Living well

Can gum disease affect your general health?

When you think about problems associated with your dental health, you might typically imagine things like tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. However, there’s evidence that poor dental health could also be related to some long-term conditions that you may not expect.

Research has shown that gum disease is associated with several other diseases. These include:

heart disease and stroke
lung conditions
complications in pregnancy

But some of the evidence supporting this research is inconclusive and so professional opinions are split. Here, I’ll explain some of the theories behind the headlines and why it’s thought that dental disease could lead to general health problems.

How could your oral health and overall health be linked?

There are a number of theories as to why the health of your mouth and the rest of your body could be related. To understand these, we first need to understand how gum disease develops.

If you don’t brush and clean between your teeth well enough, bacteria can build up to form a layer known as dental plaque. The build-up of this plaque leads to inflammation of the gums surrounding your teeth, causing them to become swollen and sore, and sometimes to bleed. This is known as gum disease.

Heart disease and stroke

Research has shown that your body may respond to the increase in bacteria in your mouth by producing what are known as inflammatory markers. Having bacteria and inflammatory markers in your bloodstream could contribute to the damage of blood vessels, which supply your heart and brain. This might lead to heart disease and stroke.

Some studies also suggest that treating gum disease might reduce the amount of overall inflammation around your body. It’s thought that this might help to reduce, but not prevent, your chance of developing cardiovascular disease. These findings are yet to be confirmed.


It’s well documented that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. There’s a relationship between blood sugar levels and the severity of gum disease.

There are a few theories as to why this might be, but largely it’s thought to be due to an inflammatory response around the body (similarly to how gum disease affects the cardiovascular system).

Some research suggests that the relationship between diabetes and gum disease is in fact more of a two-way street than we first thought. This means that not only does having diabetes increase your risk of gum disease, but having gum disease increases your risk of developing diabetes too. However, further research is needed before we can fully understand how these two conditions influence each other.

Lung conditions

Your mouth is the main entrance point to your body, and your airways lead from your mouth to your lungs. So if your mouth contains a lot of bacterial plaque, the theory is that you could then breathe this into your lungs. Once inhaled, bacteria could then go on to cause an infection in your lungs or could aggravate an existing condition, such as pneumonia.

Is gum disease a direct cause or is it all a coincidence?

It’s important to understand the difference between two factors here – causality and association.

Causality means that something is a direct cause of another illness, which is what some of the research around this subject would suggest. In this case, that would imply that gum disease directly causes other diseases.

Association means that having gum disease may not directly cause other long-term diseases, but that the two are closely linked for a number of different reasons. For example, they are both influenced by common risk factors, such as smoking or diet. Therefore, this is an important point to consider, and many medical professionals hold this point of view when it comes to health-related issues.

Common risk factors

It’s important to note that gum disease and long-term illnesses have lots of common causes including age, stress levels and ethnicity. So it’s very difficult to know how significant each factor is and more so, which is the main culprit.

The same goes for the type of lifestyle you lead. It’s thought that if you don’t take care of your general health, for example, by eating a healthy diet, not smoking and doing regular exercise, then you may not be looking after your dental health very much either. For this reason, people who may develop heart disease, stroke, diabetes, lung conditions etc, may also be at an increased risk of developing gum disease, because of the lifestyle choices they make.

Although it’s complex, it’s clear that there’s a link between the health of your mouth and the rest of your body. But it’s not yet certain whether this is a direct cause or merely an association. Because of this, more research is needed.

If there’s one key take home message from what we know so far, it’s this: A good teeth cleaning routine, regular exercise, not smoking, a healthy diet and regular visits to your dentist are vital ingredients to achieve optimal dental and general health.


Test your teeth knowledge

There are so many do’s and don’ts out there on dental care for you to digest, so our experts have made things simple. They’ve put together five quick fire question and answers you can get your teeth into.
Is brushing straight after breakfast good for you?
Wait 20-30 minutes for your pH levels to return to normal
Should I rinse after brushing?
No. Leaving the toothpaste on your teeth helps to protect them
How often should I floss?
Once a day
Should I avoid sugar?
Not altogether – try to eat small amounts of sugar at regular intervals
Do whitening toothpastes work?
They help remove stains which brightens your teeth rather than altering the shade

School children drinking ‘high levels’ of sports drinks


Dental studio encourages teenagers and children not to consume energy drinks which results in acid erosion of teeth and decay

  • sports drinksAlmost 90% of school children consume sports drinks, a new study published in the British Dental Journal has shown.

The research found almost 90% of 12 to 14-year-olds consume high-sugar acidic drinks, despite understanding the negative effects on their oral health.

Researchers believe children are drawn to the drinks due to their branding, believing the drinks are for everybody, despite being intended for adults taking part in sports.

‘Sports drinks offer no health benefits to children, and are helping fuel an epidemic of tooth decay,’ BDA chair, Mick Armstrong, said.

‘It’s no accident that we are seeing such high levels of consumption among children.

‘Cynical marketing is driving demand, and it is time Government drew a line.’

Sugar tax
The BDA is calling on the Government to bring sports drinks under the orbit of the soft drinks industry levy.

It claims if sports drinks are sold alongside regular soft drinks they should be covered by the sugar levy and restrictions placed on marketing and display.

The study also found that:

89% of school children consume sports drinks
73% of children believe water is suitable to be consumed when exercising
68% of children consume them regularly (one-seven times per week)
45.9% of those children surveyed believe sports drinks are for everyone, irrespective of age or activity level
65% believe sports drinks could lead to tooth decay.
‘Big business is getting away with targeting children with products designed for athletes,’ Mick continued.

‘High in both sugars and acids, these are not everyday drinks.

‘And if they are going to be displayed alongside colas, they should be subject to the same taxes.

‘Water remains the drink of choice when undertaking moderate exercise, and is the safest option for both oral and general health.’

The study – Knowledge of and attitudes to sports drinks of adolescents living in South Wales UK – is published in the British Dental Journal.

Six month smile

Six month smile (6 month) review

I was one of one children who had brace after brace as a youngster, from primary school through to senior school, all the way from ten up to fifteen years old. So when it came time to have my brace off, the last thing I was going to do was wear yet ANOTHER ‘brace’ in the form of a retainer! Sadly, no one explained the consequences to me of not wearing a retainer and that my teeth would naturally drift. And drift they did..

So here I am in adulthood, hating the fact that my lateral incisors (the ones next to my front teeth) were slightly in standing and my canine teeth were slightly out of the natural arch. I thought of many options over the years, when veneers came in I though of having my laterals veneered so that there were all level together, but that would be a procedure that was irreversible, potentially damaging to my teeth and would need replacing at some point during my life – maybe more than once. Not really an option.

So when the six month smile system was introduced it seemed like the option I had been waiting for. Short term, cosmetic orthodontics for exactly my situation. So I had the assessment and I was a good candidate for having it done. I had the initial photographs and impressions done and then waited a couple of weeks for my brackets etc to come back from the laboratory.

The initial appointment was a long one, the preparation of the teeth and the fitting of the brackets in each quadrant of my mouth and the arch wires fitted too. It cast my mind back to my days at school of having them on. It was uncomfortable for about a week and then I kind of forgot that I had them at all. I returned every 4-6 weeks to have them adjusted, the odd power chain on to close gaps and new arch wires on, all according to how the movement of my teeth was progressing. Each time they were adjusted it was slightly uncomfortable for about 24 hours then it all settled down again. There were certain foods I had to avoid – anything hard like nuts or crusty baguettes and anything with a strong colour like curry. I didn’t always manage to avoid curries, but it did turn my bands a nice luminous yellow colour from the turmeric.

The whole treatment took about 9 months because one of my front teeth wasn’t moving as quickly as the others, a quick X-ray revealed a hooked root which was anchoring the tooth in a certain position. My options were to move it very slowly – thereby extending my treatment or settle for how it was. I was quite happy with my results, so I opted to leave it as it was.

The day I had my braces off, I couldn’t stop smiling. My teeth felt so straight and my lateral incisors were now almost perfectly in alignment – just what I wanted. I feel I now have a natural smile with straight teeth and it really has improved my confidence to smile. My teeth were also re shaped during the treatment so they weren’t quite as flared as they had been and I am so happy with the result.

The one thing I will be doing every single night is…wear my retainers!
By Jo Russel

A white wedding – Part 4

My teeth whitening journey from ‘no, I can’t’ to no looking back

Some decisions we make and never regret. For me, it was saying ‘yes’ when my now-husband proposed.

Deciding to have my teeth whitened was another. Admittedly it wasn’t an immediate ‘yes’, unlike my instant and resolute response to my true love’s request. It was a decision which took a while to make but once I’d decided, I never looked back.

Our wedding day was drawing near and for almost three weeks, I’d been wearing my bespoke trays with whitening gel every night. I knew an amazing transformation was taking place and when I saw Neresh and Hayley for a check up towards the end of the process, this was confirmed.

I was asked to hold up a chart, which shows the varying shades of tooth discolouration, next to my teeth – just as I did during my initial consultation. It was wonderful when Neresh confirmed that my teeth had lightened by 12 shades – a remarkable result!

The beauty of ‘at home whitening’ is that you can control how white your teeth become. The fear that my teeth wouldn’t look natural was unrealised as I received compliments on ‘looking well’ rather than being asked ‘have you had your teeth whitened?’ My aim had been achieved.

As well as making my teeth look brighter, whiter and cleaner, the process seemed to give my entire face a boost; my lips appeared to have more colour, my skin tone looked healthier and the whites of my eyes seemed brighter. Just what you want before you walk down the aisle!

And so the big day arrived. I awoke to dazzling winter sunshine and the knowledge that today I’d become a ‘Mrs’. All eyes were on me; I felt a million dollars and I didn’t stop smiling a confident smile which came from the inside out. It was a day I’ll never forget and a white wedding in more ways than one.

Let the transformation begin…

My teeth whitening journey from ‘no, I can’t’ to no looking back

The wait was over. Whiter teeth were now within reach – in fact, the answer was in my hands.

I left the Dental Studio holding a classy black bag which might have lead an onlooker to conclude that I’d indulged in a dose of retail therapy.

The classy bag did not contain a designer dress. Even better, within it sat a sassy zip-up black case packed with everything I needed to get my teeth whiter, brighter and shiny, just in time for walking down the aisle.

Hayley explained how the home whitening system worked and was great at outlining the dos and don’ts. It’s simple, straightforward and safe – what’s not to like?

The cool black case, which was to be kept in the fridge, was filled with 12 syringes containing whitening gel. With a syringe in hand, I went upstairs to notch up another experience in my dental whitening belt.

With the smoker’s tooth powder and whitening wand experiences of my past becoming dim distant memories, I embraced this latest bid to get whiter teeth wholeheartedly and with confidence. This time, I knew it would work.

I took the custom-made trays out of the case and squeezed small ‘dots’ of gel into each tooth-shaped mould. And if you’re picturing rugby player’s gum shields, all chunky and bulky, you’re way off course; these trays are thin, lightweight and flexible.

Putting them in soon became part of my pre-bed routine, along with rinsing my contact lenses and applying night cream, and it didn’t take long to get used to sleeping with the trays.

The whitening process is pain-free but some days my teeth were sensitive. It was no surprise though – Neresh and Hayley had told me there may be increased sensitivity. So I simply avoided cold food and drinks, and focused on the fresh smile that was in the making.


Part 2 – A complete consultation


My teeth whitening journey from ‘no, I can’t’ to no looking back

Having decided to say ‘I do’ to teeth whitening in readiness for my winter wedding, it was time to attend my initial consultation at The Dental Studio in Waterlooville to determine whether I was suitable for home whitening 

When I arrived, the warm welcome I received from Neresh and Hayley set the scene for what was to follow; the most thorough and informative dental examination I’ve ever experienced.

Neresh spent time finding out about me and what I wanted, and then briefly explained the purpose of the consultation and what it would entail.

Firstly, my teeth were photographed and X-rayed from various angles. Within seconds the images – which were both slightly unnerving and utterly fascinating – were displayed on the large wall-mounted screen in front of me.

Neresh pointed out which teeth were strong, where enamel was thinning and which fillings were getting old. I was also photographed holding a chart, which depicts the various shades of tooth discolouration, next to my teeth. This meant the colour of my teeth could be compared pre- and post-whitening.

Throughout the consultation Neresh checked everything made sense, that I understood and was happy. It was a ‘yes’ hat-trick from me!

As my mouth MOT came to a close, Neresh delivered the good news; I was suitable for teeth whitening. A mould of my teeth was then taken so the custom-fit trays which hold the whitening gel could be created; this was quick, easy and straightforward.

I had just a week to wait before my bespoke trays were ready for collection and after my incredibly informative and enlightening consultation, I was starting to see my teeth in a whole new light – and looking forward to them becoming white.

Teeth Whitening from the patient’s perspective – Part 1

Thinking of having teeth whitening but not sure it’s the right treatment for you?

Check out our latest blog – this is written by a recent patient of Dental Studio about her experience having tooth whitening treatment…

Part 1 – making the decision!!!

“Do I, don’t I… I do!

My teeth whitening journey from ‘no, I can’t’ to no looking back

Since my teens (I’m now 36 and 3/4) I’ve hankered after whiter teeth and poring over the perfect models on the pages of ELLE, Looks and Top Model magazine made my desire to have a whiter brighter smile even stronger.

So I decided to take action which entailed ‘borrowing’ smoker’s tooth powder from my stepdad and buying the latest whitening gimmicks from the chemist such as wands and gels. Yes, I tried it all but with no joy. And looking back, my teeth really weren’t discoloured as I didn’t smoke, never drank red wine and hardly ever had tea and coffee. But still, the desired remained.

Fast forward 20 years or so and I find myself in the throes of planning a winter wedding. As you’d expect, my thoughts frequently turned to my hair, make-up, dress… and then my teeth.

A friend had just had her teeth whitened at The Dental Studio and I was fascinated – and also quite tempted. Her newly gleaming smile looked great and she was bursting with confidence.

I was sorely tempted and so I deliberated. I couldn’t have it done though, not with everything else we had to pay out for the wedding. What if our guests end up talking to my teeth because they didn’t look natural? And I want to look like me on our big day, not a whitened version.

However having evenly coloured teeth when I say ‘I do’ would be wonderful. Is it really any different to having my hair highlighted? And let’s face it, I’ll never have a better reason or time in my life than getting married to justify it.

I’d deliberated (for decades) and I’d finally made a decision. So I called The Dental Studio, booked a consultation and eagerly and excitedly awaited my smile transformation.”

Part 2 coming soon!!

If you would like more information about teeth whitening, give us a call!

02392 254234 – Waterlooville

01243 532992 – Chichester

1. Our recent CQC inspection – A Practice Manager’s perspective!

Last week we had our second CQC inspection for Dental Studio, our first for the Chichester practice, with the sole purpose focusing on how we care for our patients.

On the surface, this seems relatively simple – providing quality care ethically in a safe surrounding with a qualified team – but as with everything nowdays, this involves a mountain of paperwork, policies, procedures and certificates to demonstrate compliance!

However, one point of discussion that is raised with each and every discussion about CQC and the inspections is this – should the care that we provide be about the paperwork? Or should it be about what we are actually doing? HOW are we providing this exceptional care?

So here it is – what can you, the patient, expect from us regarding the care of your oral health?

  • We provide you with treatment that you both need and want, performed with uncompromising quality
  • We provide you with comprehensive information in many formats – ask us for leaflets and information sheets or we can show you videos on one of our TV screens. Alternatively, ask for the I-Pad on reception and take a look at our website which should give you all the answers you need.


  • We promise to take the time with you to make sure that you are making the right choice for you, making sure you are aware of ALL the options available to you. We encourage you to speak with family members before making decisions.


  • We promise to focus on our education and development, to ensure that we are the performing the latest, pain free treatments ensuring that you are in the best hands


  • We will use the best quality materials to ensure you get the perfect results from any treatment


  • We will perform regular surveys to get views from our patients, and we will learn and improve from what people have to say
  • Lastly we promise to welcome you to our family, treat you with the respect that you deserve, and to put your health, and your preferences, FIRST. No compromise!!

We wanted to end with some of the comments that our fantastic patients had told the CQC inspector during our inspection –

“They are interested in you as a person, not just a mouth”

“I feel confident walking in the door. They are caring and professional”

“They offered me options…They gave me all the information I needed”

“They have a really caring attitude”

If you would like to see a copy of the report, it will shortly be available at the CQC website –

Where will you be in 6 months?

Today has been officially named “Blue Monday” by those in the press and on social media (you can’t move for twitter posts and facebook statuses!!) with its reputation as the most depressing day of the year reaching far and wide!

So on this supposedly disheartening day, Dental Studio has been thinking ahead 6 months to summer! We are dreaming of blue skies, bright evenings, warm breezes and summer holidays!

However, alot can happen in 6 months!  The next 26 weeks are going to fly by in a flash!

So what can YOU achieve in the next 6 months?

Six Month Smiles is just that – a new smile in just six months! This is a revolutionary teeth straightening procedure that is almost invisible to wear, using tooth coloured brackets and wire, which can radically change the position of the teeth, closing any gaps, and giving you a beautiful even smile. And all this in just 182 days!

The process is easy, after your first consultation to check that this is a suitable treatment for you, we take some impressions and send them to the Six Month Smiles labs in America. They will then custom make the brackets and wires so that they fit to the exact shape of your teeth. We will then fit these brackets and the wire to your teeth. After this, you will come in for a review and adjustment appointment every couple of weeks where we can check how the movement is going!

When the teeth have moved to the new straighter position, the brackets come off and ta-dah! Your beautiful straight smile in around 6 months!

So just think, are you ready for that perfect smile to arrive just in time for summer?

Dental Studio are offering a free Oral B electric toothbrush for all patients undertaking Six Month Smiles treatments.

If you would like more information, or would like to see if you are suitable for the treatment, then give us a call

Waterlooville – 02392 254234

Chichester – 01243 532992

 6MSmile reco provider