Information and advice about dental health and anything dental
Reservations or anxiety about dental treatment
Please tell us if you have any difficulties or reservations about receiving dental treatment or any of our procedures. It is most helpful to us to know in advance if you have any particular problems or needs. We are there to help and complete your treatment with the minimal amount of pain and stress, and we always include our patients in every aspect of the planning and treatment. Often there are things we can modify or change to make your appointment easier and more enjoyable.
Many of our patients do have anxieties, so you are not alone.
Jaw clenching and grinding
A very common problem that can lead to damage to fillings and teeth, even causing teeth to die due to trauma.
Clenching teeth can lead to fractured teeth or fillings, pain around the joints, and headaches. Grinding of either anterior teeth or posterior teeth will result in wear of the enamel and loss of tooth substance. Often the first indication of a problem is shortening or the disappearance of teeth, or sensitivity of the back teeth.
If you are suffering from headaches or neck tension or find you clench or grind your teeth or wake in the morning with your teeth hurting and clamped shut, please let us know. You may need jaw exercises or a night-guard constructed to help relieve the symptoms and break the habit.
Your toothbrushing and flossing technique
Dental plaque is the sticky substance that adheres to teeth and is the breeding ground for bacteria. Plaque must be removed at least every 12 hours in order to avoid decay and gum disease; this is why brushing properly and regularly (at least twice a day) is so important.
At Caring Dentistry, we will check your teeth for plaque and will give you advice regarding all aspects of teeth cleaning, including brushing (both electric and manual) and flossing. As necessary, we will also remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque tarter) and carefully monitor your gums for pockets or gaps where bacteria can breed.
Other tools and gadgets used to clean between teeth and demonstrated and advised on if necessary, and fluoride toothpastes and mouth-rinses are available, along with toothbrushes and electric brushes, within our premises at competitive prices.
Fractures fillings and teeth
We regularly see fractured fillings or cracks under old amalgam fillings. They are a common and serious problem as the cracked teeth have only about a 50% chance of retaining their vitality; in other words, full recovery is only possible in half the teeth that crack.
Old silver amalgams tend to expand in the sharp angled holes that were made to restore the teeth years ago. As the bite becomes worn on the tooth, the filling can cause internal stresses where the tooth eventually cracks. Sometimes a small piece of tooth or filling falls off and this can be remedied easily using present-day plastic bonded fillings. However, a crack that is deeper will lead to pain and temperature sensitivity in the tooth, and a filling may not be sufficient to rectify the problem. Root canal treatment and crowns may be a possible treatment option.
Regular maintenance checks may alert us to potential problems but unfortunately internal cracks are not always easy or possible to detect and the only way to know of a cracked tooth is once it has happened.
The Ability to eat
Often trouble with eating or sensitivity to temperature is the first indication that you have a dental problem. Unfortunately, teeth damaged by decay or injury will not heal like other parts of the body. The damaged tooth structure must be replaced by artificial materials. If the tooth’s nerve and blood supply becomes infected, then treatment options are root canal treatment or tooth removal. Gum disease may occur when inflammation or infection is untreated or treatment-delayed. This infection and inflammation will spread to the ligaments and bone that supports the tooth, leading to painful loose teeth and bleeding gums. Gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults and it may increase the risk of having heart problems.
Existing dental treatment, including crowns, bridges and dentures
Many people nowadays have had complex dental work carried out over the years and possess crowns and/or bridges. It is important to have these regularly checked as decay around the margins, gum shrinkage and unsightly block margins happen all too frequently. At Caring Dentistry, we will examine your crowns and bridges carefully and monitor them by taking photographs of worn areas. If necessary, we will send you for a radiographic assessment of your advanced dental treatment. Regular maintenance can often pre-empt dental disasters and will certainly make you more aware of future problems and how to care for your existing restorations to the best of your ability and it may help you avoiding long expensive painful dental treatments.
Bleeding gums are a symptom of inflammation or gingivitis and should not occur in healthy mouths. If you notice blood on your toothbrush or when cleaning your teeth, it is important to see us.
We will check your gums for colour shape and swelling. We will look for plaque and tartar on your teeth, and by measuring between the teeth and gums, we can determine if there are spaces or pockets. Pocket depth is an indication of gum or periodontal disease that can affect bone, leading to bone loss and eventually loose teeth.
Bleeding gums can be the first sign of an underlying disease. Diabetics may have gum disease or bone loss and should be regularly checked. Pregnancy may cause swollen and tender gums that will resolve once the baby is born.
At Caring Dentistry we will help you understand the underlying cause of your complaint and will give you advice regarding immediate treatment, long term treatment plans and home management and hygiene, as well as useful tips for preventing further problems. Regular maintenance checks are very important for anyone who has had gum infections.
Sensitivity to temperature
A general sensitivity to cold things can often be improved by using toothpaste or sensitive teeth.
However it is important to have sensitive teeth checked in case of other reasons for instance gross wear, fractures or decay. Sensitive to heat may indicate an infected or dying tooth and should be checked as quickly as possible.
The appearance of your teeth and smile
At Caring Dentistry we use intra-oral cameras to examine your teeth. This imaging process involves a small camera with a fibre-optic light source small enough to be placed within your mouth. The camera is attached to a computer that allows images of your teeth to be displayed on a screen and filed on the computer. With this technology it is possible to see gum diseases or teeth legends and what your teeth would like after treatment before commencing any dental work.