November 7th, 2018
If you have trouble sleeping, your first port of call is probably your GP, but have you thought about seeing your dentist?
There are myriad reasons why you might be finding it tough to snooze soundly, and some have dental connections. If you regularly wake with headaches, you live with a snorer, or you’re prone to grinding your teeth, for example, you may find that seeing a dentist could solve your problems.
Bruxism, the medical name for tooth grinding, is a common problem that tends to be exacerbated by stress and anxiety. If you grind your teeth, you may find that you suffer from jaw pain and headaches, which affect your sleep quality. If bruxism is an issue, your dentist can help. In cases where there is no clear underlying reason for grinding the teeth, dentists may recommend using a bite guard. This is a custom-made appliance, which is worn at night to prevent the teeth from clashing together. It protects the teeth, and also lowers the risk of jaw stiffness and pain, headaches and neck and shoulder pain.
Snoring is another issue that you may not think your dentist can help you out with. The truth is that many dental clinics offer help with snoring. Snoring is often a result of struggling to get enough oxygen when you sleep. To combat this issue, dentists can provide an appliance known as a mandibular advancement device. This helps to open up the airway by pushing the lower jaw forward slightly while you sleep. The result is a peaceful night for all members of the household.
Next time you’re having difficulty sleeping or you’re lying awake listening to your partner snoring away in the early hours, why not see if your dentist can help?
March 28th, 2018
Most people know that taking a trip to the dentist every 6-12 months can keep decay and gum disease at bay, but did you know that dental checks can save your life? It may seem a little dramatic to suggest that five minutes in the chair could make the difference between life and death, but dentists are trained to identify much graver signs than cavities and swollen gums.
Dentists undertake advanced training to enable them to identify warning signs of many different health conditions. Research suggests that there is a strong link between oral and general health and often, dental symptoms can indicate an elevated risk of potentially life-threatening illnesses. Common signs of gum disease, including swollen gums and loose teeth, can also be linked to heart disease. Scientists believe that harmful bacteria associated with advanced gum disease can travel from the mouth to other parts of the body, increasing the risk of an inflammatory response, which could trigger heart attacks and strokes.
Another important reason to visit the dentist is to check for early warning signs of oral cancer. Mouth cancer, a type of cancer that has become much more common in the UK in the last decade, is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Dentists are trained to identify early signs. Regular checks can ensure that cases are diagnosed when the chances of successful treatment are at their highest.
Dentists are also well-versed in the link between diabetes and dental health, and in some cases, they may be able to spot potential symptoms before a patient has been diagnosed with diabetes. Studies show that people who have diabetes are more prone to oral health issues, but there is also a suggestion that poor oral health can increase the risk of diabetes.
May 24th, 2017
New research has found that 34% of people in the UK are scared of visiting the dentist, with 79% of these admitting to putting off receiving medical advice and treatment as a result. This raises the importance of mitigating dental phobia and anxiety with regard to visiting the dentist.
The survey, carried out by Fletchers Solicitors, looked into how many people were scared to visit doctors, dentists and opticians and why, and when it came to dentistry the results were fairly interesting.
Of the reasons to not visit, the biggest reason was fears of finding a new health problem that was not known before with almost 69% of the people who admitted they had a dental fear citing this as a reason. A fear of the dentist drill, needles or other equipment was the second biggest reason, with 52% saying this was the reason.
This makes a focus on soothing those fears and ensuring dentistry is as pain free and relaxing as possible so important because many people do not visit the dentist as a result, which means they risk potentially dangerous health issues being ignored or allowed to progress, such as gum disease. This extends to other medical disciplines because positive and timely medical care can only be provided when a patient is at ease and willing to talk to someone who can help them.
Other top reasons for being worried about medical appointments include a bad childhood memory (45%), a bad experience that happened in the past (22%) and the potential pain of a treatment (14%).
It is interesting that given that a lot of bad experience of dentistry usually involve painful or uncomfortable treatment that the actual pain ranks only fifth on the list of people’s concerns, which means that most of the work to improve this will come before the patient even sits back in the chair.
March 8th, 2017
One of the UK’s most senior dentists has urged parents to make sure they take their children to the dentist before they celebrate their 1st birthday.
Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Royal College of Surgeons’ faculty of dentistry, was speaking after new figures revealed alarming oral health habits in London. A recent report confirmed that 9 of the top 10 boroughs in the country for the worst rates of childhood dental appointment attendance are located in London. In Kensington and Chelsea, Hackney, and Tower Hamlets, more than two-thirds of children didn’t see a dentist last year, despite expert advice recommending 6-monhtly check-ups for children.
Professor Hunt said that it was “unacceptable” for so many children to miss out on dental appointments, and said that the capital should be “ashamed.” Some parents aren’t taking their children to see a dentist because they assume that they’ll have to pay, which is not the case, as NHS dental care is free of charge for children. In other cases, Prof Hunt suggested that parents aren’t taking the time to ensure that their child has regular dental check-ups, and they should be made aware of the importance of frequent dental checks.
Every year, more than 11,000 children in London are admitted to hospital for dental treatment for an illness, which is preventable. The number of procedures has almost doubled in the last 7 years, and parents need to be aware that they should be taking their children to the dentist on a regular basis from the age of 12 months old.
January 30th, 2013
You may have a great dentist that you have a good relationship with, who will help to patch you up and keep you smiling whenever you need it. But even a relationship like this can be tested if you keep calling up whenever something goes wrong, or what you deem to be an emergency. The nature of a dental emergency should be looked at objectively: your teeth should always be checked out if you have a problem, but some situations are more important than others. Losing a veneer, a crown or a filling, chipping a tooth or having a mild toothache are minor emergencies and can be coped with until your dentist can get to see you. However, losing a tooth or having an abscess erupt in your mouth requires instant treatment and they are major emergencies. You can never tell when an emergency will arise though so you should make yourself familiar with protocol. Hospitals throughout the city of London will treat the more important dental emergencies, but there are also 24 hour dentists around as well that will treat all levels of problems. On top of this, it is also useful to look after yourself until you can be seen by someone; having things like painkillers lying around can help to ease your discomfort and deflate any shock that you may also have suffered from.
September 29th, 2012
If you decide to move away from home and move to somewhere as vibrant as central London, even with your family, there are weeks of familiarising yourself with the lie of the land, and somewhere in all of this, will be to find yourself a dentist. Now there are a few rules attached with your decision, because you are about to let a complete stranger into your mouth. Firstly, you could try asking friends, neighbours or work colleagues who they go to, this may give you your first direction to head- if you’re brave, pick one from a directory. Then, the next thing to do is go in and meet your potential dentist, look around the surgery and see how modern it is, because some surgeries are technologically behind others in the treatment they offer: discuss payment plans and insurance policies- essentially, get all the information you need to make an informed decision. Another important factor behind your choice comes if you have children. There is a good chance that one or all of them may need some form of tooth alignment at some point in the future. This will mean lots of visits to the dentist, so you should choose one that is close, otherwise, you will be forking out on a lot of travelling. Finally, when it comes to children, they like familiarity and it is always good to have a dentist that is going to grow alongside them and chart their dental history, and be able to set up a rapport with them.
September 15th, 2012
There comes a time in our lives when we discover that we are neither immortal nor indestructible and our bodies are in need of some TLC from time to time and in this equation, there are people set into the structure of our lives to help us out, hair-dressers to keep you groovy, doctors to mend a broken bone, barmen to mend a broken heart and then there’s your dentist to keep you smiling through adversity. A dentist is an integral part in the cycle of your health throughout your life and will do everything possible to ensure you have great oral health at all times. Now although people feel they can skip appointments from time to time because they are using the best products around at home, it is foolhardy and dangerous to do so. People work hard and play even harder in central London and by doing so, they can also skip important parts of their oral hygiene as well as their dental visits. Bacteria breeds like wildfire in the mouth and bad things can get out of hand very quickly, and if left unchecked, your dental bills will get out of hand pretty quickly too. Every time you pay a visit to your dentist, he/she have a set agenda and will look for the basic signs of trouble- plaque, tartar, decay, gum disease and wear. You will have an X-ray to highlight any problems and then the dentist will choose the best way of fixing them- if needed. Your teeth will be cleaned and polished and then you can go on your merry way to start the next 6-month cycle. It’s also a good time to discuss any problems you are having, or to broach the subject of cosmetic treats that you are considering having done. The dentist is a great ally to have in a crisis, so do yourself a favour and keep up with your visits bi-annually.
January 17th, 2012
Mouth-washing in the City of London
The dentist industry is forever coming up with new fangled ways to get you to put your hands in your pockets and buy the latest dental products on the market, and if you take a look around you the next time you go out shopping in the city of London, there are dozens to choose from in the shops: some work fantastically, some not so but they all do some sort of job for you. However, as research goes on, some of these products tend to get questioned as to whether or not they do any effective job at all and one that is always being questioned about its validity is the mouthwash. Once you’ve brushed and flossed, you should naturally rinse afterwards- now, the argument here is, if you have already cleaned you teeth with a plaque busting brush and relevant toothpaste, is there any real need for an anti-septic mouthwash as well, or are they just a way to con you out of more money. There is no doubt that some of these do help in the fight against bacteria in the mouth and do give you that crowning after brushing. But the real advantage of a mouthwash is when you don’t have a brush with you after eating, say when you are out, and by gargling with one of these can help break down the acids and sugars in your mouth, especially if you have a little inter-dental brush to hand as well to clear the food away first. They also leave your mouth feeling fresh as well; most products have there use, and if using a mouthwash works for you, then use one- they certainly aren’t going to do you much harm.
January 11th, 2012
How hard can Oral Hygiene be in Central London?
Oral hygiene is the engine behind a whole process of stopping your mouth into disrepair and putting your body health, teeth and gums in danger. But for all our better efforts, there are a lot of us living in central London who are still not getting our oral hygiene right, or not even doing it at all. Just by buying the best products around is pretty pointless if you don’t know how to apply them correctly. So let’s get back to basics; brushing, flossing and rinsing- that’s all there is to it. Find the right brush that fits your mouth and then find toothpaste to accompany it and then learn how to use them. Floss, because your brush can’t always get right into the areas that floss can- and then rinse; mouthwashes just put the icing on the cake. There are other little devices such as inter-dental brushes that you can use between the teeth to remove foodstuffs and by using herbal remedies such as Echinacea or tea tree oil to massage your gums with, it will help stimulate them and keep them healthy. But the most important part of this oral jigsaw is your dentist who can check if you are doing okay every 6 months. They can patch you up and fix any problems, tell you off for not behaving yourself and then advise you if you are having problems with your oral hygiene. Rocket science…no, but vitally important…most definitely!