In The Media - Precision Dental Clinic

In The Media

Dr. Shweta - Speaks to Helen Farmer on Dubai eye 103.8

Dr. Shweta On The Radio
I’m Helen Farmer. It’s fantastic to have you with us on the Afternoons with Helen Farmer podcast and a real focus on health today with some incredible experts from here in Dubai and beyond as well.

Male voice: This is the Dubai Eye 103.8 podcast. This is Afternoons with Helen Farmer …

Female voice: … on the UAE’s number one talk radio station, Dubai Eye 103.8.

Helen: I’m Helen Farmer. It’s fantastic to have you with us on the Afternoons with Helen Farmer podcast and a real focus on health today with some incredible experts from here in Dubai and beyond as well. Dr. Harald Stossier was live in the studio. He is the man that A-listers go to, from pop stars to politicians for digestive reset, in conversation with Dr. Gavin Spence, pediatric orthopedic surgeon answering all of your questions. We are finding out how to prevent and treat gum disease with Dr. Shweta Prabhu. And I found out if yoga poses can really help with hair growth.

Male voice: Healthy Habits

Female voice: On Afternoons with Helen Farmer

Helen: This is your free clinic. Right now, it is all about your gums. Dr. Shweta is with us. She is a specialist periodontist from Precision Dental Clinic. We’re talking gum disease, what happens as we age, gum disease during pregnancy, and the doctor is very much here to help. Dr. Shweta, I was not shy, just got you to examine my wisdom tooth extraction.

Dr. Shweta: That was fun. I didn’t feel out of place at all.

Helen: Like, “Welcome to my office, if you could just do your normal job.” I’m healing well though?

Dr. Shweta: Yes, you are.

Helen: Thank you very much. I’d never heard the term dry socket until a week ago. And now it’s just hanging over me as the source of Tourette and pain, but no, pulled some teeth out last week, not too hamster like and seems to be doing all right. So thank you. Now we’re talking gum disease, but what exactly is it? What comes under that umbrella, and do we have any numbers on who it affects and how many people?

Dr. Shweta: Yeah, that’s a very interesting question because gum disease is the most prevalent oral disease that is present today in the world. Yes, it is even more than cavities. (Helen: Really?) Yes, it is. So, gum disease, you can broadly put it into two categories: One would be when it’s very superficial and it’s only sort of affecting your gums, which is the pink part. As we, you know, keep ignoring it because it’s painless unfortunately, I say unfortunate because that’s the reason why most people ignore it.

Helen: I’m presuming by the time it gets to be painful, things have developed and it can be, it’s gone.

Dr. Shweta: Exactly, so it goes into the supporting structure of your tooth, or not of your tooth. but of your jawbone, which is really the foundation of why your tooth is in the jaw in the first place, right? So that starts getting wobbly and most of my patients come around that time.

Helen: By then, presumably, it’s hard to reverse any damage the disease has done.

Dr. Shweta: We can, but it’s more difficult. So gingivitis would be the more superficial one and periodontitis, so ‘peri’ means around and ‘odont’ means tooth. So, that’s why the periodontist and the periodontitis

Helen: So, tell us, what are some of the things you should be looking out for, signs and symptoms of gum disease, Doctor.

Dr. Shweta: So, the simplest and the most common sign or symptom that a patient would feel would be bleeding gums, okay? I want to really stress on this because, just imagine if you are washing your hands and if you saw blood, wouldn’t that freak you out?

Helen: You wouldn’t ignore it.

Dr. Shweta: You wouldn’t ignore it. You’d go first thing, you know, you’d probably get into emergency. But when the same thing happens when we are brushing our teeth, 90 percent of us ignore it.

Helen: … which is gonna go. Okay. I was just a bit rough there, yeah.

Dr. Shweta: Exactly. So, it’s not normal for your gums to bleed when you brush or otherwise. That is the most common thing. You could have swelling in your gums, you know, and as the disease keeps progressing, of course bad breath is out there, but bad breath again can be caused by many other things. But it is one of the most important signs the patient could feel is also bad breath, but you could have then at the advanced stage, maybe loose teeth, or, you know, you had a very nice smile earlier, but now suddenly, your teeth have moved and there are spaces. So, these are all the complaints that I hear from my patients, so, yeah.

Helen: Doctor, I’m reading an awful lot at the moment about vaping and the negative impact it has on gum health. What do we need to know about this relationship?

Dr. Shweta: This is, I’m so glad you asked me this because, let’s go a little bit into the background of the disease, yeah? So periodontitis or gum disease is caused by plaque, which is the responsible criminal for all, almost all dental diseases commonly. So, now plaque has certain bacteria. And of course, there are certain things that put you at more risk to develop more dangerous plaque. If you want to put it very, you know, loosely now, smoking and diabetes. These are the two most established risk factors for developing gum disease. Now vaping is like the new solution where, you know, people think that they are cutting back and so they say, “You know what Doctor, now I started vaping, I am not smoking anymore.” So I’m like, yeah, but it has the exact same effect. In fact, there are a lot of studies now that are coming up, not long-term though because vaping is itself very new, but which are saying that vaping because of the liquid that they use, actually might be slightly more harmful than your regular cigarettes. This is, of course, for gum disease.

Helen: Yeah, it’s interesting about vaping as well, because when we think about, you know, I guess traditional smoking. It’s kind of, you know, going outside having a cigarette outside, whereas vaping, I mean, I’ve got friends who, it’s like they’ve got a dummy you just, you know, it’s at the desk, it’s in the mall, it’s you know, at the restaurant table and I guess it’s that frequency of all those contacting consumption, far more often than perhaps you would be going out for a cigarette. Does that make sense?

Dr. Shweta: Yeah, it does, that is one more contributing factor because if because you’re, it’s so much easy access to it, you know, plus the constituents that give you a little bit of a high that nicotine is still very much there, which is what causes the problem anyway.

Helen: So, when I asked you about my wisdom teeth, you said you don’t really need to worry about dry sockets unless you are a smoker because that can really increase the chance of infection and poor healing (Dr. Shweta: Yes) considerably. So what is it? Is it to do with blood vessels? (Dr. Shweta: Yes) What is it?

Dr. Shweta: Is this a smart teller? you are. So, blood flow is essentially, when we are a chronic smoker or a long-term smoker, what happens is the size of your blood vessels gradually goes on reducing. So when it, what is called scientifically as vasoconstriction, which means that the blood vessels get constricted, simple. Now when that happens, the flow of fresh blood is reducing, right? So the stuff that is going to carry your healing mediators are reaching at a much lower and a sluggish speed. So, it’s going to take that much longer for it to heal plus the negative pressure that it creates if it dislodges the clot because when I smoke, I need to purse my lips.

Helen: Yeah, you are kind of creating the vacuum in the mouth as well.

Dr. Shweta: Exactly. So, all of that.  

(break in program)

Male voice: Healthy Habits

Female voice: On Afternoons with Helen Farmer

Helen: Doctors in the house, Dr. Shweta Prabhu is with us, a specialist periodontist from Precision Dental Clinic and a specialist in gum disease and gum care. What are the stats around gum disease? Because it sounds like, I mean in judging by messages as well, this is something that seems to be affecting a lot of people in various ways.

Dr. Shweta: Yeah, so the stats actually are pretty startling. Although we have very limited stats for our country currently, but the CDC which is the most, you know, well-known authority, in 2021 released some very interesting facts. So five out of 10 adults in the age group between 30 to 60 years will have at least some form of gum disease that is one in every …So, if you know two people, one of them has gum disease.

Helen: And they will have it in that moment. They won’t just suffer from something at some time.

Dr. Shweta: No, they will have it. And by the time we turn 60, seven out of 10 will have established gum disease.

Helen: Can I ask you, because I haven’t talked about Covid for about an hour and a half, which is which is rough me, what impact has Covid had? Have you seen anything when it comes to people getting into the chair with long Covid, any impact on gun health, mouth health?

Dr. Shweta: That’s a very relevant question, and yes, Covid has taken a toll because I think it’s a pretty strong viral disease. So what any viral disease does is, it takes a toll on your immune system, you know. So, if you had a sort of maybe low-grade infection in the gum, which your body was able to sort of take care of it on its own, it’s now gone full-blown because the body had more important things to take care of, right? (Helen: Interesting) So, a lot of patients have come and they’ll be like, “I just, you know, one month back I finished, I had Covid or whatever and now I’ve got so much of bleeding, Doctor. I don’t know, I’ve never had bleeding in my life and suddenly now, I’m like just bleeding even without brushing kind of thing.” So, I have seen that, but this is of course anecdotal.

Helen: And in terms of recommending treatment plans in those situations, obviously you do on a case-by-case basis and depending on what you’re seeing. But what can generally be helpful?

Dr. Shweta: So, the general basic treatment for gum disease is always taking care of the gums by what you do at home, which is a very, very important part of gum health. And what we do on the chair, which is essentially professional cleaning as you call it, as patients call it, you know, “I had a clean and a check.” So a good cleaning regularly is a good thing to start with. This is a like sort of baseline treatment. Then anything, if you see and identify more problems, then there are treatments ranging from something, what I routinely call deep cleaning, which is where we go section by section and you know, we of course have to numb that area because we have to go slightly more inside and there are some cases unfortunately, where we have to open the gums and clean it, but essentially it is cleaning. But, you know, because the plaque and the bacteria have got access to much deeper areas, I need to access that area. So, that’s what it is. We have fantastic technology, you know, science has progressed so much. So we have many ways now that we can regrow the bone that you’ve lost. So, you have bone grafting and then many procedures that we do. We get, in fact, in a lot of the cases, even get back lost gums.

Helen: Well, that brings me to yes’s message 4001 if you do have any questions for Dr. Shweta, by the way. yes’s ‘Why do our gums recede as we age and is there anything you can do to slow down or reverse it?’

Dr. Shweta: Yeah, so this is a common misnomer, that, you know, getting long in the tooth, as they call it, right? They call it for aging, but unfortunately, it is not related to aging. It is related to the chronicity of the disease, meaning that the disease has been there in our mouth for that much longer. So, that is the real problem. Now the two most common reasons why we lose gum or why our gums recede; one is of course gum disease and the other is over-enthusiastic brushing.

Helen: Always done with the best of intentions.

Dr. Shweta: Yes, of course always, but the problem is that when we don’t know, you know, we brush hard, not right. So, that’s the problem. So these two, so if you’re seeing receding gums, a) we need to check if you’re brushing right and b) of course, we need to check if there’s any sort of gum infection.

Helen: Can you give us a little brushing 101? What’s the type of toothbrush we should be using in terms of hardness, flossing before or after, can you give us (Dr. Shweta: Yes, of course) some basics?

Dr. Shweta: So, brushing, always, always, always soft, the softest you can go, yeah? And brushing should be vertical not horizontal, or scrub, don’t think by putting too much pressure, you know, we’re going to do a better job. No, if you can, take 30 seconds longer to brush, you know. I know everybody is very busy. But 30 seconds won’t kill you, yeah. And flossing, if you are doing it, fantastic, I don’t really care if you do it before or after, just do it

Helen: Yeah, I’m just curious about the flossing. So I had a message saying, ‘Where do you stand on the water flosses?’

Dr. Shweta: I love water flosses. I just love them because they may improve my patient compliance so much, and they do the job so well and because they are not, you know, technically challenging, I have most of my patients using it and you’re inter-dentally cleaning. When we don’t clean in between the teeth, you’re missing out 35 percent of the surface of your teeth, right, where you’re allowing cavities to brew and gum disease to go on, and usually because it’s at the contact, it causes a problem because then you have direct access. So flossing is great. You can use interdental brushes if you have bigger spaces between your teeth, but don’t force anything. Toothpicks are a big no-no because you can end up damaging gums when you use it constantly in one area. And if you need to use a toothpick all the time in one particular area, then please book an appointment with a dentist. There’s something going on there.

Helen: Okay, we’re gonna go to the text line 4001. You’ve got a couple of minutes, if you’ve got any questions for our specialist periodontist this afternoon. Lina’s saying, ‘We grew up mixing turmeric oil and salt together and rubbing that on our gums whenever they hurt. It’s a very natural remedy for Indians. Do you recommend this or any other home remedies?’

Dr. Shweta: So, turmeric and salt together? Salt is very abrasive. So I really wouldn’t recommend that as a long-term solution to any problem because it does erode your teeth away over a period of time because every time your gum hurts, if you’re going to use that solution, turmeric, yes, it is known to be an antiseptic, antibacterial, all of that, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a solution to anything. Maybe if it helps you as a temporary relief thing, please go ahead but there’s no scientific, you know, backing to this.

Helen: We’re gonna squeeze in this message here saying, ‘My doctor told me, when my gums were bleeding, that I’ve got loose gums and big spaces between teeth. So it’s not a gum disease problem. I was given a cleaning. I was advised to brush and use mouthwash regularly. Is this loose gums a real problem and is there some kind of permanent solution?’

Dr. Shweta: So, loose gums are a kind of gum disease, unless, so when we say we have loose gums and big spaces, unless you have big spaces which because your teeth are smaller or you know, you have a bigger jaw and a tooth size and jaw discrepancy, you shouldn’t be having loose gums. Nobody should have loose gums. Your gums should always be like a nice tight collar around your tooth. So, if you have loose gums, you do need to see a periodontist. What is also important is, what is the medical history of the person, right? Because there are certain drugs that, certain medications that you might be on, the side effect of which is gum swelling.

Helen: Interesting and …

Dr. Shweta: I think hypertensive which are very, very common because blood pressure is, I mean pretty much all of us have it, right? Fast-paced life and all of that. So all of that needs to be ruled out, so definitely take a consultation with a periodontist wherever, but make sure that what we call a probing is done.

Helen: So you kind of go between the gum and the tooth to check the depth?

Dr. Shweta: Yes, yes, exactly.

Helen: Okay, really hope that helps. We’ve run out of time. We have run out of questions. So thank you for your time today, Doctor, really do appreciate it. And if you do want Dr. Shweta’s details, just message me, 4001 and I’d be happy to send over her details there at Precision Dental Clinic. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Shweta: Can I make a small …

Helen: Of course, I’ve got 50 seconds.

Dr. Shweta: Big shout-out to my team at Precision Dental who we love absolutely. I’ve got the best team in the world and I know they’re listening inside. This is for them.

Helen: There you go, go team. Thank you so much, really, really appreciate it.

End of program

Male voice: Healthy Habits

Female voice: On Afternoons with Helen Farmer

Sabah E.

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Sabah E.

After so much horrible experiences with different dentist I was lucky to find dr Sharon very professional ! And calm and make everything look easier and I like that before every step she make sure that I understand and I’m aware of everything !!! I luv her

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