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Caring for Our Smile as we Age read more

As we age, some people believe that losing their teeth is inevitable. This is a misconception! With proper care your teeth can last a lifetime. There have been huge strides made in technological developments. These modern techniques can extend the life of your teeth preserving function and of course a healthy smile.

Taking Care of Our Gums

As we get older our resistance to infection can reduce. The bacteria that cause gum disease can take advantage of this. Gum disease, not tooth decay is the number one cause of missing teeth in adults. If left untreated it can cause advanced gum disease called periodontitis. Ultimately this can cause bone loss and subsequent tooth loss. Daily brushing, flossing together with regular professional care will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Some patients need more regular hygiene appointments and perhaps more involved treatment in order to restore and maintain gum health. A periodontist is a specially trained dentist who can help to save teeth which might otherwise seem to be hopeless.

Cutting Down on Wear and Tear

Although teeth are really strong, they can be worn down over time. All the years of chewing, grinding and biting can wear away the enamel-the hard outer layer of the teeth. Avoid chewing ice and other hard foods as they can cause chips in the enamel. There are cosmetic methods available that can improve the appearance of worn teeth such as composite facings and porcelain veneers.

Don’t Let Your Mouth Dry Out

Saliva helps keep teeth clean and protects them from decay. As we get older our mouths get drier and the odds of tooth decay go up. Medication can be to blame. Drink lots of water and hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before you swallow. Chewing sugarless gum can also encourage saliva. Avoid sugary snacks.

Replacing Missing Teeth

Our smile is integral to our health and happiness. Losing teeth diminishes this and most importantly function. The way we talk and eat affect the way we feel about ourselves. Loose dentures can now be a thing of the past. Technological advancements such as dental implants can now give you fixed teeth. This can subtract years off your age and add to your confidence and health. The ability to eat all foods is life enriching!

Straighter Teeth

Age should be no barrier to having straight teeth. Crooked teeth can be difficult to clean and this can often lead to tooth decay. Modern, discreet and often invisible braces can move teeth quickly to help you achieve a great smile.

It’s never too late to achieve a beautiful smile. Age gives us the time and ability to pursue our own interests and passions. Take this opportunity to invest in your smile and enjoy the positive effect that it will have on your life!

Please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre for further advice on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

Testimonial 18 read more

I would like to record my thanks and complete satisfaction with my implant treatment. As a very nervous patient with a thousand questions, I was treated superbly. From the welcome of staff at reception to the work of David and Jim I was made to feel reassured. The process has been very thorough and explained throughout.

Only regret- should have come to the Mayhill years ago.

Many thanks

– Sue Hughes [ June 2017 ]

Fear of The Dentist? read more

Dental Anxiety is one of the most common phobias in the world with nearly a third of all adults disliking the dentist and 1 in 10 of us having a phobia so strong that we actually avoid visiting the dentist. A phobia is an intense, unreasonable fear. People with dental phobias often put off routine care for years or even decades. To avoid it they will put up with gum disease, pain and even broken teeth.

Overcoming Mild Dental Anxiety

This is discomfort and nervousness as opposed to fear or panic.

Talking to your dentist

This is the first step to overcoming dental fear. With a combination of kindness and gentleness, dentists can do a lot to make dental treatment stress free.

Practicing Breathing techniques

Controlled breathing relaxes the body and shifts the mind to other things. This simply involves inhaling and exhaling through the nose for a slow count of three.

Painless Treatment

Needle phobias can be overcome through painless treatment. Advances in technology has also improved dentistry. Treatment can now be pain free. The dental wand ( a computerised injection system that looks like a pen and delivers anaesthetic very slowly so it is painless) is great for anyone with needle phobia. A numbing gel can also be used to numb the gums before an injection so you don’t feel the needle.

Overcoming Severe Dental Anxiety

This is a psychological phobia that is less due to nerves and more due to fears. We can potentially overcome severe dental anxiety in a few ways:

Counselling: This is free on the NHS for severe phobias and helps hundreds of people. There is also a wide number of support networks such as DentalFearCentral
http://www.dentalfearcentral.org.

Sedation: This may prove one of the best solutions for severe sufferers of dental anxiety, giving you a better chance of visiting the dentist again! There are different types of sedation available. The simplest is oral sedation which is a tablet you swallow an hour before treatment. You will still be awake and aware of what is happening around you but you will also be drowsy and more relaxed. There is also the option of intravenous sedation. This is an injection which is administered into the back of the hand. You will still be awake, however you will be in a deeply relaxed state and may not remember what happened afterwards.

Here at the Mayhill Dental Centre we provide gentle and caring dentistry with the options of the dental wand and sedation. If you would like further advice or just a chat please feel free to call us on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

Is Tooth Sensitivity Cramping your Style? read more

Is the taste of ice cream or a sip of a hot drink making you wince with pain? Does brushing or flossing sometimes cause you pain? If so, you may have sensitive teeth. Any sensitivity needs to be checked with a dentist as there could be other possible causes such as tooth decay, fractured teeth, worn fillings, grinding or clenching and gum disease. If your dentist has ruled out these problems then it is likely to be tooth sensitivity.

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel that protects the teeth gets thinner or when gum recession occurs, exposing the underlying surface called the dentine. This reduces the protection the enamel and gums provide to the tooth and roots. The dentin contains microscopic tubules which are exposed when the enamel wears thin. These tubules allow heat, cold and acidity to stimulate the nerves inside the tooth. This causes hypersensitivity. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede.

Preventing Tooth Sensitivity

  • Incorrect or over brushing can cause gum recession. Teeth should be brushed gently using a soft bristled toothbrush twice a day. A soft brush can prevent tooth abrasion and prevent enamel wear. Use short strikes following an up and down movement.
  • Avoiding acidic foods and drink can help prevent sensitivity and enamel wear.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste to strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Flossing once a day can help get rid of plaque on the gum line and keeps gum healthy thus avoiding gum disease.

Treating Sensitivity

  • Desensitising toothpastes; These contain compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve. Put some paste on your finger and directly apply on the sore spot and gently massage.
  • Desensitising products; The dental team can treat the affected teeth with fluoride gels and varnishes. These can be painted on to the teeth at regular appointments to build up protection. If this does not alleviate symptoms the dentist may seal or fill around the neck of the tooth to cover exposed dentine.
  • Surgical gum grafts; This will replace the lost gum tissue from the root.
  • Root Canal Therapy; If the sensitivity is severe and persistent and does not respond to other methods.
  • Get treated for Bruxism: if you grind or clench your teeth use a mouth guard at night. Grinding your teeth can cause the enamel of the teeth to wear away, making the teeth sensitive.
  • If you would like further advice please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020 or email on info@themayhill.co.uk

Testimonial 17 read more

Dear Dr Hart

Thank you very much indeed for sorting out the problem I came to you with recently. I knew that at least one of my front teeth
would need to be extracted and dreaded the thought of the denture I thought I would have to wear from now on. Instead, you have given me a strong,
comfortable bridge which sits well with the teeth on either side. I much appreciate, too, the understanding you showed me as a patient, making sure that eating would not be a problem and that my mouth looked and felt as natural as possible throughout the treatment. I am very much obliged to you.
– Patricia Piper [ May 2017 ]

Is Bad Breath Making you Miserable? read more

Bad breath or halitosis is a common problem that can affect anyone at any age. About one in four people are thought to have bad breath. A new study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene looked at the impact of bad breath in relation to people’s quality of life and on average found that people who suffer from bad breath were found to be less confident as those who didn’t. Individuals who suffer from bad breath say that it can have a negative impact on them psychologically in areas such as communication and self -esteem.
Getting rid of bad breath is relatively easy to achieve. It is a common problem and there are many different causes, it’s not always down to what you have just eaten! A simple test to find out if you have bad breath is to lick the inside of your wrist with the back of your tongue and wait a few seconds until the saliva dries. If the wrist smells unpleasant the its likely the breath will too.

Causes of Bad Breath

  • Smelly gases released by bacteria that coat the teeth, gums and tongue.
  • Food trapped between teeth can rot and cause an unpleasant smell.
  • Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria that causes halitosis. Having bad breath all the time or a bad taste in your mouth are warning signs of gum disease.
  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco.
  • Dry mouth (also called xerostoma) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums and cheeks. If not removed they decompose and cause bad breath. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Preventing Bad Breath

  • Good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and don’t forget to brush the tongue as well! Replace toothbrush every 2 to 3 months and use floss or interdental cleaners to remove food particles once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly.
  • Mouth wash or sugar free chewing gum which can stimulate saliva which washes away food particles and bacteria.
  • See a dentist and hygienist regularly.

Who Treats Bad Breath?

In most cases your dentist can treat bad breath. If the bad breath is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your doctor. If the odour is due to gum disease then you could be referred to a periodontist who treats gum conditions.
Please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk for further information or advice.

Periodontist Joins the Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre read more

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Jim Dufty will be joining us as an associate in March 2017. Jim has a special interest in periodontics and has had many years of experience treating these conditions successfully. Jim has a realistic approach and will do whatever he can to save the natural dentition. This would include hard and soft tissue grafting where appropriate.

He will take referrals for perio and restorative patients and will provide a full range of both non-surgical and surgical treatments. He has published internationally and continues to be involved with dental postgraduate education, working with King’s College London’s Prosthodontic and Aesthetic Dentistry distance learning programs in both teaching and advisory roles.

What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specialises (or who has a special interest) in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease (gum disease). They are experts in the treatment of inflammation in the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

What are the causes of Periodontitis?

The causes of periodontal disease are primarily focused on the body’s response to bacterial insult, but also include family history, poor oral hygiene, bacterial dental plaque, diabetes and smoking. There is growing evidence researching the link between periodontitis and diabetes, heart disease and other systemic disease. It is therefore important to treat periodontitis not just for oral health but potentially for general health too.

Periodontal disease can lead to the loss of attachment of the supporting tissues of the tooth, e.g. the gum, connecting tissues and bone that support the teeth. Common periodontal conditions are gingivitis and periodontitis which are both caused by plaque or what is known as bacterial biofilm. Dental plaque is the sticky film that forms on the teeth and contains bacteria.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Severe periodontitis affects 10-15 percent of the population and is inflammation which extends to form a pocket between the tooth and infected gums. It may be symptomless but symptoms include swollen red or bleeding gums, over sensitive teeth or bad breath. Advanced signs may include abscesses, loose teeth and eventually tooth loss. It can also lead to receding gums which exposes more of the root, which can heighten sensitivity. 

When should you see a periodontist?

If your dentist has diagnosed periodontal disease or there is a problem with your gums then a referral to a periodontist would be advisable. If left untreated it can destroy the bone and tissue that surround the teeth. Your dentist may also refer you to try to replace lost gum tissue and for crown lengthening to improve appearance. 

If you would like any further advice please call the Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

7 Things Smoking is Doing to Your Mouth read more

We are all aware that smoking is bad for our health, causing a vast variety of medical conditions. The estimation is that 96,000 people die from smoking related diseases and half of all regular smokers will eventually be killed by their addiction. Many of us do not realise the damage that smoking causes to our mouths:

1) Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
Smoking severely affects the tissue in the gums which makes them vulnerable to infection. This can lead to bone loss in the jaw which holds the teeth in place. Bone loss can eventually lead to tooth loss.

2) Bacterial Growth
Smoking results in increased build up of bacteria or plaque which can lead to decay and cavities. Plaque can also affect tissues supporting the roots of the teeth and weaken the bone.

3) Mouth Cancer
There are thousands of chemicals in every cigarette which can cause cancer in the mouth. Smoking transforms saliva into a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and can turn them cancerous. Smoking causes roughly 2 in every 3 mouth cancers.

4) Yellow Teeth
The tar and nicotine in tobacco can make your teeth yellow in a short space of time. Heavy smokers complain their teeth are almost brown!

5) Smokers Breath
“Smokers Breath” is one of the first problems you develop when smoking. Cigarettes leave smoke particles lingering in the mouth, throat and lungs.

6) Spotty Mouth
Smoking can cause white or grey patches on the tongue, cheek or floor of the mouth known as leukoplakia. This happens due to the irritation of the soft tissues inside the mouth due to smoking. If you are a smoker you should cut down on sugary food and drink, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

If you notice any changes inside your mouth speak to your dentist straight away. They will be able to provide you with smoking cessation advice. For further advice please feel free to call us on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

New Year New Smile! read more

A surprising 42% of British people wish they could change the appearance of their teeth. A quarter of people feel so conscious of their smile, they avoid smiling altogether! Don’t let your smile affect your confidence, find out what your options could be, you will be amazed at the advances in dentistry. The treatments now offered to patients are far more sophisticated and in many cases non-invasive. We can straighten teeth discreetly and quickly and make cosmetic improvements through composites, veneers or crowns.

Teeth straightening is becoming very popular with adults, irrespective of age. The barrier preventing patients from getting braces is usually the visibility of a brace. Traditional braces can bring back bad memories for those who wore them in their teenage years; the dreaded train tracks! However, there have been huge strides in developing modern, discreet and invisible braces which can take half the conventional treatment time. These advanced methods now mean that you no longer have to grin and bear it.

There are a number of new techniques which are becoming popular. Ceramic braces are clear brackets which attach to the teeth. Tooth coloured wires are also used to make the braces more discreet. Although this brace is not invisible it is far more discreet than traditional metal braces. The length of treatment is also much quicker than conventional braces.

Incognito braces (lingual) are fitted to the back of the teeth and are therefore invisible. The slight disadvantage is that it can cause a temporary lisp and treatment can often take a little longer.

Invisalign could be the solution if you don’t like the idea of fixed braces. This innovative technology allows you to have custom made aligners (similar to very thin mouth guards) that are replaced every couple of weeks as the teeth gradually move into the correct position. They are made out of clear plastic and are barely noticeable. You do however need to wear them at all times apart from eating. Treatment times can vary between 9-15 months depending on the level of crowding which is a little longer than conventional treatment.
Our website has great examples of cases we have treated.

If you would like any further advice or information, including flexible payment plans please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020, our website www.themayhill.co.uk or email info@themayhill.co.uk.

A Dental Visit Could Save your Life! read more

The UK’s leading oral health charity, the Oral Health Foundation (OHF) has launched its mouthawareness month, which is an annual campaign to raise awareness of signs, symptoms and causes of mouth cancer. This is to ensure that we know what to do if we notice any changes inside our mouth. Mouth cancer can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat.

Evidence based research by the OHF shows that fewer than 40% of us are able to identify the major symptoms related to mouth cancer, which includes red and white patches in the mouth, non- healing ulcers or unusual lumps and swellings.

Unfortunately the survival rates have not improved in the last 20 years. It is therefore important that we are able to recognize and act on the early warning signs to improve diagnosis and help save lives. Early diagnosis transforms a person’s chances of beating the disease from 50% to 90%. If you notice any of the warning signs of mouth cancer then visit your dentist straight away.

A great concern for the charity is the revelation that one in five people questioned said they would not seek help from a dentist if they had a mouth ulcer lasting longer than 3 weeks. The OHF also found that awareness regarding what puts us at risk of mouth cancer is frightening low. Around one in five did not associate smoking with mouth cancer whilst just under half (45%) did not think drinking alcohol to excess was linked to the disease.

More than four in five (81%) did not know that HPV was a cause of mouth cancer. HPV (the human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted disease and is a major cause of cervical cancer. It affects the skin that lives in the moist areas of the body. HPV can spread through oral sex. Practicing safe sex and limiting the number of partners can help reduce your chances of contacting HPV. This may also be linked to the sharp increase in the number of mouth cancers.

Protect yourself against cancer by:

  • Having a good diet rich in vitamin A, C, and E . Plenty of fruit and vegetables will help the body protect itself.
  • Cutting down on smoking and drinking.
  • Sun protection on your lips.
  • Regular visits to the dentist.
  • diabetes can make it hard to control infections
  • Looking out for changes in the mouth whilst brushing.

To find out more information about the signs, symptoms and causes of mouth cancer and how you can get involved in Mouth Cancer Action Month 2016 at www.mouthcancer.org. If you would like advice from a dentist please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre on 01600 712020 or www.themayhill.co.uk