It is possible to eat without any teeth, but is this a good idea?
Although perhaps much rarer these days, it wasn’t unusual, in the past, to see an older person eating an apple simply by using their gums. It probably wasn’t a pretty sight, but it seemed to work for them, so why should we not do this now?
If you have lost your teeth or are due to have them extracted because of their poor condition, this might be one of the options that crossed your mind, especially if you are concerned about having dental implants, or do not wish to wear dentures.
Jaw and gum problems
One of the more immediate consequences of eating without teeth is that it puts additional strain both on the gums and on your jaw when breaking down the food into small enough pieces to swallow. Whilst this might not be too damaging if done once or twice; if you are doing so on a daily basis, you should certainly expect some problems in the near future.
Your gums will almost certainly become sore and inflamed. This will make it even more difficult to eat, and your mealtimes will be something that you perhaps dread, rather than enjoy. Your jawbone too will have a lot of additional force placed upon it, and, over time, you may have problems with the jaw including pain, clicking, or even a stress fracture.
You could, of course switch to a liquid diet, but this would not be very enjoyable after a while and you could also end up lacking in nutrition.
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Dermal fillers complementing a teeth whitening procedure.
There are many aspects of our bodies that change as we get older, usually for the worse! With regards to our facial features, our skin becomes wrinkled and our teeth often darken simply because of our age.
Because of this, a number of our Surbiton patients have wrinkle reducing treatments and a teeth whitening procedure to help make them look younger again. Even with these treatments though, there is still scope to improve your smile even further.
Once you have had your teeth whitened by the cosmetic dentists at the Confidental Clinic, it is almost certain that a lot of people will notice your new whiter teeth. As their attention is drawn to your new improved smile, they are also likely to notice your lips that may have thinned over time.
As we grow older, the amount of collagen in the facial area is reduced which leads to less elasticity and can also cause certain features to change. Our cheeks may appear more sunken, and the lips start to thin, for example.
Fortunately, through the use of dermal fillers, the appearance of thinning lips can be reversed. This is a straightforward procedure which is performed in a similar manner to that of Botox treatment.
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Cosmetic braces – a comfortable, speedy and discreet route to straighter teeth.
As winter sets in, many of us will use this time of year to reflect on the previous months, but also the year to come and how we can achieve the things that we are aiming for.
In the world of cosmetic dentistry, there are many procedures which offer instant, or almost instant improvements to the appearance of your teeth. For example, teeth whitening and veneers can dramatically improve the way that your teeth look in just a week or so. Other treatments, such as straightening teeth, can, however, take longer, and a little pre-planning regarding the timing can be quite useful.
Six Month Smiles
Whilst many orthodontic systems require braces to be worn for a year or more, this does not have to be the case. It is, of course, essential that only gentle pressure is placed upon the teeth so as not to damage them or cause significant discomfort. The Six Month Smiles system achieves this by focussing solely on what are known as the ‘social six’ teeth. These are the top and bottom six teeth that are visible when you smile.
Whilst there are instances where it may be advisable to straighten the rear teeth also; for many of our patients at Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, the key aim is to have attractive and even teeth when they smile. The Six Month Smiles system is ideal for this.
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Cleanliness, security and longevity.
Dental veneers are popular as a means of whitening teeth that have become heavily stained, which can occur through smoking or heavy consumption of teeth staining foods or drinks, such as tea or red wine.
Veneers are also a great way to restore the appearance of teeth that have become cracked or chipped over time and in some cases, they may even be used as a minor ‘orthodontic’ option, particularly for a diastema (gap between the front teeth).
Having had the porcelain veneers fitted though, how can you make sure that you get the maximum benefit from them, keeping them clean and secure? Today, our Surbiton cosmetic dentist offers some helpful advice.
Keep them clean
Dental veneers are made from porcelain, and as such, will not suffer from problems such as tooth decay. This can lead the patient to become more relaxed about the care they take to clean their teeth. This is a big mistake though for several reasons. The least concerning of these is that although porcelain is relatively stain resistant, they could still discolour over time if tartar is allowed to harden on and around the surface.
More significantly though, if you do not clean well, the natural tooth to which the veneer is attached, is likely to decay. Even if this is restored with a filling, your veneer may not be attached as securely afterwards, potentially causing it to become detached. Gum disease is also a threat and so, for all of these reasons, you should both brush your teeth well and use floss as instructed by our dentist or hygienist.
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Extra care of our oral health as we grow older.
When we are young and healthy, we tend to think that it will always be that way. Unfortunately, ageing happens to all of us and many consequences of this which we presumed would never happen to us, often do.
This applies to our oral health as much as any other aspect of life, and in today’s Confidental Clinic blog, we take a look at five reasons why some older people have a tendency to have unpleasant smelling breath.
Poor fitting dentures
Unfortunately, many older patients have dentures which do not fit their mouth very well. This is often due to facial shape changes as we get older. This can create small spaces for bacteria to become trapped between the dentures and the gums, making it extra important that we clean both the dentures and the gums well.
There may be a tendency, as we get older, to not worry about our teeth as much as we did when we were younger, providing that they are causing us no immediate discomfort. Unfortunately, as we become older, the enamel of our teeth may be more vulnerable to tooth decay, causing bacteria to attack the teeth, sometimes resulting in a bad odour.
Saliva production in older people tends to be reduced. This creates two problems. Firstly, the lack of saliva means that bacteria are not flushed from the mouth as is the case in younger people. A dry mouth also means that bacteria are able to multiply much quicker. It is important to stay particularly well hydrated as you get older to help minimise this problem.
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Safe and effective teeth whitening at our Surbiton dental practice.
We are just starting to see the early signs of colder weather to come. The coolness of early evenings and the leaves falling from the trees show that autumn is here, and the warmth and brightness will soon seem a long way behind us. Not everything has to be dull at this time of the year though, and, at the Confidental Clinic, we have the means to bring back the whiteness of your smile both safely and effectively.
Most people’s teeth will discolour over time as the inner part of our teeth naturally darken. Some habits, such as smoking or drinking red wine or tea, will also cause some surface staining. Whilst good brushing is important for our general oral health, and will also remove some of the surface staining, it will not remove it all, and won’t remove the discolouration caused by internal darkening.
Teeth whitening procedure
The teeth whitening treatment at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton is a very popular one with our patients. It is a convenient and comfortable system that is perfectly safe providing that it is performed or monitored by trained professionals. The first step in having your teeth whitened is to see one of our cosmetic dentists, who will examine you and discuss the most appropriate way forward.
We will first of all make sure that there are no underlying oral health issues such as decay or gum disease before we commence this treatment. Impressions are then taken of the teeth, and trays made from this, into which the whitening ingredient is placed.
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Our Surbiton dentist looks at dentures, bridges and implants to replace missing teeth.
Although it can be devastating when we lose a tooth, especially in our younger years, there are now several options available to replace those which are missing.
Choosing which of these methods to use can be difficult and will depend on a number of factors, including finance and how far you are prepared to go with a more invasive treatment.
Whilst all of these methods offer a certain level of benefit, some provide better longer term solutions than others. Below, we look at the pros and cons of the three tooth replacement methods available at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton.
- Modern dentures offer better aesthetics than older type ones and look natural.
- The fitting of dentures is usually a non invasive procedure and may be one that appeals to those who suffer from dental anxiety.
- Some people find dentures to be uncomfortable and to move around in the mouth a little.
- There may be some restrictions on what foods you feel comfortable eating.
- Dentures can be fiddly and inconvenient to clean.
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Our Surbiton dentists discuss the possible precursors to implant treatment.
At the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, we know that dental implants offer an excellent opportunity to have strong, long lasting and trouble free replacement teeth. This option does require a relatively extensive procedure however, and it is therefore important to make sure that you are absolutely ready before treatment begins.
In today’s blog we look at a few of the things which could cause a delay for patients having this treatment. None of them however, prevent the procedure from going ahead, and may simply cause a short delay whilst the issue is addressed.
Too little bone structure
One of the most common reasons why we may have to delay an implant placement is when we discover, from x rays and scans, that the patient has insufficient jaw bone into which the implants can be placed. This can occur when a tooth has been missing for some time, and can also be exaggerated if the patient has smoked.
In order for a dental implant to be placed, there needs to be healthy and sufficient bone, and, in situations such as this, a bone graft or sinus lift may be necessary prior to the implant procedure. This will re-establish sufficient new bone into which the implant can be placed.
Dental implants require healthy gums and bone to be successful. One of the biggest challenges to dental implants comes from gum disease, and especially periodontitis, which can damage the bone structure. Any sign of this problem will need to be treated before we can place dental implants. You will also need to take good care to avoid this problem once you have had them placed.
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A Surbiton dentist discusses gum health whilst wearing dentures.
In previous blogs we have discussed how advanced gum disease can cause tooth loss due to the deterioration of the bone in the jaw. When this degrades, it is no longer able to hold teeth securely in position, often causing them to become loose or even fall out altogether.
One or two new patients of the Confidental Clinic have, in the past, jokingly suggested that this wouldn’t be an issue for them as they have already lost their teeth and their dentures sometimes fall out anyway. Although this was said in humour, it does raise some important points and considerations regarding dentures and the health of your gums.
If we take the example of someone who has lost all of their teeth and are wearing a full set of dentures, you might think that their gum health was not as important as someone who had healthy natural teeth. There are a few reasons why this is incorrect. Gum disease often causes bleeding gums, soreness and discomfort and the addition of dentures rubbing against these could cause quite significant pain for the denture wearer.
Additionally, gum disease is increasingly being linked with other health conditions such as heart problems, strokes, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. It makes sense therefore, to keep your gums as healthy as possible to help protect your general health.
Advanced gum disease can also erode the bone structure, causing facial shape changes and even small changes can cause your dentures to no longer fit correctly. This can cause movement and instability of the dentures that can make eating more difficult.
Even if you wear partial dentures, the above may still apply. Modern dentures offer a much better experience that older types, but care still needs to be taken to ensure that you have a healthy mouth to continue to support them.
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Our Surbiton dentist takes a look at why it’s worth the effort to stop smoking.
It seems quite strange that there was a time that almost everyone smoked. Not only that, but cigarettes were advertised positively and even recommended for stress relief! Of course, we now know differently, and the link between smoking and numerous health problems is well established.
Whilst patients may well be aware of risks such as lung cancer and heart disease, we thought that we would offer our perspective, from a dental viewpoint, why we would like any patient of the Confidental Clinic who still smokes, to make a real effort not to do so.
Oral cancer – This is the most serious risk to your health from an oral health perspective. Although not the most widely known cancer, it does still cause serious problems and caused nearly two and a half thousand deaths in 2014. Our Surbiton based dentists team regularly inspects your mouth for potential symptoms during your six monthly check ups and may recommend a visit to your GP if we see something we feel may be of concern.
Gum disease – Gum disease is responsible for more tooth loss than dental decay. This happens due to the degrading of the bone in the jaw during latter stage gum disease, known as periodontitis. Smokers have been shown to have increased rates of gum disease caused both by irritation of the gums and increased harmful bacteria due to a dry mouth.
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