Fizzy Water – Good Or Bad For Your Teeth?

Dr Jignesh Patel

Principal dentist Dr Jignesh Patel looks at this popular alternative to high sugar drinks.

Many of our patients will have read about the harm that high sugar fizzy drinks can do to your teeth, not only from the sugar content but also the acidity levels. This can lead to enamel erosion and a number of other dental problems.

It is one thing to suggest that people avoid drinks like this, but it is also only natural that if people do, they will look for alternatives to it. One popular alternative is fizzy water, whether flavoured or plain. These are very popular with young children who like the ‘fizz’ sensation, and with adults who find them more interesting and refreshing than plain still water.

PH levels

It is the acidic levels of drinks that cause the most damage. Tests have been done on a number of beverages including carbonated water. Those with a PH level below 3.0 were deemed to be extremely erosive, between 3.0 and 3.99 fairly erosive and above 4.0 to be potentially minimally erosive. Unsurprisingly, the high sugar sports drinks, whether carbonated or not, fell into the extremely erosive category. What is perhaps the most interesting finding of this study though is that of carbonated water.

Tests were done on a variety of brands of plain bottle carbonated  and non carbonated water. These were tested both at room temperature and chilled from the fridge. What was discovered is that the water had a higher PH value (less erosive) when it was non carbonated and at room temperature. The carbonated ones that were taken straight from the fridge were found to be a lower PH value, although still above the 4.0 that is deemed to be minimally erosive.


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A Closer Look At ‘Baby Teeth’

Big family group

Our Clapham dentists take a look at some of the misunderstandings surrounding a child’s first teeth.

It may seem a long time ago for some of us, but we have all had two sets of teeth.

The first set, which often causes some discomfort when they first erupt, usually only lasts us for a few years, although some of our baby teeth can still be present in our early twenties in some rare cases.

We all know that we should take good care of our adult teeth as, once they have become damaged or have fallen out, there are no more natural teeth to replace them. Where this happens, we would need  substitutes like dentures or dental implants. Baby teeth are a bit of a mystery to some people though, but are fascinating in their own right, and, despite the fact that they will eventually fall out, good care needs to be taken of them too.

Why do they fall out easily after the first few years?

This is a bit of a mystery to some of our patients. We have been asked why a child’s first tooth simply falls out whilst an adult tooth has to be extracted, removing the roots of the tooth from the jawbone. The answer lies in these roots themselves.

Some people believe that baby teeth have no roots as these appear not to be present when the tooth comes out. This isn’t true though, and if it were the case, our first or milk teeth, would easily fail when it comes to eating our food.

Baby teeth do actually have roots. The interesting thing is that, as the adult teeth beneath them start to develop, they literally ‘dissolve’ the roots of the baby teeth above them as they grow. Once the roots of the baby teeth have completely gone, there is little, other than a bit of skin on the gums, holding them in place. The first sign that this has happened is that the tooth becomes wobbly, before eventually becoming free of the gum.

This is a natural process and will happen in most instances. Sometimes though, the adult tooth may erupt behind the baby tooth and the baby tooth will then need to be extracted by a children’s dentist at the Confidental Clinic in Clapham.

Are baby teeth important?

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Managing Painful Tooth Sensitivity In Clapham

Confidental Clinic

How to reduce and potentially eliminate, the problem of sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity can range from being mildly irritating to downright painful, especially when exposed to the extremes of hot or cold when we drink or eat. There are a number of possible causes of this problem, and also, in some cases, solutions that we can provide at the Confidental Clinic in Clapham.

Before we look at some of the ways that this problem can be managed, it is worth considering how it occurs in the first place.

Worn enamel

One of the main reason for sensitive teeth is due to the protective enamel layer on our teeth being compromised through erosion, or even a crack. This exposes the dentin layer beneath it which, being porous, in turn exposes the nerves in the root canals to both hot and cold temperatures.

Another cause is when our gums recede. This exposes the less well protected root parts of our teeth, leading to additional sensitivity. We have covered some of the reasons for this in one of our earlier blogs here.

Managing tooth sensitivity

There are a number of suggestions that can help you to avoid the worst discomfort of having sensitive teeth. You should also consider some treatments which may help to eliminate it altogether.

Avoid very hot or cold food and drinks

If eating or drinking hot and cold products sets off your sensitive teeth, make sure to allow those foods to cool down or warm up towards room temperature. This applies to both food and drinks.

Avoid acidic food and drinks

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Don’t Share Your Toothbrush!

Hygienist Lauren Bennett

When asked in a recent survey, over a quarter of people said that they had, or would, share with others.

A recent survey carried out by the Oral Health Foundation and Phillips (the toothbrush manufacturers) found that 26% of the respondents admitted that they would share their toothbrush with other people, usually members of their own family.

Predominantly, men are more likely to do this than women (32% to 20%), with younger people being even more likely to do so.

Although it may seem to be not an unreasonable thing to do if someone has forgotten theirs, and are in a situation where it is not practical to simply buy a new one; to do so is to put your own health at risk. Your local Clapham dentists explain the reasons why, below.

Blood diseases

Although we might kiss our nearest and dearest, there is far less risk in the exchange of saliva than there is where blood infections are concerned. Especially where a person is suffering from periodontal diseases, there is a real risk of infection being transmitted from one person to the other if a toothbrush is shared. Even where the gums are not bleeding, our toothbrushes collect a fair amount of bacteria from the gum pockets and these can also be transmitted to the other person.

Although there are risks attached, even if we share with a family member or regular partner, the risks are even higher if we share them with a stranger.  At the lower risk end are illnesses such as colds and cold sores which could be quite easily passed on in this manner. There are more serious diseases too which we may not be aware of.

Hepatitis B

Although a vaccine is available to help prevent the spread of this disease, it is usually more prevalent in people who intravenously inject drugs or regularly have unprotected sex with different partners. These are probably a group of people who may not even seek out the vaccine.

If infected with hepatitis B, liver diseases are likely. As these are often barely noticeable until the more advanced stages, they can be potentially quite serious.


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Five Common Myths About Teeth Whitening

White teeth

Clapham dentist, Dr Nicola Ogilvie, explains the reality behind these misconceptions.

One of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments at the Confidental Clinic is the teeth whitening procedure.

There are many likely reasons for this, including immediacy of results and the fact that it is one of the most cost effective ways of giving your smile a significant  boost.

Teeth whitening is also popular with celebrities, and this inevitably means that it will often receive a fair amount of media coverage. Unfortunately, not all celebrities are able to keep themselves out of the headlines, sometimes for the wrong reasons. This makes them easy targets for the media who will then often look for ways of portraying them even more badly. This often includes any beauty and cosmetic dental treatments that they may have had, especially where they have gone from dark smokers teeth to dazzling white ones.

With the media coverage often comes a number of half truths, and sometimes outright lies about this treatment. To help to counteract these, we take a look at some of the more common ones below.

Teeth whitening is painful

In all probability you will have read of someone who has been in pain following this treatment. I think that it is safe to say that this has never been the case for any of our Clapham patients. It is true that the teeth whitening procedure can cause temporary additional sensitivity for a few patients but this is not ‘painful’ as such and usually only lasts a few days. If someone has suffered genuine pain, they have probably used an illegal whitening outlet that has used a far stronger whitening solution than is safe. Never risk this. Only registered dentists are now able to provide this treatment.

It damages your teeth

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Dental Implants – More Affordable Than You May Think!

Dr Jignesh Patel

In the long term, dental implants offer very good value for money, says Clapham dentist Jignesh Patel.

When a patient loses a tooth, there are a number of factors that they may consider when deciding on the best way to replace it. The three main options available are a denture, a bridge or dental implants.

Each has its pros and cons, and even the one that perhaps offers the least secure option, dentures, can be a suitable choice for anyone who wishes to avoid having an invasive procedure to replace the missing tooth.

Increasingly however, our Confidental Clinic patients are turning towards dental implants as the best solution to restore their smile. Most dentists, and a growing number of patients, would agree that this method offers the most benefits, not only for its natural appearance, but also the strength of the replacement tooth, as well as longevity.

Overcoming the ‘fear factor’

The initial barrier for some patients is the thought of the procedure that is necessary in order to place teeth implants. If this is solely understood from an article on the internet, or elsewhere, it may give rise to concerns about discomfort during the procedure. This is not the experience of the vast majority of patients that have implants placed, and we recommend that if you are considering them, you have a consultation with our implant team, on a ‘no obligation’ basis. We find that when patients have a better understanding of the procedure, and are able to have their questions answered by a professional, this helps to reduce any anxiety about the procedure.

We also offer a range of support services, at our Clapham practice that help patients to undergo this procedure with the minimum of stress. We will discuss this in more detail during the consultation.

The cost of dental implants

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False Teeth – A guide for patients who choose to wear dentures

Older couple smiling

How to make wearing dentures as trouble free as possible.

Whilst dental implants and bridges can also be said to be ‘false teeth’; when we refer to this, we usually mean dentures. This method of tooth replacement has been around for centuries, though it is safe to say that modern versions are far superior to older ones.

In many ways, dental implants offer a superior alternative but, for reasons of cost and the fact that, unlike dentures,  they require invasive surgery, some of our Clapham dental patients may choose not to have them.

When you have teeth that are missing and you decide to use dentures to replace them, this can present a few challenges, particularly at first.

Your new dentures

When you are first fitted with your new replacement teeth, you will almost certainly find that they feel strange in your mouth. You will probably find that you salivate more as your body will see these as a ‘foreign object’ it needs to get rid of. Speech may also be affected for a little while. In both of these cases, this should settle down soon afterwards.

One of the biggest challenges that new denture wearers face is when eating. They certainly can feel very strange initially, and it may be tempting to remove them to eat. We would advise against this and, instead, recommend that you choose softer foods and cut them into smaller pieces, chewing slowly until you become more accustomed to wearing your dentures. You can then start to vary your diet accordingly.

Looking after your mouth

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What Happens If You Don’t Replace A Missing Tooth?

Showing a dental implant and crown

Leaving a gap in your teeth might be the ‘easy’ option, but is it the best one?

None of us want to lose any of our teeth if we can possibly help it. Taking care of what we eat, and making sure that we brush and floss our teeth regularly will help to give us the best chance of avoiding this.

If you make sure too, to see one of our Clapham dentists every six months or so, any problems that we do find can be treated early, potentially saving the tooth.

Life doesn’t always work that way though, and even with the best will in the world, accidents can happen which result in a knocked out tooth. If we don’t look after our teeth and avoid visiting the dentist, the chances of losing a tooth to decay also increases.

To replace or not?

If you lose a tooth you are, by default, left with a gap between the teeth. Where this is highly visible, the chances are that you will consider the various options to replace it; usually a denture, bridge or implant. Where the tooth is less visible though, such as a rear tooth, it might be tempting just to leave the gap.

If you do decide not to replace a missing tooth, a number of things can happen.

Increases stress on other teeth

When you lose a tooth whose primary purpose is for chewing and breaking down food, additional stress is passed to the other teeth that are still present. Lose too many teeth and the chances of damage and wear to the remaining teeth increases.

Jaw pain

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How To Tell If You Have Bad Breath

dentist examination

Unless we notice the signs, we may not be aware that our breath smells bad.

Most of us have probably done it at some time or another; eaten a meal before we go out that contains garlic, and then, unsure if our breath smells or not, breathe quickly out then sniff the air we expel.

“Yes, no problem”, we are almost certain to think if we do that, but the reality is that our breath dispels so quickly and mixes with the air around it, that most smells will go undetected and we may well be socialising with others unaware of our smelly breath.

There are a couple of ways that might help our Clapham patients discover if they have bad breath or not. If you run your tongue along the inside of the wrist (but not if using perfume there) and then smell your wrist; if you find that that smells, then it is very likely that your breath will smell badly too.

The other way is more obvious, but also too late for that occasion, and that is when you notice people inching away from you when you are talking to them.

What to do about bad breath

There are two main causes of bad breath (although other medical conditions or side effects of medication could also cause it). These are temporary bad breath caused by what we eat and drink, and that caused by gum disease. Temporary bad breath is just that. It is largely within our control, and, as we know, certain foods such as garlic, cigarettes and coffee can leave strong smells on our breath. If we are going to be in a situation where we are in close contact with others, it is easy enough to avoid these foods and make sure that we have fresh smelling breath when we leave the house.

The other cause is more difficult to remove, and that is the type of bad breath which is caused by gum disease.

Gum disease and bad breath – diagnosis and treatment in Clapham

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Potential Indicators Of Root Canal Problems

Dr Jignesh Patel

Clapham dentist, Dr Jignesh Patel, discusses symptoms that may indicate root canal infection

Most of us are, perhaps, prone to self diagnosis when things don’t feel right with our teeth. The wealth of information, both factual and ‘fake news’ available on the internet probably encourages us to do this even more.

Even if we do try to self-diagnose though, it is still important to have any problems examined by one of the Confidental Clinic team, in order that any appropriate treatment can be given during the early stages of the problem.

One not uncommon dental problem which is often misunderstood by patients, is a root canal infection. We have discussed the treatment of this in other blogs so today, take a look instead at some of the potential signs that you might need to receive treatment for it. As noted earlier, please make sure to have any symptoms checked as sometimes the same symptom can have a different number of causes, and only an experienced dentist will be able to diagnose thoroughly.

Tooth pain

Tooth pain, or toothache, can be caused by a number of issues, including both root canal infection and general tooth decay. Where a root canal infection is present, the pain is likely to be quite severe as this is the area that the nerves of the tooth are located. You may also find that the pain spreads to the gums as well. It will be particularly painful when you use that tooth to bite on anything or even when you touch the tooth with your finger.

Any type of tooth pain should trigger a prompt visit to our dental practice so we can examine and treat it correctly.

Swollen and sore gums

These particular symptoms are common in gum disease cases. It is not the only thing that can cause it though and especially if the swelling or soreness is at the base of one particular tooth, rather than on several teeth. This may indicate a more specific problem. Whilst this symptom, when gum disease is present, is likely to occur over a period of time, the same symptom caused by a root canal infection is likely to happen more quickly. Whichever it is though, make sure to have it checked.

Tooth sensitivity

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