A Sunnier Way to Healthier Gums

As Summer finally (nearly!) arrives, there may be unexpected benefits for oral health.

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK. This is a fact that many people are unaware of; often presuming that it is, in fact, tooth decay. Many of our blog posts have, and will continue to, point out the importance of maintaining good gum health through brushing and flossing, as well as regular oral health maintenance checks at The Lodge Dental Suite.

Smile .. it’s Summer

Our dental patients from Cheshunt, Enfield and Waltham Cross then, will also be pleased to hear that research now indicates that the sun may also be a positive factor in good gum health (1).

As well as providing us with a nice tan, the sun is an important source of vitamin D. This vitamin plays an important role in strengthening our immune system, which, in turn, helps to fight off any infections or bacteria, including gingival bacteria. This is not to say, of course, that sunbathing should replace your regular dental routine but could prove to be a useful supplement, and an enjoyable one at that.

Gum disease

Without good oral health care, the gingival bacteria that occur naturally in our mouths, start to multiply. At a certain point, our immune system alone cannot cope with the bacteria and they start to attack the gums. This causes the gums to become sore and sometimes bleed. When any of these symptoms occur, it is important to seek immediate attention from your local dentist who will be able to recommend more effective ways of managing your oral health, in addition to cleaning procedures (‘scale and polish’), to remove the built up bacteria.

So it may be slightly unexpected, but by adding a spot of sunbathing to our lives, with adequate protection of course, we actually give our immune system a boost to help it fight off infections. In addition to this, vitamin D is known to play a key role in the development and maintenance of strong teeth and bones.

Precautions

Increasingly, gum disease is being linked to other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and even dementia, so anything that helps in the fight against this widespread problem is to be welcomed. Do take care in the sun though and protect yourself with the appropriate sunscreen, and, equally importantly, stay well hydrated. Not only will this quench your thirst but will prevent a dry mouth; itself a precursor for an increase in the gingival bacteria in the mouth.

If you suffer from sore or bleeding gums or any related problems, please come and talk to our dental team at The Lodge Dental Suite by calling us on 01992 643 388.

1.    http://www.dentalhealth.org/news/details/866