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 May 18, 2022




Hello and welcome to the (occasional) beautiful Summer weather. Here's hoping it soon lasts longer than a few days.  As you can see from the photo Karenn is so estatic with good weather that she has decided to go with the 'siesta ' custom from home (Mexico), including the large hat to keep off the sun.



So that was the 'Hi, and now the apology. 

In our last blog we spoke about how Rob and I were doing the Jurassic Coast Challenge in May and the apology is because we have had to postpone the walk until September.  In the last month or so we have had a 'series of unfortunate events', as it were.

Firstly, in mid March Rob mistimed a step on the work stairs and sprained his ankle.  We had some time off just before Easter and he recovered in time for us to do the Offa’s Dyke walk and the Wye Valley Way, both starting in Monmouth and finishing in Chepstow, approximately 30km each day.  





Buoyed by the fact that we had survived that fairly easily, we were lined up to do 40km per day for 2 days over the Easter weekend.  However, Rob returned from Wales with a nasty cold which confined him to bed and he passed it on to me a week later. So generous!!   I was off work for an entire 10 days and just as I recovered, Rob went down with Covid. Thankfully he decided to keep that one to himself!

The 100km in 24 hours was due to happen last weekend and as it is 5 weeks since we did anything much in the way of exercise we decided to be entirely sensible and  postpone.  We have now transferred to the South Coast Challenge on September 3rd/4th.  We will start at Eastbourne, walk up Beachy Head, then the Seven Sisters and along the South Down Way to Brighton, the halfway point.  It is then along Devils Dyke and finally we will face the many ups and downs to Arundel.




We have had numerous donations to date and thank you all for your support for this fantastic charity 'Hope for Tomorrow' which provides a mobile cancer care unit for Wiltshire.  All donations made to date for Hope for Tomorrow will still go to them.  And the donation Rob and I made to the hospice will go to them also. 

The upside of the delay is it gives us plenty of time to get the miles in over the summer...and lots more time to promote the charity. Click here if you woudl like to support this fantastic charity.


Last weekend we were feeling lots better so took a bus to town, did our market shop and walked home.  And look who we spotted at the hospital.  It was really nice to see in the flesh, as it were, what we are raising money for. 







To date we have not written much in the blog about teeth and health. Before you decide to siesta like Karenn, I promise this is not a nag, simply information. I thought I might take the opportunity this time to mention, (believe it or not) gum health!!

You may have heard about the work done at Salisbury District Hospital during the pandemic to do with mouthwash and Covid.    I have had questions from many of you on this so I thought I would put a little something in the newsletter to explain a bit more on this.

The link between poor gum health and other conditions in the body is something that has been known about for many years.   Gum disease has been linked to problems with feet and eyes in those who suffer with diabetes.  It has been shown to exacerbate the condition in people with heart disease. And links with bowel cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and numerous other illnesses are still being investigated.  The reason for this is that when gums are inflamed there is ulceration under the gum and this provides a pathway for oral bacteria to enter the blood stream.  



I should point out that the following is my understanding from what I have read, so if you were involved with the trial and the minutiae are different, I apologise in advance.

It would seem that the theory was, the virus could leak from the saliva into the blood vessels of the mouth, particularly in those who have gum disease/bleeding gums. 

The lung problems caused by Covid -19 is in the blood vessels of the lungs and not in the airways, as happens with pneumonia. When the virus is in the blood vessels it can then be passed to the lungs via the bloodstream and directly to the areas where it may cause the most damage.



The hypothesis was that if the amount of the virus in the mouth and saliva could be lowered, and gum health was improved, both achieveable with oral hygiene and the use of various aids, the risk of the virus passing to the lungs would be lower.  In theory this would then reduce the number of Covid positive patients who became seriously ill.  The team had noted a larger proportion of the patients who got seriously ill had gum disease. 

A quick synopsis is that if you have gum disease and have Covid, the use of a mouthwash containing cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) may reduce your risk of serious illness.   Some of the social media posts I have seen seem to imply that the daily use of these mouthwashes will prevent Covid and this is simply not the case. 

I know the next question will be which mouthwashes?  And the answer is many of them including Dentyl, Listerine and Colgate Plax.  The research was done with 0.7% CPC so if you are buying one if you are covid positive look at how much CPC they contain.

I hope this gives a bit of clarity and sincerely hope I haven’t misinterpreted this.

On the upside it may make you all feel better about how much I nag you.  One client recently described me as Little Miss Fussy and I think Karenn is my twin!





I will keep you posted on our training program for the September walk and hope you continue to enjoy good health and the lovely weather.

Niamh, Rob and the Gentle Dental team




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