Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Do You Grind Your Teeth? What You Need to Know

Tooth grinding, Bruxism, is very common, especially in children. The majority of people who grind their teeth while sleeping are completely unaware that they are doing it. There are signs that can tell you if you grind your teeth and if you think you do, you need to visit your dentist to discuss the preventative measures available to reduce the risk of serious damage in the long run.

Some of the signs that you may be suffering from Bruxism is headaches, jaw pain when you wake up and chipped tooth enamel. For many, the first time they have any idea that they grind their teeth while asleep, is when someone tells them. You may have no idea; stay over at a friend for the night and the next morning they tell you that you kept them awake with the grinding.

Why people grind their teeth is inconclusive, according to Dr Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon in the United Kingdom.  Some studies suggest that it is central nervous system related and is linked to smoking, genetics, alcohol consumption, sleep patterns and stress and anxiety.

It is important that you know that tooth grinding on its own isn’t harmful, but the damage it does is where the concern comes into play. Bruxism can lead to serious dental problems ranging from tooth wear to jaw tenderness. The jaw muscles can swell, the tongue can indent and if left untreated it can result in more serious consequences.

When tooth grinding is ignored and left untreated, it can lead to ear ache, congestion, cracked teeth and even loose teeth. The damage to the teeth can be permanent. Dr Tariq Drabu advised that many people don’t realise how dangerous tooth grinding is to their overall oral health. They think it’s an inconvenience and something that frustrates their partner, but they don’t realise that they are causing serious dental damage that may be irreversible.

The good news if you find out that you are grinding your teeth in your sleep is there are treatments available to help reduce the grinding and protect your teeth moving forward. Be aware that Bruxism cannot be cured, but it can be treated to reduce long term damage.

Dentists usually provide one or two or two treatments, depending on the severity of the tooth grinding. The first is they will have a mouth guard moulded to your mouth which you wear while asleep. The mouth guard allows you to grind, but prevents wearing on the teeth. While this reduces oral damaged caused by Bruxism, it doesn’t help treat the actual disorder, which still leads to jaw pain and muscle weakness and headaches.

The second treatment solution is medication. There are some medications available that can help reduce the grinding, helping alleviate all the other symptoms such as a painful jaw, ear ache, headaches and more.

Tariq Drabu stated that patients who think they may be suffering from tooth grinding should make an urgent appointment with their dentist as soon as possible. They can discuss the treatment options available, which can be based on the severity of Bruxism and the damage already caused.

Regular dental appointments are essential when you suffer from Bruxism, don’t miss your routine appointments. Routine appointments are an opportunity for your dentist to identify if there are any oral problems that require urgent treatment. When you grind your teeth, you can wear the teeth and enamel considerable and this needs to be watched closely by the dental professional to ensure the treatment you have been given is working and is helping prevent further damage moving forward.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Three Tooth Replacement Options

When your tooth is extracted, it leaves an unwelcome gap. Some people ignore the gab, especially if it is at the back of the mouth and doesn’t affect their chewing or speech, but when the gap is near or in the front, finding a tooth replacement option can provide you with self-confidence and help you feel better about yourself.

Dental implants are one of the most common choices when it comes to tooth replacement. Implants are artificial teeth or false teeth which are screwed into the jaw, looking and feeling like natural teeth.

The implants are screwed into place using a titanium screw and topped with a crown, which matches the colour of the natural teeth around it. Dr Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon, advised that dental implants can be used or one or more teeth. The benefit of these implants is that they don’t affect the adjacent teeth; the procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic and can be used as a tooth replacement option for anyone who is in good health with a strong jawbone.

Patients who require dental implants but have damaged or worn jaw bones, may need a bone graft before this procedure can be performed. Your dentist will do x-rays and advise you of the best course of treatment moving forward.

Bridges are another option, often suggested in the event that dental implants aren’t an option based on your overall health and jaw bone health. Tariq Drabu did advise that bridges come in two options; fixed and removable. Fixed are partial dentures that can make up one or more missing teeth. The bridge is matched to your natural tooth colour and then bonded into place attaching to the adjacent teeth, this forms a bridge for the gap.

Removable bridges are partial dentures which can be removed when sleeping, cleaned and put back in place easily. The one problem some patients find with fixed bridges is that they can wear the enamel off the adjacent teeth and over time they fall out. They can be replaced quite easily in the dentist surgery.

Bridges are made from strong materials that can withstand the daily beating you put your mouth through. It can help patients maintain a healthy bite and enable them to chew, ensuring their daily life isn’t compromised.

The final tooth replacement option is dentures. These days most people try and find alternatives to wearing dentures. But in some cases they are the only option, especially if you suffer from an illness or disease which makes implants or bridges impossible. Remember bridges can only be offered if you have adjacent natural teeth that can support the bridge and implants are a tooth replacement option if you are in good health and have a strong and healthy jaw bone.

Complete dentures are used when you have no teeth. They cover the entire upper and lower jaw. In some instances if you have a few teeth, these may be removed to make space for your new dentures. The good news is that you will not be left without teeth, temporary dentures will be fitted until your new and carefully moulded dentures are ready.

Over dentures are sometimes used when you have natural or implants that can provide support. These can be used to replace a few teeth, such as front teeth that have been knocked out.

Dentures can be removed and enable you to speak and chew normally. Oral hygiene is imperative when you have been fitted with dentures, according to Dr Tariq Drabu, as gum disease is a common problem with these tooth replacement solutions caused by poor oral hygiene.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

What Foods Can Benefit Your Oral Health?

A healthy and well-balanced diet can have a significantly positive effect on your oral health, according to leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon, Dr Tariq Drabu. What many people don’t realise is that their eating and lifestyle choices have an impact on oral health. Poor diet, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can result in tooth decay, gum disease and is also a leading cause for oral cancer.

Milk is something that everyone should be taking advantage of to help them boost and improve their oral health. Milk is rich in calcium and promotes healthy teeth. The sugars in mild are also the least damaging. Though you shouldn’t drink it during the night, so remember to brush right before bed to ensure your teeth remain strong and healthy.
Green tea is another must if you want to improve your oral health moving forward. Green tea is brimming with polyphenols that protect the teeth. Green tea is also very effective in removing plaque. Plague bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease, which is why it’s so important to ensure you remove the plaque with regular brushing, flossing and a healthy diet.

Cheese is another great food for your oral health. Cheese is non-acidic and is filled with calcium to protect the teeth. Calcium is important to improve healthy teeth and bones, so enjoying a diet with cheese and milk can make a significant and positive impact on your oral health.

Ensure you add plenty of fruit and vegetables to your diet, Dr Tariq Drabu recommends. Fruit and vegetables require that you crunch down on them and chew; this increases the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva is alkaline and can reduce the risk of tooth decay and promote healthy teeth and gums. You will also find that some fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols, which offer protection for teeth.

Yoghurt is another great addition to a healthy and well-balanced diet to promote healthy teeth and gums. Yoghurt is brimming with protective bacteria, known as live active bacteria. Yoghurt is also filled with proteins and probiotics, along with calcium, a complete diet for your teeth.

Consider adding some raisins to your diet. Many people are under the false impression that raisins are bad for teeth. DrTariq Drabu recommends eating raisins as they are high in fibre and also have oleanic acid, which is an antibacterial against plaque bacteria.

Of course there are foods which should be eliminated from the diet to ensure healthy teeth and gums at all times. Citrus fruits may be rich in Vitamin C, but they are not the best friends for teeth as they are very high in acid. If you enjoy an orange or lemon now and again, ensure you brush regularly to remove the acid from your mouth.

Another thing that many people add to their diet believing that they promote good health is cereals. In fact, cereals are high in sugar and can also stick to the teeth for hours. Try and eliminate or reduce the amount of cereals you eat.

Sodas and fruit juices should be replaced with water. Even sugar free and low sugar sodas can be harmful to teeth and according to Tariq Drabu, what many don’t realise is that fruit juices also contain high sugar contents which can be damaging to the teeth and cause tooth decay.

It is imperative that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes a time with a fluoride tooth paste. The most important brush is before bed and then once more during the course of the day. In addition to this, you must floss to remove plaque and debris which your toothbrush wasn’t able to reach.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Top Reasons People Avoid the Dentist

Dr Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon in the United Kingdom has revealed that there are millions of people around the world that avoid going to the dentist, even when they are in pain. In order to ensure good oral health, everyone needs to brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, floss daily and attend routine dental appointments.

Routine dental appointments are imperative to oral health. It’s an opportunity for your dentist to check your teeth and identify if there are any problems. Early detection can improve treatment results and also work out cheaper in the long run. Tooth decay caught early can result in a filling, if left untreated it can result in more expensive root canal treatment.

The most common reason people avoid the dentist is fear. Dental anxiety can be overcome when you understand why you are afraid and what causes the fear. Many dentists today understand dental fear and work with their patients to eliminate the fear. This can be done by relaxing the patient, providing sedation for treatments and also explaining the treatment in detail so the patient knows exactly what to expect before work starts.

Another reason people avoid the dentist is price. Many households don’t budget for dental treatments each month and someone needing the dentist may hold off as long as possible, so that they don’t affect their monthly budget. According to Dr Tariq Drabu, in the United Kingdom the NHS charges three bands. What patients don’t realise is that emergency treatment for agonising pain falls into Band A, which is affordable and comes in at less than £20.

Anxiety is a serious concern for dentists which can result in patients living in pain for months while trying to avoid a dental visit. The fear of the smell, the sound of the equipment and the process is all very real and can cause severe anxiety in a number of patients. Patients suffering from anxiety should look for a dentist in their area that specialises in patients with dental anxiety. The team and dentist will work to reduce the fear and ensure the patient receives the level of care they need for healthy teeth and gums moving forward. Once you can understand and overcome your fear, you can start attending routine appointments, which can eliminate the risk of dental problems in the future.

Dr Tariq Drabu also mentioned that he deals with a high volume of patients who are petrified of needles. What these patients don’t realise is that there are other options available and they need to discuss their fears openly with the dentist. They should advise the staff when making the appointment about their fear so the team can work with them to ensure they get the treatment they need and deserve.

Memories are another reason people avoid the dentist. Some people who had a bad experience in the dental chair as a child are nervous when it comes time to seek dental care. Dentistry is constantly evolving and there are procedures and techniques constantly being update which remove the pain associated with dentistry.

The final reason that people avoid the dentist is that they are just too busy. We live chaotic lives these days and there are so many households that juggle work and family, not leaving time to seek the dental attention they need. There are no shortage of dentists which can accommodate you during your lunch break or on your way home from work, so you can get the necessary treatment you need.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Treatments Offered for Oral and Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer has become a very serious concern throughout the world, according to Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon in the United Kingdom. There are more than six thousand seven hundred new cases of mouth cancer each year and more than two thousand fatalities, these numbers are growing annually and cause more deaths than cervical and testicular cancer combined.

There are certain tell-tale signs of mouth cancer that everyone needs to be aware of, catching it early on can improve your chances of survival and help fight the cancer effectively. Mouth ulcers that don’t heal, red and white patches in the mouth and difficulty swallowing are all signs of this unwelcome disease.

Tariq Drabu did advise that there are a number of different treatment options for this form of cancer, which will be discussed in detail by your medical team. The team will identify the form of cancer and how advanced it is. Based on the stage of the mouth cancer will enable them to put an effective treatment plan together to help shrink or eliminate the cancer. In most instances there is chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery that are offered.

Sometimes just one of the treatments is enough to fight the disease, while in more advanced cases two or more of the treatments may be used to reduce the growth speed and help lengthen the life span of the patient. If the cancer has already spread to other organs of the body, treatments will be chosen to help slow the growth.

Surgery is often chosen to remove the affected tissues while ensuring the rest of the mouth isn’t damaged. Surgery is usually combined with another treatment to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. In some cases treatments may be offered to shrink the cancer prior to surgery, followed by a round of radiation therapy to reduce the risk of it returning.

During the early stages of mouth cancer, surgery is done using lasers. Once the disease is advanced, the mouth linking or even facial skin may need to be removed, these are replaced using grafts. If the bones have become infected, such as the cheek bone, the bone may be replaced with a bone graft or plastic bone, removing the cancerous bones to improve chances of survival moving forward.

Radiation therapy is a form of treatment that uses radiation to kill the cancer cells. This is usually used in conjunction with surgery. After your mouth surgery you will undergo a period of radiation to eliminate the risk of the cancer returning. In most instances you will have this treatment on a daily basis over a set period of time, which can be anywhere to seven weeks. There are side effects associated with this treatment which include dry mouth and feeling sick, to name a few.

Chemotherapy is a common cancer fighting treatment and is often combined with radiation therapy, according to Dr TariqDrabu. Chemotherapy is powerful medicine which helps kill the cancer cells. With this treatment you can expect to experience a range of unwelcome side effects. Each patient is different and may experience all or only some of the side effects this treatment provides. The side effects range from being sick to feeling tired and hair loss to a weakened immune system.

Dr Tariq Drabu recommends that everyone should visit their dentist for their regular routine appointments. These appointments are a way to identify any problems early on, such as mouth cancer. If mouth cancer is identified by the dentist in the early stages the life span of the patient is increased dramatically.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Dentistry Developments in 2015

Every year more and more new developments take place in the dentistry sector. This year there are a number of great initiatives taking place to help dental practices improve their service, improve dental care in every day homes and more.

The Friends and Family Test

So far this year, there are three dental developments that have really stood out; that I believe will improve oral health throughout the country in 2015. The first is the Friends and Family Test which is to be introduced to NHS dental practices from the 1 April 2015.
The Friends and Family Test is already being used in A&E Departments and doctor’s surgeries throughout the country with great success. Unlike a general once off review, patients can have the ability to score and comment on their service each time they visit their dentist. This is going to be an opportunity for dentists to identify problems in their practice, their care levels and their service levels. It’s an opportunity to fix problems, improve levels of patient care and ensure patients receive the level of care they deserve when visiting the dentist.

Oral Health in Old People Initiative (OHOPI)

The Oral Health in Old People was introduced on 3 March 2015 and is a fantastic initiative to help carers ensure the older population in the country receive the best oral care.
This online initiative is dedicated to improving oral health in seniors with e-learning modules, resources and training throughout Surrey, Kent and Sussex. This is going to be a welcome addition to improving oral health in our older patients; many have physical and cognitive disorders, making it difficult to ensure that they are taking care of their teeth on a daily basis. Some have mobility issues, making it hard to follow an oral care routine at home. The initiative will help carers and family members ensure their elders are caring for their teeth, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

National Smile Month

I am delighted that National Smile Month is back for another year in 2015. National Smile Month will run from 18 May to 18 June and is the largest oral health campaign in the country. The campaign has been going since 1977 and is focussed on educating the public on oral health throughout the country.

Every year this campaign gets bigger with more and more companies and corporations taking part to share the word on the importance of oral health and good oral care techniques.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

What Chemotherapy Patients Need to Know About Oral Health

Cancer patients around the world face chemotherapy treatment. A treatment that kills cancer cells and at the same time leads to a number of oral problems. Many patients undergo a number of different cancer treatments, this is determined by the type and stage of cancer they have. Some may have a short dose of chemotherapy, while others may undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

It is easy when you’re facing such a serious illness to forget about your oral health, but what many chemotherapy patients don’t realise is that chemotherapy can lead to oral health problems and with the right management, you can ensure your teeth and gums are kept healthy throughout the treatment process.

Patients undergoing chemotherapy often experience a number of oral issues, they suffer from dry mouth, painful and bleeding gums, infection and swollen tongue. Dry mouth can lead to dental cavities, while the body’s inability to clot blood can lead to bleeding gums, which in turn can lead to oral ulcers.

Anyone who have been advised that chemotherapy is their only solution to fight cancer, need to make an urgent dental appointment before they start treatment, according to leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon, Dr Tariq Drabu. According to Dr Tariq Drabu, dentists can examine themouth, take care of any fillings, gum diseases or issues, ensuring the patient has good oral health when they start their first round of chemotherapy.

It is essential for chemotherapy patients to follow a strict oral health routine, even though it may be the last thing on their mind at the time. Brushing for two minutes twice a day is imperative to reduce the risk of bacteria and eliminate plaque. You need to brush before bed and once in the morning using a fluoride toothpaste.

Flossing is also important. Floss between the teeth, where gum disease starts. Flossing removes any food particles and other debris which is hard to reach with a toothbrush. It may be a good idea to use a soft toothbrush which will reduce the risk of the gums bleeding. In some cases the dentist may recommend an oral rinse or fluoride treatment to use to reduce the risk of tooth decay during the chemotherapy treatment.

According to Tariq Drabu, there are a number of ways patients who are undergoing chemotherapy can reduce the risk of oral disease while they are having treatment. The first is to keep the mouth moist. The dry mouth can lead to tooth decay. Keeping the mouth moist can be achieved by drinking plenty of water, chewing sugar free chewing gum or even sucking ice chips if you aren’t feeling well on the day.

Using a fluoride toothpaste can be a great benefit when going through chemotherapy. Fluoride is found in most toothpastes sold on the market today and help prevent and manage tooth decay. Brushing twice daily for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste will help remove plaque and ensure high quality oral health.

Dr Tariq Drabu also mentioned that patients who are about to undergo chemotherapy and wear dentures must also visit their dentist before they start treatment. It is imperative that the dentures are still fitting properly and aren’t irritating the gums. Poor fitting dentures can be painful and uncomfortable when suffering with painful gums, a side effect of chemotherapy.

It is recommended that all patients ensure that they make a dentist appointment and discuss their chemotherapy with the dentist, this way the dentist is able to ensure the patient has good oral health before treatment starts, reducing the risk of chemotherapy negatively impacting the patients oral health.

About Dr Tariq Drabu

Dr Tariq Drabu is a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon. This Manchester born and educated dentist was one of the youngest dentists to graduate in the United Kingdom. He has worked at some of the busiest hospitals in the UK and Saudi Arabia and completed his Fellowship in Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is the owner of the very successful Langley Dental Practice and is also the Clinical Lead Dentist for the Oral Surgery Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services at NHS Heywood Middleton and Rochdale. Tariq Drabu also teaches and mentors postgraduate dentists in oral surgery at the UCLAN Dental Clinic in Preston.