Please note, the list below is not exhaustive!
N.B. Plaque is a creamy-coloured accumulation of bacteria and debris on the tooth, easily removed with a toothbrush. Tartar is hard, calciﬁed plaque that can’t be removed by a toothbrush.
Dark teeth: Caused by staining by food and drink, some medications, a tooth dying or even a congenital issue.
Treatment: by a scale and polish or bleaching, depending on the cause, but sometimes other treatments are necessary.
Gaps and spaces: Can be caused by tooth loss; a larger-than-normal space between teeth; or teeth never coming through in the ﬁrst place.
Treatment: Bridge, Denture, Implant or white ﬁlling, depending on size and location.
Dental Pain: Relayed by nerves often being affected by one of the following problems - tooth decay, gum disease or an abscess.
Treatment: Antibiotics and painkillers are only a temporary solution - management of the cause is strongly recommended.
Tooth decay: Usually caused by a combination of inadequate ﬂuoride application and dietary discrepancies, bacteria use sugars present in the mouth as an energy source. One of their waste products is highly acidic and actually dissolves tooth substance. If left unchecked this can lead to pain, tooth death, abscesses and tooth loss.
Treatment: is by ﬁllings or crowns, depending on severity. To prevent tooth decay, advice on the ideal diet and home oral hygiene regime is offered at check-ups.
Gum disease: Best thought of as a low-level infection. Usually an ongoing problem caused by inadequate daily removal of plaque from the gumline, although some medical conditions (like diabetes) are linked. Some types of less common gum disease are caused by infection by very speciﬁc bacteria. Unchecked, gum disease can lead to pain, tooth death, abscesses and tooth loss.
Treatment: depends on the severity and cause, ranging from improved oral hygiene to antibiotics to deep cleaning. Modiﬁcations to the current oral hygiene regime at home are usually required. To prevent gum disease, advice on the ideal home oral hygiene regime is offered at check-ups.
Abscess: Sometimes called gum boils. They are caused by infection at the bottom or side of the root of the tooth. They can be intensely painful, produce a foul taste and make you feel quite unwell!
Treatment: depends on the cause, usually by extraction or root canal treatment.
Thrush: Sometimes found in denture wearers.
Treatment: is by mouthwash and modiﬁcations to the denture hygiene regime.
Oral Cancer: Oral cancer screening is performed routinely as part of your regular check up, and is a good reason for everyone, even those without teeth, to attend the dentist!
Treatment: is by the appropriate hospital department following referral.