A Festive Dental Quiz

How much did you learn from our blogs this year?

Bradley & Partners CanterburySo, we have come to the final blog of 2020! What a year it has been and as things currently stand, doesn’t appear to be getting any better.

We were initially going to offer advice on how to look after your teeth this Christmas – why you should brush your teeth, avoid chocolates etc, but finally decided to offer a quiz to try to offer a little light relief from the current doom and gloom.

All of the answers to these questions will have appeared in our Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic blogs this year so hopefully you have been reading them. Let’s see how well you do. The answers are at the bottom of the page … no cheating now!

Q.1 – What is Bruxism and name 2 types of damage that it can cause

Q.2 – Aside from possible accidents, name 2 negative effects that drinking alcohol can have on your oral health, especially if you drink to excess

Q.3 – Why do older teeth tend to be more dull and even yellow, even in non smokers?

Q.4 – Dental implants are commonly used to replace individual missing teeth but can also be used to replace multiple teeth, including a full arch. Can you name what this procedure is commonly called?

Q.5 – What is a diastema?

Q.6 – Bad breath can be caused by what we eat, but if it is persistent it can have its roots in a particular oral health issue. What is it?

Q.7 – Name the type of filling used in a root canal procedure

Q.8 – What causes sensitive teeth?


A.1 – Bruxism is another name for the grinding together of the teeth. This is largely thought to be brought on by excess stress in our lives and usually occurs whilst we are asleep. Two main problems arising from this is the damage caused to the enamel, with the possibility of broken teeth. Jaw problems can also occur.

A.2  – As those of you who have had ‘one too many’ at some point will be aware; in addition to a headache, alcohol consumption can leave us with a very dry mouth. This often occurs when we are asleep and allows potentially harmful oral bacteria to thrive. These are significant contributors to gum disease. A less common but even more serious problem that can arise if you drink too much and/or too regularly is oral cancer. This can even be fatal in some cases.

A.3 – Whilst it is true that smokers are likely to have stained and yellow teeth, whether old or not, it is inevitable that as we get older, our teeth will lose some of the natural whiteness that they had when we were younger. Whilst surface staining may have a role to play in this, it is more likely that this is due to the dentin layer beneath the enamel surface as it naturally darkens as we become older. There is only one way to restore this part of the tooth to an improved whiteness and that is through a teeth whitening procedure performed by a cosmetic dentist at our Canterbury dental clinic.

A.4 – The placing of a small number of dental implants to attach a fixed bridge of multiple replacement teeth is known by a number of names. These include ‘teeth in a day’, ‘same day implants’ and ‘all on 4’. In the case of the latter, this is due to four implants being used to secure a full arch of replacement teeth, but this number can be increased depending on each individual case following a full pre-treatment assessment.

A.5 – A diastema is another name for the distinctive gap that some people have between the top two front teeth. This has, at times, been thought to be an attractive look but may present some dental issues. Any gaps between teeth can often mean that other teeth are pressed closer together making it difficult to clean between them. A diastema can sometimes be closed using teeth veneers, but orthodontic treatment is also an option, depending on each case.

A.6 – Bad breath or ‘halitosis’ is a common symptom of gum disease. As the bacteria ‘eat’ away at our gums, they expel gases which are released and which we then breath out. Although some bad breath caused by certain foods can be unpleasant, halitosis caused by gum disease can be particularly offensive. Remember to look after your gums as well as your teeth, and if you don’t already use dental floss, make 2021 the year when you start to do so.

A.7 – Most general fillings are either made from amalgam or a tooth coloured filling. For a root canal procedure though, a specific type of filling called ‘gutta percha’ is used. This is a ‘thermoplastic’ material which is heated and compressed into the cleaned and hollowed roots of the tooth and is very effective at sealing them to prevent re-infection. For anyone concerned about its appearance, Most root canal treatments are completed with the addition of a dental crown which will restore the appearance of your treated tooth.

A.8 – Teeth generally become more sensitive to extremes of temperature when the enamel doesn’t offer enough protection. This is usually due to erosion which can be caused by a number of things. These include consumption of acidic food and drinks which wear away the enamel. Another potential problem is when people brush their teeth too hard. Excessive pressure when brushing can wear away the enamel. Once teeth become sensitive because of this, veneers are an option to restore them.

How many answers did you get right? All of them we hope!

From all of us at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, we wish all of our Canterbury patients a Merry Christmas and hopefully, a much happier New Year.