Common Problems

Common Problems and Suggested Solutions

Toothache is sometimes associated with a swollen face / difficulty in breathing or swallowing. - if you have any problems breathing or have a swollen face urgent and immediate help is needed. Otherwise take painkillers and seek dental advice as soon as is convenient.

Crown loose or fallen out - do not lose or swallow the crown. Seek dental advice as soon as convenient. It may be possible to recement the crown depending on whether the tooth left is broken or decayed

Bleeding gums - this can usually be treated by seeing our hygienist for professional cleaning including advice and instruction in more effective routine care.

Sensitive teeth - usually caused by tooth decay, erosion or over brushing. Dental advice is needed to identify the cause. Treatment usually consists of removal of the decay and restoration of the tooth or a desensitising procedure with demonstration of correct brushing technique.

Erosion - the loss of tooth enamel from the surface caused by too much acid. This can be from external sources such as fruit juices, citrus fruits, fizzy drinks, chlorinated pools etc, or internally such as bringing up stomach acids from those suffering from regular indigestion or hiatus hernia. Best treated by removal of the cause, brushing before and not after meals and using a fluoride mouthrinse.

Broken (fractured) or loosened teeth or parts of teeth - an urgent appointment may be needed to smooth sharp edges or remove sharp fragments. Long term treatment consists of radiographs (x-rays) to establish if there is a root fracture and repair of the remaining tooth, if possible, with a filling or a crown.

Tooth knocked out - urgent treatment is needed if the tooth has been completely knocked out. If reimplanted within 1 hour there is a good chance of success. Store the tooth in milk or attempt re-implantation yourself if you are confident to do so.

Tooth growing through in the wrong position - usually seen with children. This is a common condition affecting many children. There is rarely any need for an urgent visit. A referral to an Orthodontist may be needed - usually at about 10 years of age.

Grinding teeth (bruxism) - This is a relatively common problem often seen during times of stress or anxiety. It can cause excessive wear of biting surfaces of teeth and aching of jaw muscles. If the problem is severe a custom made bite raising appliance may be indicated. These are of various designs but usually cover the biting surfaces of the teeth.

Bad breath (halitosis) - often associated with gum problems and/or poor brushing technique. This can usually be helped by a visit to our hygienist. We may recommend the use of a mouthrinse to provide a rapid improvement.

Broken denture - the two parts can usually be rejoined. Do not attempt to repair it with superglue, or similar, as this will ruin the precise alignment of the broken edges.

Mouth ulcers - most ulcers should heal within 2 weeks, but will often be very painful during this period. Avoid spicy and acidic foods. Ointment can be used to alleviate some of the symptoms. Any ulcer that does not heal within the above time period should be seen by your dentist or doctor.

Loose dentures - your existing dentures may be made more useable by relining them or using denture fixative. Otherwise new ones with a closer fit may be required.