Treatments - Preventive.

Mouth Cancer Screening
Mouth cancer is a malignant growth which can occur in any part of the mouth, including the tongue, lips and throat. Mouth cancers have a higher proportion of deaths per number of cases than breast cancer, cervical cancer or skin melanoma. The mortality rate is just over 50% despite treatment, with about 1,700 deaths per year in the UK. This is because of late detection.

Visit your dentist at once if you notice any abnormal problems or are not sure. Six-monthly dental check-ups allow early detection!

Click here to visit the Mouth Cancer Awareness website and forums.

Bad Breath
Bad breath is a very common problem and there are many different causes. Persistent bad breath is usually caused by the smelly gases released by the bacteria that coat your teeth and gums. However, strong foods like garlic and onions can add to the problem. Smoking is also one of the main causes of bad breath, along with certain illnesses such as nasal and stomach conditions. Bits of food that get caught between the teeth and on the tongue will rot, and can sometimes cause an unpleasant smell. Correct and regular brushing is therefore very important to keep your breath smelling fresh.

The bacteria on our teeth and gums (plaque) also cause gum disease and dental decay. If you see your dentist regularly this will not only help prevent bad breath but will also let the dentist look for and treat these problems.
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Early Decay Detection & X-rays
Decay may or may not cause discomfort, but even if it doesn't hurt the tooth is deteriorating. Using higher magnification and powerful lighting it is easier to detect decay at an early stage, to prevent excessive tooth damage. When cavities are small, they are much easier and less expensive to treat.

Early tooth decay does not tend to show many physical signs. Sometimes the tooth looks healthy, but your dentist will be able to see from an X-ray whether you have any decay under the enamel, any possible infections in the roots, or any bone loss around the tooth.
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Early Gum Disease Screening
Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease.
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The hygienist's main role is to professionally clean the teeth for the patient: This is usually called "scaling and polishing". However perhaps their most important role is showing the patient the best way to keep the teeth free of plaque. The hygienist will work with your dentist to provide care tailored to your needs.
[Further information]

Mouth Guards
A mouth guard is a specially made, rubber-like cover which fits exactly over your teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from damage.

It is important to wear a professionally made mouth guard whenever you play sport that involves physical contact or moving objects. This includes: cricket, hockey and football (which can cause broken and damaged teeth) and American football, boxing and rugby (which can all cause broken or dislocated jaws).
[Further information]

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Useful Links: British Dental Health Foundation | British Dental Association (BDA)
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