Dental pain when eating ice cream? Benhill Dental’s guide for managing sensitive teeth in Sutton

On a warm summer’s day, you should not have to feel worried about biting into a cool, refreshing ice lolly. On a cold winter’s day, you should not wince at the thought of ordering a hot chocolate at your regular coffee shop either.

Sensitive Teeth in SuttonIf you have a sensitive tooth or teeth, then these concerns are all too real for you and can be a serious pain (no pun intended).

What causes sensitive teeth?

A leading cause of sensitive teeth in Sutton is a loss of enamel on the tooth or teeth; this can be caused by a diet full of highly acidic foods and drinks like orange juice.

There are also other reasons for enamel loss such as nocturnal grinding, a cracked tooth or decay around a damaged filling.

What can I do?

If you suspect you have sensitive teeth in Sutton, the first thing to do is to check with a dental surgery that has experience in treating patients who suffer from sensitive teeth. It may be that you have a cracked filling or tooth, which can easily be repaired and immediately stop the sensitivity.

At Benhill Dental Surgery, our dental team are experienced in helping patients who have sensitive teeth and will work to identify the cause and provide you with a personalised plan to minimise and stop the pain caused by sensitive teeth.

Home based options

Our dental team will provide you with advice on how you can minimise pain caused by sensitive teeth in Sutton and how you can prevent it recurring.

As many of our patients’ sensitivity is due to a wearing away of enamel, there are many options to choose from to strengthen your enamel at home.

Fluoride Toothpaste

We can advise you on which toothpaste we think will be the most beneficial for you.

Toothpaste that is high in fluoride will help strengthen and rebuild any enamel that you have lost whilst also keeping your teeth clean. To gain the most benefit, we recommend using a fluoride toothpaste twice a day until the sensitivity subsides.

Mouthguard

If you and your dentist suspect that your dental sensitivity is due to nocturnal grinding while asleep, then it is time to invest in a mouthguard.

Although many pharmacists can give you over-the-counter mouthguards to help prevent grinding, it is best to seek out a dentist to provide a custom fitted one, shaped specifically to your mouth. That way, you can ensure the most comfort when asleep, as well as the best prevention.

Chew Gum

Chewing a sugar free gum creates large amounts of saliva in your mouth which helps harden tooth enamel.

Just make sure you have purchased a sugar free option; if you are chewing away on a sugary gum, your sensitivity will probably get worse.

It is important to establish what is causing your tooth sensitivity before attempting to treat it. It is a symptom, so call Benhill Dental today for preventative dental care.

Why do I have sensitive teeth?

Sensitive teeth can occur for a multitude of reasons. Erosion can be caused by poor diet, frequent consumption of highly sugary or acidic foods or drinks as well as eating disorders, severe brushing and other medical conditions. Over time poor levels brushing can lead to the build up of dental plaque which can consequently lead to gum disease, this can cause the gum line to recede, which exposes the dentine tubules of the root which are extremely sensitive, this sensitivity can be made worse by extreme warm or cold temperatures. These dentine tubules lead directly to the nerve of the tooth, which can cause the tooth to become sensitive to everyday activities such as eating and brushing. One of our dentists at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton may recommend a paste which can help reduce the level of discomfort experienced due to the sensitivity. This paste aims to seal the ends of these tubules, we offer this service in order to aim to reduce the discomfort for our patients who may have sensitive teeth in Sutton.

Sensitive Teeth in SuttonHow can we help your sensitive teeth at Benhill Dental Practice?

At our practice we offer an initial consultation to decipher the best individual plan for our patients. We offer top tips to reduce sensitivity and ensure further prevention. We may advise a certain type of toothpaste for example, or ways in which you can build up enamel, and reduce plaque in order to help eliminate further sensitivity.

How can I reduce sensitivity?

Some simple steps can help reduce sensitivity, and help to prevent its initial occurrence.

Brushing with a soft bristled brush can help reduce abrasion, despite your teeth feeling better it is important to brush gently to try and reduce the further wearing down of the gum tissue. Further prevention can be aided with a selective diet, avoidance of highly acidic foods such as citrus fruits can help to lower sensitive teeth in Sutton. Highly acidic foods can wear down enamel which leads to dentin exposure, which in turn causes pain. Maintaining dental hygiene is key, flossing and brushing correctly as well as adding a mouthwash into your regime can help to maintain this.

Why choose us at Benhill Dental Practice?

At our practice we pride ourselves in the care of our patients, we welcome all ages and offer NHS and private services. We have treated generations of families, and pride ourselves on our community reputation. We offer a variety of treatments including preventative dental care, treatment that aims to restore, as well as cosmetic dental services such as tooth whitening and veneers.

What if I am nervous about visiting the dentist?

Individuals may refrain from visiting their local dentistry surgery due to inconvenience, or due to the surrounding anxiety around dentists some patients feel. Anxiety may be caused by previous negative experiences, or simply an irrational fear. a multitude of members of our team have had experience with working with nervous patients. We refrain from using sedative treatment at our surgery, as we believe our modern treatments as well as reassurance at every stage are enough to relieve our patients nerves and discomfort.

Healthy teeth need healthy gums

Your teeth are set into the jawbone, where they are held in place by fleshy ligaments. The bone is covered with flesh known as the gums and this comes down over the teeth, offering protection over the site where bone meets tooth.

Healthy Gums in SuttonGums are a bit like the seal you find around places that get wet. Around your shower head, for example. If you don’t take care of the seals around things, bacteria can get in underneath and start to pull the seal out of place. It’s the same with gums, only when the gums start to pull away, it’s your teeth and jawbone that are affected.

That’s why, when you think about your oral hygiene, you need to have healthy gums as well as healthy teeth. Here at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, you will find that our dentists and hygienists are just as interested in the health of your gums as they are in that of your teeth.

Check-ups and healthy gums

When you come for a check-up at Benhill Dental Practice, the dentist won’t only be looking at your teeth for decay. They will also be on the lookout for gum disease.

The early signs of gum disease are red, inflamed gums that bleed easily. If we see signs of gingivitis, we will talk to you about your oral health routine and what you can do to improve it.

If the dentist sees signs of the gums pulling away from the sockets, then you are already in a more advanced state of gum disease. When the gums are pulling away from the sockets, it means that plaque and bacteria can get underneath and start attacking your tooth roots (which have no enamel over them) and the bone surrounding your teeth. This later stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis. Treatment for this is more invasive. We may have to plane away any infected or corroded areas under your gums. We may have to sew your gums back in place to tighten them up around your teeth.

If you want to know more about ways to have healthy gums, please ask either the dentist or the hygienist next time you come in.

We can help you be less scared of the dentist

If you think you are weird to be scared of the dentist at your age, you will be relieved to know that you are not alone. In fact, about 13% of the world’s population suffers from dental phobia. Phobia is more than being a bit nervous that you might have to have a filling. It’s the extreme end of nervousness, with trembling and sweats and even full-blown panic attacks.

Nervous Patients in SuttonIf 13% of people worldwide suffer from feelings that extreme, you are totally entitled to be scared. In the dental world, we like to lump the spectrum of fear of the dentist into one umbrella term of nervous patients. We recognise that you exist in great numbers and that your fears are to be taken seriously. It’s not just in your mind, it’s in your body too.

The trouble is that when you are scared of the dentist, it can be all too easy to put off your check-up appointments. Finding excuses not to go is simple and before you know it, it’s been 6, 9, 12 months, maybe even years since your last check-up.

The trouble with avoiding check-ups is that problems that would have been quick and easy to fix become more serious and require more invasive treatment. That tiny filling turns into root canal therapy. Plaque become tartar becomes gum disease becomes root planing and gum grafts.

It’s important to realise that dentistry has come on in leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades and we now have much gentler techniques and lots of local anaesthetic, so you never have to feel a thing when we treat you.

Dental clinics are also much nicer environments to be in. Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton is designed to make you feel welcome and relaxed. The staff too have been trained to help you feel at home as soon as you step in through the door.

We will take time to listen to your fears and work out strategies to deal with them. We also have sedation if you think you are not going to be able to go through treatment without feeling very anxious.

Come on back to the dentist and feel great about your smile again.

Cover ups for your teeth

When teeth get damaged in one way or another, it’s great to know that there are various treatments that can be used to make them look great again.

One of the most popular treatments for making teeth look good again is veneers. Here at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, we find veneers to be incredibly versatile and able to deal with all sorts of problems.

Veneers in SuttonWhat are veneers?

Veneers are tiny sheaths of composite porcelain that are sized, shaped and coloured to blend in with your own teeth. They are fixed onto the fronts of the teeth to cover over imperfections and damage and can be used to mask a variety of issues.

Lots of people’s teeth get damaged as they go through life. It’s pretty common to pick up a chip or two playing sports or mucking about at school. Some people damage their teeth doing silly things like using them to open bottles.

Teeth can also sometimes get badly stained with the kind of intrinsic discolouration that normal whitening treatments can’t fix. Tetracycline is an antibiotic that discolours teeth, for example. Veneers can be used to cover over this kind of discolouration.

Sometimes one or two of the teeth are not the right size. Veneers can be placed over them to make them look the same as the other teeth.

Sometimes one or two teeth may not be quite in alignment with the rest of the teeth and instead of having braces, a veneer can be placed over them to make them look in line.

The treatment process

It only takes a couple of appointments to get veneers fitted. We start by taking impressions of your teeth and working out what colour the veneer needs to be. This goes off to a technician to make. When we fit the veneers, we need to remove the outer layer of enamel so that the veneers will lie flush with the rest of the teeth, and also to give the adhesive something to bond to. Then we put the veneers on and you are good to go.

If you take good care of your veneers, they can last for at least 10 years.

A different kind of smile upgrade

The trouble with fillings is that we get most of our tooth decay when we are kids. This is because we have not yet mastered the art of toothbrushing and getting into all those corners round the back teeth. It’s also because we haven’t mastered the discipline to stand at the bathroom sink for 2 minutes twice a day.

White Fillings in SuttonGoodness knows, it’s hard enough as an adult, let alone as a 6-year-old in a world of far more exciting things to do.

So, it’s not unusual to need a filling almost every time we go to the dentist, especially if we can’t resist a sugary snack, and which child can?

This means that by the time we are adults, most of us have quite a collection of dark, glinting amalgam fillings in our mouths, and every time we laugh or yawn, there they are, for everyone to see.

Do you really want everyone to know how many fillings you’ve got? You don’t have to, if you get white fillings instead.

Replace amalgam fillings

One way people upgrade their smile is to have all their old amalgam fillings removed and replaced with white fillings. At Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, we do this with a great deal of care, so that you don’t accidentally swallow any of the old fillings. Amalgam contains mercury, which is toxic, so we are very careful to remove every last bit before we refill the cavity with white fillings made of composite resin.

This is mixture of glass and plastic. White fillings have got stronger and stronger in the decades since they first became available and are now as strong, if not stronger than amalgam.

They also have the advantage of being able to be sculpted. This means that when you have a white filling put in, we can shape it so that you get the chewing surface of your tooth back. This is not possible with amalgam, which lies flat within the walls of the tooth.

We can replace all your fillings in a few appointments, or we can do them one at a time as each amalgam filling wears out.

Come in and have a chat about it.

Versatile teeth whitening treatments

As you go about your daily business, it’s worth looking at other people’s smiles and getting an idea of what are the accepted norms for smiles these days. You will notice that amongst people under the age of about 40, it’s very important to have straight, well proportioned, white teeth. People are spending more on their smiles than ever before, and the most popular treatment of all is teeth whitening.

Teeth Whitening in SuttonHere at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, we see more and more people coming in for teeth whitening treatment. It’s a great way of giving your smile a lift without having to go through lengthy and costly treatments. So, if you know you need to have a great smile for an upcoming event, you may well choose to get your teeth whitened, and there are 2 ways in which you can do this with us at Benhill Dental Practice.

How does teeth whitening work?

The treatment aims to gently lift out traces of pigments from various foods and drinks, such as coffee, red wine and dark chocolate. These get trapped in the pore of your tooth enamel and brushing can’t dislodge them, neither can a good clean with the hygienist.

Teeth whitening gel contains hydrogen peroxide, a tried and trusted whitener and disinfectant that has been around for a couple of hundred years. It comes in different strengths, depending on what it’s being used for.

We also use it in different strengths at the dental practice.

Power whitening

We use a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide for whitening treatments that we can oversee in the clinic. Power whitening gel is painted onto your teeth and takes about an hour to whiten your teeth by several shades.

At-home whitening

Using bespoke gel trays and a weaker gel, you whiten your teeth at home over a couple of weeks. You put the gel in the bespoke trays and wear them every day for a short period.

Both methods have their advantages. One is quick and can be done in your lunch hour. The second gives you trays that you can use every time you need to top up your treatment.

H is for hygiene

Are you a good dental patient? Do you come in every 6 months for a check-up and a session with the hygienist, and, as you leave, book yourself in for more of the same in another 6 months’ time? Or are you a bit more slapdash? Do you put off making appointments, forget to turn up, cancel a few days before, and somehow not come to see us twice a year, but more like once a year, or maybe even every 2 years?

Dental Hygiene in SuttonThere’s a reason why dentists want their patients to come in every 6 months for check-ups. This is how long the early stages of decay and gum disease take to develop, and we can still spot them and deal with them before they become more serious.

If you are good about check-ups and cleanings, you will know how much we, at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, go on about dental hygiene. Dental hygiene is the foundation of all good dental care.

You only get one set of adult teeth, and if you’d like to live until you are 80, these teeth are going to have to last you more than 70 years. That’s a very long time.

Natural teeth are very good at chewing things into a paste that can be well digested. Some of the replacement teeth on offer are not so good. So, as your dentist, we would far rather you practised good dental hygiene and hung onto your natural teeth than go down the route of replacement teeth.

How to practise good dental hygiene

It’s pretty simple. You need to brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day using a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. One way to make sure you do the full 2 minutes is to use an electric toothbrush with a timer on it. It vibrates at 4 30-second intervals, so you can work round your mouth very thoroughly.

Don’t forget to back up your tooth brushing with a daily flossing session to remove plaque from between your teeth and under the edges of the gums. If you are older, you may also need interdental brushes to remove trapped food from between your teeth, especially at the back.

And now a tax on vaping too

Many people have managed their nicotine and smoke addiction by moving from now super-expensive tobacco to cheaper vaping syrups. But at the end of October budget, the chancellor, Phillip Hammond, decided to tax vaping as well.

Smoking Cessation in SuttonMaybe that’s a good thing. Vaping was once thought to be pretty harmless, but research shows that it causes a nasty condition called popcorn lung. Also vape syrups are full of sugar, just as most tobaccos are. Sugar is now not classed as just empty calories, but the driver behind the nation’s diabetes crisis. So, even if you are super careful about not eating sugar, if you smoke or vape, you are still getting a pretty substantial sugar hit every time you indulge.

Smoking is really bad for your teeth and mouth, and vaping, with all that sugar, isn’t exactly great either. If you want to hang onto your teeth, and avoid gum disease and other nasties such as oral cancer, then maybe now is the time to stop the whole nicotine merry-go-round and get some help with smoking cessation from us at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton.

If you’d like to know more about what smoking does to your mouth, we’d be more than happy to tell you. We can also support you with giving up smoking.

Smoking and mouth cancer

Let’s be clear, smoking is the main cause of mouth cancer. And if you drink alcohol when you smoke, you are even more likely to get mouth cancer. Mouth cancer is caused by changes in the cells in the mouth, which then start grow out of control. Carcinogens get into the cells when you smoke, and get in even more easily when they have been dissolved into alcohol if you are smoking and drinking.

You are likely to develop mouth cancer in your 50s and 60s and early 70s. Tumours can grow on any soft tissue in your mouth, and also in your head and neck. Mouth cancer screenings can check for tumours in just a few minutes. Treated early, mouth cancer is easily dealt with, either with surgery or other therapies.

Don’t let your phobia ruin your teeth

The trouble with being scared of the dentist is that you don’t go to the dentist. If you suffer from dental phobia in Sutton, you are not alone. It is estimated that about 13% of people worldwide have a proper phobia of going to the dentist. This isn’t just being a bit nervous about what might happen at the dentist, but having full blown extreme anxiety, with sweats and trembling.

Dental Phobia in SuttonDental phobia is so bad for some sufferers that they just can’t face going to the dentist. Even if they make it as far as getting an appointment, they probably won’t turn up for it. And repeatedly being unable to actually get yourself across the threshold of the practice, can lead to a terrible shame about yourself building up. Along with that shame goes the increased likelihood of decay and gum disease. Cavities don’t get seen to, and they get worse. Untreated gum disease can lead to bad breath, and wobbly teeth. The conditions inside your mouth can deteriorate to the point that you can’t face showing it to the dentist for fear of what they might say. When you do finally come along, maybe because the pain you’ve been suffering for months has finally become unbearable, you have teeth extracted that could have just had a tiny filling a few months back. You have to go for intense gum treatment when, last year, a scale and polish with the hygienist would be sorted you out. Now you need replacement teeth and months of 0% finance to cover the costs of treatment.

If you suffer from dental phobia, don’t let this happen to you. Come to us at Benhill Dental Practice, where we know all about dental phobia and can treat you in a compassionate, non-judgemental manner. We won’t just stick you in the chair and let you get on with it, we will want to know all about what makes you scared and what we can do to make you less frightened, whether it be frequent breaks with signals agreed beforehand, and/or sedation. We will find a way to make treatment easier for you.