The most common reason why gums bleed is due to the teeth and gums not being cleaned thoroughly enough. If you leave bacteria-containing dental plaque sitting on the teeth beside the gums, the bacteria infect the gums themselves.
The picture below shows gums that have been infected. Notice the red colour all along the edge of the gum beside the teeth. Compare this picture with the picture below, and you can see the gums are swollen as well as being red. This gum infection is called gingivitis.
Unfortunately sometimes fillings for whatever reason may fall out or become chipped or broken.
There are many reasons for this including biting down suddenly on something hard such as a hard boiled sweet. Symptoms can vary from none at all to sensitivity to hot and cold or tenderness on chewing. A lost filling will always feel much bigger to the tongue.
It is important to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. However if you cannot immediately access a dentist here are some helpful tips .
Finally the use of over-the-counter painkillers from a chemist if it is constantly painful can also be helpful until you contact the dentist.
Don’t place any pain-killing tablets on the site of the tooth or its gum as this can cause burns to the gum.
If a tooth is knocked out, the most important thing is to replace it as soon as possible . The tooth should be picked up by the crown (the part visible in the mouth normally) only. You should not touch the root.
The tooth should be rinsed briefly under cold water to dislodge any dirt. Do not scrub the tooth!
Still holding the crown, place the tooth gently back into the socket. (make sure it is the right way round - looking at the same tooth on the other side will help here.)
If the tooth can't be put back in the socket, the most important thing is for it to be stored properly until you get to the dentist. Milk is ideal, as it simulates conditions in the body quite well. If milk isn't available, water is better than nothing, but don't let the tooth dry out.
You must attend a dentist as quickly as possible. With all dental injuries, time is of critical importance, and will make the difference between possibly keeping the tooth, or surely losing it.
A crown is like a jacket or cap that fits over a prepared tooth. It has the same shape as the original tooth. If a tooth is badly broken down, a crown is often the only option. By fully enclosing the tooth it is strong, and where indicated it can have an excellent appearance, looking just like a real tooth. It can be made of a metal alloy, of porcelain, or a combination of both. To allow the crown to fit, the tooth must be prepared first. This involves trimming the tooth down a little. Crowns are fixed in place with cement.
This is a common problem which mainly affects adults. There are numerous causes including trauma, awkward biting and stress. This is due to excessive grinding (bruxing) of the teeth which can make the chewing muscles around the mouth tender and inflamed. It often happens subconsciously when you are asleep. It is important to contact your dentist if this problem arises.
Simple jaw exercises or the application of hot and cold may ease the tension or spasm in the muscles.
A splint that is like a night guard can also be made by your dentist to prevent your teeth contacting during grinding. This is a relatively straightforward procedure where your dentist takes impressions of your teeth.
Otherwise painkillers or other over-the-counter (OTC) remedies like anti-inflammatories may help relieve the symptoms.
Mouth ulcers are a common ailment of the mouth. Most people will experience them at some stage during their life.
The main causes of mouth ulcers are:
Simple, small ulcers will usually heal within 7 days. However if you are having recurrent or longer lasting ulcers you should consult your dentist. The use of warm salty water or a mouth rinse can help with the discomfort. Similarly obtaining some medicated pastilles from the chemist may be useful.
Try to avoid spicy or acidic foods or locally applied aspirin as they may aggravate the ulcers.
A classical dental bridge (now called a "fixed partial denture") is like two crowns, with a false tooth between them. The whole bridge is cemented in place, thus the missing tooth is replaced by the replica tooth between the two crowns. Bridges can be much more complicated than this and different types exist.
Sometimes, the bridge is glued to the backs of the teeth on each side of the space, instead of putting a crown over the whole tooth. This is known as a 'Maryland Bridge'.
You should visit your dentist at least once a year, more often if you have difficulties.
Remember under the PRSI dental scheme you are entitled to a free oral examination once a year!
At your first (and subsequent) visit(s) to a dentist, a thorough medical history is routinely taken. The history will include asking you questions about your general health, previous illnesses and how they may affect your dental appointments.
The dentist will also ask you about any medication you are taking and will ask about any allergies you might have.
These are all precautionary measures designed to ensure that treatment can be carried out safely and efficiently while you visit your dentist.
If you think there is a chance you might be pregnant, it is always wise to inform your dentist before you begin treatment. Being pregnant will not prevent you from having dental treatment carried out, but most dentists prefer to defer any elective procedures (procedures that are not absolutely necessary) until after the pregnancy is over. This is particularly the case during the first and third trimesters. The taking of dental x-rays is also best avoided, if possible, during pregnancy, but experts agree that x-rays may be taken, where necessary, in the case of an emergency.
Endodontics or Root canal therapy is the removal of the infected or damaged nerve from the tooth and subsequent filling and sealing of the root canals to prevent re-infection. The tooth is then restored so that it can continue to function as normal.
After anesthetising the tooth with local anaesthetic, a small opening is made to expose the root canals and diseased pulp. The infected tissue is removed, and the root canal is widened with special instruments and disinfected to eliminate the infection. Finally, the root canals are filled and sealed. Once the root canal treatment is complete, the tooth will need to be restored with a crown or permanent filling material.
No. We always use local anaesthetic to ensure root canal treatment is a pain-free treatment. Any mild discomfort following treatment can be controlled with normal analgesics.
It is not normally necessary to take antibiotics after root canal treatment.
This is very rare. It normally occurs when there is a large pre-existing infection. If this happens you will be prescribed antibiotics and the swelling should resolve after 3-4 days.
Your dentist will be able to advise you if your tooth should be crowned following root canal treatment. A crown is normally recommended to protect a tooth that has had a root canal treatment, because the tooth will be more brittle and liable to fracture.