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Sleeping with your mouth open could lead to decay


According to new research, sleeping with your mouth open could be as bad for your teeth as fizzy drinks because it can cause decay. The study, which has been published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, shows that people who sleep with their mouths open are at greater risk of decay than those who breathe through their noses due to dangerous levels of acid building up during the night.

The research stated that saliva can naturally prevent plaque and decay from building up on the teeth; if you are sleeping with your mouth open this will generally cause the saliva to dry up and this means that the teeth are not as well protected from plaque, which can lead to decay and gum disease. Plaque is known as a ‘biofilm’ that is invisible but coats the teeth and releases acid which can cause cavities and other dental problems if treatment is not provided

Furthermore, the study showed that sleeping with the mouth open raises the levels of acidity in the mouth to a 3.6 on the PH scale, which is the same as having a fizzy drink before bed time, as it leads to plaque building up on the teeth.


Yorkshire Schools start daily tooth brushing club


In an effort to help children in South Yorkshire improve their dental hygiene, ten special support schools in Sheffield have introduced daily tooth brushing clubs and healthy eating regimes. Research revealed that children in need of special support at school were more likely to have their teeth extracted, although they have lower rates of tooth decay overall, compared to children at mainstream schools.

Sheffield City Council has implemented the brushing club, working with Public Health England and the NHS to improve oral health in the area. As well as joining the daily brushing club, children in special schools have also been enrolled in the School Starters Scheme, which means they are provided with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. The kids are also encouraged to visit the dentist at least twice a year for a check-up.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, the council’s cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, spoke to the Yorkshire Post about the schemes, saying that it was undoubtedly a good idea to get children into a routine with their dental health, in order to prevent problems such as decay or gum disease, which could bring the rate of extraction down significantly. She also added ‘It’s great that, by working together, the council, health services, and special schools are introducing these excellent preventative measures.’

Leicester children have the highest rate of tooth decay in England


According to a new report, over half of five-year-olds in Leicester have some level of tooth decay, which puts the city at the top of the table when it comes to tooth decay among children. The National Children’s Bureau revealed that 51% of children in this age group suffered with tooth decay; the highest level anywhere in England. Leicester was also found to be 25th out of 150 local authorities for levels of deprivation.

The report, titled Poor Beginnings, says that the Government should be doing more to help children in deprived areas with their health and development and chief executive Anna Feuchtwang called the results ‘shocking’. It reveals a so-called postcode lottery of health and wellbeing, as children in neighbouring areas receive ‘wildly different’ levels of care and their quality of life varies greatly also.

Ms Feuchtwang went on to say that ‘As these variations are closely linked to poverty, with those in areas with the highest levels of deprivation more likely to suffer from a range of health issues, we have to ask whether England is becoming a nation of two halves.’

As well as poor dental health, almost eleven percent of four to five year olds in Leicester where found to be obese and less than half the children finishing their reception year at school were at a good level of development.

Almost half of adults admit to not brushing their teeth before bed


According to new research carried out with 10,000 volunteers, almost half of adults don’t bother to brush their teeth in the evening, with most giving the excuses that they are too tired before bed or simply forgetful when it comes to their dental hygiene. 45% of those asked admitted that they have gone to bed without brushing their teeth; 40% said it was because they were too tired, 30% cited laziness as the reason, with 28% saying they were just forgetful. Despite this, 91% said they knew that poor oral care could lead to decay and gum disease.

The survey, commissioned by GSK for the Love Your Mouth campaign, reveals that thousands of people are at risk of dental problems. A London dental practitioner spoke to MailOnline about the problem, stating that people don’t think missing out on brushing in the evening is a big problem but gradually this neglect of dental hygiene builds up, causing a host of dental conditions. Natty Burgess said ‘you only need to spend around four minutes brushing, and a couple of extra minutes per day flossing to avoid having problems.’

Only 24% of the people who took part in the study said that they flossed regularly, and 44% admitted that their dental hygiene could be improved. A massive 67% of respondents said they had developed tooth decay at some point in their lives and 29% said that they had six or more fillings. Dr Burgess added ‘Your teeth are the first thing people look at when you start to speak, and first impressions count for a lot… So it’s vital to look after your oral health and give your mouth some love.’

Adding fluoride to water could save the NHS millions of pounds


New research has suggested that adding fluoride to drinking water could save the NHS millions of pounds that is currently being spent on dental treatment, as well as improving the health of the nations teeth. In areas of the country where the mineral was added to the water, the number of people admitted to the dentist for a tooth extraction halved in comparison to areas without untreated water.

The latest study, which has been published in the Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, found that there were no adverse effects on children’s health, despite the supposed risks – which include brain impairment, liver and kidney disease, and bone disorders. Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation said that fluoridation is vital in the fight against decay which is currently ravaging the teeth of children in the UK. He said that ‘this new research reinforces what we have known for a long time regarding the benefits that fluoride can have on children’s teeth, while also emphasising the fact that fluoridation has no negative impact on general health.’

Dental health problems are known to be prevalent in areas of deprivation and the authors of the study have suggested that adding fluoride to the water could help children who are ‘less likely to practice good oral hygiene and access dental services for routine care.’

The NHS currently spends £30million on dental care for children, mainly extractions of rotten teeth; fluoridation could reduce decay, strengthen the teeth and make them more resistant to bacteria, saving healthcare providers millions of pounds in treatment.

Bristol child has sixteen milk teeth extracted due to decay


A four-year-old child from Bristol has had sixteen of her twenty milk teeth extracted because they were decaying; the girl, whose name has not been disclosed, was visiting the Charlotte Keel Centre in Easton for the first time when the extent of the problem was revealed. Her mother explained that she was initially concerned about the child having trouble eating but was aware that her teeth were not in a good state.

According to the Bristol Post, after examining her teeth, the dentist revealed that all but four of her baby teeth would have to be taken out because they were so badly decayed. The child was then referred to Bristol Dental Hospital for the treatment under general anaesthetic.

The case study is part of a council report which reveals that children living in deprived areas are more likely to suffer tooth decay and require fillings. The worst ward in Bristol is Ashley, with 127 out of 1,000 children being given fillings, despite the fact that the report labelled the problem ‘entirely preventable.’

The issue is due to be discussed at Bristol Health and Wellbeing Board this week.


Fruit juice could be rotting your child’s teeth


Dentists are warning against giving too much fruit juice to children because it has caused decay in the teeth of more than 1,200 toddlers in the UK. Although parents might be assuming that they are giving their children a healthy snack, in fact the sugar in the juice could be eating away at the teeth and may lead to tooth extractions later on.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre said that 1,235 children under the age of two had to be put under general anaesthetic to have teeth removed, including 134 who had only just grown their milk teeth. Dentists blame the problem on increasingly sugary diets, coupled with visiting the dental clinic less frequently.

Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser at the British Dental Association (BDA) said that this problem can affect patients of any age but he explained that toddlers can get cavities because they are given too many sugary foods and drinks. He added that ‘most damaging of all’ is giving sugary drinks in bottles for children to sip during the night; Professor Walmsley said that tooth decay is ‘largely preventable’ and also ‘the main reason why youngsters are admitted to hospital to have a general anaesthetic.’

Study reveals that billions of people across the world have tooth decay


According to a new study published in the Journal of Dental Research over 2.4 billion people across the globe have some level of untreated tooth decay and experts are saying that this is not just a problem among children, it is affecting a large number of adults also.

Professor Wagner Marcenes of Queen Mary University of London led the team of international researchers who analysed studies carried out on millions of people between 1990 and 2010. The results revealed that 2.4bn people have untreated tooth decay in their adult teeth and around 621million children have untreated cavities in their milk teeth. The study predicts more than 190m new cases of decay every year.

According to the results, around a third of the population in the UK had untreated decay in 2010. Prof Wagner blames the bulk of the problem on diet, with sugary foods and drinks being consumed in large amounts, as well as frequent snacking, exposing the teeth to high levels of acid on a daily basis. He said ‘It is alarming to see prevention and treatment of tooth decay has been neglected at this level. Tooth decay is a significant economic burden. And if left untreated, it leads to poor productivity at work and absenteeism in adults, and poor school attendance and performance in children.’

Comedian O’Carroll suffers implant failure


Irish TV star Brendan O’Carroll has spoken to the Mirror about how his dental implants failed and the pain he suffered during the filming of the Christmas special of his hit show Mrs Brown’s Boys. Brendan, 59, lost several of his teeth due to decay and decided that he would rather have dental implants than a denture to replace them; in November, just before filming was due to start in Glasgow, the comedian had four implants fitted.

When recording of the Christmas special began, Brendan felt the bridge that was fitted over the implants come loose and he struggled to arrange treatment because he currently resides in Florida, where his dentist is located. He explained that ‘halfway through filming it, I thought I was going to pass out in pain. Every step I took was absolute agony and moving quickly jolted my jaw.’

After returning to Florida with wife Jennifer, who plays his on-screen daughter Cathy, Brendan went straight to the dentist but was told that all the implants had failed due to repair work done at the Glasgow dentist. The dentist told him ‘You probably don’t want to go back to having implants again’ but Brendan was adamant that they were ‘not stopping’ until the treatment can be carried out successfully. The comedian added ‘since I’ve had the implants taken out, I’ve got temporary dentures and I am having another set of implants fitted later this month.’

Tooth problems could have cost athletes an Olympic medal


Health experts have revealed that tooth decay and other dental problems may have cost a number of athletes a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games and statistics have shown that poor oral health may have affected a fifth of the athlete’s performances. The study revealed that 18% of sports men and women complained that the condition of their teeth may have had a negative impact on their athletic performance at the games.

Health experts at University College London said that athletes should give dental hygiene the same priority as other sports sciences to increase their performance by even the smallest margins. Professor Ian Needleman of the UCL Eastman Dental Institute said that problems concerning the teeth and gums are ‘easily preventable’ and could mean the difference between a gold medal and a silver one. Professor Needleman said ‘professional athletes and their teams spend a lot of time and money on ways to marginally improve performance, as this can make all the difference in elite sports.’ He also added ‘things like better tooth brushing techniques and higher fluoride toothpastes could prevent… toothache and associated sleeping and training difficulties.’

It has also been suggested that acidic energy drinks can cause decay among athletes and the researchers were keen to point out that they were not trying to ‘demonise’ energy drinks or suggest that athletes don’t use them, but people should be aware of their dental condition and take measures to reduce the risks to oral health.


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