How to stop bleeding gums read more

It is tempting to ignore a small amount of blood when you brush your teeth. However, bleeding gums should not be ignored as it could be a sign of gum disease. Treating bleeding gums quickly can prevent serious damage to your teeth and gums later on.

Causes of Bleeding Gums

There are a number of reasons why gums may bleed during brushing. One of the most common causes is gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. This is the stage where gums become inflamed due to bacteria and plaque build-up around the teeth and gums. More advanced stages of gum disease can also cause the gums to bleed.

Other causes could be:

  • Vitamin C and K deficiencies
  • Infection
  • Leukaemia
  • Brushing too hard
  • Hormonal changes

Symptoms of Gum Disease

  • Swollen, tender red gums
  • Blood in saliva
  • Pus around the teeth and gums
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Bleeding when brushing
  • Constant bad breath

Treating Bleeding Gums

If you have any of the above symptoms book an appointment with your dentist. They will help you identify the problem and may recommend a professional clean or surgery depending on the severity of the problem. Severe cases would be referred to a periodontist who specialises in treating gum disease.

Good Oral Care

This is the most important part to stopping gums bleeding and overall dental health. This would include brushing at least twice a day for 2 minutes each, flossing and interdental brushing once a dayand visiting the dentist regularly. A toothbrush with soft bristles can also help the gums heal.

A Balanced Diet

Focus on foods that give the body nutrients to include fresh fruit and vegetables and wholegrains. A diet full of sugary foods will increase the risk of increase the risk of gum disease as sugar is converted into acid which attack the teeth and gums.

Low Stress

High stress levels can contribute to bleeding gums. Stress increases inflammation which makes gums bleed more readily. It also lowers your immune system so it takes your body longer to fight infections. Learn to say no to pressure when you feel overwhelmed.

Stop Sharing

Gum disease can be contagious. Your risk of developing gum disease increases if your partner has a lot of bacteria in the mouth. Try not to share items that contact another person’s mouth such as toothbrushes, drinks and utensils.
For further advice please contact the Mayhill dental centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

How And What We Eat Affects Our Oral Health read more

Eating a well balanced diet is not only important for our general health but also for our teeth. Limiting the in- take of sugary foods prevents obesity which is well publicised but also keeps our teeth healthy as well. Eating too many sugary snacks can lead to tooth decay which in turn can cause infection and tooth loss.

How Do Your Teeth Decay?

Bacteria is present in all our mouths and feed on sugars in the food. The bacteria change the sugar into acids. These acids are strong enough to dissolve the protective enamel on your teeth which in turn can lead to cavities. Pain may be experienced if the enamel is worn away which exposes the sensitive inner layers of the teeth. Frequently snacking on sugary food and drinks throughout the day exposes your teeth to acid attacks frequently. Acidic foods and beverages also exacerbate the problem causing a double acid attack on the teeth.

Snack With Care

The important part of oral health is preventing enamel loss. Choosing nutritious snacks and limiting sugary intakes can protect your teeth from acid attack. Some sweets are worse for your teeth than others. Sticky, chewy foods stay on our teeth for longer, increasing the risk of enamel erosion. Choose drinks that are low in acid such as milk and water. Soft drinks, diet drinks and sports energy drinks are high in acid. Using straws also helps limit how much your teeth are exposed to the sugar and acid in the drink. Are you really giving your kids a treat if you give them these drinks?

Frequency of Snacking

How often we snack can also have a major impact on our teeth. Nibbling sugary snacks often is harder on the teeth than a dessert after dinner. Every time you eat a sugary snack, even just a little at a time, the bacteria produce damaging acids in your mouth. Therefore there is greater opportunity for tooth decay to occur. It is therefore best to eat sugary foods after a meal instead of multiple times between meals. Avoid slowly nibbling or sipping sugary or acidic foods over a long period.

Brushing Teeth

This helps clean out the sugar and acid left from the food and beverages, reducing the chance of tooth decay. Avoid drinking sugary or acidic beverages before bed; the liquid can coat your teeth with sugar and acid and attack the enamel while you sleep. So when choosing snacks think of the frequency you consume them, how long they stay in your mouth and the texture. Look for snacks that are low in sugar and fat; avoid sugary drinks between meals and brush your teeth 30 minutes after eating.

Choosing the right foods is not only good for your body and oral health, its also good for your teeth. For further advice please call the Mayhill Dental centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk .

A Clear Way to Straighten Teeth read more

Tooth alignment can be improved at any age, so long as your gums and bone structure are healthy- so it’s never too late! Straight teeth can dramatically make a difference to one’s appearance but also improve oral health as straight teeth are easier to keep clean. Overly crowded teeth can get worse over time, and result in severely crooked teeth. Crowding can lead to plaque accumulation, tooth decay and increased chance of gum disease. Spacing issues and gaps between teeth can also lead to gum problems. We are also seeing more patients having difficulty with their “bite” or occlusion. This can lead to accelerated tooth wear, painful or clicking jaw joints. The latter can lead to headaches or even pain in the back or neck.

A contemporary technique called Invisalign offers a discrete way of achieving straighter teeth without any visible evidence of braces. This system involves wearing a series of aligners which are custom made to fit securely over your teeth. They are made of smooth clear plastic, are removable and virtually invisible. With continuous research and development the Invisalign system has become more innovative, year on year, enabling even more complex tooth alignment cases to be treated and has considerably shortened the length of treatment time especially with teenagers who have had to deal with twin blocks to move the jaw prior to the start of wearing braces. Invisalign can now do this together with gently moving or rotating teeth at the same time. They also have the advantage for teenagers who play sport or a musical instrument as they are totally removable.

During the initial consultation images and impressions of the teeth are taken and the Invisalign system uses advanced 3-D computer graphic technology (Clincheck) to predict the projected outcome of the treatment and show you what your teeth would look like at the end of treatment. Once treatment is started each set of aligners is worn for about 2 weeks, gradually moving the teeth towards their predicted final position. During treatment it is possible to eat and drink whatever you want as the aligners are removable. It is also easier to brush and floss normally to maintain healthy gums and teeth as there are no wires or metal brackets.

With any orthodontic treatment retention is necessary to keep the teeth in the new position. Studies have shown that without retainers straightened teeth can gradually shift back to their initial position.

Over 5 million people have used Invisalign so it’s a system that’s been well tried and tested.If you would like further information or advice on the above please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk.

A Clear Way to Straighten Teeth

7 Essential Tips to Maintaining Dental Health Whilst Wearing Braces read more

Proper dental care whilst wearing braces is well worth the effort once the braces come off. This should include:

Rinsing the Mouth

Braces can cause food particles to get stuck in your teeth, wires and brackets. Rinsing after each meal will loosen food particles that might get stuck in the teeth and braces. A fluoride rinse before bed would be best after brushing. This will also help to prevent biofilm and gingivitis, a common problem when wearing braces.

Brushing Regularly

Ensure you use a soft bristled brush or power tooth brush for 2 minutes, the same as normal brushing. You may need to replace the toothbrush a lot sooner as braces tend to wear down the bristles faster. You can also use a special orthodontic brush which is smaller.

Interdental Brushing

This is a small brush that is helpful in cleaning between the teeth and can also be used to clean underneath and around the wire and braces.

Flossing

Regular and proper flossing is important to maintain dental health in general. Floss threaders can help you get under the brace and remove plaque that is difficult to reach.

Regular Check-Up and Hygiene Appointments

Make sure you see your regular dentist and hygienist every six months for a check-up and thorough clean. This will keep an eye on any areas that need extra attention. Hygienists can remove build-up of plaque in hard to reach places.

Wear a Mouthguard if You Play Sports.

They can protect your cheeks and lips from serious cuts and prevent damage to your braces if you fall over or get hit in the face.

Watch What You Eat

Eating sugary and starchy foods can cause plaque build up around the brackets, which can cause staining, cavities or gum disease. Avoid sticky, chewy foods which can be hard to remove from the braces. Hard foods such as nuts and crusty bread are discouraged as they can break or loosen the brackets. Cut crunchy food such as apples into small bite sized pieces.

If you wish to avoid the above issues removable Aligners such as Invisalign are becoming very popular and worth considering. If you would like further advice please feel free to contact our friendly specialist Orthodontist Ben Cross who does children and adult orthodontics including Invisalign here at the Mayhill on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk.

Overcoming Dental Phobia; A Patients Journey read more

If the thought of going to the dentist causes your heart to race and your hands to sweat you are not alone. Although many will choose to make dental health one of their New Years resolutions, in reality many will give the dentist a miss due to dental anxiety.

I know we have in the past written about dental phobias but I thought it was worth revisiting the topic as it is such a common theme with many patients who come to visit for the first time . The following account of a patient’s personal journey with us here at the Mayhill Dental Centre is very heart felt and thought it worth publishing in the hope that it will help other people overcome their anxiety.

“My husband Peter attended the Mayhill & was treated by Jason. His previous dental experiences had not been satisfactory for a variety of reasons. Jason sorted all the dental problems & since then Peter has had no mouth difficulties at all. For this reason he tried to persuade me to see Jason, who at that point had no idea that I had suffered trauma as a teenager & was terrified of attending the dentist. It took numerous visits to even get inside the Mayhill, from putting my hand on the door handle to walking away. I eventually entered Jason’s surgery with Peter, but had great difficulty even speaking to anyone & ending up in floods of tears, even though I was having no treatment. Jason & his staff were patience personified. He spoke gently, took time, explained & had infinite patience & understanding with me. He did what I consider extensive treatment from crowns to dentures for missing teeth, took numerous measurements of my mouth, photographs, etc with the result being a perfect fit of everything. He did in fact give me back a smile that I don’t remember having since a teenager. Jason changed my life for the better, not only with the dental result but in taking away my fear without the need for medication, but just in his manner & gentleness. How can you ever thank a person for making such a difference to your life. However I do so in saying Thank You Jason so very much.”

B Johns 17/10/2017

So do remember if you have a fear of the dentist you are not alone! Please feel free to call the Mayhill on 01600 712020 for further advice or help.

Why Should We Replace Missing Teeth? read more

Today’s gold standard for tooth replacement is dental implants. A dental implant is a small, titanium alloy screw which is used to surgically replace damaged or missing natural teeth. The implant is placed into the jawbone so that the screw can firmly connect the artificial teeth or any other prosthesis to the jaw. Implants can also be used to support loose, removable dentures.

Prior to dental implants, a partial denture or fixed bridge was the standard approach for tooth replacement. With a fixed bridge, the two teeth on either side of the gap (abutment teeth) are crowned and these support a “pontic” (a false tooth) between them. The biggest disadvantage of this type of treatment is that the abutment teeth are drilled down to accommodate the crowns which can often compromise healthy teeth.

The biggest advantage of dental implants is that they do not affect the integrity of the adjacent teeth. However there must be a sufficient amount of healthy jaw bone to anchor the implant and the adjacent teeth and gums must be healthy. They also have a longer lifespan in comparison to bridgework. To assess the quality and volume of bone we can now use 3D scanners which makes treatment simpler and safer.

Why is replacing missing or lost teeth important in the first place?

Appearance

Loosing teeth can put an emotional stress on ourselves. We all care about our appearance and how we look and this can affect our confidence both at work and on a personal basis.

Oral Health

Once a tooth is lost, the balance of the entire dental structure is disturbed. The gap can allow the remaining teeth to tilt and shift. This can affect regular chewing and can lead to further problems down the line. If multiple teeth are lost then bone can be lost which can make the face height change.

Comfort

Chewing can be uncomfortable if missing teeth are replaced with ill fitting dentures. The gum often becomes thin and delicate and the forces developed by the denture can cause ulceration and swelling. Losing the ability to chew food properly can stop you from enjoying a big part of your life.

Why Should We Replace Missing Teeth?

If you would like further advice please feel free to call The Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

When Should Your Child Be Seen for An Orthodontic Checkup? read more

This is a frequently asked question by parents of young children. This depends on the dental age of the patient rather than chronological age. Braces are usually associated with teenagers but this isn’t always the case. Treatment can start as early as seven years of age. A good time to have your child assessed by an orthodontist is after the front permanent teeth have erupted into the mouth or if there is extreme crowding of the teeth. Regular visits to the dentist are important as they will be looking out for any problems that might benefit early orthodontic treatment. Any concerns should be referred to an orthodontist.

Early warning signs:

Baby teeth that are lost too early or too late. Most are lost between the age of 5-14.
Thumb sucking; especially if its excessive or carries on beyond the age of 4.
Teeth that don’t bite together properly or stick out.
Speech impediments such as a lisp or slurring
Crowded adult front teeth

Benefits of Early Treatment:

It is important that your dentist keeps a close eye on your child’s development as some problems are treated more efficiently at a young age. As we age our jaw bone stops growing so orthodontic treatment becomes slightly more difficult. By starting early we can guide the jaw bone growth and change their position and width. The alternative solution for adults is tooth removal or surgery. Early intervention can also help make sure there is enough space as the adult teeth start to come through in the correct position.
Front teeth which protrude are very vulnerable to trauma. This is especially the case in young adults who are playing contact sports. Gum shields will reduce but not eliminate the risks. Early treatment to reduce the overjet can reduce the odds of catastrophic trauma to these teeth.

What Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Involve

Wearing a fixed or removable brace although removable is more common. If the child has a small jaw or teeth that stick out your orthodontist might recommend a twin block brace. This is removable and repositions the jaws helping them into the correct position. This is usually followed by a fixed brace.

Referring Children for an Orthodontic Assessment

Your dentist can refer your child directly for a private assessment and treatment at any time for a specialist opinion. If you child has an NHS assessment and qualifies for treatment they may need to join a waiting list before the braces are fitted. This is due to limited funding available on the NHS. Typical waiting lists can be up to 2 years.

If you would like further advice or to arrange an orthodontic assessment please feel free to call 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

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

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 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.