Welcome to the Blackrock Dental advice centre where you can find a range of resources covering general dentistry and common queries. Please read the sections of interest and contact us if you have any further questions. We are open and honest in dealing with patients’ concerns, so please do not hesitate to make an appointment with our team.
At Blackrock Dental, we are frequently asked about the conditions below. If you have any concerns about your mouth, please make an appointment with our team. We are experienced and sensitive in dealing with our patients’ concerns.
Gum disease is a common condition that affects many people. Gum disease can often be prevented by avoiding key risk factors and by maintaining good oral hygiene.
In the early stage of gum disease, plaque builds up along the gum line and causes inflammation (swelling) of the gums surrounding the teeth. This is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis can be painless so you may not know you have it. However you may notice swelling and bleeding while brushing or flossing. This is a reversible condition that is treated with professional cleaning and optimal oral hygiene.
Gingival recession is the movement of the gum line away from the neck of the tooth. There are a number of causes of recession including poor oral hygiene, incorrect brushing technique, grinding and clenching, or periodontal disease.
Tooth wear and recession around the gum line can occur from incorrect brushing technique and hard bristles.
Plaque and dental decay can also cause recession. A build up of plaque on the surface of the tooth contains millions of active bacteria, which attack the gum line and the gum recedes in defense. It is important to maintain optimum oral hygiene and to have regular hygiene visits to keep your plaque level down.
Tooth grinding and clenching can lead to an overall increase in recession around the mouth. If you are regularly noticing your teeth are sensitive when you wake in the morning, speak to us about making a custom made night guard. Heavy grinding and clenching can lead to fracture in the teeth, so it is important to try to protect against this. Fractured teeth are very sensitive, especially on biting.
Are your teeth sensitive to cold drinks and food? In gum recession, the gums move away from the neck of the tooth and the porous dentine layer beneath is exposed. These open tubules transmit signals to the nerve, causing sensitivity. Try using a sensitive toothpaste while brushing. If symptoms persist, talk to our dentists about desensitisation treatment options.
If gingivitis is allowed to progress, the inflammation can lead to further damage to the bone and tissues around the teeth. Pockets may form between the teeth and gums where plaque can easily collect.
Some of the common signs of periodontitis are: redness, soreness and swelling of the gums, bleeding, loosening of the teeth, receding gums or longer looking teeth or bad breath that won’t go away. Periodontitis doesn’t happen to everyone, but there are some risk factors:
For many people, bad breath is a personal and sensitive topic.Our team understand this and can discretely help our patients identify and treat the cause of their bad breath. Common causes of bad breath include dehydration, dental decay, poor oral hygiene and smoking. On other occasions, bad breath may reflect an issue in your body such as sinusitis, gastric reflux or diabetes.
Tips for improving your breath
If your bad breath persists, speak to our team about screening for other possible causes.
Many people experience tooth sensitivity ranging from mild to severe on a regular basis. There are a number of causes of sensitive teeth including gum recession, tooth wear, grinding and clenching, dental decay and fracture.
In the case of gum recession, the gum line has moved away from the neck of the tooth, exposing the porous root surface that can transmit signals to the nerve. Mild sensitivity can be relieved using sensitive toothpaste. Moderate sensitivity can benefit from desensitisation varnish, applied by your dentist. If you have severe gum recession, it may be possible to have a small surgery to cover the root area with grafting.
Are you brushing too hard or using a hard bristle toothbrush? Tooth wear around the gum line can occur from incorrect brushing technique and hard bristles. Essentially the enamel layer that protects the tooth is worn away, and the porous dentine layer beneath is exposed. Switch to a soft brush and sensitive toothpaste. We can help you find the correct technique and brush for you, so speak to our hygienists Carol or Liz at your next hygiene visit.
Tooth grinding and clenching can lead to an overall increase in sensitivity around the mouth. If you are regularly noticing your teeth are sensitive when you wake in the morning, speak to us about making a custom made night guard. Heavy grinding and clenching can lead to fracture in the teeth, so it is important to try to protect against this. Fractured teeth are very sensitive, especially on biting.
Plaque and dental decay can also cause sensitivity. A build up of plaque on the surface of the tooth contains millions of active bacteria. It is important to maintain optimum oral hygiene and tohave regular hygiene visits to keep your plaque level down. Dental decay that has reached the dentine layer of the tooth can cause sensitivity by transmitting signals to the nerve inside the tooth. It is important to visit your dentist if you have ongoing sensitivity to identity the cause and treat accordingly. Early signs of decay and teeth grinding can easily be treated before they become more difficult issues.
Have you noticed your teeth chipping, shortening or thinning? Tooth wear has a number of underlying causes, detailed below. If you are concerned about changes to the appearance of your teeth, please speak to our team.
Erosion is caused by acid and leads to thinning of enamel and flattening of the surfaces of the teeth. Sources of acid include food and drink (fizzy drinks and juice), acid reflux and vomiting disorders. Reduce your acid by choosing low-acid food and drinks and hydrating with water. If you suffer from reflux, speak to your GP about using antacids or other options to reduce acid.
Abrasion is caused by repeated movement of a hard structure across the teeth, including a hard bristled tooth brush or mouth piercing. This can cause wear along the gum line, notches in the teeth and gum recession. Switch to a soft or medium brush and speak to our hygienists Carol and Liz about your brushing technique. If you have a mouth piercing, opt for a plastic fixture to limit the risk of damage.
Attrition is caused by the excess grinding of the teeth. This habit leads to wearing of the edges of the front teeth, flattening of the back teeth and could lead to tooth fracture. Night time grinding and clenching can also lead to pain in the teeth and jaw joint. If you are grinding at night, we can offer a custom made guard to help protect your teeth from damage.
Mouth ulcers and cold sores are regularly seen at Blackrock Dental. Ulcers can happen in response to injury, such as burns or sharp food, or when the body is run down or deficient in certain vitamins. If you have an ongoing ulcer, please visit us for a dental checkup. Often there is a simple solution to help, such as easing a sharp filling, fixing your braces or denture. On some occasions, we may recommend getting blood tests. If you require relief from your mouth ulcer, try a soothing gel such as orabase which will help protect your skin while it heals.
Cold sores are caused by a virus (herpes simplex) that stays in the affected nerve for life. Cold sores are stimulated to reoccur when triggered by extreme temperatures, trauma, stress and hormonal changes. As it is a virus, it can be treated with an anti-virus cream such as Zovirax. This is effective in the early stage only, so use it as soon as you feel a tingle or burning sensation. While you have a cold sore, avoid dental or beautician treatment, kissing or taking part in contact sports.
Mouth ulcers and cold sores usually heal in 10 days to 2 weeks. If you are concerned about any ulcers or sores that are not healing, please speak to our dentists. Any sore that lasts more than 3 weeks should be evaluated.