Tooth Itch – uncommon but may indicate a potential problem.
Some symptoms of dental problems are fairly obvious. A toothache will certainly mean that you need to see a dentist right away, and gums that bleed are regularly a sign that you have gum disease that should be treated promptly at our Cheshunt practice.
Other symptoms can feel relatively minor, and you may decide do not warrant a trip to see one of the dentists at The Lodge Dental Street. One of these symptoms is when our teeth start to itch. But what does it mean and what action should you take?
The tooth itch
Unlike an itch on most other parts of our body, a tooth that feels itchy is particularly frustrating as we are unable to give it a satisfying scratch as we could elsewhere. The itch itself seems to come from the inner part of the tooth, a factor which could indicate that all is not well.
Root canal infection
One possible cause of an itchy tooth that would need investigating further, is a root canal infection. If you are feeling irritation inside the tooth, this could indicate that the nerves in the canals have become infected. The use of x-rays will be able to detect if there are any problems in that area, and, if diagnosed, you may need to undergo root canal treatment to preserve the tooth.
Sensitivity following a dental procedure
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What causes gum recession and how to slow it down.
Having receding gums is not uncommon and it is thought that nearly three quarters of the adult population of the UK have this to some degree.
It not only affects the appearance of your smile but can also lead to additional dental problems as the roots of the teeth become exposed.
Whilst some groups, such as older people, are more likely to see their gums recede (hence the saying ‘long in the tooth’), for most of us, taking action to minimise the risk of it happening in the first place, and, if it already has, slowing it down, are the best approaches to take.
What causes gum recession?
Receding gums can be caused by a number of factors. Genetics may play a part, but much if it comes down to the way that we look after our teeth.
Gum disease is a leading cause of this common problem, and it is important to make sure that you gently brush your gums, as well as cleaning your teeth. Angling your toothbrush will help to clean beneath the gum line, a common place for bacteria to build up. Whilst many symptoms of gum disease are quite noticeable, such as bleeding or sore gums, this is not always the case, and we strongly recommend that you see the dental hygienist at our Cheshunt practice at least twice a year to make sure that your gums are checked and helped to remain in good health.
Having said that keeping the gums clean is important, another common cause of receding gums is brushing too hard. The hygienist will be able to show you how to brush correctly, and we also recommend that you use an electric toothbrush which has a pressure sensor that cuts out if you press too hard.
Preventing further recession
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Porcelain veneers can improve the appearance of your teeth in a number of ways.
Many of you may not be aware that dental veneers first came about in the 1930’s to address a problem that Hollywood filmmakers had. Almost every actor and actress at the time smoked, and probably quite heavily as health concerns had not been discovered at that point. The filmmaker’s biggest problem was when it came to the close up shot. There is little doubt that a close up romantic scene would lose its appeal as soon as heavily discoloured and, probably chipped, teeth came into view.
To overcome this problem, veneers were made to fit over the actor’s teeth. This addressed the problem of aesthetics, although these early versions tended to be temporary and did not bond well to the natural teeth.
Fast forward to 2018
Times have changed and modern porcelain veneers, whilst offering similar benefits, are of a much higher quality and bond extremely well to the prepared tooth. Each individual patient will have impressions and scans taken so that the veneers, when produced, look entirely natural and appropriate for that specific patient.
Veneers are straightforward to look after, and, with care, should last the patient for ten years and possibly more.
At The Lodge Dental Suite, our Cheshunt and Broxbourne patients can benefit from having veneers fitted as a solution to a number of problems. These include:
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‘Crazes’ come and go but you can’t beat sensible dental care!
There is rarely a day goes by without some new ‘wonder’ food or ‘miracle’ cure appearing, often endorsed by a celebrity.
Unfortunately, although some of these may be broadcast on social media with the best of intentions, it is often false information that is being shared. Sometimes it is relatively harmless, but unfortunately some of this information may be positively harmful. This applies also to those posts which offer ‘alternative’ or ‘healthy’ ways to look after your teeth.
It is worth remembering that however good an actress, film star or musician they may be; unlike the team at The Lodge Dental Suite, virtually none of them will have ever received any medical or dental training and should probably stick to what they do best!
Below we take a look at a few things that have been promoted recently but which can actually be harmful to your teeth.
Hot water and lemon drinks
Some who prefer not to have a caffeinated drink such as tea or coffee in the morning, may choose something such as hot water and lemon. This has been promoted as giving the body a vitamin C boost and helping to give you a healthy start to the day.
Whilst vitamin C is certainly a good thing in appropriate quantities, the lemon juice is also extremely acidic, and drinking this consistently each morning could well start to erode the enamel of your teeth. As it does this, you can expect additional sensitivity, and also, quite likely, less white teeth as the thinner enamel starts to reveal the darker coloured layer below.
We recommend that patients don’t do this, and instead opt for moderation with any food or drink you consume.
Charcoal and fluoride-free toothpastes
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Protecting your teeth and gums during festive indulgence!
Christmas is a time to be happy and have fun. Families get together, sometimes for the only time during the year.
This can bring a lot of happiness for many people, but also a few clenched teeth for others! Whatever type of Christmas you have, we hope that it is one free of dental problems, especially at times when your local dental practice may be closed, and you would need to see an outside dentist who you are not familiar with.
With this in mind, here at The Lodge Dental Suite, we have put together a few simple tips for our Cheshunt, Waltham Cross and Broxbourne patients which should help to keep your teeth and gums trouble free over the holiday period.
Don’t stop cleaning
General excitement, tiredness, or even the excess of alcohol consumption can all be given as ‘excuses’ not to clean your teeth, especially last thing at night. This is the worst time to neglect your teeth though, as your teeth and gums will be coated in the sugars and acids from the food and drink consumed during the day. With much festive fayre being very high in sugar, failing to clean your teeth is not a good idea!
Mind the booze
We don’t expect people not to drink at Christmas, but drinking heavily can have a negative effect on your teeth and gums. Not only is gum disease more of a risk, due to dry mouth syndrome, but falls and accidents are far more likely if we have drunk too much. Try to keep your intake moderate, perhaps alternating alcohol with water or soft drinks.
Mind those party tricks
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Freezing conditions are likely to lead to an increase in emergency dental appointments in Cheshunt
Whether this current cold snap is a one off or something which may well occur a number of times before the winter is over, it is worth considering the additional risk that it creates for your teeth. However careful we are, we may not see the patch of black ice in front of us, and, as anyone who has done so will know, falls on ice can be very heavy and uncontrolled.
When we fall ‘normally’ we are usually able to protect ourselves with our arms to some degree. When we slip on ice, this can happen so fast that this is no longer possible. Depending on how we fall, this can lead to head and facial injuries.
If you live in the Cheshunt, Waltham Cross or Broxbourne area, and are unfortunate enough to receive a blow to the teeth in this way, here are the steps that you should take:
Accident and Emergency
We can’t emphasise enough that your priority should be your health if you have received a heavy blow to the head or face. Head trauma can be very serious and you should go straight to your local A&E to be checked before you do anything else. This is especially the case if you have blurred vision or feel dizzy or any other similar symptom.
Call our Cheshunt dental practice
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Turning a blind eye to minor niggles can lead to more serious problems later on.
It is, perhaps, human nature to put our heads in the sand when a problem arises.
Sometimes we may do this very temporarily before acknowledging that the situation has to be dealt with. At other times however, it can be tempting to leave our heads there a bit longer than we really should. This is what sometimes happens, with some people, when they notice a minor ‘niggle’ with a tooth or a slight soreness of the gums.
At The Lodge Dental Suite in Cheshunt, we have seen a number of patients who have done this in the hope that the problem would go away of its own accord. This can happen of course. For example, a seed or small piece of hard material may have become lodged between the gum and tooth, causing some temporary soreness until it comes out. In many more cases though, this early discomfort may well be the sign of something worse to come, unless dealt with.
Some early warning signs and potential problems are:
Aching or mild throbbing tooth
If you are experiencing any unusual sensation in your teeth, then there is likely to be a problem that shouldn’t be ignored. Both of these symptoms may well indicate the presence of tooth decay. If you act promptly, it may only require a small filling. If ignored until the discomfort is more serious, you may even need to have a root canal procedure or even have the tooth extracted.
Sore or bleeding gums
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Why DIY dentistry is almost always a very bad idea.
What is the first thing that you do if you feel unwell, or suspect that there is something wrong with your teeth? You probably go straight online to try to self diagnose, as many people do.
Whilst it is great being able to find information about your health online, interpreting the information and being able to determine the difference between accurate information and false claims can be difficult.
Some of the false information is available because, quite bluntly, it makes money for the person claiming it. Other information may have been uploaded by someone with the best of intentions, but unfortunately, this also often results in damage to the teeth and gums.
In today’s blog, The Lodge Dental Suite team take a look at some of the more common dental claims that can cause harm which are commonly found on the internet.
This is one of the most common searches relating to cosmetic dentistry. Because many of the suggested methods seem relatively harmless and easy to try, it is probably not surprising that people try to save themselves a few pounds by attempting this themselves. Unfortunately, even such a non invasive treatment as teeth whitening can be very damaging if you do it yourself. One of the most common suggestions is to use lemon juice to whiten the teeth. Not only will this not work, but the high levels of acid will cause harm, damaging the enamel on your teeth.
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Even though they may not be very visible, our rear teeth are still important.
It is only when we laugh out loud that people are likely to see our rear teeth (apart from your dentist, of course!)
Because of this, if we lose one, we may consider it not worthwhile having an artificial replacement and, instead, leaving the space as it is. This may make little cosmetic difference to our smile, but it can have a number of negative effects.
Firstly, our rear teeth are the ones that do a lot of work in breaking down food so that we can swallow and digest it efficiently. Lacking a rear tooth means that this now has to be done by the remaining teeth. This puts additional strain upon these teeth, potentially leading to premature damage.
Front teeth chewing
In cases where a few back teeth have been lost, it is not unknown for patients to switch to chewing with their front teeth, or those nearer the front. Whilst they may opt for softer foods when eating out in order to avoid doing this, they may well do so at home when on their own.
The teeth towards the front of the mouth are not really designed for this purpose, but to bite off and tear food into smaller pieces, ready for the rear teeth to grind it down further. Using these teeth to chew is potentially going to lead to damage, whether the gradual wearing down of the tooth, or even an unexpected breakage.
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A look at some of the ‘added benefits’ of having a teeth whitening procedure.
It is fair to say that the main reason for having a teeth whitening procedure is to get whiter teeth. That much is pretty obvious!
Whilst this is a more than worthwhile reason in itself, patients are often surprised by the additional benefits that it can sometimes offer.
So if you are considering having this popular cosmetic dental procedure at our Hertfordshire dental practice, but have yet to take the plunge, why not read on to see what else you might gain from it.
A warmer smile
There is little doubt that it is much nicer being greeted by a white smile than one that is dull or discoloured. Research has shown that we tend to respond positively to a nice smile and this can be to our advantage when we meet someone for the first time, whether this be a business or personal meeting.
Do you sometimes take a quick peek in the mirror before you go out to see how you look? Most people do. Imagine how much happier you might feel if you saw a set of attractive white teeth reflected back at you? We suspect that your self confidence will receive a boost after having your teeth whitened at The Lodge Dental Suite and many of our satisfied patients confirm this.
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