Back at my regular old Dentist Surgery where the nearest they get to entertainment is radio 2 in the waiting room I was a bit put out that my normal dentist wasn’t there, not to say that this dentist was abnormal but my usual one knows that I’m a wuss and speaks and treats me accordingly. (Like I’m about three years old) After putting on the fetching protective glasses and bib I was instructed to ‘open wide’ He then proceeded to ‘attack the plaque’. My teeth are crowded on the lower set and I’ve always struggled to keep the build-up of plaque down. Using some form of mining pick the Dentist de-scaled my teeth which actually felt like he was going to excavate my jaw, but horrors of horror… he said I’ve got gum disease!! I instantly had visions of all my teeth falling out, just like they do in those dreams we all have where we spit them out and looking like I wouldn’t be out of place on a Jeremy Kyle show. It has a name, I’ve got Gingivitis! It’s an ‘itis’ it must be bad!!!!
The Dentist should have read my notes, my ‘normal’ one surely must have written ‘this patient is a dental wuss, speak to her like she’s three’ he didn’t even break it to me gently! The old Tommy Cooper joke “ Your teeth are fine but your gums have got to come out” sprang to mind.
I really do try to look after my Gnasher’s, I clean them twice a day, two minutes timed by my electronic toothbrush which incidentally seems to last for at least 10 minutes!!! I use one of those little brush things to poke through the teeth but my teeth are too close together and plaque is unavoidable. I just have to get the dentist to regularly blast them clear.
I grew too many teeth when I was a kid and had to have some extracted and wear a brace on my lower teeth to tidy them up. I wasn’t allowed to wear the brace when I went swimming which was a lot and I used to put it into a small box when I went in. But, someone stole it out of my bag; I would love to have seen their face when they opened the box and instead of finding jewels my brace lay there grinning up at them! Unfortunately my parents didn’t believe me, they thought I’d thrown it away and wouldn’t buy me a new one so I blame them for my pain and suffering today!
Anyway, after coming out of the dentist with the knowledge that I now have a disease I decided to do some research…
You will all have heard of plaque, it’s a thin sticky film of bacteria that is constantly being formed on your teeth. When we eat sugary foods and carbs the bacteria in plaque produces acids which in turn attack tooth enamel, after a while the enamel breaks down and results in a cavity which then leads to the dreaded drill!
If plaque isn’t removed by brushing it hardens into calculus or tartar. This forms on the gum line and releases harmful poisons which cause gum inflammation and the gums starts to pull away from the teeth. The gap that’s’ created becomes affected, hence gum disease. If it’s not treated the bone supply to the teeth is destroyed and healthy teeth can become loose and fall out.
The good news is that the inflammation can be treated with a medicated mouth wash. I was told that I also need to brush lower down the gum line and then I won’t qualify to enter any gurning competitions any time soon!
A healthy smile is obviously good for our looks, it gives you confidence, you can chew food properly, your teeth help you to talk and pronounce different sounds clearly and they give your face its shape, we’re back to gurning again! But, if we don’t look after them and get tooth decay it can lead to pain. We then have the need for a filling, crowns, root canals or extractions, what fun!
All these lovely things are preventable, here are some tips top keep your teeth dazzling!
So, I am now meticulously looking after my teeth to avoid living up to the true meaning of my name; woman with one tooth – Juanita (one-eater), get it?? Sorry…….Back to Blog