Healthy teeth are vital for everything in life. When our mouths are healthy we hardly give them a second thought but when we have a problem, it’s hard to think of anything else.
Healthy mouths are wonderful. They allow us to eat with ease, give us reason to smile without embarrassment and are a good indication of our general health and wellbeing.
At Bank View Smile Studios we have a very strong focus on your dental hygiene with particular emphasis on prevention, hygiene and wellbeing. We also have a proactive recall process, which encourages regular visits to help maintain healthy mouths, teeth and gums.
Plan members also have the added security of out of hours emergency treatment locally, nationally and internationally as well as dental injury insurance up to £10,000.
We understand that you may have some questions relating to your dental hygiene and the health of your teeth and mouth, which is why we have put together a list of the 10 most common questions that we are asked.
Gum disease is very common, more than 80% of the population are affected but many people are unaware that they have it, as there are few symptoms until the infection is fairly advanced. It is essential that your routine dental examination includes a thorough screening for gum disease. Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.
The first sign is blood on the toothbrush or in the rinsing water when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant (halitosis/bad breath). Diet and lifestyle can impact how severely you can be affected by gum disease. So a good nutritious diet is beneficial. Smoking is very destructive, as there is a much higher level of severe gum disease in smokers plus a much higher incidence of early tooth loss and oral cancer.
Yes. Gum disease (gingivitis) can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dental hygienist – and prevention is definitely better than the cure. Once advanced gum disease (periodontitis) is established though, different treatments are required. The early stages of periodontitis are treated with deep cleaning. You’ll also be shown and instructed on how to remove plaque successfully yourself, cleaning all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly and effectively using a variety of dental instruments on a daily basis. This may take a number of sessions with the dentist or hygienist.
More advanced gum disease in its late stages requires more specialised techniques for treatment. This may involve gum surgery and it is sometimes possible to restore some of damage that has taken place with regeneration techniques. Thankfully Khalid and Thomas are even trained in these procedures, so you could have the treatment in-house without the need to be referred.
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning. However, the good news is that this condition is completely reversible and does not involve bone loss and does not lead to tooth loss, but you must manage the causative factors early enough and seek out professional assistance from the outset.
Long-standing neglect of the gums can lead to periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is dissolved, making the teeth loose. The bad news is that this condition always involves bone loss and if this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out. In fact, more teeth are lost through periodontal disease than through tooth decay.
Mouth cancer is diagnosed in 6,000 people annually and kills almost 3,000 people each year-that is one death every five hours. However, increased awareness and early detection saves lives. Early diagnosis improves survival chances to more than 90 per cent.
Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer, whether they have their own teeth or not. So it’s just as important for denture wearers to have regular dental screening. Mouth cancers are more common in people over 40, particularly men.
However, research has shown that mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger patients and in women.
Most cases of mouth cancer are linked to tobacco and alcohol. Cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking are the main forms of tobacco use in the UK. However, the aditional ethnic habits of chewing tobacco, betel quid, gutkha and paan are particularly dangerous. Alcohol increases the risk of mouth cancer, and if tobacco and alcohol are consumed together the risk is multiplied by up to 100 times more than alcohol or tobacco alone. Over-exposure to sunlight can also increase the risk of cancer of the lips.
Mouth cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips. Mouth cancer can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. A white or red patch in the mouth can also develop into a cancer. It is important to visit your dentist if these areas do not heal within three weeks.
Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination. If mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good.
Many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late. The dentist examines the inside of your mouth and your tongue with the help of a small mirror. Remember, your dentist is able to see parts of your mouth that you cannot see easily yourself.
Yes, if mouth cancer is spotted early the chances of a complete cure are good, and the smaller the affected area or ulcer the greater the chance of cure. However, too many people come forward too late, because they do not visit their dentist for regular examinations.
You can do a couple of things to make sure early signs are spotted:
Have regular dental check ups, at least yearly – even if you have false teeth
Check inside your mouth (with a small mirror if available) for any changes or suspicious signs
At Bank View Smile Studios, Blackburn, screening for mouth cancer is undertaken during your routine dental health examination. Visit your dentist at once if you notice any changes, non-healing ulcers or patches that you are not sure of or are concerned about.
At least a 30-minute appointment with one of our ‘Calm & Gentle’ dentists who will carefully listen to your frustrations and goals before informing you on how, and in what ways, Calm & Gentle Dentistry can improve your dental health.
Following the judgement free initial conversation, your dentist will then give you a complete dental assessment to establish the condition of your teeth, gums, mouth and smile using various high definition digital radiographs (x rays) and high resolution digital photos available to view together within seconds. They will then explain each report in jargon free language to assist complete understanding. And finally, we can then present you with several options to help you to achieve your dream smile.
Summary of the 36 Point Comprehensive Smile and Mouth Assessment benefits are:
Bank View Smile Studios, 57 Preston New Road, Blackburn, BB2 6AY
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Website last updated: 2022.
Khalid Master BDS Dentist, GDC reg no: 77926, BDS, Thomas Sarpong LDS RCS (Edin) Dentist, GDC reg no: 69163 – Bank View is a private dental practice
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