implantsLosing your teeth can be a very difficult process – not just in terms of the physical problems involved, but also emotionally. Of course, here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, a good deal of our time is devoted to trying to help you to keep your teeth for as long as possible, but inevitably some people will end up losing their teeth eventually.

However, losing your natural teeth doesn’t have to be as hellish as you might expect. For many of us, the thought of becoming toothless conjures up images of false teeth in a glass beside the bed and so can often make us feel old before our time. But false teeth are not the only answer.

Dentures

Of course false teeth – or dentures, to give them their official name – have their place, but they do have a number of disadvantages. Patients with dentures often report discomfort, at least to begin with as they get used to the feel of the plate in their mouth, and they can make talking and eating certain foods quite tricky.

Implants

Here at Bristol dental practice CK Dental, we advocate the use of dental implants for those patients who have lost a significant number of teeth.

Dental implants are tiny metal screws which are implanted into the gums, in place of the teeth roots which would normally be there. Dental bridges or crowns can then be attached to these, giving you the permanent appearance of a full set of teeth.

The benefits

There are countless reasons why implants are considered the best option to restore missing teeth. They are often described as the next best thing to your natural teeth, as they look and feel just like normal teeth, allowing you to talk, eat and carry on your life as usual.

easter-eggsSometimes it feels like barely a month goes by without yet another holiday that passes as an excuse to stuff our faces with sweet treats, and March is no exception. In fact, this month contains probably the worst of all the public holidays when it comes to dental health: Easter.

Somewhere along the line, the true meaning of Easter has been lost and replaced with an overload of chocolate eggs. As adults, it’s not too difficult to avoid temptation at this time of year, but for children it’s nigh on impossible, especially when well-meaning family members are foisting chocolate on them from all angles.

So, what can you do to keep your children’s teeth healthy this Easter? The team at CK Dental practice in Bristol has come up with some top tips…

Have a word with relatives beforehand

Try to pre-empt the chocolate avalanche by speaking to a few of your nearest and dearest about perhaps finding an alternative Easter gift for your kids. It’s probably unrealistic to hope that they won’t be given any chocolate, but there are plenty of other seasonally appropriate gifts that will make children just as happy.

Eke it out

Try to keep some control over how much chocolate your children consume in one go. Of course, the older your children are the more autonomy they will expect to have, but if you are able to dole out chocolate in small portions it will help. It’s also good to supervise them eating sweet things – that way, you can choose when they eat it (after a meal is ideal, as their mouth is already producing saliva to help wash away the sugar) and make sure they have a drink of water to hand to help clean the chocolate remnants off their teeth.

Encourage regular tooth brushing

All the parents who bring their children to see us here at CK Dental practice in Bristol are already pretty vigilant about tooth brushing, but this is especially important at Easter – in fact, if you can get them to brush their teeth half an hour or so after eating chocolate, as well as the usual morning and night routine, that would be ideal.

Happy Easter from all the team here at CK Dental!

gum diseaseGingivitis is the medical term for gum disease, and it literally means inflammation of the gums. You might be suffering from gingivitis if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Red gums
  • Sore gums
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums

Gingivitis is a common problem, which we see most days here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, and is easily treated. However if it is left undiagnosed it can lead to more serious issues.

What causes gingivitis?

There are a number of potential causes of gum disease. The most common cause is an accumulation of bacterial plaque around the teeth, which irritates the gums, leading to an immune response.

Other causes of gingivitis include smoking, hormone changes such as those experienced during puberty, pregnancy and the menopause, and some other diseases including HIV and cancer.

How can gingivitis be treated?

The best way to treat gingivitis is to visit your dentist, who can remove any plaque build-up using a process called scaling.

This in itself can usually reverse the problem, so long as you continue with a good dental health regime at home, brushing your teeth twice a day and ideally using an interdental brush or dental floss to help avoid further plaque build-up.

How can gum disease be avoided?

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we advise patients that the best way to avoid gum disease is to brush your teeth at least twice a day, using floss or an interdental brush as well where possible.

You should also visit your dentist at least once every six months, so that any plaque build-up can be removed before it causes a problem. Avoiding smoking will also help, as will rinsing out your mouth using an antiseptic mouthwash.

sharkNew research from a team at the University of Sheffield has shown that humans possess the same gene network that is present in sharks, allowing them to regrow several sets of teeth throughout their lives.

Currently, of course, humans only grow two sets of teeth – milk teeth and adult teeth – but the Sheffield scientists think that this gene, which usually dies off or lies dormant once our adult teeth have grown, could potentially be “switched on” allowing us to grow further sets of teeth.

Tooth decay

So, what does this mean in terms of our oral health? Well, here at CK Dental practice in Bristol we see a lot of patients with advanced tooth decay, who end up losing teeth and having implants or dentures fitted in their place.

Sharks, on the other hand, have no problem with tooth decay, as they are able to grow new teeth as soon as one set is lost.

Is this the end of tooth brushing?

Well, as exciting as this discovery is, there is still no known way to activate this tooth regeneration gene, so it might be a long while yet before humans are able to regrow teeth once our adult teeth are fully developed.

And of course good oral health is not just about keeping your teeth – it is important to look after your teeth and gums for many reasons, including health concerns like mouth cancer and gum disease, as well as halitosis, teeth staining and other more aesthetic worries.

What should we do now?

Until we find a way to help humans regenerate their teeth, the best plan is to stick with your current oral health regime: brush twice a day, floss whenever possible, avoid sugary foods or those that are likely to stain your teeth like tea, coffee and red wine, and visit the dentist regularly.

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we recommend that patients come in for a check up once every six months, to ensure that their teeth and gums are in good shape and to catch any potential problems early.


Get In Touch




Get In Touch

Email: info@ckdental.co.uk

Telephone: 0117 9059 866

CK Dental | Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital – The Chesterfield, 3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN