This could sound a little patronising, but do we all really know how to brush our teeth properly in central Leeds? Of course we do, we have the most dynamic atomic powered toothbrushes and pastes and things- which is great of course, but that means we can also become complacent and forget the basics and why we are cleaning our teeth in the first place. Essentially, we are trying to prevent the build-up of plaque and bacteria and brushing our teeth correctly is the first line of defence in this fight. Yes, it is vitally important we get the correct brush first- a brush that will suit our teeth and gums and do all of the work required. Some of the electric ones around are remarkable and take the work out of brushing for you, as are some of the latest hand held ones. The idea with any brush is to get to the important areas around the teeth and gums and not only remove any food deposits but to also clean the enamel of the teeth to remove any bacterial film that may have built up on the surface. It is always useful to brush our teeth in front of a mirror so that we can see what we are doing. Get this basic form of oral hygiene right from the start, and our mouths will be well on the way to a healthy life.
Archive for the ‘dental disorders’ Category
One of the greatest aids we have in the city of Leeds to help back-up our daily oral hygiene is dental floss or tape, as using this has become as important as brushing. When you go shopping for floss, you will notice that there is quite a range to choose from and this could be a bit of trial and error at first until you get the one that works best for you; some are thicker than others and so may not be able to fit between you teeth- again, try and see. You can also buy flosses that are already sprung between two small sticks, which takes away the need to wrap the floss between your fingers. Whatever you settle on, you are then going to have to learn a technique that ensures you are using it correctly and removing foodstuffs from between your teeth. The best way of doing this is to get advice from your dentist or hygienist who can show you the correct use of dental floss- it isn’t hard- practising in front of a mirror helps but if you persevere, it will become like clockwork to you and you will be able to do it with your eyes shut. Remember, flossing is the ultimate way to prevent bacteria developing in your mouth.
It is a never ending battle that we fight in central Leeds in order to keep our teeth in our mouths and at the heart of every single issue in the mouth lies plaque, for these fires off all manner of problems in the mouth, one of them being tooth decay. Plaque develops from bacteria that hasn’t been removed from the mouth correctly and then soon starts to form acids on the surfaces of the teeth (among other things). Soon this acid will start to eat into the enamel and then spots will start to appear. This may cause some discomfort in the form of toothache, but if it is caught at this point, the dentist can solve the problem with a filling. If however, the problem is ignored and the acid manages to infect the pulp and roots inside the tooth, you are into serious tooth decay. This is a big crisis; do nothing and you will lose the tooth and risk gum disease and further decay in other teeth and a probable tooth abscess. The only way you can save the tooth is by having a root canal which involves clearing everything from inside the tooth, filling it and the topping it with a crown. Even then, the longevity of the tooth has been vastly reduced because of this. The best way to avoid tooth decay is to prevent it from happening in the first place- only by having a good oral hygiene program that is backed up by visits to the dentist can you avoid the peril of tooth decay.
There is nothing more irritating than a shooting pain in the tooth and shovelling down pain-killers will not get to the root of the problem, for you are suffering some form of tooth decay. Now depending how quickly you catch it, you may get away with having a filling, however, if the inside of the tooth itself has become infected, the only way to save it and, possibly avoid the perils of a tooth abscess, is to have root canal treatment. Now in central Leeds, you may have heard some pretty dark stories about this procedure but it needs to be done. The basics of the treatment are this: the top of the tooth will be removed so that the diseased pulp can be removed and the roots drilled out. In some cases, a common drill cannot get to all of the root, so the gum has to be cut so that the tooth can be approached from the side. Once the tooth is clear, it is dis-infected, filled and then crowned; in itself that’s dark. But you can take heart from the fact that past experiences of this treatment were carried out with a drill, whereas today, dentists are turning to lasers- much more precise, efficient and a lot less painless for the patient; in all, what was once quite a tricky and sometimes complex procedure, has now been demoted to a routine run-of-the-mill practice
Although people ‘bang on’ about oral hygiene everywhere you go in Leeds- from shops to TV- it is for a reason and if you get it right and do it well, you will not only save a packet by avoiding treatments, but you should keep your teeth for a very long time. Some of us get a little lazy overtime and we often forget how to do things properly, especially if we are doing them over and over again. So from time to time, it is important to refresh your daily oral hygiene program as newer, more remarkable products are coming onto the market all the time. First though, you should pay a visit to your dentist and get an update on how your teeth and gums are and remind yourself the correct way to care for your mouth- your dentist will only be too willing to give you advice as they would rather not have to work on you if things get out of hand. Then with all this information in your head, it’s time to get to the shops and invest in the latest and the best. Your toothbrush is essential and seeing as you will using it at least three times a day, it’s important to get one that is sympathetic to your teeth and gums yet gets the job done; and all of that applies to your toothpaste too. Then you need back-up: inter-dental brushes and flosses are the only way that you can get up close and personal with your teeth and gums in a way your normal toothbrush can’t. And too cap of the cycle of goodness for your mouth, you can’t go wrong by having a suitable mouth-wash in the bathroom cabinet either.
Wisdom teeth are often bracketed with the appendix or tonsils- something that has outgrown its usefulness and is now defunct. In some ways that can be true of wisdom teeth though it is not always the case. The reason why wisdom teeth are seen as a problem is because as we have evolved, our mouths have generally become smaller, which leaves little room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to break through and if their route to fresh air is blocked, they have a habit of growing in all manner of directions without even showing, which is why they have to be removed. This whole process normally occurs from the age of 17 and can be for some a very traumatic and painful time. For the lucky ones among us, the teeth will erupt, with a little discomfort, quite normally and if they have the room and cause no problems at all, there is no reason for them to be removed- ever. But for most, the teeth do have to be removed and this can be quite a delicate operation. Wisdom teeth are deeply rooted into the jaw and it takes extreme forces to pull them out, especially if the tooth is not showing. Normally, all four would be done at once, usually in a hospital, because of the complexities involved and afterwards, there is the recovery which too, needs to be handled delicately.
Tooth loss is horrible at any time but if it occurs in an accident in Leeds, you should wise up to the eventuality so that you know what to do and possibly save the tooth. When the accident occurs the maximum time you have to get the tooth back into the socket is 24 hours, but that is really pushing it as by that time, the gap will have started healing itself. Essentially, the tooth needs to be put back in the socket quickly- you can do this yourself, but you should avoid touching the root and the tooth needs to be clean, but that doesn’t involve scrubbing it, just rinsing it in water or milk, then you should get to the dentist as fast as you can. If you cannot get the tooth in, you will need to keep it moist, again in water or milk, until you can see a dentist. The whole point of doing this quickly is to give the nerves on the root of the tooth a chance a chance to join up again with the cells in the gums though the dentist will have to make sure the tooth is secure. However, you never know when these problems will arise and it is difficult to find a dentist at three in the morning. In this scenario, you should get yourself down to A and E.
The temporomandibular joint or TMJ is probably one of the most important yet overworked joint in the body. It is the joint surrounded by tissue and muscle that joins the upper cranium to the lower jaw- you have two, one each side of your mouth. Every day in central Leeds, these joints are working every day, whether it’s by you chewing or talking or clenching, they are on the go all of the time. All dental work is linked to the protection of the TMJ because most treatments that you have, from the placement of a crown to orthodontic work, are designed to ensure the occlusion or ‘bite’ in the mouth remains true, so preventing extra stress being placed on the TMJ. However, one of the greatest enemies of the TMJ is teeth grinding; this can do untold damage to the joints and more throughout the head and neck. Some of the most obvious symptoms that imply the jaw is damaged in some way is problems with chewing, the locking of the jaw, ‘clicking’ whenever the jaw is in motion, facial, ear, head and neck pain and problems in the upper back. Depending how bad the problem is, the jaw will require surgery in order to solve the problem, but any signs of teeth grinding should also be addressed as soon as is possible to stop any further damage. Arthritis is also a problem for the TMJ and you will also be putting yourself at risk if you indulge in contact sports. You have to remember that these are two very tiny joints that you expect to do an awful lot of work, which is why they should be treated with respect.
If you have ever suffered from a tooth abscess in the city of Leeds, you will know just how painful they can be, but did you also realise how dangerous they can be as well? The direct cause of an abscess is tooth decay or damage; where the tooth has become infected inside, it can spread into the roots and then to the jaw bone. During this time, there are certain symptoms that can indicate the onset of a abscess- you will start to suffer from toothache and possibly bad breath, you may even start to feel ill and get a fever, but it is well your cheeks or neck glands swell you know you have problems. Once you have got an abscess, it may disappear if the pulp inside the tooth dies, but it isn’t the end of it and it will return. First, you will need antibiotics in order to clear the abscess before the tooth can be treated with a root canal in order to save the tooth but this can often be just staving off the inevitable for if the abscess re-offends, it could means you have to lose the tooth altogether. You can simmer the pain with warm salty water after brushing or by taking painkillers but an abscess does come with a health warning- because it is surrounded by tissue, the pus can leak poison into the bloodstream and in some cases, this has induced comas and then your very life can be at stake.
Mouth ulcers are quite common in most people in Leeds, though that doesn’t make them any less painful when they erupt. They are generally caused by damage; such damage can stem from having a sharp filling or tooth, bad use of the toothbrush or an accidental biting of the cheeks- certain foods have also be known to cause ulcers to erupt as has specific types of medication. As sore as they can get, they do often heal themselves, though that doesn’t help the discomfort in the meantime. You should try to avoid using a hard tooth brush when brushing your teeth and best to eat soft, easy to chew foods until the ulcer disappears. During this time, you can get soothing gels from your chemist (who will also advise you what to choose) that speed up the healing process. After brushing, rinsing with warm salty water is also soothing and before you sleep, rub plenty of gel into the ulcer. Ulcers do have a habit of repeating but generally this dies off over time (ulcers are more common in children) but if they constantly re-offend, it could indicate something more serious going on so needs to be checked out immediately.