Below are a list of dental concerns you may have, all of which are treatable for you by the team at ADHPL.

"Toothache" usually refers to pain around the teeth or jaws. In most instances, toothaches are caused by tooth or jaw problems, such as a dental cavity, a cracked tooth, an exposed tooth root, gum disease, disease of the jaw joint (temporo- mandibular joint), or spasms of the muscles used for chewing. The severity of a toothache can range from chronic and mild to sharp and excruciating. The pain may be aggravated by chewing or by cold or heat. A thorough oral examination, which includes dental X-rays, can help determine the cause, whether the toothache is coming from a tooth or jaw problem.

Sometimes, a toothache may be caused by a problem not originating from a tooth or the jaw. Pain around the teeth and the jaws can be symptoms of diseases of the heart (such as angina or heart attack), ears (such as inner or external ear infections), and sinuses (air passages of the cheek bones). For example, the pain of angina (inadequate supply of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle because of narrowing of the arteries to the heart) is usually located in the chest or the arm. However, in some patients with angina, a toothache or jaw pain are the only symptoms of their heart problem. Infections and diseases of the ears and sinuses can also cause pain around the teeth and jaws. Therefore, evaluations by both dentists and doctors are sometimes necessary to diagnose medical illnesses causing "toothache."

A sharp pain experienced after drinking a hot or cold drink can indicate the presence of a sensitive tooth. A simple test to see if your teeth are sensitive is to run your fingernail gently around where the teeth meet the gum. A sensitive tooth may respond with a short, sharp pain.

Sometimes teeth become sensitive after your dentist or dental hygienist has scaled them, or scraped off the layers of tartar. Tartar or calculus hardened and calcified plaque, which appears as a light brown deposit and usually forms where the teeth meet the gum. It is behind the lower front teeth and the cheek side of upper molars that tend to accumulate the most tartar. Removing this layer can mean the teeth may be sensitive to cold air. Thorough, gentle brushing and flossing to ensure plaque removal will help to improve this sensitivity.

A dental injury is commonly caused by trauma or damage to the face or mouth which causes damage to your teeth and the surrounding area. Teeth being chipped is amongst the most common types of dental injury. Whilst most teeth which have been chipped can be fixed with a simple filling there are some cases where this isn't possible. Your teeth are made up of a core of nerves and blood vessels in what is known as the pulp. If your tooth injury is serious the pulp may be damaged and blood vessels can begin to die. Some exposures of the pulp are treatable by fillings but in many cases root canal treatment is required to remove any damaged nerves or blood vessels from your tooth.

Due to advances in dental care, people are keeping their teeth longer. The downside to this is that your teeth are exposed to certain habits like clenching, grinding or chewing on hard objects and over time this can contribute to the formation of cracks in your teeth. The symptoms of cracked teeth can vary greatly but many patients experience pain when chewing or sensitivity to hot and cold. For many patients with cracked teeth the pain can be erratic which can cause difficulty in finding which tooth is the problem.

The Structure of your tooth

Your tooth is made up of layers. The outer layer is called the enamel and the hard inner layer is known as dentin. The dentin surrounds the soft tissue known as the pulp which contains nerves, blood vessels and cells. If your teeth become cracked chewing may cause movement which irritates the pulp. Due to the pressure which is released as you bite the crack can close quickly which can often cause a sharp pain. If the irritation of the pulp continues, it may become so damaged that it will be unable to recover. This can cause several problems and the pain may go from sporadic to constant very quickly. Excessive cracking may prompt an infection of the pulp tissue and this can easily spread to the nearby bone and gum tissue.


Treatment

There's a number of different kinds of cracked tooth. Which treatment option will be used largely depends on what type of crack you have, where it's located and the severity of the crack.


Craze Lines - These are very small cracks which only affect the enamel. This type of crack is very common in adults but cause no pain and are very shallow.
Fractured Cusp - The cusp is the pointed section of the chewing surface and if it weakens a fracture may occur. The cusp may break off of its own accord or need removing by your dentist. After removal the pain usually vanishes and a damaged cusp is unlikely to cause any harm to the pulp. It's normal to have a replacement crown issued by your dentist.

Cracked tooth - This sort of crack reaches from the outer surface of your tooth right down to the root. This type of crack often causes damage to the pulp due to its location and root canal treatment is often called for. Following this your dentist will then use a crown to restore your tooth and protect it. In some cases the crack can reach below your gingival tissue line which may prompt an extraction.

Split Tooth - Split teeth occur if a cracked tooth is left untreated. Dentists aren't able to save a split tooth and the severity of the crack will indicate whether or not any part of the tooth can be saved. If some of the tooth can be salvaged your dentist will usually opt for a crown or similar restoration.

Vertical root fracture - This type of cracks begin in the root of the tooth and reach out to the outer layers. Vertical root fractures often go unnoticed as they display minimal symptoms and usually aren't discovered until the surrounding bone or tissues become infected. Depending on the severity of the crack, treatment may involve extracting the tooth or saving a part of the tooth through removing the cracked root.


Prevention
There's a number of steps you can take to decrease the risk of cracking your teeth. It's important to avoid chewing on hard objects like ice or pens. Similarly if you clench or grind your teeth you should consult your dentist as this can often lead to cracks. To protect your teeth against trauma, wear a mouthguard or sports mask when playing contact sports.

Dental cleanings involve removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances which help strengthen and protect the teeth. While this is a good thing, it also means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on the teeth. This chalky substance will eventually build up over time, like limescale in a pipe or kettle. Usually it is tooth coloured and can easily be mistaken as part of the teeth, but it also can vary from brown to black in colour.

If the scale, or calculus (tartar, as dentists like to call it) is allowed to accumulate on the teeth it will unfortunately provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive next to the gums. The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care.

The loss of a single tooth may trigger adverse changes in your dentition ultimately affecting your dental health, ability to chew comfortably your personal appearance. Your teeth support and rely on each other. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can shift out of their normal position. Teeth adjacent to the space or from the opposite jaw will often drift or tilt. These teeth are often more susceptible to decay and gum disease and they are more difficult to clean properly. All of this shifting, drifting and wear will lead to changes in the bite and potentially, further tooth loss. The remaining dentition, with fewer teeth, is more susceptible to excessive functional stresses and tooth wear. Furthermore, the jawbone tends to atrophy or, 'shrink', as a result of tooth loss. Ultimately, your ability to chew comfortably and your appearance may be affected.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most beneficial ways to reduce staining and discoloration in teeth. If you are a smoker, or a coffee, tea, or soda pop drinker, than altering your intake or quiting all together will help lessen tooth discoloration and staining. Monitor your fluoride intake and make any necessary adjustments. For things we have no control over, such as aging, genetics, trauma, medications, and health treatments, there are many solutions available to combat the effects of these conditions. Consult with your dentist and hygienist, especially before using any over the counter whitening or bleaching products, to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

We all brush our teeth every day. The goal of brushing is to remove food particles from around the teeth to render them clean and our breath feeling fresh. Food usually collects in the form of “plaque”, which is that whitish material that likes to hang around the gumline. So when you take your toothbrush, you are carrying it around the teeth, but often also against the gumline and maybe a little bit higher onto the gums themselves. So you brush and you brush and you brush and you’re done, great.

However, if you put too much force on the toothbrush as you go around, your gums don’t like it (remember the skin example). Keeping in mind that the gums are very fragile and weak, they really can’t stand up to this excessive force for too long. What happens over time is that the gums will actually recede- (in protest?) and you will have given yourself a receded gumline.

First and foremost is to stop the bad brushing habit. Keep brushing, but do so with a soft toothbrush, a light touch and with an up and down motion against the teeth to minimize destruction. It doesn’t matter if the toothbrush is manual or electric, both types can cause the same problem.Since the gum doesn’t grow back, as long as the patient is comfortable, without sensitivity or deep notches, it can be left like that. Some patients with high esthetic requirements opt to have plastic surgery on the gums to reposition the gums back into place or to cut out gum from another part of the mouth in order to cover up the teeth where the gumline has receded.Information contained is generalized. Sensitivity of any kind may be an indicator of more a serious dental and/or overall health condition. This advice is not intended to be self-diagnostic nor may it be relevant to your particular condition and cannot be used to replace a dental examination.

Dental bleaching, also known as tooth whitening, is a common procedure in general dentistry but most especially in the field of cosmetic dentistry. A child's deciduous teeth are generally whiter than the adult teeth that follow. As a person ages the adult teeth often become darker due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth, as the enamel becomes less porous. Teeth can also become stained by bacterial pigments, foodstuffs and tobacco. Certain antibiotic medications (like tetracycline) can also lead to teeth stains or a reduction in the brilliance of the enamel.

There are many methods to whiten teeth: bleaching strips, bleaching pen, bleaching gel, laser bleaching, and natural bleaching. Traditionally, at-home whitening is done with bleaching gel which is applied to the teeth using thin guard trays. At-home whitening can also be done by applying small strips that go over the front teeth. Oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide are used to lighten the shade of the tooth. The oxidizing agent penetrates the porosities in the rod-like crystal structure of enamel and oxidizes interprismatic stain deposits; over a period of time, the dentin layer, lying underneath the enamel, is also bleached. Power bleaching uses light energy to accelerate the process of bleaching in a dental surgery. The effects of bleaching can last for several months, but may vary depending on the lifestyle of the patient. Factors which will decrease whitening include smoking and the ingestion of dark colored liquids like coffee, tea and red wine.

Internal staining of dentine can discolor the teeth from inside out. Internal bleaching can remedy this. If heavy staining or tetracycline damage is present on a patient's teeth, and whitening is ineffective, there are other methods of whitening teeth. Bonding, when a thin coating of composite material is applied to the front of a person's teeth and then cured with a blue light can be performed to mask the staining. A veneer can also mask tooth discoloration.

  • Creates a brighter and whiter smile
  • Can improve appearance and boost confidence
  • Can be done at any age
  • Is safe and effective
  • Offers long lasting benefits

A dental abscess is a collection of pus (a thick fluid which contains dead tissue, white blood cells and bacteria) which forms around the teeth or gums due to a bacterial infection. Bacteria occurs in plaque, a byproduct of saliva, bacteria in the mouth and food. This can damage your gums and teeth and may eventually spread and infect the soft tissues to form an abscess. There's two main kinds of abscess; the Periapical and the Periodontal abscess. If left untreated abscesses can 'burst' leading to discharges of pus and several other complications including; infections of the surrounding bone, spread of infection to the sinus, dental cysts and other serious infections.


Periapical Abscess

This kind of abscess begins in the centre of the tooth in an area known as the dental pulp. This is by far the most common type of abscess and usually occurs due to a complication of tooth decay. Almost everyone experiences some form of dental decay and this can damage and erode the outer layers of the tooth known as the enamel and dentin. The damaged tooth allows bacteria to access the inner tooth and cause an infection. A pulp infection can often progress to form a fully blown abscess but this may also occur if the nerve of the tooth 'dies' whether due to injury or because of a medical issue, the dead nerve tissue has a greater tendency to become infected.


Periodontal Abscess

This kind of abscess begins life in the support structures of the teeth in areas like the periodontium, located between the gums and teeth. In the vast majority of cases periodontal abscess develop due to a complication of gum disease or any infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth. In many cases of gum disease, the gum can become separated from the tooth causing nooks and crannies where bacteria can collect and gather to form an abscess. Periodontal abscesses can also form as a side effect of injury to the gums or surrounding structures. They are also known as 'gum boils' due to the fact they sometimes cause swelling to develop.

Periapical Abscess Symptoms
The most common symptom associated with abscesses is toothache, which can quickly worsen, this can be severe and may accompany swelling in the gums. Swelling of the face may also occur with the kin directly above an abscess becoming inflamed. Abscesses can loosen teeth and may cause excessive sensitivity. Medical issues can also occur due to abscesses such as spasms in the jaw muscles and a fever, you may also experience difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Treatment
If you think you have an abscess it's important to contact your dentist as soon as you can. The initial treatment is to drain the pus which usually provides relief for several symptoms. This is usually performed by drilling a small hole in the affected tooth so the pus can escape or by lancing the abscess. It's not uncommon to be prescribed antibiotics for a few days following draining in order to clear any remaining infections but for many cases draining is sufficient. If, for any reason you can't get to see a dentist you may be prescribed antibiotics to help prevent the spreading of the abscess by a doctor. It's important to note that this won't drain the pus or cure the abscess and you will still need to see a dentist. Until you can get treatment you may need painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol to deal with any discomfort. If the pain becomes excessive you may need stronger painkillers to be prescribed by a doctor. In addition to this different types of abscess may require different treatments. For instance, in the case of a periapical abscess the treatment is a normal root canal operation. This treatment is used in order to save and restore the inner part of the tooth which has been damaged. Your dentist will drill a tiny hole into the tooth, which will allow any pus to escape before removing any dead tissue and inserting a root filling. This will help to fill the space and protect against any more infection. If this treatment is unsuccessful and the infection carries on then your dentist may be required to extract the offending tooth. For periodontal abscesses your dentist firstly cleans the 'pocket' in which the abscess has formed before smoothing out the root surfaces of your tooth which should prompt the gum to close back onto the tooth. This will help protect against any future infections, however if more infections do occur it may be necessary to undergo oral surgery to reshape the affected gum tissue.

The prevention
It's possible to protect against the formation of dental abscesses by maintaining a decent level of oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing along with maintaining a healthy diet with a minimum of sugary food and drinks. Similarly if you smoke then quitting will greatly improve your oral hygiene. It's also important to have regular dental check ups to make sure everything is normal.

Bruxism is the medical term for the grinding or clenching of teeth. Whilst most people tend to grind or clench their teeth occasionally, this doesn't usually cause any problems. However when bruxism occurs on a regular basis this can lead to damaged teeth and a range of other oral health issues. People who grind or clench are known as bruxers and in addition to grinding their teeth, many bruxers also have a tendancy to chew the inside of their cheek, bite their fingernails and ends of pencils. Many sufferers don't realise they have bruxism, as the problem behaviours usually occur in their sleep, and this can lead to the problem going undiagnosed. Bruxism can cause several problems with dental health such as sensitive teeth caused by clenching often, jaw pain, headaches and tense muscles. It's thought that around one in three people suffer from bruxism however there is a higher rate of prevalence in women.

Signs Of Bruxism

Due to the fact that most people grind and cleanch while asleep it can be difficult to tell if you have bruxism. Fortunately, there's a number of tell tale signs which can indicate if a person is suffering from bruxism. For instance, their teeth may appear worn down and their tips may look flat. Some sufferers teeth become so worn that the enamel comes off which exposes the inside of the tooth which can cause excessive sensitivity. Many sufferers report pain in their jaw which can produce popping and clicking noises. Another key indicator of bruxism can be indentation on the tongue which result from excessive clenching. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms or suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night then it's important to talk to your dentist.

What can I do about it?

It's always important to have regular check ups with your dentist even if you seem problem-free. As your dentist checks your teeth they should be able to spot the physical signs of bruxism early. Depending on how severe the signs are they may choose to observe the condition before recommending and commencing treatment. If your dentist decides treatment is the right option then you'll usually be fitted with a special mouth guard which will protect your teeth from grinding whilst you sleep. You may also be prescribed therapy which will help you change your behaviours by learning how to properly rest your tongue and teeth properly. Stress can often be a cause of bruxism so if you're worried then ask your doctor or dentist about treatments to help reduce your stress levels. Popular treatments include counseling, regular exercise and muscle relaxants.

There's a number of tips which can help you avoid teeth grinding. For example certain foods have been shown to increase instances of teeth grinding so avoid drinks which contain caffeine like coffee or cola. Similarly research has shown that grinding behaviours tend to increase after consuming alcohol. It's important that you don't chew on stationary or anything else that isn't food. Chewing gum can be a major contributor to bruxism as it conditions your jaw muscles and they become more used to clenching. You can help train yourself out of clenching or grinding behaviour by simply placing your tongue between your teeth any time you notice a clench. This type of conditioning can help train the muscles in your jaw to relax.

Bruxism is quite common in children especially when their first baby teeth emerge and when their permanent teeth appear. Although the majority of children tend to lose this habit after the sets have come in fully, some children carry on grinding well into later life. Although the exact causes of bruxism in children are unknown, research suggests that in many cases it can be due to a problem with improperly aligned teeth or problems with contact between upper and lower teeth. You can help prevent bruxism in your child by following a few key steps. Firstly make sure to include plenty of water in your child's diet as dehydration can often be linked to grinding behaviours. It's also important to decrease your child's stress levels, particularly before they go to bed. You can also perform massage or stretching exercises to relax the surrounding muscles but most importantly ask your dentist to monitor the condition if your child has bruxism.

Inlays and Onlays are types of dental fillings also sometimes called indirect restorations. Inlays and onlays have been in use much longer than modern types of filling and in many cases can be used more effectively to treat severe tooth decay than their modern counterparts.

Onlay - An onlay is usually recommended when the outside of your tooth has decayed or been damaged to such an extent that a complete or partial filling will be required to restore the shape of the tooth. Onlays fit around the outside of the tooth.

Inlay - This type of filling is used when the material which will make up the filling will need to be put mostly inside of your tooth. are commonly used to fill holes which have occured due to injury or decay and help to strengthen the tooth structure.

Uses

Traditionally, onlays and inlays were composed of gold due to its sterile nature and the fact it can be easily worked by your dentist. Gold was also sturdy enough to survive the wear and tear of chewing. Due to rapid innovations in dental technoloy, this type of filling is now usually made up from a composite resin or porcelain, however gold is still often used. Due to the cost of the materials involved, onlays and inlays are usually quite a bit more expensive than traditional fillings. Despite the high cost, inlays and onlays have several benefits over their conventional counterparts. They often have a longer life than traditional fillings and due to their custom design there's less chances of cracks and decay occuring.

A root canal is by far the most common sort of procedure performed by endodontists, who are specialists in this field of dentistry. The Root canal in your mouth are hollow channels which reach right from the bottom of the tooth's roots all the way up to the central chamber of the tooth.

Your dentist or a specialist endodontist may be able to spot symptoms of a problem with your root canal while performing an oral examination so it's always important to have regular check ups. The two key symptoms which can often indicate a problem with the root canal is a deep cavity accompanied by tooth pain. Your dentist/endodontist will often take X-rays to determine the extent of the damage and find out its vicinity to the nerve located within the pulp chamber. In many cases when a cavity is located near the pulp, the pulp has already become infected and it'll be necessary to perform a root canal. A root canal treatment will help to eradicate the pain and remove all traces of infected tissue. If left untreated, root canal problems can often cause patients to lose the tooth.

The Procedure

The root canal is usually performed under local anesthetics, meaning you will be unconscious throughout. In rare cases if the patient is extremely anxious it may be done under sedation or a general anesthetic. The first stage of the treatment is to thoroughly clean the damaged parts of your tooth. Once your dentist has exposed the pulp chamber, more anesthetic may be applied directly onto the tooth's nerve to prevent any more discomfort and pain. The next stage is to remove the affected tissue located in the pulp chamber and eliminate any nerve tissue which remains in the root canals. Once everything has been cleaned and all the affected tissue is gone your root canal will be widened slightly and your pulp chamber straightened which will help prepare it to be filled. The inside of the tooth will then be thoroughly disinfected before being filled with the special material, gutta-percha. This rubber-like material will fill the tooth and cotton is pushed tightly into the pulp chamber.

A temporary filling will then be used to close over the opening, this will be removed in your next visit. During your proceeding visit your dentist will then take the temporary filling away and fills up the pulp chamber. Your tooth will then be repaired with a crown or filling and your dentist will make some checks for any potential complications like infections.

Aftercare
Although root canals have a reputation as a painful procedure, eliminating the pulp tissue and the nerve of the affected tooth will actually eliminate the pain. Once the procedure is complete the tooth will be strong and painless. Your affected tooth should be treated just the same as your natural teeth and so it's important to maintain a decent level of oral hygiene to care for it. Most dentists will recommend cleaning your teeth at least twice a day and cutting sugary foods and drinks to a minimum.

Wisdom teeth usually make their first appearance in young adults between the ages of 15 to 25. Because most mouths are too small for these four additional molars, an extraction procedure, sometimes immediately after they surface, is often necessary.
The following symptoms may indicate that the wisdom teeth have erupted and surfaced, and should be removed before they become impacted -- meaning, the teeth have surfaced and have no room in the mouth to grow. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

    Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Infection in the mouth
  • Facial swelling
  • Swelling of the gumline in the back of the mouth

  • Most oral health specialists will recommend an immediate removal of the wisdom teeth, as early removal will help to eliminate problems, such as an impacted tooth that destroys the second molar. According to the Australian Dental Association, third molar impaction is the most prevalent medical developmental disorder.

Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as one's natural teeth, today's dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever.

There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. With full dentures, a flesh-colored acrylic base fits over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (the roof of your mouth), while that of the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue.A partial denture rests on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes crowns are placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges.

Dental implants are long-term replacements that your oral and maxillofacial surgeon surgically places in the jawbone. Composed of titanium metal that "fuses" with the jawbone through a process called "osseointegration," dental implants never slip or make embarrassing noises that advertise the fact that you have "false teeth," and never decay like teeth anchoring fixed bridges. Because dental implants fuse with the jawbone, bone loss is generally not a problem.

Having a bridge is like having three crowns. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared for crowns, an impression is made, and the case is sent to a dental laboratory. The laboratory then makes the crowns and fastens a false tooth between the two crowns - this is a bridge.

When a drug, usually of the anti-anxiety variety, is administered into the blood system during dental treatment, this is referred to as Intravenous Conscious Sedation (aka "IV sedation"). Conscious sedation is sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as "twilight sleep" or "sleep dentistry".

"Intravenous" means that the drug is put into a vein. An extremely thin needle is put into a vein close to the surface of the skin in either the arm or the back of your hand. This needle is wrapped up with a soft plastic tube. The needle makes the entry into the vein, then is slid out leaving the soft plastic tube in place. The drugs are put in through that tube (which is correctly referred to as an "indwelling catheter", but more commonly known by the tradename of Venflon). The tube stays in place throughout the procedure.

Pericoronitis is a dental condition where the gum tissues which surrounds your molar teeth develops an infection and swells. In most cases Pericoronitis usually affects wisdom teeth, the final set of molars which the majority of people develop in the early twenties or late teens. Many people have problems with the alignment of wisdom teeth and several problems can develop due to this misalignment. In some cases your wisdom teeth can sometimes become trapped with in the jawbone or soft tissue or they may only break partially through, these are known as 'impacted' teeth.

What are the causes of Pericoronitis

Pericoronitis develops due to wisdom teeth not fully erupting into your mouth. This provides an opening for infection as it allows bacteria to enter your tooth. In some cases the condition can cause plaque or food debris to get caught under a gum flap where it can irritate the gum tissue and cause Pericoronitis. In the most severe cases the infection and swelling can spread beyond the mouth into the cheeks, neck and jaw. Most patients with experience several symptoms including; infection, pain, difficulty opening the mouth, a bad taste caused by pus leaking from the infected area and swelling of the lymph nodes.


Diagnosing and treating Pericoronitis

In order to diagnose you with Pericoronitis your dentist will need to examine your wisdom teeth to see how they are developing. If any partially erupted teeth are spotted then several X-rays may be taken over a period to check the alignment of the teeth. It's also typical for your dentist to check for any signs of a gum flap and examine you for any symptoms of infection or swelling.


If the pain and swelling haven't spread beyond the tooth, Pericoronitis can be easily treated by rinsing out the mouth with warm salt water. It's also important to ensure that your gum flap hasn't got any food trapped beneath it. If any swelling and pain has spread into the cheek or jaw then it's vital that you see your dentist as soon as possible. In cases like this it's usual to be prescribed antibiotics to help manage the infection. Any pain can usually be managed by over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin but in severe cases your dentist may prescribe you some stronger pain medication. In the most severe cases of Pericoronitis or in cases where the condition is recurring, it may be necessary for you to undergo oral surgery to have the offending tooth or gum flap removed.

Dental fluorosis is a medical condition which is caused by a child ingesting too much fluoride during the period when their teeth are developing. This key period is between the ages of 1 and 4 years old when permanent teeth form beneath the baby teeth. Children over the age of 8 being at virtually no risk of dental flurosis at all.

The Symptoms

If a child has too much fluoride in their diet as their teeth are developing this can bring about fluorisis which is characterised by discoloured spots of yellow or brown appearing on tooth enamel. Depending on the severity of the fluorosis, this can vary from being only minor colour changes to severe changes in the surface of the enamel.

Discolourations may appear as streaks or spots and in more severe case your teeth may develop pits and grey or black spots may develop. After the development period is over and adult teeth are present in the mouth, dental fluorosis no longer develops. Fluorosis is not a disease in itself, only a cosmetic condition and in some cases it may be so mild that only your dentist will notice it. The stains, spots or streaks left by fluorosis are permanent and can become darker as time goes on.

Diagnosing Fluorosis

Your dentist should be able to spot early signs of fluorosis developing during a regular dental check up and they may ask if your child has been given fluoride supplements, uses a fluoride toothpaste or drank fluoridated water recently. It's normal to be asked about other medical conditions or disabilities which could affect your child's teeth in order to rule them out.

Your dentist will examine your child's gums and teeth and X-rays may be taken to check for any other defects present in the teeth. As several other conditions can produce similar symptoms to fluorosis, such as developmental defects and craniofacial problems it's important that you have any discolouration looked at by your dentist.

Treatment

The majority of fluorosis cases aren't severe enough to warrant any treatment or alternatively, the signs of fluorosis may occur only on the back of the teeth where they won't be noticed. Serious cases may require the front teeth to be treated using teeth whitening or other cosmetic procedures. In the most severe cases, affected teeth can be covered with dental restorations such as veneers, crowns or bonding.

Prevention

If your child is under the age of six then put only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on their brush and make sure they spit rather than swallow following brushing. It's important to avoid toothpastes which may encourage swallowing and to keep products containing fluoride (such as mouthwashes) out of young children's reach.

Some food and drinks may contain fluoride, fruit juices and soft drinks for instance, may contain the same amount of fluoride as fluoridated water and some bottled water now contains added fluoride. It's important to limit the amount of these beverages young children should drink.

Full mouth reconstruction (also known as full mouth restoration) is a procedure in which all the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws are rebuilt simultaneously. Undergoing a full mouth reconstruction usually involves common dental treatments like bridges, crowns and veneers but in some cases specialists in areas such as orthodontics, gums (periodontists) and oral surgeons may also need to be consulted. There can be several causes for the extensive damage which warrants a full mouth reconstruction.

Teeth may be lost due to damage or decay, fractured or chipped teeth, excessively worn teeth due to grinding and conditions where your bite (occlusion) causes muscle pain, jaw pain and headaches. Similarly, teeth that have been severely eroded due to the acids contained in certain foods and drinks or due to acid erosion can all be replaced via a full mouth reconstruction.

The Procedure

Before undergoing full mouth reconstruction your dentist will give you a thorough oral examination to assess the extent of the problem and which treatment options will be used. The condition of your teeth will be examined to see what kinds of restorations will be used such as crowns, inlays, onlays, bridges or veneers.

Your dentist will pay careful attention to any decay or cavities, wear in the teeth and cracks along with any issues occurring with tooth movement or the root canal. Your gums will also be monitored, if they're not in good shape it's likely that you'll need to undergo scaling and root planing to protect against periodontal problems. Depending on the extent of the damage you may need bone grafts or grafts using soft tissue to help support your gums and jaw bone.

During the examination you'll also have your bite (occlusion) checked as having a stable bit is vital to your oral health. Restorations can cause changes in your bite and so this needs to be considered by your dentist in the planning stage. It's usual to have a few X-rays and photographs taken of your teeth along with an impression being taken in specialised dental putty.

There's a wide range of treatments which can be used so procedures differ greatly from case to case. The majority of full mouth reconstructions require multiple visits to the clinic and, depending on the extent of the damage, can take many months to complete. Some of the most common treatments involved include; Lengthening crowns to expose healthy tooth structure for potential restorations Periodontal care Orthognathic surgery Gum Countouring Reducing the natural tooth structure to make room for restorations Temporary restorations Permanent restorations Orthodontics Implants Soft tissue or bone grafts to support your teeth.

Dental occlusion is the way in which your upper and lower teeth come into contact with each other. Whether this is at rest or while your chewing, dental occlusion is all about how your teeth touch each other and whether their alignment is healthy or not. There's a number of different types of occlusion including; Static Occlusion - This refers to the alignment of the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is stationary and at rest. In order to measure your Static Occlusion, your mouth must be observed when its at rest. Centric Occlusion - This is the way in which your teeth fit together when your jaw is closed. Centric occlusion is all about the ways in which the teeth align as you bite down. The ideal centric occlusion has all your teeth properly aligned with no over or underbite and no crossbite.

Malocclussion - Malocclusion occurs when teeth aren't aligned properly and so don't fit together in the right way. This can cause over, under and crossbites which can cause a number of problems, both dental and medical.

Problems with Malocclusion

Malocclusion causes problems for your teeth and gums, it can make fillings, crowns and other restorations wear out and break quicker than normal. Malocclusion can also cause receding gums, sore teeth and Temporormandibular joint (TMJ) problems which may result in clicking, grinding and severe pain in the joint of the jaw.

Due to the unnecessary strain put on the muscles of the jaw, patients with malocclusion can develop fatigue in their muscles leading to sinus problems, neck and shoulder pain and headaches. Malocclusion can also result in occlusal trauma which causes pain, excessive wear and several problems with the movement of teeth including crowding.

Treatment

After your dentist diagnoses the right problem, a range of treatments can be used. The first stage is usually to help combat the pain involved before implementing treatment to correct the problem which can involve moving some of your teeth, orthodontics or dental restorations like crowns.


These solutions can also be used in the long term to help protect your teeth from grinding at night and other sorts of wearing. Occlusal equilibration may also be used where the tops of your teeth are re-shaped in order to alleviate pressure on the individual teeth. Other options include occlusal restoration where reshaping procedures involving crowns, dentures or bridges are used to alleviate the problems. Orthodontics are commonly used when the position of your teeth are the cause of your TMJ problems. Orthodontics can be used on just one or two teeth and modern braces are aesthetically discreet and so barely visible.

Halitosis is a condition where the sufferer is affected by consistent or periodically bad breath. In the vast majority of cases the cause of the condition is the millions of bacteria living in the mouth and on the tongue. Bacteria find the mouth an ideal breeding ground due to its moist, warm conditions. Whilst some types of bad breath are typical like 'morning breath' where your saliva levels have dropped while you slept and so odors aren't carried away efficiently, there's several other types of halitosis which can be chronic.

The Causes

Amongst the chief causes of halitosis is a lack of dental hygiene. When you don't brush your teeth or floss sufficiently this can cause food particles left inside your mouth to decay and produce the bad odors associated with halitosis. Similarly ingesting different substances can often be the cause of halitosis. Prime examples include cigarette smoke, garlic and coffee. Halitosis can also be caused by medical issues either localised to your mouth or generally occurring in the body. Infections in the gums or a dry mouth caused by a problem with your salivary gland, can both contribute to halitosis. Also conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, sinus problems and liver disease have all been shown to produce halitosis.

Symptoms

People suffering from halitosis often don't notice the associated smells as their sensory cells in the nose have become accustomed to the odor. The symptoms of halitosis vary greatly depending upon what the underlying cause of bad breath is. For example if a patient suffers from halitosis due to a lack of dental hygiene then it's usual to expect issues with plaque or gum problems. Similarly, if the cause is an infection in the mouth then patients may experience swollen gums, abcesses at the base of teeth and other types of sores which occur on the tongue. If your halitosis is caused by salivary gland problems then you may experience difficulty swalloing certain foods, problems speaking and possibly a burning sensation in your mouth.

As with the symptoms experienced, the length of time you experience halitosis for depends greatly on the underlying cause. For instance, if the halitosis is occurring due to a lack of dental hygiene then simple steps to ensure better dental care can have immediate effects. Similarly abscesses at the base of teeth and gum disease often respond very quickly to the right dental treatments. However if your halitosis is a symptom of an underlying medical issue then this can be a long-term problem which will need careful medical attention.

Diagnosing Halitosis

Depending on the cause of the halitosis your mouth will produce several unique kinds of smell. For instance, a urine-like smell may indicate problems with your kidneys whereas a 'fruity' sort of smell can often occur due to uncontrolled diabetes. It's typical for your dentist to review your medical history in order to see if any medical conditions may be causing the condition. You'll also be asked about your diet and any habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco. It's also important to undergo a thorough dental examination to check your gums, teeth and salivary glands.

Treatment and Prevention

The treatment for halitosis is highly dependent on what the underlying cause is. However there's a number of simple steps you can follow to helpe prevent against bad breath caused by dental problems. For example, maintaining a good level of oral hygiene by brushing your teeth, tongue and gums thoroughly after eating. Similarly, flossing regularly and using a mouthwash rinse has also been shown to have positive effects. It's also important to have regular check ups with your dentist to make sure everything is normal.

You can also prevent against halitosis by drinking plenty of water each day which will help encourage the production of saliva. Also occasionally swishing a small amount of water in your mouth can help to loosen any residual food particles. There's a number of products you can pruchase which will help keep your breath fresh such as mints and sugar-free gum and foods such as raw carrots and celery have also been shown to help prevent halitosis.

Our teeth are held in place by a complex system of roots which extends from just underneath your teeth all the way down to the jawbone. Whilst most teeth will only have one root others such as the molars or premolars can have two or more. The nerves and the blood vessels which enter the tooth are stored at the tip or end of the tooth and travel all throughout the canal of the root into the pulp chamber. The pulp chamber is located inside the crown, one of the visible parts of the tooth.

The usual way to deal with problems in this area is to use a root canal treatment. In this procedure the canals of the roots are cleaned out and any infected tissue is taken out. However if for any reason, a conventional root canal treatment fails to completely eliminate the infection and re-treating the area has no effect then you may require a apicectomy.

If the area is left untreated then bone loss in the area can continue and the patient will experience a significant amount of discomfort and pain. In most cases another root canal treatment will be tried before moving on to an apicectomy but if the infection continues this could indicate the problem may be nearer the tip of the root.

The Procedure

Before undergoing your apicectomy, it's usual to have a meeting with your surgeon to discuss your dental history, the treatment and the procedure. You'll also need to have x-rays of the tooth and surrounding bone taken before undergoing surgery. Immediately before surgery you'll be given some medications which will help control the inflammation, antibiotics and an antimicrobial mouth wash. During the procedure your dentist will first administer a local anaesthetic to numb the area.

Then a cut will be made in your gum which will allow it to be separated from the bone making access to it easier. Following this your dentist uses a drill to make a tiny hole in the bone which covers the root of the tooth. In this area any infected tissue is cleaned away using ultrasonic equipment under a microscope before the last section of the tip of the root is eventually removed.

After removal your dentist will seal up the hole with a bio compatible material and use stitches to close the gum. The entire procedure takes around an hour but this can vary depending on the complexity of the structure of the root and the tooth's location.

Aftercare

Aftercare immediately following surgery it's usual to feel some discomfort and your dentist will most likely prescribe some painkillers to help ease any pain. It's also usual to be prescribed antibiotics to promote healing and guard against infection. It's important to keep the treated area as clean as possible in the weeks following surgery, particularly after eating. Around a month after surgery any residual pain in the gums should completely subside and the healing process should be complete.

The Risks

Despite the vast majority of apicectomy procedures being performed safely, as with any surgical procedure there are certain risks involved. If you've had previous apicectomies on the tooth then the chances of success are low and whilst complications with local anesthetic are rare, they do occur. Bleeding in the treated area can occur after surgery but this can usually be stopped by putting pressure on the area. Some patients also experience numbness in their gums but in most cases this disappears after a couple of months.

Dental Sealants are highly slip pieces of plastic resin which can be used to help protect against cavities and decay by covering the back teeth. Dental Sealants are a popular method for protecting teeth as they can be applied quickly by a dentist with minimal discomfort to the patient. The most common recipients of dental sealants are childreen or teenagers and it's thought that they bring about the most benefits in children aged between five and fifteen. Research shows that applying sealants just after the first molars have erupted into the mouth, then there will be less instance of bacteria invading the teeth to cause cavities. In some cases adults may also find dental sealants useful in preventing cavities by protecting against bacteria.

What are Dental Sealants?

The sealants themselves are created out of a slim sliver of plastic which, when applied to the molars fills the fissures and pits of your teeth. This helps to form a barrier between your tooth and cavity causing bacteria. Sealants are very discreet and because of their location, right at the back of your mouth, sealants are very difficult to spot. It's also possible to get sealants which are clear, white or tinted to match the natural tooth colour.

The most suitable teeth to use sealants on are the permanent molars of which the first set usually erupts intot he mouth around the age of six and the second around the age of twelve. Research shows that it's best to apply the sealant soon after the molars erupt as this can greatly decrease the risk of decay.

There's a greater chance of decay or infection occuring the longer bacteria and plaque are allowed to remain on the teeth. Children and teenagers are especially at risk of decay, even if they maintain a decent level of oral hygiene. Acids from foods and fizzy drinks which your child may consume at school have time to rest on the teeth before brushing at night. This gives them a chance to attack gums and teeth, in particular on the chewing surfaces.


How are Sealants applied?

To apply a sealant, your dentist won't have to perform any drilling or remove any part of the existing tooth structure. The sealant process is relatively quick, requiring only a few steps. Firstly your dentist begins by thoroughly cleaning the tooth in question before placing a special gel on the chewing surface for a moment. After washing and drying the tooth the sealant is then painted on. Some dentists will use a special light source at this point which will help the sealant to harden.

After around a minute or so the sealant will have formed a complete protective shield. It's usual to notice the sensation of having something new in the mouth but with time you should become used to the feel of the sealant. Sealants last a long time, between three to ten years in most cases. However it's important that you have regular dental check ups to monitor your sealants and reapply them if necessary.


Sealants and other dental care

Just because a sealant is applied, this doesn't mean the wearer can stop brushing their teeth. As sealants are usually only used on the teeth right at the back of your mouth you'll still need to continue with regular brushing and flossing to protect against tooth decay and gum disease. Although sealants will greatly diminish the risk of infection they need to be used in conjunction with a good oral hygiene regime.

"Xerostomia" is a dry mouth condition caused by reduced saliva being produced in the mouth or absent saliva flow. It may be a side effect of a large variety of medications or a symptom of a medical condition. It is a common, treatable condition which is usually found among older adults although it doesn't seem to be related as much to age as it is to the chance an elderly person is taking a medication and xerostomia is a side effect.


Symptoms
Patients with Xerostomia often experience problems with eating, speaking, swallowing and wearing dentures. Certain dry foods like cereals or crackers can be especially difficult to consume. A consistently dry mouth can cause several problems for denture wearers including denture sores, problems with retention and the tongue sticking to the palate. Xerostomia can also cause problems with taste, pain in the tongue and a constant need to drink water. Several other problems associated with Xerostomia include, an increased vulnerability to infection, increased dental caries, an enlargement of the parotid gland, inflammation of the lips, ulcers on the tongue, infections of the salivary gland and halitosis.

Causes
Xerostomia can often be a sign of an underlying disease such as uncontrolled diabetes, Sjorgrens syndrome or Lambert-Eaton syndrome. Other potential causes of Xerostomia include anxiety, drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages, trauma to the salivary glands, dehydration, a side effect of radiation therapy or as a natural result of the aging process. Xerostomia can also be a side effect of certain medications or as a complication of drug abuse.

Treatment

In order to successfully treat Xerostomia, it's necessary to deal with the underlying cause. For instance if your dry mouth is a side effect of medication or drugs then it's common to reduce the dose or change the medication, where possible. Morphine is one of the most common causes of dry mouth along with certain antidepressants, antihistamines, beta blockers and diuretics. There are also some simple methods which can be used in cases of mild Xerostomia such as sucking on ice cubes, eating partially frozen pineapple or melon pieces, chewing sugar-free chewing gum to help stimulate salivation and applying petroleum jelly to the lips to protect against drying and cracking.

In more serious cases it's possible to be prescribed artificial saliva which is of a neutral pH and contains electrolytes to approximately mimic the composition of saliva. Research shows that benefits can also be had from carmellose-based products and the long term use of acidic products, although if used frequently this can lead to the dimneralising of tooth enamel. Similarly there's several other products which can help such as salivary stimulants in pastille form, special tablets for those with an impairment of the salivary gland and certain medications for dry mouth as a side effect of radiotherapy. Pilocrapine tablets can also be used in treating Xerostomia which occurs due to radiation therapy or dry mouth occurring due to Sjogren's syndrome.

A sinus lift,also known as sinus augmentation is a dental procedure which is designed to add bone to the upper jaw in the area around your molars and premolars. Bone is added to the section between your maxillary sinuses (located on either side of your nose) and your jaw in order to make it taller. To make enough room for the bone will often require your sinus membrane to be lifted. The procedure is usually performed when the area lacks sufficient bone for dental implants to be put in. This can occur for several reasons such as a loss of teeth in the upper jaw, certain types of gum disease, maxillary sinus being too near to the upper jaw or sinus growth due to age.

The bone used in the procedure can either come from your own body, which is known as autogenous bone or from a cadaver, which is known as allogeneic bone. In recent years, synthetic materials which are used to stimulate bone formation have become increasingly popular. If it is your own bone which will be used then this is usually taken from other sections of your mouth or different areas of your body, for example, the hip or tibia.


The Procedure

Before undergoing the procedure it's usual to have several X-rays taken so that your dentist can take a comprehensive look at the structure of your jaw and sinus area. You may also be required to undergo a CT (computed tomography) scan in order to precisely measure the width and height of your bone structure and examine the health of your sinus. During the procedure your dentist will firstly cut the gum tissue located around your molars and premolars. Your dentist will then raise this tissue in order to expose the bone into which a small 'window' will be opened. The membrane which lines your sinus on the opposite side of this 'window' separates your jaw from your sinus and will need to be pushed away in order to make room for the bone-graft material. The materials will then be tightly packed into the space where the sinus was.

Several factors will determine how much bone will be used for the graft but typically at least several millimeters of bone will need to be used. Once the bone is firmly in place your dentist will close the tissue using stitches. Typically the area is ready for implantation surgery within four to nine months after the operation but this can vary depending on which material was used in the graft.


Aftercare

Immediately following the treatment its usual to experience some swelling in the area and some bleeding can also occur from your nose or mouth. It's important that you don't sneeze or blow your nose as this may cause the stitches to loosen or the material used in the bone graft to move. Most dentists usually prescribe a saline spray which will keep the lining of your nose wet and you may also be given some medication to help prevent sneezing. If you have any allergies such as hay fever, it's important to schedule the operation in the seasons when they aren't active. It's also usual to be given pain medication along with an antimicrobial and antibiotic mouthwash which will help promote healing and protect against infection. The majority of patients only experience a small amount of pain and discomfort following the treatment.


After a week or so you'll need to have a follow up visit in order to get your sutures taken out and to monitor your healing. It's usual to have a number of follow up visits after this to make sure you're progressing normally and to check the healing process. Depending on which material is used for the graft the time it will take to integrate and harden within your jaw will vary. If your own material is used then it may be as little as six months however if synthetic or cadaverous materials are used you may have to wait up to a year. In recent years certain proteins known as growth factors have become popular in helping the new bone integrate and harden faster.


The Risks

Although most sinus lifts are performed safely, as with any surgical procedure there are some risks involved. The main problem which can occur with a sinus lift is the tearing or puncturing of the sinus membrane. If this happens during the procedure then your dentist will simply stitch the sinus or place a patch onto it. If the material used for the graft can't be contained then your dentist may have to stop the treatment and wait for the tear to heal before proceeding. In some rare cases your existing bone won't integrate properly with the material used in the graft and if this occurs, any implants placed in the area won't succeed as there won't be any live bone to attach them properly. Fortunately, if this occurs then the sinus lift procedure can simply be repeated. One of the other main risks which can occur is infections, luckily these are very uncommon during sinus lifts.

Oral herpes is one of the most common types of mouth infection. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and creates small blisters filled with fluids to develop inside the mouth or around your lips. These are usually called cold sores.

Symptoms

Oral herpes can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact with a person who has the virus or by using objects which have had contact with the virus like lipstick or razors. Once you contract the herpes simplex virus, it will remain in your body for life. Most of the time it won't be active and this is known as the dormant state. However sometimes the virus will suddenly become active once more and your cold sores will make an unwelcome return. For the vast majority of those with HSV, there won't be any symptoms at all, so the virus often goes unnoticed. But in some cases the first infection will cause several symptoms and make them feel quite ill. Children under the age of five are at an increased risk of becoming ill due to their first infection.

Children are more likely to get blistering in the mouth and experience swelling in the gums. Sores in the mouth last between ten days to two weeks and can cause difficulty with eating and drinking. Adults who contract HSV for the first time are more likely to experience problems with the throat including swelling and glandular-type illnesses. After the initial infection the virus tends to become dormant in your body, only activating on occasion.

The most common recurring symptoms are cold sores occurring around the lips or inside the mouth which can produce tingling sensations, swelling around the lip and redness. Cold sores can also fill with fluid and develop a crust when they break open. This scab usually comes off around a week after bursting. In some rare cases HSV may spread to other areas of your body or skin including eyes and fingers. HSV infections can be unusually severe and even fatal in those who have a weakened immune system due to other medical issues. Furthermore, in patients with atopic eczema, contracting HSV can also cause an unusually severe infection.

Risk factors

There's a number of factors likely to increase your chances of developing a dry socket. If you smoke before the time your dentist recommended after extraction then this can also affect the healing process. Smoking affects the blood supply to the blood clot and also brings several toxic products contained in your cigarette to the area.

Causes

There's two types of herpes simplex virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Oral herpes tends to be caused by the HSV-1 strain however in some cases it may be caused by HSV-2. Both kinds of the virus may also be responsible for genital herpes. As mentioned, HSV is commonly transmitted by skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the virus. It may also be spread by sharing objects which have had contact with the virus like lipsticks or razors.

Treatment

Although there's no cure for HSV, there are a number of things you can do to help with discomfort and pain or to prevent the spread of the virus. Painkillers available over the counter are usually enough to help with any pain caused by the cold sores. However you can help the cold sore to clear up quicker with Anti-viral creams, available at most pharmacies. In cases where the infection is excessive or very frequent your doctor may prescribe anti-viral tablets to combat the HSV. There's also a number of products which can help ease the irritation on the skin after the cold sore has developed. To help contain the spread of the virus it's important to not touch your cold sore or wash your hands thoroughly if you have. Avoid sharing objects which have had contact with the virus such as cutlery, towels or lipstick. If you wear contact lenses, then wash your hands before putting them in to help protect against infections in your eye.

Episodes of cold sores can often have triggers, the most common of these are;
  • Emotional stress
  • Fever
  • Injury or trauma to the mouth
  • Tiredness
  • Exposing the lips to excessive sunlight
    • The most common symptoms of oral herpes infection include;
    • Blisters inside the mouth
    • Swelling and pain in the gums
    • Blisters around the lips
    • Swollen glands
    • Sore throat
    • Halitosis
    • Excess saliva
    • Dehydration
    • Flu Like symptoms

    Roots which extend into the bone of your jaw hold your teeth in place. Whilst most teeth have two or more roots your front teeth only have one, the tip of each root is known as the apex. Through the apex, nerves and blood vessels are able to enter the mouth, travelling through a canal inside the root all the way into the pulp chamber located inside the crown. During a root canal procedure the canals will be cleaned and any infected or inflamed tissue removed. A root resection differs from this in that one of the roots of a multi-rooted tooth will need to be removed. For some patients a removal of some of the tooth's crown will also be needed and in some cases the tooth which the root supports will need to be taken out.

    It's necessary to undergo a root canal before root resectioning however the two are fundamentally different procedures. Whereas a root canal will clean the canals removing inflamed or infected tissue a resectioning will require the inside of the tooth to be cut. Root rectionings used to be a popular dental procedure however modern advances in dental technology mean your dentist now has more options than ever before. For instance your dentist can now simply extract the tooth and replace it with some dental implants. In many cases root resectioning can cost you much more than a tooth extraction as a root canal treatment will be required and many patients require a crown for the affected tooth. Root resectioning can be effectively used to combat tooth decay, broken teeth or bone loss.


    The Procedure
    Before you can undergo the resectioning procedure, you'll probably have to undergo a root canal treatment first. This is usually performed under a local anaesthetic, meaning you'll be conscious throughout. The root resectioning procedure usually requires your dentist to make several cuts in your gums so that the roots of your teeth are exposed. Once this is exposed a bur is used to keep the root seperate from the other parts of the tooth. Once successfully separated, the tooth is easily removed. Following this the affected area is rinsed with a saline solution and stitched shut. It's typical to be given a temporary filling or crown which will be removed after a few months and replaced with a permanent model. It's normal to be prescribed antibiotics and antimicrobial mouth washes to help prevent infections.

    Aftercare
    There's a number of factors likely to increase your chances of developing a dry socket. If you smoke before the time your dentist recommended after extraction then this can also affect the healing process. Smoking affects the blood supply to the blood clot and also brings several toxic products contained in your cigarette to the area. When you visit your dentist to have them removed you'll be examined to check whether your gums have begun to heal correctly. As soon as the gums are sufficiently healed, your restorations such as fillings or crowns can be applied.

    Risks
    Although the vast majority of root resectionings are carried out safely, as with all surgical procedures there are some risks involved. The biggest risk is infections but it's easy to prevent this as long as you carefully follow aftercare advice and take any prescribed medications. Accidental damage such as cracks or breakages in the nearby teeth may occur during the procedure and this can require further surgery to correct. Also holes in the sinus can occur when undergoing root resectioning for the upper molars, again, this may require further treatment to mend.

    Cancer is a class of diseases whose main characteristic is a group of cells which grow uncontrollably and cause damage to the nearby tissue. Oral cancer manifests itself as a sore or growth in your mouth which doesn't heal up and vanish. Oral cancer is a catch all term for cancers occurring in the cheeks, tongue, lips, floor of the mouth and several other nearby locations. If left untreated oral cancer can be potentially fatal.


    Symptoms

    The majority of patients with oral cancer commonly experience swellings and lumps inside their mouth or on the lips and gums. These may also appear as crusts, eroded patches and rough spots. Bleeding which occurs for no apparent reason is also an indicator of Oral cancer as is developing red and white patches inside your mouth. Many oral cancer patients frequently experience a loss of sensitivity in their mouth, face and neck areas and pain in the throat is also common. Sores often appear in cases of oral cancer usually on the face, neck or in the mouth. These sores bleed frequently and remain for extended periods of time. It's also common to experience problems swallowing, chewing and speaking with hoarseness and a severe throat also being typical. In some cases patients also experience ear pain and excessive weight loss.


    Causes

    There's a number of risk factors in developing cancer with the most typical being smoking with smokers being up to six times more likely to develop cancer of the mouth. Similarly even those who use 'smokeless' tobacco such as chewing tobacco or snuff are at an even greater risk of developing cancer in the lining of the lips and the gums. Alcohol can also increase your risk of developing oral cancer as can excessive exposure to sunlight, particularly at a young age. You're at an increased risk of developing cancer if it runs in your family as there is a strong genetic factor involved.


    Diagnosing oral cancer

    Your dentist will usually screen you for oral cancer during one of your routine examinations. During the exam your dentist will feel around for any irregular tissue changes or lumps around your mouth and neck areas. Your dentist will pay particular attention to any discoloured tissue and sores. If you are found to have suspicious looking tissue then an oral brush biopsy may be performed. This test requires a small tissue sample be taken and then sent off to be tested for atypical cells.


    Treatment

    Oral cancer is commonly treated in the same manner that most other cancers. This means that a combination of surgery, to extract the cancerous growth, and radiation or chemotherapy to eradicate any cancer cells which remain.


    Prevention

    There's a number of steps you can take to lower the risk of oral cancer. Most importantly smoking or the use of tobacco products is one of the leading risk factors so find help and quit as soon as possible. Similarly alcohol, when consumed excessively can also be a risk factor so be sure to drink in moderation. Excessive exposure to sunlight is another big risk so be sure to limit your time in the sun and use protective lotions on your skin and lips. Research has shown that a healthy and varied diet can also be of benefit not only to your general health but also lowering the risk of developing oral cancer.

    Temporomandiublar disorders (TMD for short) take place due to issues with the jaw. This can be the jaw itself, the joint of the jaw or nearby facial muscles responsible for moving the jaw and chewing. The temporormandiublar joint is like a hinge which links your lower jaw to the temporal bone in your skull. These joints have great flexiblity which allows your jaw to move efficiently up and down and side to side which is vital for talking, chewing and yawning. The movement and position of your jaw is controlled by muscles which are attached to the jaw joint.

    The causes of TMD

    Although the exact cause of TMD is unclear, research has shown that the symptoms occur due to problems found in the jaw muscles or actually within parts of the joint. TMD can often be triggered by trauma or damage to the muscles of the jaw or parts of the joint such as those occuring in cases of whiplash or a heavy blow to the area. Bruxism, which is the grinding or clenching of teeth puts a great deal of pressure on your temporomandibular joint and can often trigger TMD. If you have rehumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in your temporomandibular joint thn this can also trigger TMD. Stress has also been found as a factor involved in TMD as it can often lead sufferers to tighten their facial or jaw muscles.


    Symptoms

    The severity of TMD can vary, with some patients experiencing severe pain which may last for several years or be relatively temporary. There's a higher prevalance of TMD in women than in men and it occurs frequently in people aged 20 to 40. There's several common symptoms of TMD the most typical being a tenderness or pain in the jaw or nearby muscles which is sometimes accompanied by a tired feeling in your face. You may experience several problems with your jaw such as being unable to open it widely, clicking or popping sounds when opening your mouth and jaws which stick in certain positions. Problems with chewing are also common in TMD sufferers and in some cases patients develop an uncomfortable bite. Swelling may also occur on the side of your face and you may also experience headaches, toothaches, hearing problems and dizziness.


    Treatment

    There's a range of treatments for TMD from home care remedies to invasive surgical options. It's commonly agreed that treatment of TMD should start off with the most non-invasive therapies, saving surgery as a last resort.Many patients start by applying a cold pack to their faces and temples for about 10 minutes at a time. It's also common to do stretching exercises and apply a warm towl to the face for a few minutes a couple of times every day. It's also commonly advised to keep a good posture and not make any extreme movements with your neck or jaw muscles. Most dentists agree you should try to stick to soft foods and avoid hard foods which require a lot of work from your jaw muscles. There's several medications available to help control swelling and relieve pain in the muscles.


    Ibuprofen and aspirin are more than enough for some patients, but your dentist may prescribe stronger medications if your symptoms are severe. Muscle relaxants are often used to help those who clench or grind their teeth and can also be used to relax jaw muscles which have become tight. Patients who grind their teeth can often use a night guard or splint to prevent grinding and lessen the effects of clenching the teeth. If your TMD is due to a bite problem then there's a number of corrective dental procedures available such as crowns, bridges or braces. The surgical options for treating TMD fall into three types; arthocentesis, arthoscopy and open joint surgery. Which one is right for you depends on the type of TMD problem you have.



    Arthorocentesis - This minor surgery is typically performed under general anesthetic, meaning you'll be conscious throughout. It's commonly recommended for cases where the movement of the jaw is restricted. The surgery itself is done by placing needles into the target joint and washing it out with a combination of sterile fluids. In some cases a blunt instrument may be used to remove tissue to dislodge a stuck disc.


    Arthroscopy - This treatment is also usually done using general anaesthetic. During surgery, a tiny incision is made in front of your ear and a very small camera inserted which allows your surgeon to see the temporormandibular joint and nearby area. Depending on what caused your TMD, your surgeon may opt to remove affected tissue or adjust the disc.

    Open-joint surgery - As opposed to arthoscopy, in open-joint surgery the entire area near the TMJ is exposed to enable better access for your surgeon. There's several different types of open-joint surgery and this kind of treatment is usually reccomended if you're experiencing tumours in or near your temporormandibular join, severe scarring is occuring on the bone in your joint or a deterioration in the bony structures which make up your jaw joint.

    Dry socket is one of the most common complications of a tooth extraction. It occurs in around 5% of tooth extractions and can be quite painful. Fortunately, it is easily treated.

    Symptoms

    A dry socket is a socket in which a patient is experiencing pain. This happens due to the loss of the blood clot, which leaves the bone exposed to air, food and fluids. Dry socket also often produces a bad smell which often occurs a couple of days following an extraction and may last up to a week. Although it's normal to experience discomfort and pain following an extraction, by the second day this should be reducing. The loss of a blood clot occurs when it is somehow dislodged from the site of surgery leaving the bone and nerve endings exposed. The blood clot serves several functions including limiting the bleeding in the area and laying a foundation for the new bone and tissue to develop in the area. Dry sockets are much more common wisdom teeth and teeth in the back of your mouth, as the circulation in this area is poor. Dry socket can often extend the healing process.

    Risk factors

    There's a number of factors likely to increase your chances of developing a dry socket. If you smoke before the time your dentist recommended after extraction then this can also affect the healing process. Smoking affects the blood supply to the blood clot and also brings several toxic products contained in your cigarette to the area.

    This can cause injuries to the gum tissue and the pressure difference of your sucking on the cigarette can loosen the blood clot from the surgery area. If you don't carefully follow all after care instructions that your dentist has given you this can often cause problems. Women patients who are also taking oral contraceptives have been shown to be at a greater risk of developing the condition.

    Prevention
    There's a number of ways in which you can protect against developing a dry socket. For instance, women patients who are using oral contraceptives or are having their teeth extracted within the first 22 days of the menstrual cycle are two times more likely to develop the condition following an extraction. Therefore it's commonly recommended that you schedule your extraction during the last week of the menstrual cycle to ensure low levels of estrogen. You should also avoid smoking before the time your dentist recommends as this can cause several problems with the site of extraction. Rinsing your mouth excessively can interfere with the bloods natural clotting process. Similarly avoid drinking through a straw as this can cause problems with pressure in your mouth leading to a dry socket developing. It's usually advised to chew on the other side of your mouth to avoid injury from food and to gently rinse your mouth out using warm salt water after a day.

    Pulpitis is the main cause of toothache and occurs when a part of the tooth, known as the pulp, becomes inflamed. The part of your tooth known as the pulp is located inside your tooth and contains tissue and nerves which leave it susceptible to trauma and other sorts of damage. The most common cause of Pulpitis is damage occurring to your teeth whether it be from external injuries or from dental problems such as cavities and caries. Dental problems often go hand in hand with a low level of oral hygiene.

    Causes

    Most cases of Pulpitis are a direct result of a cavity. Foods which contain an excess of of sugar and starch can cause serious problems in your teeth. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria and some types will feed on the leftover sugar and starch. Their feeding generates a byproduct of acid which damages your teeth and causes tooth decay.

    Symptoms

    The symptoms of Pulpitis can differ from case to case but there's a number of common symptoms that most people suffering from Pulpitis experience. Usually there is a constant throbbing pain which emanates from your tooth and may cause sensitivity when the tooth is touched.

    Diagnosis and treatment

    Pulpitis is usually diagnosed during an oral examination and a look at your dental history. It's normal for your dentist to take some X-rays of your teeth in order to aid him in diagnosing and treating the problem. There's a number of different treatments for Pulpitis and which one your dentist chooses for you will depend on your age, health, medical history, the severity of the condition and what your preference is. The most common treatments include pain medications to help with discomfort, antibiotics, salt water rinses, a root canal procedure, tooth extraction or draining any abscesses.

    Dentures are replacements for natural teeth which you lose due to tooth decay, gum disease or accidents. Dentures are designed to mimic your teeth and are fully removable. Although they won't feel exactly the same as your former teeth, modern dentures are more comfortable and aesthetically geared than ever before. There's two main kinds of denture; ones which fully replace your teeth and those which only replace some of your teeth called partial dentures. Valplast is a denture designed to partially replace missing teeth whilst being flexible and hygienic.

    Why do teeth go missing?

    Tooth loss normally occurs when someone develops periodontal disease or gum disease. This is usually caused by a plaque buildup and from bacteria attacking your gums. Most dentists agree that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, for about two minutes, with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. It's important to use short, gentle strokes as being overzealous can lead to enamel damage. It's also advised that you floss your teeth daily and visit your dentist at least twice a year.

    How are Valplast dentures made?

    Traditional kinds of dentures used metal bases and acrylic teeth or were completely made from acrylic. Valplast is a fairly recent innovation which is composed of a nylon thermoplastic material which gives the Valplast denture several advantages over its traditional counterparts. This type of denture is made without using metal claps which makes the Valplast denture quite light weight. To give users a natural appearance, the Valplast denture is made from a translucent material, allowing the natural gums to show.

    Valplast dentures are also highly adjustable and can be used to replace many or just a few missing teeth. For patients who have problems with their jaw bone, traditional dentures can't be used. However due to its flexibility, Valplast can be worn without discomfort. Valplast can also be worn by people who have allergies to the acrylic used in traditional dentures and can be effectively used on patients suffering from gum recession. Valplast dentures are strong wearing and usually cost less than a permanent bridge or dental implants.