dental health advice edinburgh EH3

Staying Healthy

Every day we tell our patients about the link between good gum health and good general health. This was brought home last week when one gentleman remarked that ever since he’d been taking better care of his teeth and gums he hadn’t been ill at all. Up ’till then he’d been having frequent colds and flu.

Everyone who comes to our practice (well nearly everyone) appreciates the benefits we offer of regular hygiene care. We think it’s because our patients have made their minds up to live a healthy lifestyle and that is one reason why they have chosen to be our patients.

I asked a young patient today to repeat back to me what the hygienist had just said, to help her remember, and she said… “well I’ve some hard plaque on my bottom front teeth so I’ve to brush better there. Also I’ve to brush along the inside and make sure I brush along right beside my gums.”

Excellent listening by this young lady!

As she was finding out, it’s as important to brush as carefully on the inside of your teeth as the outside, especially on the lower as quite often this is an area which isn’t well reached and the gums can get inflamed.

And if you don’t brush along the gum line and get plaque away from this area, you might be getting your teeth themselves quite clean but plaque will remain along the gums and this will make them inflamed.


Let’s discuss “disturbing the biofilm” as this is what all periodontists talk about now.

This is what you are doing when you brush, floss, or use a small brush to clean between your teeth. The spaces in between your teeth and the nooks and crannies around your mouth make an ideal zone for the plaque biofilm to build up. The plaque biofilm is a matrix made from mucopolysaccharide which traps sugars and where bacteria love to live.

When it’s undisturbed, guess what we get, yes, inflammation of the gum.

As we now know, this inflammation is associated with inflammatory responses in other parts of the body. So far links have been found between gum disease and heart disease, also diabetes. Further investigations are being carried out into links between gum disease and types of bowel cancer, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis.




You can’t get in and clean out your heart valves or your brain but you can clean in between your teeth!

So, as good brushing and cleaning in between your teeth helps keep away chronic inflammatory disease, you can see why we keep encouraging and motivating our patients to keep their gums as healthy as possible.



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