September Newsletter

//September Newsletter

September Newsletter

Looking after your pearly whites in Winter

I love winter. There is nothing like sitting around a fire place with the sweet smell of marshmallows and the sound of wood crackling, getting cosy in warm blankets and reading interesting stories to children, especially the scary ones.

Ouch! In all the good times there is this sensitive tooth that is a spanner in the works. There is also this nasty cough that is taking turns with everyone in the family. Good times can be brought to a halt with ill health.

In this article, we will look at some common issues my patients face in winter.

Combat tooth sensitivity

Every winter we see an increase in dental sensitivity. Exposed root surfaces can cause an increase in hypersensitivity of teeth. Using a de -sensitising tooth paste (Sensodyne/Colgate pro-relief etc), helps in reducing sensitivity. In some severe cases I recommend my patients to gently massage the exposed surface of the roots with a de-sensitising paste and leave it for 20 minutes before rinsing out with warm water.

Plaque accumulation on the exposed root surface will increase sensitivity. Plaque contains harmful bacteria that release toxins and irritate the gums and teeth. Having a scale and polish appointment before the onset of winter will allow time for management of dental hypersensitivity.

In extreme cases, we make a special medicament tray that is customised for your teeth. The tray helps in keeping a desensitising medication in contact with the root surface for longer. This tray is similar to a bleaching/tooth whitening tray. Tooth mousse is an Australian invention and is a fantastic product which has multiple applications. It is only sold through dental suppliers and our practise provides it to our patients at cost price. The active ingredient in tooth mousse is CPP-ACPF (casein phosphopeptide amorphous calcium phosphate fluoride), derived from milk. Along with preventing sensitivity, tooth mousse helps in control of decay, reduction of white spots after orthodontic treatment and has a buffering action on the saliva. It is safe to use on a daily basis and has no known side effects.

Battle the cold and flu

The best treatments for cold/flu prevention.

Vitamin C is a potent anti-oxidant and helps in wound healing. Natural sources of Vitamin C are oranges, strawberries and blackcurrant. It is advisable to eat whole fruits with the pulp rather than in juice form. Broccoli, Brussel sprouts and potatoes are also rich in Vitamin C.

Ginger is great to alleviate symptoms of a sore throat. Ginger tea with Manuka honey and a stick of raw Cinnamon can help in soothing the throat.

Chlorhexidine is an antibacterial compound. The use of any commercial product (Savacol, Curascept) containing Chlorhexidine will help prevent the throat infection from getting worse. In some cases it has been shown that it prevents a cough from getting into the lower respiratory tract. It is recommended to rinse undiluted 3-4 times a day. Although it is considered safe for use in pregnant patients, other non pharmacological remedies may be desirable during pregnancy.  This mouthwash does come with a warning though – It will alter your sense of taste and stain teeth if used for more than 2 weeks.

Consult your doctor about a flu vaccine before the onset of winter. There is evidence to suggest that a flu vaccine can bring about immunity from the influenza virus. Some studies have shown that the vaccination may help in recovery from flu.

Cold Sores

Life is not fair, especially for victims of cold sores. Cold sores are caused by Herpes Simplex virus. Once infected, this virus stays dormant in the body only to reappear as a sore when activated. Not all people infected by the virus get cold sores. The actual mechanism for why some people get it and some are spared is not very well known, but some scientists believe it could be genetics.

Thankfully, cold sores usually get better on their own within 7-10 days. The following self-care tips can help treat the symptoms of cold sores.

  • Do not lick or prod the area.
  • Keep the area clean and dry. Wash hands as soon as you have touched the sore. Keeping a hand sanitiser handy will help you wash hands regularly. Do not rub your eyes if you have touched a sore.
  • Spread love though your kind words not through touch. Resist kissing and shaking of hands. If you had to shake hands with someone who is suffering from sores, wash your hands thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap as soon as socially possible.

Treatment for cold sores involves treating symptoms of pain and discomfort, as well as antiviral medication to reduce the length of time the sores last.

There are a range of anti-viral creams available with pharmacist advice. These creams have some merit in reducing the severity of the sore. The best time to start the application is when you experience the onset. Most people who have an experience of cold sore will know that there is some tingling in the area before the sore erupts.

In severe cases, prescription of antiviral tablets may be required.

2017-09-22T13:27:37+00:00 September 22nd, 2017|Newsletters|