Should You Clean Your Tongue As Well?

Most of us are familiar with the benefits of brushing our teeth twice a day, but have you ever made time to clean your tongue too? We grow up with teeth cleaning incorporated into our daily routine, but brushing your tongue is also really important.

Why you should clean your tongue

When you brush your teeth, you remove food debris and bacteria from your mouth and give the hard enamel surface a good polish. The aim of brushing is not just to freshen your breath and make your teeth sparkle. It’s also to reduce the risk of plaque formation. Plaque is a colourless substance, which develops when bits of food are combined with bacteria and saliva. If you brush frequently, there’s a much lower risk of plaque forming, and this lowers the chances of you suffering from decay and gum disease. Cleaning your tongue offers the same benefits, but it also helps to tackle bad breath. When you brush the tongue, you eliminate harmful bacteria, which keeps plaque at bay, but you’ll also be taking positive steps towards preventing bad breath. This is because many cases of halitosis are linked to bacteria located at the back of the tongue. These bacteria multiply, and when they feed, they release gases, which have an unpleasant odour.

Tongue cleaning tips

When you clean your tongue, you can use your normal toothbrush or a tongue scraper. If you are using your brush, take care when you reach towards the back of the mouth, as this may trigger your gag reflex. Be gentle. If you need any advice about cleaning your tongue or you’re not sure what to do, your dentist will be happy to offer some helpful tips.

Taking Care of Gum Disease: What We Can Do to Help

Did you know that gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults living in Great Britain? Gum disease can be very serious, but the good news is that it is preventable. Here are some tips to help you protect your gums and some more information about the services we offer to prevent and treat gum disease.

What you can do at home

Gum disease occurs when bacteria present in plaque irritates the gums. This causes them to become red, swollen, and sore. Many people first suspect that they may have gum disease when they notice traces of blood after spitting when they clean their teeth. To prevent gum disease, the best thing you can do is try and eliminate the chances of plaque forming in the first place. Brushing twice-daily and daily flossing help to remove bacteria and food debris before they can combine with saliva to form plaque. Your diet is also really important. Try and make sure that you stick to your recommended daily intake of sugar and avoid snacking throughout the day.

We also recommend attending regular check-ups. Our dentists are trained to detect the very early warning signs of gum disease, and they can address potential problems before they become more advanced. Ideally, we recommend 6-12 monthly checks. However, if you notice symptoms, call and book an appointment as soon as possible.

Treating gum disease

In the early stages, gum disease (gingivitis) is relatively easy to manage. However, if it is left to progress, it can cause irreparable damage to the gums. The bone tissue, which supports the teeth and gums also becomes damaged, and this results in the teeth becoming loose and eventually falling out. Treatment for advanced gum disease (periodontitis) involves long-term management, frequent cleaning and plaque and tartar removal treatments and sometimes even surgery.

If you’re keen to find out more about gum disease, call us today.

What To Eat on a Night Out to Keep Your Teeth Safe

Summer is coming, and many of us will be looking forward to enjoying nights on the town that don’t involve shivering while you wait for a taxi or trying desperately to avoid downpours as you leave a bar. If you’re planning a night out for a special occasion or you’re catching up with old friends over a drink or two, spare a thought for your teeth. Many of the treats we tend to indulge in after a night out are laden with sugar. Here are some healthier options to get your teeth into:

Whole grain toast: toast is a staple post-night out snack. White bread certainly isn’t the worst thing you can eat, but try and make sure you opt for wholemeal bread, as it has lower sugar content. Wholemeal bread also contains more fibre, which is good for your digestive health.

Dairy products: many drinks are acidic, so tucking into a snack or meal that contains dairy products is beneficial for your teeth. Milky drinks, cheese, and yoghurts are good sources of calcium, which is important for strong bones and teeth, but they also have a high pH value. Dairy products neutralise acids in the mouth, reducing the risk of enamel erosion.

Strawberries: if you fancy something sweet when you get home, don’t reach for the biscuit tin or open a bag of sweets. Instead, raid the fruit bowl and treat yourself to some juicy strawberries. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which is good for your gums, and the rough skin also acts as a natural stain remover. Strawberries also contain malic acid, which whitens the teeth.

When you’ve been out for a few drinks, it can be tempting to indulge in some unhealthy snacks when you get in. The next day, you may regret your choices, especially if you wake up with toothache or an upset stomach. Try and stick to healthy options like those listed above, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

How to treat Swellings

Swelling is often a sign of underlying dental issues. If you have swollen gums or your tooth is very painful and the surrounding area of gum tissue is inflamed, we urge you to get in touch. The sooner we see you, the sooner we can help you to feel more comfortable.

What causes swelling?

Swelling is most commonly associated with a dental abscess. An abscess is a fluid-filled sore, which can be found in the tooth or between the tooth and the gum. Abscesses are usually very painful, and they can cause acute throbbing pain. If you have an abscess, the area of gum surrounding the tooth may be swollen and tender, and you may also have a high temperature and feel unwell. If you have an abscess, you need to see a dentist. Dental abscesses are not treated in the same way as other types of abscess. Often, antibiotics are prescribed for abscesses, but with dental abscesses, the sore needs to be drained and removed.

Swelling can also be a sign of gum disease. If the gums are swollen, and they feel sore, this may indicate that you have gingivitis or periodontal disease. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, while periodontal disease is more advanced. Other signs you may spot include bleeding when you brush and tenderness. If you think you may have gum disease, it’s wise to see your dentist. Mild gum disease can be treated fairly easily, but severe cases require intensive treatment.

If you have a swollen tooth or your gums are inflamed, don’t suffer in silence. Call us now, and we’ll do our best to have you free from pain in no time.

Top Tips to Avoid Toothache This Easter

Easter is just around the corner, and for many of us, this means indulging in chocolate eggs. While there’s nothing wrong with having a treat from time to time, gorging on sugary foods spells bad news for your teeth. If you’re keen to avoid toothache this Easter, here are some top tips to bear in mind.

Limiting your sugar intake

Easter is a time when we exchange gifts, usually in the form of chocolate eggs and other sugary delicacies. Nobody is saying that you have to miss out on Easter treats, but this Easter, spare a thought for your teeth and gums. Try and moderate your sugar intake, and avoid eating between meals. If you do fancy a bit of chocolate, make sure you eat it just before or after a main meal. If you graze throughout the day, your teeth will be under constant acid attack. This is because when you eat, the bacteria in your mouth release acids, which soften your enamel. If you eat at mealtimes only, this gives your enamel chance to recover.

Cleaning your teeth

It’s important to look after your teeth all year-round, so make sure your dental hygiene regime is up to scratch this Easter. Clean your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, and make sure you do a thorough job. Brush for two minutes, and take care to cover each tooth. Put your brush head at a 45-degree angle so that you can clean along the gum line. After brushing, floss between your teeth.

See your dentist

If you haven’t been to the dentist for at least 6 months, now is the ideal time to pick up the phone and book a dental appointment. Even if you don’t have any pain or problems, it’s important to see your dentist on a regular basis. Regular routine check-ups can decrease your risk of developing gum disease and dental decay by up to 60 percent.

For more advice about oral health, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call.

How to Avoid Damaged Dentures

If you wear dentures, it’s important to take steps to protect them and prevent damage. Sometimes, accidents are inevitable, but if you follow these simple steps, you may be able to avoid denture damage.

Storing your dentures

If you’re not wearing your dentures, make sure you store them in a safe place. Even if you’re in a mad rush, resist the temptation to put them down or leave them lying around. Keep them in a box or pop them in a glass of water or cleaning solution while you clean them or give your gums a rest.

Cleaning your denture

When you’re cleaning your denture, make sure you put a towel down underneath you or fill the basin with water. This way, if you do drop the denture, it won’t get damaged. Even if you don’t have any natural teeth remaining, it’s important to keep your denture clean to minimise the risk of oral infections and gum disease. When you clean your denture, use lukewarm water. Don’t use boiling water, as this can cause the denture to become misshapen.

Dental checks

If you wear dentures, you’ll still need to see your dentist on a regular basis. When you see your dentist, they will check your denture, and make sure that it fits properly. You’ll need to replace your denture periodically because the shape of your mouth changes all the time, and your denture will lose its snug fit with time. If you have any problems with your denture or you notice any cracks or signs of damage, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We offer denture repairs and replacements.

If you need advice about taking care of your denture, your dentures are damaged, or your denture has started to feel loose, get in touch with us today.

How to Help Wisdom Tooth Growing Pains

The wisdom teeth can be incredibly troublesome for some people. If you have painful wisdom teeth, we are here to help. We provide round-the-clock care for patients in need. If you’re in severe pain, or you have pain that is getting worse, give us a call and we’ll do everything we can to make you feel more comfortable as quickly as possible.

Why are the wisdom teeth so painful?

The wisdom teeth are the final teeth to develop, and sometimes, this means that there is insufficient room for them to grow properly. If the jaw is too crowded, the teeth can’t erupt properly, and this causes the tooth to push against the neighbouring tooth. This is known as impaction. It can be very uncomfortable, and there may also be a risk of infection around the tooth. It’s often hard to reach the teeth right at the back of the mouth, and if you can’t brush your wisdom teeth properly, this increases the risk of infection.

If you have painful wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to get in touch. When you come in for your appointment, we will have a good look at your teeth, and see how your wisdom teeth are getting on. You don’t need your wisdom teeth, so if they are causing problems, we may recommend removing them.

If you have pain, but you don’t need your wisdom teeth extracting, we can recommend pain relief medication, and also give your teeth a thorough clean to try and reduce the risk of infection.

What happens if I need my wisdom teeth taking out?

If you have an infected or an impacted wisdom tooth, extraction may be the best course of action. If you need your tooth taking out, you can rest assured that you are in safe hands with our experienced dentists. We understand that many patients may feel anxious at the prospect of having a tooth taken out, and we do everything we can to try and make you feel as relaxed as possible. We can offer treatment under sedation for nervous patients.

If your wisdom teeth are making life a misery, call us today and arrange an appointment.

Don’t ignore It! Why you need to take care of Dental Emergencies Immediately

Any of us are ostriches when it comes to our health. We tend to bury our heads in the sand, and hope that whatever symptoms we have disappear. Sometimes, problems subside without any need for treatment, but often, ignoring warning signs is the worst course of action. If you have dental troubles, it’s always best to see your dentist sooner rather than later.

Why is it important to tackle dental emergencies?

With any health problem, there’s always a risk of the situation getting worse the longer you leave it. If you have dental issues, something that may be simple to treat and manage could spiral into something a lot more severe. Take gum disease, for example. In the early stages, dentists can manage gum disease effectively with good oral hygiene and cleaning treatments. However, if gum disease is left untreated, it can develop into advanced gum disease, known as periodontal disease, which causes irreversible damage to your gums and the bone tissue beneath. A problem that could have been treated fairly easily can end up costing you your teeth.

If you have toothache, this may be a sign that you have a cavity or a developing infection. If you see your dentist, you can prevent any further damage, and you’ll also feel a lot more comfortable.

If you think you may have a problem with your teeth, for example, a broken or chipped tooth, or you have severe toothache or sore gums, seek advice from your dentist. They can have a look, and suggest treatment options. In some cases, there may be nothing to worry about, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you need urgent attention outside of normal opening hours, we have got your back! We offer 24-hour emergency dental care for all your dental needs. We recommend routine check-ups every 6-9 months. However, we strongly advise patients to get in touch if there are any issues between scheduled appointments.

Five Ways to Deal with a Broken Tooth On a Night Out

From time to time, accidents happen. One minute you’re having a wonderful time with your friends on the dance floor, the next you’ve taken a tumble. If you’ve slipped or fallen and broken a tooth, or you’ve chipped a tooth trying to open a bottle, you may need emergency dental treatment. If you think you may have a broken tooth on a night out, here are 5 steps you should take.

  1. Avoid trying to repair the tooth yourself: it can be tempting to channel your inner dentist, and attempt some DIY running repairs, but it’s always best to leave dental repairs to the experts. If you try and re-implant the fragment of tooth, you may do more harm than good.
  2. Locate the missing tooth fragment: if you’ve lost a section of the tooth, try and find it. If a large part of the tooth has broken off, it may be possible for your dentist to save the tooth if you can get to a clinic fast enough.
  3. Cover the tooth in milk: if you can find a restaurant or bar that is open late, ask them very nicely for a glass of milk, and store the tooth fragment in the glass until you can see a dentist.
  4. Call your dentist: the sooner you can see a dentist, the better.
  5. Avoid touching the root of the tooth: if you’ve lost the entire tooth, avoid touching the root section, and keep hold of the crown at all times.

Dental practices tend to have set opening hours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the assistance you need if you have a dental emergency. Give us a call, whatever the time of day or night, and we’ll do our best to see you as soon as possible.

Don’t Forget Your Mouth. Five Ways to Happier Teeth in 2017

At this time of year, many of us make an effort to be healthier. After the indulgence of the festive season, it’s that time when we sign up for gym membership and put the selection boxes to the back of the cupboard. It’s great to try and cut down on fatty foods and get in shape, but what about your teeth and gums? When you’re trying to stick to resolutions, spare a thought for your mouth. Dental health is really important too! Here are five ways you can achieve healthier teeth in 2017.

  1. Change your toothbrush. Be honest. When was the last time you changed your toothbrush? If you can’t remember, it’s probably high time you invested in a new brush or swapped the brush head. Ideally, you should switch brushes every 3-4 months. If the bristles are worn or damaged, this can affect its cleaning capabilities.
  2. Brush properly. Are you one of those people who sometimes flashes a brush around their teeth and hopes for the best? If so, make it your mission to hone those brushing skills. Brushing is your best form of defence against plaque and tartar. Take care to cover every tooth, and set a timer to make sure that you’re brushing for long enough.
  3. Use fluoride toothpaste: fluoride is a mineral, which is often found in toothpaste. It has oral health benefits because it helps to strengthen the enamel surface. This helps to reduce the risk of decay and prevent cavities from forming.
  4. Stop snacking! Snacking is bad for your waistline, but it’s also harmful for your teeth. When you eat, your enamel becomes softer, and it takes around an hour for it remineralise and recover. If you snack all day, your teeth never have chance to recover, and the risk of damage and decay is elevated.
  5. Call and make a dental appointment. If you do anything in 2017, make sure you visit the dentist regularly. If you haven’t been for a check-up in the last nine months, call and make an appointment now. Research suggests that people who attend regular dental checks are up to 60 percent less likely to suffer from decay and gum disease than those who avoid the dentist.

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