Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - Essex, Kent & Sussex - (Page 59)

DENTISTRY – TOOTH CARE Brush up on your dental hygiene for a glowing smile and strong, healthy teeth pearly WHITES Clean sweep O No fear WORDS: Jessie Bland | PHOTOGRAPH: Getty Images ral hygiene is vital, but it’s often overlooked in our busy day-to-day routines. And while your dentist can help keep your teeth in a healthy condition, your dental hygiene regime needs to begin at home. HYGIENE HAZARDS Your teeth are constantly under attack from the acids and sugars in the food you eat, so to minimise the risk of more serious problems, keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs: PLAQUE is a creamy white film that forms on the surface of the tooth. It appears on Anxiety about visiting the dentist isn’t unusual – tell the surgery your concerns The prospect of visiting the dentist can strike fear into many people – in fact, some are so terrified of the dentist, their condition has been termed dental anxiety or dental phobia. However, avoiding regular dental check-ups won’t make your fear disappear; in fact it may even make your anxiety worse. If you are anxious about visiting the dentist, contact your dental surgery and tell them your concerns; they will be able to put in place measures that will ensure your dental experience is as stress-free as possible. Some dental practices will even provide sedation for patients that have an extreme phobia. using an ultrasonic instrument that sprays a everyone’s teeth, but can be removed with high-pressure jet of water to remove debris. regular brushing and flossing. If not taken care of, though, plaque can lead to further conditions, such as inflamed and infected gums. CROWNING GLORY BLEEDING GUMS are usually caused During your general oral health check, your by a condition called gingivitis dentist may suggest further treatment, (inflammation of the gums). It can or preventative measures you can be cleared up with good oral follow, in order to keep your teeth hygiene and by cutting back on in as good a condition as possible. Replace your the amount of sugary food and If a tooth has previously been toothbrush every three to four drink you consume. filled, but continues to show signs months CAVITIES occur when your of weakening and decay, your dentist tooth decays or breaks down, and may suggest a crown – which, essentially, can often leave a hole in your tooth. acts as a cap over your tooth to strengthen Caused by plaque and eating foods containing it. This procedure requires cutting down the refined sugar, if the cavity extends down as far original tooth and much of its original structure as the nerve endings of the tooth, it can cause in preparation for the crown being fitted. ● For those with missing teeth, a bridge may extreme pain. Dentists will usually remove the decay and use fillings to strengthen and restore be required. Replacement teeth – often made the structure of the tooth. of porcelain and colour matched to your own teeth – are attached to the teeth either side of the gap. Similar to a single crown, the teeth DENTAL CHECK-UP either side may need to be cut and prepared Your dentist will inform you how often you accordingly to allow the prosthesis to be placed should schedule a check-up, but the usual time over the original structures. between visits is six months. Not only will they ● For those with severe tooth ache, or a assess the health of your teeth, checking for tooth decay, they will examine the condition of heavily damaged tooth, a root canal may be your gums, too. Either the dentist or a dental advised. Root canal treatment, or therapy, hygienist may also offer to clean and polish requires removing the ‘pulp’ of the tooth (the (sometimes known as scale and polish) your central part which contains living tissue) and teeth. They remove the build-up of plaque replacing it with a rubber filling, then placing in between and behind your teeth, often a crown on the affected tooth.  Dr Hilary Jones’ Healthcare guide – Essex, Kent and Sussex 059

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - Essex, Kent & Sussex

editor’s letter
A healthy hello from Dr Hilary
NEWS and views
the big interview
Question time
A weighty issue
fitness for free
Top nosh
Make the right decision
choosing the best
breast cancer
cosmetic surgery
Ear, nose and throat
obstetrics and gynaecology
oral surgery

Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - Essex, Kent & Sussex