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Did you Know that One in 5 people Fear the Dentist?

It is believed that at least one in five people living in the UK is afraid to visit the dentist, due to some form of dental phobia. That fear and nervousness, caused even by the thought of stepping into a dental practice, can mean lots of different things to different people. The truth is that dental phobias, just like any other phobia that you may have, do not have a single cause. It seems to be a combination of multiple factors that lead a person to feeling anxiety about going to the dentist. We see so many nervous patients at our practice and one of the first things that they tell us is that a calming environment and our friendly, informal approach helps to ease the nerves. However some patients that we see are so terrified that it takes a couple of appointments just to come to terms with talking about their dental problems. There are a wide range of reasons why people have an inbuilt fear of visiting the dentist, it could be something as simple as the sound of the drill, a previous experience or the clinical smell and environment of a dental practice.

The key to overcoming a phobia or fear of visiting the dentist is to take the first step and speak to somebody about it. It may be comforting to know that no matter how nervous that you are we will have seen and treated someone more nervous than you. Some of our patients are so scared of visiting the dentist that they are in tears when they make the first phone call and speak to us about their concerns. It may take a few phone calls before you come in and make your first appointment but it is a journey that we take with our patients every day.

Dental Phobias and Past Trauma

According to experts, a phobia could be caused by a particular trauma or past incident, or it can also be a response developed by the individual at a very early age and was created by a sibling or a parent. Finally, genetics also plays a vital role in developing phobias. Evidence has shown that some people are just born with a tendency to be more nervous and afraid of particular things than others.

Has any of these occurred to you? Could it be that some specific smells bring back memories of a bad experience you once had (in your childhood, perhaps)? Does the sound of the equipment we dentists, use trigger a nasty response? Relax. You are not the only one, and you are definitely not experiencing something that should stress you. There are many people just like you that think having a treatment will be painful and have associated smells and sounds with unpleasant memories from their past. For all of you, we have some great news!

Dental Phobias & Dental Advances

One of the greatest news is that dentistry has advanced so much recently that seeing a dentist is no longer a reason to be neither afraid nor nervous about. Why?

For two major reasons:

  1. The overall experience is much more bearable and gentler nowadays with the modern dental surgeries that take place in relaxing and far friendlier environments than several years ago. You get to visit practices with appealing waiting rooms decorated with beautiful art while you listen to soothing music as you wait. You also step into dental surgeries with much less noticeable instruments. Remember those noisy drills? Guess what! They are no longer so irritating!
  2. You can ask for Sedation Dentistry (a procedure where we give you medication to put you into a relaxed dreamlike state) and feel at ease as the dentist is working on your smile, with lovely background music playing. IV-sedation is completely painless, and the same applies to the WAND, which is a computerised injection system that looks much like a pen and delivers the anaesthetic in small doses at a time. It is ideal for anyone with a needle phobia! Alternatively, a numbing gel can be used to numb your gums before an injection, so you don’t feel the needle at all!

All that, and much more, is what you can find at The Dental Suite! We are not only trained to deal with patients’ fears (Dental-Phobia Certified), but also do a great deal to make dental treatments a more pleasant experience for you. In a dreamy environment, little will remind you of the dentist’s surgery you had in mind! Ask us how we can help you overcome your dental phobias. It is time you are well looked after. Don’t you agree?

Amy’s Teeth Straightening Journey

Our nurse Amy has just had metal six-month braces fitted to both her upper and lower teeth. The metal braces were chosen over ceramic braces as they are more cost-effective and perfect for those who are considering braces treatment on a budget but still want perfect results.

The reason that Amy decided to opt for braces treatment was that she had experienced something called post-orthodontic adult relapse. Amy had worn braces to straighten her teeth when she was younger, however because she didn’t wear her retainers every day her teeth started to move back to their original position.

The majority of adult patients that we treat have previously had braces treatment and come to see us because their teeth have started to move again (relapse). More often than not the relapse has occurred because retainers were not worn following their treatment every day. There are two types of retainers: a fixed retainer which is a thin wire that is fitted to the back of your teeth, and a removable retainer which looks like a clear gum shield that fits tightly over your newly straightened teeth.

If you are considering teeth straightening treatment of any sort, be sure to ask your dentist if they will be fitting you with both fixed and removable retainers following treatment.

Relapse is something that we see a lot in our clinic for many reasons:

  • The importance of retention may not have been explained at the time of removing the braces.
  • You may have thought that once you have worn your retainers for a short period of time you wouldn’t need them any more.
  • The relapse movement of teeth is very slow so initially you won’t notice it and then gradually the teeth will move until they are crooked again.
  • Once teeth have moved just a small amount your retainers will no longer fit.

Some clinics only provide removable retainers, which means if you forget to wear them your teeth will start to move. At our practice, we fit both fixed and removable retainers and emphasise the importance of wearing your retainers for the rest of your life if you want to keep your teeth straight. The removable retainers are only to be worn at night time.

 

 

You will also notice from Amy’s video that she has had some “bite blocks” fitted in order to stop her teeth meeting in the middle and knocking her braces as she chews food. A bite block is simply a small amount of filling material that is placed on your back teeth to stop them meeting together and hold your mouth open a few millimetres. By holding your teeth apart the blocks also help your teeth move easier.

If you are considering having fixed braces fitted be sure to ask your dentist what they will do to prevent your teeth from knocking your braces. Placing bite blocks is a very simple procedure but it is not done by all dentists.

Amy didn’t experience any pain or discomfort from having the braces fitted. The most difficult part for her so far seems to have been adjusting to her new bite, which can seem a bit strange at the beginning but she will quickly get used to this.

My braces are finally off

I’ve just had my braces removed and I am delighted with the results. In this video blog I will give you a few tips and tricks of how to look after your teeth once your braces have been taken off. There are certain things that you need to do differently once you have had braces including the way you clean your teeth and look after them.

Once my braces were removed and Anna was happy with the final position of the teeth, she took a mould of my teeth and use this to make a custom fixed retainer. I fixed retainer is simply a thin wire that is custom shaped to my teeth and fitted behind my front teeth to hold them in place following orthodontic treatment. it’s very important to have a retainer following any teeth straightening treatment as teeth have a natural tendency to move back into their previous position. At our practice I make sure that every patient is monitored for a minimum of 12 months following fitting of the retainer. this is to make sure the teeth don’t start to move after treatment, since the majority of adult patients that we see for braces treatment come to us because their teeth have started moving following previous treatments, because they were not fitted with a fixed retainer or given any advice on retention.

After having the fixed retainer fitted took a short period of time to adjust to it but after a few days I didn’t notice any different. after having the fix retainers fitted another mould was taken of my teeth to make a custom removable retainer which looks like a thin plastic gum-shield this fits snugly over my teeth and I wear it at night to provide additional support to prevent my teeth moving.

Your dentist will usually give you advice on how to put your retainers in your mouth. I usually advise to press it in with your thumbs and don’t bite down on your retainers as this could crack or damage them. you may have a slight lisp the first time you wear your removable retainers but after a few days you will get used to it.

When you have a fixed retainer placed is virtually impossible to floss your teeth as there is a wire in the way so it is very important that you see our hygienist regularly to get your teeth cleaned following any orthodontic treatment. The best way to clean between your teeth when you have a fixed retainer in place is to use interdental brushes or interdental sticks, your hygienist will demonstrate how to use these in order to maintain a good oral hygiene routine.

In the future I may consider having my teeth whitened as do many patients following orthodontic treatment.

The Big Day and Your Wedding Smile

Being married myself and having gone through it all I know the stress and excitement that comes with planning a wedding.

There is so much to think about right?

You’ve found your groom/bride (and I hope they are a good one) now it’s time to book a venue, caterers, DJ, hair and make-up etc. and then you think of hiring a photographer and videographer and the first thing that pops Into your mind is how will my smile look?

Weddings are costly, let’s face it. So today I want to talk about how we can give you that amazing smile for your big day. No matter what your time frame or budget is, there is a way we will personalise a treatment plan for every bride/groom.

The main cosmetic treatments we will discuss are:

You may need a combination of treatments again depending on time/budget.

Whitening

An easy procedure that can be done in 2-4 weeks and between £280-480 depending on the shade you want to achieve. A whiter, brighter smile is something that will always make a huge improvement cosmetically and is a painless procedure. We use a home bleaching kit which maximises the shade you will achieve and also offers better longevity than other methods of whitening. Whitening can be done within one month from start to finish so it’s perfect for last minute smile makeovers.

Orthodontics (Braces)

There are many options but the main ones are:

  • Clear Aligners such as Invisalign and Smilelign
  • Fixed Braces – Traditional
  • Six Month Braces

The type and length of treatment you can have depends on how much work needs to be done and also what end result you have in mind.

Porcelain Veneers

Can make a huge improvement in your smile if done correctly. You may need whitening or braces beforehand to maximise the result. There are certain cases that can be treated with minimal or no preparation of your underlying tooth structure which minimises the risks on your teeth.

Porcelain is a material made in the laboratory therefore you will need impressions and possibly some preparation to your teeth beforehand. They will be cemented to your teeth and require lifelong care.

Each smile is different and we would look at your face shape and create the correct smile best suited to you, you would be able to see a visual aid of this design either on a model of your teeth called a wax up or a digital simulation.

Composite / Cosmetic Bonding

This is a gentler method and is less expensive than porcelain. A white filling material is chemically bonded to your natural tooth, with this we can improve the shade, shape, length and surface texture of your teeth.

It requires great skill to do this procedure and can produce some fantastic results. The only downside is that the long term cosmetics aren’t as durable as porcelain and may require polishing/replacement more often. On average they can last at least 4-7 years quite easily if taken care of, including reducing your intake of tea coffee, wine and also to avoid smoking. Regular hygienist appointments are important for all treatments to remain at their best.

Example Case

A lovely bride on a budget wanted a great smile. Due to an issue with her jaw relationship her teeth could not be straightened and therefore she was limited with what could be done. She didn’t want perfection but just wanted her teeth to look whiter and more level. We did a 2 week course of home whitening followed by cosmetic bonding which involved absolutely no drilling or injections. The turnaround for this case was 6 weeks, cosmetic bonding can be done the next appointment after your initial consultation which again is perfect for a last minute makeover.

She was delighted with the result and said she will be smiling nonstop on her big day.

I remember my wedding day; it was very special and I always look back at my photos and my smile looked great and I was beaming with confidence.

If you are engaged and wondering what can be done with your smile I would be delighted to help transform your smile for your big day. Book a FREE consultation with me to discuss your options, costs and timeframes.

KJ

Why Should I Take My Baby to the Dentist?

Like adult teeth, baby teeth are susceptible to decay, gum disease and abscesses. And there is nothing worse than seeing your child suffer so it’s definitely worth regular trips to the dentist to keep nasty problems at bay.

When should I take my child to a dentist?

I advise parents to bring their children in from around 6-7 months of age, even if during the first visit I just have a basic look whilst they are in the pushchair, car seat, sat on mummy or daddy’s lap or even if it’s just to watch a family member have their check-up so they can see what happens. It’s not just about examining your child’s teeth, it’s also to get them used to the dentist and the surroundings so on a six monthly basis, so they are fully aware of what goes on during a dental check-up.

Quite often, I see children aged 6-7 years old who have never been to the dentist. Unfortunately by this age, they have often heard horror stories about negative experiences and as a result, some feel anxious and expect the worst. Sometimes they are too frightened to even sit in the chair as they feel so nervous, especially if they are in pain.

Remember that dental pain usually only arises if things have been left to progress without early detection. Also, as children are prone to falling over whilst playing, their teeth can become damaged and this can even affect the development of their adult teeth. The longer the baby teeth remain, the better it is for the adult teeth to follow their natural course. Losing baby teeth early can lead to crowding issues with the adult teeth. Sometimes teeth can develop with weaker enamel and the sooner this is detected the better, as they can be sealed for protection before they form cavities.

Your dentist can also assess the risk your child might be exposed to and can apply professional strength fluoride to their teeth every three, six, nine or twelve months to reduce their chances of decay.

The earlier your child comes to see us, the more we can do to help prevent issues arising in the first place. So please bring your children along from the age of 6-7 months. There are numerous fun children’s books about the dentist out there, for example Peppa Pig’s Dentist Trip, to help young children feel comfortable and familiar with dental clinics. The number of times I’ve been called ‘Dr Elephant’ is unreal! But this makes me happy as I know the books are a great help when it comes to making dental visits fun.

You can also get pretend doctors kits with mirrors in. It’s a good idea to play with your child- practice using this mirror on each other and count each other’s teeth. That way when your child visits the dentist they won’t be alarmed by the instruments. In fact, children often get really involved in helping me count their teeth!

My child won’t let me brush their teeth, what can I do?

As a mum, I’m also aware of the struggles of getting your child to brush their teeth. Sometimes it can seem like a chore to them, but with today’s technology it can be quite fun! There are electric toothbrushes in various themes, e.g. Disney princesses or Cars. These can be linked to the Disney Magic Timer app, which allows them to watch their favourite characters whilst brushing their teeth. These run for the recommend two minutes, which ensures a thorough brushing. Aquafresh Brush Time app is another popular brushing app. I advise parents to supervise their children until they are 7 years old.

Using the correct fluoride toothpaste for your child’s age group is also very important. Children under the age of 3 should use tooth paste with less than 1000ppm fluoride and children older than 3 should use no more than 1450ppm.

Electric toothbrushes are clinically proven to be more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes.

Discourage your child from rinsing with water after brushing. Just let them spit out any excess, so that the benefits of the toothpaste can remain in the mouth for longer than the period of brushing.

From 3 years of age, professional strength fluoride will be applied to your children’s teeth every three to six months, depending on their risk. This ensures their teeth are getting fluoride protection even if you are struggling with getting them to brush at home or if they refuse to use toothpaste.

My child brushes well but has still developed a cavity. How much sugar is OK? How can I reduce their risk of decay through diet?

It’s important for children to eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, but be wary. Fruit can be acidic and can cause teeth to erode. To minimise this, you can do the following:

  • Wait approximately 40 minutes before brushing your child’s teeth after fruity foods and drinks, as brushing straight after can brush the acid into the enamel, causing it to wear down.
  • Give your child water or milk with acidic snacks, as this can neutralise the acid.
  • Eating cheese with acidic or sugary snacks can minimise the damage to your child’s enamel.
  • Try to keep sugary drinks and snacks to a minimum and try to consume them with a meal rather than in between. The recommended daily allowance for a pre-schooler is 16g of sugar, which works out at four teaspoons.
  • Avoid sticky foods like raisins, as these can remain in the biting surfaces of teeth and can easily lead to the development of cavities.

I hope this has helped and we look forward to seeing you and your child soon. If you have any further questions we are always happy to answer them at our dental practice in Leicester & Loughborough.

The truth about tooth loss

Dr Adam Patel an implant dentist at The Dental Suite discusses the impact that tooth loss can have on both overall and oral health.

At what age am I at risk of losing a tooth?

Patients of all ages are at risk of losing teeth with various potential causes. Although tooth loss is more commonly associated with the elderly, research has shown that up to a third of the population will lose their first adult tooth between the ages of twenty one and thirty.

What are the overall effects of having a tooth extracted?

Evidence has shown that losing a tooth can have detrimental health, physical and psychological effects on individuals. Tooth loss directly affects ones self-esteem as it can alter the way you smile and your overall lower facial features.

What are the health detriments to losing a tooth?

Losing a tooth can have various oral and general health related repercussions. Teeth play a pivotal role in the pronunciation of words. Thus, depending on the position of the tooth in the mouth and how many teeth are missing, patient’s speech can be adversely affected.

When a tooth is extracted a patients overall chewing efficiency is reduced and in turn unfavourable forces are exerted on the remaining dentition. This can lead to weakening of other teeth and a change in dietary habits. Patients with fewer teeth tend to favour a softer diet avoiding foods that require extensive chewing. This can lead to various nutritional deficiencies as often foods containing important nutrients are avoided.

If there is an imbalance of teeth on one side of the jaw, patients will be inclined to chew more frequently with one particular side of the mouth. This can generate excessive strain on the jaw joint and muscles on one side of the face leading to further pain and discomfort.

What are the physical effects of losing a tooth?

When a tooth is extracted the immediate surrounding bone will collapse and breakdown within the following months. Apart from the obvious oral physical defect that will be visible when you talk and smile the impact is more widespread. The part of the jaw where the tooth was lost can continue to shrink for many years and cause a collapse in the facial soft tissue (such as cheeks and lips) which can manifest itself by making your facial appearance more aged and wrinkled.

Within the mouth, adjacent teeth may move into the space left by the extracted tooth, causing alterations in your bite and chewing habits. The alignment of your teeth becomes more vulnerable and the chances of the teeth becoming crooked increases.

What are the psychological implications of tooth loss?

There are long-term psychological ramifications of losing teeth. Many patients experience an increase in self-consciousness, reduced self-confidence and a subconscious reduction in their willingness to smile openly. Often this can impact gravely on an individual’s social life.

Can lost teeth be replaced?

Yes, teeth can be replaced with removable dentures, fixed bridgework or implants depending on your individual circumstance, remaining dentition and overall oral and general health. Although replacing teeth with prosthetic replacements is a viable solution, nothing can and will ever feel and function as effectively as your own natural tooth.

Is it worth replacing lost teeth?

Yes, it is invaluable. Many of the health and psychological effects discussed above can be minimised or eliminated with the correct replacement solution. Replacing teeth should not be considered an unnecessary cost, but rather a sound investment in ones future health and appearance.

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a titanium fixture that an implant dentist will place in your jawbone. It holds a false tooth (or teeth) in place. Over several months, your jawbone will fuse with the metal root. Dentures or bridges can be screwed or clipped onto the implant. Implants are considered the gold-standard restoration in modern day Dentistry as they are the strongest, longest lasting life-like restorative option available to you.

Tooth Brushing: Back to Basics

Toothbrushing Back to Basics

So, what do I use? When? How?

Hot questions! It changes all the time. There are more and more types of brushes, toothpastes and other tricky things being made all the time. So let’s keep it as simple as possible!

The big question is, what do you like to use? The most important thing is that you are comfortable with what you use, because then you are more likely to use it frequently and effectively.

Manual Toothbrush:

  • Ensure it has a nice small head and is all bristle (no fancy plastic filaments).
  • A small head will allow you easier access to those teeth right at the back.
  • Try to brush one tooth at a time, be methodical and work your way around nice and slowly.
  • Avoid scrubbing the teeth, as this will cause unnecessary wear.
  • When the bristles start to look a little worn – treat your teeth to a new one!

Electric Toothbrush:

  • The principal is the same, however you have to accept that the electric brush is designed to do all the work for you.
  • You may feel slightly lazy if you are used to a manual brush. The key thing when using an electric brush is to move nice and slowly from tooth to tooth. Try not to be in a rush and allow yourself plenty of time.
  • Simply concentrate on the positioning of the brush; ensure that it is positioned around the gum margin. Use a mirror – it can make all the difference just being able to see what you are doing!
  • Avoid moving an electric brush the same way you would a manual brush as this too may cause excess wear to your teeth.
  • I recommend the Oral B tooth brushes because they have an oscillating and rotating movement to the head, which has been found to be very effective when removing plaque.
  • There are different model types to suit all.
  • Keep it nice and simple if it is your first time using an electric the model. I would advise the use of a 2000 or 3000.
  • If you particularly like gadgets, perhaps try the 5000 or the 6000.
  • The head I would recommend for all model types is small and round. Again it should be all bristle with none of those fancy plastic filaments. It is called the precision clean head. For those of you that have sensitive teeth, you might like to try the sensitive head – this has much softer bristles.

Toothpaste:

In terms of toothpaste, find something you like and stick to it; you should try to maintain a consistent approach to your brushing. The majority of toothpastes contain an antibacterial agent and most importantly, fluoride. The antibacterial agent will help with controlling bacteria within the mouth, safeguarding against gum disease and tooth decay. The fluoride will help to strengthen the teeth and protect the user from tooth decay. If you have sensitive teeth, you may wish to use a sensitive toothpaste. Always have a look at the ingredients on the packaging to ensure that it contains fluoride, as some of them don’t. Also, if you suffer with sensitive teeth, I would advise that you stay away from whitening toothpastes as some of them can be quite abrasive and may lead to further sensitivity.

Mouthwashes:

I only really advise patients to use mouthwashes if they seem to struggle with their brushing and require an additional aid. Mouthwashes are very effective at destroying free floating bacteria. Once the bacteria have attached themselves to your teeth the most effective way of removing them is by brushing.

The basics don’t change:

  • Brush twice daily for at least two minutes, brushing every surface of every tooth.
  • Place a pea sized amount of tooth paste straight on your brush, brush each and every tooth, spit out any excess tooth paste.
  • Avoid rinsing out afterwards – leave the residue on your teeth.

There are further aids that can be used when brushing, however I think it is important to master the essential skills first and then introduce further aids when you are ready. It is important to be shown certain interdental aids to ensure that they are used correctly and safely, not causing any potential damage to your gums. A dental hygienist can advise and demonstrate certain aids. So when you next visit a dental hygienist, have a chat, tell the hygienist what you do and don’t like using and formulate a plan of action together.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. Happy cleaning! J

Dental X-Rays: How Often Should I Have Them?

Dental X-rays

Dr Neel Chudasama, dentist at The Dental Suite discusses the reasons behind why you need x-rays and the more you look after your teeth the fewer you need.

How Often You Should Have Dental X-Rays Taken

The answer to this question really depends on your age and oral health. For example, a 40 year old man who has never had a filling might not need X-rays as often as a 10 year old boy who has lots of cavities and doesn’t brush his teeth properly.

Am I at a high cavity risk?

The best way to work out if you’re at a high risk of getting a cavity is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many fillings have you had in your lifetime?
  • Have you recently had a cavity?
  • How much sugar do you include in your diet?
  • Do you brush and floss every day for as long as you should?

People who have had cavities in the past, don’t pay too much attention to their oral hygiene and indulge in a lot of sugary snacks tend to be at a higher risk and might be advised to have regular dental X-rays.

Regular dental X-rays

Below is a rough guide as to how often we should be having dental X-rays, depending on our age:

Adults

If you’ve had to have a lot of fillings in the past and have a high-sugar diet, your dentist might recommend X-rays every 6-18 months. But if you don’t have any cavities and keep the sweets to a minimum, you’ll probably only need one every 24-36 months.

Children and teens

If your child has had fillings before or eats a lot of sugary food, they’re likely to need dental X-rays every 6-12 months.

Kiddies younger than 12 who don’t or have never had fillings might only need an X-ray every one to two years. As your child develops into their teenage years, they might need X-rays even less often, around every 18-36 months.

But if there are spaces between your child’s teeth, dentists have loads of clever ways to clinically inspect them without actually needing an X-ray.

Dentists use special equipment that gets rid of any excess radiation, so your child will only be exposed to the absolute minimum. X-rays are also super quick, making them even safer. If you do have any safety concerns, have a chat with your dentist during your child’s appointment.

Other reasons for dental X-rays

Using bitewing radiography (this is the fancy term for X-rays that show the upper and lower back teeth in a single image), dental X-rays are perfect for spotting cavities and dental decay, but there are plenty of other reasons you might need to have one. These include:

  • Gum disease – X-rays are also a good way to detect and assess bone loss as a result of gum disease and can also be useful for creating a plan to monitor the condition.
  • Dental implants – dental implants rely on having enough jawbone to secure the implant. Your dentist will easily be able to make sure this is the case by taking an X-ray.
  • Orthodontics – X-rays are great for looking at how your teeth bite together and help to spot orthodontic problems. This makes choosing a brace easier because you and your dentist will be able to see exactly what need to be treated and if any preparation is necessary.

The bottom line

As we can see, how often you need a dental X-ray can vary from every six months to every three years! It really just depends on your oral health.

It’s important to remember that this article is just a rough guide. Your dentist might recommend that you have more or even fewer X-rays. For example, if you have enough space in between your teeth, your Leicester & Loughborough dentist might be able to tell whether or not you’re cavity-free without an X-ray.

Any questions?

If you’d like to know more about dental X-rays, please contact The Dental Suite. Our fabulous friendly team will be happy to answer all of your questions!

IV Sedation ( Intravenous Midazolam Sedation) for dental phobia sufferers

For those patients who really find it hard to accept dental treatment, conscious sedation may be an appropriate treatment for you.

Different methods for sedation are available however the most commonly used is:

intravenous midazolam sedation – a drug administered via a tube in the back of your hand or arm. For the vast majority of people, it is perfectly suitable, safe and can be just what you need to get the job done. You will be conscious all throughout the procedure but will be in a sleepy relaxed state. When the treatment is finished, you won’t remember much about the procedure.

We carry out sedation on a regular basis, an example this week we had a patient who needed a tooth removed but was too nervous and requested IV sedation. Sedated in 7 minutes, tooth out in another 10! Success all round!

Don’t forget we are Dental Phobia certified at our The Dental Suite Clinics!

This means we have decades of experience in treating nervous and phobic dental patients at our 3 practices in Leicester Loughborough and Nottingham.

It is not all about your teeth!

Previously it was thought that certain types of bacteria within your mouth would cause gum disease and eventually your teeth would fall out. However in more recent years it has been found that there is so much more to it. It is not quite as straight forward as brushing your teeth twice daily and you will avoid gum disease. There are some lifestyle risk factors that are now associated with gum disease such as smoking, drinking excessively, oral hygiene and diet. Also your general health and some diseases are also linked with gum disease.

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The lifestyle risk factors can influence susceptibility of gum disease in some people. It is possible to control these particular risk factors. It is important that patients brush twice daily every day in order to maintain a healthy mouth. However, this alone may not be enough, all individual’s need to consider their lifestyle choices and its impact on their oral health.

I think patients are becoming more aware of potential risks to their health and taking the necessary steps to keep fit and healthy. Your general health can affect your gums and vice versa. This is why we take the time to find out about our patients, we need to know if you have any health complaints and if you are taking any pills or potions. It helps us to determine whether you are more susceptible to gum disease and we can then assist you in the prevention and/or management of the disease.

Gum disease has been closely linked to heart disease, diabetes, strokes, lung problems, premature babies etc.

 Heart Disease/ Strokes/ Heart Attacks:                       

When you have inflammation of your gums the bacteria from your mouth may enter your bloodstream. They attach themselves to your blood cells and may cause narrowing of your arteries or even blockages. This increases the risk of strokes and in some cases even heart attacks.

Diabetes:

If you are a diabetic it can be difficult sometimes to control your blood sugar levels. When you have inflammation of your gums it becomes increasingly more difficult to control. When the blood sugar levels are raised this can provide the bacteria within your mouth with the necessary nutrients they require to thrive. Your immune system is slightly impaired which means that it is harder to fight off infection.

Pregnancy:

During pregnancy your hormone levels are constantly shifting, this alters the way your gums react to the bacteria within your mouth. Your immune response to the bacteria within your mouth is slightly exaggerated due to the changes in hormone levels which then cause inflammation of the gums. Women that have gum disease have been reported to be more likely to give birth prematurely to low weight babies. Further research is required to obtain the exact reasoning behind this.

Lung Problems:

There are certain types of bacteria that are commonly found to be present in patients with gum disease. These may also pre –dispose patients to respiratory problems such as pneumonia and other chronic lung problems.

These are only a few potential factors that may affect the health of your gums as well as your general health. Not only are your teeth very important to us but equally your health. To us you are not simply teeth and gums. If we are aware of any influencing factors that may leave you vulnerable to gum disease this allows us to provide the best possible care.