common conditions

Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. It is very important to treat gum disease as soon as possible as early intervention allows the simplest and most effective resolution of the problem.

The treatment for gum disease usually involved a thorough cleaning with a dental hygienist and improved oral hygiene by the patient themselves. Mouthwashes can sometimes play a small role in the treatment of gum disease, on their own they are never the solution to the problem. Link to gum disease/dental hygienist

Sensitive teeth

If hot or cold drinks cause pain from your teeth you may have sensitive teeth. However tooth decay, tooth wear or gum recession also cause the same symptoms and therefore if you have sensitive teeth it is important to get your teeth examined so that any required work is carried out. Remember most dental problems can be solved simply if attended to in time. Delay may result in a more complex solution being required.

Where your teeth are actually just sensitive and no dental work is required we find the use of a sensitivity tooth paste to be the best solution. We recommend the use of sensodyne classic as a short term solution to tooth sensitivity, use it as your toothpaste but also use it like an ointment and place it onto the sensitive tooth, leave it there for around 10 minutes to maximise its effectiveness. Sensodyne classic does not contain fluoride and so we do not recommend it for long-term use but have found it to be very effective when used for 1 or 2 weeks. At this stage you can return to your regular toothpaste or use a fluoridated sensitivity toothpaste.

Bad breath

Bad breath, especially when it is accompanied by bleeding gums, is often a sign of gum disease. It may also be a sign of a dental infection or a decayed tooth so the first port of call if you or your loved ones notice that your breath is not as fresh as desired is to have your teeth examined.

Dehydration is another common cause of bad breath. Adequate saliva is vital in keeping the odour causing bacteria under control. If you are dehydrated you will not produce enough saliva and therefore ensure you drink enough water to keep your breath smelling fresh.

Other common causes of bad breath are smoking and eating certain foods.

Mouth Ulcers

A mouth ulcer is a painful, clearly defined round or ovate sore that appears in the mouth. About 1 in 5 people will periodically suffer from mouth ulcers throughout their lives, these are called recurrent aphthous ulcers. The cause of recurrent ulcers is unknown but may be more likely with stress, anxiety or hormonal changes.

Most people will suffer from occasional ulcers which may be related to trauma from incorrect brush or from a sharp or broken tooth. If you have not suffered from ulcers in the past but have started to get ulcers more often it is worth taking a supplement containing iron, vitamin B12 and folate as a deficiency in any of the above can result in mouth ulcers.

Occasional mouth ulcers can be related to an underlying condition such as coeliac disease, crohn’s disease or an immunodeficiency.

Unfortunately there are no effective treatments for mouth ulcers. They heal over a 1 to 2 week period. If they are very painful you can try a painkiller like paracetamol or ibuprofen, or try covering the ulcer with orobase gel.

If an ulcer does not heal within a 2 or 3weeks it is important to have it checked as a persistent ulcer could be a cancer.

Cold sores

Cold sores are small blister like lesion that usually appear around the mouth. They are caused by herpes simplex viruses. These are highly contagious and once contracted remain dormant most of the time. However every so often the virus is triggered resulting in a new outbreak of cold sores. Common triggers include sunlight, stress, exhaustion, menstruation, and an injury to the mouth, surgical or dental procedure.

Cold sores initially produce an itching or tingling sensation. At this stage an antiviral cream like overtax can be used to prevent the cold sore from developing. However once the blistering appears the cold sore cannot be treated and must be allowed to heal. This usually takes about 2 weeks.

 

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