Tooth Decay Archives - SimplyTeeth Essex

Tooth Decay

Saving Your Teeth with Sugar Swaps

Most people are quite aware of the dangers to health of too much sugar. It’s not just obesity and diabetes, too much sugar in the diet is bad for your teeth, too. Excess sugar accumulates in the teeth and gums and causes an increase in bacteria. The result is teeth decay and gum disease.

Dentists can advise you about the dangers of too much sugar, but they can’t actually stop you from having an unhealthily sugary diet. That’s up to all of us as aware individuals and families. The problem is finding the determination to have less sugar and more of anything that is healthier. Sometimes, it takes a little persuasion that alternatives to sweet but unhealthy things to eat and drink really do exist. Recently there has been a surge of interest in “sugar swaps”. Basically, these are ways you can swap a high sugar content food or drink for a low sugar one, yet still be attracted to its taste. Here are some examples of some suggested sugars swaps you can try yourself. They might just save your teeth!

Sugar Swap: From sugary carbonated drinks to soda water with a twist of fruit.

It’s been reported that children absorb a third of their daily sugar intake, which is 3 times what is considered safe, from drinking fizzy drinks. It’s not just fizzy drinks, either. Fruit juices and even some types of coffee have way too much sugar. Plain water is best, but admittedly tasteless unless you are thirsty. Try swapping the sugar filled drinks with equally fizzy soda water with some fruit squeezed into it.

Sugar Swap: From biscuits and cakes to fruit, bagels, plain rice cakes and toast with low fat spread.

Sweetened biscuits and cakes can be swapped for anything on the list above. A lot of sweet snacks are eaten because of poor eating habits. It has become a bit of a habit to get into snacking on sugar instead of eating healthier but more filling meals.

Sugar Swap: From sugary yoghurt, ice cream, ice lollies and sweet desserts to low sugar yoghurt with added nuts and /or fruit.

Most supermarkets will give an indication of alternatives where they are available between sugar filled items and low sugar ones like chocolate and yoghurt. If the differences aren’t labelled close to where the products are shelved, check the labels on the products themselves.

Sugar Swap: From sweet coffee drinks to teas and iced lattes.

Coffee has grown in popularity and the number of coffee laced drinks has mushroomed. Some of the admittedly tasty ones are sugar stacked, but there are several alternative ways of getting a hit from caffeine without rotting your teeth.

Keep a check on your teeth

By making regular visits, every 6 months to your family dentist, you will find out just what your diet is doing to your teeth and whether a change in what you eat and drink using sugar swaps is having a positive influence. This is a good time to discuss dietary alternatives with the dentist, too.

Why You Should Not Do Oral Surgery Yourself


It has recently been report by the press that people are taking dental treatment into their own hands and performing oral surgery on themselves. The BBC website reports how Mike Cowley a furniture restorer from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire has pulled out most of his own teeth with a pair of pliers. He took his dental care into his own hands because he was unable to make an appointment with an NHS dentist or wasn’t offered a satisfactory payment plan from a dentist near him.

Another DIY dentist maintains her cavity by applying a home dental kit to her tooth every month. Although both people sound very resourceful and are probably saving themselves money in the very short term, their barbaric oral surgery will end up costing them a small fortune to repair when their gums and existing teeth get infected. If your friend asks you to help them to perform DIY oral surgery on them, please refuse because it is against the law to practice any kind of dentistry (even the caveman kind) when you are not a qualified dentist.

The implications of unsuccessfully performed DIY oral surgery can vary from being uncomfortable to excruciating. If you have periodontitis your teeth are already loose and are probably likely to fall out easily making the remaining hole vulnerable to infection. If you perform DIY extraction using pliers or other contraptions from your tool kit you may unwittingly leave a fragment of tooth behind, increasing the risk of an abscess or infection.

If you use super glue to make a home made crown or seal a cavity you will probably end up with the mother of all infections simply because it is impossible to make sure that you have removed the infected area of the teeth in the kitchen. The bottom line is that any DIY oral dentistry that you do should only be a temporary measure.

If you are avoiding visiting the dentist because you cannot afford to pay for your treatment in one transaction please get in touch with us and we could help you to organise a payment plan. As with most things it is always cheaper and easier to receive proper dental treatment sooner rather than later.


How Looking After Your Dental Implants Can Keep You Smiling!


Dental implants are often used to replace teeth that have fallen out due to an accident or removed because they are severely decayed. Many people choose to replace lost teeth with implants because they are virtually indistinguishable from our own teeth and they are less cumbersome than dentures. The tooth part of the dental implant obviously won’t decay because it is not made of human tissue but the implant section can still cause you to suffer from gum infections, if you don’t clean your teeth thoroughly.

Dentists are having to treat an infection called peri-implantitis, which is a gum infection caused by a bacterial infection around the implant that causes inflammation of the gums and possible reduction in the jaw bone. Eventually the implant will fall out simply because there is no more bone left to hold it in place. People who smoke and don’t clean their teeth well are most at risk of losing their implants, that is why it is important that you have regular check ups, include flossing and use a mouthwash in your dental routine.

Often adults are so busy making sure that they fulfil all of the commitments they have in everyday life that they forget to adhere to a good dental routine. Children are frequently reminded that they need to clean their teeth twice a day for two minutes in order to keep their teeth healthy. If everybody took a two minutes twice a day to clean their teeth then there would be less people with gum disease and no need to have implants fitted.

If you are considering having implants fitted or already have implants then don’t hesitate to make an appointment to have a check-up to see what the best course of action is regarding your implants.


The Risks of Gum Disease


What is gum disease?

Chances are you have heard the words ‘gum disease’ before. It was become one of the most common dental problems in the UK but a lot of people still don’t know exactly what it is and whether they have it or not. Caused by plaque build up, it is believed that 83% of people show some signs of gum disease at one point of their lives of another.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Plaque is the sticky substance that builds up on teeth if they are not cleaned properly. It contains bacteria which irritates the gums. Symptoms of gum disease include red, sore, inflamed, bleeding or itchy gums or bad breath. If still left untreated it can lead to gum recession and eventually loosening and loss of teeth as the bacteria eats away at the bone and tissue. The early stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis. If left untreated this can develop into Periodontitis.

Treatment of Gum Disease

Gum disease needs treatment. When it gets more serious, bacteria gets into the bloodstream and can cause damage to other parts of the body. For minor or early cases of gum disease, an improved oral hygiene routine will improve the disease. This includes brushing teeth twice daily, flossing and having regular dental check ups. For more serious cases further treatment will be needed but once gum disease gets to that stage it cannot be cured, only managed.

Gum Recession and Dental Implants

For gum recession cases we use pinhole surgical technique to rejuvenate the gum and return it to the correct position. For tooth loss there is also the option of having dental implants to make the mouth look natural again and to ensure eating and drinking can be normal. The main message is to avoid gum disease you must maintain good oral hygiene as well as visiting your dentist regularly as they will be able to spot any sign of the disease and give you advice on your dental care. If you think you do have symptoms of gum disease please book an appointment with us as soon as possible.


How Looking After Your Teeth Can Maintain Your Smile!


If you have started to watch, ‘The Truth About Teeth’, on BBC 1, you will have seen examples of how neglecting your teeth can cause pain and a lowering of your self esteem. Decayed and damaged teeth not only make you feel sad they also directly affect your health and ultimately your smile. Adopting a good oral hygiene routine which includes; brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes and visiting your dentist regularly will ensure that your smile remains intact.

The main causes of tooth decay are sugary and acidic foods, which destroy the enamel exposing the softer dentine underneath. If left unattended the affected tooth will literally rot away causing infection to weaken the bones under the gum. Once your gums become infected they will start to recede exposing more of the tooth. The combination of receding gums and depleted jaw bone eventually results in teeth becoming loose and eventually falling out.

Badly infected teeth can be treated with a procedure called a root canal which involves removing the infection from the central part of the tooth and sealing it up so that it cannot become reinfected. Dr Sihra specialises in root canals and often has patients referred to him from other dentists who are less confident at successfully treating the truth, in 99% of cases Dr Sihra is able to save the tooth – which is very much the preferred option.

If you have receding gums you may benefit from having a procedure called The Pinhole Technique. The Pinhole Technique involves repositioning the gum so that it covers more of the tooth. Repairing the gum in this way benefits you aesthetically and also prevents the teeth from getting loose.

Dental implants are a very practical alternative to dentures as they remain in the mouth rather than having to be taken out like regular dentures. After you have had your dental implants fitted you have to make sure that you adopt a good oral routine because the comes can become infected and eventually cause the implants to fall out.

Whatever issues you have with your teeth please don’t let a fear of the dentist prevent you from getting the treatment you need. Dentistry has moved on considerably since the middle ages and dentists really want to save your teeth rather than remove them.

Where teeth are concerned it really is a case of, ‘A stitch in time saves nine’, because untreated teeth can go from needing a simple procedure to it causing pain and discomfort much quicker than you think.

Obviously prevention is better than cure, but if you have found yourself in a position where your teeth are starting to cause you serious problems it is vitally important that you make an appointment with your dentist.

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