Healthy Gums

Are Teeth Effected By Alternatives To Cigarette Smoking?

If you’re a smoker than you’re probably well aware that cigarettes can cause your breath to smell less than pleasant and that your teeth have a yellowish tinge to them. However, what’s more important is that cigarette smoke has the potential to cause damage to the mouth which in many cases may not be visible to the eye. This includes:

  • dentist in GlasgowSignificant build up of plaque and tartar
  • Increased risk of developing gum disease
  • Recovery time takes longer following oral surgery
  • Success rate of certain dental procedures such as dental implants in Glasgow is decreased
  • More likely to suffer from oral infections
  • Bone loss within the jaw

Smoking is also known to increase the risk of oral cancer and this applies whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. So it’s no word of a lie when as a dentist in Glasgow we tell our patients that smoking and oral health don’t mix. However, what about the trendy alternatives to cigarette smoking? Are they bad for your teeth? We take a look below at three alternatives types of tobacco/nicotine substitutes and how they may impact on your health.

E-cigarettes – Branded as a healthier and more affordable option, many smokers have been tempted to try ‘vaping’ rather than smoking cigarettes. Since it’s a relatively new concept, the impact that E-cigarettes have on oral health isn’t clear, although it is known that they don’t produce the smoke or harmful chemicals of conventional cigarettes. However, E-cigs do contain nicotine and this impacts on the body’s ability to produce saliva, (which is nature’s way of cleaning the teeth and washing away harmful bacteria). With more bacteria building up there is more chance of developing tooth decay.

Hookah – Smoking water pipes or hubbly-bubbly pipes as they’re sometimes called can actually be more harmful than smoking cigarettes since just one puff from a hookah is virtually equivalent to the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette. One session of hookah can be equal to smoking 20 to 30 cigarettes in one go, which can be extremely harmful to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems as well as impacting on teeth and oral health.

Nicotine gum – Nicotine gum is widely used these days to help people quit smoking but even this can affect oral health. Side effects can include jaw pain, mouth irritation, sores and blisters. However, since this gum is intended as a means of cessation of smoking, then it’s only likely to be used for a matter of weeks or months as opposed to life.

The bottom line here is that smoking is really not good for your teeth or your bodily health and although some substitutes may seem better, they all have oral issues too.

If you’re a smoker then it’s vital that you visit your dentist in Glasgow for regular check-ups. He or she will offer you an oral cancer screen, and be here to encourage and support you should you decide to try and quit. Even by cutting down on cigarette consumption you’ll notice changes to your mouth and your oral health will improve. Why not make an appointment with Dr. Colin Gardner at Botanics Dental Care today by calling 0141 334 3408 or booking online at www.botanicsdentalcare.co.uk.

Decayed Teeth – What Are Your Options?

As a dentist in Glasgow treating tooth decay still remains at the core of good dental care. So we thought we’d take this opportunity to discuss various options for treating cavities.

What is tooth decay?

decayed teethTooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth feeding on the food particles situated on or between the teeth, damaging the tooth structure in the process. When tooth decay occurs it weakens teeth and makes them more susceptible to cracks, chips and breakage and it can even cause more serious problems to a person’s dental health.

There are several ways to treat tooth decay and these are discussed briefly below.

Fillings

The best option for minor tooth decay and cavities is typically with the use of a dental filling. They are the most common form of dental treatment and most people will have had one or more at some time in their life. They’re also available in a metal or tooth coloured form.

Inlays and Onlays

If a traditional dental filling is not quite suitable then the next option may be an inlay or onlay. These are able to restore larger sections of the tooth’s structure including the biting surfaces. They’re custom-made from an impression of your tooth and then glued into place with dental adhesive.

Crowns

A dental crown is usually the last resort when a tooth has been badly damaged and weakened and a filling isn’t possible. Any decay is removed and the dental crown fitted over the entire tooth strengthening its structure and restoring functionality.

Treating dental infections with root canal therapy

When a tooth is badly decayed it can cause bacteria to enter the hollow chamber inside the tooth which causes the soft tissue or pulp inside to become infected. When this happens it can cause almost unbearable pain and the infection may also spread to other structures within the mouth.

Root canal treatment involves your dentist in Glasgow removing the infected pulp to avoid the infection from spreading, cleaning out the root, and putting in a temporary filling while the tooth settles. Once the infection has cleared the tooth will be permanently filled or capped with a crown to restore its functionality.

Extractions

When a tooth or teeth are severely damaged then extraction is usually a better choice than restoration. Modern dentistry offers plenty of tooth replacement options including bridges, dentures, and dental implants. At Botanics Dental we’re noticing a large rise in the number of patients opting for dental implants in Glasgow and for the right candidate they offer a long lasting and natural looking permanent method of tooth replacement.

Our tips for preventing tooth decay

  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day
  • Avoid sugary food and drinks as much as possible
  • Avoid using tobacco products
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a check-up

If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile and/or your dental health then please get in touch with Botanics Dental Care. Our friendly and experienced dental team led by Dr. Colin Gardner will do all they can to make your smile more healthy and beautiful. Book online at www.botanicsdentalcare.co.uk or call us direct on 0141 334 3408.

What Is Gum Recession and What Causes It?

Gum recession quite simply refers to the loss of gum tissue along the gum line and as it occurs it reveals more and more of the lower structure of the tooth. If this problem isn’t treated by your dentist in Glasgow it can cause a number of other dental health risks.

Why it’s such a serious problem

gum recessionWhen more of a tooth’s root structure is revealed it makes it easier for oral bacteria to position itself in the area where the gum tissue meets the tooth. This can lead to serious tooth decay which is often hard to treat. A person will also notice increased sensitivity when their teeth come into contact with hot or cold substances. If gum recession isn’t stopped in its tracks then teeth can become loose and may eventually fall out because there is no gum tissue in place to help support them.

Causes of gum recession

Gum recession can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Smoking and use of tobacco – tobacco and smoke can aggravate the gum tissues and cause them to recede
  • Gum disease – This is an infection of the gum tissue which is caused by the bacteria that is naturally present in the mouth. In its latter stages it can cause gum recession.
  • Lip and tongue piercings – Tongue studs and lip rings can come into contact with the gum tissue and over time this can cause recession from the constant contact and abrasion.
  • Over zealous brushing of the teeth – If you brush your teeth too aggressively it can damage the gums and cause them to recede.
  • Aggressive flossing – Flossing which is carried out to vigorously can also cause loss of gum tissue and change the appearance of the gum line.
  • Bruxism – Tooth grinding (bruxism) can cause your teeth and jaw joint to feel sore and if not treated can eventually lead to gum recession.

Treatment

There are several treatments to consider if a patient has gum recession. A Glasgow dentist first needs to target the root cause of the gum recession. In the case of bruxism wearing a mouth guard and receiving Glasgow orthodontics treatment would be recommended. If gum disease is the main issue then a patient will be given a course of antibiotics and recommended to use antiseptic mouthwashes too.

In severe cases the dentist may want to consider rebuilding the gum line using a gum grafting procedure. This will involve the use of donor tissue taken from the patient’s palette or artificial soft tissue. This is then stitched into place along the gum line so that it builds up the volume of gum tissue.

If you’re suffering from receding gums then don’t delay. Get in touch with Botanics Dental Care. Our skilled and friendly restorative and cosmetic team are able to help you achieve the healthiest and best looking smile possible. Call us today to make an appointment with Dr. Colin Gardner on 0141 334 3408 or book online at www.botanicsdentalcare.co.uk.

Reasons Why You May Be Suffering From Gum Disease

As a Glasgow dentist we see an alarming number of adults suffering from gum disease and although there are several reasons for gum disease, the most common cause is poor oral hygiene. Gum disease is an unpleasant condition which affects your entire dental health and can prevent you from having certain treatments such as dental implants in Glasgow. It can also lead to problems such as tooth decay and in more serious cases, tooth loss.

gum diseaseWe thought it would be a good idea to make you aware of some of the main causes of gum disease so you can steer yourself away from them.

Let’s start by taking a closer look at gum disease itself. If your teeth regularly bleed when you brush your teeth or bite into crunchy fruit or vegetables then it’s almost certain that you have the early stages of gum disease, also known as gingivitis. Other signs include gums which are red and swollen and that feel generally sore. Gingivitis can be easily treated but if it isn’t nipped in the bud at this early stage it can develop into periodontitis which is way more serious and involves infections not just of the gums but also the alveolar bone and the periodontal ligament. The cause is said to be bacteria in plaque and in an advanced condition, periodontal disease can weaken bone and cause teeth to fall out.

5 things which can cause gum disease

  1. Smoking – Smoking is one of the most common causes of gum disease. Not only does it stain your teeth but it can also impact on the health of your gums. Smokers are at greater risk of periodontal disease than non smokers so it really is beneficial for your oral and overall health to quit smoking.
  1. Age – It’s really important that people visit their dentist in Glasgow on a more regular basis as they get older, especially 60 and above. Tooth problems become more common and this can result in gum disease.
  1. Stress – Stress has been linked with all types of health problems including high blood pressure and heart problems. It can also have an effect on the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infection and this too can cause gum disease. Therefore if you have gingivitis and are living a stressed lifestyle, there’s more chance of it escalating into the more serious condition of periodontitis.
  1. Gum disease can also be genetic and if there’s a history of gum disease in the family then it could have been passed down to you. For this reason make sure you visit your Glasgow dentist on a regular basis.
  1. Diet – Malnutrition is also a cause of gum disease. If your body isn’t getting sufficient nutrients then it can become more vulnerable to gum disease. Try including foods containing plenty of vitamins A, C and D into your diet as these are good for gums and teeth. Also fresh fruit and vegetables should be an integral part of your diet along with milk which contains calcium and is also good for teeth and bones.

The best way to avoid gum disease is to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly on a twice daily basis and rinse with a mouthwash too. If you’ve got problems with your gums then we can help. Why not arrange a consultation by calling us direct on 0141 334 3408 or booking online at www.botanicsdentalcare.co.uk.

4 Tips To Help Keep Your Teeth Healthy

As a dentist in Glasgow our main objective is to help people care for their teeth in order to retain
them for as long as possible. Maintaining good oral health is vital if you are to avoid tooth decay and gum disease which can result in the loss of one or multiple teeth. Keeping teeth and gums healthy isn’t that difficult provided you follow a regular daily oral health routine and eat a well balanced healthy diet, avoiding sugary drinks and snacks as much as possible. Below are 4 handy tips to maintaining healthy teeth.

  1. dentist in GlasgowBrushing – Brushing your teeth is the number one rule to maintaining a healthy smile, but it needs to be done properly. Most people don’t brush their teeth for long enough. The recommended length of time is 2 minutes – that’s right, 120 seconds! To get an idea of how long this is try setting a stopwatch when you brush. To clean your teeth effectively, we recommend that you use an electric toothbrush or a soft bristled manual toothbrush. Don’t brush too hard or you can damage your gums but instead use short gentle strokes being sure to pay particular attention to the gumline, areas around fillings and crowns, and those hard to reach back teeth. Make sure to brush your tongue too, to keep it free from bacteria and your breath fresh.
  1. Timing your brushing – When brushing your teeth in the morning be sure to leave an interval of at least thirty minutes before or after your breakfast. It’s also important to brush your teeth last thing at night so that they are protected while you are asleep. It’s not a bad idea either to get into the habit of carrying around a toothbrush and paste so that you can brush your teeth when you’re out and about or at work, following a snack or lunch. If you can’t do this, then at least make sure to rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee, tea or other drinks or eating sweets or pastries, or better still chew a piece of sugar fee gum.
  1. Flossing – As Glasgow dentists we never fail to be amazed by the number of patients who admit to never flossing their teeth. Flossing is the best way to remove plaque which rests in between the teeth and sits on the gumline. If not removed, it can harden and form tartar which then puts gums and teeth under threat from gum disease. Tartar is impossible to remove by brushing alone and requires a visit to the hygienist who can remove it using special tools.
  1. Chewing gum – Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugar free gum for up to twenty minutes after a meal or snack can help to keep tooth decay at bay. Chewing increases the flow of saliva which then washes away food particles and other debris, neutralises acids caused by bacteria in the mouth, and also produces substances which help fight disease. In addition, saliva carries phosphate and calcium which helps strengthen tooth enamel.

Hopefully by following these four tips you can maintain good oral hygiene between dental visits. Should you need any further information or advice about cleaning your teeth, then please don’t hesitate to book an appointment with our hygiene centre where a bespoke hygiene plan can be put in place for you. Call Botanics Dental Care today on 0141 334 3408 or visit our website at www.botanicsdentalcare.co.uk to learn more about all the services and treatments we provide.