Pregnancy, Gum Disease And Other Oral Health Issues

Expecting a child can pose certain challenges for your teeth and gums

Smiling coupleReceiving the news that you will be adding a new life to your family can be a very exciting time. For some women, being pregnant is a great period of their life, but this certainly doesn’t apply to everyone. Whilst some seem to sail through it with relatively few difficulties, others find it much more challenging with morning sickness being one of the most common issues that often arises.

Without a doubt, this period of time can provide great moments of joy but also puts a physical strain on the mum to be. Hormonal changes mean that health issues are likely to occur during this time and unfortunately, this includes potential health challenges to their teeth and gums.

Gum disease

Due to changes in the body and hormonal changes especially, women are at a greater risk of gum disease when they are pregnant. Both gingivitis and periodontitis (and potentially peri-implantitis if you have dental implants) are a real risk at this time and can result in loose and wobbly teeth and even tooth loss can’t be ruled out.

There is little that you can do to prevent these hormonal changes, but you can make sure that you take every precaution to minimise the impact that they will have on your teeth and gums.

General oral health care

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Denture Stabilisation Vs Same Day Implants

Which of these two full arch teeth replacement methods is best for you?

Implant stabilised denturesFollowing on from our previous blog about whether or not dentures still have a role to play in modern dentistry, we thought that we would take a look at the available treatment options at the Cygnet Dental Practice when a full arch of teeth has been lost.

These will need to be replaced and the two options available are either dentures or dental implants, or more specifically ‘all on 4’ or ‘same day implants’.

Observant readers of our blogs will have noticed that we occasionally discuss denture stabilisation using teeth implants as one solution to this. On the surface, these may seem quite similar to same day implants which are secured in a similar way, but there are differences which we will take a look at below.

What are ‘stabilised dentures’?

Also sometimes known as ‘snap on dentures’, these are a full set of dentures which are either specially made for this purpose, or in some cases, your own dentures may be adjusted so that they can be used in this way. In most cases, these are secured by four dental implants which are placed in the mouth at strategic points and the dentures are then held into place by these.

What are ‘same day implants’

On the surface, this is a similar treatment to the above in that a replacement set of teeth are secured into place using dental implants; again, usually four are used but sometimes six. Instead of using dentures though, a permanent fixed bridge of teeth is used instead. Let us know take a look at some of the things that any of our Wickford patients choosing between these two treatments will want to take into consideration.

Appearance

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Do Dentures Still Have A Role To Play In Modern Dentistry?

Our Wickford dentist asks whether newer alternatives eliminate the need for this traditional tooth replacement method

Dentures in older patientsDentures have been around for a very long time indeed. In fact, it is believed that the first dentures were made in around the 7th Century BC. These are believed to have been largely ‘cosmetic’ with the replacement teeth being made from animal and human teeth, though where these came from probably doesn’t bear thinking about!

More recently, the precursor to today’s modern dentures were first made by British physician Alexis Duchateau in 1774 and were made from porcelain. Since then, there have been many advances and modern dentures certainly now look and feel more natural and are more comfortable, with some even having the ability to flex with the mouth. Even these advances can’t fully compensate for the loss of the tooth root which means that they can be a little unstable on occasions. This can sometimes cause speech problems and sore gums as they move around.

Dental implants

In many people’s minds, dentures are a thing of the past, and more and more patients of the Cygnet Dental Practice are turning to implants to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Although dental implants do require minor invasive surgery, they provide the patient with a replacement tooth which looks and feels natural and most importantly, is extremely strong and stable. Teeth implants can also last for twenty years or more, with good care, and can be looked after almost like a natural tooth.

Given that it is widely considered that these are superior to dentures, the question arises as to whether dentures still have a role to play in dentistry and who would be likely candidates to use them?

Price

One of the most obvious reasons to choose dentures over dental implants is the cost and there is no disputing that implants require a more significant financial outlay initially. Dentures do offer a cheaper alternative but patients should note that providing you look after your implants correctly, there should be no significant extra expense whereas dentures may need adjusting and repairing throughout their lifespan.

Nervous patients

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Beating The Discomfort Of Sensitive Teeth

Too many people live with this problem when relief is at hand

Dental repairsUnless you have a dental issue, you probably don’t spend too much time thinking about your teeth. To many, they are just a block of material in the mouth that is used for chewing food. There is also, of course, the aesthetic appeal of having an attractive smile, as can be seen by the popularity of cosmetic treatments at the Cygnet Dental Practice, but even then, we probably know little about the structure of our teeth.

A tooth is, in fact, made up largely of three parts; the surface enamel, the softer dentin layer beneath that, and the root canals where tiny blood vessels and the nerves of the tooth are stored. It is these nerves that allow us to understand when something is too hard to bite. Without them, it would be much easier to break our teeth. The downside of these nerves of course is that they also allow us to feel pain when problems strike.

Sensitive teeth

Whilst the most obvious discomfort that we feel in our teeth is when we have tooth decay or a root canal infection, the most common discomfort we encounter at our Wickford dental practice is patients with overly sensitive teeth. Whilst some degree of teeth sensitivity is useful for the reasons already mentioned, if your teeth are too sensitive, it can make eating and drinking food and drinks that are either too hot or too cold, quite an uncomfortable experience.

We can, of course, avoid products that cause us discomfort when we eat or drink, but that can take a lot of the pleasure out of eating. It could also mean that we ignore potential dental issues that could well go on to become more serious.

What are the likely causes of sensitive teeth?

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Muesli, Crisp Packets And Bottles – Unexpected Ways To Break Or Chip A Tooth

Sometimes, even the most innocent things can cause damage to our teeth

Dentist doing examinationThere are many things that can cause a tooth to crack or break. Some of these are quite obvious, such as when we have a fall that impacts our teeth or receive a blow to the face. Long term neglect of our teeth can also leave them weakened and more susceptible to damage from much less significant contact than these more dramatic events. Whatever way a tooth breaks though, it is not good news.

Although we can’t always avoid collisions and falls, unless of course it was due to having too much to drink, there are still people who carry out everyday tasks with their teeth that they are not designed for. There are also those that are unfortunate enough to find their teeth coming into contact with something unexpectedly hard in whatever they are eating.

Today, we are going to take a look at three examples of this which we have seen at the Cygnet Dental Practice.

Bottle opening

There are cheap items called ‘bottle openers’ available in the shops, and logic would make you think that it is obvious that this is the best way to open any bottle, but yet, we still occasionally see people who have attempted to open a bottle with their teeth. This is an incredibly foolish thing to do. Even if you can’t find the bottle opener, you should never do this. The chances of breaking or cracking a tooth are very high and there is also a significant risk of facial lacerations if the bottle slips or the glass breaks. Unfortunately, some people do this to ‘impress’ others, often regretting it badly afterwards.

Muesli and stone ground bread

These are good examples of foods that you wouldn’t expect to be harmful to your teeth, yet can sometimes throw up a few surprises. Whilst these products contain mostly cereal, with added fruit or nuts, it isn’t too uncommon to find stray pieces of nutshell or even a tiny piece of stone in them. As we grind the food with our teeth, if we come into contact with these unexpectedly, it can cause a tooth to break or chip, sometimes in a quite painful manner. Although this is relatively rare, it does happen and our Wickford patients will need to weigh up the potential health benefits of these products against the small, but real, chance that it could cause chipping or breaking of a tooth.

Crisp (and other) packets

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What Does Your Niggling Toothache Mean?

Dental pain can be severe or mild but shouldn’t be ignored. Our Wickford team takes a look at the possible causes

Teeth painIt is likely that most of us will have had some degree of pain caused by a toothache at some time in our lives. If you have a severe toothache, it is unlikely that you will forget it in a hurry. Despite the small area that it affects, a painful toothache can take over our lives, making it almost impossible to function beyond the essentials.

Naturally, when this level of pain is felt, most people will contact Cygnet Dental Practice to make an appointment as soon as possible. Where the toothache is less severe though, some may delay doing this.

Perhaps there is something inherent in human nature that makes us believe that things will change without intervention. Whilst this can be true of some minor medical issues, as we allow some viruses to run their course and let our bodies fight it off for example, this is not true when it comes to most of the causes of tooth pain. There are rare occasions where a piece of grain or similar becomes wedged between the tooth and gum which may cause discomfort which then goes as it gets dislodged, but this is unlikely to be the case the vast majority of the time.

What to do about a minor toothache

If you are experiencing a minor ‘niggle’ or a mild throbbing sensation in a tooth, but one that is causing no more than a little inconvenience, you might be tempted to leave it, intending to mention it to the dentist at your next routine appointment. Unless this is very close, this is an unwise approach. In most cases, a toothache will be caused by tooth decay, a problem that will become progressively worse as time passes. Whilst there may be situations where it is acceptable to put off seeking treatment, such as coming towards the end of a holiday abroad when you might wish to see your own dentist on your return, you should always contact our Wickford dentist for advice. In most cases, we will be able to arrange a prompt appointment to have the tooth examined and any treatment carried out.

Possible causes of toothache

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Put A Spring In Your Step With A Brighter Whiter Smile!

Looking forward to the sunnier weather? Why not brighten your smile too….

Whiter teethSome of us probably feel like we spend too much time these days holding our breath and hoping that things get better very soon.

After two years of Covid, it still seems to not have gone away and, of course, there is the tragedy in Ukraine which everyone is willing to end as soon as possible. It can seem like a difficult time for us at the moment but within these difficulties, people have been looking for ways to bring a little light into their own, and others lives.

Our own mental health is important and it is often the little things that can help us through difficult times. Whilst some have discovered new hobbies, others have focussed on themselves, assessing where they want to be in the future, sometimes changing jobs and others, changing things about themselves.

A Spring Clean

Now it is officially spring, we might start to tentatively feel a little more optimistic and start to look forward to being outdoors more and mixing with others in social situations. As part of the focus on ourselves, some will have bought new clothes or had manicures etc, so that they look their best for the coming months. At the Cygnet Dental Practice in Wickford, we feel that we also have a role to play in how people see themselves. Cosmetic dentistry can really change lives and one of the most popular of these is the teeth whitening procedure.

Benefits of whiter teeth

The most noticeable benefit of having whiter and more attractive teeth is that they simply look great. Gone is the dull and uninspiring smile that you used to have; replaced by a bright and white one that is sure to be noticed by those around you. Looking good is important from an aesthetic point of view but it is also often the ‘little’ things in life, like an improvement in the appearance of your teeth, that can also make you feel more confident about yourself.

This should not be underestimated, especially as so many are suffering with mental health issues right now. Feeling good about yourself not only helps to avoid this but also means that others tend to respond to us better. It is often said that people make decisions about us within the first few minutes of meeting us. It is also said that one of the first things that people notice is our smile. A warm, bright friendly smile, on meeting someone for the first time, is a sure way to get off to a good start. Who knows, this could be a person who changes your life.

Two types of discolouration

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Periodontal Problems And Their Impact On Our Lives

How we can improve our gum health care with just a little additional effort

root canal treatment the stepsLike many medical issues, a lot of dental problems could have been prevented by taking better care of ourselves. This isn’t always easy and some health issues can arise simply because of the type of work that we can do and situations that we find ourselves in. Some things may be largely out of our control but there is still a lot that we can do to help ourselves. This applies especially to dental care as what we eat and how we clean our teeth and gums is something that we can usually control as long as we remember to do so during our daily life.

Life these days can be busy and everything seems to be rushed. Unfortunately, for many people, this includes the way that they clean their teeth. A quick brush before bedtime and in the morning may freshen our mouths but is likely to be insufficient to keep our teeth and gums healthy. Our gums, in particular, are likely to suffer from this type of brushing and just a little more focus when we brush our teeth can make a big difference.

Brushing techniques

In addition to the ‘brush for two minutes’ guidelines, there are two simple things that can be done to make this part of our oral health regime much more effective. The first is to make sure that you have the right tools for the job. Take a look at your toothbrush. We would imagine that quite a few of you will be looking at a toothbrush that looks pretty worn out. As the bristles of a toothbrush become worn and softened, they are much less effective at removing food and bacteria. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three months (or the head of an electric toothbrush).

Secondly, when you brush your teeth, don’t ‘flat brush’ them but make sure that you turn the bristles so that they reach beneath the gum line as well. This is an area where a lot of food particles and bacteria collect and neglecting it is likely to lead to decay and gum disease. It really isn’t hard to do and is just a case of getting into the habit to do this each time we brush.

Finally, and something we have discussed before; make sure to use dental floss to clean in the areas between the teeth. If you haven’t done this before, we think you will be surprised at how much debris this removes. You might find it a little tricky initially, but a little practice will find you doing this easily and routinely. If you do need help, there are numerous videos available online or you can ask the dental hygienist at our Wickford dental clinic to show you how to do this correctly.

Further protection

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Tooth Loss – Prevention And Replacement

How to reduce the chances of losing a tooth and what to do when it does happen

dental implant next to natural toothThe one thing we all dread will happen is that we will lose a tooth, especially if this is a visible one that will be noticeable when we smile or speak to others. Although there can be no guarantee against tooth loss as this can happen because of an accident, there is a lot that we can do to prevent it by making sure that we look after our teeth and gums well.

The Cygnet Dental Practice believes strongly in preventative dental care and, in addition to brushing and flossing on a daily basis, we believe that our Wickford patients should see both a dentist and a hygienist on a regular six monthly basis at least.

In today’s blog, we will remind patients how to keep their teeth for as long as possible and also, how we can help you if you do lose a tooth or a number of teeth.

Good oral care at home

Looking after your teeth involves a degree of taking responsibility ourselves. We all know that drinking too many high sugar drinks and eating too much sugary foods, such as sweets, is bad for our teeth and we would do well to cut down on those. We should also make sure that we brush our teeth twice a day, ensuring that our brush is still in good condition. We should also start to use floss for interdental cleaning, if we don’t already. It is important that we don’t neglect our gums when we clean too. Gum disease is responsible for a lot of tooth loss; a fact that may come as a surprise to some patients.

Professional care

Everyone should see a dentist every six months. This is important for detecting any problems at a relatively early stage and treating them appropriately. A small amount of decay that could have been restored with a small filling could lead to much more significant damage if left to advance. This could even cause a tooth to weaken and break beyond the point where it is possible to restore it. The same applies with seeing a hygienist. Most people should visit our Wickford hygienist every six months, and more often if you are at a higher risk of gum disease; being diabetic for example. This will enable your teeth to be professionally and thoroughly cleaned, reducing the risk of gum disease, and especially advanced gum disease which can lead to the loss of teeth.

Prosthodontics

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Minor Tooth Misalignment? See How Fast-Acting Braces Can Help!

A smile can be spoiled by quite small problems; fortunately there are some rapid solutions

Teeth braces in actionCrooked teeth are quite a widespread problem. They can cause all sorts of issues, from an incorrect bite that can lead to premature damage to teeth that overlap, creating a problem when cleaning and often leading to tooth decay.

For most people though, the most obvious issue with a crooked tooth is that, if it is one of the front teeth, it can really ruin what would otherwise be an attractive smile.

Understandably, people who are keen to have an attractive smile are reluctant to have dental braces, perhaps thinking of them in terms of ‘old school’ braces. These were traditionally made from a dark coloured metal and were highly visible. For these patients, it is often a case of finding the right solution that will straighten the affected tooth but in a less visible manner, and of course, as quickly as possible.

Cosmetic braces

‘Cosmetic braces’ is a general term for orthodontic devices that are designed for minor corrections where teeth have become crooked, or overlapping, usually at the front of the mouth. These teeth, sometimes known as the ‘social six’ due to their high visibility when we smile, are single rooted and therefore usually more easily corrected than the rear teeth which are double rooted. At the Cygnet Dental Practice in Wickford, we offer solutions to both of these problems, with the Invisalign system being most widely used for more significant corrections and the Six Month Smiles system for more cosmetic ones.

So, how do they do this? Unlike Invisalign which uses transparent trays that fit over your teeth, the Six Month Smiles system does use the more traditional method of wires and brackets. The advantage of this system for our patients is that the materials used are both less bulky and also made from a tooth coloured material. It is also a fast acting system and, although the name would indicate that the treatment takes six months, in itself quite fast for a teeth straightening treatment, it can in fact take much less time than that. The length of the treatment will depend on your situation and the dentist should be able to give you an indication of the treatment length during your consultation before the braces are fitted.

This treatment is designed to be as comfortable as possible, and in addition to their professional fitting by our dentist, it is worth noting that the Six Month Smiles system uses the minimum of pressure possible, making them more comfortable than some other types of orthodontics. It is important that teeth are not ‘forced’ into position too quickly by applying too much force as this could damage both the tooth and underlying bone structure.

How do I get this treatment?

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