Is obesity caused by oral bacteria?

Is obesity an infectious disease? British scientists have found that the presence of a certain oral bacteria is higher in women suffering from obesity.

Can oral bacteria cause obesity?A group of British scientists have asked – and possibly answered – this question through a study of 500 women. Around 60% of the women in the study suffered from clinical obesity. When examining saliva samples from the obese women and comparing them with samples from a control group of average weight women, scientists found that the presence of a certain species of oral bacteria – selenomonas noxia – was significantly higher in 98% of the overweight women.

The exact connection between the oral bacteria and obesity is still unclear. “It is uncertain whether people may become obese due to changes in the bacteria in their mouths or whether these changes occur as a result of obesity,” said Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation. “What impact changing the bacterial make up may have on helping to reduce obesity is certainly worth additional research.”

The oral bacteria, Selenomonas noxia, has previously been connected with gum disease and poor dental health. Scientists think it likely that this oral bacteria could serve as a biological indicator of a developing overweight condition. As possible connections between oral bacteria and obesity, it has also been speculated whether certain bacteria may have the ability to increase the appetite of individuals and make the body store up nourishment from food, causing a weight increase.

There has previously been found connections between oral health and other conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Obesity has also been identified as a risk factor in the development of oral disease.

There is a clear connection between obesity and oral health in the fact that food products with a high sugar content have the potential to cause both obesity and dental cavities. Whether there are further connections between the two conditions will be researched further.

HELP!! My child is teething!

It is with great anticipation that parents expect the arrival of the very first tooth. But the process of teething might not be as happy an occasion as hoped for. The infant cries, is irritable and doesn’t sleep. To the caring parents it seems there is nothing they can do. Or is there?

Child teethingIt is with great anticipation that parents expect the arrival of the very first tooth. But the process of teething might not be as happy an occasion as hoped for. The infant cries, is irritable and doesn’t sleep. To the caring parents it seems that there is nothing they can do to make the teething process less uncomfortable. Or is there? In this article you can read about when the first baby teeth can be expected, what symptoms you should be prepared for in your teething toddler, how you can soothe your child while the teeth are erupting and how to care for the new teeth.

When does the teething start?

Normally the teething starts when the lower central front teeth break through the gum. This intitial teething normally happens when the child is 6-7 months old. If your child is still teethless after 1 year there is no need to worry, though. If the teething has still not begun at the age of 18 months, the child should be examined by a dentist.

The last baby teeth to erupt are the big teeth in the back. They normally come around the age 1½ to 3 years. Interestingly, children who are born too early, often start teething later than usual. A set of baby teeth consists of 20 teeth.

The first signs of teething

Just before a tooth erupts, the gum will normally turn white and feel hard. A red and swollen gum can also be a sign that a tooth is on it’s way.

While your child is teething he or she might:

  • Have a tendency to put things in his or her mouth and bite on them.
  • Drool more
  • Have problems eating

Physical symptoms that your child is teething can be:

  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Diarrhoea
  • Redness of the bottom
  • Fever (if the temperature remains above 38 degrees for more than 24 hours it is not caused by teething and the child should be examined by a doctor.)

What can you do to relieve teething symptoms?
There isn’t much you can do about the physical symptoms, except comfort and nurse the child a little extra. If the child is very bothered by the teething symptoms, a small dose of paracetamol can help. In some places it is possible to buy mixtures for children in the right doses that can be mixed with the child’s milk or water. If it is your first time to use paracetamol with your child, it would be better to contact your dentist or doctor first to make sure of the dosage.

If the gum is itching this can often be soothed by using a teething ring – preferably from the refrigerator. A teething baby might also appreciate washed carrots or cucumbers from the refrigerator.

How to brush your teeth

When it comes to keeping your teeth clean, there are many means to the same end. How should you brush? When should you brush and when should you not? How do you avoid damaging your gums and teeth? Find the answers in this article…

How to brush your teethThe goal when you brush your teeth is to remove plaque from all surfaces of all your teeth. A tooth has five sides. With your toothbrush you will normally be able to brush the front, back and ‘top’ of your teeth clean. The sides of the teeth (which is between your teeth) are normally only accessible with floss, toothpicks or interdental brushes (tiny brushes developed especially for cleaning between the teeth).

When to brush – and when not to…

Dental professionals normally recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day. Some people brush their teeth after every meal. There is nothing wrong in this, as long as you use the right brush and the right technique in order to avoid causing damage to your teeth and your gums. However many times you choose to brush your teeth every day, it is important that you brush very thoroughly at least once a day.

Some dental professionals recommend that you do not brush your teeth immediately after having eaten something sour (e.g. fruit juice and sour fruit), since the surface of the teeth will be more porous and easier to damage. If you wait around one hour after every meal before you brush, you should be on the safe side.

How to brush?

When you brush your teeth it is a good idea to be systematic. You can do this by dividing your mouth into sections – e.g. upper, lower, right and left. Always start the same place and brush your way around all your teeth. You can for example start on the outside of the upper right section. Start with the back teeth. Make sure to brush all around the tooth at the very back and continue brushing your way one tooth at a time towards the left side. When you have reached the back teeth in the left side, you brush your way back on the inside. Do the same with the lower teeth. Afterwards brush on top of your teeth in both sides of both upper and lower jaw.

Make sure that every single tooth is clean. Teeth that are standing in a straight line are easier to brush clean. On the other hand, if your teeth are cramped for space it might take a greater effort to keep them clean. Some teeth might be ‘hiding’ behind other teeth and are not so easy to reach with the brush. You might be able to clean them simply by turning your brush vertically and brushing up-down instead of from side to side. Otherwise it is possible to buy toothbrushes with just one very small brush, which is ideal for cramped spaces.

Remember to brush the gums

The edge between your teeth and your gums is especially important to keep clean. It is very easy for germs to hide here. At the same time, it is the germs that sneak in under the gum line that eventually cause periodontal disease. When you brush your gum line, you should place the toothbrush in an angle of 45 degrees with the brushes pointing against the gums. When you brush the gums it is especially important not to be too rough in order to prevent the gum line from receding or drawing back, exposing the root surface of the teeth.

Circular or straight movements?

Whatever way you like to move your toothbrush, it is important that the movements are small. If you imagine that you were painting your teeth rather than brushing them, it might be more clear how thorough you need to be. When painting a rough surface with pits and cracks in it, you won’t just give it a few long, superficial strokes with the brush. You will make sure to get the paint into every little crack, using small precise movements. Use the same principle when you brush your teeth. Make sure that the brushes reach into all the cracks and pits.

Be regular and thorough

As you can see there are many possible means to the same end, when it comes to keeping your teeth clean. However you prefer to maintain your dental hygiene, the important thing is to be regular and thorough without overdoing it. Get into the habit of checking your teeth in the mirror and feeling them with your tongue to check whether they are clean. Teeth covered in plaque feel ‘furry’, while clean teeth feel smooth and nice.

Dental health and your teeth

Dental hygiene dental care beautiful teethYou eat with them. You speak with them. You smile with them. In fact, you spend most of your life with them. What are they? Your teeth.

As long as they don’t cause you pain or problems, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about your teeth. They are, however, a very important member of your body and deserve your care and attention.

Good dental health starts early in your life with good habits for dental hygiene and regular visits at the dentist. Dental health, though, has nothing to do with how many fillings you have or how many (or few) teeth you have left. Dental health is about the condition of your teeth and gums right here and now. Even a mouth with only very few teeth can be healthy, if good dental hygiene is maintained. At the same time a mouth full of pearly-white teeth can be diseased and unhealthy if for some reason the oral hygiene is suffering.

This website has been established to help you achieve and/or maintain good dental health. If you treat your teeth well, they will be your loyal partners for life.

A nutritious diet for healthy teeth

Your diet has a greater influence on your dental health than most people realise. Everyone knows that too much sugar combined with poor dental hygiene causes cavities. But your diet’s influence on your oral health goes far beyond this and started already before you were born.

A healthy diet means healthy and strong teethYour diet has a greater influence on your dental health than most people realise. Everyone knows that too much sugar combined with poor dental hygiene causes cavities. But your diet’s influence on your oral health goes far beyond this and started already before you were born.

While the teeth are formed

Already during pregnancy it is important that the mother gets the recommended amount of minerals and vitamins through her diet in order for the teeth of her baby to develop properly. The fetus starts to form teeth already in the 8th week after fertilization and from the fourth month they develop continually.

At birth, most of the crowns of the teeth are mineralized, although they will not be visible in the mouth untill about 6 months later. After the child is born the roots of the teeth continue to develop and the need for a proper diet thus continues. In fact, the forming of the teeth does not end before age 18, when the wisdom teeth normally erupt.

Diet and the development of muscles and jaws

Developing teeth not only need nourishment for mineralizing. Your diet is also important for the development of your oral muscles and the growth of your jaws. More and more children need braces because their jaws have not grown enough to make room for the erupting teeth. This happens when the child eats too much soft food that does not require much chewing. Hard vegetables and coarse-grained foods are very beneficial for the development of a child’s muscles and jaws.

Your diet and cavities

Cavities are the result of a combination of plaque and sugar. Plaque is a layer of bacteria that is formed automatically within a short time after you brush your teeth and which will continue to build up untill you brush them again. Plaque in itself does not cause cavities. It is only when sugar is added to the plaque, that the bacteria in the plaque start to produce the acid which breaks down the tooth. At the same time sugar alone does not cause cavities if there is no plaque on the teeth. Since it is normally not possible to keep your mouth 100% plaque free, it is important to be aware of the amount of sugar you take in through your diet. It is especially the sugary snacks in between meals that damage your teeth. If you are constantly adding sugar to your plaque, your teeth will be under a constant acid attack. Your mouth needs a break between meals so that your saliva can neutralise the acid and restore the natural balance in your mouth.

If you are in the habit of snacking between meals, consider eating sugar free candy or chewing gum. Be aware that many ‘healthy’ snacks such as fresh or dried fruit and biscuits also contain sugar, although in a less unhealthy form than the refined sugar in cakes and candy. Vegetables (especially carrots) are the least ‘damaging’ snacks, since they contain very little natural sugar.

Give your teeth a break

Also try to limit your consumption of sugary and/or sour beverages. A bottle of soda or juice can often last for hours if you are only sipping from it now and then. This habit is very damaging to your teeth, though. Research has shown that it normally takes around 20 minutes for your mouth to restore it’s natural acid balance after you have eaten. This means that if you are snacking all through the day e.g. by eating candy of drinking softdrinks, the acidity in your mouth will be constantly out of balance and your teeth will be under constant attack. Instead of quenching your thirst with sugary drinks, consider a more healthy alternative such as milk or water.


If you absolutely need your sugary snacks and beverages, remember that cavities arise from a combination of sugar AND plaque. A clean tooth will not develop a cavity, so remember to brush your teeth completely clean at least two times per day.