Latest data suggests people are spending less on their health but are at increasing risk from hidden sugars in their diet, warn gum disease experts from Eludril and Elgydium.
Excessive sugar consumption is not only a cause of tooth decay – it can also lead to plaque which harbours the bacteria that cause gum disease.
But people who think they are eating sensibly by cutting out sugar may be in for a nasty surprise. Many supposedly ‘healthy’ foods in reality contain hidden sugars.
As a result, the British Dental Health Foundation believes that breakfast is in danger of becoming the unhealthiest meal of the day.
The foundation quotes a report by the UK consumers organisation Which?. It found that 32 of the 50 breakfast cereals tested had a high sugar content. Many were popular brands aimed at children.
Many foods and drinks aimed at the health-conscious can be very high in sugar. They include large numbers of low fat or fat-free products.
Also, energy drinks can have a very high sugar content – not good news for people trying to replenish energy expended at the gym or during sport:
non-diet fizzy drinks have an average 12 spoonfuls of sugar
flavoured vitamin waters – up to 11 spoonfuls of sugar
energy drinks – as many as 13 spoonfuls.
Meanwhile, Britons are spending less and less on their health, reveals data from the Office for National Statistics.
Between 2005 and 2010 the average weekly household spend on health declined by 25 cent to just £5 per week.
“It’s effectively a gum disease double-whammy – people are spending less on their health while at the same time being exposed to more and more hidden sugars,” said a spokesperson for the manufacturers of Eludril mouthwash and Elgydium toothpaste.
Latest NHS data also reveal some worrying statistics:
at least 80 per cent of the UK population have one or more fillings
six per cent of adults have lost all their natural teeth
one-fifth of adults have full or partial dentures
31 per cent of adults have tooth decay
three in 10 adults regularly suffer from dental pain
only 10 per cent of people in the UK are classed as having excellent oral health.
It is estimated that 80 per cent of people will display one or more signs of gum disease at some point in their lives. The condition is more likely to affect people aged over 35.
Gum disease (gingivitis) is serious because it can lead to receding gums, putting teeth at risk.
It is important to deal with a receding gum line as early as possible. Stopping the condition in its tracks and preventing further damage is much easier than retrospective gum reconstruction.
Early symptoms of gum disease can include sore gums and inflamed or swollen gums. If left untreated, the gum swelling can become quite severe, affecting particularly the papillae, the soft triangular areas of tissue between the teeth.
Other symptoms can include halitosis (bad breath) and bleeding gums, usually a sign that the bacteria have been present for some time.
The recognised gum disease treatment recommended by dentists is chlorhexidine, a powerful and effective antibacterial and antifungal ingredient found in Eludril mouthwash and Elgydium toothpaste.