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How to Treat TMJ Disorder

July 29th, 2016

3534882_blogTMJ is the shortened name for a disorder of the temporomandibular joints of the mouth. The temporomandibular joints are situated on either side of a person’s head and connect the jawbone to the skull. Temporomandibular disorder develops when either or both of these joints stop functioning properly. TMJ disorder can be quite debilitating as these joints are necessary for eating, talking and smiling.

TMJ disorder affects over 35 million people around the world and while the exact cause of TMJ disorder is unknown, there is a list of contributing factors including infections, autoimmune diseases, jaw injuries and arthritis. A number of genetic, hormonal and environmental factors can also increase the risk of developing TMJ disorder. Studies have shown that a genetic variant, which increases pain sensitivity, has been found to be more prevalent amongst TMJ patients and stress is also believed to be a cause of the condition.

Symptoms of TMJ include persistent ear pain, a stiff jaw, unexplained soreness in the jaw, a popping or clicking sound when the jaw is moved and consistent headaches. This is only a selection of common symptoms and if you have these and other symptoms and suspect you may have TMJ disorder, try eating only soft foods for a day or two and using an ice pack to alleviate pain. You should also avoid chewing gum and opening your mouth too wide. Pain can be managed with over-the-counter remedies. If symptoms persist or worsen and you are from Leeds, contact City Dental today.

As TMJ disorder is still being studied, scientists and healthcare professionals prefer to treat the disorder as gently as possible, with conservative treatments that do not cause permanent changes in the jaw or the position of the jaw. Most TMJ patients manage their pain by making changes in their diets (increasing their intake of soft foods) and through the use of paracetamol or aspirin.

How to Solve the Problem of Dry Socket

July 26th, 2016

3534882_blogIf you have to have a tooth extracted for whatever reason, there can be unfortunate side effects. A condition called dry socket develops in about five percent of cases of tooth extraction where the bone is exposed and leads to substantial pain.  Being in regular contact with your dentist after extraction will hopefully reduce the risk of the condition occurring and allows it to be treated if it does so.

When would I get dry socket?

If dry socket is to occur, it will do so within the first few days after a tooth extraction.  Having a tooth removed always leads to some pain in the aftermath of the procedure but dry socket will make itself evident with particularly discomfort.  Your blood ought to properly clot in the wake of an extraction but if it doesn’t, the bone left exposed can react sensitively to food, drink and even air.  The clot might fail to form or become dislodged. These are the main causes of dry socket.

How can it be prevented?

You should not smoke in the wake of a tooth extraction as it might disturb the blood clot and you ought to avoid activities such as drinking through a straw.  Taking birth control pills can also compromise the body’s ability to clot, as can immune-suppressive drugs.  Get advice from your Leeds dentist if you are having a tooth extracted and take birth control pills or immune-suppressive drugs.

How is dry socket treated?

Thankfully, dry socket is easily dealt with by applying medication at the site and continuing with your normal routine of dental hygiene. Always follow the advice of your dentist once you have had a tooth extracted.

The Importance of Inter-Dental Brushing

July 22nd, 2016

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Most people are aware of the benefits of regular brushing, but have you ever heard of inter-dental brushing? This effective oral hygiene technique targets the cracks between the teeth to reduce the risk of dental disease and keep your teeth looking white and clean.

About inter-dental brushing

Inter-dental brushing is used to brush between the teeth. You may have noticed that it’s particularly hard to clean these areas with a normal toothbrush and they can be prone to staining and plaque build-up. Inter-dental brushes are specially designed to target these areas. They are much smaller than normal toothbrushes and they are flexible, so you can bend them to get right into the gaps.

Ideally, you should try to include inter-dental brushing in your oral hygiene regime on a daily basis.

Why is inter-dental brushing important?

Inter-dental brushing is a means of cleaning areas of the mouth that are commonly missed when cleaning the teeth and this helps to reduce the risk of decay and gum disease. If you aren’t able to clean properly, there is a risk that plaque will form. Plaque is a sticky substance that comprises of bacteria, food particles and saliva. When they feed, the bacteria in plaque release acids and these erode the enamel, increasing the risk of decay and irritating the gums. Poor oral health does not just increase the risk of pain and other unpleasant symptoms, such as swelling and irritation, it can also increase your risk of general health problems.

Help with inter-dental brushing

If you need help with inter-dental brushing or you would like to find out more, our dentists and hygienists will be happy to help. There are various different sizes available and your dentist or hygienist can show you how to use the brush effectively.

How to Use Denture Fixative

July 20th, 2016

3177562_blogPeople who have suffered gum disease, gingivitis or periodontal disease may be given dental treatment to prevent further infection, such as root canal treatment and replacement teeth, including dentures, dental implants or crowns.

Wearing dentures, whether part or full, as teeth replacements that slot onto your remaining teeth to support your teeth structure can sometimes bring certain challenges, particularly if the dentures slip.

Why use denture fixative?

Denture fixative can be used to secure the dentures to your own teeth, and for:

  • Giving you a sense of greater confidence when wearing dentures – not fearing that the denture may fall out or wobble when you speak
  • Reducing denture movement when you eat or talk
  • Preventing gum irritation and pressure if dentures do slip, particularly during physical games or sports
  • Filling gaps where food may lodge and cause a build-up of dental plaque

How is denture fixative used?

There are a range of denture fixatives available, from strips to powders and creams. You can use the following steps to apply denture fixative to secure your dentures and prevent them from moving around in your mouth:

  1. Clean your own teeth and dentures using brushing with toothpaste and denture cleaning solution.
  1. Then make sure you have dried your dentures.
  1. Now apply small amounts of the denture fixative where it is needed – do not let it ooze out!
  1. Rinse your mouth and insert your dentures, holding them down to adhere to the dental fixative.
  1. Keep holding and allow the dentures to seal to the fixative for about 7 to 10 seconds.
  1. Try not to eat or drink for about 20 minutes afterwards.
  1. You can remove excess fixative by brushing it and your dentures with warm water.

What if denture fixative still doesn’t work?

If you’re still having challenges with movement of your dentures, even when you use dental fixative, speak with your dentist about solutions such as dental implants. With dental implants, titanium “roots” permanently hold replacement teeth like crowns, bridges and dentures in place, so that you don’t have to worry about clumsy restorations any more!

Super Straightening in Six Months!

July 18th, 2016

Beautiful young lady smilingIf you needed braces twenty years ago, you would probably have been told that it would take at least 12 months to get a perfect straight smile. However, now, thanks to amazing advances in science and technology, you could have a gorgeous set of pearly whites in just six months.

Six Month Smiles is an orthodontic system that was developed in the USA and is now making waves in the UK dental industry. This fixed brace system works quickly to straighten the teeth in just six months.

About Six Month Smiles

These braces are made up of brackets and wires like traditional train-track braces and are applied to the teeth and fixed in position until the teeth have finished moving. Six Month Smiles works very quickly. In most cases, patients with fixed braces have to wait at least 12 months to show off their new smile, but by focusing on the teeth at the front of the mouth only, Six Month Smiles straightens the teeth in just six months.

Six Month Smiles is a great treatment for anyone who wants results fast. This treatment is ideal for people with minor flaws in the appearance or alignment of their teeth and it could be the perfect solution if you are preparing for a wedding or a special occasion and you want to look your best.

These braces are great because they works so fast, but they also has a range of other benefits! The braces have been developed using the latest technology and they move the teeth without any pain. The braces are friction-free and there is no need for painful adjustments. The braces are also tooth-coloured, which means that they are more discreet than traditional metal fixed braces. Contact the team at City Dental in Leeds for more information on Six Month Smiles treatment.

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns

July 16th, 2016

2823674_blogTeeth that are decayed, injured or damaged in any way can be effectively strengthened through the use of dental crowns. They are also sometimes referred to as caps, due to the fact that they are fitted to the top of an existing tooth. They have been specifically designed to duplicate the look of a natural tooth and can give your smile an aesthetic boost.

Different materials used

Crowns may be constructed from a number of materials and new ones are being discovered constantly. They can be constructed from gold, ceramic, or another precious metal, which is then fixed to porcelain and metal. Although a full porcelain crown looks good, it is not the best option for many people. Metal crowns will often be the best solution for teeth at the back of the mouth as they will need to tolerate a large amount of pressure. The kind of crown used most frequently is made of metal fused with porcelain.

Resemble natural teeth

The difference between the natural tooth and the crown will not be noticeable. They have been designed to resemble natural teeth exactly and the shade will have been matched to the other surrounding teeth to ensure it fits in with them. While the permanent crown is being constructed, temporary crowns will be fitted that are more noticeable, but will only be there for about two weeks.

Normally, the crown will require two dental appointments to be fitted, with roughly two weeks in between.

Any decay that is near the pulp tissue may need to be removed in order to halt the onset of damage or decay in the teeth.

If crowns are taken care of they will last for a few years. There is no danger of the actual crown decaying, although the area where the natural tooth and the crown meet could be at risk of decay. To prevent this, you will need to attend regular check-ups at the dentist and maintain a good dental hygiene routine. If you would like more information about dental crowns then do contact the team at City Dental in the heart of Leeds.

Wedding Day Smiles – Whiten Your Teeth in Time for Your Big Day!

July 12th, 2016

wedding smileThere are many things to prepare for before a wedding. In the run-up to the big event, with all the stress and anxiety that comes with it, there is no need to feel even more worried due to your smile. Wedding photos are how people remember their important day, and the best thing you can do for your wedding day snaps is to show off your beautiful smile! If you are feeling self-conscious about your teeth, or think your smile is not worth showing off, tooth whitening treatments may be the perfect way to restore your confidence, so that looking happy in photos of the big occasion need not be a worry.

Why do teeth discolour?

Tooth whitening involves bleaching the teeth after they have become darker or stained. This discolouration is, to some degree, a natural part of growing older, as the mineral structure of teeth changes due to aging. However, the discolouration of teeth can be increased by smoking, as well as consuming certain foods and drinks, particularly tea and coffee. It can also be caused by bacterial build-up as a result of poor oral hygiene.

How does teeth whitening work?

The ‘at-home whitening’ procedure involves the use of custom-built bleaching trays for your teeth. These should be worn on the teeth for around six hours a day, for between five and fourteen days, in order to see the best results – so some preparation time is needed before the wedding day. The chemicals used are oxidising agents, which can penetrate tooth enamel, due to its porous nature, in order to bleach internal stains. Eventually, the dentin (the tooth layer under enamel) also becomes bleached. The effects of this can last several months for teeth whitening patients in the City of Leeds. The whitening agents should lighten your teeth, but not affect the colour of fillings or most other materials used to restore teeth.

How to Get Healthy Teeth and Gums

July 8th, 2016

297243_blogStart July with a bang by looking after your mouth by following our tips for great teeth and gums:

The first step to keeping your teeth looking great is by watching the colour of what you eat and drink. Red wine, coffee, black tea and cigarettes can all have a negative impact on the colour of your teeth. The best way to avoid staining is to brush your teeth after having anything that is likely to stain them. Using a bleaching agent recommended by your dentist can also help.

A healthier diet

You can also avoid problems with your teeth by cutting back on sugary food and drinks. Sugar can cause plaque, which leads to issues such as tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. Foods that are good for teeth include apples, celery and carrots, which help clean teeth due to being crisp and firm. Drinking water during the day also helps teeth by flushing out bacteria from the mouth and reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

At City Dental in Leeds we advise replacing your toothbrush every three months at most to ensure that your mouth is being properly cleaned. Using an old brush will mean that bacteria is being moved from the brush to your mouth.

Brush your teeth

Most of us spend just half a minute brushing our teeth, instead of the recommended 2 minutes. Start timing yourself while brushing your teeth and divide it into 30 seconds each for the front and back of both the top and bottom sets if that helps. It is also good to get into a regular routine with flossing. If you begin and end at the same point every time you floss, you can be sure that all every tooth has been cleaned. If you find it difficult to use floss you may find it helpful to get a floss holder.

Expert Advice on Protecting Your Mouth from Injury

July 6th, 2016

2112592_blogYour mouth can be at risk in a number of situations and severely injuring your teeth and gums can be painful and require invasive surgery to rectify.  If you indulge in physical sports such as rugby, lacrosse or American football, or enjoy mountain biking or gymnastics, it is best if you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.  By doing so you lessen your chances of breaking, chipping or even losing a tooth.

Basic mouth guards

The most basic level of protection is offered by stock mouth guards that you can buy in sports shops. These are affordable but won’t protect your mouth comprehensively from all threats. As they are not tailor-made, they can often be uncomfortable to wear. So called ‘boil and bite’ mouth guards are more comfortable because you can mould them to your mouth by biting them when they have been submerged in boiling water and become malleable.

Custom-made mouth guards

By far the best protection that you can give your teeth if you are participating in a physical sport is to get your dentist to fit you a mouth guard.  Moulds of your teeth will be taken so that impressions can then be formed.  From these impressions a technician will fabricate your own personalised mouth guard.  These are far more comfortable to wear.

It is better to spend the small amount of money on a mouth guard than to sustain a painful injury that might require expensive surgery to rectify in any case.

How to Remedy Your Teeth Grinding Problem

July 4th, 2016

1050560_blogTeeth grinding, or bruxism, is a fairly common problem, with most people doing it in their sleep! This makes it difficult for you to stop the habit by yourself, so consulting a dentist is often the best way to deal with and prevent any damage to your teeth or even your jaw. Bruxism doesn’t just cause problems in the obvious areas though, as it can also cause headaches.

Why do I grind my teeth?

Often it is caused by stress, so the best way to deal with bruxism is to deal with the cause of the stress. Obviously, this is not something that a dentist would be able to help you with, but therapy or counselling can take some time. Meanwhile, you’re continuing to do some damage to your teeth and giving yourself headaches in the night. So, if stress is the cause of your teeth grinding, by all means go and see a counsellor, but you should probably also see a dentist too, to get some short-term help.

Subconscious tooth grinding

But if it happens in your sleep, how do you know that you’re doing it? Well, if you wake up in the morning with an aching jaw, suffer from unexplained headaches, have difficulty eating first thing in the morning or have noticed damage to your teeth, then you could be suffering from bruxism. The other give away is that often your partner will notice before you that there is a problem. If you think that stress might be responsible for your teeth grinding then your dentist can try out a few things to help you prevent further damage to your teeth. You could wear a mouth guard at night, so that your teeth aren’t rubbing against each other, but up against smooth, soft rubber instead. There are also devices that can hold your teeth apart during the night. This is especially useful if your bruxism is caused by a sleep disorder. Although you could use these devices for your whole life, it is probably more advisable to seek a solution that will resolve the issues behind your teeth grinding, rather than just stopping it from being a problem!