The number of people that have been diagnosed with oral cancer is on the increase in central Leeds which rather makes the disease difficult to isolate and cure altogether. A lot of the reasons only seem to be conjecture as it can strike one person and not another, even if they live identical lives. Yet, the way some of us live our lives has been considered to be conducive to the disease; our dietary habits, stress, poor oral hygiene, smoking and drinking- all of which are considered to be contributory to the problem, and if we tend to be care-free and lazy, we’d probably overlook issues in the mouth until it was too late- which is the most important element in fighting the disease- early diagnosis. We should know when something feels or tastes ‘off’ in the mouth and should get any problem looked at immediately, things like repetitive sore throats and ulcers, neck and ear aches, sores on the lips. It is so easy to get checked out, all you need to do is get down to the dentists or the doctors and after a few tests, a diagnosis can be made. If your worst fears are realised, then deciding on how advanced the problem is, you will have either of three types of surgery, radio, chemotherapy or physical surgery in order to remove the problem. It won’t be easy and the recovery period will be a delicate time- things will have to change, possibly the way you live your whole life, but a lot more people are coming through this illness smiling and with a lot of care and support, oral cancer can be beaten
Archive for the ‘dental check up’ Category
There are many dangerous situations that can crop up in the mouth on a daily basis in the city of Leeds and all can affect your oral health in the long run, one of which is suffering from a dry mouth. This is a condition that seems harmless enough, yet can do an awful lot of damage. The causes of the condition are many, but essentially the end result is the same- a lack of saliva in the mouth, the natural deterrent against bacteria. Much of this condition can be attributed to lifestyle- heavy drinking, smoking and poor diet, but there are other more complex reasons behind having a dry mouth: long term illness and heavy medication can attack the body’s immune system and cause a breakdown in saliva levels, as can hormonal changes caused by pregnancy; poor oral hygiene can also lead to a dry mouth. In the long run, you should look at all of these factors if you are to overcome it and then discuss the problem with your dentist. The mouth also needs to be kept in a state of hydration through drinking lots of water and sucking on sugar-free sweets each day. You should try to avoid caffeine based drinks and alcohol based mouth-washes, as they can add to the dryness, and definitely improve on your oral hygiene and diet, whilst reducing the things that are bad for you. If you address the problem from all angles, you can avoid gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.
Tooth decay, also known as dental cavities (or caries) occurs when the protective enamel surfaces of the teeth are worn down by bacteria. Bacteria produce harmful plaque acids, which break down the outer layers of the teeth, creating holes in the teeth. If holes are left to grow, bacteria can invade the living tissue of the tooth, known as the pulp and cause the tooth to die, until eventually the tooth will fall out.
How common is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems, affecting the majority of people. More than half of adults in the UK have one or more decayed teeth and rates of decay are increasing in children.
What are the symptoms of tooth decay?
Tooth decay does not usually cause symptoms until decay is severe and this is why regular dental checks are so important. One decay has become advanced, symptoms include tooth pain, bad breath, heightened sensitivity and spots of grey and yellow discolouration on the teeth.
How is tooth decay treated?
In the very early stages, fluoride varnish can be applied to the teeth to prevent further decay; however, if decay is more advanced, a filing may be required. Fillings are used to fill cavities and prevent the spread of decay. If bacteria have infected the pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be performed. This procedure involves removing decayed pulp tissue and cleaning and sealing the root canals to prevent further infection. Root canal treatment is often a very effective means of saving an infected tooth.
Preventing tooth decay
Fluoride is a very effective means of preventing tooth decay, which can be applied to the surfaces of the teeth in varnish form and is also present in toothpaste and in drinking water in some areas of the country. Fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth.
Regular dental check-ups with your Central Leeds dentist, every six to twelve months, are essential for good oral health.
Root canal therapy is a very common procedure, which is used to treat teeth that have been infected by bacteria. Root canal therapy is designed to treat advanced cases of decay and can save infected teeth, which could instead need extraction. Many people shudder when they hear the words root canal treatment, but the procedure is very effective and relatively straight-forward and it can make the difference between saving and losing a tooth.
What does the procedure involve?
The actual procedure involves removing decayed, infected pulp tissue from the tooth. Your Central Leeds dentist will drill through the affected tooth to reach the root canals, before removing the rotten pulp tissue and cleaning the root canals thoroughly. Once the root canals have been cleaned, filling material (called gutta percha) is inserted to seal the canals and thwart more infection. It is carried out under local anaesthetic to prevent discomfort during the procedure
Why would I need root canal treatment?
You may need root canal treatment if you have an infection that has arrived at the pulp of the tooth. The pulp contains the living tissue, including the blood vessels and nerves and if infection reaches the pulp chamber, the tooth effectively starts to die. Rot canal treatment is used to save and restore an infected tooth. You may also need root canal treatment if you have a tooth that has been badly harmed as an outcome of an injury or accident and root canal treatment is also used to treat abscesses.
What should a daily oral hygiene routine involve?
Dental hygiene is essential from a very early age and children should be taught to brush their teeth as soon as their first teeth start to develop. Electric and manual toothbrushes are both effective, but studies have shown that electric toothbrushes remove plaque more effectively and some people also find it easier to brush with an electric toothbrush.
Oral hygiene treatments
Our City Dental Leeds dental hygienists provide a very effective service, which can help to prevent oral health diseases and treat existing conditions. Hygienists offer intensive cleaning treatments, which provide a much deeper clean than brushing, and target areas that are prone to plaque and tartar development. Dental hygiene services also help to make the teeth look glossier and healthier and can reduce surface staining.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Oral hygiene is essential for good oral health and studies have also shown that poor oral hygiene, which is a cause of oral diseases, can also contribute to an increased risk of serious, life-threatening health conditions, including heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Poor oral hygiene causes the teeth to look unhealthy, as well as increasing the peril of gum disease, abscesses and decay and this can have implications for an individual’s confidence.
Adults have 32 teeth, four of which are known as wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth develop last of all. Typically, they start to erupt at the ages of between 16 and 20, but this can vary greatly and some people do not develop any wisdom teeth.
Problems with wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are often associated with pain because there is usually not enough space in the jaw for the teeth to be positioned comfortably. This is believed to be because human jaws have decreased in size over the ages as a result of changes in our diet. Most people assume that their wisdom teeth are going to cause them problems and pain, but this is not always the case and most people do not require treatment.
Some people experience pain and inflammation when their wisdom teeth push through and this can make it difficult to clean the teeth properly, thus increasing the risk of oral health diseases.
Impacted wisdom teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that have not been able to erupt fully and as a result of this they get so far and then become stuck against the neighbouring teeth. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth may be removed.
Wisdom tooth removal
In cases where there is no room for the wisdom teeth or the teeth are causing problems, your City of Leeds dentist may advise extraction, but the risks will always be weighed up against the benefits. If you are worried about having teeth extracted, please do not hesitate to talk to us and we will do everything we can to make you feel comfortable and relaxed.
A tooth abscess, known as periapical abscess, is a collection of pus, which develops inside the tooth structure. Abscesses that develop in the gums are known as periodontal abscesses.
What causes an abscess?
Abscesses develop as a result of bacterial infection. Bacteria infect the tooth and spread, causing the pulp of the tooth to become infected. The pulp contains all the living tissue, including the nerves and blood vessels, but once the pulp is infected, the tooth can effectively die. Bacteria will continue to spread through the tooth until they reach the alveolar bone and this is where the abscess forms.
Bacteria enter the teeth through caries (also known as cavities). Cavities develop as a result of poor oral hygiene and eating a lot of sugary and acidic foods. Once the tooth is infected, the bacteria can spread through the tooth is the cavity is left untreated.
How is an abscess treated?
Dental abscesses do not go away on their own and it is important to get treatment as quickly as possible. A tooth abscess is removed by means of root canal treatment. Your City of Leeds dentist will drill through the infected tooth to reach the abscess and drain the pus, before removing any infected tissue and cleaning and sealing the root canals to prevent further infection. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort.
Preventing tooth abscesses
The best way to prevent a tooth abscess is to maintain dental health and visit your dentist every six to twelve months. It is also advisable to avoid eating a lot of sugary and acidic foods, which cause decay and to visit your hygienist for regular cleaning treatments.
Mouth ulcers are sores that are found in the mouth, which are usually oval or round in shape and most commonly develop on the inside of the cheeks. Mouth ulcers are very common in Leeds and around the country and most people will develop at least one ulcer in their lifetime.
What causes mouth ulcers?
In most cases mouth ulcers are not a result of infection and possible causes include:
- Damage to the mouth (for example, biting the inside of the cheek by mistake).
- Brushing very hard.
- Damage caused by a sharp or jagged tooth.
If ulcers appear on a regular basis, this may be a result of:
- Stress and anxiety.
- Hormonal changes in the body, for example during pregnancy.
- Oral trauma, for example brushing too hard.
- Family history
Eating some foods also increases the risk of ulcers. These include:
How are mouth ulcers treated?
Most ulcers heal naturally without any treatment. If you have a mild ulcer, you may find it useful to use a soft toothbrush, avoid eating hard foods and avoid stressful situations. If you have a more serious ulcer and it causing you pain, your GP or dentist may advise you to take medication.
Flossing is an undervalued action. Most of us are aware that we should brush our teeth twice a day, but the importance of flossing is not so well-documented. Brushing is very important, but it only removes a certain amount of plaque from the mouth and flossing must also be part of the daily oral hygiene routine for truly clean teeth and gums.
Why is flossing so important?
Flossing is important because it targets the areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. Flossing removes plaque, food particles and bacteria from the gum line, the corners of the mouth and tiny cracks between the teeth. These areas are prone to bacteria collection, which contribute to decay and gum disease.
What does flossing involve?
Dental floss is passed through the gaps between teeth and along the gum line. It is a very fine cotton-like thread, which is available in various flavours.
Dental hygiene in Leeds
Dental hygiene is extremely important for good oral health. Our dental practice in Central Leeds encourages all patients to adopt a good daily oral hygiene routine, in addition to regular dental check-ups and visits to the hygienist. A good regime should consist of brushing the teeth and rinsing with mouthwash. Floss also helps. Dental hygiene helps to keep common problems, such as tooth discolouration, bad breath and oral health diseases, at bay and teeth looking healthy.
Gum disease is a serious condition in Leeds that needs to be recognised and stopped as soon as possible, as a high percentage of people suffer from it at some point in their lives. The problem is, there can be a number of reasons that cause gum disease. This can range from poor diet and lifestyle, which breaks down the immune system, to the more obvious- poor oral hygiene.
Once plaque is allowed to form into tartar around the base of the teeth, the gums will become infected and start poisoning the blood stream and then the most vital organs in the body.
The first signs of this will be blood on the toothbrush after brushing and a bad taste in the mouth during the day, as gum disease can also lead to halitosis. The gums will also start to recede and you teeth may become sensitive around the root of the tooth.
Fighting gum disease can be a problem depending on how bad it has become. In the early stages, it can be deterred by a good level of oral hygiene, which involves everything from natural, herbal products to some regular cleaning from the dentist. However, in advanced stages, it may take physical surgery to remove the damaged tissue and involve some form of grafting. Of course, whilst this is going on, the infection will not only damage the teeth and the bone that holds them, but will also caused coronary problems and potentially the failure of other organs in the body.