Category Archives: Dental Care

Experiencing Any of These Symptoms? You May Need to Visit Your Dentist…

When we experience some symptoms with our teeth, gums or mouth, we should always visit the dentist immediately for a check-up to investigate the cause. Unfortunately, many symptoms go undetected or ignored.

Even symptoms, such as bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, chipped teeth, toothache, unexpected lumps, and tooth discolouration can indicate further underlying issues that only your dentist can rule out.

As well as visiting your dentist for a routine checkup every six months (or however frequently your dentist advises), you should also be visiting us as soon as you notice any symptoms, no matter how big or small.

In this guide, we talk through some of the most common symptoms and what could be causing them.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums usually are a sign of poor dental hygiene, with the gums becoming inflamed and bleeding when there’s a buildup of plaque along the gum line. Unfortunately, bleeding gums are more common than you think, and are generally caused by gum disease.

Gum disease, which affects 3 out of 4 adults in the UK, is a leading cause of tooth loss. It occurs when plaque and tartar on the teeth build-up and the associated bacteria irritates and inflames the gums, causing them to recede, bleed and become sore.

As untreated gum disease can lead to infection and in some cases, tooth loss, it’s important to not delay visiting your dentist. Therefore, if you notice any changes in your gums, teeth or mouth, it’s critical to visit your dentist for a dental hygiene visit as soon as possible. 


Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots, and you may notice sensitivity more when eating hot/cold foods or drinks and even when brushing.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a number of different factors, however, most commonly by cavities, chipped teeth, worn fillings, or gum disease.

Sometimes, however, tooth discomfort is caused by other factors, such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling, or gum disease.

If you’re bothered by sensitive teeth, visit your dentist. They can identify or rule out any underlying causes of your tooth pain. Depending on the circumstances, your dentist might recommend treatment or using specific dental products to aid the sensitivity.

Chipped Teeth

Our teeth are able to withstand a lot of pressure and trauma over the years, however, this doesn’t mean that our teeth are completely invincible. 

If you’ve noticed your teeth beginning to chip or crack, this may indicate something a little more serious, for example, cavities, trauma, teeth grinding (bruxism), poor hygiene, or biting down on extremely hard foods.

Leaving a chipped tooth untreated can expose the root of the tooth and eventually, result in a weaker tooth, leading to a higher risk of the tooth completely breaking. This means that, even if your tooth has slightly chipped due to eating hard foods, you should still visit your dentist immediately for advice and treatment.


Toothaches can range from slight discomfort, all the way through to unbearable, excruciating pain that you may require emergency treatment for.

A toothache can be caused by many different reasons, whether that’s a bacterial infection, infected gums, damaged filling, or even from the grinding or clenching of your teeth. 

One very common cause of toothache is tooth decay, which refers to damage to the tooth when the enamel and other outer parts of the tooth are degraded and softened. Eventually, the tooth may be left with a hole, also known as a cavity. 

This decay damages the structure of the tooth and has to be removed and filled to protect the rest of the tooth. If the decay is left to continue and spread, the tooth will not survive. Often the first stage of decay is plaque building up on the tooth. This plaque build-up, if it is not effectively treated, will lead to dental decay. 

While some patients might be tempted to jump on the internet and search for toothache relief or ways to stop a toothache, you should visit a dentist if your toothache lasts longer than two days. 

Unexplained Lumps in the Mouth

Unexplained lumps found in the mouth aren’t uncommon and may indicate irritation or injury, and can also be a sore or cyst.

While this is usually nothing to worry about, we still recommend continuing to have a check-up every six months to allow your dentist to check the health of your teeth, gums and tissues. 

We advise visiting your dentist particularly if the lump is painful, doesn’t heal, makes it uncomfortable to chew or swallow, changes in size or appearance, or even has an odour. If the lump doesn’t go away within a week or two, you should visit your dentist immediately.

During a check-up, your dentist will also carry out a visual examination for mouth cancer – just to be on the safe side.

Tooth Discolouration

Stained teeth are a common issue that many of us face in our lifetime and can be caused by a variety of different factors. Tooth discolouration is a natural part of life, however, if you notice an unusual change in the colour of your teeth, you may want to visit your dentist as soon as you can.

Of course, tooth discolouration can be caused by poor dental hygiene, tobacco usage, foods/drinks and medications. With that being said, tooth discolouration can also be caused by some diseases and infections, which is known to be slightly more common in pregnant women.

Dental Checkups in Essex

At Perfect Smile Spa, we recognise how important a smile is to our patients which is why we pride ourselves on ensuring your teeth, gums and mouth are healthy at all times. We provide our patients with the most pleasant dental experience to enable them to overcome any fears and maintain their teeth for the rest of their lives.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our cosmetic dental treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Ways to Improve Your Dental Hygiene Routine

We all have our own personal dental hygiene routine and a collection of our favourite dental hygiene products. With that being said, there are still a lot of us that fail to maintain a full dental hygiene routine and often miss parts out of our routine that is vital for healthy teeth, gums and even a healthy body.

The best way to improve your dental hygiene is by booking an appointment to see a dental hygienist, which allows you access to a complete dental checkup and advice to improve your dental routine, tailored to the condition of your teeth and gums.

If you are looking for ways to improve your dental hygiene routine, keep reading. We have composed a list of the top ways our patients have been able to improve their routine in some simple steps.

Visit a Dentist More Regularly

You should ideally be visiting your dentist every six months, as a good rule of thumb. This is the standard frequency for most of our patients, and we may ask you to visit more regularly if we have any concerns.

However, according to studies carried out by Chemist4U, only 56.1% of adults are estimated to actually visit the dentist as much as they should, meaning that almost half of the UK population either do not visit the dentist or do not visit as much as they should. This has led to a number of UK adults requiring emergency treatment and treatment to reverse common dental problems.

As your dentist can recognise the early signs of these dental problems, before they even become a problem, visiting your dentist regularly for a check-up can give you complete peace of mind.

Get Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned

As well as visiting the dentist for routine check-ups, you should also be having your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis in order to improve your oral health. During a dental hygienist appointment, your hygienist will check over your teeth and gums before professionally cleaning your teeth.

They will remove any hard deposits, also known as calculus, and stains by scaling and then polishing the teeth. Having this professional clean will remove those hard deposits that cannot be removed with normal brushing, flossing and mouthwash.

Brush with Fluoride Toothpaste

When shopping for toothpaste, many of us tend to go for the most affordable product and may not even check the brand that we buy, meaning that most of us certainly are not checking the ingredients either!

When it comes to oral hygiene, you must be brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Toothpaste containing fluoride is proven to prevent cavities and can save you a lot of trouble later on, so we strongly advise avoiding fluoride-free toothpaste.

You can easily find this information by looking at the packaging of the toothpaste. You’ll be unlikely to find this out on the front of the packaging, so you may have to read through the ingredients and small print on the back to be sure.

To make your life a little easier, we recently compiled a list of the best toothpaste!

Brush Before Breakfast

To many of us, it might make more sense to brush our teeth after eating breakfast in order to remove food particles and start off our day. However, it’s actually better for you to brush before you have breakfast as this has a better effect on your teeth and gums. Brushing your teeth before breakfast can rid the mouth of plaque build-up overnight.

You should never brush your teeth immediately after eating as your teeth will be weaker due to the pH level in your mouth. While we know it seems to make more sense to brush after having breakfast, this can be harmful to your protective enamel. This is why we recommend waiting at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after having a meal.

Don’t Forget to Brush Your Tongue

The tongue can hold a significant amount of bacteria and can contribute to bad breath and gum disease. However, some patients forget to brush their tongues and will only brush their teeth and gums.

It’s just as important to clean the tongue as it is to brush and floss between the teeth. Plaque can very quickly build up on your tongue and, when left, can lead to other oral health problems. When brushing your teeth twice a day, be sure to gently brush your tongue before you are done.

Always Floss

You may be surprised to know that a lot of patients neglect to floss as they have the belief that brushing alone is an appropriate routine. However, brushing can only remove some particles, whereas flossing can get rid of the particles stuck between the teeth, as well as reducing plaque and stimulating the gums.

We recommend flossing once a day, whenever is most convenient for you. If you find flossing difficult or feel uncomfortable flossing, you may wish to explore the different floss options that may work better for you. During your check-up appointment, we can talk you through the best option for you.

Drink More Water

Guidelines state that the UK adult should drink between 6-8 glasses of water each day in order to stay healthy and hydrated, however, this isn’t always achieved.

Water is e the best drink for your overall health, including your oral health too. As a general rule of thumb, you should be drinking water after every meal in order to help wash out any food particles and residue left behind.

How Can We Help?

Our award-winning cosmetic dentists use the most advanced equipment and aim to offer painless dentistry for nervous patients, including the option for sedation for optimum comfort.

At Perfect Smile Spa, we recognise how important a smile is to our patients and we pride ourselves by giving our patients the most pleasant dental experience to enable them to overcome any fears and maintain their teeth for the rest of their lives.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our cosmetic dental treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Our Top Tips to Calm Dental Anxiety

The fear of visiting the dentist is not uncommon, and you’d be quite surprised to know how many patients experience dental anxiety – also known as dental phobia. One in three of us suffer from moderate dental anxiety and roughly one in eight suffer from dental phobia.

Some symptoms of dental phobia include a feeling of tension, problems sleeping the night before the dentist, increased nerves while in the waiting room, heightened anxiety at the thought of dental instruments or the dentist and panic or problems breathing during your appointment. These symptoms are more common than you think, and unfortunately, most are caused by negative experiences during childhood.

Those experiencing dental anxiety are likely to avoid visiting the dentist altogether, meaning that when they do require treatment, they will often wait until the treatment becomes an emergency. This anxiety may also be linked to a fear of pain, loss of control, negative past experiences and feelings of embarrassment about the way our teeth look. If you are putting off a visit to the dentist due to feeling self-conscious about the way your teeth look, please do not worry! 

Looking for top tips to calm your dental anxiety? Keep on reading!

Find a Dentist You Trust

Part of dental anxiety (and anxiety in general) is the fear of the unknown and fear of past experiences. You may have had a negative experience in the past with a dentist that has led you to have dentophobia during your adult years. Fortunately, dentistry has come a long way, and visiting a private dentist can really eradicate this fear. Not only will you have access to leading technologies that allow for gentle and more effective treatments, but you’ll also have more experienced dentists who are highly qualified.

We strongly recommend that you find a dentist that suits you, whether that be an NHS dentist or a private dentist. 

If you find that your dentist is making you anxious, then you really should change your dentist and find one that makes you feel more at ease and comfortable.

Talk to Friends and Family

Word of mouth is a fantastic way to find the right dentist for you. Your friends and family will happily suggest a good dentist that they are comfortable and satisfied with. This means that you can find a dentist and feel at ease knowing your family or friends trust them.

As well as this, many private dentists also provide incentives for patients that recommend them. At Perfect Smile Spa, we’ll give you a free hygienist appointment if you refer a friend!

Look at Reviews

If you aren’t able to get recommendations from friends or family, if you have just moved to a new area for example, then another great way of finding the right dentist is to look at reviews for local dentists.

We recommend searching “dentists near me” which will bring up your local dentists and show all of the reviews and ratings from their patients so you can locate a trustworthy dentist. 

Painless Treatments

Believe it or not, dental treatments can be completely painless and comfortable if you visit the right dentist. Many patients fear the dentist out of a phobia of experiencing pain or discomfort, so if you do suffer from dental anxiety, we strongly advise you to visit a dentist that provides painless dentistry treatments, as this can completely change your perspective and outlook of visiting the dentist!

Our dentist and hygienist give painless injections and painless treatment to ensure you feel comfortable and safe during all appointments. We are proud to have treated many patients who would have otherwise avoided the dentist out of fear.

Whether you’re having a tooth extraction or porcelain veneers, you don’t need to worry. We will make your experience comfortable!

Start With Check-Ups

It’s inevitable that you will require some form of dental treatment in the future. If this is something that worries you, we do recommend scheduling a check-up appointment to start off with rather than beginning with a treatment. 

For patients that put off visiting the dentist, we strongly advise you to book a check-up appointment with our dental hygienist.

During a dental hygiene appointment, we will give you a check-up and provide you with full cleaning by scaling and polishing the teeth. We’ll also provide you with dental advice relevant to you. Dental hygiene appointments are nothing to worry about, and like all of our treatments, the appointment will be completely painless and comfortable.

How Can We Help?

At Perfect Smile Spa, we understand the importance of having confidence in your teeth and know the consequences that stress can have on your oral health and smile. If you do suffer from dental anxiety, it’s important that you still visit the dentist for check-up appointments and find a way that helps you to feel calm, even if that means visiting a private dentist.

Our cosmetic dentists have numerous dentistry awards as they use the most advanced equipment and aim to offer painless dentistry for nervous patients, including the option for sedation for optimum comfort.
Perfect Smile Spa is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Water Flossing: What Is It and What Are The Benefits

According to YouGov, only 31% of UK adults admit to cleaning between their teeth on a typical day, despite guidance stating that from the age of 12, people should floss as part of their daily oral health routine.

As food particles can become stuck between the teeth, flossing is one of the most important steps in keeping your teeth and gums healthy and can even remove up to 80% of plaque. Flossing between and around the teeth on a daily basis may help prevent cavities and gum disease.

While brushing can clean the surfaces of the teeth, flossing can clean around a third of the tooth surface, which a normal toothbrush would be unable to do.

Something you may (or may not) have heard of is the practice of water flossing. When routinely practised, water flossing can really enhance your oral care routine.

What Is Water Flossing?

An oral irrigator, also known to many as a water flosser, is an oral care device that removes food debris, bacteria and plaque from between the teeth and gums with a pressurised stream of water.

Water flossing is a great alternative to traditional flossing, as many of our patients admit that bleeding gums put them off of traditional flossing. It shouldn’t be used to replace your usual brushing so you will still need to brush twice a day. However, water flossing is a great way of really getting rid of remaining food debris and plaque that regular brushing doesn’t rid.

With that being said, we still advise you to continue flossing (using traditional floss) and practising water flossing in order to maximise your oral care routine.

Types of Water Flossers

You can choose from four different types of oral irrigators, including cordless battery-operated, countertop, shower connected and tap connected.

  • Cordless / Battery-Operated: perfect for those on the go and looking for flexibility. Not as powerful as countertop flossers. Ideal for travellers.
  • Countertop: ideal for everyday use as it is bulky and can be plugged into a nearby electrical socket.
  • Shower Flosser: also ideal for everyday use as it easily attaches to your shower head. No need for electricity, batteries or refilling.
  • Tap Flosser: similar to a shower flosser but connects to a tap instead. A popular choice and one of our favourites.

Benefits of Water Flossing

A huge benefit of water flossing is the convenience of flossing for those with orthodontic braces who would otherwise struggle with traditional floss. Water flossing is also proven to reduce gum disease and bleeding.

With traditional flossing, many of us are unaware exactly how to effectively floss our teeth and tend to just floss between the teeth. It’s recommended to adopt the C-shape technique to reach all surfaces of the teeth and gums. 

Improper flossing can damage the gum tissue, it’s recommended to learn the correct flossing technique. Water flossers are easy to use and are less damaging than traditional flossing for those who do not adopt the correct C-shape technique. 

Water flossing is also a gentle way of cleaning dental implants, dental crowns and dental bridges.

Is Water Flossing as Good as Regular Flossing

Water flosser VS regular flossing, which is best? Traditional dental floss is extremely effective in ridding the mouth of plaque, bacteria and food debris. The only real issue with traditional flossing is that many of us do not use the right method, called the C-shape technique, to effectively reach all surfaces. For those with sensitive gums, you may also experience bleeding when you floss. This can be a sign that you are flossing too harshly, or in some cases, can be the first sign of gum disease.

If you are finding some difficulty with traditional flossing, we advise you to use waxed floss to see if that helps. Otherwise, we would be more than happy to show you the best method of flossing when you visit us. 

Some other alternatives to flossing include flossing brushes or picks that are designed to clean between the teeth.

Does Water Flossing Remove Plaque?

Water flossing is a fantastic way of removing food debris, however, it isn’t as effective at removing plaque compared to traditional flossing. 

For this reason, you should still be using traditional floss and shouldn’t replace this with water flossing. With that being said, water flossing is effective in aiding the reduction of bacteria, even below the gumline.

Maintaining Your Oral Hygiene

Flossing is a crucial part of keeping your teeth clean and healthy, which is why you must incorporate it into your daily oral care routine. As well as this, we also recommend visiting your dentist regularly for a dental hygienist appointment, where a dental hygiene professional will thoroughly clean your teeth and gums. They will also provide you with tailored oral hygiene instructions to help you maintain your oral hygiene at home.

At Perfect Smile Spa, we recognise how important a smile is to our patients and we pride ourselves on giving our patients the most pleasant dental experience to enable them to overcome any fears and maintain their teeth for the rest of their lives.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our cosmetic dental treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Choosing a Toothpaste That’s Right For You

When shopping for toothpaste, many of us Brits will choose the most inexpensive option or one that claims to whiten your teeth up to four shades. It’s extremely difficult to know and understand which brands live up to their claims, meaning that many consumers buy into these claims without giving them a second thought.

And, unfortunately, many modern-day kinds of toothpaste contain sulfate, triclosan, artificial sweeteners, and parabens that can cause a number of issues to your oral and overall health, including dry mouth, hormone imbalance, increased resistance to helpful antibiotics, intense stomach aches, and even changes to your taste buds.

This is why it’s important to carry out your research to find a toothpaste that works for you, or alternatively, talk to your dentist to see which toothpaste they recommend specifically for you. The two most important things to look for is fluoride concentration and your own personal needs.

In this guide, we’ve listed our top recommended toothpaste which are worth the money and are completely safe to use.

Aquafresh Triple Protection Toothpaste

Designed to clean with calcium, fight cavities and is also approved by several dental associations, the Aquafresh Triple Protection strengthens the teeth while gently removing stains. Whilst you brush, its great-tasting formulation protects your gums, keeps your teeth clean, strong and also leaves you with a fresh breath for longer.

Oral-B Pro-Expert Professional Protection Toothpaste

The Oral-B Pro-Expert Professional Protection is clinically proven for all-around protection, so you can be sure that it’s completely safe and effective to use. The active clean crystals also provide a unique cleaning sensation for fresh breath throughout the day.

It prevents tartar, cavities, plaque, gum problems and enamel erosion. For those of us with sensitive teeth, it also increases protection against painful sensitivity. However, it won’t solve the issue so if you are suffering from sensitive teeth, you should visit your dentist.

Colgate Total (Original) Toothpaste

The Colgate Total (Original) effectively cleans and protects your gums, teeth, cheeks and tongue, providing 12-hour protection for the whole mouth against bacteria. The toothpaste also combines cavity-fighting fluoride with an antibacterial system for superior protection against some of the most common dental problems.

Sensodyne Pronamel Mint Essence Toothpaste

The Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste is designed to actively strengthen enamel that has weakened and provides effective cavity protection. For those with sensitive teeth, it helps reduce this pain and protects your teeth from the effects of acid wear.

It makes your teeth feel more comfortable while the minty taste leaves you with fresh breath.

Sensodyne Repair and Protect

For sensitive teeth and preventing tooth decay, Sensodyne Repair and Protect continuously strengthens the teeth with a clinically proven calcium formula designed to repair and protect. 

Similar to other Sensodyne products, the Repair and Protect toothpaste relieves painful sensitivity, meaning that you can enjoy the foods and drinks you love without worrying about the pain of sensitive teeth. It also has a refreshing minty taste to leave your mouth feeling clean and fresh.

Oral-B’s Gum & Enamel Repair Toothpaste

Finally, Oral-B’s Gum and Enamel Repair, which has been referred to as the best clinically proven toothpaste from Oral-B, aims to help reduce gum problems and prevent enamel erosion.

According to Dentistry, Oral-B Gum & Enamel Repair toothpaste can deliver up to 72% greater reduction in gum problems and three times stronger protection against enamel erosion, compared to ordinary toothpaste.

Choosing Toothpaste For You

Dental guidance states that your toothpaste should have at least 1350ppm fluoride, which you can find out on the back of the toothpaste packaging. Toothpastes containing 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride are the most effective.

Providing you find a toothpaste that has this, you can generally use any toothpaste. However, we do advise talking to your dentist as they may recommend a certain toothpaste depending on your personal circumstances.

We are often asked if whitening toothpaste actually helps in whitening the teeth. While some kinds of toothpaste can remove surface stains, it’s impossible for toothpaste to completely whiten the teeth. If you are looking to whiten your teeth, we advise you to discuss professional teeth whitening with your dentist. We would also advise against using toothpaste with natural abrasives, for example, charcoal toothpaste.

Your dentist or hygienist will be able to advise a suitable toothpaste for you, so we strongly advise regular visits to the dentist.
Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Ways to Relieve Dental Pain At Home

Dental pain affects all of us throughout our lifetime. Surprisingly, many patients will avoid visiting the dentist due to fear of pain, even if they are currently experiencing pain and require professional treatment. 

A visit to the dentist is ranked in the top five things that people fear. This does, unfortunately, mean that patients will continue to put off visiting the dentist until it’s too late.

If you are experiencing dental pain, we do advise you to visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you are looking for ways to relieve dental pain at home, keep reading.

What Causes Dental Pain?

Dental pain, also known as a toothache, is caused by the surrounding of, or a nerve in, the root of the tooth becoming irritated. This is likely to be due to a tooth infection, tooth decay, an injury, damaged filling, or a tooth eruption.

A toothache can be felt with mild discomfort, moderate pain, or severe pain that some may describe as excruciating. Regardless of the level of uncomfort your toothache is causing, we advise you to visit your dentist as soon as possible.

Pain Relief Methods

Over-The-Counter Medication

Of course, you can use over-the-counter medications, like paracetamol, to relieve the pain. If you feel like you may need something a little stronger, if paracetamol isn’t relieving the pain, we do advise you to contact your doctor or dentist for advice. 

Your dentist (or doctor) will be able to provide you with guidance on which medications may suit your condition best while you wait for an appointment.

Salt Water Rinse

If you have swollen gums or a sore tooth, we recommend rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater and swishing it around your mouth before spitting out. You can repeat this as often as you like.

As saltwater is a natural antibacterial agent, it can reduce inflammation, protect damaged teeth from infection, and help remove any food particles or debris stuck in the teeth or gums.

Peppermint Oil and Tea

Peppermint oil can numb pain in the mouth and soothe sensitive gums, which is why it is a favoured traditional pain reliever for toothaches. The essential oil has been used for many centuries and is proven to be useful and effective. Use a cotton ball to apply a few drops of peppermint oil to the affected area.

Alternatively, if you have peppermint tea bags going spare, a used tea bag (cooled down) can also be soothing when applied to the affected area. It’s recommended that the teabag is around room temperature (or, is not too hot or cold).

Our Advice

When experiencing dental pain, you should avoid the following:

  • Food and drink of extreme temperatures, including hot drinks, ice-cold drinks or ice cream
  • Sugary foods and drinks, including sweets or fizzy drinks
  • Acidic foods and drinks, including some meats, dairy products and high-sodium processed foods
  • Smoking, as this can make some dental problems worse

We would also advise you to continue brushing and flossing your teeth as normal and as thoroughly as possible, followed by rubbing toothpaste directly onto the sore tooth or area.

Massaging the gums around the affected area can also ease pain. You should continue to clean the affected area, even if it is painful or uncomfortable to do so. Keeping the affected area clean can prevent the issue from worsening.

Finally, you should visit the dentist as soon as possible and try to see an emergency dentist if you are unable to get a quick appointment. Emergency dentists can usually give you an appointment on the very same day.

It’s also important to understand that these remedies we have listed above can work wonders for inflammation and aches, however, this doesn’t treat the root cause of your symptoms and they only provide temporary pain relief. For this reason, it’s absolutely crucial that you visit a dentist as soon as you can to get checked out. Dental pain can often be an easy and quick fix if you visit a professional. With that being said, the longer you leave it without seeing a dentist, the higher the chances are of prolonged and increased pain, as well as providing an opportunity for the issue to become worse.

Emergency Dental Care

As a dentist in Essex providing emergency dental care, we aim to offer you treatment within 24 hours on our normal working days. For emergency treatment or if you have a query about dental pain or discomfort you are currently experiencing, please call us on 01708 442114.

Always consult your dentist if you’re suffering from tooth pain. We can conduct a thorough dental examination to discover the root of the problem and find a solution. Best of all, our pain-free dental treatments mean that you’re in safe hands and that any treatment you do have will be completely comfortable. 

If you are feeling nervous about having treatment to resolve your dental pain, we can offer methods of sedation to relax you and put you at ease.

7 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned

We all know that we should be visiting our dentist for regular checkups, however, one thing we may not be aware of is that we should also be scheduling routine dental hygiene appointments to have our teeth professionally cleaned.

Regular maintenance of our oral health at home is essential in keeping our teeth healthy and clean, however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that our oral hygiene routine should stop there.

This guide explains the core reasons why you should be scheduling a dental hygiene appointment, and the importance of getting your teeth professionally cleaned.

  1. Keeps Your Teeth in Tip-Top Condition

Brushing at home, your teeth may look and feel clean, but the back of your teeth and molars are usually areas that get missed and need close attention.

It’s critically important to also have your teeth professionally cleaned to keep your teeth in tip-top condition. Professional dental cleaning helps to thoroughly clean the areas of our mouth that we can’t see or struggle to reach with a toothbrush. This prevents the build-up of plaque that can lead to infections later on.

  1. Can Remove Stains

Teeth whitening is the most effective way to brighten your smile and achieve whiter teeth, however, professional dental cleaning can remove some stains on the surface of your teeth that normal brushing can not.  Whereas teeth whitening removes all stains and gives you a whiter smile.

Although our popular teeth whitening procedure is the most effective way of giving your smile a boost and can brighten your teeth several shades whiter, a professional cleaning can remove some stains, for example, from tea or coffee consumption.

  1. Removal of Tartar

Tartar is a collection of bacteria that build on your teeth and the gum line and is a form of hardened plaque. However hard we try to avoid the buildup of tartar, it can be difficult to avoid, particularly in those hard to reach places. 

Over time, tartar can become a breeding ground for bacteria to collect and can increase the chances of gingivitis and periodontitis. Our professional dental hygienists provide dental cleaning to remove any tartar that cannot be removed at home with normal brushing.

  1. Gum Disease

Gum disease is a very common condition that is experienced by most UK adults at least once in their lifetime. 

Bacteria that sit in your mouth can cause your gums to become inflamed and infected, resulting in gum disease that is experienced by many of us each year. If gum disease remains untreated, it only gets worse.

Regular dental hygienist appointments remove the deposits that create the environment that can lead to gum disease. As gum disease is also linked to other conditions, including heart problems and diabetes, taking the time now to have your teeth professionally cleaned can prevent gum disease from causing further damage later on in life.

  1. Prevents Bad Breath

Bad breath is extremely common, and can most often be prevented by changing our daily habits. Bacteria that sits on the teeth can turn into tooth decay and gum disease, which can cause issues with bad breath.

When visiting a dental hygienist for a professional cleaning, they will be able to provide you with guidance on what is causing your bad breath, and outline ways to prevent this issue from occurring in the future. In most cases, regular professional cleaning can prevent long-term bad breath completely.

  1. Reduces Chances of Heart Disease or Strokes

Unfortunately, there are higher risks of having heart disease or strokes if you have gum disease. As gum disease can often go undetected, visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and having professional cleaning from a dental hygienist gives you the best possible chance of reducing these risks.

Clean teeth are the best way to prevent gum disease. If your mouth isn’t healthy, it makes it harder for the rest of your body to stay healthy too.

  1. It Can Prevent Future Problems

Emergency treatment can be costly, which is why taking the time to invest in your oral health can prevent major problems in the future. While many of us fail to visit the dentist when we really should to save a few pounds, we are very likely to spend a lot more in the long run unless we really take care of our teeth now.

During your appointment, the hygienist can give your teeth a thorough clean and can spot other issues that may need further investigation. As the hygienist will inspect your mouth before cleaning, you’ll have an additional level of reassurance that your mouth, gums and teeth are all healthy.

Dental Hygiene Appointments at Perfect Smile Spa

At Perfect Smile Spa, we offer cleaning-only appointments, so you can take care of routine maintenance without visiting the dentist first. Regular visits to the hygienist help identify problems as early as possible and also prevents potential complications.

If you’re wondering what to expect from dental hygiene appointments, we recommend heading over to our Dental Hygienist page. 

Ways Stress Can Affect Your Dental Health

Growing health concerns and pressures around us can cause us to feel more stress than usual. When we feel stressed, our mental health can be pushed and our body can also be impacted. As April is Stress Awareness Month in the UK, we are encouraged to recognise how stress can impact our mental health and our physical body, as well as identifying ways to better cope with this stress.

Of course, stress can also have a negative effect on our oral health in numerous ways that you may not have ever considered. Paying close attention to your oral health and your symptoms can help in preventing long-term damage.

In this guide, we identify the different ways that stress can have an impact on our teeth, mouth and gums.

Teeth Grinding

Grinding of the teeth, or more formally known as bruxism, is something that many of us do without realising. Teeth grinding is most common when we are sleeping, although some people may experience a habit of grinding the teeth throughout the day, without realising they are doing it.

Teeth grinding can be a sign of stress or anxiety, and can cause serious knock-on effects, for example, jaw pain, neck pain, cracked teeth, chipped teeth or headaches.

If you are noticing your teeth chipping or cracking, you may well be grinding your teeth in your sleep. We recommend visiting your dentist as soon as you notice this and try to avoid clenching your teeth together where possible.

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

Temporomandibular Disorder, also more commonly known as TMD or TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction), is a disorder that can cause pain, discomfort and stiffness around the jaw, ear and temple.

Teeth grinding and clenching as a result of stress can further lead to Temporomandibular Disorder which can result in the need to undergo dental treatment or wear a mouthguard.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is extremely common and can affect most UK adults at one time or another. It is most often caused by poor oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing habits. 

Although many people aren’t aware of this, stress can impact your immune system, meaning that your body may struggle to fight bacteria and you can be more prone to gingivitis and periodontitis. This means that bacteria can thrive and the risks of inflammation increase.

If you are finding yourself struggling with stress, it can be important to take extra care of your gums and visit your dentist for regular cleanings to keep bacterial plaque levels down.

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers aren’t uncommon, and we have all had them at one time or another. They are unpleasant, uncomfortable and can take up to 14 days to heal.

Mouth ulcers are more common in those of us who suffer from stress as we are more likely to bite our cheeks or tongue. Stress and anxiety can both increase the risk of developing mouth ulcers. Most ulcers do not require treatment and just need time to heal. As mouth ulcers are an open invitation to bacteria, you may also be more prone to bacterial infections.

To reduce the risk of further infections and to reduce discomfort, you can use Bonjela Gel to make it more bearable to eat, drink or brush your teeth.

Neglected Oral Hygiene

A general lack of sleep and stress can cause us to neglect our oral hygiene. This includes stress-eating, increased sugar cravings or avoiding visiting the dentist for checkups. When we are stressed, a routine generally goes out the window, meaning that we may not be taking care of our teeth as we should be.

It’s natural to feel stressed from time to time, however, if you feel your oral hygiene routine is suffering as a result of stress, it’s crucial that you visit your dentist for a checkup and advice.

Visit Your Dentist

Every step you take to reduce stress can improve your overall health and wellbeing. While it’s easier said than done, we do advise limiting stress around you and ensuring you get adequate sleep, connect with loved ones and include physical activity to keep you energised.

If you are experiencing any of the above issues, we do advise you to follow up with your dentist regarding these concerns. Getting problems checked over sooner can avoid you having treatment later on.

At Perfect Smile Spa, we understand the importance of having confidence in your teeth and know the consequences that stress can have on your oral health and smile.

For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Dental TikTok Trends You Shouldn’t Try at Home

As we spend more time at home, away from work, and video calling our loved ones, we may be more likely to consider having cosmetic work done to improve the way we look. For many people, teeth can be a critical factor of how confident we feel in ourselves, which is why it’s understandable that some of us are considering having dental work carried out.

Although, with 3.7 million TikTok users in the UK, with a variety of different age groups, an increased number of us are becoming exposed to DIY hacks on the video-sharing platform, whether it be related to home renovation, self-improvement, or even DIY dental hacks!

From DIY filing down of the teeth to whitening our teeth ten shades lighter using a £4 bottle of hydrogen peroxide, there are some truly shocking DIY dental hacks that have become viral over the previous few months. With that being said, some of these dental hacks can cause lasting damage to the teeth and pain later on in life, so it goes without saying that these DIY dental hacks are certainly not approved by a dentist.

Filing Down Front Teeth

Like some other Brits, if you are struggling with confidence in how straight and aligned your teeth are, you may have looked into having orthodontics with a registered dental clinic. Orthodontics is a proven and safe method of aligning the teeth for a perfectly straight smile. 

However, a recent TikTok trend that has taken the platform by storm is the DIY tooth filing ‘hack’, whereby users are taking it upon themselves to file down their front teeth using a nail file rather than visiting their dentist for professional treatment and advice first.

While the enamel of your teeth is very thin and is there to protect your teeth against tooth decay, filing the enamel down can cause a number of issues with enamel not growing back. As well as exposing the teeth to a wide range of oral health issues, this hack also makes the teeth more affected with developing stains over time and surface irregularities. Shaving down the teeth can also make the teeth more prone to cavities.

DIY Teeth Whitening

Many high street products promise to give you dazzlingly white teeth for the same price as your standard toothpaste, so there’s no surprise that many of us are unaware of how teeth whitening works and why it should only be carried out at a professional dental clinic. Many of these high-street treatments contain dangerous abrasives that scratch the surface of the enamel away, which is why it is always advised to talk to a professional first.

However, there are several TikTok trends taking over the platform whereby users are creating their own ‘do-it-yourself’ teeth whitening trends using products found around the house or dangerous chemicals that can be easily purchased online.

Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening

The trend of using hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth has since led to the chemical selling out online. The bizarre trend sees TikTok users rubbing food-grade hydrogen peroxide, accessible online for just £4, on the surfaces of their teeth to whiten the teeth in less than three days. 

Unfortunately, hydrogen peroxide of any grade should be left to the professionals, and arguably, shouldn’t be sold directly to the public and should only be used under the supervision of a professional dentist. Prolonged exposure of the chemical is extremely dangerous and can irritate the skin and gums.

Unless you know exactly what you are doing, this technique is not safe and we advise you to visit a dentist for professional teeth whitening instead for safe results.

Baking Soda Teeth Whitening

Another homemade whitening trend sweeping the TikTok platform is a homemade concoction of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. As mentioned above, hydrogen peroxide can irritate the skin and gums with long-lasting dangerous effects, however, when mixed with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide is far more dangerous and can cause irreversible permanent damage to your teeth and gums.

As hydrogen peroxide can soften the enamel while baking soda is an abrasive, the combination of the two ingredients together should never be used on your teeth.

Of course, fluoride toothpaste containing baking soda is completely safe to use and is approved by dentists, so it’s advised to stick to that if you’re looking for ways to whiten the teeth.

Lemon Juice Teeth Whitening

A staple item in most of our kitchens, lemon juice is another ‘home remedy’ TikTok trend for whitening the teeth, with users removing permanent stains from the teeth.

While lemon juice is high in acidity, it can cause acid erosion to the protective layer of enamel when rubbed directly on the surfaces of the teeth. Lemon juice teeth whitening can also produce very slow results, whereas professional teeth whitening can whiten your teeth as much as 20 shades brighter. 

Charcoal Teeth Whitening

A trend that has been around for some time and has been regularly promoted by social influencers is charcoal teeth whitening, which has since turned into a popular TikTok trend.

Unfortunately, activated charcoal is more coarse than regular toothpaste, and can therefore scratch the teeth and damage the protective enamel. In future, this can lead to the teeth becoming more prone to staining. Charcoal teeth whitening isn’t proven to produce life-changing results, with the black paste creating a temporary illusion of whiter teeth when the black paste or powder is placed next to the teeth.

Visit a Professional Dentist

These TikTok trends are temporary solutions which can lead to you either needing an emergency trip to the dentist or experiencing damaging results later on in life which can be costly and sometimes irreversible.

It’s always best to leave it to the professionals, so if you are experiencing a lack of confidence in your smile, a cosmetic dentist in Essex should always be your first point of contact.
Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?

If you are suffering from inflammation or infection inside one of your teeth, your dentist may suggest having a root canal treatment to save your tooth from needing to be removed and to also avoid the infection spreading which can cause further damage to your oral health.

It’s important to visit your dentist as soon as you begin to experience any of the common symptoms, including sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks, pain in the teeth, tenderness or even swelling in the mouth. Although, as there are sometimes no symptoms at all, it’s important to regularly visit your dentist for a check-up.

In this guide, we explain what a root canal treatment is, why you would need one and what you should expect from the treatment at Perfect Smile Spa.

What Is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment is an important procedure which prevents a tooth infection from spreading through the root canal system. During the treatment, the canals need to be cleaned and the bacteria removed using special files. A root filling is placed to ensure the infection does not return so that the tooth can then be restored. 

The treatment aims to eliminate any infection in the affected tooth to then protect it from further damage, which, unfortunately, does mean that root canal treatments shouldn’t be delayed. For this reason, it really does help to be aware of the symptoms, even though they are difficult to avoid. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Loose teeth/tooth
  • Pain when biting/chewing
  • Pain when eating/drinking hot or cold food/drink

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to visit your dentist. Whereas, more advanced symptoms that are of a higher urgency and should be treated as an emergency include:

  • Swelling of the face
  • Swelling of the gum surrounding the affected tooth
  • Pus oozing from the affected tooth
  • Pain in the tooth which appears darker in colour

It’s important to understand that the longer you leave these symptoms and do not react, the higher the chance of further damage and even the tooth needing to be removed. If you are delaying visiting a dentist due to fear or anxiety, it’s crucial to also understand that root canal treatments are important in having a pain-free, healthy and long-lasting smile.

What to Expect from a Root Canal Treatment

As root canal treatments are a tricky procedure,  you may be referred to an endodontist who specialises in root canal treatments.

Your dentist will need to examine your teeth using an X-ray to identify where the pain is coming from and to find out if you require treatment. This X-ray will also show your dentist how far an infection has spread. This step is important as it enables your dentist to ensure a root canal treatment is best for you or to identify whether you require another treatment if your teeth are too badly damaged for root canal treatment.

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

Root canal treatments typically take around two dental visits to complete, although this is dependent on how infected your tooth is, as you may only need one visit. 

The treatment usually lasts between 1-2 hours, however, this may change based on which tooth requires the treatment. Of course, timing will vary from patient to patient, but the timeline of your root canal treatment will be explained to you fully during your initial free consultation.

How Painful Is Root Canal?

Contrary to popular belief, root canal treatments aren’t as painful as they seem. As a dentist in Essex who offers painless dentistry, we aim to make dental treatments as pain-free as possible. Whilst root canal treatments are typically dreaded by many patients, our aim is to remove the fear associated with this treatment and make the procedure precise, quick, smooth and pain-free, in as little as one session.

With painless dental treatments held as one of our core values, we take our time to make sure every care is taken to make you feel comfortable and provide a positive dental experience that will help you defeat your dental anxiety and any fears relating to having a root canal treatment.

We’re even able to offer IV dental sedation as a means of relaxing you during the procedure to put you into a tranquil state of mind. Unlike general anaesthesia, you won’t be put to sleep, but you are likely to have very little memory of the treatment once it is complete. This method allows us to make root canal treatments as painless as possible.

There’s no need to worry if you’d rather not have sedation, as we ensure our dental clinic is the most relaxing setting possible. We can provide you with any spa treatments during your root canal treatment, with the option of music, films and any other refreshments of your choice. Our cosmetic therapist can provide facial and body treatments to put you at total ease during any of your visits.

How Can We Help?

Our dentists and team in Essex have advanced training in carrying out root canal treatments. We take our time to ensure that every care is taken to make you feel as comfortable as possible with our painless dentistry. This means that any dental treatment you have with us, including a root canal treatment, is as painless as possible.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our root canal treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.