Brits will eat more than 80 million Easter eggs over the holiday – little realising the link between excessive sugar consumption and gum disease, warn dental experts.
People may know that too much sugar is bad for teeth but many will be oblivious to the damage it causes gums and the rest of the body, say oral health experts from Eludril and Elgydium.
Sugar-fuelled plaque causes inflamed and bleeding gums – early signs of gum disease – if left unchecked.
These symptoms can be treated with good oral hygiene but can develop into periodontitis if ignored. Teeth may loosen and fall out.
But there are ways to enjoy eating Easter eggs while reducing the harm they do, say the makers of Eludril mouthwash and Elgydium toothpaste.
The experts advise eating Easter eggs after meals rather than between meals. Eating chocolate with other food lessens the impact on our teeth.
It is tempting to brush one’s teeth immediately after eating an Easter egg in the hope this will prevent the damage but it can actually make things worse.
‘Wait for at least half an hour after eating sugary foods such as Easter eggs before brushing your teeth,’ advised a spokesperson for Eludril and Elgydium.
‘This is because sugary foods soften the enamel and – if brushed immediately – there is a danger that you will erode the enamel.’
Gum disease is more than just an oral health issue. It can indicate underlying health problems elsewhere:
• People with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease
• Pregnant women with gum disease can be up to seven times more likely to have a baby born too early and too small
• Recent research suggests a link between gum disease and breast cancer.
The big problem is sugar. There are at least 150g of sugar in the average 250g Easter egg. But why is it so bad for teeth and gums?
Sugar is used by bacteria in dental plaque as a form of energy. Plaque can build up and produce acid which dissolves the minerals that make teeth enamel hard, causing cavities.
The Eludril and Elgydium experts recommend the following:
• Brush your teeth at least twice a day for around two minutes. If you get ready for bed before feeling tired, you brush and floss when you are more alert. Just don’t eat or drink anything afterwards
• Floss every day to reach areas a toothbrush might miss. It does not take long
• Visit your dentist regularly to get gum disease diagnosed and treated early
• Replace your toothbrush regularly (every three or four months or as soon as it looks worn). Add this to your next shopping list or buy it online
• Avoid starchy, sugary foods and drinks. Think about their effect on your health.
• Eat plenty of fresh vegetables. If you are hungry between meals, snack on fresh fruit (particularly apples) or raw vegetables such as carrots. Chewing stimulates saliva flow which reduces the build-up of bacteria.
These are the gum disease symptoms to look out for:
• Sore gums or swollen gums can be the first symptoms of gum disease (often known as gingivitis)
• Bleeding gums – if you experience this when brushing, it could well be a sign of gum disease
receding gums, often a sign that gum disease has been ignored and needs urgent treatment.
• A sensitive tooth could be a sign that its root is exposed. You should seek advice and treatment from your dentist or hygienist.
As gum disease worsens, a receding gum line will de-stabilise your teeth. They will gradually loosen and ultimately either fall out or need to be extracted.
Quick, easy and effective treatments are available for those who detect gum disease early. Your dentist or hygienist will advise which gingivitis treatment is right for you.
The main treatment for gum disease for a number of years has been Chlorhexidine which works by inhibiting the build-up of dental plaque.
Eludril – which contains 0.1% Chlorhexidine – is a proven antibacterial and antifungal mouthwash. It comes with a special measuring cup and is used diluted with warm water for maximum efficacy. Eludril is available in three different pack sizes and has a pleasant menthol flavour.
Choosing the right toothpaste is equally important. The Elgydium toothpaste range includes Elgydium Anti-Plaque, which also contains Chlorhexidine, and is proven to be effective against the key organism that causes gingivitis and gum disease.
If you have a problem with tooth decay, try Elgydium Decay Protection. Containing a unique fluoride called Fluorinol, Decay Protection provides quick and intense protection.
Also part of the range is Elgydium Whitening which provides non-abrasive polishing and in-depth cleansing due to its micropulverised sodium bicarbonate.
For sensitive teeth there is Elgydium Sensitive which contains Fluorinol and is proven to bind five times more fluoride to the enamel than other fluoride toothpastes.
For further information about protecting teeth against gum disease, please contact Nikki Pounds on +44 (0)1202 780558, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gumproblems.co.uk.