EAST GRINSTEAD SURGERY
Your smile is unique. It tells the world about you…fosters communication and goodwill…indicates vitality, happiness and general well being. Throughout history, the presence of a smile has been of great confidence, success and friendship. Improve your personal and professional relationships…make a positive, powerful and memorable statement to those you meet…with a bright beautiful and spontaneous smile.
The following questions are the most commonly asked by our patients:
Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and reacts with food, turning sugar into acid, which then dissolves the enamel on your teeth. After the teeth are attacked in this way many times the tooth enamel breaks down forming a hole or cavity, this is tooth decay.
Plaque can also harden into something called ‘tartar’ and forms near the gum line, releasing poisons causing the gums to become irritated and inflamed. The gums begin to pull away from the teeth and the gaps become infected. If gum disease is not treated promptly, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed and healthy teeth may be lost.
Dental decay is usually noticed when you have pain when eating sweets, foods and drinks. Extreme temperature change (icy or very hot drinks) can often warn of a defective filling or early decay. X-Rays can also be used to find early decay.
Gum disease is recognised by red and swollen gums that bleed on gentle touching or when brushing. Often gum disease involves no pain until later stages when irreversible damage has been done. Your dentist will check your gums at every six monthly review so that any gum problems can be detected at an early stage.
It is common for your gums to bleed for the first week of flossing, however, should this continue to happen when you brush you should make an appointment to see your dentist. Many people brush more gently when they notice bleeding but it is important that you continue to clean regularly and firmly, so visit your dentist to resolve the problem.
A simple routine of brushing and cleaning between the teeth to remove plaque, good eating habits and regular dental check-ups can help prevent most dental problems. Although most people brush regularly, many don’t clean between their teeth and some people don’t have dental check-ups. A few small changes in your daily routine can make a big difference in the long run.
Prevention is always better than cure. If you visit your dentist regularly, you will need less treatment in the long-term as your dentist will be able to recognise symptoms and treat you for them sooner.
No! All dental disease is preventable, with a good dental health care regime, which includes regular visits to the dentist.
There’s an easy test for bad breathe – take 18 inches of floss and use it between your back teeth. When you have done this look at the floss and it will usually have some yellowish plaque on it. One sniff of the floss will tell you if you have bad breath.
It’s the bacteria left in your mouth for over 24 hours and the volatile sulphur compounds produced by these bacteria that cause bad breath. Most common causes are eating spicy foods and garlic but the effects of these are usually temporary. Smoking will give you stale breath and has a drying effect, allowing more debris and bacteria to stay in the mouth. A dry mouth (or xerostoma) can also be a problem for people as they get older and for people on certain medicines and tablets.
Your mouth will be assessed to measure the plaque found in your mouth and the number of areas that are bleeding. The areas that trap bacteria (stagnation areas) will be pointed out to you and then your dentist or hygienist will carefully clean around every tooth, removing the bacteria and deposits. Your hygienist will also be happy to recommend fresh breath toothpaste, mouthwashes and toothbrushes.