Don’t Ignore Minor Dental Discomfort

It can be all too easy to put our head in the sand, where pain is relatively minor.

It is a fact that most people don’t enjoy having to visit their dentist. Even at the Lighthouse Dental Practice, where our staff are friendly and welcoming to patients, we can still sometimes sense the trepidation as a patient sits in the chair. This is understandable of course; and even some of our own dental team are not exempt from this anxiety.

It is probably no surprise therefore, to know that, even amongst patients who keep their regular check up appointments, there can be a reluctance to contact the dentist when they suspect that something may not be as it should, especially where the discomfort is relatively minor.

Dental emergencies

The type of symptom that we are talking about is not the raging pain that can come with a root canal infection and which is likely to see even the most nervous patient reach for the phone to book an emergency appointment at our Ipswich practice. Not all pain is this severe and sometimes we may notice, for example, a little extra sensitivity in a tooth or a slightly sore or inflamed gum. This type of discomfort can be easy to live with, and there is a strong temptation to wait until the next check up to have it looked at.

If the discomfort occurs on a one off occasion, it may have been caused by an external problem; perhaps the gum has been scratched for example. If the discomfort persists though, it is very likely that you are experiencing the early signs of a problem that will become worse if ignored.

Get it checked

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‘Carb Rinsing’ – The Benefits And The Risks

A word or two of caution for athletes tempted to try this performance enhancement theory.

In ‘The Guardian’ today, we spotted an article which caught our eye. Apparently tests have shown that ‘carb rinsing’ may be highly beneficial to athletes who wish to improve their performances. It is generally thought that this works better in short ‘explosive’ sports rather than endurance ones.

What is carb rinsing?

The idea is that, just prior to a performance, the athlete ‘swishes’ a sugary solution around their mouth before spitting it out. The theory behind these apparent performance improvements is that the brain is tricked into thinking that the body has just been given a supply of fuel and can therefore perform better.

There is a lot more to this study which you can read more about if you so wish. From the perspective of our Ipswich dental surgery however, we can anticipate a rise in oral health problems if this simple technique catches on more widely.

Sugar consumption

Whilst carb rinsing will not really add to the obesity problem created by high sugar consumption, the fact is that this sugary solution will have been swilled around the mouth, coming into contact with, and sticking to, our teeth and gums. This wouldn’t necessarily be a huge problem if, following the performance, the teeth were cleaned straight away. The likelihood though is that it could be several hours before this happens, leaving plenty of time for the sugar to be converted by oral bacteria into the acids that damage the enamel of our teeth.

Long term risks

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Treat Yourself To A Valentine Smile At Lighthouse Dental In Ipswich

white smile transformation

Make the day even more memorable for your partner with a brand new smile!

It can’t have escaped your notice that, where the Christmas cards were a few weeks ago, there are now row upon rows of Valentine’s cards taking their place? This has become an increasingly popular occasion in the UK, with couples constantly seeking ways to improve the experience of Valentine’s day.

Although we don’t wish to play the role of Cupid, why not let our our Ipswich dental practice improve the occasion by helping you to have a whiter smile? Modern teeth whitening treatment is safe and very effective and will last for many months before starting to wear off.

Why not toothpaste?

Given the increasing number of advertisements on TV for teeth whitening toothpastes, it is not unreasonable to ask why you shouldn’t just take this route. The reality is that these will have a very limited, if any, effect on your teeth. Whilst they may contain ingredients that aim to lighten the inner part of your teeth which become darker with age, these are in such small quantities, due to safety regulations, that unfortunately you will probably see very little difference.

Those that aim to whiten the teeth by removing surface staining may do so by adding extra abrasive elements to the toothpaste. Whilst this may work to some extent, if used excessively, it can damage the protective enamel on your teeth, leaving them more prone to tooth decay.

Leave it to the professionals

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The Generational Effect On Your Teeth And Gums

How attitudes from previous generations may be affecting our oral health.

Much of what we learn, we do so from our parents, and possibly our grandparents too. Whilst we obviously go on to educate ourselves about many things, we often find that many of our deepest ingrained habits are often passed down from the generations before us.

This can even apply to the way that we look after our health, and especially our oral health. Attitudes and habits that we may have been taught, in the best of faith, may fall well short of the standards required to have good oral health care in the modern world.

Attitude to sugar

You may have heard your parents say things like ‘sugar never did me any harm’. This may or not be true, but for many older people, sugar was a rarity and was heavily rationed during the second world war and for several years afterwards. It is highly unlikely that most of that generation had anything like the quantity of sugar as freely available as there currently is. Even many savoury foods now contain high amounts of sugar, to say nothing of high sugar fizzy drinks! Sugar will do you harm, and certainly damage your teeth. Understandably we advise our Ipswich patients to cut back on their sugar intake as much as possible.

Cleaning teeth

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Choosing A Local Implant Dentist in Ipswich

Why opting for cheaper dental implants abroad could be very risky.

Dental implants are one of the wonders of modern dentistry. Not only do they replace the visible crown part of the tooth, as dentures and bridges do, but also the root of the tooth.

This helps to ensure that you have a very strong and stable replacement tooth that will not move around in the mouth, and also offers the advantage of helping retain bone mass in the area of the missing tooth.

Because of the cost of materials and the complexity of the treatment, it is not the cheapest tooth replacement option available. Because of this, some patients might be tempted by some of the offers advertised, to have dental implants placed abroad at a significantly cheaper price.

Are there benefits?

We wouldn’t, for one second, wish to suggest that there are no competent dentists abroad. There are many skilled dentists working in Europe and beyond. Unfortunately though, regulations in some countries may mean that dentists who are not fully skilled in implant placement may be offering these treatments. Whilst it is possible that there might be short term savings, these could also well signal the start of long term problems with the implants.

In addition to the above, there are a number of reasons why we suggest that patients who are considering this, consult with our Ipswich implant dentists before making a decision as follows:

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Why Do I Get So Many Dental Cavities?

Our Ipswich dentist explores why some people may be more susceptible to tooth decay than others.

It is likely that most of us will have at least one or two minor fillings during our lifetime, however well we look after our teeth.

The most likely cause of fillings is dental decay and here at The Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich, as in many other dentists, this is perhaps the most regular procedure we undertake. Why though do some people seem to be more prone than others to this problem?

Oral health care

The most obvious difference is in the diet and cleaning regimen of each individual. It is well established that sugars are a leading cause of cavities and, therefore, anyone who eats a lot of sugar will probably be at a greater risk of decay than someone who follows a low, or no, sugar diet.

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Halitosis – Preventing Bad Breath in Ipswich

How good oral health care can help to improve your breath.

You have probably experienced the smell of someone’s breath when they have halitosis. You instinctively know that it isn’t just caused by something that they have just recently eaten, but that there is something very wrong about the way that their breath smells.

You may even find yourself involuntary recoiling as they open their mouth. Naturally, you won’t want others to do the same to you, and our Ipswich dental team are here to help you prevent this from happening.

Bad breath

We should be clear that the bad breath that we are discussing is not that caused by, for example, eating garlic. It is true that some foods, including garlic, can affect the way that your breath smells. Other foods that can do this include coffee, onions, spicy foods, fish and also cigarettes and alcohol. In most cases though, this type of bad breath is usually temporary and will not be long lasting in the majority of cases.

Halitosis is very often caused by poor oral health, or to be more specific, gum disease. Whilst it can also be caused by decaying teeth or old food that has been trapped in your teeth for several days; in many cases, it is gum problems that cause the person to have bad breath.

What’s that smell?

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Festive Dental Care – Simple Tips

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy over Christmas and the New Year.

First of all, we would like to wish all of our Ipswich patients a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all at the Lighthouse Dental Practice. We are sure that you are looking forward to the festive break as much as we all are.

Our practice will be closed for some of the holidays, but should you require urgent dental treatment, please call our usual number on 01473 257379 and listen to the recorded message for further instructions.

Although we can never avoid accidents 100% of the time, there are a number of pieces of advice which we hope will help you to keep your teeth and gums healthy during the festive period.

Remember to clean your teeth – It can be all too easy, when we are tired, to skip brushing our teeth, especially at night. It only takes a few minutes to do this and will prevent your teeth being coated in harmful sugar and bacteria whilst you sleep.

Floss – Try to make a little effort to floss between your teeth. This time of the year sees many high sugar, sticky foods being eaten, and some of this will inevitably find its way between your teeth.

Stay hydrated – Try to drink water throughout the day. This will help to prevent a dry mouth and will also help to reduce the effects of any alcohol that you might drink. A dry mouth increases the risk of gum diseases such as periodontitis.

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Dental Implants – The Whole Tooth

Although well known as a tooth replacement system, implants are much more than that.

If we lose a tooth, whether through accident or neglect, we tend to think of the visible part that we have lost.

Understandably, from an aesthetic viewpoint, that is likely to be our major concern. Less focus is often given to the root of the tooth which has also been lost, but which plays an important part too.

The root of a tooth, although unseen, not only provides the stability for the visible part of the tooth, but also affects other factors too, including our facial shape. When a tooth, including root, is lost, the bone in that area will start to reduce in density and cause minor changes in our facial shape. These changes, and the fact that a gap now exists between our teeth, allows for the movement of nearby teeth. These movements, in turn, leave spaces for other teeth to move, and so on. The end result of this is that our teeth can easily become crooked.

Tooth replacement

If we take a look at two of the most common tooth replacement methods; dentures and a bridge, these do offer an acceptable aesthetic replacement for a missing tooth. They also go some way to preventing other teeth from moving.  Neither is without drawbacks though. Dentures can have a tendency to move around in the mouth, a factor made worse by the bone loss. Bridges offer more stability, but require work to be done on otherwise healthy teeth in order to secure the crowns which hold the bridge in position. Understandably, some patients of the Lighthouse Dental Practice are reluctant to have this done.

Dental implants

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Icy Conditions Putting Your Teeth At Risk!

Falls on icy roads and pavements are likely to lead to a rise in the number of dental emergencies.

Although we obviously hope that all of our Ipswich patients avoid accidents in the bad weather, it is almost inevitable that some people will fall, possibly receiving injuries to the head and face. You should, of course, seek medical attention if you receive a heavy blow to the head, but dental injuries should not be ignored either!

It can be tempting to think that, providing there is no obvious damage, you have probably got away with it. Not all injuries are visible though and some may occur underneath the gum surface, an area that can only be checked using an x-ray.

Broken teeth

The most likely damage to be received by a fall on ice is a broken or badly chipped tooth. It is probably unlikely that anyone would ignore these problems, although, providing that they are not in pain from it, this certainly is not unheard of.

Any damage to a tooth should be seen by a dentist at the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich as soon as possible. If your tooth has been chipped, cracked, or broken, it is very likely that further complications will occur later, even if you are not in any immediate discomfort.

A tooth broken in this manner will almost certainly have its protective enamel surface damaged. Once this happens, acids and bacteria are able to enter the inner, more porous, part of the tooth, known as the dentin layer. Eventually, the canals of the tooth can be compromised and the nerves affected. When this happens, you will almost certainly be only too aware of it, with severe toothache being a strong possibility.

Although an infected root canal of a tooth can be treated with a root canal procedure, it is far better to have the tooth restored to prevent the problem reaching this stage.

Fillings and crowns

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