Early signs of problems in your mouth – ‘make an appointment with your dentist ASAP’

Dentist reveals how much toothpaste you should use

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Experts have seen a decline in the nation’s oral health in the last year as people have been prioritising their safety and avoiding going out to businesses they may deem non-essential. Dr Monik Vasant, a central London-based dentist, said if people aren’t having discomfort or pain with their teeth, they aren’t going to consider it a priority.

“This is completely understandable,” said Dr Monik, “That’s why I’ve partnered with Colgate Total, alongside Dr Alex George, on the #HappyHabits campaign to encourage people to reprioritise their oral health again.

To get people back on track with their oral health, the duo are encouraging people to:

1. Brush twice a day for two minutes

2. Change their brush or brush head every three months

3. Clean in between their teeth

4. Use a fluoride toothpaste with antibacterial ingredients such as Colgate Total, which has dual zinc arginine technology that looks after the whole mouth, not just the teeth.

Dr Monik also offered Express.co.uk something easy people can use to check if they have an issue with their oral health.

He said: “The early signs of problems in your mouth are things like red, sore or bleeding gums, bad breath, non-healing ulcers or growths in the mouth

“If you notice these, don’t ignore them and make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can.

“Getting the right treatment early can prevent severe infections, tooth loss and other complications down the road.

“For kids, you can use plaque disclosing tablets – these dye the plaque on the teeth so you can see whether your little ones are brushing correctly and where they might need to focus more attention.”


So why might some people have pain in their teeth in response to cold food and drinks?

There are several reasons, according to Dr Monik:

  • Receding gums – this exposes the root surface of the tooth, which is extremely sensitive
  • Teeth being worn down / decayed – this exposes the dentine (inner core of the tooth)
  • A crack in the tooth – this can lead to the flexing of the tooth when you chew, exposing the dentine which is sensitive
  • Teeth whitening can also cause temporary sensitivity

New research commissioned by Colgate revealed the oral health of the nation declined over the course of the pandemic, as a third admitted they let their oral care slip during Britain’s various periods of lockdown.

A change in people’s daily routines, driven by lockdown and working from home is to blame for oral care routines being neglected:

  • Three in ten (29 percent) agree that they weren’t taking proper care of their oral health during lockdown periods
  • Over a third (36 percent) said the lack of routine meant they often forgot to brush their teeth
  • 28 percent said they had other health-related issues on their mind, so their oral health was not a priority

The survey also revealed a low awareness of the link between oral health and overall health, as almost three in 10 (28 percent) were unaware that oral conditions can lead to wider health conditions.

Dr Alex said: “Your mouth is a gateway to your overall health – issues such as gum problems have been linked with health issues including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and even dementia, which is why it’s so important to include looking after your mouth as part of a wider health routine.”

The national decline in oral health is backed up by additional data from dentists, with 82 percent reporting an increase in the number of patients they are seeing requiring fillings.

In fact, all dentists surveyed reported that they had seen an increase in common oral health issues across the board including toothache, tooth abscess, sensitivity, severe plaque build-up, gum disease and tooth decay.

In a recent study conducted by University College London on 250 healthy adults, a link was found between gum disease and hypertension.

The results showed that participants with gum disease were twice as likely to have high blood pressure than those with healthy gums.

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