Durham University Student? Tooth Problems? Need a Dentist?
If you need to see a dentist whilst you are at university ring for an appointment 0191 384 8231 (Elvet Dental Practice, Durham).
Being located right next to the university and the university medical centre in Old Elvet. I see many students as dental patients- both undergraduate and postgraduate from all colleges.
There seems to be a trend of similar problems.
Wisdom tooth problems
Higher decay rate
Fracturing the front teeth.
Walking into the path of dentists who are cycling to work.
In this post I want to give some guidance for students at the Durham university about some of the things that can prevent these issues from happened.
Wisdom Tooth Problems.
Quite simply, my day as a dentist doesn't seem quite complete until I have seen someone with a wisdom tooth problem. In years gone by- if wisdom teeth came through (erupted) in an unusual position they were normally removed. More often now they kept under supervision unless they start to cause a problem. The most frequent wisdom tooth problem I see is pericoronitis.
What is the problem?
Pericoronitis is when the gum and tissue surrounding a tooth becomes inflamed. It happens more frequently to wisdom teeth as quite often they are in an unusual position or are only partially erupted through the gum.
The gum becomes inflamed due to the build up of plaque primarily- but can be due to trauma from a tooth nearby or trapped foodstuffs.
What does it feel like?
No-one really reads a blog post on pericoronitis unless they have it. So the chances are you will probably know how it feels!
Some of the symptoms can include pain, swelling of the jaw and neck glands, difficulty opening your mouth and just generally feeling rubbish.
How is it treated?
In mild to moderate cases- accurate and frequent cleaning using a toothbrush is the key. Unfortunately is may be sore and you may get bleeding as you brush. Don't worry too much about this- inflamed gums bleed. Sometimes I will advocate using a mouthrinse too e.g. corsodyl or a salt water mouth rinse.
In some more moderate to severe cases where there is or might be a spread of the infection I will prescribe antibiotics. If the tooth is becoming a repeated problem sometimes it is worth having it removed.
How can I prevent it?
Accurate and frequent cleaning using a toothbrush is the key for most cases- but not all. Some wisdom teeth are just at such an unusual position they can't effectively be cleaned or kept hygienic. In those cases it is normally better to have them taken out.
We notice that people are more likely to get wisdom tooth problems when they are stressed, run down or not getting enough sleep. In this way pericoronitis can act as an 'opportunistic infection' if your body isn't quite at it's peak. We see it frequently with Freshers (!) and when exam time comes around at Durham University. So looking after yourself is a good way to go. Get sleep, eat properly and clean your teeth well!