Tag: prevention

Blog posts, information and advice which mention Prevention

Why do I have tooth sensitivity?

Many people suffer from sensitive teeth for a variety of reasons, this article highlights why you may suddenly develop sensitive teeth, what you can do about it at home, what treatments the dentist may be able to offer you and how to reduce the pain from tooth sensitivity.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

diagram of a toothYour teeth are made up of three primary layers:

  1. The nerve and pulp. This is the deepest living part of your tooth, it contains the nerve and has blood flowing through it to keep your tooth alive, it is protected by two out of protection layers.
  2. The dentine. This is the softer portion of your tooth, it gives the tooth it’s primary colour and its role is to support the hard yet brittle outer enamel.
  3. The enamel. This is the hardest substance in the human body and protects the outer portion of your tooth.

Sensitivity occurs when hot or cold substances, such as eating ice cream, get too close to the nerve, there are many reasons this could happen, including:

  • Tooth wear caused by over brushing.
  • Gum recession caused by over by over brushing or general ageing.
  • Cracked teeth caused by trauma.
  • Decay in teeth caused by poor oral hygiene.
  • Tooth grinding or clenching.

Why are my teeth suddenly sensitive?

The key to understanding this is to think about how the hot or cold feeling may be getting through to the nerve. If you have had a recent trauma then perhaps the tooth is correct. If you haven’t been to the dentist for a while perhaps there is an area of tooth which is decayed.

The image below shows gum tissue recession around the gum line, possibly caused by over brushing. The enamel is thin in this area which can easily lead to teeth sensitivity.

Image Credit: www.implantdentist.co.nz/procedures/gum-regeneration/
Image Credit: www.implantdentist.co.nz/procedures/gum-regeneration/

If you can’t immediately identify what the problem is then visiting a dentist or dental hygienist may be best option.

How do you stop sensitive teeth pain

If you have sensitive teeth with no obvious cause then you may find that using a protection and relief toothpaste such as Sensodyne may help.

How does Sensodyne work?

These toothpastes work because there are tiny holes, called tubules, in the dentine of your tooth. If the enamel becomes eroded away then these tubules can transmit the hot and cold through your tooth. These toothpastes work by quickly creating a barrier so that the hot and cold feeling can’t be transmitted to the nerve.

However, it’s worth noting that these types of toothpastes WILL NOT work if the sensitivity is caused by excessive enamel or dentine loss such as cavities, excessive wear or cracks caused by trauma.

How long does tooth sensitivity last?

Tooth sensitivity is usually only instantaneous when the nerve becomes exposed to hot or cold. Remove the hot or cold and the sensitivity goes away. However, the reality is that this is not practical to do on a day by day basis, we have to eat and drink after all! Unfortunately, if your teeth are sensitive they won’t get better on their own, you will either need to use a relief and protection toothpaste or visit a dentist to ascertain why your teeth are sensitive.

What does the dentist do for sensitive teeth?

The basic premise for reducing tooth sensitivity is to protect the outer surface of the tooth to prevent the hot and cold sensations been transmitted through to the nerve, or in extreme circumstances to remove the nerve itself. There are a variety of ways of treating sensitivity at the dentist, including but not limited to:

  • Fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel. These fluoride gels can be applied topically at the dentist or trays can be provided for use at home.
  • Bonding. Composite bonding materials can be used to bonded to the outer surface of the tooth to rebuild the enamel where it has been lost. This can cover up the dentin hypersensitivity.
  • Surgical gum graft (Please see the explanation video below). If the sensitivity is caused by excessive gum resorption which exposes the more sensitive root of the tooth then a gum graft to replacing some of the gum tissue may be undertaken to cover up some of this exposed area around the gum line.
  • Root canal. In extreme circumstances a root canal can be used to remove the nerve of the tooth. This is not normally a preferred option and will only be undertaken in extreme circumstances.

Summary

One of the key things to focus on is brushing your teeth and maintaining good dental care throughout your life, ensuring you brush and floss regularly. Tooth sensitivity is a common problem, particularly in later life as the gum becomes more exposed and the teeth wear. Certainly, this is one of the best ways to prevent tooth sensitivity. If you are older then be aware about using a soft bristled toothbrush, watching to ensure you don’t consume too many acidic foods and drinks and be aware if you grind your teeth. Cold air can also affect sensitivity, so you may find you need to wear a scarf in cold weather.

 

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit is the founder and principal dentist of Blue Court Dental. Patients enjoy his relaxed, friendly and gentle approach while experiencing his meticulous attention to detail. He has a special interest in providing smile makeovers, natural-looking white fillings and cosmetic braces, but also provides a range of treatments from preventative and general dental care to complex dental rehabilitation.
Dr Nishan Dixit

Bad Breath Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit is the founder and principal dentist of Blue Court Dental. Patients enjoy his relaxed, friendly and gentle approach while experiencing his meticulous attention to detail. He has a special interest in providing smile makeovers, natural-looking white fillings and cosmetic braces, but also provides a range of treatments from preventative and general dental care to complex dental rehabilitation.
Dr Nishan Dixit

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common problem that can affect anyone of any age. Most people have short periods of bad breath at some point, and it is estimated that up to 50% of people have persistent bad breath.

Causes of bad breath

Bad breath can have several causes:

Poor oral hygiene

The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. Bacteria that coat your teeth, tongue and gums can cause plaque (the soft white deposit that forms on the surface of the teeth), gum disease and dental decay. These bacteria combine with saliva and food in the mouth, breaking down food particles and proteins. This releases an unpleasant smelling gas.
If you do not floss your teeth regularly, any food that is trapped between your teeth will be broken down by the bacteria, causing bad breath.

Morning bad breath

Most people have bad breath when they wake up in the morning. This is normal and occurs because the mouth dries up overnight. This slows down the flow of saliva that normally washes away food particles. Bacteria quickly break down any bits of food left in the mouth, and an unpleasant, stale smell is released.

Food and drink

Eating strongly flavoured foods, such as garlic, onions and spices, often cause your breath to smell. Strong smelling drinks, such as alcohol and coffee, can also cause bad breath. This type of bad breath is usually temporary and can be avoided by not eating or drinking these types of food or drink.

some foods can cause bad breathsome medicine can cause bad breath

Medicines

Some medication can cause bad breath. Medicines that have been associated with bad breath include:
– Medicines used to treat angina
– Some chemotherapy drugs
– Tranquilisers

Smoking

If you smoke, your breath is likely to smell of stale smoke. As well as making your breath smell, smoking also causes staining and loss of taste and irritates your gums. This increases your risk of gum disease, another cause of bad breath.

Medical conditions

Bad breath can be caused by a medical condition, although this is rare. Dry mouth is a condition that affects the flow of saliva. This can cause bacteria to build up in the mouth, leading to bad breath.

  • Other medical conditions that can cause bad breath include:
  • Infections in the lungs, throat or nose
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Diabetes
  • Liver or kidney problems

Crash dieting, fasting and low carbohydrate diets can also cause bad breath.

Treatment and prevention of bad breath

dental instruments to keep halitosis at bayThe most effective treatment of bad breath is usually improving your dental hygiene. To avoid bad breath, keep your mouth and teeth clean.
– Regularly brush your teeth and gums. Choose a small to medium sized toothbrush with soft multi-tufted bristles and replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Your dentist is likely to recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

– Floss in between your teeth. Use dental floss to clean between your teeth and remove any trapped food that could cause bad breath and tooth decay.

– Keep your tongue clean. Use a separate tongue scraper to lightly brush your tongue.

toothbrushRegular check-ups with your dentist will make sure any plaque is removed from your teeth. It will also ensure any signs of gum disease are noted and treated early on.

 

Dental Erosion and Tooth Wear – What can you do?

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit is the founder and principal dentist of Blue Court Dental. Patients enjoy his relaxed, friendly and gentle approach while experiencing his meticulous attention to detail. He has a special interest in providing smile makeovers, natural-looking white fillings and cosmetic braces, but also provides a range of treatments from preventative and general dental care to complex dental rehabilitation.
Dr Nishan Dixit

What is dental erosion?

Erosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused by acid attack. Enamel is the hard, protective coating of the tooth, which protects the sensitive dentine underneath. When the enamel is worn away, the dentine underneath is exposed, which may lead to pain and sensitivity.

Dental erosion, also known as tooth erosion, is the largely preventable yet irreversible damage to tooth structure due from exposure of acids through food or drink, or from sometimes chronic medical conditions that are not dental related. It has only been recently, that tooth erosion has been recognized as a dental health problem despite it being commonly present especially among children and teenagers.

Tooth Wear & Erosion Causes

Most often, tooth erosion is caused by consumption of acidic foods and drinks – typically those which have a ph that is below 5.7. Sodas and other carbonated drinks, including those that are diet or un-caffeinated, are a frequent culprit along with fruit juices, especially those that contain citrus.

With dental erosion, the damage is caused by citric and phosphoric acids.

fruit for teeth erosionsome drinks might cause tooth wear
Saliva is designed to act as a buffer that regulates the impact of acidic drinks that have been consumed but some drinks have a resistance to the effect. Research has concluded that fruit juices are the most resistance to saliva benefits.

ph level in foodOther drinks include:

  1. Fruit based carbonated drinks
  2. Flavoured mineral waters
  3. Other carbonated drinks such as sodas and mineral water
  4. Some medications such as vitamin c.

Conditions such as acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion and more serious medical problems like anorexia and bulimia can also contribute to tooth erosion.

Symptoms of tooth erosion

 

  1. Discolouration – Since the dentine of the tooth is exposed during tooth erosion, discolouration or yellowing of the teeth can occur. The more dentine that is exposed, the more yellow the teeth will become.
  2. Tooth Sensitivity – Sensitive teeth are very common symptoms of tooth erosion because the enamel that protects the teeth wears away, leaving exposed dentine.
  3. Rounded teeth – During the early stages of tooth erosion, it is common for teeth to have a rounded look.
  4. Transparent or sand blasted appearance – It is not uncommon in the early stages of tooth erosion for the teeth to have a sand blasted look or for the tips of the front teeth to look transparent.
  5. Cracking – If tooth erosion continues into the advanced stage, the edges of the teeth can start to crack and have a rough feeling.
  6. Dents – Little dents can start to appear on the biting areas on the teeth.
  7. Extreme sensitivity – The teeth can become extremely sensitive during the advanced stage of tooth erosion.
tooth erosiondental erosion

Treatment of tooth wear

Consult a dentist about treatment options to restore enamel. Your treatment will depend on the level of erosion and presence of cavities, and can include crowns, composite fillings or veneers.

  1. Crowns can be used to cap the teeth and restore them to their original shape.
  2. Veneers cover eroded, cracked, broken or chipped teeth and help prevent further erosion.
  3. Composite fillings can be used to repair cavities, which contribute to tooth erosion. These fillings are designed to smooth out surfaces and decrease tooth sensitivity.

How can you protect tooth enamel from erosion?

Good dental care can help prevent tooth enamel from erosion.

  1. Cut down on acidic drinks and foods, such as carbonated drinks and citrus fruit juices. If you do drink them, do so at meal times to minimise their effects on the enamel.
  2. Rinse your mouth with water right after having acidic foods or drinks.
  3. Drink fizzy drinks and fruit juices with a straw which helps acids to bypass the teeth.
  4. Finish a meal with a glass of milk or a piece of cheese to neutralise acids.
  5. Chew sugar free gum with xylitol, which helps neutralise acids from foods and drinks.
  6. Drink more water during the day if you have a dry mouth or low saliva problems.
  7. Use a soft toothbrush and avoid brushing too vigorously.
  8. Wait for at least 30 minutes to brush teeth after they have been exposed to acids in foods or drinks. Acid leaves the enamel softened and more prone to erosion during brushing.

Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth against decay.

You should have your teeth checked regularly by your dentist to prevent the need for tooth enamel restoration. When dental erosion is caught early, your dentist is able to suggest treatment that may prevent further erosion or tooth decay.

Blue Court Dental Centre in Harrow offers a range of dental hygiene preventive treatments to help you keep your teeth for life.

Mouth Cancer Awareness Week – Have you Been Checked?

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit is the founder and principal dentist of Blue Court Dental. Patients enjoy his relaxed, friendly and gentle approach while experiencing his meticulous attention to detail. He has a special interest in providing smile makeovers, natural-looking white fillings and cosmetic braces, but also provides a range of treatments from preventative and general dental care to complex dental rehabilitation.
Dr Nishan Dixit

This week (11th-17th November) is Mouth Cancer Awareness Week.

What is mouth cancer?

mouth cancer diagnosisMouth cancer is caused by an abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells. It is a malignant growth that can occur in any part of the mouth. The Two most common symptoms of mouth cancer are:
• an ulcer in your mouth or on your lip that won’t heal
• constant discomfort or pain in your mouth

Other symptoms can include:

• red or white patches in your mouth
• a lump on your lip, tongue or in your neck
• bad breath
• unexplained bleeding in your mouth
• numbness in your mouth
• loose teeth
• problems chewing or swallowing, difficulty moving your jaw or a feeling that something is caught in your throat
• changes to your voice – it may sound husky or quieter or you may slur your words
• weight loss because of problems swallowing

The BBC have more information about identifying oral cancer on their website.

Who is most at risk?

Nearly 6,236 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer every year in the UK. Just under half (44 per cent) of all mouth cancer cases were diagnosed in people aged 65 and over, with more than a quarter (25 per cent) diagnosed in the under 55s. Although the gap has significantly diminished over time, men are still twice more likely to develop mouth cancer than women.

Risk Factors

Smoking – Still considered to be the leading cause of mouth cancer in the UK, tobacco use transforms saliva into a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and can turn them cancerous. Advice on giving up smoking is here.
Chewing tobacco – Smokeless tobacco such as betel quid, gutkha and paan, is normally defined as any tobacco product that is placed in the mouth or nose and not burned. Smokeless tobacco is used particularly by south Asian communities. Other parts of Asian communities are also more at risk from the effects of smokeless tobacco including people of Bangladeshi origin.
High alcohol consumption– People who smoke and drink to excess are up to 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer, as alcohol aids the absorption of tobacco into the mouth. Drinking to excess can increase the risk of developing mouth cancer by four times.
Have a weakened immune system – People who have HIV/AIDS, or who are taking medicines that suppress the immune system, are more likely to develop mouth cancer.
Poor diet – It is recommended that people eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes many vitamins and minerals.

poor diet excessive alcohol increases risk of oral cancer

The earlier mouth cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances of recovery. Your dentist may spot mouth cancer in its early stages during a routine examination, so it’s important to visit your dentist regularly.

More information about Oral Cancer is Here. And there’s our own tips on oral cancer prevention on our own website.

Blue Court Dental Care in Harrow always check for early signs of oral cancer. Please book your health check appointment today.

 

Helping Harrow prevent tooth decay

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit is the founder and principal dentist of Blue Court Dental. Patients enjoy his relaxed, friendly and gentle approach while experiencing his meticulous attention to detail. He has a special interest in providing smile makeovers, natural-looking white fillings and cosmetic braces, but also provides a range of treatments from preventative and general dental care to complex dental rehabilitation.
Dr Nishan Dixit

Preventing tooth decay is a major part of the work of any dental practice. Tooth decay can cause problems with the aesthetics of your smile, pain,  tooth loss and subsequent problems with your bite if the whole tooth all parts of the tooth are lost due to the tooth decay.

How to detect tooth decay

Detecting tooth decay there is done with a visual examination of your teeth, however a very common part of your tooth  to become affected by decay is the contact point between each tooth. This area is not so easy to keep clean with regular toothbrushing, and is more prone to bacteria buildup and therefore tooth decay. Your dentist in the Harrow area will take x-rays to view this area between your teeth, to see if there has been any form of tooth decay.

Preventing tooth decay.

One of the best ways of preventing tooth decay is to ensure that you clean your teeth properly each day. Regular brushing with an electric toothbrush, flossing with either take or floss and then a quality fluoride mouth rinse will ensure that your chances of tooth decay arising are lowered.

As tooth decay often happens in the areas between your teeth, we also recommend visiting your dentist at least every six months. Doing this allows your dentist to monitor any areas where tooth decay may be taking hold, and then to decide if remedial treatment to prevent the decay from worsening is required. If you do not visit your dentist, you will not be able to see this progression of decay in your tooth possibly until you are faced with a great deal of pain. It may then be too late to save the tooth!

Dental hygiene and tooth decay.

Within each dental practice there are specially trained people to look after various aspects of your dentistry needs. This dental practice in Harrow uses a dental hygienist to ensure that your teeth are adequately cleaned and that your oral health care routine is such that tooth decay is much less able to take hold. Visiting the dental hygienist is a vital an integral part of preventing tooth decay health. and ensuring that you keep your teeth fit and healthy for life..

Blue court dental practice is keen to ensure that the people of Harrow have the least amount of tooth decay possible, and so all patients are recommended to our dental hygienist to help maintain your oral and dental health.