Category: Gum Disease

Northlight’s Anne Powders

Hello, I am Anne and I have been working as your hygienist at Northlight for the past few years having met many of you. My role in this practice is to help you achieve and keep a healthy bright smile. Through a gentle and caring approach I adapt my treatments to your specific needs so ensuring your teeth

are strong and your gums kept in good health. This in turn benefits your general health and your confidence. In a caring and personal environment the team at Northlight help to create and maintain your perfect smile.

Through my clinical work in both private and NHS practices I have gained experience in the treatment of complex periodontal conditions. I received my Diploma in Dental Hygiene at Guys Hospital in London and then my BS in Dental Hygiene at the University Of Colorado USA. I later went on to graduate with Med through Boston University. My passion is to show you how a simple dental health plan along with my clinical skills can help to transform your gum health.

I have travelled in India and Africa and lived in the US and Belgium for a number of years. I grew up in India! I have an ongoing interest in using my professional skills and travel experience to meet the needs of disadvantaged communities across the world and regularly travel with dental teams overseas. Last year it was trekking the Himalaya’s to remote villages, and this year I will be in Sri Lanka where as a team we will provide basic pain relief, dental health education and prevention.

I have a busy family life with 3 grown sons moving their way into, through and beyond university into the working world. My interests include swimming, trekking, travel, culture, language and cooking and eating Indian food!

Northlight’s Hygienist Isla Baxter

Hi, I am Isla and I have been working as a dental hygienist with the Northlight team since October 2016.  I live in Northamptonshire with my husband and two children, who keep me very busy!  I enjoy coming to work as not only do I love my role in helping people improve their dental health BUT it is a break from the madhouse that is my home!!

I started my dental career working as a dental nurse for the British Army whilst living in Germany.  When I moved back to England I took a position working with the British Dental Health Foundation charity, manning a dental help line answering all sorts of dental enquiries.  I was also working with a team who were responsible for creating and updating the BDHF “tell me about” patient information leaflets, making dental ‘jargon’ easier for people to understand. Through my experience with the BDHF it became clear there was a real need for people to understand their treatment needs and options using language that is easily understood, thus ensuring they could make a true informed decision.

As much as I loved my time at the BDHF I missed working in a clinical setting and returned to dentistry after qualifying as a dental hygienist in 2004.  Within my first week I must have heard the expression,” I hate the dentist” at least 10 times and I had never even met the patient before.  This really bothered me!  I want people to leave my sessions feeling positive, in control and that it has been worth their time. Certainly NOT fear or dread coming back. I want patients to feel that they could ask me anything, to feel that they are treated as an equal and not just a mouth!

I like to keep my sessions very informal. I encourage conversation to make patients feel at ease to help lessen any anxiety. I want patients to feel that they can ask me anything, to feel that they are treated as an equal and not just a mouth!  I always try to explain what I am doing, why I feel it is necessary and the possible outcomes, so that my patients come away feeling that they have been given the information that they need, and that they feel the treatment brings value to their health.


Stages of Gum Disease and Signs To Watch Out For

The thing to note about gum disease is that its main cause is bacteria, found in a sticky, colourless film forming on the teeth called plaque. Daily brushing and flossing is done for the purpose of removing this unwanted substance, otherwise plaque can build up. The bacteria in plaque can infect not only your tooth and gums, but also the gum tissue and the bone supporting the teeth.

gum diseaseA considerable number of people have heard of gum disease and its debilitating effects, but not many are aware it has stages. Knowing when a stage ends and when another begins can determine the dental intervention required by the patient’s condition.

The Three Stages of Gum Disease


Gingivitis is the earliest state of gum disease. It occurs when the plaque buildup at the gum line causes an inflammation. This means toxins have irritated the gum tissue, thus causing gingivitis. Common symptoms are bleeding during blushing and flossing. Since the damage has not reached the bone and the connective tissue holding the teeth in place, this type of disease is highly treatable. Practising proper oral hygiene not only prevents progression, but cures the disease altogether.


Gingivitis advances into periodontitis when the supporting tissue and fibres that hold the teeth together are damaged irreversibly. At this stage, the gums may recede or pull away from the tooth to form “pockets” below the gum line, which provide a dwelling place for food and bacteria. For periodontitis, dental intervention may be necessary. One of these treatments can be professional cleaning to remove the tartar and plaque.

Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease. The bacteria have now destroyed the fibres and bone supporting the teeth, causing them to shift, loosen and drift apart. In this case, oral surgery will be performed to remove the affected teeth.

The main advantage of detecting your gum problem early is so you can prevent further damages. If you notice signs in your gums, such as bleeding, puffiness (swollen, red gums) and recession, take action and contact Northlight Dental for a consultation and treatment today.

What is Your Halitosis Telling You?

Halitosis, or bad breath, is a concern often brought up by many of our patients. While it can be an effect of problems in the mouth, it can be the cause of many discomforts and disruptions in everyday life.

dental hygieneFor this reason, temporary measures like gum, mints and mouthwashes fill the store shelves. Although they provide immediate reaction against bad breath, these accessible products fail to address the root of the problem. Health conditions, particular foods and daily practices are some of the issues on which patients need to focus.

If you are suffering from bad breath, it is likely to have been caused by one or two of these factors:

Poor dental hygiene

The main issue with bad breath is that on our part, it is effortless to cause it. As simple as keeping your mouth dry for an hour is enough to leave a nasty odour in your mouth. Dental hygiene, then, is a critical concern in matters of persevering the mouth’s freshness.

Failing to brush and floss as prescribed will keep unwanted food particles lingering in the mouth, which cause bad breath. A colourless film of odour-causing bacteria will develop that if not rinsed off thoroughly, will not only lead to bad breath but also gum irritation. Moreover, forgetting to brush the tongue traps bacteria on its uneven surface, also resulting in a foul breath.

In more serious cases, bad breath can be a result of infections in the mouth caused by poor hygiene, such as tooth decay, gum disease and mouth sores.

Unhealthy practices

Passive practices like missing a day of brushing and sleeping can contribute to bad breath; the effect is much worse if you actively introduce harmful substances to your mouth. These include tobacco products and their derivatives. This is the reason chain smokers have a distinct, unpleasant smell in the mouth that simple brushing cannot eliminate. Over time, smoking can cause problems in the gums, which only worsens the case of the bad breath.

Certain foods

The habitual eating of spicy foods and vegetables, such as garlic and onion can also lead to constant bad breath. After you digest them, they enter your bloodstream, travel to your lungs and cause your breath to have a strong, foul odour.

Given the causes, your bad breath is either telling you that you are not cleaning your mouth enough, or you are eating and doing the wrong things. If you want to eliminate it for good, you have to start at the root the problem. Start enforcing a different diet and healthier lifestyle, and keep your mouth clean. Visit our dental hygienists today for a cleaning appointment.

Signs, Causes and Solutions for Receding Gums

Are your teeth longer than the usual? Or do you feel as if your teeth are sensitive or about to fall? If you experience these things, it only means that your gums are receding.

Dentists in Milton KeynesGum recession is a gradual phenomenon that may cause serious dental problems. Gums are the only things that bind your teeth to your mouth, so their loss may lead to tooth loss. Since your teeth’s roots are exposed, these will become more vulnerable to decay-causing bacteria.

It is important to know its causes to prevent its effects. Oral health experts cite some factors that lead to receding gums:

Gum Disease

Plaque will linger in your mouth when you do not clean it properly. It becomes tartar, a hard bacteria build-up in your gums that will destroy tissue and supporting bone that keep your teeth and gums intact.

Poor oral hygiene

Your gums may recede early if you brush or floss your teeth aggressively or inadequately. Brush your teeth with the right force and direction.


Some people are more likely to develop gum disease and recession because of their genetic makeup, regardless of whether they practice proper oral care or not.


Changes in hormones may cause gums to become more sensitive and predisposed to gum recession. Females undergoing puberty, pregnancy and menopause are more likely to develop receding gums.


You will more likely suffer from receding gums early if you smoke. Nicotine from tobacco products leaves a sticky plaque on teeth and contributes to gum recession. Piercings in your mouth and tongue may irritate your gums, causing them to wear out.

Oral habits and condition

Oral habits like teeth clenching and grinding put too much force on your teeth and gums, causing them to recede. The same thing happens when you have crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. Since your teeth are not in their optimal position, you may end up putting too much pressure on your gums and bones.

Whilst gum recession is preventable with proper oral care, the right habits and lifestyle, dental treatments are still necessary especially for worse cases. Dentists in Milton Keynes can give you advice and treatment if you have receding gums. Visit us or give us a call for more information.