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What counts as a dental emergency and when should I call my dentist?

Friday, September 11th, 2020

Dental emergencies can happen at any time, in any place. If you find yourself needing urgent help, don’t hesitate to reach out. At the moment, when practices are running reduced services and patients are worried about the Covid-19 crisis, people may be more reluctant to seek help. The message from dentists is that emergency help is available. 

What counts as a dental emergency?

There are many different types of dental ailments and some require swifter or more intensive action than others. Minor problems, such as toothache, a small chip in the tooth and tooth sensitivity, need treating, but there’s no need to seek emergency assistance. Call your local dental practice and arrange an appointment to see your dentist at a time that is convenient to you. Severe issues, such as broken teeth, intense pain, which is affecting day to day life or getting worse, severe swelling and excessive bleeding caused by facial injuries, require urgent treatment. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist as soon as possible. It’s also crucial to seek advice from your dentist or your GP if you are worried about symptoms associated with oral cancer, such as abnormal lumps or swelling and mouth sores and ulcers that take a long time (more than 2 weeks) to heal. 

If you’ve been injured or involved in a traumatic accident, which is causing facial swelling that is impacting your vision or your ability to breathe, you are bleeding heavily after an incident, or you experience loss of consciousness or vomiting, call 999. 

What happens when you see an emergency dentist?

Dental professionals understand that accidents happen, and practices have emergency appointments available to ensure that teams can treat patients promptly. If you need urgent help, all you have to do is contact your dental practice and provide some information about your symptoms. If you need assistance during practice hours, you will be given an appointment at the earliest possible opportunity. If you need help outside of standard working hours, you can call NHS 111 or contact your practice and listen to instructions on the answering service. Some practices offer out of hours care. In extreme circumstances, for example, when an individual sustains severe facial injuries, it may be necessary to visit Accident and Emergency. 

When you go for your emergency dental appointment, your dentist will ask you some questions about your symptoms and then examine your mouth to determine the underlying cause and possible treatment options. You may need an X-ray. The priority is to prevent the situation from getting worse and to alleviate pain. Your dentist may prescribe painkillers or antibiotics, depending on the diagnosis. After your appointment, it may be necessary to book another treatment session. If you broke a tooth, for example, you may have a temporary crown fitted and your dentist will advise you to visit again to place a permanent crown on the tooth. 

Summary

Dental emergencies can affect anyone, and they often happen when you least expect them. Times are strange at the moment, but dentists are keen to ensure that patients understand that they can access emergency care. If you have pain that is getting worse, you’ve been in an accident, or your mouth is swollen and the inflammation isn’t easing with medication, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist. 

Polishing up on dental hygiene

Sunday, July 12th, 2020

Good dental hygiene is your best weapon against oral diseases, including gum disease and decay. If you’re looking to protect your smile and brush up on dental hygiene, here are some top tips to take on board. 

Brushing advice

Brushing your teeth is essential for removing food debris and harmful bacteria before they combine with saliva to create plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colourless substance, which clings to your gum line and the surfaces of the teeth. When you eat and drink, the bacteria found in plaque feed, and this causes them to release acids, which attack and weaken the protective enamel and irritate the gums. To prevent plaque formation, it’s crucial to brush the teeth twice a day, every day. When you clean your teeth, take your time, be gentle and cover every individual tooth surface. You should brush for at least two minutes each time. If your brush doesn’t have a timer, you can set an alarm on your phone or even brush along to a song. 

Studies show that electric toothbrushes remove plaque more effectively than manual brushes. There are several makes and models available, and you can now buy electric toothbrushes for less than £20. It’s really important to brush gently to protect the enamel. If you brush too aggressively, this can increase the risk of erosion. If you’re using an electric toothbrush, you shouldn’t have to exert any additional effort. Simply hold the brush and guide it around your mouth. Dentists recommend using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral, which helps to lower the risk of tooth decay by strengthening the enamel.

Flossing and interdental brushing

When you brush your teeth, you can cover most of your mouth, but you can’t reach every part with a toothbrush. This is why flossing and interdental brushing are beneficial. Interdental brushes are small, hand-held brushes, which are designed to remove debris and plaque from the tiny cracks between the teeth. Flossing involves passing dental floss, also known as tape, between your teeth. Ideally, you should either floss or use interdental brushes on a daily basis. It is common for the gums to bleed the first few times you floss if you’ve never done it before, or you haven’t flossed in a long time. If bleeding persists, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist. Bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease. 

Rinsing

Many of us have grown up with an oral hygiene routine, which involves brushing and then rinsing the mouth out and spitting. Rinsing the mouth after brushing can actually be counterproductive, as it removes fluoride from the surfaces of the teeth, preventing it from doing its bit to strengthen the enamel. After you’ve brushed, avoid rinsing. If you use mouthwash, it’s best to wait at least an hour after brushing. 

Summary

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the most effective way to keep dental dramas at bay. To protect your teeth and lower the risk of gum disease, brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time, clean between your teeth daily and avoid rinsing after brushing. It’s also critical to make sure you see your dentist on a regular basis. Experts recommend at least one check-up every 12 months.

Stay Healthy Out There – Oral Health Tips for Lockdown and Beyond

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

With UK businesses now in lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visiting the dentist is a definite no-no.

Emergency treatment could be difficult to come by for the foreseeable future, so taking good care of your teeth is more important than ever. 

In April’s blog we take a look at some oral health tips to keep abscess and other painful dental nasties at bay.

Brush twice a day

Routine is bound to be the first casualty of the lockdown, but it’s important to maintain the basics – and that means brushing for three minutes, twice a day. Don’t forget proper technique: Make small circular motions, holding the brush at a 45 degree angle.

Don’t forget your tongue

The prospect of romance may be off the cards for a while, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on keeping your breath as fresh as can be by giving your tongue a daily once-over with your toothbrush. 

Go interdental

Food remnants between the teeth are another source of bad breath and plaque build up. Get rid by using an interdental brush before bed. If you haven’t used interdental already, you may be surprised at how fresh and clean they leave you feeling. 

Go electric

Interdental brushes aren’t the only gadget with potential to revolutionise your oral hygiene routine. Going electric lets you (excuse the pun) brush up on your technique and makes for an amazingly fresh feeling. Look out for lockdown deals on electric brushes.

Quit smoking    

The middle of a global pandemic might not seem like the ideal time to give up smoking but the truth is, there will never be a convenient time to kick the habit. Why not use the downtime to pick up some mindfulness techniques and focus on putting the habit behind you – your teeth will thank you!

Watch your diet

A sugary diet is one of the chief causes of dental decay. Sugar turns to acid, which attacks and breaks down the teeth’s enamel. Even acidic fruit is a culprit – so, while the temptation to binge on sugary food could be greater than ever, try to enjoy treats in moderation.    

Dental Health and Pregnancy – What You Need to Know

Friday, February 28th, 2020

Croatian blogger Ella Dvornik recently shared some disturbing images which showed Ella’s gums bleeding profusely – a common side effect of pregnancy.

Ella’s posts prompted a flurry of responses from women who had suffered similar effects while pregnant. They highlighted the need for proper dental care during those crucial nine months.

Let’s take a look at some practical advice on the subject.

Diet

Ella’s condition is known as pregnancy gingivitis.  It’s usually the result of hormonal changes which lead to an increased build of plaque, in turn causing inflammation, bleeding and other symptoms of gingivitis.

Some specialists recommend increased intake of vitamins K and C to keep gums healthy, and it’s also important to avoid excessively sugary foods – a catalyst for tooth decay and gum disease.

Increasing your calcium intake with plenty of dairy products is also great for the teeth and can also promote the healthy development of your baby’s gums and bones.

Hygiene Routine

During pregnancy – and especially when living with the unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis – you may be tempted to skimp on your usual daily dental routine.

But it’s actually more important than ever to keep things ticking along with daily brushing and flossing as usual.

You may also find that gargling with salt water relieves some of the symptoms – but remember not to swallow!

Visit Your Dentist 

Advice on dental treatment during pregnancy depends on how far along your pregnancy is. The good news is that you can still visit your dentist, although it’s best to let them know you’re expecting – even if you haven’t yet told your nearest and dearest.

Dentists will generally limit the treatments carried out during pregnancy to routine checkups and hygiene, only performing more complex work when absolutely necessary. That’s especially true during the first trimester when your baby’s vital organs begin to develop. 

If you do need treatment during this early stage, your dentist may recommend postponing treatment until around the third trimester.

Though generally considered safe, cosmetic treatments like whitening should be avoided altogether during pregnancy.

Teeth Straightening – The Truth about Achieving the Perfect Smile

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

All too often, overcrowding or a slight crookedness to your teeth can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. 

Luckily, there is an easy fix. No matter your age – yes you don’t have to be a teenager to fix your teeth –  straighter teeth can make all the difference to your confidence, appearance and self-belief.

What is teeth straightening?

Straightening your teeth can do more than fix your smile. It can also improve your ability to eat; lower your risk of developing jaw/joint problems caused by overbite or overcrowded teeth (otherwise known as malocclusion), and can put a halt to tooth decay and gum disease.

In other words, by placing your trust in orthodontic treatments, you can reduce gaps and spaces between your teeth; eliminate overbite and essentially improve the position of your teeth so they look and function better.

And the treatments themselves aren’t too intensive.

The teeth straightening process 

Step One – Examination: 

Before you even sign up for any form of treatment, your teeth will first need a full assessment, including x-rays and photographs.

This will allow your orthodontist to examine your teeth and decide on the best course of action. For instance, while most people only need a brace, your x-rays may reveal that you need surgery of the jaw before one can be fitted. Similarly it might be discovered that you need extractions (teeth taken out) to create more room in your mouth.

Step Two – Choosing a Treatment

There’s a whole host of straighteners, aligners and appliances to choose from – each with its own unique set of pros and cons. If you’re wondering which straightening treatment might work best for you, it’s always better to consult a professional. 

Here are a few of the options on offer. Braces – fixed or removable, braces are designed to slowly reposition your teeth by gently applying pressure and are usually worn for between six months to two years. The length of time you’ll need to wear them will be dependent on your needs; however every two to ten weeks you’ll be expected to visit your orthodontist who will check your brace and make adjustments that will encourage the teeth to straighten.

Like we already mentioned, no brace is the same, so dependent on your requirements you could end up with a removable one or a brace that is fixed to the front or the back of your teeth:

– Removable braces: comprised of a plastic plate with wire clips and springs attached (to move specific teeth through tipping/tilting); removable braces are usually administered in mild cases of teeth crowding and need to be worn at all times (except when cleaning).

– Aligners: these removable moulds are computer generated; are based on a bite impression of your lower and upper teeth, and are made from clear plastic that needs to be changed every 2 weeks. Their goal is to move your teeth into the correct position (thus explaining why you need to change them every 2 weeks) and are commonly used in mild cases and on adults. NOTE: compared to braces these have the bonus being easy to hide and clean.

– Fixed braces: the king of all braces, this highly visible brace works by being directly attached to your teeth (through small brackets, cement and wires), where it is then adjusted by your orthodontist to influence the movement of your teeth.

-Headgear: we won’t lie, headgear is not the most appealing option; however it only needs to be worn during the evening or at night, enabling it to correct the development of your teeth and jaws, as well as straighten your teeth.

Veneers (caps): usually used in teeth whitening or to mask chipped teeth; veneers (a thin layer of porcelain/composite material) can also help to correct small gaps in your teeth.

Dental Contouring: this technique is commonly used to reshape your natural, pre-existing teeth to make them appear straighter while repairing cracks and chips.

As you can see – your options are limitless! 

So if you are unhappy with your smile and dream of straighter teeth, then why not pop down to your dentist today and discuss treatments? Whether you are 10, 25 or 40… it is never too late to achieve your dream smile.

No Wires, Straight Teeth – How Invisalign can help you

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

shutterstock_449324422Did you always think that to have a gorgeous smile you had to sport a mouth full of metal or put up with painful wires and brackets? If you’ve shied away from orthodontic treatment in the past, we have good news! With Invisalign, we can create incredible smiles without a wire in sight.

About Invisalign

Invisalign is a clear brace system, which uses a sequence of removable plastic braces to reposition and realign the teeth. These braces are not like your average fixed brace. They are completely different, and they give you the opportunity to enjoy treatment in secret. When the transparent braces are in place, they are virtually undetectable, and as they are removable, you can get on with life as normal. You don’t have to worry about brushing around brackets or trying to make sure food doesn’t get stuck in your teeth while you’re eating.

What does Invisalign treatment involve?

Invisalign treatment is unlike fixed brace treatment because it employs a series of aligners, rather than a single appliance. Each patient’s treatment is planned in advance, and you will receive a set of aligners, which must be worn in a specific order. Each aligner is worn for two weeks. As you get closer to the end of the sequence, you should notice that your smile looks straighter, but the full effects won’t be visible until you remove that final aligner.

The benefits of Invisalign

Many people are put off braces by the idea of having lots of metal parts in their mouths and the assumption that wearing braces is painful and uncomfortable. With Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about discomfort or metal components. These aligners are made entirely from high-grade plastic and they use gentle forces to move the teeth. Initially, it may take you a couple of days to get used to wearing your Invisalign aligners, but you’ll soon be wearing them without even noticing.

To find out more about Invisalign, give us a ring or pop in and see us today!

Walking You Through the Root Canal Procedure

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

585811_blogThe words ‘root’ and ‘canal’ often conjure up feelings of anxiety and worry, but at City Dental Leeds, our dentists work tirelessly to ensure that all our patients feel comfortable and relaxed and make sure you feel as comfortable as possible.

Root canal treatment often gets a bad name, but this important and effective procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic to prevent discomfort. With our experienced, gentle and caring dentists, we promise that you’re in the best hands.

The root canal procedure

Root canal treatment is often recommended when a tooth is infected or decayed and harmful bacteria have reached the pulp tissue. The pulp is the living tissue of the tooth and contains the nerves and blood vessels. Once the pulp is infected, blood supply to the tooth is reduced and the tooth will eventually die. Root canal treatment is a means of saving the tooth by removing the decayed tissue to prevent the spread of infection.

Before treatment begins, your dentist will numb your tooth using local anaesthetic. They will then drill into the tooth and start to remove any damaged or decayed pulp tissue from the root canals. Once the root canals are cleared, your dentist will clean the tooth thoroughly and then fill and seal them.

Often, after root canal treatment, a new crown is placed to strengthen the tooth and protect it from further damage. If this is the case, a temporary crown will be placed immediately after the procedure and a permanent crown will then be fitted around two weeks later.

If you have any questions about root canal treatment or are nervous about having treatment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Accidents And Injuries And How To Prevent Them

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

4225775_blogMost of us have first hand experience of accidents and sometimes, there’s no way of avoiding injuries, but when it comes to your teeth and gums, there are often steps you can take to protect your teeth and avoid unexpected trips to the dentist. Here are some top tips to avoid dental injuries this autumn:

Wear a gum shield: the autumn is here and many people will be taking to football, rugby and hockey fields. If you plat sport, even if it’s just knocking a ball about from time to time, it’s important to wear a gum shield if there is a risk of injury. Mouth guards help to protect the teeth, gums and jaws and prevent injuries including avulsion (when the tooth is knocked out), fractures and chips. You can buy DIY gum shields, which you mould yourself from sports shops, but we strongly recommend investing in a dentist-made gum shield for a perfect fit and superior quality. Gum shields are recommended for contact sports, fighting sports and martial arts.

Take care when you eat: eating hard foods is one of the most common causes of chips and breaks, so be careful about what you eat and try to avoid anything, which is very hard, such as sticks of hard rock and boiled sweets.

Look after your teeth: strong, healthy teeth are more resistant to injury, so make sure you take care of your teeth; brush twice a daily, visit your dentist for regular check-ups, floss and avoid eating sugary and acidic foods on a frequent basis.

Resist the temptation to use your teeth as a substitute for scissors or a bottle opener: if you’re in a rush or you simply can’t find what you’re looking for, it can be tempting to bring your teeth into action, but using your teeth as a bottle opener or a label cutter can cause severe damage, including chips, fractures and injuries to the gums.

 

 

Prevent Bleeding Gums Quickly And Effectively

Friday, September 18th, 2015

3200188_blogWhen it comes to gum disease, prevention is always better than cure, so here are some helpful tips to help keep sore, bleeding gums at bay.

Hone your hygiene skills: good oral hygiene is the best way to keep gum disease at arm’s length and the best news is that you only have to spend a couple of minutes each morning and evening cleaning your teeth to enjoy amazing results. Brushing is essential, but it doesn’t cover the whole of the mouth, so it’s best to team twice-daily brushing with flossing or inter-dental brushing. When you brush, take care to be gentle, as brushing aggressively can damage the enamel and irritate the gums. It’s also advisable to use fluoride toothpaste and to swap your toothbrush every 3-4 months.

Be wary of warning signs: treating gum disease in the early stages is much easier than treating advanced gum disease and it helps to prevent permanent damage to your gums and the bony structures beneath. If you spot signs of gum disease, make sure you arrange to see your dentist; symptoms to look out for include swelling, bleeding gums, soreness and redness.

Book regular check-ups: regular check-ups enable your dentist to look out for early signs of gum disease and keep tabs on your oral health. Ideally, you should see a dentist every 6-9 months. If you do notice symptoms of gum disease, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible, rather than waiting for your next appointment.

Resist sweet temptations: many of us enjoy sweet treatments from time to time, but sweet and acidic foods are bad news for your teeth and gums, so it’s important to moderate your sugar intake and try to avoid snacking between meals. When you eat, acids are released by bacteria, which soften your enamel. If you eat throughout the day, this mean that your enamel is under constant attack and eventually it will become eroded and cavities will form. These acids also irritate your gums, causing gingivitis (early gum disease).

Which Toothbrush Is Best For Me?

Monday, September 14th, 2015

297243_blogWith all kinds of different makes and models and prices ranging from less than a pound to hundreds of pounds, it can be tricky trying to choose the perfect toothbrush. If you’re in the market for a new brush or you’re thinking about swapping your existing toothbrush for a new model, here are some tips:

Ask your dentist for recommendations

There are lots of different brushes around and often, the best thing to do if you’re unsure which brush would be best for you, is to ask your dentist. Many brushes are standard, but many also have added features, which may be beneficial for you; your dentist will be able to recommend approved brands and specific brushes, which will suit your dental needs.

Go for a small head

Brushing can only produce a limited clean because it’s hard to reach every area of the mouth with a brush, but investing in a toothbrush with a small head can help you to cover more ground. Small heads are easier to manoeuvre and they can reach further back into the corners of the mouth.

Invest in electric

Electric toothbrushes are proven to offer a deeper, more effective clean than manual brushes because the brush head oscillates very quickly and is consequently more powerful. The price of electric toothbrushes varies hugely and you don’t need to pay a lot of money for a brush, which will guarantee you a good clean. If you like gadgets, you can pay more for smart brushes, which connect with phones and tablets, enabling you to track your brushing progress and identify potential areas for improvement.

Read reviews

Often, reading consumer reviews can help you to make a decision once you have narrowed down the selection of products; reviews are written by people who have already used the product and they can help to provide information about the pros and cons.