Common dental conditions

Nothing can replace a first-class dental routine. Brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly, twice a day, regular consultations with your dentist and professional deep cleans with your hygienist will keep your smile as healthy as possible for your whole lifetime. However, there are some dental conditions that are more common than others and even with an excellent oral health routine, you may come up against one or more of the below.  

These are some of the most common dental issues that you might face in your lifetime.  


Toothache will usually have you reaching for the phone to make an appointment with your local Portway Dental Care dentist. It may be a sharp pain or a dull ache, and can sometimes be accompanied by a headache or fever. It’s unpleasant and uncomfortable and usually needs professional attention straight away. Toothache may be a sign of infected gums, tooth decay, abscesses or fractures.  

How do I treat toothache?

Unfortunately, toothache won’t go away by itself. If you are experiencing pain or inflammation, it’s important to make an appointment to see your Portway Dental Care dentist straight away. If the pain is severe, you should book an emergency dental appointment.

During your appointment your dentist will talk through your symptoms, provide a thorough examination and advise on the best treatment for the cause.

Enamel erosion

Erosion of your teeth occurs when the protective enamel is worn away. You can spot when your enamel is thinning as your teeth may appear more translucent and less creamy-white than they used to be. Eating, drinking, lifestyle and age can all contribute to this kind of erosion and, unfortunately, enamel does not regenerate so once it’s gone, it’s gone. Enamel erosion is more common than you might think and can lead to tooth discolouration, sensitivity and cracks in your teeth.

How do I prevent enamel erosion?

Your enamel is precious and you can treat it as such with a few simple protective measures. Ultimately, acid is your enamel’s number one enemy, so drinking water after eating and chewing sugar-free gum will help to re-neutralise the acid in your mouth and prevent erosion. If you can, avoid or reduce your intake of carbonated (fizzy) drinks – these strip vital minerals from your enamel. A soft toothbrush is kinder to your gums and less abrasive on soft or weakened enamel. Make sure you leave half an hour to an hour after eating before picking up your toothbrush.

Tooth sensitivity

Do your teeth twinge in the cold air or when you sip a hot cup of tea? Sensitive teeth usually make themselves known when they come into contact with temperature extremes. This can cause you to wince and be a painful experience. Enamel erosion can lead to tooth sensitivity, as can teeth clenching or grinding and gum recession.

What can I do about my sensitive teeth?

The first step in treating sensitive teeth is to start looking after your enamel and avoid very acidic food and drink, especially fizzy drinks. You can make simple changes to your diet to help, such as eating more dairy – like milk, cheese and natural yoghurt. Green tea and black tea have also been found to help maintain the natural pH in your mouth. You should also check the ingredients in your toothpaste to make sure it contains fluoride; some do not.

Your Portway Dental Care dentist will be able to diagnose why you are experiencing sensitive teeth and talk you through options and treatments.

Mouth ulcers

Eating and drinking when you have a mouth ulcer is an uncomfortable experience. A mouth ulcer can develop for a number of reasons. It could be from burning your mouth, eating sharp food, biting your lip or even brushing too hard. These can appear on the soft tissue in your mouth on the gums, lips, tongue or inside the cheek. Mouth ulcers are not contagious and thankfully they are usually short-lived. You may find that they appear at times of stress or when your immune system is low and will go of their own accord. They can also be caused by hormonal changes in women.

How do I treat mouth ulcers?

You can manage your mouth ulcers at home by using a soft brush to clean your teeth and applying a protective paste to speed up the healing process. If you have had a mouth ulcer for more than three weeks, are experiencing recurrent mouth ulcers or can see unusual white patches on the surface, make an appointment to see your dentist. These may be a sign of a bacterial infection, mouth cancer, or another issue such oral herpes (the herpes simplex virus) that may require treatment from your local Portway Dental Care dentist.

Gum disease

There are two kinds of gum disease. Gingivitis only affects the gum tissue surrounding the teeth, while periodontitis is more severe as it can spread below the gum to damage tissues and bone in your jaw. The cause of gum disease is complex, with genetic and general health factors playing an important part but a build up of plaque and harmful bacteria in the mouth is the primary cause in most cases.

How do I treat gum disease?  

Gum disease is not usually painful unless it is acute or advanced; so keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms. You may have gingivitis if your gums are red and swollen, or bleed when you brush. Periodontitis will make itself known with symptoms such as gums visibly pulling away from the teeth, loose teeth, persistent bad breath or pus emanating from your gums. If you think you may be experiencing the signs of gum disease, make any appointment to see your Portway Dental Care dentist. The quicker you treat gum disease, the better.    

If you have any concerns about your dental health, make an appointment today with Portway Dental Care on 01235 762187 for a check up.



At Portway Dental Care we know that every smile is unique. Regular consultations are advised to complement a good daily oral health routine and to provide a preventative approach to dental health.

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