September 13th, 2009
Tooth sensitivity, or hypersensitivity, affects nearly one in five of us at some point. It makes eating hot or cold food and drinks, and even breathing cold air, a painful experience, and really there is no need to put up with it.
The problem usually occurs when gums recede past parts of the tooth that are not covered by the protective enamel layer. These parts of the teeth are full of thousands of tiny holes called dentinal channels, which lead straight to the root of the tooth. It is these exposed areas that cause us to feel the pain of sensitive teeth. It can also be caused when the enamel on the tooth is simply eroded as part of a wider decay, again exposing the dentinal channels.
Tooth sensitivity is caused by a wide variety of factors. Some of the most common include brushing too hard, which erodes the gums; the natural recession of gums with age; gum disease and just using the wrong kind of toothbrush. Tooth sensitivity can also occur as a by-product of several dental procedures, such as whitening.
Most of the common causes can be combated simply by more effective oral hygiene. Brushing in the correct way, with the right strength bristles can delay the recession of gums. A Molesey dentist will be able to tell you which brush is the most suitable for your gums and teeth.
On other occasions the problem might be caused broken or fractured teeth which will require more comprehensive treatment from a dentist. Similarly, grinding or clenching issues can cause sensitive teeth. In this instance a dentist might prescribe a mouth guard to prevent the teeth being eroded by unconscious erosion.
Whatever the cause, there is usually a solution that could be as simple as changing your toothpaste or toothbrush. Make an appointment with a Molesey dentist if you have sensitive teeth and you might be able to prevent the irritation of tooth sensitivity.
September 13th, 2009
Tooth abscesses usually occur as a result of complications due to tooth decay but they can also be the result of a trauma to the teeth such as when a tooth is chipped or cracked. The abscess itself is a collection of pus that is caused by a bacterial infection.
When tiny openings are caused in the enamel of the tooth, either due to decay or a fracture, bacteria is allowed to infiltrate deeper and deeper into the tooth, eventually reaching the pulp at its centre. The infection is then bombarded with white blood cells which decay and along with the other matter in the tooth cause an abscess to develop and swelling in the tissues around it.
Tooth abscesses are usually signaled first by a toothache, but in severe cases, when the root has already been destroyed the patient might not be able to feel any pain at all, even though the abscess is still growing. The abscess is capable of spreading the infection to other teeth and gums in the mouth, which can cause large and uncomfortable swelling. It is for this reason that it is always necessary to see a dentist even when the pain appears to have gone away.
The toothache most commonly experienced in tandem with an abscess is a continuous throbbing or knowing pain. Other associated symptoms include a bitter taste in the mouth, a foul odour emanating from the mouth, nausea or a feeling of generally being unwell and sensitivity to extremities of temperature when eating.
Common home remedies for tooth abscess include swilling salt water and taking over the counter pain remedies. A Weybridge dentist may prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection. In more serious cases they might need to remove the whole root of the tooth in a procedure known as root canal surgery, which can often be quite painful. In extreme circumstances a hospital visit may be necessary.
In all instances it is best if the infection is caught early. So if you think you may have a tooth abscess, make an appointment to see a Weybridge dentist today.
September 13th, 2009
Dental bonding is a process which aims to restore the appearance of a tooth or teeth by the application of tooth coloured resin. It is most often used for the repair of chipped or cracked teeth, to close up excessive space between teeth and to improve the look of discoloured teeth. It can also be used as a barrier to protect exposed sensitive areas of teeth and to alter the shape and appearance of existing teeth.
Dental bonding is one of the most routine cosmetic dental procedures and as such is one of the cheapest. Unlike certain other cosmetic procedures like crowns or veneers, dental bonding does not need to be manufactured in laboratory conditions. This also means that bonding procedures can be carried out in one visit to the dentist. Both of these factors mean the process is generally much cheaper for the patient. However, it should be noted that if the bonding required involves more than one or two teeth the dentist may not be able to carry out al the work in one session.
Dental bonding is also relatively painless in most instances and anaesthteic is only ever really required when the bonding is being applied to sensitive areas like cavities that surround nerve endings.
Dental bonding is the ideal tool for dentists to carry out small repairs and because of its low cost it is also very popular with patients. However, although dental bonding is very tough it can chip or crack itself and even though it resists staining it is not as effective in this area as a crown. Nonetheless, dental bonding is an incredibly useful minor procedure that can help prevent further damage to your teeth and also serves a very useful cosmetic purpose.
The actual process of dental bonding is very straightforward. The dentist will find a shade of resin that most closely matches your existing teeth. They will then apply the resin and mold it to the desired shape. The resin is then set and hardened by a laser. The whole process should take no longer than an hour and is the most cost effective and pain-free ways to look after your teeth.
If you think you may have minor damage to a tooth, make an appointment with a Surbiton dentist and they will be able to assess whether dental bonding can work for you.
September 13th, 2009
Dental veneers are specially designed shells made of porcelain, or other ceramics, that cover the surface of the teeth to cover worn enamel, uneven spacing or alignment and chips and cracks. They can provide almost instant straight teeth and because of today’s translucent quality ceramic, can look even more realistic than was previously possible. Veneers are an increasingly popular cosmetic dentistry tool being used by more patients and dentists to create the perfect smile.
Veneers are also incredibly versatile and able to help solve almost any cosmetic dentistry issue. Worn or stained enamel due to genetic disposition or lifestyle can now be covered by porcelain veneers, as can uneven or worn teeth.
Porcelain veneers are manufactured in laboratory conditions by dental technicians and are bonded to the existing teeth using various types of resin and cements. They are more expensive than ordinary composite resin veneers but last longer and appear far more realistic.
Dental veneers can be used to repair smaller dental issues such as single chips and cracks, or localized unevenness but these can also be fixed using other procedures such as bonding. Veneers work best and have a larger impact when used to re-invent a whole row of teeth, when larger discolouration or uneven spacing is more severe.
Although whitening can often be used to restore discoloured teeth, it is not always effective and will often require several processes and ongoing treatment for noticeable results. Veneers can be a long-term solution to discolouration issues. For alignment issues, the conventional treatment was usually braces, which although effective, often took years to yield results. Porcelain veneers could give you the straight, white teeth you’ve always wanted in an afternoon. A Molesey dentist can offer you a consultation to assess whether porcelain veneers are suitable for your teeth and can provide you with details of costing. Call 01932 223 479 for an appointment with Dr Riten Patel.
September 12th, 2009
Smoking can have a massive detrimental effect on your health in general and specifically on your oral health. It is responsible for causing oral cancers, gum disease and tooth decay and cavities. Smokers are far more likely to have dental problems and loose teeth than non-smokers.
Patients may see a dentist more regularly than a doctor and as dentists will be able to see visible evidence of smoke damage, they can play an important role in helping patients to kick the habit. Most smokers suffer from periodontal disease at some point, as well as other dental problems, and a dentist is well placed to offer advice about how to avoid these problems by quitting. By giving up, patients greatly increase their chances of having healthy teeth.
Dentists are increasingly receiving training in smoking cessation, meaning that they will be able to serve a dual role of dentist and cessation councillor. Using their unique position they can warn patients about the dangers of smoking to their oral health and can offer advice on the most successful ways to give up. They will also be able to inform patients about the greatly increased further health risks of smoking such as heart disease and lung cancer. The state of a smoker’s teeth might be indicative of this further damage and the brief consultation with a dentist can help to make them aware of this fact.
Sunbury dentists are trained, or receiving training, in smoking cessation. They are taking advantage of their unique position and regular contact with patients to offer the most effective and up to date methods of quitting. Hopefully they can greatly improve patients’ dental health and health in general.
September 12th, 2009
Times of financial hardship can be incredibly frightening, especially when the evil spectre of job losses rears its ugly head. Whether you are one of the unlucky ones or even if you’re just one of the people dreading the phone ringing with the bad news, cutting back on spending becomes an immediate priority. Any unnecessary spending has to go, there is no place for luxuries. For some however, dental check-ups are included in the list of non-essential items that can be sacrificed. While this might save money in the short term, in the long run this could be a very dangerous and costly strategy.
Dental check-ups are crucial in the fight against tooth decay and gum disease. One missed check up could mean that it is a year or more between visits to the dentist, which is plenty of time for the onset of tooth decay. This could cause problems such as cavities which may require fillings, root canals or even crowns which are all costly and possibly painful dental procedures.
This is especially true for children. Although shelling out for several children to visit the dentist, children’s teeth change very quickly and missed appointments could result in having to shell out for several sets of fillings, which will be far more costly.
It may seem that a dental check-up is a non-essential expenditure, especially for those who are unemployed or struggling during these times of hardship, but a small investment in your teeth now could end up saving thousands in the future. Look after your teeth now and they could last a lifetime, neglect them and you could pay the price. Dentists in Shepperton are available for appointments to help prevent costly and painful tooth decay.
September 12th, 2009
When the composite fillings, that are usually used to fill the gaps between teeth, harden they can shrink from their initial set size. This may create further gaps between the teeth that will allow for the development of cavities.
When the dentist initially applies the composite filling, it is soft. This is to allow them to mold it to precisely to the size and shape they require. They then use a light source, more often than not a laser in modern dentistry, to harden it. Like most Newtonian substances it will shrink as it gets hard. This leaves tiny spaces in between the teeth that are perfect for food debris and bacteria to breed in, resuming their attack on your tooth’s enamel.
There are several different types of dental composite on the market, but it is up to the individual practitioner which one they think is best suited for the tooth restoration. It is often very difficult to determine how much the composite will shrink, and whether microscopic gaps exist that could be detrimental to the patient.
New methods of simulation have been developed in the last few years which have enabled clinicians to accurately assess this tension in composite fillings to hopefully eradicate the problem. Using the simulators they can theoretically divide the filling into thousands of parts and see how they will react with each other during the hardening process. Sunbury dentists are using the new technology to provide accurate and risk free composite fillings that will not require continual return trips to the dentist for composite repair. If you are concerned about gaps in your existing composites, it is always a good idea to check with your dentist.
September 12th, 2009
If you are too embarrassed to smile because of a missing tooth then a dental implant might be the solution you have been looking for. There are other options available but because of the artificial tooth supported by a dental implant, it offers the most realistic substitute for a real tooth. It also offers a greater degree of stability than other cosmetic dental procedures.
Dental implants are cylindrical or screw like devices that are anchored to the jawbone to act as a stable base for a crown. Made of titanium and other substances naturally suitable to the human body they offer a genuine substitute for a real tooth root. Implants have been around for several decades and are suitable for most adult patients. Because they are sturdy and fixed they do not have to be removed and no messy adhesive is needed. They also do not prohibit the eating of certain foods as more temporary tooth substitutes might. Also, due to their rigidity, they can help prevent the sinking damage to the facial structure that many patients who have lost teeth may suffer.
A dental implant procedure takes place in three steps. Firstly, the screw is anchored into the jawbone, with its top being just proud of the bone. This is then left to allow the gum and jaw to fuse to the implant, in a process called osseointegration. During the second process, a ‘post’ is then attached to the implant. Lastly, the dentist will attach the actual crown to the post.
Dental implants work especially well for patients who have strong jaws and gums but do require a commitment to good oral hygiene after the procedure. If successful, they do offer the most realistic alternative to having a real tooth. A Kingston on Thames dentist will be able to offer you a consultation to see if you are suitable for dental implants. And that will be a reason to smile. Call 01932 223 479 for an appointment with Dr Riten Patel.
September 12th, 2009
Laser dentistry allows dentists to perform many dental procedures with a greater degree of control and accuracy. The precision of a laser enables the dentist to control the exact power output and duration of exposure to the tissue. This means a specific area can be targeted without any damage being sustained by surrounding areas. This has done a great deal to limit the amount of pain felt by patients in dental operations and has assuaged the anxieties of others. If you suffer from a fear of the dentist it is recommended you see a dentist with laser technology who can minimise pain and recovery times.
Minimal pain is just one of the significant benefits that lasers have brought to dental surgery. The risk of post-procedural infection is greatly reduced because the high-intensity light of the laser sterilizes the area where it is working. The light beam also inhibits blood loss during procedures as it acts as a coagulating agent on the exposed blood vessels. This also allows wounds to heal faster and tissues to regenerate quicker, greatly reducing the recovery time for patients. Because of the accuracy of lasers, certain procedures will not require anesthetics, and certain soft-tissue lasers have eliminated the need for stitches.
Lasers can be used for both hard and soft tissue procedures. Hard tissue involves treatment of the teeth themselves in processes such as cavity detecting and dental bonding. Soft tissue surgery involves using the laser to repair and restructure gum tissue.
Laser dentistry has opened the door for dentists to perform many treatments, that were previously though incredibly difficult or even impossible, with relative ease. This has reduced the need for repeat visits and reduced waiting times for other patients. More and more dentists are being introduced to the innovative and exciting world of laser dentistry. Find out if your dentist in Weybridge is using lasers and remove the pain and anxiety from your next trip to the dentist.
September 12th, 2009
From a young age we are always told that eating candy or sugary sweets will rot our teeth and make them fall out. Even this level of scaremongering does little to dilute the average child’s voracious appetite for sweets. So what can parents do and what is the real truth behind the link between eating candy and tooth decay?
Sweets and candy contain high levels of refined carbohydrates. These carbohydrates can change the pH balance of the mouth making it more acidic and causing cavities or caries to develop. The stickiness of many of these foods means that a lot of the carbohydrates are stuck to the teeth and not swallowed or diluted by saliva. So it seems pretty straightforward, candy is bad for the teeth. Well, I think we all knew it really, but I don’t think a worldwide candy ban is a realistic alternative.
So what can you do as a parent? Well, research has shown that it may not be the amount of candy that a child eats but the frequency. After eating sweets, the pH balance is altered for up to an hour before returning to normal. So one suggestion would be that if you are going to treat the kids, do it in one go. Don’t let them snack throughout the day on sugary food.
Eating candy with meals is also a good idea because the increased production of saliva during meals will help to wash away some of the sugar from the mouth. Rinsing your mouth with water also helps to preserve the natural pH of the mouth.
In reality, all foods contain elements that are not good for the teeth. Candy is often perceived as worse because it offers no other nutritional benefits. Therefore no matter what the kids eat, it is vital that they brush their teeth properly at least twice a day and get regular check ups at a Shepperton dentist. The dentist will be able to spot any problems early and offer the best advice on how to keep teeth clean.