News & stories relating to our dental & cosmetic treatments.
The importance of a healthy diet
In a perfect world, there would be no cavities – but unfortunately that would mean there would have to be no sugar, and let’s be honest, that’s never going to happen.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet isn’t just important to your overall health, its important to your oral health as well. Frequent or prolonged intake of sugary foods enables bacteria to maintain an acidic environment on the surface of your teeth. Soft and sticky foods cling to the biting surfaces of the teeth and stay there until it’s brushed off. Saliva will spread the sugar between the teeth, and to the front and back.
So how do cavities occur and that ugly dental decay?
Every time you eat, plaque and bacteria in your mouth mix with the sugar and starch from the food you ingest, creating an acidic environment in your mouth. This acid softens the enamel of your teeth, and without proper oral hygiene, can expose your teeth to troublesome cavities.
How to reduce the risk of decay:
Brush daily with fluoridated toothpaste.
Follow your country’s food guide necessary for a healthy diet.
When eating starchy foods such as bread, cereal and pasta, minimize the time teeth are exposed by eating them with meals rather than snacking on them throughout the day.
Substitute sugary snacks with sugar-free gum and mints. Xylitol found in some chewing gums has been found to reduce risk of cavities. This can help reduce cavities and increase saliva flow.
Drink high-sugar beverages through a straw, then rinse mouth with water and brush within 30 minutes. But be careful, brushing to quickly following a meal can damage your teeth’s enamel.
Rinsing with water after eating can help cleanse the teeth before brushing.
Noticed your teeth are getting shorter?!
Are your teeth getting shorter? When you smile, have you noticed that you show less teeth? If so, maybe you are grinding your teeth and causing excessive wear. This is known as Bruxism.
Bruxism is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and typically, includes the clenching of the jaw. It is an oral parafunctional activity that occurs in most humans at some time in their lives.
For the majority, the activity is mild enough not to be a health problem. However, if bruxism occurs during sleep, it can cause significant health issues. Regarded as one of the most common sleep disorders, the activity can damage your smile, cause increased wear of fillings and teeth and cause damage to veneers and crowns.
On top of that, it can cause the failure of dental implants and significant gum recession. In certain circumstances it will lead to headaches, considerable jaw and neck pain and increased facial muscle around the jaw.
How do I know if I am grinding my teeth?
Most people are not aware of their bruxism. Only an estimated 5% go on to develop symptoms, such as jaw pain and headaches, which require prompt treatment. A sleeping partner or parent may pick up on the behaviour first, although sufferers may notice pain symptoms without understanding the cause.
Bruxism can be loud enough to wake a sleeping partner although some individuals clench without significant lateral movements.
In a typical case involving lateral motion, the canines and incisors of the opposing arches are moved against each other laterally, i.e. with a side-to-side action. This movement abrades tooth structure and can lead to the wearing down of the incisaledges of the teeth. People with bruxism may also grind their posterior teeth, which will wear down the cusps of the occlusal surface.
If you are aware that you suffer from Bruxism, why not read the questions below and if your answer is ‘YES’ to any one of them, it is likely that you grind your teeth.
Do you get headaches or jaw/neck pain, especially in the morning ? Have you noticed that your teeth are wearing? Have you had damage to dental restoration eg: crowns or fillings, for no apparent reason? Are your temples or jaw muscles tender? Do you experience discomfort whilst chewing? Does your jaw make a clicking sound?
If you answered ‘YES’ to any one the questions, clenching or grinding maybe the cause.
Help is close at hand in Surrey
Why not book an appointment with our expert dentist Dr Salimi by calling 01932 570099 or take a look at our website before contacting us.
Dr Salimi has included a case study below of a 45-year-old lady who visited Estetica complaining of fractured teeth and a lost filling, tenderness in her jaw muscles, sensitivity to hot and cold, loss of chewing power and grinding during sleep for many years.
Dr Salimi said; “We provided a clinical examination that revealed severe tooth substance loss, A loss of bite height/vertical dimension and exposed Dentin.
“There was a lack of support from the back teeth and as a consequence, excessive bite force on front teeth. The lady in question had an imbalanced bite.
“The aim of our treatment was to prevent further tooth loss, to repair and restore her fractured teeth and to compensate for loss of vertical height.
“We created a balanced bite and finally, treated her shortened front teeth. The results were significant and highly satisfactory to the patient.”
Tooth Discolouration Factors
There are several causes of tooth discoloration, including:
Foods/drinks. Coffee, tea, colas, wines, and certain fruits and vegetables can stain your teeth.
Tobacco use. Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth.
Poor dental hygiene. Inadequate brushing and flossing to remove plaque and stain-producing substances like coffee and tobacco can cause tooth discoloration.
Disease. Several diseases that affect enamel (the hard surface of the teeth) and dentin (the underlying material under enamel) can lead to tooth discoloration. Treatments for certain conditions can also affect tooth color. For example, head and neck radiation and chemotherapy can cause teeth discoloration. In addition, certain infections in pregnant mothers can cause tooth discoloration in the infant by affecting enamel development.
Medication.The antibiotics(tetracycline, doxycycline) are known to discolour teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing (before age 8). Mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain teeth.Antihistamines(Benadryl) antipsychotic drugs, and drugs for high blood pressure also cause teeth discoloration.
Dental materials. Some of the materials used in dentistry, such as amalgam restorations, can cast a gray-black color to teeth.
Advancing age. As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth gets worn away, revealing the natural yellow color of dentin.
Genetics. Some people have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others.
Environment. Excessive fluoride either from environmental sources (naturally high fluoride levels in water) or from excessive use (fluoride applications, rinses, toothpaste and fluoride supplements taken by mouth) can cause teeth discoloration.
Trauma. For example, damage from a fall can disturb enamel formation in young children whose teeth are still developing. Trauma can also cause discoloration to adult teeth.
The amount of staining depends on the frequency and amount of exposure to staining agents. The occasional blueberry muffin won’t cause a lot of discoloration but a pack-a-day smoking habit will yellow your smile in short order. Help minimize your risks by rinsing your mouth with water after consuming a known staining agent. Using a straw can help by allowing the staining culprit to sneak past the teeth. There are several ways in removing stains such as Hygienist visits, customized bleaching trays and whitening gel,etc.! Call us today to find out more at 01932570099.
Braces and Thumbsucking
Thumb sucking among children has been viewed as a normal habit during their formative years. They do this as a replacement for their feeding bottles whenever it is not available. However, research shows that there is a distinct connection between earlier thumb sucking and the installation of braces during adult life. This is because it has been found out that thumb sucking truly damages the teeth in such a way that the person who usually thumb sucks often end up with major dental problems in the future that will require braces.
Some major diseases that thumb sucking would cause is having irregularly shaped teeth. This is because thumb sucking tends to stunt the proper growth of the teeth so much, so that it produces rather small or unusually big teeth.
The problems can also be caused by thumb sucking. This is because the process of thumb sucking tends to weaken the hold of the gums to the teeth because of minor but continuous pressure on the teeth.
Buck teeth can also be a problem for thumb suckers in the future. Teeth that are pushed far behind the other set of teeth characterize this. This may cause irregularity in the alignment of teeth. If a person experiences this, braces will be the best solution for him or her.
However, if you want to prevent this from happening to your child, it is best to prevent him or her from sucking teeth. Although this is a normal reflex, it would be best if you do everything in your power to prevent your child from doing this kind of activity.
This is easier said than done. Thumb sucking is truly a pleasurable experience that children may not be ready to part with just yet. However, if you do this following tips, you might be able to wean them off the unsightly act of thumb sucking
The first tip would be having positive reinforcement given to the child. The process of a reward and punishment is very effective in instilling the value of good behavior on to the child. You can give him a prize for every time that he or she does not suck his or her thumb.
If this does not work, you can try showing him the ill effects of thumb sucking on people. As a parent you can show your child pictures of damaged dental conditions that may persuade the child to let go of the habit all together.
In addition to this, you can place protective implements on the child’s hands to prevent him or her from sucking his fingers. You can make him put on gloves so that he would not be tempted to do the activity even without your supervision.
If this still does not work, you can put foul tasting condiments on the fingers so that the child would be forced not to sell his or her thumb. If he finds the activity detestable, the child himself will shun away from the act.Lastly, if all else fails you should never hesitate consulting pediatric dentists for advice. Medical professionals will surely be glad to help in any way that they can especially when it comes to the health of the family.
Thumb sucking is just one probable cause of people wearing braces. Given this, you should not dismiss the probability that this could be a possible cause for your children’s future dental problems.
Visiting your dentist and working togetherwill make it easier to handle your children’s teeth problems.