Archives for August, 2009

Kingston upon thames dentists can provide helpful information to prevent discolouration of teeth

There are various causes of tooth discolouration ranging from environmental factors to lifestyle choices.

What you eat and drink can greatly affect the discolouration of your teeth. Drinking coffee, tea, wine or colas regularly can stain your teeth as well as certain foods such as apples and potatoes. Smoking or using tobacco of any sort is also one of the primary causes of discolouration. Making small adjustments to your lifestyle, like cutting back or quitting smoking or drinking coffee, can help stem the staining of teeth.

Poor dental hygiene such as inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to the build up of plaque which can turn into tartar if not removed, which also stains the teeth and also allows staining substances like coffee to remain in the mouth. A visit to a dental hygienist every six months should help to remove plaque and tartar and also they can remind you of the correct methods of dental care.

Certain diseases and medication can also lead to the discolouration of teeth. Diseases which affect the enamel and dentin on the surface of teeth can cause stains and treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy can also cause teeth to loose their natural colour.

Some antibiotics can cause the staining of teeth in children that are still developing, as can some mouthwashes, so it is always important to ask your dentist. Kingston upon thames dentists will be able to advise you which products and medicines are best to use.

There are of course some factors over which you can have no control. Ageing itself causes a natural discolouring of the teeth and some people will naturally have brighter teeth than others. Geographical location can also have an effect as people living in areas with a high fluoride content in the water will often see stains begin to appear.

However, making a few small adjustments to your lifestyle, having regular dental check-ups with your Kingston upon thames dentist and brushing and flossing correctly can help maintain a bright and healthy smile.

Use a tongue cleaner to treat bad breath – ask your Surbiton dentist

It is estimated that roughly 70% of bacteria present in the average human mouth live on the surface of the tongue. Thriving on the protein-rich areas of the tongue they multiply rapidly and are then transported around the rest of the mouth by saliva. The bacteria contribute significantly to periodontal problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and recession, and even tooth loss. Bacteria on the tongue are also one of the major contributing factors to halitosis or bad breath. When the bacteria decay they release volatile sulfurous compounds that release a foul odour that causes bad breath.

Bacteria on the tongue has also been linked to a number of larger systemic problems that can occur in the body including cardiovascular problems, pneumonia, osteoporosis and has been attributed to causing diabetes. Dental health professionals and other physicians have linked the bacteria on the tongue to these wider problems and emphasise the importance of a clean tongue as a major factor in oral and general well-being.

Tongue cleaning devices have been used since ancient times and form a significant part of both Chinese and Indian natural medicine. Modern tongue cleaners can help to remove some of the 500 million types of bacteria that can live on the average human tongue, fungi such as candida (the cause of oral thrush), as well as decaying food debris caught in the grooves of the surface.

Tongue cleaning can also help treat the 90% of cases of halitosis which are said to originate on the tongue. Surbiton dentist can provide you with further information about the use of tongue cleaners and when it is appropriate to use them. Regular tooth brushes are often not sufficient for thorough cleaning of the spongy surface of the tongue. Dentists recommend using a specially designed tongue cleaner.

Wisdom teeth removal – ask your Worcester park dentist

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that usually develop in a person’s mid-twenties. Sometimes these can be a valuable asset to the teeth and align themselves naturally. More often than not, however, they do not align and may need removing.

Wisdom teeth often align themselves so that they can damage existing teeth, the jaw or the nerves. Partially erupted wisdom teeth can cause recesses that are breeding grounds for bacteria and can lead to infection and other oral hygiene difficulties. They can also hinder effective brushing and flossing.

A Worcester park dentist will be able to tell if your wisdom teeth are misaligned. They will take periodical x-rays to assess the alignment of your wisdom teeth and can refer you to an oral surgeon should any action be required. They may say that the wisdom teeth need to be removed. This is easier and less painful the younger patient is and can help prevent greater and more painful problems arising in the future. The earlier you catch them the better so there is no reason to delay a check-up.

The ease of removal very much depends on the position of the wisdom teeth. For example a fully erupted wisdom tooth is no harder to remove than any other tooth but others may require more extensive surgery. Consult a Worcester park dentist to see if your wisdom teeth will cause you any problems in the future.

Weybridge dentists can offer help to relieve dry mouth

Dry mouth is an uncomfortable condition that affects one in every five adults at some time. It occurs when there is a decrease in production of saliva in the mouth. This often overlooked secretion does more than just moisten and cleanse the mouth, it is crucial in helping the body taste, chew and digest food and helps protect the teeth, mouth and lips from bacterial and fungal infections.

Dry mouth often indicates a wider systemic problem in the body and can be caused by a variety of reasons. It can often be the result of side effects of medication. Nearly 2000 of the most common medicines can lead to dry mouth, with eight out of the ten most commonly used drugs citing dry mouth as a side effect, and including treatments prescribed for high blood pressure, anxiety, allergies and weight loss.

Dry mouth can also be caused by a number of medical and psychological conditions such as diabetes, AIDS and depression. One of the most common medical reasons for oral dryness is Sjögren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune condition, associated with rheumatoid diseases, that causes a general dryness throughout the body.

Ageing is often associated with causing dry mouth because as the body grows older it tends to produce less saliva, although this probably contributes more to the condition than causes it.

There are many cures for dry mouth and your Weybridge dentist should be able to ascertain what is causing the problem and recommend the best way to stop it. Treatments for dry mouth and its associated symptoms often involve changing the way you take care of your mouth by brushing properly twice a day, flossing after meals, cleaning your tongue and avoiding the intake of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. Your Weybridge dentist can offer advice on the best course of action. Recent research has shown that there are also a number of drugs available that stimulate the production of saliva.

Shepperton dentists can help detect oral cancer

Oral cancer will usually first manifest itself as a sore or growth that won’t go away naturally. Oral cancer, which includes cancer of any part of the mouth or throat such as lips, cheek, hard and soft palates and tongue can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.

Men are twice as likely as women to get oral cancer with men over the age of 50 being particularly at risk. Factors that increase the risk of oral cancer include smoking, which can increase your chance of oral cancer by as much as 600 percent. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also increase your chances by a similar degree.

Other factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include excessive exposure to sunlight and a family history of cancer. People who use smokeless tobacco products such as snuff, dip or chewing tobacco are a massive 50 times more likely to develop cancer of the cheek, lips or tongue. Although it is important to note that a quarter of people who contract oral cancer do not use tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.

The symptoms or oral cancer include: unexplained bleeding in the mouth; the development of white or red patches in the mouth; difficulty chewing speaking or swallowing; swelling, lumps or eroded areas in the mouth; dramatic weight loss.

These are only some of the symptoms so it is always best to consult your dentist if you have any concerns. Your Shepperton dentist can conduct an oral cancer screening exam as part of your regular dental check-up and can perform a brush biopsy of any suspicious looking sores in the mouth. This test is completely painless and involves taking a small sample of tissue for analysis. Your Shepperton dentist will also be able to check for any tissue changes in your oral cavity, neck and head. If oral cancer is detected in its early stages patients have a greater than 80 percent chance of successful treatment.

Kingston upon Thames dentists can perform quick, easy and painfree dental bonding

Dental bonding is the procedure in which material, usually tooth coloured resin, is applied and ‘bonded’ to a person’s tooth to restore the appearance of the tooth or smile.

The process can be used to repair cracked of chipped teeth, to close spaces up between the teeth, to improve the look of discoloured teeth, to change the shape or appearance of teeth or to protect exposed areas of the teeth.

It is one of the easiest and least costly of the cosmetic dental procedures as unlike veneers or crowns bonding does not need to be manufactured in laboratory conditions but can usually be accomplished in one office visit to the dentist, unless it involves a number of teeth. It is mostly undertaken without the need for anaesthetics, unless a cavity is being filled around a nerve.

Dental bonding does resist staining, although it is not as effective as crowns in this department. Also, although tough it does not last quite as long as other dental repairs and can chip and crack itself. For this reason it is viewed by dentists as ideal for smaller repairs.

As mentioned there is little preparation needed for dental bonding. The dentist will select a shade to closely match the colour of your existing teeth and then apply the resin and mould it to the desired shape. A special light or laser is then used to set the resin and harden it. The whole process will take little more than an hour to complete. This simple process can be performed by a Kingston upon Thames dentist easily, cheaply and free of pain and then you really will have a reason to smile

Shepperton dentists now utilise cad/cam technologies

CAD/CAM stands for computer aided design/computer aided manufacture and is being used increasingly in the field of dentistry to help fabricate the precise shape and size of required dental restorations. CAD/CAM technology can provide patients with well fitted and perfectly sized restorations such as crowns and veneers in a far more efficient manner than ever before. Multiple tooth restorations can also be achieved to a greater degree of accuracy and with far fewer procedures than previously had been necessary.

CAD/CAM technology also means that dental restorations can be achieved in one visit rather than two, if the dentist has the necessary equipment. The computer constructs a 3D representation of your mouth and then uses this to build an exact ceramic replica of the drawing, that fits perfectly in place.

Well fitting crowns can reduce the risk of infection because it reduces the distance between the teeth and also reduces the possibility of the teeth shifting. Previously it has been difficult to offer high strength dental restoration without the use of metals.

There is also no reason that CAD/ CAM technology means the cost has to rise, providing the dentist has all the necessary equipment in office. The technologies represent a vast leap forward in dentistry and can offer patients a greater degree of satisfaction with their dental repairs. A Shepperton dentist will be able to advise you if CAD/CAM technologies can benefit you and your dental repairs.

Surbiton dentist can offer advice on gum contouring

Healthy looking gums frame the teeth. This framing of the teeth is just as important as the framing of a picture. Sometimes overly large or misshapen gums can lead to an appearance known as a gummy smile. This excess of gingival tissue affects 7% of adult males and 14% of females when in full smile. Although there is nothing wrong with the teeth themselves, the symmetrical appearance of the gums is just as important to a great smile as the teeth and a gummy smile can often be a source of embarrassment.

The overgrowth of gum tissue can be caused by several factors. It is often nothing more than a hereditary disposition but it can be caused by some common blood pressure medication. Excessive gum tissue can easily be treated by a process known as gum contouring or lifting.

This treatment consists of applying a local anaesthetic to the gums, and a laser is used to remove the small amounts of excess gum tissue and to reshape the edges of the gums. This is usually carried out on the six front teeth on the top row, which are usually most visible when smiling. Discomfort to the patient is kept to a minimum, as the blood vessels are sealed by the laser, allowing for a speedy healing process.

There may be occasion when tissue reshaping alone is not enough to solve the problem. In these circumstances the bone at the root of the front six teeth itself may have to be reduced. This is to make sure that the gums are the standard three millimeters from the bone. If this bone is not reduced there is a chance that the gum tissue may grow back. Although more complicated than a simple gum lift, it is still relatively comfortable for the patient.

Although not completely without risk, gum contouring is a relatively painless way to achieve the smile you always wanted. Surbiton dentist will be able to explain the treatment in more detail and assess whether gum contouring could be effective for you.

Sunbury dentist offer advice about how to get a smile makeover

If you can makeover your house and your wardrobe, why can’t you do the same for your smile? After all, your smile can say a lot more about you than your home or your clothes and it goes with you everywhere.

A smile makeover can improve the appearance of your smile by using one or more cosmetic dental processes such as veneers, composite bonding, dental implants and teeth whitening. They can be customized according to your preferences taking into consideration your facial appearance, skin tone, hair colour, teeth and lips.

Your Sunbury dentist will be able to review your preferences with you and make suggestions on how to improve your smile by altering the balance, colour and alignment of your existing teeth. Certain orthodontic treatments can also improve your profile and the shape of your cheeks and lips.

Any existing damage to teeth such as chips can be repaired using a process called bonding, cavities and cracks can be filled with the latest enamel coloured fillings (old silver fillings can be replaced) and stained teeth can be bleached to look as good as new.

Dentists will use the latest technology including intraoral cameras to take images of the teeth so that they can evaluate the needs of the patient on a tooth-by-tooth basis. They can also carry out laser gum contouring to assure an even and symmetrical gum covering of teeth. Jaw racking and bite analysis systems assess the makeover process to ensure all procedures are working and that the bite is in full alignment for comfort and wear.

Smile makeovers can be costly depending on the amount of work needed but a Sunbury dentist will be able to assess which treatments will work best for you to make sure you are completely satisfied. And after all, can you really put a price on a smile?

Ask a Mulberry dentist about prevention of dental injuries

Distressing dental injuries are very common and can lead to many long-term physiological and psychological problems. Knocked out, chipped and cracked teeth can be very painful and often hard to repair. Over 40% of dental injuries occur while playing sport, especially high physical risk sports such as rugby, skiing and almost anything that involves a ball.

Dental injuries can also occur even when the resulting damage is not as obvious as a lost tooth. Secondary damage to the jaw and head can result from a trauma to the mouth so it always wise to seek advice from your dentist after receiving a blow.

Treatment for dental injuries can be costly, painful and drawn out and can even involve surgery. While dentists can help repair nay damage that occurs there is a safer and cheaper alternative. To avoid the eventuality of dental injury,Mulberry dentist recommend that you use a mouth guard when paying any form of high-risk physical activity.

There are a number of mouth guards commercially available in sports shops but they vary in quality and don’t allow for the structure of the individual’s teeth. It is highly recommended to have a guard individually measured and molded by a Mulberry dentist to offer the greatest degree of protection. For children, it is important to remember to change the mouth guard regularly to accommodate for growing teeth.