Problem solver

There are a number of different types of dental pain, as well as a number of causes. Temporary pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods can be caused by sensitive teeth. Often this problem can be alleviated by using toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth, but if after a few weeks it has not got any better please come and see us.

Stopping the problem getting worse

Lingering pain or toothache, or a sharp pain when biting down, is usually an indication that the tooth is decayed, cracked or otherwise damaged.

Please arrange an appointment to see us as soon as you can so we can stop the problem from getting any worse.

 

Reducing the pain

Constant and severe pain means you may have an abscess caused by an infection. You should see us as soon as possible - we will be able to reduce the pain by giving you antibiotics, and will be able to treat the tooth once the inflammation has gone.

Bad breath is a common problem and has a number of causes. Quite often people who think they have bad breath simply smell of the foods they have been eating, such as garlic, onions or spicy food. Brushing your teeth, eating sugar-free mints or using mouthwash may help to mask this odour, but it will only go completely in its own time.

Gum disease can cause bad breath

Other types of bad breath tend to be caused by problems with your teeth and gums. Food can get caught between your teeth and cause an offensive smell, and decaying teeth can also smell unpleasant. Gum disease, where your gums become infected by bacteria, can also cause bad breath.

Reducing potential problems

A good oral healthcare routine can help to prevent problem smells. This means brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth and around the gumline with an interdental cleaner, and cleaning your tongue (with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper). You should also ensure to visit us as often as recommended to ensure potential problems are noticed early.

If you think you may have bad breath, please do come and speak to us about it. There is no need to be embarrassed – we will be happy to help you.

Chewing difficulties are most commonly linked with jaw joint problems or with dentures if you wear them.

Clicking or locking jaw

Jaw joint problems may cause a clicking or locking of the jaw joint and can be associated with very strong dental or facial pain. Please contact us immediately for advice.

If dentures are being worn they may not fit properly or may be worn down, which makes it difficult to eat properly.

Helping you to eat with comfort

Chewing can also be troublesome if you have teeth missing, or if tooth restorations are not quite right. If you would like to eat comfortably again, please speak to us about it - we have a range of solutions to help you.

Headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain and a host of other facial and jaw problems such as ringing in the ears and eye pain can often be traced back to the jaw joint.

Speak to us if you have any problems

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, it is worth speaking to us about it.

We will examine your jaw, and the way in which your teeth meet together, and if there are any problems we will advise you on the best way to overcome them.

Whatever the circumstances, if your tooth is knocked out you should seek emergency dental help immediately - the quicker you are treated the greater the chance of saving the tooth.

When handling the tooth, hold it by the crown (the top bit) and not the root.

Do not rinse or clean it - either hold it in your cheek (not recommended for children) or put it in a glass of milk.

We understand that some people feel very anxious or nervous about visiting the dentist. It may be the whole experience that worries you, or perhaps just one aspect.

Whatever your concerns are, please do let us know about them. We will do our best to make you feel relaxed and at ease.

If you have broken your tooth, it is best to call us for advice immediately. If you have any broken-off pieces, place them in clean water - we may be able to use them to help repair the tooth. If the damage is quite major, we may need to see you straight away, but for a minor break with no pain a scheduled appointment will be fine.

Leaving a broken tooth a while before seeking treatment may result in further damage being caused to the tooth incurring extra treatment and cost than it may have initially required.

Dry mouth, or Xerostomia, is becoming increasingly common. It can be a side-effect of some medication, or can be as a result of medical conditions, or ageing. Symptoms can be relieved by sipping water regularly, chewing sugar-free gum or using glycerine mouthwashes or artificial saliva sprays.

Saliva plays a vital role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy, so if you do have a dry mouth problem it is important to let us know about it.

Bleeding, sore or swollen gums can be a sign of gum disease, so it is important to visit us if you have either of these symptoms. Gum disease is very common, and is caused by a thin layer of bacteria called plaque which builds up on the teeth. The bacteria release poisons which irritate your gums and make them red and swollen.

Gum disease can affect soft tissue

In the earlier stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis and affects the soft gum tissue. If it is left to progress, it can worsen into its more serious state, periodontitis.

This can cause your gums to shrink away from your teeth and the bone supporting your teeth can be destroyed. This means your teeth will become loose and may fall out.

 

Slowing or stopping gum disease

Working with you, we can help to slow down or even stop gum disease from progressing with a good oral healthcare routine and regular professional cleans.

Other factors, such as rubbing dentures, can also cause sore gums. If you are having any gum problems, please do make an appointment to see how we can help you.

Tooth grinding, particularly at night can cause sore facial muscles, headaches, ear aches and neck pain, and can also cause the teeth to become ground down and more sensitive.

Many causes of tooth grinding

There are many causes of tooth clenching or grinding, including poorly aligned teeth and problems with the jaw joint. Stress and anxiety do not cause tooth grinding, they just highlight an underlying fault in how your teeth meet or problems in the jaw joint.

Alleviating your symptoms

It may be necessary for us to provide you with a small appliance (a little like a custom made mouthguard) to reduce the wear on the teeth and to alleviate the symptoms. This is called an occlusal splint. If the problem is more advanced, a combination of treatments such as Dento-facial Orthopaedics, crowns and an occlusal splint may be required.