Hyperdontia – The Problem Of Too Many Teeth

Confidental Clinic

Whilst tooth loss is a concern for many of us; for some, having too many teeth is a problem.

As we develop as young children, we should eventually have 20 baby, or milk, teeth. As we become adults, this number will grow and a healthy mouth should eventually consist of 32 teeth. This is not always the case though, and some adults also develop additional teeth.

Genetic factors and certain illnesses can contribute to this happening, and when it does, it can create a number of problems for the person concerned. It is particularly likely in people suffering from a Cleft lip, Gardner’s disease or Down syndrome. Twice as many men are likely to have this problem, than women.

In most cases of hyperdontia, just one or two extra teeth are likely to be present, but even more additional teeth are not unheard of. In one very rare case, 232 teeth were removed from a boy’s mouth in India (reference 1). Instances like this though are extremely rare and few people will have more than a couple of additional teeth. In some cases, hyperdontia can not only cause aesthetic problems, but can also lead to facial deformities and speech problems.

Not all additional teeth, also known as supernumerary teeth, may necessarily look like a natural tooth and can take many forms. These include small ‘peg’ like shapes, conical teeth and those that have a tooth like shape but are significantly smaller.

Also, not all additional teeth are necessarily visible, and some may not have yet erupted. These will show up during the x-rays that we take from time to time during your regular check ups.

The risks and complications

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Cracked Teeth – What Happens Next?

dentist examination

Almost invisible cracks can appear in our teeth, causing discomfort and potentially further damage.

Some cracks that appear in our teeth are visible, but this is not always the case. Although we might be tempted to ignore even the more visible cracks, except for when they lead to obvious damage such as breakage, this is inadvisable.

Cracks in the teeth, however,  do not always appear so obviously to the naked eye, and some may be so small that, even upon close inspection, they can be difficult to detect.

Whilst you may not be able to see these cracks, you may well notice their effects. If you notice a change in any of your teeth, whether in their appearance or the way that they feel, it is advisable to see one of our Clapham dentists as soon as possible to get them checked out.

Minor crack issues

Although aesthetics may not be an issue when you suffer from a tiny crack in a tooth, you may experience some additional sensitivity, especially when eating or drinking hot or cold products. Some discomfort may also be felt when eating and you should have this checked as soon as you can. Whilst sensitivity can be caused by other problems such as enamel erosion, all dental issues that cause unwanted results should be investigated.

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Fresher Breath With Healthier Gums

Hygienist Lauren Bennett

Looking after your gums has many benefits. Nicer smelling breath is just one of them.

When it comes to unpleasant smells, little can match the odour of severe halitosis and anyone who has stood too close to someone with this will understand what we mean.

There are a number of things which can cause bad breath and many of these are temporary; for example, eating certain foods such as garlic, can cause bad breath, as can others such as beer or coffee. These usually only last a short time though, and with reasonable oral health care, will soon go.

One type of bad breath that will not easily go though is that caused by gum disease, which occurs as the number of harmful bacteria increases in our mouths. This is often due to poor cleaning of the teeth and gums, although other factors, such as smoking or certain medical conditions such as diabetes, increase the likelihood of both gingivitis and periodontitis.

Unpleasant gases

Although, as we have previously discussed, gum disease can have serious consequences for the health of our teeth, and also cause a fair amount of soreness and discomfort; in this blog we will focus on halitosis. So, why does gum disease often lead to extremely bad breath?

The harmful bacteria that lead to gum disease do so by eating away at the soft tissues of the gums. This is often what causes the soreness, and bleeding when we brush our teeth. This is not the only result of this action though. As the bacteria ‘digest’ the flesh, they also expel gases and it is this that results in the often sulphurous smell of halitosis. This may be so strong that it is impossible to mask with breath fresheners or mouth sprays and even where a patient does successfully manage to mask the smell, this does not get to the root of the problem.

Gum health management

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Chipped Teeth – Unsightly And Uncomfortable!

Dentist surgery

Even the tiniest of chips in your teeth can lead to problems – act quickly!

Some people have a habit of putting off seeing a dentist where a ‘minor’ issue is present. Whilst some of this may be due to dental anxiety, or an appointment not being very far away anyway; leaving a problem is likely to lead to it becoming worse, if not treated. For this reason, we always encourage our Clapham patients to at least contact us for further advice if they notice anything wrong.

Whilst some patients will put up with a relatively mild toothache for some time before contacting us, a delay is even more likely where any damage seems almost irrelevant or unnoticeable. A case in point is where a tiny piece of tooth has broken away.

Tiny chips still matter

Whilst a larger piece of a tooth breaking away may be cause to ring the dentist for an appointment, the tiniest of chips may be almost invisible and very likely not cause any immediate discomfort. There are a number of reasons though, why you should have this looked at, as soon as possible.

Damaged enamel and tooth decay

Where a tooth has chipped, however small, it is possible that a small area of the dentin layer below it has become exposed. This softer, more porous, material can become affected by bacteria entering. This may eventually lead to tooth decay becoming a problem, and a filling is likely to be needed. Root canal infections may also start in this way.

Soft tissue discomfort

Even the tiniest of chips can create a razor sharp edge to the tooth and this can easily cause some of the adjacent soft tissue to bleed as it cuts into it. Any wound in the mouth needs to be kept clean to prevent infections. Even if you manage to do this though, any cut or graze is likely to be noticeable when you eat or drink certain foods and however tiny the cut, the discomfort can be significant.

How we treat a chipped tooth

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When You Might Consider A Smile Makeover

Dentist Dr Rohit Kumar of Confidental Clinic in Clapham

Dr Rohit Kumar looks at some of the common reasons why patients decide to have this treatment.

A smile makeover has long been popular amongst patients of the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, and with good reason. Having this treatment is a great way of giving your smile a real boost, often improving your confidence along with it.

When we have a toothache, it is obvious that we need to see a dentist, but what are the key factors which help patients decide that it is time to have a smile makeover? Dr Rohit Kumar takes a closer look below:

Unmovable staining

We know that if we drink tea or coffee regularly, our teeth may eventually stain. If we brush our teeth properly though, much of this can be removed and it does take quite a long time, especially if we attend the hygienist, for permanent staining to become a problem. But if you find that however well you brush your teeth, they still look discoloured, a smile makeover may be just the thing for you!

Tiny teeth

Some people may think that they have really small teeth. In the majority of these cases, it is likely not to be the teeth that are the problem, but overgrown gums. In some people, these grow further up the teeth than is normal producing what is sometimes referred to as a ‘gummy smile’. This can be corrected using a one off gum lift procedure to give you more natural looking teeth.

Gappy teeth

If you find that food becomes easily trapped between your teeth, it may simply be that they are not as straight and evenly spaced as they should be. This is a common problem, and one that can usually be corrected using one of our wide range of orthodontic treatments. These will not only provide you with a more attractive smile, but also reduce the risk of problems like decay and gum disease as the teeth are easier to keep clean.

Hiding your smile

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Investing In A Healthy Mouth

Confidental Clinic

Preventative dental care doesn’t have to cost a fortune and is money well spent, says Dr Moira Baldiraghi.

Whilst some patients may equate dental treatment with financial outlay, actually preventing the need for many of these treatments in the first place is very affordable. In some ways diligent personal oral can save you money and in today’s blog, I will take a closer look at how patients can improve their oral health, without breaking the bank.

Saving money

Let’s start with some ways that patients can actually save money AND improve their oral health by doing so. This can mainly be done by cutting out some of the things which we often consume but which are harmful to our teeth and gums.

The most obvious of these is smoking. With ‘Stoptober’ (1) not being far away, now is a good time to start to think about stopping smoking, if you haven’t already. Although some people do find it difficult to stop, this is not always the case, and you won’t know unless you try. Even if you do find it hard to stop, there is now a large amount of support available, and your GP should be able to help you with this. By stopping smoking, you greatly reduce the risk of some serious dental problems including oral cancers and gum disease, as well as saving yourself a small fortune.

Reducing your alcohol intake will also save you money as well as improving your oral health in much the same way as stopping smoking. Finally, try swapping those expensive high sugar drinks for water. This will be much better for your health, and especially for your teeth.

Having saved you some money then, here are some of the things that you could invest it in, and which our Clapham dental team feel are essential for anyone wishing to maintain a healthy mouth.


You are probably thinking ‘I’ve already got one of those’, and we certainly hope that you have. Have you thought about how old and ineffective it may be though? Older toothbrushes wear out, and the worn out bristles are no longer as effective at removing food and bacteria from the teeth and gum line. If you haven’t bought a toothbrush for some time, why not splash out on a good quality electric toothbrush. These are generally thought to be more effective than a manual toothbrush and are easy to use. Even if you are tired when you clean your teeth, the fast rotating speeds of the bristles will help to keep your teeth and gums clean. Many also include a pressure sensor to stop you from wearing away the protective enamel on your teeth.

Dental floss and toothpaste

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The Problem Of Mouth Ulcers

Dr Jignesh Patel

Dr Jignesh Patel looks at this common oral health issue.

Although dentists are primarily responsible for looking after patient’s teeth and gums, we are also concerned about all other aspects of your mouth health too. For example, we are ideally placed to spot issues such as oral cancers, and refer you for prompt help from a relevant professional where necessary.

Occasionally we do come across potential signs of oral cancers, such as lesions or sore patches, but one of the more common problems that we see are mouth ulcers.

What is a mouth ulcer?

There are generally two types of mouth ulcer:

Firstly, ‘traumatic ulcers’. These occur as a result of some sort of trauma, even relatively minor traumas such as biting your lip or cheeks when eating. Generally, these are lone ulcers and only occur around the site of the trauma. These generally go of their own accord and are not usually serious. If you do have one that doesn’t seem to go away however, you should certainly have it looked at by one of our Clapham dental team.

The other type of mouth ulcer is what is known as a ‘recurrent aphthous stomatitis’. Despite the medical sounding name, these are generally not serious and appear in small groups of tiny ulcers, often in children and younger people. There is some uncertainty as to what causes this type of ulcer, and, again, if they are still there after a few weeks, we do recommend that you have them checked at the Confidental Clinic.


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Root Canal Therapy Demystified

Clapham Endodontist, Dr Kunal Patel, discusses this often misunderstood procedure.

Over the years, I have developed a particular interest in the field of endodontics, better known to the layperson as root canal treatment. This is a procedure that can cause some anxiety in patients and is often said to be one of the most painful dental procedures that you can have. I am glad to report that this is not actually correct!

Before moving onto the procedure itself, it is worth understanding why this particular procedure managed to get such a fierce reputation. It is now generally agreed that this probably stems from a time when x rays were not routinely used in the procedure. As the treatment is required when the root canals of a tooth become infected, the likelihood of an abscess being present is quite high. Before x rays were used, it would be almost impossible to know whether an abscess was present or not, and if treated like this, then yes, it is very likely that this would be extremely painful. It is also worth noting that current anaesthetics and treatments are also much more effective.

Modern day root canal therapy

Anybody who is anxious about having root canal treatment can dismiss the ‘abscess problem’. At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham we will always x-ray a tooth where we suspect a root canal infection. If we do find an abscess, then your treatment will be postponed until the abscess has been effectively treated.

Once you are abscess free, or where no abscesses are present, the procedure can begin. You will first be given a local anaesthetic which is very effective and will absolutely minimise any discomfort you may feel during the procedure.

Because the root canals lie deep inside the tooth, we first need to access the top section of the tooth so that we can reach the internal canals. Once we have done so, we will remove any infected material, including tiny blood vessels and also the nerves. The hollow canals will then be thoroughly cleaned and filled using a special filling for this purpose, known as gutta percha. Typically, the tooth will then be completed by attaching a dental crown.

Once your treatment is complete, there are a few things that you should consider:

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Common Food And Drinks That Lead To Stained Teeth

Reducing the use of certain foods can help to keep your teeth looking whiter for longer.

As we have noted in previous blog posts, almost everybody’s teeth will start to lose their sparkle as they get older. This happens when the inner part of the tooth starts to darken with age. Nothing that we do will prevent this from happening, although keeping the enamel healthy will help to delay the darker layer showing through as quickly.

When this stage is reached, only a teeth whitening procedure, carried out by one of our Clapham cosmetic dentists, will be able to restore the whiteness. Until this time finally arrives, there is much that we can do to help keep our teeth looking white and healthy. One simple way to do this is to avoid, or limit, the consumption of certain food and drinks.

Tea and red wine – These are well known products that cause tooth staining and the culprit in these drinks is ‘tannin’. This, in the case of red wine, comes from the skin of the grape and is what is responsible for the dry feeling that you get in the mouth when you drink red wine or tea. Unfortunately, it also builds up on the surface of our teeth and will eventually cause them to become discoloured.

Colas – The dark colour of this drink is only partially responsible for any tooth staining that might occur.  The fact is that any sugary fizzy drink is acidic and will wear away tooth enamel, at the very least, leaving a rough surface. When the enamel of our teeth is not smooth, it is much easier for staining products to stick to it.

Soy sauce and balsamic vinegar – Both of these are very heavily coloured products that can lead to tooth staining. The good news is that we tend to use these in limited quantities only, although if you are a fan of these products, it is worth keeping an eye on how much you use.

Beetroot and berries – Anyone who has handled these will know how difficult it can be to remove the subsequent staining from your fingers afterwards. Unsurprisingly, and especially if your teeth have rough surfaces, they can also stain your teeth.

Curries – One of the favourite dishes in the UK; the spices used in the cooking of curries, including turmeric, which is regularly used as a food product colourant, can also leave your teeth looking discoloured, especially if you eat them regularly.

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Root Planing – What Is It And How To Avoid It?

stages of gum disease

Our Clapham dentists explain how to avoid this ‘last resort’ treatment

As regular readers of our Confidental Clinic blog will be aware, gum disease is a serious issue that can even lead to tooth loss if not treated in time. The good news is that, in the early stages, it is usually treatable with better home care alongside ‘scale and polish’ treatments performed by our Clapham hygienist.

The bad news is that not everybody sees their dentist on a regular basis and may not be aware of how serious the problem has become. Where the gum disease has become so aggressive that it has spread to the roots of the teeth and surrounding bone tissue, a procedure known as ‘root planing’ or a ‘deep clean’ will likely be necessary.

Root planing treatment

Unlike the scale and polish procedure carried out by the hygienist, root planing is much more invasive and has to be performed by a dentist, typically a specialist called a periodontist. Because of the invasive nature of the treatment, a local anaesthetic is necessary to minimise the discomfort.

Once the anaesthetic has taken affect, the dentist will  have to peel back the gums to expose the roots of the teeth so that they can be cleaned. This is done using a specialised hand tool to scrape away the hardened bacteria both on the root of the tooth and surrounding bone tissue. Once this has been done, the area is then ‘planed’ to provide a smooth surface which helps to prevent the recurrence of bacteria collecting in that area.

Is the treatment always successful?

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