Take the headache out of dental hygiene

There is no getting away from the fact that if you want your teeth to last for a long time, you are going to have to devote a fair bit of time to cleaning them. Not cleaning your teeth properly is at the root of nearly every dental problem, and certainly the big two culprits for tooth loss – decay and gum disease.

Dental hygiene in Bournemouth for kids

Dental Hygiene BournemouthChildren are far more likely to lose their teeth to decay than adults are. This is because they have not yet mastered the skills of teeth cleaning and also because they ingest much more sugar than adults, in the form of snacks and drinks. Sugar feeds the bacteria in our mouths that produce the acids that erode our teeth, creating holes through which decay-causing bacteria can enter.

Our two hygienists at Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth can give your children a regular deep clean to stop decay-causing plaque from building up. They can also show your kids how to clean their teeth and make it fun.

If you find it hard to get your kids to stand still long enough while they clean their teeth, you can try buying them a toothbrush with a built-in beeper that goes off after the required two minutes of brushing.

Hygiene for adults

Adults can still get decay, but as we grow older we are far more likely to experience gum disease. This is also caused by bacteria giving off acids. They build up as plaque, and if you don’t brush them away from the gum line, the acids they give off inflame the gums, which become sore and red and can easily start to bleed. When left in place, after about three days, the plaque calcifies into tartar, which still gives off acids, but can only be removed by scraping.

Twice-yearly sessions with our hygienists can help keep gum disease at bay. Miss these and gum disease can erode the bone under the gums, loosening teeth and eventually causing them to fall out.

Special cases

You will probably have to visit the hygienist more often if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • A smoker
  • Diabetic

You also need to be vigilant about gum disease if you have dental implants.

 

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Cleanliness is next to toothliness

Nowhere is bodily hygiene more important than in your mouth. People may get serious about keeping their hair and bodies clean, but evidence suggests that we are better off leaving our beneficial skin bacteria alone for a bit to protect us. That’s not how the mouth works. It too has bacteria living in it, and of themselves, they are quite harmless. It’s what they give off that is the cause of most of the problems you come to the dentist to avoid and fix.

Dental Hygiene in BournemouthIf you want to hang onto your teeth for as long as possible, you need to clean them. You need to do this twice a day for at least two minutes with a soft-medium bristle brush. You need to clean between them with floss and/or interdental brushes and you may also need a mouthwash.

You also need to come to us at Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth for check-ups and deep cleaning sessions at least twice a year. We can help remove any bacteria left behind that have hardened into harmful tartar.

What the bacteria do

They hang out in your mouth waiting for you to eat or drink something, then they start to feed on the sugars in whatever you put in your mouth. If whatever you ate was high in sugar (which may not be the same as sweet), those little critters have a feast on their hands. All that food gets them proliferating and that’s when you start to feel a furry, sticky film developing over the surface of your teeth. What you cannot feel, though, is the acids those happy bacteria are giving off after their feast. These acids erode the enamel, causing it to become firstly more porous and then to have holes, through which decay-causing bacteria can get in.

Meanwhile, the bacterial plaque around your gum line irritates your gums, as acid would, and your gums get inflamed, sore and bleed easily when you brush them. They start to pull away from your teeth and plaque can now get in under them and attack your bone.

Both problems eventually end up in tooth loss. Don’t let that happen to you.

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Why we recommend white fillings in Bournemouth

At Castle Land Dental Care, any filling that you have will be white or tooth-coloured to match your teeth. Anyone who has had an eye on dental news will know that there has been some debate over the years about whether metal amalgam fillings should be used or whether white fillings are better.

If you come for your check-up at Castle Lane Dental Care and you need a filling, we will offer a white filling for the reasons discussed below.

White Fillings in BournemouthStrength

One of the reasons why metal fillings are still used is that they are strong enough to withstand the forces that are applied to the back teeth. It used to be that white fillings were not up to the job. Modern materials mean that, while amalgam fillings are still a bit stronger, white fillings have enough durability to cope with the pressure as well.

Aesthetics

This is perhaps the key reason why people want repairs that use white materials. No one really wants to show the world that they have had tooth decay and metal fillings do just that. Not only does the colour of white fillings in Bournemouth match your teeth, they can also be shaped to mimic the contours of natural teeth making them even less obvious.

The health of your teeth

Any type of filling ultimately increases the chances that your tooth will be healthy in the long term. The point of filling is to restore a tooth to its natural shape and to prevent bacteria causing the area to deteriorate further. Once you have a hole in your tooth, it creates the perfect environment for further damage, infection and, potentially, pain. When you dentist spots a hole, they can clean the area our and place a filling to repair the area. Once a white filling is in place, it will not decay. Natural wear and teeth-grinding can cause damage to white fillings. Keeping up with your regular appointments at Castle Lane Dental Care will help us to monitor the progress of your fillings as well as the rest of your teeth. We can catch any issues in the early stages and prevent them becoming worse.

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Do you need to replace your metal fillings?

Fillings are when a hole in your tooth is blocked up with a material to ensure that it doesn’t decay any further. There are different types of filling available at Castle Lane Dental Care, but they are all tooth-coloured.

If we rewind a decade or two, fillings were predominantly made from amalgam, a metallic material. This was the best option for durability, but these fillings tend to stand out from the teeth and advertise the fact that someone has had tooth decay. Many people still have amalgam fillings. At various times, there have been fears that the mercury in many amalgam fillings makes them unsafe. However, this has been shown to be largely untrue.

White Fillings in BournemouthPeople often visit Castle Lane Dental Care to have their old fillings replaced with white fillings in Bournemouth. There are two reasons why they might do this – either it’s for clinical reasons or cosmetic ones.

Clinical reasons

If your filling is defective in any way, it is important to have it replaced. It may be that the surrounding tooth has further damage and the filling no longer fits like it used to. It could be that the filling itself is starting to break down. If you visit us regularly for your check-ups, keeping an eye on your fillings and their integrity is one of the actions we will perform.

Cosmetic reasons

If you want your teeth to look uniform and like they have never been repaired, you may want to exchange your metal fillings for white ones. You can talk to a member of our team about this and your dentist at Castle Land Dental Care will make a clinical assessment of the area. Unless you are particularly distressed by the state of your teeth or there are clinical indicators for removal, it is not normally recommended for you to make the swap. This is because there are some risks associated with the process. If we do decide to go ahead, we do everything we can to ensure the procedure goes smoothly. When we assess your fillings, we look at the age of your dental work, the condition of the surrounding teeth and the degree of difficulty that might be inherent in the removal procedure.

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Addressing TMD and Jaw Problems in Bournemouth

When you visit Castle Lane Dental Care, our team take care of more than just your teeth. Your body is a complex system and there are lots of parts related to the function of the mouth. All of your activities such as speaking, eating and breathing are assisted and facilitated by various muscles and joints around the face. If everything is working together and your oral health is well cared for, you shouldn’t experience any issues. However, if you have an issue with a single area, such as a misaligned jaw, it can affect the whole system.

TMD and Jaw Problems in BournemouthDiagnosing jaw problems

Jaw problems can manifest in a variety of ways. Some of them seem unrelated to the jaw area and so, for some people, it can be difficult to diagnose the problem at first. If someone has long term back pain or earache, for example, both of these can be caused by misalignment of the jaw.

At Castle Lane Dental Care, we can do a thorough examination of the area to check for outward signs of jaw problems. We can also do an x-ray to get a close look at the joint. Your consultation with us also includes questions about your health and lifestyle so that we can investigate possible causes for your symptoms.

Treating jaw problems

There are a number of ways to begin addressing jaw problems. We might recommend one or more of the following solutions:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication – you may also be working with a GP if you have been experiencing long term difficulty. They may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication as swelling in the jaw muscles can misalign the joint and exacerbate any issues that you have;
  • Relaxation – people hold a lot of stress in their jaw. Over time, this can lead to spasms, tension and, bad chewing and eating habits. Learning to be conscious of the jaw muscles so that you can control and release them is invaluable for alleviating the symptoms of jaw problems;
  • Dietary changes – if you experience pain while eating, you may need to introduce softer foods to your diet. This might only be a temporary change to give your jaw a rest and allow any swelling to subside.
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Common questions about TMD and Jaw Problems in Bournemouth

At Castle Lane Dental Care, we can help you address issues such as temporomandibular disorder and jaw problems. We have plenty of experience dealing with patients who have long term issues. We want to help you correct any issues and free yourself from pain and discomfort for good.

Jaw Problems in BournemouthWhat causes TMD?

The temporomandibular joint is the one that moves the jaw around. This is the most complex and mobile joint in the body. We use it over and over again on a daily basis to speak, smile, eat and so on. It’s easy for it to become misaligned. This might be through repeated bad usage habits, an injury or an underlying health condition, such as arthritis.

Often, it is not possible to tell why someone has developed TMD but this does not stop us from being able to address resulting issues. Once misaligned, the jaw can begin to cause issues with the muscles, teeth, ears, neck and so on. It’s estimated that around 30% of adults have some sort of misalignment issue but only a percentage of these will experience any issues as a result.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary from patient to patient. They may include some or all of the following:

  • Pain in the muscles around the face and neck – this might be an aching pain or something sharper;
  • Persistent ear pain or pain in the head;
  • Stiff or locking jaw – some people think that a popping jaw is a sign of TMD but, unless it is accompanied by pain, this is probably not the case;
  • Referred pain – such as back or neck ache. These areas can tense up repeatedly in response to a misaligned jaw;
  • Sleep issues – such as snoring or sleep apnoea.

What can be done to alleviate symptoms?

When you visit Castle Lane Dental Care, we talk to you about your symptoms and try to find the best kind of treatment for you. It sometimes depends on the underlying cause. Recommendations might include medication, jaw exercises, relaxation and adjusting your food choices. We can also look at any damage or issues with your teeth as a result of TMD. This sometimes includes uneven wear on the teeth which can exacerbate jaw problems over time.

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Make friends with your dentures

Dentures can be both a blessing and a curse for those of us who have lost some or all of our teeth. They are blessing because they give us back something to chew with and they are a curse because they tend to become loose and wobble around in our mouths, no matter how well-fitting they were when we first got them.

Denture Stabilisation in BournemouthIf you are at the point of being cursed by your dentures, you will know exactly what we mean. And if you have just got, or are thinking about getting dentures, you have probably heard all the stories and are rather dreading the day you laugh too loudly at something hilarious and your dentures fall about laughing on the floor in front of you.

Denture stabilisation in Bournemouth

Well, here at Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth, we are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can have dentures that stay put and allow you to have far more freedom in your food choices and how loudly you laugh.

It’s what we call denture stabilisation. This is a technique that combines the best of two teeth replacement methods: dentures and dental implants. Here’s how it works.

We insert between two and six dental implants into your upper and/or lower jawbones. We can use mini implants for this procedure, and they can be inserted straight through your gums, rather than having to open a flap in your gum and then insert them into the bone. We attach special fittings to your implants and your dentures snap onto them. We can customise your existing dentures or you can have new ones.

Over the next few weeks, your dental implants will integrate with your jawbone, and will become as securely held in place as a natural tooth. This is what gives your dentures the support that stops them sliding around in your mouth when you talk and allows you to eat whatever you want again.

If you can’t afford to go the whole hog with dental implants, but dread the thought of dentures, denture stabilisation is a great way to get the best of both worlds.

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Life after tooth loss: dentures in Bournemouth

If you have lost or are about to lose some or all of your teeth, you are no doubt wondering which method of replacement is the one that is best going to suit you, your lifestyle and your pocket.

You have three options: dentures, bridges or dental implants. In this article, we’re going to focus on the denture, a form of tooth replacement that has been around for centuries.

Dentures in BournemouthThe denture is basically a plate with replacement teeth and gums on it. It fits over your gums to give you a natural look. The reason it replaces your gums as well as your crowns is that once you have lost a tooth, the gum in that area starts to recede.

Modern dentures are designed to look as natural as possible. The crowns can be made from either acrylic or porcelain. Acrylic dentures cost less money and are made in layers to mimic the translucence of natural teeth. Dental porcelain has that natural translucence too.

Dentures sit on plates on the gums. The plates are designed to hug the gums snugly so that they won’t wobble around when you eat and speak. However, your gums and the jawbone beneath them are not static. Gums tend to reduce in size after teeth come out, and the jawbone loses size and density in the years after tooth loss.

One way to ensure a snug fit is to wait a few months after tooth loss for any swelling of the gums to go down and also for the initial jawbone loss to take place. If the dentures are then fitted, there is a better guarantee that they will remain close fitting for longer. At Castle Lane Dental in Bournemouth, we know that a good fit is of paramount importance with dentures and we will work with you to make sure that when you leave with your new dentures, we have done all we can to get them to fit well.

If you choose porcelain crowns, we can craft them to resemble your lost teeth. Just bring in some good pictures of your smile and we can recreate it.

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How to handle dental emergencies

As much as we try to protect our teeth, sometimes accidents happen. We can brush and floss, visit the dentist as recommended, and use mouth guards while playing sports, yet that does not completely protect us from tooth pain or accidents.

At Castle Lane Dental Care, we want you to be prepared in the event of a dental emergency and we are here to help you go through them as easily and comfortably as we can. If you require emergency dental care in Bournemouth, call us today and we will strive to see you as soon as possible. Our emergency dentist will restore your oral health and prevent recurring pain and discomfort.

Emergency Dental Care in BournemouthCommon dental emergencies

Here are a few common dental emergencies and what you can do while waiting to be treated by an emergency dentist:

Chipped or broken teeth

Chipped or broken teeth need immediate dental attention in order not to cause further damage. While a fractured tooth can be painful, cracked teeth sometimes have no symptoms. The first step is rinsing your mouth with lukewarm water. After applying cold compresses or taking anti-inflammatory medication, promptly contact your emergency dentist.

If the fractured portion of your tooth is substantial, it can possibly be reattached to your original tooth, so bring it with you. Your dentist may use a crown in order to restore your tooth to its former condition, but if your tooth cannot be saved, you can always opt for a dental implant.

Knocked-out teeth

A knocked-out adult tooth can be saved but this is usually a race against the clock. If you knock out a tooth, hold it by the crown, ensuring not to touch it by the root. Be sure not to remove any tissue from the tooth while doing so.

Then, reposition your tooth into the socket and gently hold it in place with a clean gauze. If it is not possible to reposition your tooth, then store it in a glass of milk or saline solution.

In the case of a knocked-out tooth, getting treatment within an hour can make a huge difference to your dentist’s ability to save your tooth.

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Emergency dental care in Bournemouth

Dental emergencies not only painfully disrupt our lives, but also come at the most inconvenient and least expected times. While dental emergencies are rare, they can happen, and for this reason, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth no matter what.

At Castle Lane Dental Care, your health and comfort are important to us. Issues such as knocked out teeth and toothaches should be addressed as soon as possible. If left untreated, these problems can create more serious health problems, such as permanent tooth loss. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, please give us a call and we will do our best to ensure that you are taken care of in a comfortable, affordable and timely manner.

Emergency Dental Care in BournemouthManagement of common dental emergencies

In the event that you knock out a tooth, bring it to the emergency dentist as soon as possible. Do your best to locate the tooth after it is dislodged, and make sure not to hold it by the root.

More importantly, be careful not to remove any tissue from your tooth. Put it back into the socket if you can, or store it in a glass of milk until you can bring it to the emergency dentist. Visiting an emergency dentist within an hour of the accident, can mean the difference between saving and losing your tooth.

A toothache can be the result of a number of dental conditions and only your emergency dentist can determine its underlying cause. While waiting to be treated, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.

If you have food trapped between your teeth causing pain, try to remove it gently with dental floss. If you are experiencing swelling, apply a cold pack to the outside of your cheek or mouth. You can also take over-the-counter painkillers, but do not rub them against the gums near the aching tooth as they may burn your gum tissue.

The most important thing with any dental emergency is to call as soon as the issue arises as it’s more likely that we will be able to see you on the day you call.

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