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Unfortunately, children have accidents, and many times these accidents can injure teeth or involve facial or head areas. In this circumstance, contact your dentist as soon as possible. Baby teeth are usually not put back in the mouth, but the child should be seen by a dentist to determine if any roots remain or other teeth have been injured.
If a permanent tooth is knocked out, find the tooth and rinse it gently in cool water. Do NOT scrub it or clean it with soap – just rinse with water. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold in place there with a clean gauze or handkerchief. If you cannot put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk, saliva or water.
Get to the dentist as soon as possible, or call your dentist’s emergency number if it is after working hours. The faster you act, the better the chances of saving the tooth.
If a tooth is chipped or fractured, contact your dentist. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce the swelling. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, bring it with you to the dentist.
If the injury involves a severe blow to the head or jaw go immediately to the casualty department at your local hospital.
The potential health problems caused by mercury released from dental fillings have caused controversy in the popular media. The concern is to what extent the released mercury may cause health problems. The truth is that amalgam restorations remain safe and effective. There is no evidence that dental amalgams cause serious health problems.
When your gums bleed it means that you have gum disease (or gingivitis). Healthy gums do NOT bleed. The gums appear red and inflamed and you may be aware of a bad taste or bad breath. The gums are not necessarily painful and gingivitis can progress for many years without pain. Gum disease is caused by plaque. This is the sticky film of bacteria that naturally forms on the teeth of everybody every day. If gingivitis progresses, it can spread to the bone supporting the teeth (periodontitis). In the long term, if this is left untreated, you could lose your teeth.
Gum disease is preventable and, in its early stages, can be completely cured by a good homecare regime to remove the build up of plaque from all the surfaces of all the teeth.
There are many options that we will be happy to discuss with you that will range from simple aesthetic re-shaping and bleaching to veneers, crowns and full mouth rehabilitations, and even orthodontics.
At a cosmetic consultation appointment, we will establish what you would like to change and thus formulate a treatment plan appropriate for your wants.
The main alternatives are bridges and implants which are not removable, unlike your dentures. If it is not practical to provide either of these, we can check to see if your dentures can be improved upon.
Tooth decay is the disease known as caries or cavities. Unlike other diseases, however, caries is not life threatening and is highly preventable, though it affects most people to some degree during their life.
Tooth decay occurs when your teeth are frequently exposed to foods containing starches and sugars e.g. fizzy drinks, squashes, sweets, ice cream, chocolate, cakes, biscuits and even fruits and juices. Natural bacteria live in the mouth and form plaque. The plaque interacts with deposits left on your teeth from sugary and starchy goods to produce acids. These acids damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving, or demineralising, the mineral structure of teeth, leading to tooth decay and weakening the teeth.
The acids formed by plaque can be counteracted by simple saliva in your mouth, which acts as a buffer and remineralising agent. Dentists often recommend chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate your saliva production. However, although it is the body’s natural defence against cavities, saliva alone is not sufficient to combat tooth decay.
The best way is to brush and floss regularly. To rebuild the early damage caused by plaque bacteria, we use fluoride, a natural substance that helps to remineralise the tooth structure. Fluoride is added to toothpaste to fight cavities and clean teeth. If you are at medium to high risk for cavities, your dentist may recommend special high concentration fluoride gels or mouth rinses. Your dentist may also use professional strength anti-cavity varnish, or sealants, that provide an extra barrier against food and debris.
Because we all carry bacteria in our mouths, everyone is at risk. Those with a diet high in carbohydrates and sugary foods together with those who live in communities without fluoridated water are likely candidates for cavities. Children and senior citizens are the two groups at highest risk for cavities.
The best way is to follow these steps:
Although the simple answer is yes, treatment (for example, bleaching) is available which can correct this.
Please discuss this with your dentist
Your child’s first set of teeth are extremely important. Strong, healthy teeth help your child chew food easily, learn to speak clearly and look good. Just as important, your child’s general health can be affected if diseased and broken baby teeth are not treated early. Taking your child to the dentist regularly can prevent serious dental disease. Preventive services such as fluoride treatments and sealants are less costly than the fillings, crowns and other treatments that your child may need if the teeth are neglected.
Ideally, it is best to take your child to the dentist as soon as possible after birth. The earlier you begin, the better chance your dentist has to prevent problems.
In addition to checking for decay, the dentist will advise you as to how to properly clean your child’s teeth, evaluate any adverse habits such as thumb sucking and identify your child’s fluoride needs. By starting dental visits at an early age, you will help your child build a lifetime of good dental habits.
While there is no set rule, it is generally recommended that children should visit the dentist every six months.
Yes. Not all headaches are caused by a misaligned bite but many can be, especially stress and tension headaches. Please ask your dentist to explain further.
Further information can be found at the British Society of Occlusal Studies web site. (www.bsos.co.uk).
Pregnancy is an important time in your life and an especially important time for your personal health care. During pregnancy, you are assimilating and providing necessary nutrients for the growth and good health of your child.
Some women experience dental problems during their pregnancy. These can be brought on by a variety of reasons.
Regular dental visits allow us to spot potential problems early or maybe even prevent them from occurring in the first place.
As a general rule, you should visit the dentist every 6 months and the hygienist every 3-6 months.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, do not always erupt properly when they decide to make an appearance. It is wise to get an opinion from your dentist on getting wisdom teeth extracted before they become impacted, causing pain, swelling, infection, caries and gum disease.
The shape of the modern human mouth is often too small to accommodate wisdom teeth. Over the course of time, humans have developed smaller jaws as processed foods have reduced the need for strong jaws to chew food.
When wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow they are considered to be impacted. A full set of healthy teeth sometimes doesn’t leave much room for wisdom teeth to grow.
Partially erupted wisdom teeth are breeding grounds for organisms that may cause infection. Jaw pain and gum disease may follow.
Antibiotics only soothe infected wisdom teeth for a short time. At the end of the day, antibiotics do not solve the real problem – the tooth can’t fit in your mouth.
It isn’t wise to wait until wisdom teeth bother you. Early removal is advisable to avoid problems. At an early age, patients should be evaluated by their dentist who can track the development of their wisdom teeth using x-rays.
Those patients with no symptoms can avoid the chance of ever suffering from impacted wisdom teeth or achieve better orthodontic treatment results by having them removed. Your dentist will advise.
Surgery for impacted wisdom teeth involves cutting the gum tissue over the tooth, gently stripping connective tissue away from the tooth and bone, removing the tooth and stitching the gum back into place.
Professionally fitted mouth guards are essential to protect your teeth and gums in all contact sports.