Jaw Pain

What are the main causes?

head and jaw painJaw pain is a common issue for many and yet most people don’t associate it with dental issues and don’t think to mention it to the dentist.

In fact, jaw pain and dental issues go hand-in-hand and one can cause the other.

If you are experiencing jaw pain you might be getting a wide range of potential symptoms in the jaw joint, such as:

  • Throbbing
  • Sharp pains
  • Earache
  • Headaches
  • Tingling
  • Aching

You might feel the pain when you eat or talk, or just all the time. It might have started all of a sudden or begun as mild discomfort and then developed over time. It could have begun after a certain procedure or injury. Understanding the cause of the problem is really important so you can get out of pain, and so that the problem doesn’t cause further issues with your jaw and other parts of the oral cavity.

Here are some causes of jaw pain and what they might feel like:

Clenching & Grinding Of The Teeth

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Dry Mouth

How It Can Affect Your Oral Health

Dry mouth is an oral condition that is often overlooked, despite the fact it can be extremely uncomfortable and cause a whole host of oral issues.

At Abbey Road Dental in St John’s Wood, we understand that there are lots of factors that affect your oral health, not just the way the teeth are cared for, or indeed lifestyle. Many different things can affect oral health including medications, illness, age, pregnancy and more.

We always have a broad approach to diagnostics to ensure that we consider each and every potential factor in any pain or issue a person is having with their oral health. Dry mouth is often a very simple issue that causes many complex problems and it can be caused by many different things. By understanding why dry mouth is present we can treat you accordingly and stop it doing any additional damage. We can also help you feel as comfortable as possible whilst you are affected by the problem.

What Is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth means that you don’t have the amount of saliva in your mouth needed to keep your mouth lubricated as it is supposed to be. Everybody experiences dry mouth differently, but common symptoms can include:

  • A dry mouth or throat
  • A mouth or throat that feels sticky, as though the saliva is thick
  • Issues speaking
  • Issues swallowing
  • Issues speaking
  • A tongue that goes completely dry
  • Painful sore and cracked lips
  • Tooth decay that occurs more frequently
  • Unpleasant breath
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Issues with aggravated gums

Why Dry Mouth Happens

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Your First Hygienist Appointment

What to Expect At Abbey Road Dental In St John’s Wood

Here at Abbey Road Dental we are proud to have an exceptional dental hygienist on our team who works with us to provide the complete range of oral health services we offer.

Understanding the services offered by the hygienist is important for patients who may benefit from those kinds of treatments.

Sometimes we may refer you to a hygienist as part of a treatment plan, or you can independently book the hygienist yourself for certain treatments.

So, What Is A Dental Hygienist?

A dental hygienist focuses on preventative oral care and gum disease and helps patients in the quest to maintain good gum health and keep all their natural teeth long-term.

One of their key activities is to remove plaque and tartar on your teeth. If the plaque and tartar is not removed properly it can cause you to develop gum disease which is the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK. You may also suffer from tooth decay, which can also lead to tooth loss. The appointment will also include useful education for the patient to help them clean their teeth as well as possible between visits.

What Should I Expect From My First Hygienist Visit At Abbey Road Dental?

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Your Tongue And Oral Soft Tissues

An Oral Health Spotlight From Abbey Road Dental

Often when it comes to oral health, the spotlight from the general public is on the teeth and gums; at least for most of the time. This is understandable as the teeth and gums are primary structures within the mouth.

However, the teeth and gums are not the only important structures and the tongue and soft tissues in and around the mouth are incredibly important too. Although dentistry is often focused on the teeth and gums, the entire mouth requires careful care and attention to ensure you can enjoy a comfortable, functioning mouth day-to-day.

To help you understand more about these often overlooked parts of your mouth and their role in oral health, today Abbey Road Dental shines the spotlight on your tongue and other oral soft tissues.

Oral Soft Tissues And Tongue – What Are They?

Lots of areas inside your mouth are categorised as oral soft tissues, with many having parts that are internal and external. Your cheeks and lips are classed as oral soft tissues, and the roof of your mouth, your throat and the area under your tongue are all part of the oral cavity. The tongue itself is a muscular organ that is covered in tissue and tiny bumps and plays an important part at the beginning of the digestion process. The gums are also counted as the soft tissues of the mouth and they have their own category of care within dentistry called periodontics.

Oral Cancer

When it comes to oral cancer, all oral areas can show symptoms and signs of the disease. When the dentist at Abbey Road Dental does an oral cancer check as part of your checkup, they will look for any signs of abnormalities in the mouth. They will look around the lips, mouth and tongue for sores, white patches and general areas of irritated tissue. They may ask you about any areas they think could be suspicious, to see if perhaps a sore has not healed, or a patch of irritated or white skin which has been present for a while. In the instance where an area of the mouth looks suspicious the dentist might refer you to your GP or the hospital for further investigations. The sooner that oral cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis, which is one of the reasons regular checkups with your dentist are so important.

Injuries To The Soft Tissues And Tongue

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Understanding The 6 Stages Of Tooth Decay

Get closer to your teeth with Abbey Road Dental!

One of the main reasons teeth hurt is because of dental decay. This begins when enamel starts to break down and tiny areas of decay develop on the surface of the tooth.

“Bad” bacteria naturally present in the mouth create an acid bi-product which in turn eats away at the teeth, starting the process.

At some stages of decay, the teeth can be recovered with appropriate dental work coupled with improved oral hygiene. However, if it is left too late, a different level of dental restoration may be needed to restore teeth. Indeed, if left too long, it may not be possible to save the tooth.

It is a really good idea to understand the stages of decay so that you can be aware of your own oral health, and how to prevent things from getting any worse, alongside the guidance of your dentist.

Stage 1

The very first stage of tooth decay is when little white patches appear on the very outer layer of the teeth. This happens because the tooth is starting to lose calcium, and plaque has started to build up. As the bacteria in the mouth produce more acid bi-product, the tooth begins to slowly demineralise. This stage of decay is a really important warning sign and can even be reversed or stopped in its tracks by the correct treatment. Your NW8 dentist can speak to you about caring for your teeth and stopping the progression of any decay. As well as treatment, we will also emphasise the importance of an excellent dental hygiene regimen.

Stage 2

During the second stage of decay the lower level of enamel begins to deteriorate and there is no decay reversal available at this stage. The enamel and minerals will degrade and cause a small area of damage. The decay will continue to cause damage at this stage and the tooth will weaken and become susceptible to breaking. In the event that your tooth breaks you should always seek dental attention quickly.

Stage 3

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Dental Phobia

Don’t Let It Stop You From Having A Comfortable And Beautiful Smile.

Fear of the dentistDental phobia is extremely common, and yet when you suffer from it yourself, it can feel like you’re the only person in the world absolutely paralysed with fear at the thought of visiting the dentist. How can other people just happily visit their local dentist every six months without a second thought?

Here at Abbey Dental Road we completely understand how you feel. We have successfully helped people in different places on the  phobia spectrum, some with mild nerves about the dentist, some with extreme dental phobias. Our clinic in St John’s Wood has helped many dental phobic people get in that chair and get the treatment they deserve.

Our primary perspective on dental phobia is understanding that the reasons for it are different for everybody, and that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Everybody has a different reason, or a combination or reasons for feeling so afraid of the dentist. For some people, they don’t even know where their phobia started. Regardless of how a dental phobia starts, the fact is that it prevents a person from getting the oral health support that they deserve. So it is incredibly important to sensitively and compassionately treat a person for their phobia first, so that the appropriate oral care can follow.

More Than A Fear Of Pain

Most people who are phobic of the dentist are not just ‘worried’ about their dental visit. Dental fear or anxiety can come with a wide range of symptoms such as:

  • Shaking
  • Issues with breathing
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness or even fainting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Panic attacks
  • Deep anxiety

A dental phobia can cause a wide range of symptoms that a person may experience just at the thought of going to the dentist. Often these symptoms are accompanied by a deep level of shame and embarrassment, exacerbated if the person’s oral health has deteriorated because they have avoided the dentist for so long. Worrying about what people think can often be an additional barrier preventing a person from even considering speaking to anybody about their problem. They worry about being judged, or that nobody will understand how afraid they are of the dentist.

What Abbey Road Dental Can Do To Help….

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The Spotlight On Dental Implants

Advanced replacement of missing teeth in St John’s Wood.

Dental Implants are considered by many to be the ‘gold standard’ in tooth replacement and we are extremely proud to offer them at our NW8 clinic in St John’s Wood.

Although dental implants have been around for a long time, it is only within the last decade that the treatment has truly been refined. An incredibly effective tooth replacement solution, implants look and feel as similar to natural teeth as is currently possible within modern dentistry.

If you have missing teeth and want to know how you can restore your smile with the latest in treatment technology, please take a look at our spotlight on dental implants here in Abbey Road.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a replacement for a missing tooth root, providing strong support for the tooth replacement at the gum level. The devices are made using titanium and are designed to be extremely durable and as similar to a natural tooth root as possible.

The implants are usually placed following a detailed consultation, and then left to bond with the jawbone for a few months, sometimes more. Once they have bonded with the jawbone the full restoration can be completed, and the implants themselves can last a lifetime if cared for properly.

Who Provides Dental Implant Treatment At Abbey Road Dental?

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It’s National Picnic Month – Keep Your Smile Healthy!

Don’t let overindulgence affect your teeth and gums – tips from Abbey Road Dental

If you didn’t get your fill of picnic tidbits during National picnic week in June, the good news is that the whole of July is National picnic month! So plenty of extra time to make up for any missed opportunities nibbling goodies outdoors with friends and family.

The bad news is, picnics aren’t always the best for your teeth. In fact, eating starchy snacks and sugary drinks for a while month and beyond could cause lots of issues for your oral health; issues that last well into the colder months.

To help you keep your smile healthy throughout National picnic month and all summer long, Abbey Road Dental has some handy information for you.

First Things First, A Brief History Of The Picnic

Everyone loves a picnic, including all of us here at Abbey Road Dental. But before we let you know how to keep your smile healthy whilst enjoying traditional al fresco dining, we thought you might enjoy a brief history of the picnic.

You might be surprised to know that it dates all the way back to the middle ages when taking things like bread and cheese to men out hunting was simply a way to provide them with sustenance without them having to come home between hunts. Things like a Ploughman’s Lunch, Cornish Pasty and pork pie were all invented for the same or similar reasons.

The name picnic though, is thought to originate from the idea of a meal where everybody brings something and the word itself is thought to come from french word Pique-Nique which loosely means ‘bring your own wine’.

Up until the 1800’s though it remained a practicality, until through trend, it became something quite fashionable. Everything from art, to books and poems began to feature at picnics where everybody who was anybody, wanted to eat al fresco. During the Victorian times the picnic really came into its own during summer. Hampers, picnic food and picnic blankets truly became a ‘thing’ and the trend spread across the world.

From then on in you could expect to see picnics occurring across Britain on any warm summers day and nowadays, they are a true tradition come a hot weekend, second only to the barbecue.

Can The Humble Picnic Pose A Threat To Your Smile?

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Your Complete Summer Guide To Oral Health

Smile ahead into summer with Abbey Road Dental!

Summer is here, hooray! Hopefully it will be a really warm one like last year, hooray again! There is so much to look forward to, everybody loves these longer, lighter months.

So, why are we here talking about oral health you might ask yourself?

The team here at Abbey Road Dental want to help you care for your oral health independently, between visits to us to help keep you on track. Of course we can help with all kinds of dental issues and needs should anything arise, but ideally, prevention is always best. It saves you pain, money and time. With that in mind, we are aware that summer can be quite the minefield when it comes to oral health. Holidays, summer sports, summer food and a change in routine can all be major potential risks for oral health. There’s also something to be said for planning ahead for the cosmetic dentistry you might want later on in the year. Going into 2020 is way off, but when it comes to certain smile treatments, you need to think in advance, and summer might be your time to take that first step towards your dream smile, and book in for your consultation at our St John’s Wood clinic in NW8.

To help you breeze through the bright and beautiful months with a gorgeous smile, and support your smile dreams looking even further forward, here is our complete summer guide to oral health:

Cosmetic Dentistry For 2020, Time To Think Ahead?

Cosmetic dentistry treatments like teeth whitening may not need much advance planning, and they can be booked close to the time you want the results if you opt for our fast, in-house treatment. For at-home treatment you need to allow a few weeks for the results. Otherwise, other more substantial makeovers can take anything from weeks to months. If you struggle with insecurity about your smile, if you dream of having missing teeth replaced, or misaligned teeth being straightened, now is the time to consider a consultation at our local clinic.

For example, if you want a straight smile for next summer, you may need a year in braces, which means getting them fitted now. It does all depend on your individual needs and treatment requirements, but the first step is a consultation. We can let you know a good idea of timescale, costs and potential results after we have completed your personalised consultation with us.

Curbing Your Enthusiasm For Summer Food?

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Oral Health Maintenance And Wearing Braces

All about brace care with Abbey Road Dental

A wide range of orthodontic systems (braces) are available at Abbey Road Dental and are an important part of dentistry focusing on aligning the teeth and jaw correctly so that the function of a person’s smile is healthy. Braces can also dramatically improve the way that a smile looks too.

If teeth are left misaligned, a person may struggle with confidence and they may struggle to maintain good oral hygiene. Teeth that are crooked are harder to keep clean. Jaw problems can also be a problem, slowly causing tooth damage and possible issues with the jawbone and jaw joint.

Prepare For Brace Care

When you have braces you should be prepared to put more effort into taking care of your teeth. With some types of braces, your teeth will be more difficult to care for because there are more crevices to catch bits of food which could lead to decay if left. So, your dental care has to be more applied than twice a day for two minutes, which can seem incredibly laborious; but without it, your oral health may suffer. You might even need to use braces for a longer period of time as a result. Getting braces at your local NW8 clinic is a positive move to a healthier and more beautiful smile but it does come with a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously.

Removable Brace Care

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