Electric Toothbrush vs Manual Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush cleans teeth and gums much better than a manual toothbrush, according to the findings of severalElectric Toothbrush studies.

There are numerous studies which demonstrate the efficacy of using an electric toothbrush as opposed to a manual toothbrush. The bottom line for good oral hygiene is the effective removal of dental plaque.

What is dental plaque?

Dental plaque is a soft white sticky substance which forms and sticks to the surface of teeth. It is made of food debris and high amounts of bacteria and a medium that they produce to help them retain on the teeth.

It is common knowledge and proven science that dental plaque is the major reason for tooth decay and adult gum disease.

So, it is essential that the plaque is removed daily, and not allowed to build up on the teeth.

A study (undertaken in 2019) which took 11 years to complete found that people who use an electric toothbrush have healthier gums, less tooth decay and as a result will keep their teeth for longer, compared with those who use a manual toothbrush.1

This study has confirmed what many earlier studies have suggested that electric toothbrushes are better for oral health.

Why are electric toothbrushes better?

Well, in a nutshell they are really effective at removing plaque.

However, electrical toothbrushes are not all in the same boat.

There are those with heads that rotate in both directions, or ‘oscillating’ heads; and there are those that vibrate left and right, forward and backward.

“As the science behind the advantages of electric toothbrushes is mounting, the decision whether to invest in one becomes much easier.”

In my experience, I have found certain electric toothbrushes uncomfortable, they can cause some giddiness in some patients, as the buzzing continues in the head; but that differs from person to person.

I have also seen patients who use electric toothbrushes, yet their oral hygiene is below standard; and when reverting to manual brushes, their oral hygiene improves. So, it is about the mindset and the method used.

Does an Electric Toothbrush Damage Teeth?

If used correctly, then they should not damage the teeth. Bearing this in mind, any toothbrush: electric or manual may damage the tooth if not use properly.

That is why it is important to see your dentist regularly and to be instructed on how to clean the teeth adequately.

Do Electric Toothbrushes Remove More Plaque?

The short answer is yes. One of the primary reasons that an electric toothbrush does this is due to the consistent power delivery.

Unlike a manual toothbrush the electric toothbrush continues to deliver the same power from the second it is switched on to the moment it is switched off.

A manual toothbrush is controlled by a human arm, is less likely to keep up with that consistent power.

When something is consistent and uniform you often see improvement.

Another reason is that owning an electric toothbrush is about the mindset one has to his or her teeth. Because if you are investing in an electric toothbrush, then it is quite likely that you are concerned about your teeth and you want to give them your best.

A third reason relates to certain types of toothbrush which deliver varying motion patterns that disrupt dental plaque much more effectively than a manual toothbrush.

If you follow a good oral health routine then whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, you’ll have a healthy mouth either way. However, if you are serious about improved oral hygiene, then you need to have the right mindset and that usually leads to you to an electric toothbrush.

REFERENCES

  1. 1. ORAL HEALTH FOUNDATION (2018) ‘National Smile Month Nationwide Survey 2019’, Atomik Research, May 2019, Sample 2,003.
  2. 2. Pitchika, V, Pink, C, Völzke, H, Welk, A, Kocher, T, Holtfreter, B. Long‐term impact of powered toothbrush on oral health: 11‐year cohort study. J Clin Periodontol. 2019; 46: 713– 722. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpe.13126

Systemic Dangers Of Gum Disease

The systemic dangers of gum disease are well documented in the dental community. It is now well known that gum (peridontal) disease isn’t just bad news for your teeth and gums; it also presents a significant risk to your overall health and wellbeing. Gum disease starts off as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and can proceed to periodontitis (inflammation of the surrounding tissues including the jaw bone).

Gum disease has been scientifically recorded to affect other parts of the body, increasing your risk of stroke, heart disease and even cancer!

These are the top five systemic dangers related to poor dental hygiene.

Brain

There have been multiple studies on the effects of periodontal disease and its correlation to cognitive function. For example, one recent study found that the risk of cognitive decline in older men increased for each tooth lost due to poor dental hygiene.

It has also been noted that those studied for gum disease were found to have a build-up of beta-amyloid in the brain; this is the neurological hallmark of Alzheimer’s.

This form of bacteria stems from gum disease and can often be found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

Heart

Details on the direct correlation between gum disease and heart disease have grown in popularity, with many scientific studies finding a direct link between the two.

The most common cause is due to inflammation in the gums. This inflammation is the direct cause of gum disease.

This is dangerous as inflammation is known to spark a chain reaction.

The bacteria start in the mouth; then it enters the bloodstream. Once it has found a way, the inflammation can spread throughout the rest of the body, most notably the heart.

Cancer

A study from a medical journal published in 2008 concludes a direct link between gum disease and cancer. Within this journal, it was discovered that the enzyme produced by a specific type of bacteria most associated with gum disease Treponema Denticola
is also commonly found in tumours, often relating to the gastrointestinal system.

The research paper also found that it activated other enzymes that promote cancer cells as they advance into healthy tissue.

The Lungs

In a recent study conducted in February 2019, scientists discovered a significant correlation between chronic periodontitis and a reduction in respiratory function. This is related to inflammation. They noted that if the tubes in the lungs that carry air are inflamed, they become narrower, and airflow is restricted. In addition, it was discovered that bacteria present in the mouth might also be breathed into the lungs. Once in the lungs, the bacteria could trigger infections that directly lead to inflammation. Similarly, enzymes produced during gum disease might pass into the lungs. Once there, they could help pathogens take root and colonise the lung tissue.

Erectile Dysfunction

Multiple scientific journals have noted links between gum disease and erectile dysfunction. One most notable study published in 2016 found numerous associations between erectile dysfunction and chronic periodontitis.

So much so that they listed in their journal that physicians should refer patients with [erectile dysfunction] to oral healthcare providers for a comprehensive oral evaluation and treatment.”

The cause may primarily be due to inflammation.

How to improve your overall health?

Brushing your teeth, flossing and maintaining your gums can prevent and treat gum disease, reduce your risk of systemic health problems and most importantly, improve your overall health.

Simply brush your teeth for a full two minutes a day with toothpaste. Then, clean in between your teeth with dental floss and interdental brushes, and rinse with an alcohol free mouthwash.

Remember to maintain regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist for check-ups and regular cleaning, if required.

Click here for short videos on how to brush your teeth.

List of References

1) Kaye EK, Valencia A, Baba N, Spiro A 3rd, Dietrich T, Garcia RI. Tooth loss and periodontal disease predict poor cognitive function in older men. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Apr;58(4):713-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.02788.x. PMID: 20398152; PMCID: PMC3649065.

2) FAST TRACK — ARTICLES| VOLUME 9, ISSUE 6,

Dr Dominique S Michaud, ScD, Yan Liu, Mara Meyer, Prof Edward Giovannucci, Prof Kaumudi Joshipura,
Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
Published:May 06, 2008: 550-558. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(08)70106-2

3) Kellesarian SV, Kellesarian TV, Ros Malignaggi V, et al. Association Between Periodontal Disease and Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Men’s Health. March 2018:338-346. doi:10.1177/1557988316639050

4) Winning, L, Patterson, CC, Cullen, KM, Kee, F, Linden, GJ. Chronic periodontitis and reduced respiratory function. J Clin Periodontol. 2019; 46: 266– 275. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpe.13076

Holistic Dentistry

The Top 5 Benefits of Holistic Dentistry

In a world of increasing health risk, thousands of people worldwide are seeking a more natural or holistic alternative. When it comes to their food, household products and healthcare, we have begun to see a shift towards full-body care that focuses on the holistic side of life. Not just what cures and keeps us healthy on the outside, but what focuses the mind and protects your mental health. Keep reading to find out what it means to take a holistic approach to dentistry and why choosing a holistic dentist will not just improve your teeth but your mind, body and soul, whilst helping you to achieve that beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.

1. Infection Free Zone!

A holistic approach to integrative dentistry sees the mouth as an integrated part of the body and considers oral health problems related to total body health. After all, to heal the mouth, you must first heal the vessel. The mouth does not exist in a vacuum. Getting holes in your teeth (also known as cavities) is not normal. The mouth is a micro-environment that mimics the health of your total body. For example, plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth can indicate and increase your risk for plaque and tartar buildup in your arteries. Also, the same bacteria associated with gum disease can be found in the hearts of patients with heart disease, in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s, and cancer cells of patients with pancreatic cancer. A holistic dentist will focus on balancing the bacteria in their patient’s mouth, not only to improve their teeth & gums but, most importantly, their overall health.

2. No More Toxin!

Most dentists simply scrape and polish, focusing on the external issues of teeth; however, holistic dentistry goes much deeper than just cleaning and making peoples teeth look nice. Each patient’s entire well-being is considered, from diet to mental health to how active you are! The job of a Holistic dentist is to tailor the experience to you, focus on your needs and deliver a dedicated plan to improve your overall well-being. As part of holistic philosophy, holistic dentists provide safe mercury amalgam removal techniques (SMART) and use bio-compatible materials to restore your bite and smile. In addition, the Minamata Convention Treaty, designed to protect human health and the environment, now has 28 countries that have pledged to phase out the use of dental amalgams and ban the use of dental amalgams in women, nursing and pregnant women, and children.

3. Sensible Fluoride!

Too much fluoride can lead to dental and skeletal fluorosis, damaging bones and joints. However, we know that fluoride is good for teeth and significantly protects and strengthens teeth. Holistic dentists don’t advocate the indiscriminate use of fluoride. Instead, they opt for products and treatments to make their patient’s teeth stronger using safe amounts or other alternatives.

4. Innovative Technology!

Choosing a holistic dentist does not mean sacrificing high tech treatments. Quite the opposite! Holistic dentistry focuses on modern, minimally-invasive technologies and treatments. State-of-the-art options include (which may or may not be available at your dentist):

  • ● Advanced 3D low dose digital x-rays
  • ● Laser treatments to treat gum disease
  • ● High tech ceramic dental implants
  • ● Same day crown technology
  • ● Digital scanning as alternative to impression

5. A Peaceful Nights Sleep!

A holistic dentist is well versed in the problems of the body, not just the teeth; for example, your dentist can measure the many signs of snoring during a routine check-up. They will check for symptoms such as sleep apnoea, sleep-disordered breathing and most commonly, snoring!

The effects of sleep loss can be many, including weight gain, memory loss, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks, impaired alertness and sudden death. However, a holistically oriented sleep-trained dentist can manufacture a comfortable and cost-effective mouthpiece to clear the airway and allow proper breathing throughout the night.

Summary

Holistic Dentistry is a great way to treat your mouth as part of your whole body, and has great benefits especially for those who are experiencing multi-faceted issues.

Hypnosis in Dentistry

Anxious

There are a considerable number of people who are anxious about coming to the dentist. Believe me, in my time, I have seen so many of them.

“I hate dentists!” is a term I have heard so many times, and usually the first sentence that some nervous patients say, to be followed, “nothing personal.”

“I would rather give birth than be at the dentist!” is also a regular thing I get told.

Coming to a dentist, and expecting pain with all different sorts of procedures is truly unnerving. And if that is coupled with “inherited anxiety”, then it becomes much worse.

What is “Inherited Anxiety”?

I am not sure such a term exists, but in a nutshell, I would describe it anxiety that a person gets from seeing others (usually one or both parents) in their family who are extremely anxious about dentists.

When a member of a family is extremely anxious, and they are vocal about their feelings to others in their family; then that anxiety could easily be passed on.

As humans, part of how we form opinions about others or things or procedures is based on what we are told.

If someone told you that so-and-so is an evil, wicked man who is an ex-convict having done time for murder; then it is quite likely that you would fear this person, even though you have had no interaction with him; and without even knowing if what is being said is true or false.

It is thus, quite important for dentally nervous patients to avoid talking about their anxieties to their children; as it is quite likely that the child will “inherit” this anxiety, before even coming to the dental office.

Overcoming Anxiety

Despite there being many things and procedures at the dentist which can cause anxiety, millions of people still come to the dental surgery and have regular and emergency treatments. This is because anxiety is strongly related to a person’s mind and how they perceive the unknown or the upcoming. This perception may be real, like based on past “bad” experiences, or it might be imagined based on what a person has read or heard about.

Whatever the reason may be, it needs an individual to overcome their anxiety; because visiting a dentist is an important part of every person’s oral health, and in many cases overall health.

Hypnosis in Dentistry

Firstly, it is important to erase all what you think hypnosis is from watching “stage hypnosis” which many a time is fake. You have to understand hypnosis is a different light.

Watch this short video which tells you a little more about it.

Next Steps

To use hypnosis to overcome your dental anxiety, or indeed any other anxiety, you can follow one of two methods:

1) Self Hypnosis: where you take charge of changing your perceptions and alleviating your fears

2) Seek expert help: where you can ask an expert to work with you to deal with your fears.