Why are healthy gums in Sutton necessary for oral health?

It’s not just your teeth that must be properly taken care of, but also your gums. By neglecting your gums, you’re at risk of developing gum disease, which can sometimes, it’s believed, exacerbate the symptoms of people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes or dementia. 


At Benhill Dental Practice, we try to educate the public not just about how to keep gums healthy, but to also identify the first signs of gum disease for early treatment.

In this article, we’ll answer your most pressing questions. ‘Why are gums so important?’ ‘What diseases can you contract?’ ‘How can you prevent them from occurring?’

What role do gums play?

Gums are a cushy tissue that surrounds your teeth. The role of gums is not just to protect your teeth, but also your underlying bone from infection. Essentially, healthy tissue acts as a barrier against disease-causing oral bacteria.

If you don’t adhere to dental hygiene best practices, your gums can no longer protect your teeth from the onslaught of germs effectively, which can result in significant tooth loss.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a gum disease in its infancy stages. The condition is caused by bad attention to oral health, which can include infrequent brushing. This can cause a situation where bacteria-housing plaque accumulates on the surfaces of your teeth while causing gum inflammation.

If gingivitis is not treated in time, periodontitis occurs. This advanced infection has the potential to destroy a tooth’s bony structure, resulting in avoidable tooth loss.

How do I know if I have gingivitis?

The first signs of gingivitis are swollen gums that bleed easily when you brush, floss, or eat.

Other more advanced symptoms include receding gums, bad breath, and gum sensitivity.

Can gum disease be treated and reversed?

Disease-causing bacteria can be eradicated from your mouth with a deep clean called ‘scaling and root planing’. This procedure entails using tools to scrape bacteria from the surfaces and roots of your teeth.

Antibiotics may be needed if the gum disease is already advanced.

What are some preventive measures I can take to ensure healthy gums in Sutton?

Brush and floss daily

Brush and floss twice a day without fail. Dedicate two to three minutes to every brush. Flossing is necessary, not an optional extra, because it can reach food that’s trapped in the crevices of your teeth.

If you have wide gaps between your teeth or have bridges, we recommend that you use interdental brushes.

Give up smoking

Findings have shown that smoking is a risk factor for gum disease, with smokers at higher risk than non-smokers.

Watch your diet

What you eat affects the overall state of your mouth. By giving up sweets, sugary drinks and takeaways, and instead opting for a diet rich in vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fatty fish, your dental health will vastly improve.

Don’t skip your scheduled dental appointments

Your dentist or dental hygienist can clean your teeth, remove harmful bacteria, and spot the first signs of gum disease before the condition worsens.

Remember, gum disease is both preventable and reversible! Take care of your mouth for healthy gums in Sutton.

Dental anxiety: what to do if you’re a nervous patient

If just the thought of visiting the dentist brings you feelings of dread and terror, you might be suffering from dental anxiety. The fortunate news is that you’re not alone; many individuals suffer from this to a degree. The bad news is that dental anxiety can affect your oral health.


At Benhill Dental Practice, we’re trained to treat nervous patients in Sutton and will help you to put your mind at ease during your checkups with us.

If you’re searching for reading material to encourage you to overcome this relevant and commonly experienced problem, read on.

Why am I like this?

Many people could be classified as nervous patients in Sutton and having dental anxiety doesn’t appear randomly, but can result from the following.

  • You might be going through trauma, caused by an early childhood experience with another dentist or medical practitioner.
  • You might have a fear of pain, the unknown, or anxieties over gagging.
  • You don’t not like being in control.
  • You hate your personal spaces being invaded, and having a dentist operating from your mouth can be extremely invasive.

How can I ease my dental anxiety?

Avoiding the dentist is the worst thing for nervous patients in Sutton, as avoidance behaviour only exacerbates minor dental issues, turning them into more significant ones.

To the contrary, seeing the dental practitioner regularly is the best thing for nervous patients in Sutton. If you take care of your teeth, and there are no underlying issues, these checkups are straightforward and wonderfully non-memorable.

Walking through the doors of your local dentist; easier said than done, right? Here are some helpful tips you can look into to help you remain relaxed and composed, and to make the situation less of a personal ordeal.

  • Find a local dentist practitioner experienced with ill-at-ease patients, a doctor specialised in dental anxiety is an even better choice.
  • If you’re seeing a new dentist, be upfront about your problem. That way, they can readjust the treatments and procedures as needed.
  • Ask if you can have a look around the dentist’s office before your visit. That way you can get a feel of the place before your appointment.
  • Bring a friend along with you, as having the support will help you. If it’s alright with your dental practitioner, ask if they can sit in the room with you while you get your procedure done.
  • Schedule an initial consultation first before you get any procedures done. That way, you can build rapport with your dentist. Feeling comfortable in their presence will make the experience easier.
  • Choose an appointment time in the morning. That way you won’t spend the whole day overthinking and ruminating about your upcoming appointment.
  • Meditate or employ breathing techniques to help you relax.
  • Listening to your favourite tunes to help distract you and will also drown out the clinical sounds associated with the dentist.
  • Ask about conscious sedation if you don’t think you can go through the appointment using more holistic methods. Conscious sedation will help you relax but make you feel drowsy. Make sure you don’t drive home afterwards.

What are veneers in Sutton?

Veneers are a form of cosmetic dentistry which aims to improve the aesthetic appearance of an individual’s teeth,and therefore their smile. Veneers are essentially wafer thin caps which are adhered to the front surface of a patient’s teeth. Porcelain veneers are an extremely popular cosmetic option, and for good reason! Despite common misconception, porcelain veneers are extremely simple to adhere, and can be administered within one single dental appointment.  


Are veneers in Sutton right for me?

Patients who are suffering from stained teeth may be eligible for veneers at our dental clinic, Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton. Extrinsic and intrinsic staining of the teeth can be caused by certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking, which can cause yellowing of the enamel, as well as the consumption of highly pigmented food and drink, things like curry, coffee, and red wine. If you are a patient who is suffering from ‘yellowing’ then you may look towards tooth whitening, which can be a perfect solution for patients who are suffering from moderate staining.

For patients who are experiencing more severe staining, tooth whitening might not address the issue sufficiently  Porcelain veneers may therefore be a perfect solution for patients with seriously stained teeth.

A popular form of cosmetic dentistry

Apart from yellow teeth, veneers in Sutton may also be a perfect solution for chipped, fragmented, or generally damaged teeth, all of which can be caused by poor diet or by accident. In addition to stained, or decayed teeth, veneers may be perfect for patients who are suffering from spacing or ‘gaps’ of the teeth. Many patients who are suffering from irregular spacing of the teeth may not always find the answer through the use of orthodontics, such as traditional metal braces, veneers therefore may be a viable option.

Working around you

At our clinic in Sutton we treat every individual patient as a unique case. All of our patients are different, their dental cases therefore also vary greatly. Our porcelain veneers strive to improve the aesthetic appearance of our patients’ teeth, and by extension their smile, which is why they are custom made. Our cosmetic dentistry is matched perfectly to the exact shape, and shade of a patient’s surrounding teeth, meaning they appear to be as natural as possible. 

What to expect from your treatment process

Many patients may feel more comfortable knowing what to expect from their dental appointment, whether this be a regular dental appointment, or a more extensive dental procedure. Many of our more nervous patients may feel better receiving a tour of our clinic (which can be arranged) as well as voicing their concerns within an initial consultation, both of which are always welcomed.

The first step

For any dental procedure, an initial consultation is always recommended first, this ensures we can determine the best possible treatment for our patients, and the correct way to commence treatment. Once you have attended your initial consultation, we can give your teeth a thorough examination,and therefore create your custom-made porcelain veneers!

How they work

Porcelain veneers are wafer thin and fit perfectly on our patients’ natural teeth, however first a small layer of the natural tooth has to be filed down (using a special dental drill). Once the natural teeth are prepared for the veneers, they can be adhered using a special dental glue adhesive, and that’s all there is to it! Our dental clinic aims to make our dental procedures as simple and as comfortable as possible.

What are white fillings?

White fillings are essentially a more discreet form of traditional metal amalgam filling, and they have risen dramatically in popularity due to their subtle appearance. White fillings in Sutton are made from a composite material, which is a mixture of glass and tooth coloured resin, and can be used to deal with decayed, fragmented, or broken teeth within the mouth.

How do white fillings work?

In terms of the way in which they work, enamel and dentine bonding techniques are used to restore the aesthetic appearance, and physical function of teeth within the mouth. Both types of fillings work in the same way, by moulding to the hole in the tooth and restoring its dental health and function rapidly. White fillings could be considered as more complicated to administer than traditional metal fillings, and can take roughly fifteen to thirty minutes to place within the mouth.

Why may I choose to receive white fillings in Sutton?

Individuals who may lean more towards receiving white fillings at our dental clinic may be suffering from a cavity or even several cavities which need rectifying. Cavities for many patients can be extremely common, and are caused by bacteria which breaks down the patient’s tooth matter. Despite the frequency with which cavities occur, it is important for your oral health to receive a filling, in order to prevent the further decay of the surrounding teeth. Patients may lean more towards white composite fillings rather than traditional metal fillings due to the lack of mercury within the material, which has rumoured links to possible health concerns.

Why choose us to receive your white fillings?

Patients may choose our dental clinic to receive their white fillings in Sutton for many reasons, one of which being our excellent standard of dental care we offer. Our dental clinic has been providing patients with dental care for over eighty years, we are unique in the way that we offer our patients the choice of both private and National Health Service dentistry. We believe our friendly and professional approach to dental care ensures our patients feel at ease when receiving dental care at our clinic (even those who may be suffering from dental anxiety, or dental phobia).

What is dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety (also commonly known as a dental phobia) can be sprung by unwanted childhood dental memories. It is important to remember that if you are suffering from anxiety within a dental or orthodontic environment, that you are not alone.

How much do white fillings cost?

The cost of a patient’s filling treatment may depend greatly on the number of cavities within the patient’s mouth.

Are white fillings available under the National Health Service?

At our dental clinic within Sutton we are frequently asked about the costing of cosmetic dentistry (such as white fillings) and whether they are accessible on the National Health Service. White fillings are considered to be cosmetic due to their aesthetically pleasing physical appearance, and are unfortunately therefore only available at our clinic under private dental fees.

Your guide to teeth whitening in Sutton

A brighter and whiter smile can make a huge difference not only to your self-esteem and how you feel within yourself, but also how others view you and your health. People do tend to associate a healthy mouth and body with having brilliant and white teeth, so what better way to bring about a positive change to a smile than by having teeth whitening in Sutton?


Dull, stained, yellowing teeth can have a significant impact on your confidence and could be the reason why you don’t smile as much as you should. If you feel that you are constantly conscious about the appearance of your smile and dislike any staining or discolouration that you may have, then come and speak with us about it today.

We routinely suggest to our patients that a combination of teeth whitening in Sutton, frequent dental check-ups and hygiene visits will give you the best chance at having beautiful, strong and healthy teeth. When you approach us for your routine checkup, speak to us about your displeasure with your stained and discoloured teeth so that we can walk you through the process of how we can brighten and whiten your smile quickly and effectively.

There are two kinds of teeth whitening in Sutton that is available for you to choose from. The first can be done in the dental chair in a matter of minutes. The other option allows you to take a whitening kit home with you so that you can whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, usually overnight.

There are advantages to both treatment options and is completely up to you what option you feel will be most suitable for your current lifestyle. We can discuss both options in depth so that you are able to make an informed decision.

Our treatment service offered in the practice

Within an hour, you can expect to find your teeth several shades whiter, without having to do anything but simply sit back and relax. Results are variable depending on the kind of staining that you have. This is great for a confidence boost that is ideal for an important night out where you want to look your best.

This in-practice treatment plan starts with an assessment of your staining so that we can give you a good guideline as to what you should expect. We then protect the gums and lips with a barrier and create a mould of your teeth to where we add a gel. This gel is much stronger than your alternative at-home treatment option but is used for a very short amount of time.

We then place a UV lamp directly on to your teeth which activates the bleaching process.

The at home whitening option

We will provide you with the same custom-made mouth tray that fits perfectly and snugly over your teeth. This enables you to keep the gel on your teeth where it belongs as it can hurt gums and lips and be unpleasant to taste. You should place the gel inside the tray and wear it overnight or otherwise for several hours at your convenience.

Need help with smoking cessation? 3 reasons to come to Benhill Dental Practice to help kick the habit

Chances are, if you are a smoker, you are probably fed up to your back teeth with healthcare professionals lecturing you on the health benefits of giving up. While giving up smoking is a great step towards improving your overall health, it is considered one of the hardest things to do without the correct help.

smoking-cessation-suttonStatistically, people who have help from multiple healthcare professionals are more successful in quitting this habit and have better long term outcomes thanks to medical intervention.

It may seem strange to approach a dental professional when you are trying to quit smoking, but remember, smoking impacts on your oral health too and so many dental surgeries are now offering help to their patients.

At Benhill Dental, our team is proud to be able to offer smoking cessation in Sutton and are eager to provide advice and support to our patients who are wanting to give up smoking for good!

So, what are the benefits of attending Benhill Dental for help with smoking cessation in Sutton? Read on to find out!

Referrals and advice

As previously mentioned, when you choose to give up smoking, you are more likely to succeed long term with appropriate medical help and advice. Our dental team, who specialise in smoking cessation in Sutton, can refer you to external stop smoking centres or groups if required, and provide you with targeted advice on the best ways to give up smoking in a non judgemental way.

We are aware that while there is a physical addiction to manage, there may be an underlying psychological aspect too. If this is the case, we can advise you on how to manage both and provide you with information about local counselling groups.

Open communication

After we have assessed your mouth, we will highlight to you the concerns we may have and break them down for you in a jargon free manner. We will not use shock tactics to scare you into quitting but will talk you through the benefits and explain how stopping smoking will improve any dental issues that we may have identified. Our team will also explore your reasons for wanting to quit and provide you with the motivation you need when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Very Brief Advice or VBA

As mentioned earlier, you have probably heard a million times from healthcare professionals the health benefits of giving up smoking and the dangers of not doing so. Research shows that long, drawn out lectures have no impact on an individual’s ability to quit smoking, so cessation teams in dental surgeries are now implementing the ‘Very Brief Advice’ or VBA tactic.

This consists of a member of our team highlighting the issues associated with smoking in an informative, non-judgemental manner and then signposting you to appropriate services, all in under 30 seconds! By not making a big thing out of your smoking habit and leaving the ball in your court so to speak, you are more likely to contact external cessation services or attend our surgery for further help and advice.

Want to improve your dental hygiene before the Christmas party? Visit our hygienist at Benhill Dental!

In life, prevention is better than cure and nowhere is this more accurately demonstrated than in dentistry.

With the Christmas season just around the corner, many people are shopping for those festive chocolates and sweets that, while delicious, can cause havoc with our mouths if we don’t have a good oral hygiene routine in place.

dental-hygiene-suttonGood oral hygiene means more than simply brushing your teeth twice a day. While it is important to brush away the daily accumulation of plaque, when approaching the Christmas period at a time you know your sweet tooth will win, there are other steps you can take to stop issues from arising with your teeth and gums.

At Benhill Dental, our team are always eager to help our patients keep their teeth in tip-top shape. If you are worried about your dental hygiene in Sutton during the run up to Christmas, book an appointment with our hygienist today!

How can we help improve your dental hygiene in Sutton? Read on to find out!

Reducing plaque

As mentioned previously, brushing your teeth twice a day can help reduce plaque accumulation on the surface of your teeth, but did you know you may also have plaque below the gum line?

Visiting our hygienist for a scale and polish is one of the fastest ways to improve your dental hygiene in Sutton and involves a specialised form of brushing, just under the gum line to remove plaque and prevent tooth decay.

Removal of plaque below the gum line also reduces the likelihood of conditions like gingivitis and other types of gum disease, no one wants bleeding gums at a Christmas party!

Preventing and treating gum disease

There are many causes of gum disease, with the most common cause being an excess of plaque in the mouth.

Unfortunately, some people may just be unlucky and will need the help of a hygienist to manage their gum disease.

Our hygienist will be able to help with mild to severe cases of gum disease, offering treatments such as prescription mouthwash to alleviate swollen gums, while also performing scaling and polishing to remove any plaque.

In more extreme cases of gum disease, our team may suggest root planing or debridement, to remove deep seated plaque from the roots of your teeth, which has been found to be helpful in extreme instances of gum disease. If you have ulcerative gingivitis, our team will prescribe antibiotics and painkillers as treatment.

Tooth whitening

Did you know our hygienist at Benhill Dental can improve the visual appearance of your teeth too?

If your teeth are given the all clear for plaque and signs of gum disease, our hygienist can help give your smile a bit of dazzle for that upcoming Christmas party with the Zoom tooth whitening system.

Combining both at-home and in the dental chair whitening, Zoom can lighten the colour of your teeth by up to 8 shades in as little as 2 weeks; giving your healthy smile a striking glow that you will want to show off.

Tips for managing dental phobia in Sutton

No matter what age you are, going to the dentist can still be quite a nerve-wracking experience. Having a fear or feelings of anxiety about going to a practice is pretty common and there are a number of ways we can help you with your dental phobia in Sutton.

Dental Phobia in SuttonHere’s a few things you can try to keep yourself calm.

Listen to music

One good tip we can provide to help with dental phobia in Sutton is to listen to some music while you’re going through your treatments. Having your favourite track bumping away in your ears is a sure-fire way to distract yourself from what’s going on around you.

Although, if you’re making a playlist, we recommend that you try to limit it to calming music, sadly thumping bass lines and roaring metal can make your heart rate rise, which is not what you’re after.

Talk to our team

We really can’t stress it enough that you have to communicate with us whilst you’re in the practice. If you are a little shy to speak up, then we are happy to suggest a visual way of communicating when things are getting a little too much for you.

One of the biggest fears of patients suffering with dental phobia in Sutton, is having things go out of their control when they’re having a treatment performed. That’s why you need to signal that you need a break when things are a little too much or you just need a breather for a while.

At Benhill Dental Practice, our team will strive to provide you with a gentle, calming and relaxing atmosphere, as we help you improve your smile.

Bring in a bear

It may sound a little odd, but bringing in something from home is a great way to distract yourself during procedures. Having that familiar texture and smell of something, from a place where you feel safe, can help create a little calming focus for patients that might start to feel the anxiety kick in.

Practice calming breathing techniques

One of the main causes of feelings of anxiety is a spike in your Adrenaline levels. This is because in a stressful situation your bodies natural ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in and your system floods with Adrenaline. This manifests in shaking, sweating, high heart rate, tightness in the chest and a general feeling of anxiety.

To counteract this, the general recommendation is to slowly inhale through your nose and then exhale back out through your mouth. Repeating this a few times will increase your body’s oxygen intake, which in turn, allows it to break down the Adrenaline much quicker. As this is broken down, you should start to feel calmer and more relaxed.

There are a number of techniques to try and each one has its own unique benefits and levels of complexity.

So, as you can see there’s plenty of simple ways to keep yourself calm during your appointments. For further advice on how you can stay relaxed, just ask our team on your next visit.

Silver to white fillings in Sutton

Have you got several fillings that you’ve had for a number of years? The chances are that these fillings are probably the old amalgam or metal fillings. These fillings did the job well, they are long lasting and strong but perhaps now you feel self-conscious when you open your mouth or smile, because there is a distinct glint of silver in your mouth. But don’t worry, there is a solution!

White Fillings in SuttonWhat’s the alternative?

Now, with modern dental techniques, you can say goodbye to those old-fashioned metal fillings and have white (also known as tooth coloured or composite) fillings instead. Here at the Benhill Dental Practice we are experienced in cosmetic dentistry and know that silver to white fillings in Sutton are the perfect choice for anyone who wants to improve their smile. These fillings are designed to match the tooth so that the filling is virtually invisible. As a result you will have a much more natural smile and can feel more confident.

How is it done?

First of all, your dentist will discuss the options of changing from silver to white fillings in Sutton with you. When the treatment is being done, the dentist will first of all remove the old amalgam (metal) fillings and any decaying parts of the tooth to leave a clear space for the new filling. Then he will put in the new white filling. The material used to make the filling is extremely strong and durable and is designed to withstand the many years of biting and chewing that are ahead. You can feel confident that the filling won’t break or drop out if you’re eating something crunchy!

Will it hurt?

No, absolutely not. Your dentist will make sure that the area being treated is fully numbed with a local anaesthetic before treatment begins. Once you are sure that you can’t feel anything the dentist will begin the silver to white filling procedure. All you need to do is relax and look forward to an improved, whiter smile! If you are nervous about the treatment please speak to us in advance. At the Benhill Dental Practice we have a lot of experience in helping nervous or anxious patients and will do our best to put you at ease so that the treatment is as stress free as possible for you.

What are fillings made from?

Amalgam fillings consist of metals such as silver, tin, copper and mercury. They are perfectly safe as the mercury is bound in with other metals, making it much more stable and therefore 100% safe. White or composite fillings are made from ceramic and plastic. They are still durable and will last as long as amalgam fillings, so once they are done you won’t need to keep having them replaced every few years.

Is tooth decay a big problem?

Yes it is. Even though modern dentistry has improved over the years, particularly in educating the public about dental health and how they can prevent decay and tooth loss, it’s a fact that 92% of adults aged between 20 and 64 have fillings. This is quite a shocking statistic. And children are especially vulnerable to tooth decay. If you are worried, then speak to a dentist about it.

Why do I have sensitive teeth and how can I stop it?

Do hot or cold beverages cause you to hold your mouth in pain? It sounds like you might be experiencing tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth are a result of weakened enamel, worn down and scraped away over the years, that leaves your tooth roots exposed and unprotected. The unpleasant sensation, which can vary from a slight twinge to extreme pain, could also be signs of gum disease or a broken tooth that has cracked to your gumline.

Sensitive Teeth in SuttonIf your sensitivity issues are an ongoing struggle, come to our clinic, Benhill Dental Practice, so that we can find the source of your troubles.

What is enamel and what role does it play in my mouth?

Teeth are healthy when the enamel, the protective outer layer, is strong and safeguards the mouth from the onslaught of germs.

What could potentially damage this enamel?

However, daily exposure to highly acidic and sugary food and drinks wears down enamel, weakening and eventually eroding the layer altogether, leaving the inside of a tooth vulnerable to the elements. When this happens, you are likely to experience varying levels of discomfort, dependent on the extent of the damage. If you decide to consume these beverages on the odd occasion, our advice is to drink them in one sitting and through a straw; the less contact your teeth have with these sugary substances, the better.

People also incorrectly assume that vigorously brushing your teeth is the only way to remove germs. Your actions might be effective in getting rid of bacteria, but you are also slowly scraping away vital enamel. We recommend that you gently brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush. This method of cleaning prioritises oral health without damaging your teeth’s outer layer.

Conversely, some of our patients do not spend enough time cleaning their teeth, and as a result, plaque builds up, eventually calcifies into tartar which can lead to the development of the gum disease called Gingivitis. A visible symptom of the disease is deep pockets forming between your teeth and gums. This happens because your gums are receding, and as your gums recede bit-by-bit, more of your tooth is left exposed and vulnerable to harmful germs. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss frequently to avoid this illness.

What treatments can reverse the adverse effects of sensitive teeth?

Not knowing what could trigger your pain and consequently avoiding certain food and drink prevents you from enjoying all of the good things in life.

Regain your old life back, minus a few sweets and takeout meals, by undergoing these treatment options:

  • Desensitising toothpaste can help to block pain. Our dentist can recommend an over-the-counter brand that works quickly and effectively.
  • We can apply Flouride to the affected area. Not only does Flouride help to reduce pain but can strengthen your damaged enamel.
  • We can cover and protect your exposed tooth roots with fillings. Please note that you will need anaesthesia for this treatment.
  • You might need a root canal treatment as a worst-case scenario if the decay or damage extends below the gumline and infects the pulp of a tooth. Infected pulp has dire consequences if not removed, where you might even have to extract your tooth.

Are you suffering from sensitive teeth? It sounds like you require urgent dental care. Allow us to tend to your issue calmly and professionally.