Keep your mouth healthy with regular visits to our Ipswich dental practice.
Taking good care of our teeth and gums is important, but so is taking care of the rest of our mouth. Patients who attend the Foxhall Dental Practice regularly for check ups, may notice that, during the appointment, we also examine your cheeks and tongue, as well as your teeth and gums.
The reason for this is that we are in an ideal position to notice any changes to the health of your mouth since your last visit. Unusual signs such as lumps or sore or red patches may indicate potentially serious problems which need further investigation.
Although not one of the most well known cancers, oral, or mouth cancers are responsible for over two thousand deaths in the UK each year. Many more sufferers may be faced with long term health challenges and facial changes. For this reason, it is obviously much better to avoid the problem in the first place. By and large, it is relatively easy to minimise the risk.
Smoking and drinking
Two of the main causes of oral cancers are smoking and drinking (in excess). Both of these factors have been shown to damage DNA, potentially causing cancer symptoms to appear. Stopping smoking and cutting down on alcohol consumption are two of the best things that you can do to prevent oral cancer from becoming a problem that affects you. A poor diet and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) may also be factors that contribute to this form of cancer and you may wish to discuss this with your GP if you are concerned.
Our professional role
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Avoiding the problems associated with traditional braces.
There is no doubt that having straighter teeth creates a better looking smile. It is therefore not surprising that orthodontics are a popular treatment amongst those looking at ways to improve their appearance.
Although once straightened, even teeth are easier to keep clean and trouble free, they can be at an increased risk for the duration of the straightening process.
Wearing traditional types of dental braces; i.e. the ones that use wires and brackets to straighten teeth, can create oral health issues for the patient unless care is taken. This applies whether the braces are old style metallic ones or one of the range of ‘invisible braces’ which use newer discreet materials. The fact is that this method can cause food and bacteria to become trapped in the wires, potentially causing tooth decay or even gum disease.
Anyone that does wear these traditional braces should take extra time each day to clean their teeth well. New patients of the Foxhall Dental Practice that already have these braces fitted will be given guidance and instructions on the best way to clean their teeth when wearing the braces. It is also important that regular visits to our Ipswich practice are maintained so that we can monitor the health of your teeth and gums as well as the progress of the teeth straightening.
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Putting our Ipswich patient’s minds at ease about this procedure.
We recently received an enquiry which addresses a relatively common concern that patients have when they are told that they need endodontic (root canal) treatment in Ipswich.
We illustrate the question and our reply below in the hope that it will help other patients who may have misunderstandings about this particular procedure which is used to prevent extraction of root-infected teeth.
Q. Hi … I’ve just moved to the Ipswich area, but had an appointment at my old dental practice just before I moved. I hadn’t expected any problems as I generally have good teeth but was told by my dentist that I needed a root canal. This came as a surprise as I’ve barely even had a filling for several years. I have to confess that I am a bit anxious about it and did consider returning to my old dentist to have it done, but you seem to have good reviews so I thought I’d drop you a line in the hope that I can avoid the lengthy journey.
Hi there, and thank you for your email. Yours is not an uncommon concern as the root canal treatment has, unfortunately, gained an undeserved reputation over the years and is often misunderstood by patients.
Should you decide to have your treatment at our Ipswich practice, we would first of all need to see you to be sure that this is the correct way to proceed. Whilst we do not doubt the competence of your previous dentist, any dental practice would need to make their own assessment of the situation. We have the latest x-ray technology available which will clearly indicate if this is the correct way to proceed.
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Preventative care for the protective exterior of your teeth.
As you may be aware, the enamel of your teeth is the hard exterior part that protects the softer, more vulnerable inner part. As this inner part is porous and is where the nerves are located, any weakening of the enamel can cause not only damage that needs restorative treatment, but sometimes a very painful toothache too.
Whilst it may not be 100% possible to avoid damage, as accidents may occur, patients of the Foxhall Dental Practice can take certain actions to keep their enamel in as healthy a condition as possible.
Avoid high sugar drinks
It is widely thought that drinks, and especially carbonated ones that are high in sugar, are one of the leading causes of tooth decay in children. Adults are not exempt though, and many ‘sports drinks’ contain high levels of sugar as this provides an almost instant energy boost. Unfortunately, this leads to the bacteria in your mouth converting the sugars to acid which attacks the enamel. This applies to all sugary products and their consumption should be monitored and minimised where practical.
Clean your teeth
Hopefully, all of our Ipswich patients clean their teeth at least twice a day as this is one of the most basic means of keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Do not put too much pressure on your teeth though as this can wear away enamel over a period of time. Always make sure that your toothpaste contains fluoride too, as this helps to strengthen the enamel.
Clean between your teeth
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Planning ahead to make sure you look your best for your holiday snaps.
Have you noticed that big ball of yellow in the sky and the fact that you didn’t need to wear a coat today? Could Summer finally be here? Probably not as this is the UK and we all know how changeable the weather can be!
One thing that is almost certain though is that it will have set people’s minds racing about booking their holidays to a sunnier destination.
Whether you enjoy far flung holidays or a relaxing week by the pool, most of us will take holiday photographs and videos to show our friends on our return. To get the best from these, why not allow your local Ipswich cosmetic dentists to whiten your teeth so that they look great in the photographs?
Fast teeth whitening
Whilst most dental practices offer take home trays which whiten the teeth over a couple of weeks or so; at the Foxhall Dental Practice we offer patients an effective and immediate acting treatment that can be performed in just one hour. This is a straightforward and non invasive treatment that is also affordable for most patients. Because the whitening ingredient is a form of bleach, our dentists will make sure that your lips and gums are protected before the procedure starts. They will then apply a whitening gel to the teeth which will remain there for around one hour.
During this time, the whitener works by lightening the molecules in the inner part of the teeth. This is the only treatment that will make a big difference to your teeth as both home brushing, and even a professional clean by our dental hygienist can only reduce or remove staining on the surface enamel of our teeth.
Once the whitening treatment has taken effect, the gel is cleaned off and you will notice a dramatic improvement in the colour of your teeth. It is worth noting that a few patients may notice an increased level of sensitivity in their teeth following this procedure but this will usually return to normal within a few days. However, it is probably best to have this procedure done a week or so before you leave for your holiday, just to be sure.
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Ipswich patients enquire about this popular tooth replacement method.
With dental implants becoming better known, it is probably not surprising that we receive quite a lot of enquiries about them at our Foxhall Road dental practice in Ipswich. These questions range from the obvious to the more irregular ones that are specific to individual patients.
Below, we have accumulated some of the questions that we have been asked which we feel may be of use to anyone considering having a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. This list is not exhaustive however, and we are always happy to answer any other questions that patients may have.
What are dental implants?
The most obvious question! Dental implants are small titanium screws which are placed into the jawbone and allowed to fuse. Once secured, these become, in effect, a replacement for the missing root of the tooth, and a crown can then be attached to give a realistic appearance and a strong functional tooth.
Does the procedure hurt?
It is an invasive procedure, but one which should cause the patient no more discomfort than other types of treatment. You will be given a strong local anaesthetic and any pain will be minimised.
Is it expensive?
It is not the cheapest procedure; however, given the fact that it provides you with a replacement tooth that you can almost forget about, eat anything with and that should last you for twenty years or more, it is a very cost-effective means of replacing a tooth.
Can anyone have one?
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Our local children’s hygienist discusses why your child’s oral health might be at risk.
If we ask almost any parent what they consider to be the potential risk to their child’s teeth, they would almost certainly answer ‘tooth decay’.
This is a very real threat of course and recent reports have stated that on any given day, around 160 children will be hospitalised in the UK in order to extract decaying teeth.
There may be many factors at play here, including the obvious high sugar consumption of children. Home cleaning supervision and regular dental visits, in combination with an improved diet, will help to minimise the number of children at risk. Whilst not underplaying this very real threat, we want to take a look in this blog at another potential risk to your child’s oral health, one that is sometimes rarely considered by parents, and that is the threat of gum disease.
Although gum disease does tend to occur more in adults, this does not mean that it can’t affect children. Although some of the factors that increase the risk of gum disease in older people, such as smoking, drinking and reduced saliva flow for example, are hopefully not present in younger patients, there are other factors that may increase the risk. The sugars that have caused so much damage to children’s teeth can also affect the gums. The bacteria that contributes to gingivitis thrive on these sugars and are likely to increase in number.
In addition to this, however well children brush their teeth, very few are likely to be able to use dental floss correctly, or at all. This does increase the chance of harmful inter-dental bacteria which may lead to sore or bleeding gums in children.
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Possible links between gum disease and potentially life threatening illnesses.
In today’s blog, we are taking a look at some of the serious illnesses that gum disease has been linked to from a number of studies that have taken place.
It should be stated that, to date, this has not been strictly proven, but, increasingly, research is indicating that there is a strong possibility that there may indeed be causal links.
Preventing gum disease has always been a prime consideration for our patients here at the Foxhall Dental Practice for oral health reasons, but these new findings should encourage us further to look after our gums, as well as our teeth, on a regular daily basis.
A number of studies have claimed that there appears to be a link between gum disease and coronary problems. Whilst a definitive explanation of the reason for this has not yet been given, it is thought that the bacteria present in gum disease may enter the bloodstream and attach to the plaque in the blood vessels, causing inflammation. This can increase the risk of clots in the blood which may potentially lead to a heart attack.
A number of studies have shown a potential link between gum disease and dementia. These studies are in their early stages and cannot therefore be said to be proven. Dementia however, is an increasingly common problem and the least that we can do to help prevent it is to make sure that we keep our gums healthy, if indeed a link is established.
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A brief look at some of the ‘dental accessories’ available.
In most family bathrooms, you will find a toothbrush and toothpaste. In some though, you may well find a range of various accessories that people have bought in order to look after their teeth better.
In today’s blog, we take a look at some of these and evaluate how useful they really are with regards to taking care of your oral health.
It is not unusual to find a rough section on a toothbrush which is designed to scrape the furred up surface of your tongue. Individual tongue scrapers are also available though and are used by a number of people.
Whilst there is no harm in using these, providing that you do so reasonably gently, there really shouldn’t be a need to do so. The furred surface of the tongue is usually a collection of bacteria and may indicate that there are problems with your oral health. Rather than rely on a tongue scraper, we would recommend that you pay a visit to our Ipswich dental practice in order to have your oral health checked.
Water piks are used to clean between the teeth. They are more widely used in the US, but are also available here. There have been questions asked as to their effectiveness, and, in our opinion, whilst we wouldn’t wish to discourage people from cleaning between their teeth if this is their preferred method, we feel that the use of dental floss, if done correctly, is more effective in the fight against gum disease.
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Helping reduce dental problems for Ipswich patients.
Many of us will spring clean our homes this year, throwing out ‘stuff’ that we have accumulated over the years. Some of this will simply be thrown away, whilst others will be replaced by newer versions.
To get your teeth and gums in great shape, an oral ‘spring clean’ is also something that you may wish to consider at this time of year too!
Whilst we firmly believe that everyone should see their dentist for regular check ups, this blog specifically concerns those patients who are not regular attenders and may even have gone a number of years without seeing a local dentist.
Whilst some people seem to have more resilient teeth than others, we can assure you that they are not indestructible, and that eventually, lack of professional dental care will catch up with you, quite possibly in a painful way. As well as any actual damage to your teeth, there may also be other tell tale signs which may not register with you, but are likely to be noticed by others. These include discoloured teeth and bad breath.
Your spring clean
The treatment required by any individual will depend on a number of factors, including how well they have looked after their teeth at home. For the sake of this blog though, let us take a look at a typical patient that hasn’t seen a dentist for a few years and take a look at how we may ‘spring clean’ their oral health as follows:
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