The fluid which contains enzymes that is formed by glands in the mouth. The saliva
helps to lubricate the mouth whilst the enzymes are an important part of digestion.
Lack of saliva [dry mouth or xerostomia] is an extremely distressing condition which
is experienced by an increasingly large proportion of the population.
Saliva is responsible for lubricating the teeth and mouth tissues which makes
chewing, eating, swallowing and speaking possible. It helps to cleanse the mouth,
neutralise acid production, begin the digestion of carbohydrates, repair the early
damage caused by tooth decay, and it has the ability to protect against infection.
A healthy adult produces about 500mls per day and the flow normally increases at
meal times in response to chewing. Some sour fruits such as lemons will promote an
exaggerated flow of saliva.
A plastic coating which, when applied to the grooves and pits on the biting surfaces of children’s teeth, can protect them from decay. If a small amount of decay has already occurred in part of a groove the decay must be removed. Provided the resulting cavity is small, a sealant restoration can still be used to fill the hole and seal the remaining grooves.
The use of safe and effective drugs to help nervous and apprehensive patients to relax. It ensures that the patient is fully conscious, but at the same time relaxed and co- operative. The dentistry is carried out under local anaesthesia to eliminate any painful experiences and patients often forget about their dental treatment and find the events difficult to recall. Hypnotherapy and even acupuncture have also been used to reduce dental anxiety.
An opening into a tract of tissue which is linked to the oral cavity. Usually associated with an infected tooth root. Also a term used in association with the major air cavities in the maxilla which can become infected and give rise to sinusitis.
An infection of the cavities in the maxilla situated behind the cheek-bone. The
symptoms can frequently give rise to toothache in the upper premolar and molar
regions. Fluid can build up and the pain can be made worse by sudden movement of
Antibiotics may be required. Inhalation with eucalyptus and menthol can help to
alleviate the discomfort and clear the sinuses.
Making a variety of noises when exhaling during sleep. About 40% of the population snore. At best it is a nuisance but at worst it can give rise to serious medical problems. Invariably snoring occurs whilst sleeping on one's back and it is caused by a temporary blockage of the airways by the soft tissues at the back of the throat. More modern methods involve the fitting of appliances in the mouth to prevent the soft tissues obstructing the airway. In exceptional circumstances surgery may be required. There are a number of dental surgeons who specialise in treating snorers.
Manufactured fluids drunk to relieve thirst or by habit. Commonly containing sugar
and/or carbon dioxide
Fizzy drinks (whether diet or regular), artificial fruit squashes, cocoa, and milk shakes
all cause harm to teeth. The sugar in them causes decay whilst the acid in both normal
and diet drinks dissolves the enamel on the teeth. Comfort feeders and bottles
containing sugary drinks, which are given to young children for prolonged periods of
time, cause severe dental problems, because they bathe the teeth in sugar that quickly
converts to acids.
Dentists who offer services in addition to those connected with general dental practice.
Many practices offer a range of specialised services that may not be covered by General Dental Council specialists (see A-Z specialist). A comprehensive list of dental services includes:- Anxiety clinic Cosmetic dentistry Crown and bridgework Dental implants Denture services Endodontics General dentistry Holistic Home visits Hygienist Minor oral surgery Occlusion Oral medicine Oral Surgery Orthodontics Out of hours emergency cover Paedodontics Periodontology(gum care) Preventative dentistry Prosthodontics Restorative dentistry Second opinions Sedation for anxious patients Specialist referrals Surgical dentistry
The General Dental Council maintains a Register of dental surgeons who are qualified
to practice dentistry in the UK. In addition it has lists of specialists who have obtained
certification in particular areas of dentistry which recognises their higher level of
knowledge, experience and qualification.
These specialist areas are:-
Dental Public Health
Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology
Inflammation of the tissues of the mouth. It is particularly common in denture wearers
where food debris and bacteria can quickly set up an inflammatory condition.
Denture-induced stomatitis is a condition caused by Candida, a fungus infection. It is
manifested as redness in the gum covered by a denture, often without soreness.
Persistent cracking or soreness at the corners of the mouth (angular chelitis) may also
be a sign of oral Candida infection.
Extra or additional to the normal. A supernumerary tooth does not resemble the morphology of another in the dental arch and will have developed from an aberrant tooth germ. An additional tooth which resembles the morphology of another is called a supplemental tooth.