Cyncoed dental practice

378 Cyncoed Road
Cyncoed, Cardiff, CF23 6SA

029 2075 4073


Dental Health

At Cyncoed dental practice we advise regular checkups and promote good dental hygiene techniques which together can prevent many dental problems.

Should problems occur, they are generally more easily treated when diagnosed in their early stages. Below, your dentist Dr Hendly describes some of the conditions she looks out for during checkups.

Please browse, or click the links below to jump directly to each topic. Within each section there are links to the relevant Dental Treatment topic.


Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a reversible condition which presents as swollen reddened gums which bleed easily, most noticeable on brushing or eating. It may affect all the teeth or just a few and it may or may not cause discomfort.

Gingivitis is common in both adults and children where brushing and oral hygiene is inadequate allowing plaque and calculus to collect on the surface of the teeth. Rarely, bleeding or swollen gums is associated with certain medical conditions.

Early diagnosis at a regular checkup enables straightforward treatment of gingivitis.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a more serious condition than gingivitis and is a common cause of multiple tooth loss. It affects the supporting tissues of the teeth destroying the periodontal ligament and bone surrounding the teeth which anchors them in the jaws. It is often painless and may be symptomless until the more advanced stages. Some symptoms which may be experienced are ‘bad breath’, a bad taste, ‘wobbly’/mobile teeth, drifting teeth with bigger gaps appearing between them and bleeding on brushing.

Treatment includes scaling of the teeth and very thorough daily oral hygiene measures. Again, treatment is much more straightforward in the early stages and Dr Hendly can help you to establish good tooth-brushing and cleaning techniques and show and advise you on the best products to use which, as well as stabilising the condition, will prevent it occurring in the first place.

Smoking has a very detrimental effect on the oral soft tissues. As well as increasing the incidence of oral cancer it also affects the periodontal tissues increasing the incidence and severity of periodontal disease and reducing the effectiveness of treatment for the disease. We understand how difficult it can be for smokers to quit so we will provide help and encouragement in this regard as well as extra-rigorous screening for disease.

Dental Decay and Cavities

Dental decay (dental caries) is caused by specific types of bacteria. The bacteria produce acid that destroys the tooth's enamel and the layer under it, the dentine. Many different types of bacteria normally live in the human mouth. They build up on the teeth in a sticky film called plaque. This plaque also contains saliva, bits of food and other natural substances. It forms most easily in certain places. These include:
  • cracks, pits or grooves in the back teeth
  • between teeth
  • around dental fillings or bridgework
  • near the gum line

The bacteria turn sugar and carbohydrates (starches) in the foods we eat into acids. The acids dissolve the hard enamel that covers the tooth's crown (the part you can see). Acid can also seep through pores in the enamel leading to decay starting in the softer dentine layer which forms the main body of the tooth. As the dentine and enamel break down, a cavity is created.

If the decay is not removed, bacteria continues to grow and the acid produced eventually enters the tooth's inner layer containing the soft pulp and sensitive nerve fibres. When this stage is reached a dental abscess may develop which may necessitate root canal treatment or, sadly, an extraction.

Tooth roots exposed by receding gums also can develop decay. The root's outer layer, cementum, is not as thick as enamel. Acids from plaque bacteria can dissolve it rapidly.

Initially there may be no symptoms but as the decay progresses you may begin to experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold drinks, sensitivity to sweet foods and, as it progresses closer to the pulp, a throbbing toothache with pain on chewing. Severe pain, especially when consuming hot food and drinks, may herald the development of an abscess.

Treatment of dental decay and cavities is more straightforward when diagnosed early during a regular checkup.

Tooth Wear

Tooth wear is a natural result of ageing but if this occurs prematurely or in an accelerated way, it may be the result of lifestyle factors including acid food and drinks or past and present medical conditions and eating disorders including anorexia and bulimia.

The problem can be made worse by a clenching or grinding habit, missing teeth resulting in excessive forces on remaining teeth, and sometimes a misguided tooth-brushing technique with an abrasive toothpaste.

In keeping with the Cyncoed dental practice philosophy of prevention and minimal intervention it is vital to first identify the cause of tooth wear and to provide help and advice to try and eliminate causative factors.

We may then suggest a restorative treatment to suit your individual needs.

Oral Cancer

The incidence of mouth cancer is on the increase in the UK especially amongst the younger age group. Smoking and drinking are well-known aggravating factors but mouth cancer can affect anyone. It will often present as a painless ulcer, or a red or white patch on the oral mucosa.

As with all cancer, the survival rate for mouth cancer is greatly increased with early detection and treatment. Your regular checkup at Cyncoed dental practice includes a thorough examination of the soft tissues in your mouth as well as your teeth.

Bad Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by, or indicate the presence of, a number of health problems. Common causes include tooth decay, chronic abscesses and gum disease.

For example, red, swollen and sometimes tender gums are an indication of gingivitis. This condition can be identified during a regular checkup and is easily treated with a simple scale and polish and prevented from recurring with advice on tooth-brushing and cleaning.

Smoking

Smoking has a very detrimental effect on the oral soft tissues. As well as increasing the incidence of oral cancer it also affects the periodontal tissues increasing the incidence and severity of periodontal disease and reducing the effectiveness of treatment for the disease.

We understand how difficult it can be for smokers to quit so we will provide help and encouragement in this regard as well as screening for early signs of disease.