AJ Dental Group
Parkside Dental Centre
Parkside Dental Centre Goldsworth Park Health Centre Woking GU21 3LQ
Appointments/Enquiries: reception.parkside@gmail.com
Waterside Dental Centre
Waterside Dental Centre Devonshire Avenue, Woking GU21 5QJ
Appointments/Enquiries: dental.waterside@googlemail.com

Is Stress Affecting Dental Patients?

The AJ Dental Group looks at the possible oral health consequences of ‘lockdown stress’.

Stressed dental patientAlthough there is no formal news about dental practices opening yet and it may still be a little while away, things do seem to be slowly improving in the Covid-19 crisis and some shops are now gradually planning to re-open (with appropriate distancing and other precautions) in the near future.

We are also hopeful that the government will look at the options for opening dental practices soon as there will be an increasing number of people who are suffering with fairly uncomfortable oral problems.

Whilst treatment is available in special dental units for the most serious cases, even a moderate toothache can be very distressing even with the use of painkillers. There will be other problems too that people will be having to deal with without professional dental support.

All of this will add to the general stress of the restrictions that have been placed on us. In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the ways that this stress may have affected your teeth and gums.

Reduced home dental care

Even if unintentionally, it is quite possible that some of us will not have brushed our teeth as often or as well as we used to do. This is likely to apply more in the morning as we are out of a routine. Even a small reduction in this could have an effect on our teeth and gums, leading to possible tooth decay and gum disease. If you suspect that you may have been ‘guilty’ of this, remember that it is not too late to start to improve this now with regular brushing and flossing.

Increased snacking

There have been reports that, perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been an increase in snacking during lockdown. Whether this is through boredom or stress doesn’t really matter in terms of the result. Any snacking over a period of time is not good for the oral health of our Woking patients. Even relatively healthy foods, if consumed in this way, can be harmful as there is insufficient time in between snacking for our saliva to clear the mouth of food particles and excess bacteria. In addition to this, many ‘snack’ foods tend to be high in sugar, a well known problem for our teeth.

If you do snack; in addition to brushing and flossing, try to drink water after your snack, swilling it around your mouth before swallowing. This will help to remove some of the offending food particles.

Bruxism

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Children’s Tooth Care During the ‘Stay At Home’ Period

Challenges and solutions for looking after your children’s oral health at this difficult time.

Children with parentsDespite the slight changes initiated this week to start the easing of lockdown, the fact is that many of our Woking patients will probably still be spending most of their time at home.

Some will be working from home whilst others will not be able to work because the sector in which they normally do so is not yet allowed to open.

This, on its own, can be challenging enough, but for those of us at home with young children, the lockdown presents additional challenges. In addition to ensuring that they are not overly stressed, are getting a reasonable education and generally looking after their wellbeing, there is also the problem of making sure that their oral care is catered for.

Watch the ‘sugar treats’

It is likely that most of our AJ Dental Group patients who are parents of young children will have noticed an increased demand for sweets and fizzy drinks! The reality is that many young children will be bored, despite our best efforts, and will also have a lot more time on their hands. As many of them will probably know where we hide the sweets, and those that don’t will make demands until we finally relent, there is every likelihood that our children’s sweet consumption will rise during this period of lockdown.

Although we may allow a little more leeway than usual, it is still advisable to try to keep sweet consumption down to a sensible level. At all times, especially now, it is also important that we make sure our children are cleaning their teeth well.

Where young children are concerned, we need to make sure that they are brushing their teeth twice a day, both morning and the last thing before going to bed (with nothing but water afterwards). There are two things that we particularly need to do.

Firstly, their routine is likely to be very different now, and whereas they may have previously brushed their teeth before going to nursery or school, they may be going straight from bed to the TV. Make sure that you find a new regular time for them to brush their teeth in the morning before they settle into their new routine. Secondly, this is a good time to make sure that they are brushing their teeth correctly and for long enough. To do this, we may need to supervise our children when they brush their teeth. Remember, routine dental treatments can’t currently be carried out and a child at home with toothache is not going to be fun for the child or the parents!

Oral health education

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Don’t Ignore Your Gum Health!

‘Stay at home’ lockdown isn’t great but it does give us chance to review personal oral care

Healthy teeth and gumsMany of you will still be at home, unable to work, or perhaps working from home. One thing that undoubtedly is happening though, is that many of us are having to find ways of filling time that we didn’t previously enjoy.

While some people are learning new skills, others may just be watching more TV; everybody has a different way of coping with the current situation and that is fine. Sometimes though, it is good to turn off the TV and do something practical. In today’s blog, your regular Woking dentists offer a small suggestion that will only take up a few minutes of your day, but could significantly contribute to you having a healthier mouth.

Looking after your gums

How much do you think about your gums when you are cleaning your teeth? Most of us probably think little about it unless they feel sore or are inflamed, or perhaps even bleeding. Like most things to do with our health, it is better to look after it in a preventative way than have to treat it later. The same applies to our gums. If we neglect our gums, not only will we often suffer from discomfort, but, if left untreated, it can result in teeth becoming loose or even falling out.

There are 2 key stages to gum disease; these are generally known as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Briefly, gingivitis sometimes causes symptoms such as sore or inflamed gums, bleeding and also halitosis (bad breath). Periodontitis can have similar symptoms but also affects the roots of the teeth and potentially, the surrounding bone structure. When this becomes infected, teeth may become loose and even fall out.

Prevention of gum disease

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Continuing Our DIY Oral Care Advice For The ‘Stay At Home’ Period

Further advice for AJ Dental Group patients whilst we are closed due to Covid-19

Eating an apple with good teethIn our last blog, we offered advice to our Woking patients about what to do to help keep their teeth and gums healthy during this current ‘lockdown’. Hopefully, this advice will mean fewer dental problems will arise during this period.

As the current UK advice on social distancing now looks likely to be extended for possibly a few more weeks, it is almost inevitable that some dental issues will arise for at least a few of our patients.

Hopefully these will not fall into the ‘urgent emergency’ category but could, nonetheless, be uncomfortable until treatment becomes possible again.

Unfortunately we cannot carry out any ‘face to face’ treatments at the moment, but you can still call us for dental advice. We will possibly be able to refer you to an emergency regional dental centre but this will only be for true emergencies.

Although we generally advise against home treatment for dental problems and encourage patients to see us as soon as they can if they have a toothache etc, this is currently not possible. So to help those of you who aren’t fortunate enough to avoid problems during this time, we offer some helpful ‘treatment’ advice below.

Toothaches and sensitive teeth

Even a relatively minor toothache can be uncomfortable and will make this period feel longer that it is. There are a number of practical things that you can do to relieve it though.

Anti inflammatory tablets

These tablets can help to relieve some of the discomfort associated with a toothache and also help to reduce swellings. Most of us will have some of these at home in the form of paracetamol or ibuprofen but please be certain that they are suitable for you before taking them.

Toothpastes for sensitive teeth

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Looking After Your Teeth During The Prolonged Stay At Home

Advice from our Woking dentists about keeping your teeth healthy whilst ‘isolating’.

Taking care of your teethHopefully, all of our patients are following government instructions and staying at home wherever possible. These are challenging times for everybody and boredom and anxiety are likely to be problems for a lot of people.

Whilst the key health issue here is obviously the Covid-19 virus and hopefully avoiding it, we also urge patients of the AJ Dental Group to continue to look after their teeth as well as possible during this extended period at home.

There are some potential pitfalls for our oral health in the weeks and months ahead, but with a little thought and care, most of us will be able to keep our teeth healthy for when this difficult period is behind us.

The basics

Make sure that you have the essentials available. This includes a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. You should be able to get most of these from the shop when you do your other essential shopping. If not, with a bit of searching, you should be able to find these online. If possible, try to keep a spare toothbrush or make sure that you have replacement heads for an electric brush. If you suspect that you have any symptoms, you should throw away your old toothbrush or change the head of the electric one when the infection has passed. This will help to avoid re-infection if that is possible and also helps avoid infecting others who use the bathroom with you.

Your routine

Many of us will have drastically changed routines for the next several weeks. This can cause us to forget to do things that we usually do. For example, brushing our teeth might be the last thing we do in the morning before leaving for work. If you are now working from home or are temporarily out of work, try to write down a routine that works for you and creates one where you brush your teeth after doing something else, such as shaving or after you walk the dog in the morning. There are no hard and fast rules and you should use whatever works for you. But please try to keep the discipline.

Avoid too many comfort foods

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Dr Andrew Gough – Partner – AJ Dental Group

An occasional look at the roles of our Woking dental team

Dentist Andrew GoughMost of our blogs have been either about general dental care or specific treatments that we offer. These will continue, but we thought that it might be interesting for our patients to have a look at some of the specific roles carried out by individual dentists at our clinic.

In today’s blog, we will take a look at the role of Dr Andrew Gough who has been with us since the late 1980’s.

He is therefore one of our longest standing dentists and many of our patients will be familiar with him and his approach.

Making it fun

Can dentistry be fun? Most patients would probably disagree, but Andrew believes that it can be so and prides himself on his work with both children and older patients who are anxious about receiving dental treatment. With care, patience and the ability to explain clinical procedures clearly, many patients of a nervous disposition now find that they can see the dentist, if not actually looking forward to it, at least then with greatly reduced anxiety levels.

Smile makeovers

Andrew takes special interest in providing smile makeovers for his patients. Each patient is assessed individually to determine what treatments they need. This can range from something relatively straightforward such as a teeth whitening procedure, to more extensive treatment like dental veneers. All procedures are discussed and of course no pressure is placed on them to have any particular cosmetic procedure.

In addition to smile makeovers, Andrew is fully trained to provide wrinkle-reduction and dermal fillers for patients who wish to help roll-back the signs of facial aging.

Dental implants

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What Is A ‘Deep Clean’?

Looking at the difference between a clean by the hygienist and this more complex treatment.

gum diseaseAt the AJ Dental Group, our focus is on preventative care as far as is possible. Although we have every confidence in the procedures that we use to restore damaged teeth, there is no disputing that it is far better not to need the treatments in the first place by improving our cleaning and general oral care regime.

One of the ways that we do this is to encourage our Woking patients to see a dental hygienist on a regular basis. This not only allows them to learn about what they can do to keep their teeth and gums healthy but to also have a thorough cleaning known as a ‘scale and polish’.

Occasionally, we may have to advise a patient with poor gum health that they need to have a ‘deep clean’. Much as they might wish it was so, this procedure is not the same as a clean by the dental hygienist and is something very different as we shall see below.

Scale and polish

Let us first look at this procedure and what it entails and its purpose.

However well we brush our teeth, and even if we floss as well, there are always areas of our teeth that are next to impossible to keep entirely clean. It is in these areas that we tend to get a buildup of both bacteria and mineral deposits that form a rough surface. This surface will then collect even more bacteria, along with staining, and over time, this can lead to problems such as decay and gum disease. As we have mentioned before, gum disease can be quite uncomfortable, causing gums to become inflamed and sore and can also lead to problems like bad breath. Having a scale and polish procedure is an excellent way to help avoid it.

The procedure itself is relatively straightforward, non invasive and there is usually no need for a local anaesthetic in order for it to be carried out.

The first stage is to manually remove the excess tartar before ‘shattering’ and removing the rest using a sonic implement. Finally, the patient’s teeth are cleaned using a high speed brush to remove any final remnants and to leave the teeth and gum line as clean as possible. This procedure is usually carried out at six monthly intervals, or more frequently for those at higher risk of gum disease such as smokers and diabetics.

Deep clean

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Take Care With Cheap Dental Implant Offers

Lower priced dental implants may not be all that they seem!

Implant in the jaw boneWith dental implants increasingly becoming the number one option to replace lost teeth, it isn’t really surprising that many people look around for a bargain. Whilst this makes sense, from a financial point of view, it is also important to look at other factors as well.

As anyone who has bought a lookalike counterfeit product because it was cheaper will know, it may look the same, but the quality definitely won’t be.

Although when this is applied to clothes or bags, it is annoying when they deteriorate prematurely, when it comes to something like a dental implant, things can be much more serious.

Who supplies cheaper dental implants?

Though it might be possible to find a dental practice that is offering a time limited offer on implants, you are likely to find that prices for placing dental implants are not dissimilar across the UK. Where the real savings are to be made, these are usually at clinics overseas. This throws up an instant problem in that it means that you will have to travel to have the procedure done, potentially at a significant cost as flying will often be necessary. There have been cases where clinics have included the price of a flight and a hotel room in the price. To be able to place an implant and provide a flight and accommodation cheaper than a dental implant alone in the UK, should really set alarm bells ringing!

How can they be cheaper abroad?

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Stop Smoking For Better Oral Health

Eliminating this harmful habit will significantly benefit your teeth and gums.

Adam Mohsen - HygienistNow the initial few weeks of the new year have passed, it’s maybe a good time to look at what we hope to change without the pressure of a ‘new year resolution’.  Changes in your lifestyle can be made at any time and are often more successful when we make them at a time most appropriate to ourselves.

One of the most popular resolutions that gets made is to stop smoking. Now that all the parties and events where you might have been tempted to smoke have passed, why not make an attempt to kick this habit now?

Why stop smoking?

Where do we start? As any hygienist or dentist at the AJ Dental Group in Woking will tell you, smoking can cause any number of oral health issues. Your general health can obviously be threatened too. Although on a team level, our prime role is to help you to look after your teeth and gums, we don’t want to see any of our patients suffering from illnesses such as lung or heart disease, and especially when it is largely preventable by stopping smoking.

How does it affect oral health?

Smoking can affect our teeth, gums and oral cavity in general in many different ways. Most tobacco products contain chemicals and some of these are known to be carcinogenic (potentially cancer causing). Especially if our gums are already unhealthy or where we have small lacerations, the irritation of smoke in our mouth may well lead to infections and can also lead to a slowing down of healing following a dental procedure.

There are two specific issues that are more likely to arise in smokers than in non smokers from a dental perspective though, and we look at these now.

Gum disease

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A New Decade, A New Smile!

Have you considered starting the new year and decade with a great new smile?

Middle aged couple with good teeth2020 is now truly upon us and what better time than this, the start of a new decade to make some decisions about improving our smile. A great looking smile not only looks good but has also been shown to regularly boost self confidence, giving benefits in certain fields, such as employment and attracting a partner.

The reality is that our smile is one of the first things that people notice about us, so why not make sure it is an attractive one?

At the AJ Dental Group in Woking, we offer a number of treatments that can transform your smile into something probably beyond your own expectations.

Everyone will require a different combination of treatments, or perhaps just a single one. Through a consultation with one of our experienced cosmetic dentists, we can put a treatment plan into place that will give you a smile that you can really be proud of.

Let’s take a look at some of the key treatments that we are able to offer our patients.

Dental implants

Dentures have long been used to replace missing teeth. Modern dentures offer a reasonable aesthetic substitute but have some practical limitations. A number of patients find that they are restricted to eating certain foods because of their dentures whilst others may find them a little unstable at times. By using dental implants instead of dentures, you will find that you are able to eat a wide variety of foods of your choice. In fact, anything that you can eat with your natural teeth should be no problem at all for your dental implants. They are also stable and secure and can be cleaned the same way as your own natural teeth.

Orthodontics (dental braces)

Crooked teeth can spoil an otherwise nice smile. They can also cause a problem for your teeth as food becomes trapped more easily, potentially leading to more incidences of tooth decay and gum disease. Modern orthodontics can straighten your teeth more discreetly than in the past when highly visible braces were used. Where more complex correction is needed, Invisalign orthodontics offer a great and new way of doing so. Instead of using a series of wires and brackets to straighten your teeth, they use transparent trays that fit over your teeth. These are almost undetectable and can also be removed when eating or during your oral cleaning routine.

For more cosmetic straightening, faster acting methods such as the Inman Aligner may be a more appropriate treatment. Details of both of these orthodontic treatments can be discussed during your consultation at our Woking dental clinic.

Whiter teeth

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