dental implant at a later date if you so decide due to a possible lack of adequate bone.

One way to prevent this bone loss is to have a dental implant placed, the dental implant then fills the gap where the tooth is removed and prevents the adjacent bone from collapsing into the space.

Ways to replace missing teeth.

The primary focus of this blog post is to answer your questions about why you should replace missing teeth, we will take a much more in-depth look at the various options in our next blog post., however, here is a brief summary.

Dentures.

Dentures are often unpopular due to the fact that they are removable. Modern dentures however can often be extremely stable, beautiful and are often a perfectly acceptable way to replace missing teeth.

Dental bridges.

Dental bridges have been around for many years now and form a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth. They will attach to the adjacent teeth, which form an abutment off of which the false tooth will be suspended.

Dental implants.

Dental implants are the most modern solution for replacing missing teeth. They generally offer the most aesthetic option as they can look as though they grow out of the gum like a natural tooth. Because they also support the surrounding bone and prevent bone loss they may also be considered the most healthy option.

Further questions about replacing missing teeth?

To help with all of your questions we have created a free guide, in it we talk about the various options to replace missing teeth, the procedures, the costs and what you can expect.

The guide is completely free and can be downloaded by completing the form below.

replacing missing teeth

Should you require any further information about replacing missing teeth in the Barnstaple, North Devon area then please visit our website or request an appointment here.