Category: Miscellaneous

What does sugar do to your teeth?

With National Smile Month 2017 in full swing, we thought it’d be a great time to get into the key message of reducing our sugar consumption by taking a look at just what sugar really does to our teeth.

The oral ecosystem – a life of its own

The human body is a complex organism and contains many of its very own ecosystems. The mouth is just one of these. Our teeth and gums are surrounded by a sea of bacteria. Some of these are good for us and help to repair and restore the teeth, whilst others are harmful and responsible for creating acid and attacking our teeth. Essentially, our mouths contain a bacterial battleground in which these two forces are constantly fighting for victory. One of the single biggest factors that determines which of the forces wins is the amount of sugar we consume.

Stage one – the acid attack begins

As soon as sugar is introduced to your mouth, the harmful bacteria that are naturally present begin to feed on it, resulting in the creation of acids which then begin to attack the enamel surface of your teeth – the shiny protective layer that protects the more delicate inner layers of your teeth as well as the root. According to the British Dental Association, this attack can last for up to an hour every time you consume a sugary food or drink. If you consume sugar regularly, such as is typical at Easter, the acid is able to attack for prolonged or even constant periods of time.

As acids keep on attacking the teeth, they cause the minerals to be removed from the enamel. This is called demineralisation. The fight against demineralisation is led by your saliva. Saliva is rich in calcium and phosphates, which help to replace the minerals and repair the damage caused by acid. This important work can be supported by using a fluoride toothpaste which also helps to strengthen the enamel.

Stage two – when cavities form

The outside layer of enamel is the hardest part of the tooth, and its job is to protect the softer and highly sensitive inside layers. If the acid is allowed to continuously attack the enamel, the surface becomes porous and eventually cavities will form. These are essentially holes in the protective layer, which if left untreated can continue to grow and gradually penetrate deeper. In adults, it typically takes at least six months for a cavity to form. Children, however, have softer enamel and cavities can take hold in as little as three months. If the cavity reaches all the way to the inside where the nerve endings are, it will result in discomfort and toothache.

Stage three – when tooth decay kicks in

Once a cavity has taken hold and the damage has extended into the softer inner layer known as dentine, it becomes known as tooth decay. At this stage, it can usually be treated by thorough cleaning followed by a filling. Left unchecked, tooth decay can progress until the root of the tooth is damaged and eventually destroyed, usually leaving little choice but to remove the tooth.

Whilst tooth decay remains one of the most common causes of tooth loss, the good news is that a combination of good eating and drinking habits, good brushing and regular visits to the dentist mean that it is also very avoidable.

Here at Gwersyllt Dental Practice in Wrexham, we are passionate about promoting a proactive, preventative approach to dentistry for all the family. We help our patients of all ages to maintain a healthy mouth and a happy smile. To find out more about what we can offer or to book an appointment now, call us on 01978 757409 or enquire online here for a swift response.

What’s in a Smile? 4 things your smile says about you

Whilst some people are quite happy to get in front of the camera and show off all their teeth with a big, wide smile, others simply shiver at the very thought of it. No matter how good our teeth, we are not all programmed to enjoy showing them off. But did you know, how and when you smile says much more about you than you might have realised? Read on to learn more about the art of smiling.

1. I’m friendly

A genuine, natural smile is one of the most obvious ways that humans convey friendliness to others. It indicates that you are open and outgoing, and willing to drop your barriers by exposing yourself a little. A true smile is about so much more than the teeth though; there is a lot of truth in the traditional saying ‘smile with your eyes’. A true and sincere smile of friendliness involves both the mouth and eyes. And while a big grin can be forced, it is impossible to convincingly force the rest of your face to follow suit. Next time someone sends you a smile, take a look at what their eyes and cheeks are really saying.

2. I’m Confident

We all know that just like you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we shouldn’t judge a person based on first impressions. Yet, in almost every area of our lives – both personal and professional – we do just that on a daily basis. Several studies indicate that a person with a broad smile is typically perceived as being more confident and more professional – and this can actually result in greater opportunities being available to them.

3. I’m Positive

It may seem obvious, but a genuine smile is a great sign of a positive and open personality. Research indicates that people who spend a greater amount of their lives smiling have a lasting, positive outlook that has direct benefits on their overall sense of well being. Like laughter, smiles are contagious and can also have an uplifting effect on those around you. Think of anybody you would describe as an extrovert, and observe how generous they are with their smiles. Indeed, this is often a large part of what attracts people to them.

4. I Look After Myself

As humans we are unique, and this includes our teeth. No two people have the same smile – some have naturally ‘fangy’ teeth, others have gaps. Some have crowded or uneven teeth, while others appear to be gifted with a ‘perfect’ Hollywood smile. Whilst we can’t do a lot to change the way our bodies are naturally made, there are many dental interventions that can help with common problems affecting your smile such as missing or damaged teeth, staining or crooked teeth. In such situations, getting the right dental treatment for your teeth can be about more than just improving your confidence – it can convey to people a positive message that you value yourself and are willing to invest in your health.

At Gwersyllt Dental Practice in Wrexham, we offer a full range of corrective and cosmetic dentistry from dental implants and veneers to teeth whitening and invisible braces. We also offer a full range of routine dental treatment for all the family in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. To book an appointment now or enquire about becoming a member of our practice, call us on 01978 757409 or simply complete the online form and we’ll call you back to arrange a date and time.


5 Reasons Only a Dentist Should be Whitening Your Teeth

Teeth whitening has seen a tremendous growth in popularity over recent years and is now one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments in the UK. Surveys indicate that up to a third of adults have an interest in getting their teeth whitened. The surge in interest has been partly attributed to celebrities and in particular the popularity of the reality TV show. Increased accessibility has, however, also been a key factor, with more dental clinics than ever before offering teeth whitening as part of their package. Unfortunately, the huge growth in this area of cosmetics has also led to a sharp increase in non-qualified individuals offering low-cost, illegal treatments. So why exactly is it so important to get your teeth whitened at a dentist? Here are 5 top reasons.

1. Dentists Do Things Safely
Dental professionals train for many years to understand the structures of the mouth, to recognise dental disease and to prescribe the correct treatment for each individual patient. As members of the medical profession, they are able to perform a medical examination of the mouth along with a obtaining a general overview of your medical condition before recommending or embarking on any course of treatment – teeth whitening included.
Qualified dentists have a strong understanding of the process including the science behind it, meaning they can minimise any risks. Used incorrectly, the chemicals used in the teeth whitening process can cause permanent and potentially painful damage to the teeth and gums. The chemicals could also penetrate the teeth leaving permanent damage to the surface. Using an unqualified provider of teeth whitening may seem like a low cost solution at first glance, but the long term risks and the costs associated for both your health and your bank account are definitely not worth the risk.

2. It is Illegal for Non-Dentists to Sell Teeth Whitening
Such are the risks of teeth whitening being offered by those without full dental training that the government has made it illegal for anybody other than a dentist or hygienist registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) to perform the treatment themselves or offer kits for self administration on their premises. The GDC considers teeth whitening to be a dental procedure and not just a beauty procedure, therefore establishments such as beauty clinics are not qualified to offer it. New regulations mean that those who break the law and offer illegal whitening can face unlimited fines. Would you want to trust your smile to a criminal?

3. Dentists Follow Strict Hygiene Rules
Just as with other members of the medical profession, dentists are required to follow strict hygiene rules at all times. Adhering to such rules protects patients from exposure to non-sterile equipment, as well as minimising the risk of exposure to person-to-person transmission of infections. Non-GDC registered, illegal providers of tooth whitening, such as beauticians, beauty salons, pop-up booths, mobile operators do not have to adhere to these regulations and therefore pose a significant risk to your health.

4. Dentists Use Tested Chemicals
When you have your teeth whitened by a registered dentist, you are not only paying for an experienced and accountable professional to administer your treatment safely, you are also paying for the practitioner to use approved chemicals that have been thoroughly tested to medical standards. One of the key ingredients in many teeth whitening procedures is hydrogen peroxide, exposure to which can be extremely harmful in the wrong proportion. By choosing a reliable dental clinic, you can be assured that safe levels of chemicals are being used. You can also be sure that there are no hidden chemicals that may pose other risks to your health. untested products that you may be using will not be effective and at worst, they could cause permanent damage.

5. Dentists Are Accountable
The chances are you’ve been visiting the same dentist for years, unless of course you’ve recently relocated. Why? Probably because you know your dentist is a qualified professional and you fully trust them. In most cases, you can also reasonably expect the same dentist to look after you time and time again. By choosing a respectable and legal dental clinic to have your teeth whitened you can be sure the procedure is carried out by somebody who is fully accountable – and isn’t going to vanish in the wind. Even if the dentist does happen to move practice, the General Register of Dentists will allow you to trace him or her if you so wished, meaning that you have complete peace of mind.

At Gwersyllt Dental Care in Wrexham, we offer a high quality teeth whitening treatment that will leave you with exceptional, lasting results. For a sparkling white smile, get in touch with us now on 01978 757 409 or contact us online and we will be more than happy to assist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Regardless of advice, should I be visiting my dentist every six months.

A: No. You should always take the advice of your dentist about when you should next visit for a dental examination. The recall period can vary anywhere from three months to up to two years, so stipulating a six-month recall for yourself is unnecessary if advised otherwise by your dentist.

Q: If my teeth are whiter, does that mean that they are healthier?

A: Whiteness of teeth is not necessarily an indicator of how healthy your teeth are, or the condition of your overall oral health. In fact, the key to maintaining white teeth can be done simply by avoiding certain foods and drinks which can stain the teeth, in combination with regular brushing and flossing.

Q: Regardless of advice, should I be visiting my dentist every six months.

A: No. You should always take the advice of your dentist about when you should next visit for a dental examination. The recall period can vary anywhere from three months to up to two years, so stipulating a six-month recall for yourself is unnecessary if advised otherwise by your dentist.

Q: How do I know which toothpaste to choose for my children?

A: This is a good question, as there are many toothpastes available which do not contain enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay in young people. The guideline on fluoride toothpastes is to choose one that consists of a minimum fluoride consistency of 1000 parts per million.

Q: The fluoride present in the water supply in UK is enough to keep my teeth healthy. Do I still need to brush my teeth as regularly?

A: While fluoride can be found in the water supply in certain areas of the country (check with your supplier for information on whether fluoride is present in your water), it has been proved to be as little as around 10%. Even if fluoride is present in your water supply, you absolutely should continue with the brushing and flossing regime recommended by dentists.

Q: Should my teeth be OK if I avoid sugary products such as sweets and fizzy drinks?

A: To an extent, yes. There are, however, many more foods and drinks that contain a volume of sugar that is potentially harmful to your teeth. The natural sugars found in fruit, fruit juice, and honey are just as likely to pose problems for your teeth, and it is just as advisable therefore to also limit these foods to occasional mealtimes.

Q: I chew gum regularly, but I still have bad breath. Why?

A: Halitosis (bad breath) is often a result of poor oral health and hygiene. You can combat halitosis by maintaining the recommended brushing and flossing regime as approved by your dentist, watching your diet closely, and exercising regularly.

Q: Why should we brush our children’s milk teeth?

A: In order to promote a sense that oral hygiene is important, regular brushing of your children’s milk teeth is believed to instil good habits in your children as they grow up. Making sure that brushing teeth becomes an integral part of the washing routine will produce long-term benefits for your child’s future oral health.

Q: Does everybody end up with false teeth when they grow old?

A: This is a myth drawn from over half a century ago when a large number of the population of older people on the UK had false teeth. Nowadays, a very low percentage of people grow to need false teeth as they get older, so much so that almost 90% of the population should not require them.

Q: Is an electric toothbrush more effective than a manual toothbrush?

A: In truth, there is very little difference in terms of end result whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush. Some people may prefer the comfort and luxury of an electric toothbrush, but it would not be accurate to suggest that they produce better results than a manual brush would.

The Best Foods For Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice daily and flossing every day is the best foundation for good oral health.

Another great lifestyle choice is to include in your diet a number of foods that are considered to contribute positively to good oral health. Conversely, you should always be aware of the foods that are most detrimental to your oral health, and to try to limit these wherever possible.

Cheese, nuts and milk, as well as various meats, are regarded as good for the teeth as the calcium and phosphorus within them provide protection for the enamel of the teeth.

Products that should be avoided are those that are of a high sugar content. This is because they increase the presence of harmful bacteria within the mouth. Some examples of such foods include cookies, muffins/cakes, crisps, dried fruits, and hard sweets such as lollipops and mints.

It is also highly recommended to limit your intake of carbonated soft drinks, and drinks which are of a high sugar content. Find a sugar free alternative to any such drinks in order to lower the potential risk of tooth decay.

If you would like some further advice on the best ways to look after your teeth and gums, or would like to book an appointment at the practice, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Visiting The Dentist

There are many misconceptions surrounding how often patients should visit their dentists. Some people believe that a dental appointment should be made every few months, while others may wait a couple of years before booking in.

The truth is that there is only one person whose recommendation on your recall period should be followed – and that is the dentist who saw you for your most recent appointment.

The amount of time between appointments is determined by your dentist, and the recommendation is made based on a number of factors including past/future treatments, the condition of your oral health, and any cosmetic treatments you may be interested in pursuing.

Your dentist will advise you on your recall period at the conclusion of your dental appointment. You may need to be seen again after a matter of weeks, months, or even up to two years depending on your dentist’s assessment.

If you are unsure about when you need to see the dentist again, all you need to do is contact the practice and ask when you are next due an appointment.

To book yourself an appointment at our practice, please do not hesitate to contact us directly via our website or by calling us at the practice.

Spooky-looking ‘Dracula’ Cat Finds New Home At Last

With Halloween just around the corner, we couldn’t resist sharing the tale of one cat’s rather scary-looking teeth. Poor nine-year-old Timmy had been up for adoption a total of four times at Blue Cross rehoming centres. And when the unlucky moggy’s most recent stay extended to more that 100 days, staff began to worry that his Dracula-like fangs were putting off potential owners.

Animal Welfare Assistant, Lisa Kent said: “Timmy’s canine teeth stick out, making it look like he has fangs! His unusual appearance has meant that Timmy has had a lot of interest in the past, however he hasn’t had much luck at finding his forever home.”

Superstitions beliefs are one reason many black cats spend a long time waiting to find a new home. And staff feared Timmy’s vampire teeth were only making matters worse.

But underneath his macabre appearance, Timmy is just an ordinary, loving cat, as Lisa explained: “The only supernatural powers Timmy possesses are ones of unconditional love and affection, just like any other cat.”

Thankfully, cat-lover, Ann Drummond, wasn’t spooked when she saw Timmy on the Blue Cross website. “His fangs didn’t put us off at all – he’s the sweetest, friendliest cat,” says Ann. “Our previous cat had one fang, so he reminded us of her. Timmy’s such a character and we love him to bits”.

 Good luck, Timmy, from everyone at Gwersyllt Dental Centre. We hope you’ve found your forever home at last.




Tooth Pain

Anybody who has ever had a toothache will testify that it’s one of the worst pains imaginable. When you hear the word ‘tooth pain’ it sounds pretty harmless. It isn’t until you actually experience a toothache that you realise just how unbearable it can be. So what exactly is it and why does it occur?
Understanding tooth pain
Tooth pain can affect the teeth and the jaws and it is considered to be the first sign of tooth decay. It affects people differently. Some will feel constant pain, while for others it will come and go. You may also find that eating or drinking something makes the problem worse. This typically occurs with foods that are either really hot or really cold. Many people also notice the pain is worse at nights than at any other time of day.
You’ll get tooth pain when the dental pulp located in the innermost layer of the tooth is inflamed. Dental pulp basically refers to delicate tissue that contains numerous blood vessels and sensitive nerves. There are many potential causes of inflamed dental pulp and the main ones include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Damage to the tooth
  • Broken or loose fillings
  • Periapical abscess
  • Receding gums

When you suffer with tooth decay, it causes small cavities in the hard surface of your tooth. You may also have some damage to the tooth, such as a small crack. Often these cracks are extremely tiny and difficult for the naked eye to see.
If you have a bacterial infection, it can cause pus to build up at the end of the tooth. A Periapical abscess can be extremely painful.
Finally receding gums can expose the softer, sensitive roots of a tooth and that can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort.
Other causes of tooth pain
While the majority of tooth pain is caused by a problem with the dental pulp, there are a few other causes that could be to blame. These include:

  • Ulcers
  • Periodontal abscess
  • Swollen gums
  • Joint injury in the jaw
  • Sinusitis

A collection of pus could form in the gums if you have a bacterial infection. If a tooth is breaking through, you could also experience pain and swelling in the gums surrounding it. Or there could be a problem with the joint in the jaw.

If you have tooth pain please contact us today on: 01978 757 409

Beach Holidays and Oral Health

If you are planning on getting away for some sun in the final few months of the year, you may be interested to learn more about some of the facts surrounding holidays and how particular types of holiday can have implications on your oral health.

Beach holidays and trips to hot countries are understandably a very common choice of holiday for British people. These types of holidays are not quite as popular with dentists, however, as the warmer climates often encourage a short but intensive change in dietary habits for the duration of the holiday.

Spending time on such holidays more often than not leads to an increased intake in food and drink products that have a high sugar content and/or are highly acidic. Such products include ice cream, candies, carbonated soft drinks, ciders, red wines, olives and vinaigrettes.

Maintaining a conscious effort to eat healthily whilst on holiday and with the recommended eating routine of three square meals a day will limit the vulnerability of your teeth to attack from sugary and acidic products.

If you would like an assessment of your oral health, or further advice on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, please do not hesitate to contact us via our website or directly by telephone at the practice.

Choosing the right toothpaste

There is a clear and simple way for you to determine which toothpaste you should use. The criteria is based on:

a) the age of the person(s) using the toothpaste and

b) the level of fluoride consistency present in the toothpaste.

The simple way to break it down is that young children (up to three years of age) should use a toothpaste with a fluoride presence of a minimum of 1,000 parts per million, children aged 3-6 should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of 1,350ppm – 1,500ppm, and adults should aim to use a toothpaste of at least 1,450ppm fluoride.

With regards to plaque removal, all toothpastes contain the necessary agents that are required in order to rid your teeth of plaque, and as a consequence there are no guidelines on toothpaste based on plaque removal effectivity.