Why your staff’s dental health matters

It’s important to make the right impression with colleagues and clients, and oral hygiene can be a big part of that.

At some point in our careers, we have all been stuck talking to a colleague who suffers from bad breath and know the unpleasantness that ensues. But when that odorous mouth is representing your company, the bad breath spreads much further than that initial meeting – leading to an appearance of unprofessionalism and a lack of care and attention to detail.

It may be a difficult conversation to have, but pointing out to a colleague (privately) that they have a problem with their dental hygiene can often prevent further damage to the reputation of your business, as well as improving the health and happiness of your co-workers.

Find out how our business health and wellbeing services could support both your business and employees here.

However, it needn’t get to that point! These dental hygiene issues can often be easily prevented by a dedicated brushing and flossing regime that requires little effort, while established problems can usually be solved by encouraging staff to attend both regular dental check-ups and dental hygienist appointments for a more thorough clean.

So, to help your staff keep their mouths in tip-top condition, we have compiled a list of 6 key warning signs of gum disease for you to share with your teams;

1. Red or swollen gums

Healthy gums should be pink and firm to the touch, but in the early stages of gum disease (known as gingivitis), they can become red or swollen, even painful.

A build-up of plaque at the base of the tooth along the gumline is often to blame as the bacteria contained in the sticky residue sets up home, leading to irritation and infection.

2. Bleeding gums

Probably one of the most obvious symptoms, bleeding gums after brushing or flossing are a classic tell-tale sign that you may have gum disease. The build-up of plaque at the base of the tooth that causes the gums to become red or swollen can also lead to bleeding.

An improved brushing routine and a more dedicated floss can often sort this out, but it may require a visit to the dentist to check that the disease hasn’t developed further and is not on its way to more serious complications.

3. A metallic taste in your mouth

Bleeding gums don’t only cause a red streak in the sink – blood can also sit around in your mouth. The build-up of that blood could be what is causing the metallic taste in your mouth.

4. Bad breath

According to the NHS, around one in four people has bad breath on a regular basis. Not only is halitosis, to give it its scientific name, an unpleasant condition (especially for other people in your teams), it could also be a sign of gum disease.

Poor oral hygiene is often to blame, with any food trapped on your teeth (particularly between them) causing a build-up of bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria produce toxins and foul-smelling gases that could lead to persistent bad breath and gum disease.

5. Excess saliva

Saliva is a natural part of a healthy body, helping to fight off germs in your mouth and prevent bad breath, as well as aiding tasting and swallowing. Too much saliva, however, could be a sign of an unhealthy build-up of bacteria that could be causing gum disease.

6. Loose teeth

Left untreated, gum disease can easily develop into a more severe state of the disease known as periodontitis, or periodontal disease. Not only can this cause a worsening of the symptoms listed above, it can also start to affect the bones in your mouth and jaw, leading to loose teeth that can eventually fall out.

To discover how Benenden could support your business with our health and wellbeing services please call 0800 414 8179 or visit our Business Healthcare page.