32 Pearls Dental Clinic Blog

What is a dry socket and what should I know about it?

Written By : Dr. Rahul Mathur | 22-Jan-2016

A dry socket, often referred to as “alveolar osteitis”, is an uncommon complication that occurs after a tooth extraction. It’s termed “dry socket” because the wound site appears bare or dry.

What are the symptoms?

Patients with this condition find that they have increasing, throbbing pain in the area three to five days after the removal of their tooth. This is normally the period of time during which discomfort starts to decrease.

What causes dry socket?

Contrary to popular belief, a dry socket is not an infection. Rather, it is a failure of the wound area to heal, allowing the underlying bone to become irritated. It is caused by dislodgement of the blood clot that forms initially over the wound, the purpose of this clot being to allow essential blood cells to access and heal the area.

How can I avoid it?

After any extraction, your dentist will usually advise you about measures you should take to reduce the chance of developing a dry socket. Key recommendations include avoiding smoking; drinking only through a straw; and spitting in the first 24 hours after having a tooth removed. This gives the area the best chance of healing.

Are there any long-term complications associated with a dry socket?

No. It is a treatable, short-term complication that does not have any long-term consequences.

“Help, I think I have a dry socket!”

If you develop pain three to five days after having a tooth extraction, make sure you avoid smoking. Then contact your treating dentist for an emergency appointment so that they can examine the area and put in place a medication to relieve your discomfort

Some common dental problems related to poor oral hygiene

Written By : Dr. Rahul Mathur | 21-Jan-2016

Tooth decay (caries)
When holes form in parts of the enamel of a tooth, it is know as caries. A main cause of caries is due to a build-up of plaque. The germs (bacteria) in the plaque react with sugars and starches in food to form acids. The acids are kept next to the teeth by the sticky plaque and dissolve the tooth enamel. If you have tooth decay you may need fillings, crowns or inlays.

Gum disease (periodontal disease)

Gum disease means infection or inflammation of the tissues that surround the teeth. Most cases of gum disease are plaque-related. Plaque contains many different types of bacteria and a build-up of some types of bacteria is associated with developing gum disease.

Depending on the severity, gum disease is generally divided into two types - gingivitis and periodontitis:

  • Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. There are various types. However, most cases of gingivitis are caused by plaque.
  • Periodontitis occurs if gingivitis becomes worse and progresses to involve the tissue that joins the teeth to the gums (the periodontal membrane).

Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. It is also a main cause of bad breath (halitosis). However, gum disease is often treatable. (See separate leaflet called Dental Plaque and Gum Disease for details.)

Tooth (dental) erosion
Tooth erosion is a common problem. It is the gradual erosion of tooth enamel by the action of acid on the teeth. This is different to damage caused by bacteria resulting in tooth decay and caries. Tooth erosion affects the entire surface of the tooth. In time, tooth erosion can cause thinned enamel, and eventually can expose the softer dentine underneath the enamel. Dentine is sensitive so erosion can lead to your teeth being more sensitive to hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks.

When Was Your Last Dental Checkup?

Written By : Dr. Rahul Mathur | 11-Jan-2016

If you can’t remember the last time that you went to the dentist, that is likely a good indication that you need to now. You keep up with the gardening and make sure that your car gets regular tune-ups. You should also make sure that you are doing the same for your teeth. If you are wondering why dental checkups are so important here are a few reasons.

You Are At High Risk for Oral Diseases:

If you are at high risk of developing oral diseases due to other health problems or because you have had an oral disease in the past, it is extremely important that you get dental checkups. Even if you have great oral hygiene, bacteria can still get into your mouth and cause a problem, especially if your immune system is depressed. Going to a dentist for a checkup could help to detect a problem before it turns into a full blown infection.

More Thorough Cleaning:

Reaching certain parts of your mouth can be difficult to do with a traditional toothbrush and floss. The dentist can clean your teeth with professional grade products giving your teeth a more thorough clean than what you might get at home. In addition, dentists often finish a cleaning with a polishing or sealant that will protect your teeth against stains and cavities. The extra protection that you get from visiting a dental office for a cleaning could save your teeth in the long run.

Get a Checkup At Least Every Six Month:

Getting a dental checkup at least every six months is recommended if you want to keep your oral health in good shape. A dentist will examine the inside of your mouth, teeth gums, cheeks and tongue to see if there are any potential problems. Going for a checkup will also give you the opportunity to discuss any oral health issues with your dentist. This way you can also become a more active partner in maintaining your oral health.

Save You Money:

Getting a checkup at the dentist can also save you money in the long run. Going for a checkup means that potential problems can be detected earlier. This means that you won’t have to have such extensive work done as might be required if the problem were to be detected later on. Getting a dental checkup may even mean the difference between keeping your teeth and losing them if you have suffered tooth decay.
For people that get regular dental checkups, the dentist can also monitor your oral health more closely in order to determine if your current oral care methods are really helping to improve your mouth.

If you have not seen a dentist lately, now is a good time to make an appointment. Click here to request an appointment with 32 Pearls Dental Care today!

A toothbrush is for life, not just for Christmas

Written By : Dr. Rahul Mathur | 04-Jan-2016

What are you hoping to find underneath your tree this Christmas? The latest piece of technology, a shiny new bike, perfume, something sparkly and expensive; or how about an electric toothbrush?

Unlike a dog or puppy an electric toothbrush makes the perfect present for all members of the family and is the gift that keeps on giving all year round.

While it may not seem the most exciting gift, you can be assured that whoever receives one will be very grateful, as the festive season can be something of a nightmare for our mouths.

One too many at the Christmas party or making your way through that box of chocolates means your teeth come under increased attack from sugar!

But fear not, using an electric toothbrush to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is a great way to fight back; helping to remove plaque and prevent gum disease. It can also help to keep your teeth white too.

There are even electric toothbrushes specifically for children featuring cartoon characters or linking to mobile apps which help make brushing fun.

In the UK, a quarter of adults admit that they do not brush twice a day; if you only brush once a day you are 33% more likely to develop tooth decay. So there really is no excuse not to. After all, it is only two minutes.

So if you still have that last minute Christmas shopping to do, consider an electric toothbrush to literally bring a smile to a loved one this year.

Eat, drink, be merry and follow these top tips to help keep your mouth healthy this Christmas and all year round:

Brush before breakfast - You've got up at a ridiculous hour to squeeze the turkey into you oven. The children are still asleep so it's the perfect time to brush your teeth without interruption. Brushing before breakfast means that they teeth have not been exposed to any sugar or acid attacks and will help protect you for the day ahead.

Drink through a straw - Many of us are partial to a drink at Christmas, sugary or alcoholic drinks though can be extremely harmful to our teeth; causing tooth decay and erosion. Drinking through a straw can help bypass the teeth and you still get to enjoy your favorite festive tipple.

Chew sugar-free gum - After eating or drinking anything acidic it can take an hour for your mouth to return to its natural state. Chewing sugar-free gum encourages saliva production which helps this happen quicker, reducing acid attack on our teeth. It also means you have fresh breath when you get caught under the mistletoe for that cheeky kiss.

Wait an hour to brush - You have finished your ambitious sized Christmas dinner the Queen has appeared on your TV and you have fallen into a ‘food coma'. This is the perfect time to give your mouth a break. Brushing your teeth within an hour can brush away tiny particles of enamel, leading to eventual dental erosion. So wait until you wake up to give your teeth a brush and then get on with the celebrations.

Don't rinse, spit! - After you have brushed your teeth rinsing your mouth out with water can rinse away the protective fluoride from your toothpaste. Don't rinse, just spit to make sure you get the full benefit and bring a smile to your face this Christmas.

Have you ever wondered how much sugar is in the foods and drinks we consume?

Written By : Dr. Rahul Mathur | 19-Dec-2015

Not many of us will take too much notice about the amount of sugars in our favorite snacks and teatime treats but maybe we should.

The effects which added sugars are having on both our general and dental health can be highly damaging, especially when consumed frequently.

When sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque, the acids which are formed attack the teeth and destroy the enamel. If this occurs often, the tooth enamel may break down, forming a hole or 'cavity' and causing tooth decay. This almost always leads to fillings and could even result in teeth having to be extracted.

To uncover some of the sugary secrets in our top snacks and drinks, we at Dental Helpline have to put together a few short tables revealing exactly how much sugar you will find in them.

Amount per 100g
Sugar Content in Teaspoons
Chocolate Digestive 
1.2 tsp (5.1g per biscuit) 
Chocolate Wafer-Fully coated
2.62 tsp (10.49g per biscuit) 
Custard Cread Biscuits
0.87 tsp (3.5g per biscuit) 
Digestive Biscuits
0.63 tsp (2.5g per biscuit)
Ginger nuts
0.77 tsp (3.1g per biscuit) 
Jaffa Cakes
3.25 tsp (13g per two biscuits)
Rich Tea Biscuits 
0.42 tsp (1.7g per biscuit) 
0.05 tsp (0.2g per biscuit) 
0.53 tsp (2.1g per biscuit)
Amount per 100g
Sugar Content in Teaspoons
Bounty 2 Bar Pack
8.23 tsp (32.9g) 
6.18 tsp (24.7g)
Kit Kat
0.75 tsp (3g per two finger) 
Liquorice Allsorts
0.93 tsp (3.7g per sweep) 
Mars Bar
10.7 tsp (42.6g per bar)
Milk Chocolate
2.2 tsp (8.8g per three squares) 
Milky Way 2 Bar Pack
7.93 tsp (31.7g)
Pepper Mints
1.2 tsp (4.8g per sweet) 
Plain Chocolate
1.95 tsp (7.8g per three squares) 
Snickers Bar
7.9 tsp (31.6g)
0.78 tsp (3.1g per sweet)
Twix 2 Bar Pack
9.5 tsp (38g)
Tinned Vegetables
Amount per 100g
Sugar Content in Teaspoons
Baked Beans
2.58 tsp (10.3g per half a tin) 
0.33 tsp (1.3g per 80g serving) 
0.63 tsp (2.5g 1/4 can) 
Soft Drinks
Amount per 100g
Sugar Content in Teaspoons
9.7g in concentrate
1.23 tsp (4.9g per 250ml serving) 
Cranberry Juice
7.25 tsp (29g per 250ml serving) 
Coca Cola
6.63 tsp (26.5g per 250ml serving) 
Ginger Ale 
5.63 tsp (22.5g pet 250ml serving) 
2.2 tsp (8.89g in 250ml serving)
Lucozade Sport
4.38 tsp (17.5g per 500ml bottle)
Milkshake Powder
6.95 tsp (27.8g 25g in 200ml S/S milk)
Orange Squash
13g in concentrate
1.63 tsp (6.5 in 250ml serving) 
Tonic Water
3.2 tsp (12.8g per 250 ml serving)
Amount per 100g
Sugar Content in Teaspoons
Tin Tomato Soup
2.45 tsp (9.8g in half a tin) 
Packet Minestrone
1.25 tsp (5g as prepared) 
Amount per 100g
Sugar Content in 15g serving
Chocolate Spread
1.88 tsp (7.5g) 
3.18 tsp (12.7g) 
1.95 tsp (7.8g)
Lemon Curd
2.03 tsp (8.1g)
2.48 tsp (9.9g)
3.1 tsp (12.4g)
2.4 tsp (9.6g)
Peanut Butter-smooth
0.23 tsp (0.9g)
Amount per 100g
Sugar Content in Teaspoons
All Bran
1.75 tsp (7g per 30g serving) 
Bran flakes
1.75 tsp (7g per 30g serving) 
0.63 tsp (2.5g per 30g serving)
Muesli-Swiss style
2.6 tsp (10.4g per 45g serving)
Rice Crispies
0.75 tsp (3g per 30g serving)
1.5 tsp (6g per 40g serving)
Shredded Wheat
0.01 tsp (0.4g per 45g serving)
Special K
1.25 tsp (5g per 30g serving)
Sugar Puffs
2.65 tsp (10.6g per 30g serving)
Amount per 100g
Sugar Content in Teaspoons
Chocolate Fudge Cake
6.6 tsp (26.4g per 1/8 cake) 
Country Slice
3.18 tsp (12.7g per slice) 
Madeira Cake
6.7 tsp (26.5g per slice)
Scones - Fruit
2.3 tsp (9.2g per scone)
Sponge Cake with Jam
3.7 tsp (14.8g per 1/6 cake)
Amount per 100g
Sugar Content in Teaspoons
Creamed Rice Pudding
3.05 tsp (12.2g per pot) 
Fruit Cocktail in Juice
4.35 tsp (17.39g 1/3 can) 
Fruit Yoghurt
2.7 tsp (10.8g per pot)
5.05 tsp (20.2g 135g pot)
Ice Cream Sauce
2.5 tsp (10.3g per 15g serving)
Ice Cream - vanilla
2.5 tsp (10g 2 scoops)
Instant Custard
3.05 tsp (12.2 1/4 pint)
Instant Dessert Powder
2.9 tsp (11.6g per 92g serving)

All amounts are shown in both natural and added sugars combined.