DENTAL EDUCATION

Relaxation Techniques

Some people are frightened of the dentist and avoid going for dental examinations. Dentists today are sympathetic about these feelings and can help you overcome them.

When we are faced with challenges or something we are afraid of, our bodies produce chemicals which raise our anxiety. However; we can train our bodies to work against this anxiety by learning to relax.

We have created the clinic with you in mind and removed the smells, noises and feeling of being at the dentists and created a calm spa like environment. Each room has headphones and a selection of music for you to choose from. The best way to avoid dental treatment is to enroll on our prevention plan to show you how to care for your teeth and gums.

Gum Disease

Early gum disease is called gingivitis and affects over 75% of the population. It is caused by a sticky film called plaque which is made up of millions of bacteria. These bacteria produce acids and toxins which cause the gums to swell up and bleed easily, known as inflammation. At this stage the infection is reversible.

In about half of all cases this disease progresses onto become periodontitis. As the bacteria destroys the tissues holding the tooth and gum together the body produces enzymes, which further cause destruction of these tissues and the bone supporting the teeth, if left untreated eventually the teeth become loose and fall out.
This disease and infection is also related to other infections within the body such as heart disease, diabetes, lung infections and can lead to pre-term babies and strokes.

Gum disease is usually painless although there are some signs that you can watch out for:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Bad breath or unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Teeth moving position or drifting

 

Things that make gum disease worse include smoking, diabetes, stress, genetics, immune-deficiencies, hormones and having a poor diet, we can advise on all of these to help you to achieve dental health.

Sensitive Teeth

What causes sensitive teeth?
The part of the tooth we can see is covered by a layer of enamel which protects the softer dentine underneath. When the dentine is exposed the tooth becomes sensitive. This often happens where the tooth and gum meets and the enamel is thinner.

This can happen when:
• Brushing too hard and brushing side to side, can cause the enamel to be worn away especially at the neck edges of the tooth. The exposed dentine can be very sensitive.
• Dental erosion, this is caused by attacks of acid from food and drinks. The enamel is worn away and exposes the sensitive dentine.
• Gums may naturally recede and expose the sensitive root surfaces.
• Plaque and tartar cause gum disease which can lead to recession and even destroy the bony support around teeth.
• Grinding and clenching teeth is a habit which causes the enamel to be worn away.
• Teeth or fillings that are cracked can be very sensitive to cold.
• Tooth bleaching can cause short term sensitivity and you should discuss this with your dental team before treatment.

There are many different types of sensitive toothpaste, you should use one to brush twice a day and you can also rub it onto sensitive areas. These can take from a few days to a few weeks to work. If after a few weeks you get no improvement you should visit your dental team.

Mouth Ulcer

A mouth ulcer is a painful sore that appears inside the mouth which is usually caused by damage from biting the cheek or tongue, sharp teeth, brushing or poorly fitted dentures. Minor ulcers are the most common and can appear inside the cheeks, lips, tongue and roof of the mouth. They are about the size of a pencil end and can come in clusters of 4-6.
Some people suffer from recurrent mouth ulcers which are called “recurrent aphthous stomatitis”

Ulcers normally go away on their own once the source of the trauma is removed and are not contagious. Occasionally mouth ulcers can be caused by anaemia or other blood disorders and some skin or gastrointestinal disorders and symptoms in the mouth are the first sign.

Cancer of the mouth can first appear as a mouth ulcer, it is important if an ulcer lasts longer than 3 weeks and has no obvious cause to see a dental professional. Your risk of mouth cancer increases if you smoke and drink alcohol, doing both increases it even further.
Treatment for mouth ulcers involves removing the sharp edge or smoothing a denture, some patients may need mouthwash to ease their symptoms.

Here at Dentist Direct we can use the EPIC laser to create an “ulcer bandage” speeding up the healing process and removing the constant discomfort.

Your Children’s Teeth

Most people don’t know that your responsibility for oral hygiene in your child starts even before they are born! It is extremely important for 'mums to be' to have good hygiene and no teeth needing repair. For those of you who aren’t dentist regulars’, going when pregnant is a must!
As a parent you have a key role in helping your children to develop a proper hygiene routine for their little mouths. Poor diets, regular snacking and poor tooth-brushing during their first years can be related to tooth decay. Although some see the baby teeth (primary dentition) as only temporary before the adult teeth come through, the baby teeth are actually really important! Not only do they prepare the mouth for adult teeth so that they are spaced and aligned correctly, they are also essential to chewing and learning to talk. The problems developed at a young age with our baby teeth tend to go through life with us, the damage has often been done.

Your Teeth & Heart Disease and Stroke

More and more we are seeing links emerging between general health & fitness and oral health. The mechanisms are still being fully understood but one key element is repeated inflammation causing changes in the how the body reacts. One of the major areas of inflammation can be your gums and it is now agreed that good oral health is one of the keys to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown that adults between 24-50 with active gum disease have twice the risk of stroke, twice the risk of death from heart disease and are more likely to have ischaemic heart disease also.
At Dentist Direct we are committed to incorporating oral health as a key part of general health and fitness and we have plans to help anyone by improving and maintaining their oral fitness.

Your Teeth & Arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that can affect one or more joints in the body. More often than not they tend to be the knees, elbows, hands and feet. There are over 100 forms of arthritis and it can be very painful and debilitating. Some forms of arthritis, it is now thought by many, have what is known as a bidirectional relationship with gum disease, another inflammatory condition. When they occur in the same person the arthritis may worsen the gum disease and the gum disease also makes the arthritis worse. Treatment of the gum disease therefore will help reduce the effect of arthritis and this is certainly the case with Rheumatoid Arthritis as many studies have shown.

Smoking

We all know smoking is bad for our health, but what about our oral health? Smokers are 5 times more likely to get periodontal (gum) disease which is a bacterial infection caused by dental plaque in the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
Smoking may change the type of bacteria in dental plaque increasing the number of harmful bacteria. It also reduces the blood flow in gums and the supporting tissues of teeth and causes smokers to suffer from more severe and faster progressing gum disease, which can lead to loss of teeth.

People who smoke don’t heal well, so it makes periodontal treatment more difficult and less likely to succeed, smokers are twice as likely to lose teeth following treatment than non-smoker! It also increases the risk of dental implants failing, so it’s more difficult to help you later.
Smoking stains also your teeth: stains which only professional cleaning, polishing and whitening can remove.

Smokers are 6 times more likely to develop oral (mouth) cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer and heart disease than non-smokers and 90% of people with head and neck cancer have used tobacco products. The risk increases depending on the duration of the habit and frequency of smoking, even cutting down the amount you smoke will reduce the risk, it is better to stop entirely of course!
So if you are a habitual smoker, consider frequent visits to your Dentist to have regular oral health screening. Our highly trained Dental Hygienist has many techniques and advice to help you with smoking cessation.