Is There Any Link Between HPV And Oral Cancer?

Concerned patient

Dental education for patients

Our clinical team were recently discussing the link between HPV and oral cancer, and we thought that it would be useful to write a blog post on this to provide advice for our valued patients.

There has been much written in dental magazines and health journals about HPV and oral cancer, and here at the Confidental Clinic Streatham we appreciate that it can be confusing and worrying for patients trying to establish the facts.

As you would expect, we advise any patient who is concerned about any dental health issues to get in touch with us and book in for a full examination with one of our team.

What is HPV?

The NHS defines HPV (Human papillomavirus) as the name for a common group of over 100 skin-based viruses that do not cause problems in most people, but some types can cause cancer for a small percentage of people. The virus is easy to catch and most types affect mouth, throat and genital areas. It is a common sexually-transmitted virus and infection, with more than 200 strains currently known, but most of these are harmless and do not cause cancer.

Only nine of the strains have been linked to causing cancer, and there is only one main strain called HPV Number 16 which has been associated with speeding up oral cancer.

What are the signs and symptoms of HPV?

According to the NHS, the majority of HPV types have no symptoms so most people do not know if they have it. It is common, and many people will get some type of the virus in their life without any significant or adverse effects.

One of the best ways to maintain optimum oral health is to ensure that you regularly have full dental examinations with one of our  dentists.

How can our dentists help to detect the signs of HPV?

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Taking Patient Information – Your First Appointment

Dentist Tushar Patel

Practice Principal Dentist Dr Tushar Patel, explains why we need this information.

If you have just moved to the Streatham area and are looking for a dental practice to register with, we are always happy to see new patients at the Confidental Clinic. Wherever you go though, the initial appointment will, by and large, be very similar.

This first meeting allows us to introduce ourselves to the patient and help them to feel confidence in the dentist who will be treating them. It is also an important opportunity to learn some useful, and often essential, information about the patient themselves.

We are not here to learn the intricate details of your personal life, but there are many contributory factors that can have an effect on your teeth and gums, and oral health  in general. The more information we can obtain, the better service we can provide. Some of the questions that we ask, such as about any illnesses or medication, are also essential for the patient’s safety.

What questions will we ask?

Although it may seem tedious, we do have to take certain information for our records, including the inevitable name, address and contact details. Without these, we wouldn’t be able to contact you if an appointment needed to be cancelled, or to fit you in for one if you required an emergency appointment. These are routine questions though which very few patients query.

Some patients are a little more concerned when we ask about their medical history. We do understand that some people think that there are no links between that and what a dentist does, but they are mistaken. Some illnesses can have a significant effect upon your oral health and one of the best known of these is probably diabetes. This illness makes the patient more prone to oral infections and especially gum disease. The advice and treatment offered to a diabetic, will usually be different to that given to patients with a clean bill of health.

Diabetes is not the only illness though that can affect oral health. Cancers, kidney disease and heart disease can also affect both your oral health and the treatment that we provide.

Medications

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What Is Post Extraction Dry Socket?

A dentist explains

And How Can Our Streatham Dental Clinic Help You With It?

The team at the Confidential Clinic in Streatham have occasionally treated patients in the past who have suffered post extraction dry socket.

This is something which crops up from time to time at any dental practice, and so we thought we would address this relatively common issue in today’s blog in order to educate and inform our readers. Please read on for more information.

What is post extraction dry socket?

This is a sometimes painful condition that can follow a tooth extraction and occurs when the blood clot that forms as a part of the natural healing process is removed or is lost due to various factors. When it is, it produces a dry socket. This can expose nerve endings in the area where the tooth has been extracted and can cause significant levels of discomfort and pain. Post extraction dry socket can be effectively treated by one of our Streatham dentists, who will clean the wound and place a special dressing in the affected area to speed up the healing process.

What are the signs and symptoms?

There are a few common signs and symptoms to watch out for after a tooth extraction has taken place that may indicate a case of dry socket.

If you notice a lot of pain in the days following your tooth extraction, either in that localised area, or from around that area to the eye, ear or forehead, it is likely that a dry socket is present. You may also see visible bone in the socket, or notice a bad taste in your mouth. If you are in any doubt at all, please contact us for further advice.

How many days after a tooth extraction does dry socket occur?

This problem can occur at any time until the treatment area is fully healed. It usually occurs when the blood clot located there is removed. This can happen in a number of ways such as ‘prodding’ it with your finger, or even spitting violently after brushing. We will offer full advice on aftercare following an extraction.

How can you prevent it?

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Skipping Brushing Your Teeth At Bedtime? Big Mistake….

Teeth flossing

Late night tiredness can result in neglecting our teeth overnight, with potentially disastrous consequences.

Some people argue that you should brush your teeth before breakfast, in the morning, whilst others argue that you should do so afterwards.

Whatever the case though, the reality is that nearly all of us will brush our teeth at some point during the morning, if only to freshen up our breath before heading to work.

The same is not always true of our nighttime routine though, and, especially when we have had a long day and are feeling very tired, or perhaps even under the influence of alcohol. In these situations we may simple decide to give it a miss, with the intention of ‘catching up’ in the morning, Unfortunately, good oral health is not achievable if you take this approach, and quality night time brushing and flossing is essential if you want to avoid tooth decay and other issues.

Our mouths at night

The most obvious reason for cleaning your teeth at night is to remove any sugars and food particles that have become attached to the teeth and gums during the day. Everything that we eat, but especially sticky sugary food and drinks, will probably lead to cavities if not removed.

It isn’t just food though. Out mouths contain a large number of bacteria, some of which are very helpful and start the digestive process by breaking down foods. Unfortunately, not all are as benign, and some bacteria will contribute to common oral health issues like decay and gum disease, if not kept under control.

As our saliva production slows down at night, reducing its capacity to flush away these bacteria, it is important to remove as much as possible before we go to sleep. This can only be done by following good bedtime oral health routines.

The ‘golden rules’ of bedtime cleaning

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Possible Signs Of A Tooth Abscess

root canal procedure

A dental abscess can be extremely painful. Our Streatham dental team offers advice on what signs to look for.

Anyone who has ever suffered from dental pain will know how all consuming it can be.

Although even common problems such as tooth decay can be painful, one of the worst types of pain is that which is caused by a tooth abscess. These often occur quite widely, for example in children who don’t clean their teeth as well as they should do.

It isn’t just children though that can suffer from this infection of course. Adults can find themselves in this situation, particularly if they don’t clean their teeth well enough, and have also avoided seeing one of the dentists at our Confidental Clinic practice on a regular basis, for their six monthly dental examination.

What is a tooth abscess?

A tooth abscess forms in the pulp area of the tooth. This usually shouldn’t happen if you have healthy teeth, as strong tooth enamel helps to prevent bacteria from entering the layer beneath it. However, cracks, chips and decay can all compromise a tooth and allow the bacteria to start on its journey towards the pulp area in the inner part of the tooth.

Before reaching its final destination, bacteria will travel through the dentin layer. This is a porous area of the tooth, and no amount of home cleaning can prevent the bacteria from travelling further when it reaches this stage, which is better known as tooth decay. This can only be treated by having a dentist remove the decayed material and filling the cavity, or perhaps using a crown in more extensive cases. Patients should always remember that tooth decay will not improve of its own accord and will simply become worse if you fail to have it treated.

Finally, the bacteria will arrive at the pulp area of the tooth. This is where the nerves and blood vessels are located, and, as an abscess starts to form, the patient is likely to experience an increasing amount of discomfort, and often severe pain.

Interestingly, an abscess is actually a good thing for our general well being despite the significant pain it can cause, forming in order to prevent the bacteria from reaching other organs of the body. As these bacteria can potentially be dangerous if left to advance, to prevent further infection, it is important to have your abscess treated by one of your local Streatham dentists as soon as you can.

Signs to look for

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Pericoronitis And Pyorrhea – Two ‘Ps’ You May Not Have Heard Of

Dr Manisha Patel dentist

Your local Streatham dentist discusses these two dental terms.

We are sure that some of our patients sometimes feel a little confused when we take notes during their check up. As we are not speaking to you directly at that time, we tend to use medical terminology so that we can ensure that accurate notes are taken for the clinical records.

Where we need to discuss a treatment with you, we will, wherever possible, try to explain the treatment in the most simple terms possible so that you can understand what it entails.

Over time, patients often become accustomed to some of the more common terms such as malocclusion (an incorrect or misaligned bite) and periodontal disease (gum disease). There are also a few terms that that patients may hear less often, and we discuss a couple of these in today’s Confidental Clinic blog.

Pericoronitis

Pericoronitis occurs when the gum tissue surrounding the wisdom teeth becomes inflamed, or overlaps the tooth itself. This sometimes happens when the tooth first erupts, but can also happen later on. As it overlaps the tooth, it provides an area where bacteria can easily collect, and therefore, inflammation and infections may well occur.

Food particles can also become trapped in this area, and, whether bacteria or food, inflammation and swelling can occur which can even spread to the cheeks and neck and can be very painful indeed.

Management and treatment

Providing that you attend our Streatham dental surgery on a regular basis for check ups, we will be able to monitor the progress of this condition, taking x-rays to make sure that your teeth are erupting correctly. Where there is discomfort, we will be able to determine the root cause and treat it accordingly.

Where pericoronitis is diagnosed, there are a number of options available, and treatment will depend on the exact circumstances. If we feel that the problem is occurring temporarily, as the tooth erupts, this may be treated with a thorough clean and perhaps either antibiotics or an antibacterial mouthwash. Where the problem is significant and where the tooth is poorly positioned as it erupts, we may need to remove the tooth altogether.

Pyorrhea

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Are You Self Conscious About Your Smile?

2 people with lovely smiles

If so, there are many ways that our Streatham dentists can help you to improve it.

In this modern era of selfies and endless photo albums on social media, there are some amongst us, who may shy away from joining in because they are embarrassed about their smile. Crooked, chipped and stained teeth don’t make for a great smile for sure, but this is not inevitable and the cosmetic dentistry at the Confidental Clinic can help to change this for you.

For those whose teeth are presently in good condition, seeing one of our dentists for regular checks and having your teeth professionally cleaned by the hygienist at our Streatham practice, will help them to stay that way, at least until natural discolouration occurs later on in life.

Examining your smile

To start the process of restoring your smile, it is first of all necessary to have an initial consultation with one of our cosmetic dentists. They will need to examine your teeth and discuss with you, what your aims are and how best to achieve them. As your oral health is of key importance, it is essential that we make sure that your mouth is healthy before we start any cosmetic treatment. To this end, any instances of tooth decay will need to be repaired and you may also need to have a scale and polish to help get your oral health back in good shape.

Where fillings are needed, we are now able to offer white fillings which blend in with your natural tooth. You can finally say ‘goodbye’ to those dark amalgam fillings with this modern solution.

Cosmetic options

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Cheaper Teeth Whitening For Our Streatham Patients

White smile asian lady

Save yourself £50 on a brand new whiter smile for Spring.

There are almost certainly some cold and dull, almost Wintery, days still to come. That said, it’s hard not to acknowledge the first feelings of warmth from the sun, and the first shoots coming through as Spring finally seems to be just around the corner. With this new season often comes a desire to make changes; to have a ‘personal spring clean’.

This can happen in many ways. A new wardrobe and a throwing out of old clothes is common at this time of the year. Increasingly though, people are also looking at cosmetic dental procedures as a way to really kick start the new season. One of the most popular of these treatments is the teeth whitening procedure.

£50 off!

To help our Streatham patients with their personal spring clean, we currently have a special offer on teeth whitening, with  £50 off this popular cosmetic dental procedure. This is one of the simplest ways to really give your smile a major boost in time for Spring.

To have attractive white teeth is not only good for personal self esteem, but can also have an effect on those around you. A number of studies have concluded that one of the first things that others notice about you is your smile. If that smile reveals a set of discoloured and stained teeth, it is probably not going to give the impression that you would want it to. An attractive white smile, on the other hand, can make a difference not only to the way people generally warm to you, but could also potentially have a positive influence in situations such as job interviews and romantic relationships, for example.

Your new ‘designer’ smile

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Why You Should Look After ‘Baby Teeth’

Don’t wait until adult teeth appear before starting good oral care habits

Unlike sharks, which continually lose and replace their teeth around 37,000 times during their lifetime, we humans only have two sets of teeth, and when they are gone, they are gone.

We know that we will lose our first set of teeth however well we look after them, but this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take good care of them whilst we still have them. In fact, failing to do so could have unexpected consequences later on in our life.

At the Confidental Clinic, your dentist in Streatham, we always encourage parents to take responsibility for their children’s teeth, starting at a young age. Supervision and constant encouragement go a long way to helping them clean their teeth properly, and avoiding the pitfalls that would probably happen if they didn’t.

Don’t let them suffer

The most obvious reason to make sure that your children’s teeth are looked after well, is that you don’t want them to be in pain. A severe toothache can be extremely painful to a young child and is almost certain to result in little or no sleep for both the child and the parent(s). Although tooth decay can still occur even if you brush your teeth well (especially given that children usually love sugar), the chances of it are greatly reduced. It is worth remembering that, for younger children, teeth extraction will probably have to take place in hospital and not at your local dental practice. So certainly something to be avoided.

Not just the baby teeth

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Daily Habits That Are Good For Your Teeth

Teeth flossing

Professional dental care is essential for healthy teeth, but there are lots of other things you can do to help.

What we do in our daily lives can have a significant impact upon our teeth. What we eat, whether we brush well and even if we grind our teeth, will all impact upon their overall health and condition.

Professional dental care is also essential, of course, and we encourage all of our Streatham patients to visit our practice for a check up at least every six months.

Whilst professional care is essential, there are also many small things that we can do in our daily lives to help. In combination, these can make a real difference to our oral health. Some of these suggestions require a small change in thinking, whilst at the same time, taking up very little, if any, additional time from our busy lives.

Improve your cleaning routine

Let’s start with an obvious one. Cleaning your teeth shouldn’t just be about whether you clean them or not, but how you do so. Some golden rules apply such as using a fluoride toothpaste and brushing for at least 2 minutes. In addition, make sure the bristles on your brush aren’t worn, and if they are, replace the brush. Make sure to brush your gums lightly as well as your teeth. Finally, add flossing to your regime if you don’t already do this. Our Streatham dentists can demonstrate how to do this if you find it difficult or awkward.

Quit smoking and reduce alcohol

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