Dental health: Jul'13

Tags: Dental , Teeth

Maureen Chaseley our in house Senior Dental Advisor answered your questions on health and dental. So if you want to find out why dental hygiene is so important for your health read the questions and answers below.

AXA PPP healthcare: Hello and welcome to our live chat with Maureen

Bernice asked: Hi there I'm just after a bit of advice. I had an abscess at the top right far back molar a few weeks ago that was treated with antibiotics, and since then I have no problems at all with this tooth.  My dentist did say at the time I may to have it removed but to date I still have the tooth. About a week ago the other side of my mouth started to hurt but this time the far bottom left molar.  I again went to he dentist, he did an x-ray and couldn't find anything wrong.  His advice was to leave it as he didn't want to guess and treat the wrong thing which would either mask the real problem or may it worse. This morning I woke up in agony with ear and lower jaw pain, so booked to see my GP.  He checked ears, throat etc. and could find nothing and believes I have Temporomandibular joint disorder and this will clear up in its own time.  I’m entirely sure this is the case as pain killers do ease the jaw pain but my tooth is still incredibly sore. Am I now not sure where to go with this, the pain is starting to get me down, I’ve not eaten real food for days, and if I go back to the dentist I have a feeling I’ll be £20 lighter but still no further with a diagnosis.  Do you have any ideas? Thanks in advance for your help Bernice

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Bernice. If you have an abcess then antibiotics will kill off the bacteria infection causing the pain and give you temporay relief of the pain, however the cause of the pain /infection still needs to be addressed. I am sorry you really do need to go back to the dentist for active treatment. £20 is a small price to pay for relief of pain, Regards Maureen


If you missed our live chat and have any further questions relating to dental health, then why not ask our panel of experts a question?


Allan asked: Hi, I used to have a pierced tongue and I'm considering putting it back in. I've been told that it can erode the back of my teeth, is that true?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Allan. Yes absolutely true, It will chip the back of your teeth and cause problems, not to mention the risk of infection in your tongue. Leaving  it out really is best regards Maureen

Ruth asked: I have a bad habit of biting the inside of my mouth. Can this have any lasting negative impacts?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Ruth . If you can stop cheek biting it would be best, it can cause ulceration and soreness. Can your dentist help with any teeth alignment. ? You may be able to have a mouth guard  to stop the habit . Regards Maureen,

Ruth commented: I had braces when I was younger so my teeth have been shifted around to make up for my not having any adult canines. I've been told my mouth is a bit small as well so maybe that's the problem.

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Ruth, this may contribute to the overall problem. If the cheek biting is habit try to break it. If it is cause by a tooth being out of line then your dentist may be able to smooth the tooth and reduce the cheek biting, Regards Maureen

Anonymous4 asked: Hi, I've got a small hole on my lower gum line behind my last tooth - is this a wisdom tooth coming through or potentially something more sinister?  Is it something to be worried about?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Anon, yes this does sound like a wisdom tooth coming through, do make sure you keep it as clean as possible with gentle brushing and mouthwash. Get your dentist to check it at your next examination or if it causes pain obviously seek advice, Regards Maureen,

Anonymous2 asked: My wisdom teeth are coming in and keep getting infected. How can this be prevented?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Anon, Infections from wisdom teeth are so painful. ! The easiest and cheapest way to relieve the problems is hot salt water mouthwash. A teaspoon of salt in a mug of hot water (not too hot so it burns) hold a mouthful over the sore  area and spit it out. do this until the mug is empty. Rinse after each meal and last thing at night, The infection should resolve after 2/3 days but if not you will need to see your dentist for further treatment, regards Maureen, 

fiona asked: I always get problems with my bottom wisdom teeth, but my dentist has opted to remove only the top ones - which never hurt. Why is that?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Fiona. Sometime the upper wisdom teeth come through at such an angle you are actually biting on the gum around or over the lower wisdom teeth, this in turn causes pain around the lower wisdom teeth, So taking out the upper wisdom teeth will resolve this problem. Do discuss this with your dentist at the time of the treatment or before. Regards Maureen 

fiona commented: Thanks!

Rodrigo Bervasquez asked: I think I may have decay within the tooth in the back bottom corner of my mouth. What can I do myself about this and to stop it from happening?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Rodrigo,. Effective brushing and keeping the area very !!! clean will help but will not mend it. If you have a cavity it is best to see a dentist to get treatment soon. If teeth are left  untreated it may get worse , Regards Maureen


If you missed our live chat and have any further questions relating to dental health, then why not ask our panel of experts a question?


ianto asked: Hi. My dentist filled one of my molars last year, there appeared to be more amalgam than molar by the end of the process. Weeks later the supporting tooth collapsed. Dentist then referred me to a special extractions place, but die to a mix up on their part I never went along for the extraction. Now nearly all the molar has broken away leaving just the root. Is there any need to get this extracted or can I just leave it?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Ianto. Obviously this is your choice but if you leave it the remains of the tooth roots will decay further and may set up an abcess. Best see a dentist for treatment. Regards Maureen,

Stu 32 asked: I have a filling on my bad tooth that is sticking our a bit. It doesn't hurt though, I think perhaps a bit of it has come away at the bottom as it is rough to touch. Would this be pricey at the dentist to fix? Is it worth fixing if I'm not in pain?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Stu. It should take a couple of minutes just to smooth off the corner edge of the filling, It should not be too expensive at all for smoothing off.  If the filling hs broken that will be a seperate  discussion with your dentist. Regards Maureen,

Anonymous148 asked: Should i be using mouthwash everyday?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Anon,. You should always follow the manufacturers instructions. Always make sure the mouthwash is water (Aqua) based not alcohol based. Good oral hygeine should be a daily regime,  regards Maureen,

Anonymous149 asked: I chew gum a lot. Is this potentially bad for my teeth?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Anon. So long as the gum is sugar free. !!!! chewing  gum increases saliva flow and helps wash the teeth of debris. Regards Maureen,

Anonymous150 asked: I often find my gums bleed when I brush in the morning. What does this mean?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Anon. Bleeding gums is a sign of infection . If there is a build up a plaque (debris) around the necks of the teeth this will irritate  the gums , they fill with blood and this causes them to bleed . By good cleaning monring AND NIGHT  the gums will be kept clean, the irritation diminish and the bleeding will stop after a few days. visit your dentist for good oral hygenie advice, regards Maureen,

fiona asked: I have recently been advised that I grind my back teeth and that it's causing problems. I didn't even know I was doing it so it must be while I sleep. What options are available to stop me doing this?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Fiona, it is worth considering why you grind your teeth. Sometimes it is a nocturnal habit that is difficult to control. Some children grind their teeth. Sometimes people strart to grind their teeth - known as bruxism- as a result of stress. Your dentist can make you a night guard to wear. So you grind on the mouth guard rather than your teeth. sometimes just wearing the mouth guard can interupt the habit enough to stop it, Regards Maureen,

Claire D asked: what causes ulcers?

Maureen Chaseley answered: Dear Claire . Mouth ulcers can be caused by a variety of reasons. It could be from a low immune system i e recovering from  a cold,  other causes can be a vitamin B deficiency. Biting your cheek can cause an ulcer . Some bacteria such as HPV can also cause ulcers. Some people are more prone to mouth ulcers than others, the important thing is any ulcer or lesion that does not heal with in 3 weeks should be checked by your dentist, Regards Maureen,   

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Thanks Maureen.


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