Millions of Brits are risking gum disease and far worse health problems by failing to brush their teeth often enough, a recent oral health survey reveals.
Nearly a fifth of people (17%) brush just once a day – leaving them vulnerable to a build-up of plaque, which can lead to gum disease.
A third of people (36%) admitted they never flossed and only 14% flossed the recommended once a day, reveals the survey by the manufacturers of Eludril mouthwash and Elgydium toothpaste.
Some 30% of people do not use a mouthwash, despite the fact that regular rinsing is proven to combat gum disease.
‘The survey findings are very worrying. People with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease,’ warned a spokesman for Eludril and Elgydium.
‘Also, pregnant women with gum disease can be up to seven times more likely to have a baby born too early and too small. Recent evidence also suggests a link between gum disease and breast cancer.’
Choosing the right toothpaste and mouthwash is very important because not all brands contain an antibacterial such as chlorhexidine, the leading ingredient used to prevent plaque and tartar.
And yet when people were asked if they always bought the same toothpaste, 60% said ‘no’. Of these, half admitted to buying whichever toothpaste was on a cheap promotion.
Chlorhexidine has been the gold standard treatment for gum disease for many years. It has been proven to be highly effective against the key organisms that cause gum disease.
However, most of the 97 people polled in the survey said they simply rinsed to keep their breath fresh, oblivious to whether their mouthwash contained an antibacterial such as Chlorhexidine or not.
Eludril mouthwash – which contains chlorhexidine – is an antibacterial and analgesic solution used to prevent and treat gum disease.
Chlorhexidine is also a key ingredient in the Elgydium toothpaste range including Anti-Plaque and Sensitive toothpaste. Also available in the Elgydium range are Decay Protection and Whitening toothpastes.
Gum disease is the most common form of tooth loss in adults. The Eludril and Elgydium oral health experts are urging people to look out for the following gum disease symptoms:
sore gums or swollen gums – early indicators of gum disease (often known as gingivitis)
bleeding gums – it is not usual for gums to bleed, so if they do there is something wrong
receding gums – a sign that gum disease has been left untreated for some time.
‘If you spot any of the early signs of gum disease, visit your dentist as soon as possible to find out which gingivitis treatment is right for you.’
To avoid gum disease problems and look after your long-term health, you should:
• Brush your teeth at least twice a day for around two minutes. It is too easy to overlook this when you are tired and it is late. If you are at home for the evening, get ready for bed before you start feeling tired. That way, you brush your teeth and floss when you are more alert and it is less of a chore. Just don’t eat or drink anything afterwards.
• Floss every day, as this reaches areas that a toothbrush might miss. Get into the habit, it does not take long at all.
• Visit your dentist or hygienist on a regular basis, as this will ensure that signs of gum disease are spotted and treated as soon as possible. Not been to your dentist/hygienist for a while? Pick up the phone and make that important appointment.
• Replace your toothbrush regularly (every three or four months or as soon as the bristles look worn). Add this to your next shopping list or buy it online.
• Avoid starchy, sugary foods and drinks, as these make the problem worse. Think about what you eat and its impact on your health.
• Eat plenty of fresh foods and vegetables and avoid snacking between meals. If you are hungry between meals, snack on something healthy like fresh fruit, particularly apples or raw vegetables such as carrots. Not only are they good for you but the action of chewing will stimulate saliva flow, which reduces the build-up of bacteria.
For further information about protecting teeth against gum disease, please contact Nikki Pounds, Ceuta Healthcare on +44 (0)1202 780558, [email protected] or visit www.gumproblems.co.uk.