It’s never too late to turn the tide on poor oral health.
Hopefully, even in these troubled times, our Canterbury patients are still making sure to look after their teeth as well as they can.
The upcoming weeks may be a challenge for many of us and some potentially harmful habits may result from our dramatic change in lifestyle and routine.
Boredom might be a problem for many people and, especially if you are using the time to watch a lot of TV and films, reaching into your chocolate and sweet supplies might be very tempting.
A lack of regular routine may also mean that we skip cleaning our teeth if we are used to doing it before we leave for work and are no longer doing so. The usual ‘rules’ for healthy teeth apply. Please watch what you eat and clean and floss your teeth regularly.
With a little luck, this period of relative isolation should be short, but oral health neglect often lasts for much longer. This may be due to a poor understanding of oral health care or even a fear of visiting the dentist. However badly you have looked after your teeth though, it is never too late to start to return them to better health. At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic in Canterbury, we offer a range of treatments that can be used to restore your teeth following a long period of neglect.
Even if you look after your teeth well, some bacterial and mineral deposits will build up in places around the teeth and gum line. If you have neglected them, this will be much worse. Along with any obvious and noticeable problems such as bad breath, you could also be suffering from gum disease. This is not only be unpleasant for the patient, with sore and bleeding gums a possibility, but in its advanced stage, can cause teeth to become loose and even fall out. This is due to damage to the supportive bone structure.
Our hygienist can help to reverse this if caught early enough, with a straightforward and non-invasive treatment called a ‘scale and polish’. This removes the tartar from the teeth and gum line. However, if the disease has reached below the gum line, you may also need to see a suitably qualified dentist for a deep clean, below the surface of the gums.
In improving the overall health of your mouth, we will also need to restore any teeth that have been damaged or are decaying. Where the damage or decay is light, it may be possible to restore them using a routine filling and many of our patients opt to have our tooth coloured variety rather than the traditional amalgam version. Whilst amalgam is a strong material, it is dark in colour and therefore very visible. Tooth coloured fillings, as the name suggests, blend in well with your natural teeth.
More extensive damage or decay to teeth may require more substantial repairs and in these cases, it may be that a filling is not a practical option and a crown might provide a better outcome. Crowns, or ‘caps’ as they are sometimes called, are added to the top of a shaped tooth to restore both shape and strength and also to protect the rest of the natural tooth from decay.
Root canal treatment
If the roots of a tooth become infected, there is little option but to perform what is known as a root canal treatment. This involves your dentist accessing the top of the tooth, cleaning out the canals before filling them and replacing the top part of the tooth with a crown.
With long term neglect comes a real possibility of tooth loss. Ideally, any missing teeth should be replaced as missing teeth can affect other teeth by allowing them to move and become crooked. This in turn can lead to a malocclusion, or bad bite, which can lead to further damage of the teeth. Whilst we are able to provide dentures for those who want them, we are firm believers that dental implants offer our patients a more sustainable solution. Implants replace not only the crown part of the tooth, but also the root, providing a level of strength and stability that dentures or bridges simply cannot match.
Although implants do require a small surgical procedure, they can last for 20 plus years with good care and offer good long term value for money. If you have lost a tooth and would like to discuss this option with no obligation, please do get in touch with us and we’ll be pleased to advise.
Although these are very difficult times, please remember to look after your teeth as well as you can and that we will still be here after this is all over to help you maintain a healthy mouth and smile.
Appointments and general advice are available by calling Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic on 01227 463529.