Ill fitting dentures, or weak teeth, can make us avoid some foods.
If you have been wearing dentures for some time, you may have got used to them moving around in the mouth from time to time, and also become accustomed to choosing softer foods to eat in order to work around their lack of stability.
Whilst a modern diet does offer some variety if you only eat soft foods, don’t you long to be able to bite into a crunchy apple or accept a sweet that is offered to you without first having to check it isn’t a chewy toffee? If so, then now might be the time to consider an alternative to loose dentures.
At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, some of our Burton patients have done just this, and now happily chew away without a care in the world about whether their teeth can handle it. How do they do this? The answer lies in dental implants.
Although some dental surgery is required to place implants, once placed, they could well last for twenty years, and possibly more. Their longevity will depend on a number of factors, especially how you care for them. We will provide full information about this if you have implants placed, but essentially, good brushing, flossing and hygienist visits should be all that is necessary.
How stable and secure is an implant?
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Despite advances in dental care, our teeth are under an increasing number of threats.
Whilst modern dental care can now help to preserve and restore our teeth when we suffer from problems, it is far better to avoid these in the first place. This is easier said than done though, and modern life seems to excel at putting obstacles in our path.
Although many of us know that we could prevent common problems such as decay by changing our lifestyles, how many of us are probably prepared to do so to the level that would make a significant improvement to our oral health?
A balanced life
On a practical level, we would encourage patients of our Burton dental practice to at least start to make changes to their lifestyle to help them keep their natural teeth into old age. Even small steps can make a difference, and, as your lifestyle adjusts, you may find it easier to change even more, to the point where your daily habits pose only a minimal risk to your teeth.
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The benefits of wearing a dental brace for long term smile improvements.
It is something of a joke, in the USA, that the British have badly crooked teeth. This is often depicted in cartoons originating from across the Atlantic. Whilst there is certainly some exaggeration and an element of mischief perhaps; having straight teeth is something that, until relatively recently, was not high on many people’s list of priorities in this country.
Whilst, in return, we may make fun of the American’s obsession with ‘perfection’ when it comes to having perfectly straight and brilliantly white teeth, there are some very good reasons why you should consider having your teeth straightened using the dental braces available here in Burton.
Whilst the most obvious benefits of straighter teeth will be their appearance, it also decreases the risk of problems such as decay and gum disease. Bacteria and tiny pieces of food can become trapped between teeth that are crooked, and especially where they overlap. Because of the difficulty of reaching these areas with a toothbrush, and even, to some extent, with dental floss, they may remain there for some time, causing damage to your teeth and gums. Whilst we can usually restore decaying teeth and treat gum disease at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, it is clearly better to avoid the problem in the first place.
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The white smile of your youth doesn’t have to be gone forever!
If you are in your middle years; unless you have been very fortunate, or have already had cosmetic treatments such as a teeth whitening procedure done regularly, it is likely that your teeth will no longer be as white as you remember them from your younger years. Hopefully though, you will have managed to keep your teeth healthy, or if not, had them restored successfully at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice.
Depending on your lifestyle, if you are unhappy with the colour of your teeth, you may be fortunate enough to be able to have them whitened successfully with a straightforward teeth whitening procedure. For many however, the years could well have stained your teeth heavily, especially if you smoked, and the odd chip or crack in the teeth may well also be visible. Here, whitening may not yield the desired results.
Even if your teeth could be whitened, there is little point in having this done if your teeth are otherwise chipped or cracked. In fact, a nice attractive white set of teeth will almost inevitably attract people’s attention, highlighting other flaws that may be present in your teeth.
The white smile of your youth does not have to have vanished for good. As some of our Burton patients have discovered, the use of porcelain veneers offers an excellent solution for those in this position.
As well as providing whiter and brighter looking teeth, veneers also mask any other flaws by replacing the damaged enamel surface of the tooth. Initially the dentist will remove a very thin layer from the front surface of the tooth and then take impressions. These impressions will be used by a dental laboratory to produce porcelain veneers that are designed to fit you perfectly. These are attached using a strong adhesive and should last for a minimum of ten years, given good care.
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If people step away when you speak to them, it’s time to talk to your local dentist.
Some food and drinks can cause our breath to take on a less than pleasant odour. Garlic is probably the best known of these, but others such as coffee, fish and spicy foods can do likewise. In general though, these are temporary odours which will go of their own accord. When you have constant bad breath on a daily basis though, it is more than likely that you have halitosis.
Halitosis is usually a smell like no other, and, although you may not be able to smell it yourself, if you notice people avoiding speaking to you, or taking a quick step back when they do, it is time to talk to your dentist about this oral health issue.
Whilst some gastric problems can lead to halitosis, for the majority of people, it is caused by gum disease. When the bacteria that cause gingivitis and periodontitis become out of control, the gases that they release, as they eat away at the gums, creates a odour which is very unpleasant indeed.
Prevention and treatment of gum disease
Avoiding gum disease, along with the often accompanying halitosis, is relatively straightforward. Good cleaning at home, along with professional care will play a large part in keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Some lifestyle habits, such as smoking and heavy drinking, can also contribute to gum disease and should be avoided.
What if I already have halitosis?
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A ‘stop smoking’ New Year resolution is better late than never.
Did you forget to make any New Year resolutions in the busy period over the festive season? Perhaps you did and are thinking that you will probably now leave it until next year to make any life changing resolutions? Although many of us take this ‘head in the sand’ approach to making changes that we don’t like, a delay to make a resolution to stop smoking could have serious implications both for your teeth and gums, and for your overall health.
There can now be no disputing the fact that smoking is very bad for your health. Time and again, research has shown it to be a leading cause of many health problems, from heart and lung disease to various cancers. At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice in Burton Upon Trent, we encourage anyone who still smokes to stop .. right now.
Even if you don’t take part in any sporting activities, giving up smoking can make your life much easier. If you find that you are wheezing or out of breath when climbing a hill or carrying shopping, then smoking will certainly make the situation worse.
You won’t suddenly become a super athlete when you stub out your last ever cigarette, but running for the bus or playing with your children will likely become easier as the effects of years of smoking leaves your system.
Stopping smoking will reduce your risk of a number of cancers, including oral cancer, as well as helping to clear your lungs as the tar works its way out. The blood vessels that were restricted due to the nicotine will gradually widen, helping to reduce problems such as high blood pressure.
Bad breath, gum disease and oral cancers
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Say goodbye to dull and discoloured teeth!
Now that we are a few days into the new year, we are sure that many of you will be starting to think about the immediate future. Holidays and other plans often come to mind at this time of year, and, judging by the increase in enquiries at our Burton practice, so does cosmetic dentistry.
Probably due to its affordability and almost instant results, one of the most popular of our cosmetic treatments is the teeth whitening procedure. This is a great way to give your smile a real lift at an affordable price.
At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, we offer our patients a home whitening treatment that is customised for each individual. These should not be confused with shop bought kits which are both less effective and also potentially harmful if not used correctly. The reality is that these kits include trays, in which the bleaching agent is placed, that are not made individually. This means that there is a greater risk of the bleach leaking and coming into contact with the soft tissues, such as gums and lips, due to them not fitting correctly. This can cause unsightly, and potentially quite painful, irritation.
Our home whitening kits include the production of trays that are made from impressions of your own teeth, and no one else’s. This means that they fit comfortably and greatly reduce the risk of any problems.
The trays are worn for a few hours each day for up to two weeks, depending on the results that you require. You will also retain the tray, should you wish to have your teeth whitened again at a later date. This reduces the price as you will already have the trays.
Side effects and drawbacks?
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Especially at this time of the year, it can be tempting to leave minor damage until later.
We hope that you all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to the new year. We also hope that you avoided any issues with your teeth! It is likely though, that at least a few patients of ours here at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice will have suffered from a minor issue that they will probably be thinking about leaving until the new year.
Anyone who has suffered from a painful or broken tooth, will almost certainly be on the phone to our Burton practice almost instantly, seeking out an emergency appointment. However, those who have had just a small part of a tooth break away, or even a filling come loose or fall out, may well put it off until things get back into full swing in a few weeks time.
Treat it now
To leave a minor problem is a mistake, and potentially a painful one. Even a small piece of tooth that breaks away can expose the porous dentin layer of the tooth. Unprotected by healthy enamel, this soon becomes exposed to acids and bacteria that start to cause the tooth to decay. The longer that you leave this, the greater the problem will likely become.
Seeing us as soon as possible means that we should be able to retain more of the natural tooth, and, if we treat it before any significant decay has set in, we may even be able to restore it using a simple method, such as the use of dental bonding or a minor filling.
Loose or missing fillings
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Helping you to maintain good oral health into 2018 and beyond.
After thirty years of running a dental practice in Burton Upon Trent, we know many of our longer standing patients on a personal level. Some of our current adult patients came to us as children and now bring their own here. Of course, many things have changed over the years and we are now able to offer a wider range of treatments.
2017 has been a good year and we hope that it has for all of our patients too, and also that 2018 will bring you good oral (and general, of course) health.
To help you with this, here are a few of our tips for keeping your teeth and gums in good shape over the festive holiday season, when we may have a tendency to let certain things slip a little!
However much we tell people about the harm that sugar, alcohol etc can do to their teeth and gums, we know that most people will let things go a little at Christmas. It is inevitable that more sweets and chocolates will be eaten. More alcohol will also be consumed, often by those who drink little during the year.
Given that the above is inevitable, our most important piece of advice to you is to make sure that you brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis. No matter how tired you may be, giving your teeth a thorough brush, and flossing too, will help to minimise the risk of any harm caused by the above.
Reduce the sugars
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With good care, your crown should provide many years of trouble free service.
Where a straightforward filling would not be sufficient to effectively restore a tooth, porcelain or ceramic crowns are often the next option. These are also used in the completion of a dental implant procedure as well as root canal treatment. Once attached to the prepared tooth, they can last for many years and should give you little trouble, providing that you look after them.
Although a crown will not deteriorate as it is made from ceramic or porcelain, and therefore can’t suffer from decay, you do still need to take care of it, and, in today’s Mike Allen blog, we take a look at how you can do so.
Your crown does not require any real additional care to the rest of your teeth but if your cleaning regimen is sub-standard however, your crown may be at risk. Whilst the crown will not decay, the tooth that it is attached to can, and if it does, the crown may become loose or even detach. The problem does not end there though – the underlying tooth will likely need to be repaired and could well change shape slightly, meaning that you may need to have a new crown made to fit it. This means an additional expense for our Burton patients, which may well have been avoidable.
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