D&T Blog

Why tooth decay could be caused by your genes


Research into tooth decay by the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine have found that genetic variations may be the cause of tooth decay.

Two medical journals have been written with the findings of the research, stating that the beta defensin 1 (DEFB1) gene, plays a key role in the first-line immune response against invading germs.

What this means is that some people will have softer tooth enamel than others, due to the specific genetics. The softer the enamel, the easier it is for bacteria to destroy the enamel, leading to cavities. So, because genes are the primary determinant of enamel structure, they have a big effect on whether you get tooth decay

Additionally, research in the Oxford Academic journal also suggests genes influence how well you can taste. And the greater your ability to taste, the less likely your teeth are to decay.

British Medical Association votes for sugar warnings and free toothbrushes


The BMA  passed a motion this week at their annual conference calling for health warnings on sugary foods and more preventative action on children’s oral health.

Alongside the health warning messages on high sugar foods aimed at children, they have called for the government to provide free toothbrushes for children under 5’s alongside compulsory dental hygiene lessons in primary schools via the National Curriculum.

The doctors highlighted the large numbers of young children admitted to hospital for tooth extractions and said more government action was needed after the government dropped plans to curb promotion of junk food from its obesity strategy. BDA Chair Mick Armstrong voiced support for the proposals noting that they could ease pressure on the NHS and that political indifference had allowed a preventable disease to become the number one reason for hospital admissions among children.

Dr Kathy Harley, Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry says “I do agree with the motion and think both health warnings and free toothbrushes for under 5’s are great ideas. Compulsory oral hygiene lessons in primary school would be brilliant. I have seen thousands of children with dental decay due to frequent consumption of sugary food or/and drink. The latter is of particular concern as often the sugars are hidden.” Dr Harley has been warning parents and their children about the consequences sugar can have on children's teeth. Dr Harley's article in The Telegraph in 2012 warned parents about the so called healthy smoothies they were giving to their children without realising the effects on their teeth.


What do your teeth say about you – are your teeth hindering your chance at a better career?


Have you been putting off your dental check-ups? Well, it’s never been a better time to go and see your dentist as research has shown strong links between good teeth and better job prospects.

A study carried out by Bupa revealed that almost half of the surveyed population found people with healthy looking teeth to be more authoritative. Additionally, 54% of people felt that receiving a smile from their boss was great motivation in the workplace. Further studies also noted that people with better teeth seemed to be ideal employees because they appear meticulous and diligent. An outstanding 42% of employees also felt that working with bad teeth was distracting.

Malcolm Gladwell (writer from the New Yorker) recently highlighted that teeth are becoming the new benchmark of inequality. It is important to look after both ours and our children's dental health in the early years of their lives to help make sure we both have healthy mouths in the future. Research shows that maintaining a good oral health routine can have a huge impact on the quality of life.

Keeping your teeth healthy is simple and involves regular visits to your dentist and good oral hygiene at home.

Summer Smiles


Did you know, people tend to smile more during summer? Get your summer smile ready with our top tips for keeping your smile bright and fresh during the summer months.

1. Keeping hydrated during the warmer weather is essential but don’t forget to take care of your teeth too!
2. Drinking summer beverages through a straw can help to decrease the amount of contact your teeth have with fizzy, acidic and sugary beverages. Helping to keep your mouth clean and healthy so you can smile with confidence all summer long!
3. Do something for yourself this summer! Visit your dentist for a check-up and remember, you should be seeing your hygienist regularly, so if you haven’t had a chance to recently, take some time for yourself and get a dental and hygiene check-up.
4. Being on the go, getting involved with outdoor activities and having BBQ’s and picnics is all part of summer fun however not so fun for our teeth! If brushing after eating and drinking isn’t an option, rinse your mouth with water to remove sugars until it’s possible to brush.
5. While taking part in outdoor activities and sports, always wear appropriate protective wear including mouth shields. Make sure children follow the pool rules as some dental emergencies happen through slipping on wet surfaces during the summer.
6. Enjoy your ice cold drinks without sensitivity by visiting your dentist for advice
7. Have fun, take care of yourself and don’t forget to smile!

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