Stressed out teeth!

Whilst factors such as diet and our oral cleaning habits are key to having healthy teeth and gums; other, sometimes inescapable factors, can also have an impact.
Modern life
An increasing number of us live a more stressful lifestyle than our ancestors: work, family, financial responsibilities etc.. This type of stress can have a negative impact on our teeth.

Poor diet
One area which stress can affect is our diet. When all is calm and tranquil, we may stick to our ‘quinoa and yoghurt’ lifestyles, but, when stress strikes, how many of us think about healthy eating? So ready made meals and snacks seem to be the easiest options. Unfortunately, this means an increase in sugar in our diet which, if we do not clean our teeth properly, may lead to eventual enamel erosion and decay of our teeth. Compromised enamel means that tooth decay and other problems are more likely to occur.

Another way that stress often manifests itself is when we grind our teeth together; this is known as bruxism. Although we may feel that we don’t do this, it is likely that when we sleep we are grinding our teeth together, especially if we have something troublesome on our minds.

Not only is this likely to lead to a poor night’s sleep, but regular grinding is known to wear down the teeth, possibly causing a poor and uneven bite, and, in extreme cases, teeth have even been known to break. Grinding is a common cause of dental pain for many people.  In cases where this leads to the breakage of a tooth, the broken tooth can sometimes be restored with a filling or a crown, and worn enamel potentially restored, it is obviously far preferable to avoid this happening in the first place.

If you are aware of clenching or grinding, this can often be the first step on the way to trying to overcome this. Our dentists often recommend to try a mouthguard, it is a soft plastic mould which fits over your teeth and protects during the night. Ask your dentist for more details at your next dental health assessment.
Dental care
Whilst we are not really able to offer any direct help about stress (although your doctor may be able to), what we can do, apart from restore already damaged teeth, is to help you ensure that your teeth are strong and healthy in the first place. This will hopefully help to resist wear and tear. If you are concerned about your teeth, or are aware that you grind them and haven’t had them checked recently, contact the Absolute Team today.

5 things I wish I’d known before becoming a dental nurse….

1- I wish I had been born with 3 hands instead of 2.

2 – Dental floss can be used for many more things than people think for example, replacing shoe laces, cutting food and making a fishing net.

3 – That teeth are the first thing you notice when meeting someone new.

4 – My definition of “busy” would change

5 – How desperate I would become when I have a 5 minute gap and there’s cake in the staff room……

And I LOVE it!


What does Mouthwash actually do?

If you, like me, have ever found yourself in the supermarket dazzled by a psychedelic technicolor kaleidoscopic array mouthwash bottles, have you ever stopped to wonder whether you actually need it? And do they really work? Many mouthwashes claim to combat common oral health problems like bad breath, cavities and acid erosion, but can a twice daily swill of what, let’s be honest for a moment here, feels like a mouth full of bright blue/pink/green acid burning away the surface of your tongue and cheeks, really do everything it claims to do?

Interestingly, the answer is both yes and no. Did you know that most of the chemicals in mouthwash only begin to actively work after 60 seconds of gargling – meaning most people lose out on these benefits because they just swish and spit.

Mouthwash only works as a booster in an already good oral health care regime, meaning you’re wasting your time with it unless your properly brushing and flossing twice daily. That being said, the active ingredients in many mouthwashes do work, provided the above is considered. But there are as many mouthwashes as there are oral health problems, so ensuring you have the right product for you is essential, and just picking the best tasting/least expensive/prettiest bottled mouthwash is not going to cut it.

Some mouthwashes work best used at different times to tooth-brushing; some mouthwashes are recommended for short term use only; some contain more fluoride than others and some are not recommended by professionals at all!

As always, the best person to ask is your dentist, they will be able to suggest a particular mouthwash suited to your oral health needs. Every body, and by extension, every mouth, is idiosyncratic, meaning totally unique to you, so if you need a mouthwash, ask the expert. That way you’ll be able to face the mouthwash aisle knowing exactly which product you’ll be leaving with – one that will work for you.


E Cigarettes; Long term dental issues?

New legislation has just been passed regarding e liquids and e- Cigarettes with the aim to make them safer for those using the products. These items are now registered with the Medicines and Healthcare agency.

There are now an estimated 2.9 million Brits using e-cigarettes regularly. Whilst “vaping” (as it is called) is almost certainly better than smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products, there is no information as to what vaping is doing to oral health.

Quitting smoking is of course beneficial to patients, and we are all aware of the oral health problems caused by smoking;
Mouth Cancer
Gum Disease
Tooth Loss
Bad Breath

However E -Cigarettes do contain nicotine and this is incredibly addictive. Overall, that in itself it is a very unhealthy situation & the combustion creates a lot of the carcinogens that are present in cigarette smoke.

E -Cigarettes still expose the user to a large dose of nicotine which is recognised as a significant risk factor for the development and progression of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease has also been proven to be closely linked to other serious health issues including heart disease, diabetes, strokes and dementia.

So the jury is still out. E-cigarettes can help people to quit smoking but we do not know the full long term impact and therefore recommend our patients only use them for a short period of time.

At every Dental Health Assessment at Absolute, your dentist will carry out a mouth cancer check, and if they have any concerns, they will highlight this to you and refer you to a colleague who can assess you further. We look at the whole mouth, not just your teeth and gums.


Oral health-related quality of life improved with orthodontics

New research has found that orthodontic treatment improves oral health-related quality of llife, with the most improvement being in emotional and social wellbeing.

The paper, co-authorised by Professor Phillip Benson, is based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies using patient reported outcomes before and after orthodontic treatment. The findings are highly significant for the orthodontic specialty, because until now, there has been little evidence that orthodontic treatment improves oral health-related quality of life.

” We are constantly being told by our patients that they are pleased they had their teeth straightened and that they are no longer embarressed to smile or to be photographed” said Professor Benson

Combined data from 4 studies were used to measure what people thought of their teeth, and how their dental appearance affects their life before, during and after treatment.

The data showed that the improvements were measurable in all areas of emotional and social wellbeing.

Here at Absolute, we’ve had fantastic results with our short term orthodontic treatments, and here are what some of our patients have had to say:

“The results are phenomenal and I am so pleased. I’ve had so many compliments and my daughters tell me I have such a pretty smile – the best compliment of all!”

” I would thoroughly recommend the Six Month Smile treatment. The care and attention from Rhod and the team has been perfect throughout”

“I’ve had my braces on for only 2 months and I did not expect to see such quick results!”

Here are some “before and after” pictures of some of Rhods patients who have had their orthodontic treatment with us:

If you would like to know if orthodontics is suitable for you, call us today on 01548 852165 and book a complimentary consultation.


The Reluctant Spouse

As a child of The 70’s, dentists held a special place in my mind, usually at the very back of it. Anyone reading this that had dental work as a child during the 70’s will understand what I mean, little or no pain relief, being held down whilst the dentist did his best to do his work, crowded and stuffy waiting rooms and the dreaded “rubber mask”……… If I close my eyes I can still smell the rubber.

So when I reached my teens I simply stopped going to the dentist, if I brushed my teeth twice a day there would be no problems and no need to see the dentist. Simple. I happily went along for the next 20 years, my teeth getting progressively worse but I thought I could manage it. Then it happened, one toffee too many and my tooth broke. After neglecting my teeth for all those years, I was down to eating on one side only by this stage anyway, and the newly broken tooth was on my “good” side. I had no choice, and the pain was too much:

I had to go…….to THE DENTIST….

I received a personal recommendation to Absolute Dental (from my wife, who had for many years been gentle nudging me to take some action), and driven on by the pain from my broken tooth, made an initial appointment. The first thing that struck me when I arrived was how much it had changed. I walked through the door, I smelt flowers and scented candles (not that “dentist smell” that I remembered so vividly!), I was greeted by attentive staff who knew who I was, why I was there and who I’d be seeing. The waiting area was light, spacious and relaxing. I was offered a cup of coffee! It was like a whole new world! My dentist, Mr. John talked to me (he didn’t “tell me off” for my years of neglect, as I worried he would), he explained what he needed to do, why he’d be doing it, and most importantly to me – what I should do if I needed him to stop. After some gentle reassurance, I felt like I had some control over the situation, and I began to relax. Mr Johns assistant was overseeing everything in a calm and efficient manner; no rush, no panic we’ll go at your pace.

As you can imagine, there was more than this one sorry tooth that needed some attention, but everything was explained to me, and the treatment carried out in stages that I could manage.

Absolute Dental now help me to maintain my new and improved healthy mouth; regular check ups, dental hygienist treatment and spreading the cost with a monthly membership have restored my faith in a profession I was once happy to turn my back on. Although the smell of the rubber mask is still there, the anxiety is not and for that I thank you.

NC – Kingsbridge

HRT and Gum Disease

Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been credited with helping women manage a range of menopause-related issues, including hot flushes, heart health and bone density, and now new research suggests HRT could be used to reduce gum disease and prevent tooth loss.

The study of women between the ages of 50 and 87, discovered rates of gum disease were significantly lower in those receiving HRT, with many seeing a 44% improvement in gum health.

The menopause which occurs in the late 40s and early 50s, leaves women at higher risk of several health issues, including gum disease, due to a decrease in oestrogen levels.

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and evidence suggests that more than a quarter of post-menopausal women are likely to suffer from tooth loss within five years.

An estimated one million British women currently take HRT, however many more could be suffering from menopausal symptoms in silence.

Consequently the Oral Health Foundation , is encouraging woman to be more aware of their oral health during this time and are offering advice about, how to cope with such changes to the mouth.

Several significant changes occur in the body during the menopause and many have resulting symptoms which can have a substantial impact on a woman’s day-to-day life, so much so that oral health can at times feel like the least of their worries.
Falling oestrogen levels throughout menopause can cause numerous health issues, such as loss of bone density, leading to osteoporosis. At the same time, changes in oral health also are common . Teeth and gums become more susceptible to disease, resulting in heightened risk of inflammation and bleeding of gums possibly progressing to pain loosening and loss of teeth.

In addition to gum disease and tooth loss, women undergoing menopause can also be at heightened risk of other oral health conditions such as dry mouth, Burning Mouth Syndrome and weakness in the jawbone .

While HRT could offer women an opportunity to alleviate some painful symptoms, it is extremely important to continue maintaining a good oral health and hygiene routine during menopause.

“Brushing our teeth twice last thing at night and at one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste and reducing the amount of sugary foods and drinks we consume could make a significant difference in keeping any major problems at bay. Cleaning in between our teeth on a daily basis with interdental brushes or floss can also be of great benefit.

“Maintaining good oral hygiene throughout our lives is the best way to prevent the development of many oral health problems. It is important that we do not overlook the health of our mouth and remember, if you are in pain or discomfort please visit a dental professional. A visit to a dental hygienist or dental therapist could really help you and provide you with great advice too.”

Anybody wishing to find out more about their oral health may call us here at Absolute Dental. We are always happy to help!

What to do if a child accidentally loses a tooth

Everyone knows that children have accidents. However, when a child has an accident that affects their teeth, and their smile, you may feel panicked about what treatment may be available. Should your child be unfortunate to have an accident involving their teeth it is important that you take them to your dentist straight away so that their teeth can be examined and given the appropriate treatment. An x-ray may be needed.

  • Small chips to permanent or baby teeth can usually be smoothed down, or build back up with tooth coloured filling material if this is more appropriate.
  • A tooth knocked out of position repositioned by a dentist, or a parent with the dentists supervision.
  • A nerve exposed by injury needs immediate treatment. The nerve may need removal and the tooth restored appropriately.

Yet, immediately after a child has had an accident that involves one of their permanent teeth being knocked out, do not panic, but act quickly and can carry out the following steps as preventative measures:

  • Only hold the tooth by the crown – this is the visible part that is seen in the mouth. Do not hold the tooth by the root.
  • If the tooth is clean, hold by the crown, and with the tooth the right way around place into the socket. If this is done immediately after the accident, then it should be painless.
  • Should the tooth be dirty, rinse in milk or cool water and then place into the socket.
  • Ask the child to bite gently on a handkerchief to hold the tooth in place.
  • Go to the dentist immediately for further advice.
  • Never clean the tooth in a disinfectant or scrub.

However, should the tooth not go back in then:

  • Place the tooth in a cup of milk. Should milk not be readily available then the tooth can be placed in the mouth between the gums and cheek.
  • Do not let the tooth become dry.
  • Go to the dentist immediately or your local hospital casualty department to be seen by the dentist on duty

If your child has an accident involving the loss of a baby tooth then DO NOT attempt to place it back in the socket.

Once at the dentist, you will be advised of the best treatment available for your child to ensure that their smile is restored to its former glory!

Please feel free to print this and/or share this with your friends – or give to grandparents or carers.

Single People “driving illegal tooth whitening”

New research has suggested that not only are single British adults more likely to get their teeth whitened than those in relationships, but that a high number are doing so illegally – causing major concerns for health campaigners.

A nationwide poll found that 1 in 4 people without a partner (24%) have had their teeth whitened, more than twice as many as those in a relationship (11%). Of these, almost half of single adults have admitted to doing so “illegally” (45%), compared with just 1 in 10 (12%) of people in a relationship.

By “illegal tooth whitening” we mean that which is carried out by anyone who is not a registered dental professional (this became law in 2011).

A worrying number of beauticians and salons are still advertising the treatment, perpetuation the belief that this is still normal practice. This would particularly appeal to younger people, on lower incomes, as the treatment seems cheaper than if it were carried out by a dentist.

However, if not done correctly, tooth whitening can cause serious damage to tooth enamel and gum tissue, causing pain.

A dentist will only therefore prescribe you a whitening gel that meets the requirements of a European Council directive, once they have assessed a patient to make sure there are no risks or any other concerns about their dental health. A non dental professional supplying the same gel, is therefore breaking the law.

So, if you are single and ready to mingle, but would like a brighter, whiter smileplease talk to your dentist first!



Bite into your Headache

There are many reasons that you could have a headache, but have you ever considered that it could be something your dentist could help you with?

There are a few oral issues that could be contributing to the pain you are having, it could be as simple as clenching or grinding your teeth or something a bit more complex such as your occlusion (the way your teeth meet).

 Most people are not even aware that they are clenchers or grinders but the teeth don’t lie and your dentist will be able to see evidence of this on your teeth, for example wear on your teeth, broken teeth or restorations, sensitivity or waking with a stiff jaw. There are many reasons why people clench or grind it could be due to stress, anxiety or simply concentration. Either way your dentist will be able to advise and suggest possible treatment to help, for example a specially made mouth guard – don’t worry they are not like the ones rugby players wear, they are clear and discreet and could save you money in the future by protecting those teeth.

If you are getting worse symptoms such as continual headaches or migraine, especially first thing in the morning, pain behind your eyes, pain in your sinus/neck/shoulders, discomfort around your ears, side of your face or your jaw, you could be suffering from a TMJ (Temporo Mandibular Joint) problem. The TMJ is the joint connecting your lower jaw and your skull. The movement in this joint lets you open and close your mouth and chew from side to side.

If your jaw is in the wrong position, the muscles that move the jaw have to work a lot harder and can get tired. This leads to muscle spasm. The main symptoms can be clicking, grinding jaw pain, ringing in your ears and difficulty in opening or closing your mouth could all be due to your teeth not meeting each other properly.

As with any joint pain, it can help to put less stress on the joint, a soft diet can be helpful, as can corrective exercises. Again, your dentist will be able to advise you on the most appropriate treatment for you.

With regard to occlusion, teeth can be carefully adjusted to meet evenly thus relieving the pressure on your TMJ and stress on your teeth.

If you think any of this sounds like you, and you would like to discuss this more, please call us today on 01548 852165

Hope you found this information useful, thanks for reading, take care of those teeth.