November 25th, 2010
Xerostomia, also known as dry mouth, is the condition where an underproduction of saliva, the mouth’s natural defence against bacteria, causes an imbalance with unpleasant consequences. Not only is xerostomia an unpleasant feeling but it is also the cause of bad breath and can lead to an increased chance of many other dental and oral conditions.
Saliva not only moistens the mouth but it also neutralises bacteria and washes away food particles stuck in the teeth. There are a number of reasons that can adversely affect the production of saliva such as medication you may be taking for other conditions, radiotherapy and also because of a general dehydration. We have all experienced that feeling of having a really dry mouth when we are thirsty and xerostimia is just a chronic case of that feeling. Not very pleasant, I’m sure you’ll agree.
A lack of saliva also puts you at much greater risk of gum disease. This is particularly dangerous given the recent discovery that gum disease is linked to heart disease and potentially fatal heart attacks. This is because the infection can easily get into the bloodstream and block the arteries.
London SE1 dentists recommend that should be suffering from dry mouth, or suspect that you are, you need to make an appointment to have the condition checked and examined for possible causes. The longer the condition remains untreated, the greater risk it poses for your oral health. Try to improve your oral hygiene to compensate, drink plenty of water and avoid eating foods with a high salt content. But most importantly, never ignore the problem in the top that it might go away.
November 21st, 2010
Dental infections are nasty things; just ask anyone who has suffered the pain of a toothache caused by a dental infection. The pain can be sharp of dull, constant or shooting, and it feels like it’s coming right form the centre of your head and no matter what you do, it just won’t go away. There are only two ways to end the pain of a dental infection. One is for the tooth to fall out or to have it pulled out and the other way is to have a root canal treatment.
It is because the root canal treatment is only needed in such unpleasant circumstances that it has its feared reputation. The reality of course is that if it brings an end to the horrible pain of infection it could be your best friend. The treatment involves drilling a hole down into the root of the tooth (the root canal and removing the infection that has taken hold at the centre of the tooth. Once any residual infection is removed, the cavity is filled with medicine to prevent any further infection and filled with composite bonding. In most cases a dental crown will be needed to complete the job and make the tooth solid again.
Obviously the thought of the dreaded dentists drill being forced down into the heart of your tooth is not a pleasant one, but with anaesthetic there is no need for the procedure to be any more painful than an ordinary filling. London SE1 dentists are now also able to use new dental technology such as digital x-rays and lasers to make the treatment a lot more comfortable.
However, the most important thing you need to know about root canal treatments is this: no matter how useful they are and how much pain they can end, if you look after your teeth and visit your dentist regularly, you will hopefully never need to experience any of it. Make an appointment today.
November 20th, 2010
Looking after your teeth is very important. They are an extremely important part of your body that enable you to eat and drink, talk and provide valuable support for the facial structure. When problems occur with the teeth they can be very unpleasant and cause a great deal of pain not to mention expense and anxiety. However, what many people often overlook is that the gums are equally important for the health of your mouth and wider health in general.
The gums are the support structure for the teeth and are inexorably linked to them. They too can suffer at the hands of plaque and bacteria, which cause gum disease. When plaque acid begins to irritate the gum tissue it can become infected, leading first to gingivitis and then to periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease that can result in losing teeth and even heart disease.
Nearly three quarters of the adults in the UK will suffer from gum disease at some point in their life, which gives you some idea of just how common it is. The best way to protect against gum disease is by brushing and flossing. Angle the toothbrush at forty-five degrees to the gums to gradually stimulate them and remove the thin layer of plaque that has built up. It is also vital to floss as this removes plaque and food particles around the base of the tooth. These areas are very hard to clean with a brush so are often the source of gum disease issues. Finally, make sure that you see your London SE1 dentist every six months for a check up. They will be able to examine your gums in detail for any sign of disease and carry out any necessary treatment.
November 6th, 2010
The teeth are quite sturdy parts of the body. Made largely of hardened minerals (mostly calcium) their layered structure makes them ideal for resisting many of the problems that they face such as chewing hard food and bacteria. However, even considering these advantages, time is the one thing teeth are not able to defeat. Even the mightiest mountains will be worn down by a gentle rain, given enough time, and so it is with the teeth. Continued exposure to bacteria, extremes of temperature, and force will cause damage that leads to dental conditions.
The most common dental condition is probably dental caries or cavities. These happen when plaque acid causes a breach in the outer layer of hard enamel. This allows bacteria to penetrate to the softer, more sensitive part of the tooth, which contains the dental nerve. This can cause an infection to take place which, if left unchecked, will destroy the dental nerve and kill the tooth, causing it to fall out. There are a number of treatments that can prevent this happening if carried out in time, which is why you should always see your South East London dentist as soon as possible if you have a sore tooth, it might just save it.
Other dental conditions include staining and discolouration, which can happen as the result of fluoridation, eating and drinking certain foods too often or because of lifestyle choices such as smoking. While this may not be all that detrimental to the health of the tooth, it will certainly make the teeth look rather unpleasant.
Gum disease is the other major dental health condition that affects many people in the UK, and even has links to heart disease. As with all dental complaints, the key to avoiding them is to look after your teeth and follow your dentist’s advice.
November 2nd, 2010
Cosmetic dentistry is the process by which teeth are improved aesthetically without necessarily improving the functionality of the teeth. This may sound like cosmetic dentistry is therefore slightly unnecessary but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Being ashamed or self-conscious about your teeth can cause serious emotional problems, which are just as real and severe as any physical condition.
Cosmetic dentistry has grown exponentially in popularity over the last twenty years. Once seen as the preserve of the rich and famous, greater availability and cheaper procedures have opened the market to everyone. Now it is possible for anyone, no matter what their budget, to reap the benefits of cosmetic surgery.
Some of the most requested cosmetic surgery treatments at South East London dentists are teeth whitening and porcelain veneers. These treatments are so popular because they can improve the condition of the teeth in terms of their colour and how healthy they look. Whitening treatments apply bleach to the surface of the teeth which seeps into the enamel and returns it to a healthier whiter colour. This can reduce the age of the patient in terms of appearance, as the teeth are one of the key giveaway signs of time.
Porcelain veneers also improve the appearance of the teeth by placing ceramic caps over the top of the existing teeth. This can not only improve the colour of the teeth but also their size and shape. Modern day veneers are incredibly lifelike and can make a stunning difference to the teeth.
There are many other cosmetic dentistry treatments available that can improve the colour, alignment, size and shape of the teeth. Your dentist will be able to provide you with more details but you can rest assured that if you have a particular problem with your teeth then cosmetic dentistry will have the solution.
November 1st, 2010
Around the outside of the teeth is a hard protective layer called enamel. This acts as a barrier against bacteria, disease and extremes of temperature, and also prevents over-stimulation of the dental nerve located in the heart of the tooth. However, if the enamel comes under attack form bacteria it will eventually be worn down creating small breaches or holes in the surface of the teeth. These holes are known as cavities or caries and can lead to dental infection.
When we eat food small particles get trapped in the tiny spaces between the teeth and act as breeding grounds for bacteria. Food that we eat that contains lots of sugar or starch also coats the surface of the teeth as it is very sticky. If we do not remove these food particles or sticky starch then bacteria builds in a filmy substance called plaque. This releases acids which erode the tooth enamel causing the cavities. This process is irreversible so it is very important you listen to your South East London dentist’s advice and brush and floss correctly everyday.
Once the enamel has been breached it leaves the door open for bacteria to penetrate to the centre of the tooth and attack the dental nerve. There are various procedures that can prevent this. The most common is a filling. This involves sealing the cavity with a hard material, traditionally silver amalgam but more recently composite bonding. In more extreme cases you may need to have a ceramic inlay placed in the cavity or even an entire dental crown to protect the teeth.
Preventing cavities is very simple yet all too often we take our teeth for granted and assume they will be fine. With just a small effort you can ensure the health of your teeth for many years to come.