Christmas and New Years Opening hours 2017

December 13th, 2017

Tooth Decay – A quick explanation

November 24th, 2017

With the season for treats and chocolate gifts approaching we just wanted to provide a bit of information on tooth decay to our patients. So you can enjoy Christmas without the toothache in January.

Tooth decay and erosion can occur when we have high sugar diets.

It’s not the sugar itself but the chain reaction in the mouth that occurs after eating.

Your mouth is an ecosystem containing hundreds of bacteria, many of which are friendly!

However there are some that actually feed on the sugar you eat and release acids which destroy the tooth enamel. The tooth enamel is that white shiny layer of the tooth.  Teeth are mainly composed of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals and if you remember from chemistry lessons at school acids dissolve many substances.

Below is the formula for tooth decay.

If sugar habits don’t change, tooth decay will progress further and further.  You will be essentially feeding the bacteria, and the more you feed them the more acid production there is. The diagram below shows the progression of decay.

So how can you reduce sugar intake and prevent decay?

Simply cut down on chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks and fruit juices, also check the label of other food as there are many hidden sugars within foods such as crisps and ketchup.

Reduce the frequency, if you do feel the need for a bar of chocolate after a hard day at work then eat it in one go, if you eat 12 individual pieces throughout the day you are actually increasing the frequency of sugar and the number of acid attacks in the day.

Also drink water after to help neutralise the PH in your mouth.

Early decay can be prevented by also applying fluoride toothpaste topically. Your dentist can show you the specific areas and how to do this effectively.

Book in for your six monthly check up so that early decay can be spotted by the dentist.



What is Bruxism?

October 27th, 2017

This week it is Bruxism awareness week. So I thought that I would create a Blog informing people just what Bruxism is exactly, what it can cause and who is likely to be at risk. There is a lot of information out there so I will try to summarise the key points that I have found.

What is Bruxism?

Is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth, this can cause tooth breakage and disorders of the jaw and lead to headaches.

You may be doing this unconsciously by clenching your teeth when you’re awake (awake bruxism) or clenching or grinding them during sleep (sleep bruxism)

Bruxism occurs in both children and adults but is most common in 25-44 year olds. However, most people grind and/or clench their teeth occasionally to a certain degree.

Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea). Your partner will probably notice this before you do.

Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to need intervention.

If you have sleep bruxism, you may be completely unaware of it until complications develop, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, the sound of this especially during sleep may be loud enough to wake your partner.
  • Teeth appear flattened, have multiple fractures and chips or become loose through gum recession
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth. Attrition and abfraction
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity.
  • Jaw muscles may feel tight or tired or even painful at times. Could cause antagonial notches in the mandible.
  • Locked jaw that does not open and close completely,
  • Neck and facial pain and soreness
  • Earache like pain, however not caused by anything inside the ear but referred pain from the mouth
  • Dull headache radiating from the temples.
  • Cheek damage on the sides of the mouth, from chewing, your tongue may also show signs of bite marks.
  • Sleep disruption

Below is a visual representation of just how much tooth wear can occur.


Risks factors that increase bruxism

  • Stress- We all experience this, when we are feeling anxious, angry, frustrated and stressed this can lead to teeth grinding.
  • Personality – Some personality types that are more hyperactive, aggressive or competitive can increase the risk of bruxism. Those will attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be more prone.
  • Medications and other substances- Can be a side effect of some medications such as antidepressants. Alcohol, caffeine and smoking tobacco and the use of recreational drugs can increase the risk of bruxism.
  • Genetics – Sleep bruxism is common within families.
  • Medical disorders- Some mental health and medical disorders can be associated with bruxism.   For example:  Parkinson’s disease, dementia, gastroesphageal reflux, epilepsy and night terrors.
  • Sleep Disorders – Such as Sleep apnoea.


Long term Implications

  • In the long term this can lead to damage to your teeth, restorations, or jaw.
  • Tension headaches
  • Facial or jaw pain
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction , this may sound like clicking when you open and close your mouth

What can be done? What treatments are there? And how can you reduce the risks?

Firstly you should attend the dentist regularly to monitor and diagnose any problems that you may be experiencing.

If you grind they may recommend you to wear a mouth guard or a splint at night.This will ease the pressure across your jaw and create a barrier between your teeth to reduce further damage.Mouth guards are custom moulded to your mouth and are usually made of a thin plastic.Mouth splints are similar but made from a harder plastic and tend to be more hard wearing and last longer.

If you think you are grinding and clenching due to stress you may want to try a variety of ways to keep calm and unwind before bed. For example yoga, deep breathing, meditation. Cognitive behaviour therapy may be the answer.

Lifestyle changes will be needed such as reducing alcohol consumption and for smokers , it may be time to try to kick the habit.

The NHS choices website also suggests that you could try habit reversal techniques and record how often you grind or clench and when. Then with this information you can try to train yourself to relax the jaw however this may not be very successful for those who grind at night and there is no scientific evidence that this will cure Bruxism. There are self help books, or hypnosis may be worth exploring.

There is a plethora of help and advice out there and if you are experiencing anything like the symptoms above then mention this to your Dentist or GP and get them to offer you professional advice. It may not lead to long term health implications in every case but it is definitely something to be aware of. We all experience stress in our life and it really is a common problem among patients.


Tooth Brushing

March 14th, 2017

We understand that getting children to brush their teeth can be difficult so we thought we would try to make things a little easier and fun and made this Tooth Brushing chart for you to print off as a little bit of encouragement to brush twice a day morning and night. Please print off as many as you like!


Christmas and New year Opening Hours 2016

December 13th, 2016


What is Tooth Whitening?

March 14th, 2016

dental focus gallery

What is it?

Tooth whitening is a type of aesthetic dental treatment that lightens the visible shade of your natural teeth, whilst retaining the tooth structure. As oral aesthetics become an increasingly important determining factor in various aspects of the modern person’s life, from one’s career to self-confidence, tooth whitening is burgeoning in popularity at a remarkable pace. This has led to an increase in organised efforts to improve and regulate its safe provision.

Tooth discolouration

Why would you choose to have tooth whitening done? Tooth discolouration is the predominant reason. This is caused by extrinsic and intrinsic factors.  Most extrinsic stains can be removed through tooth whitening, but intrinsic stains may be much more difficult to eliminate.

  • Extrinsic Stains

These are mostly due to lifestyle and eating habits. For instance, regular intake of foods and drinks like wine, soft drinks and coffee stains enamel, the outer layer of the tooth.

ID-10015306                      Smoking is also a major culprit.

But one thing we cannot avoid is the natural yellowing of our teeth as we grow older.  This is because the light-colored outer layer of the tooth becomes thinner as we age, letting the darker-colored interior show through.

  • Intrinsic Stains

Meanwhile, intrinsic factors include high fluoride intake or tetracycline use at an early age or a rare dental condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta. Trauma at an early age can also cause white or yellow discolorations on the internal layer of the tooth.

Tooth Whitening Products

Tooth whitening products fall into two main groups. The former group usually contains either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, working in similar ways.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is mostly used in whitening treatments carried out in-office by dental professionals, ranging in concentration from 0.1% to 6%. How does the process work? Before the product is applied, gel may be applied to your gums or a rubber dam may be used. This is to protect and isolate the soft tissues of the mouth from coming into contact with the active agent. After applying the gel, light or laser may be used to activate the bleaching agent, to enhance the whitening effect.

When delivered by a dental professional, in-office tooth whitening has a low risk, and its systemic effects are no longer considered to be a major safety issue. Here at Ashford Dental, we provide quality in-office whitening treatments, all by certified dental professionals held up to the highest standard. Because your health is our priority.

  • Carbamide Peroxide


Carbamide peroxide is sometimes used in at-home whitening treatment courses prescribed and monitored by a dental professional. It is applied using trays, strips or brushes, with a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect your gums. This option is growing more popular as time efficiency and the comfort of home become joint priorities for many. Do note that, as with in-office treatments, care must be taken in order to prevent chemical burn to the gums and mouth.

Whitening treatments sold over the counter must contain less than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. However according to the Lay Advisory Group of the FGDP(UK), an effective whitening outcome can only be achieved with products that contain or release hydrogen peroxide at 3.6% or more.



As with all treatments, tooth whitening has its associated risks. It may cause damage to surrounding cells. Besides that, there is a risk of swallowing the treatment gel. In the dental clinic, the close attention of professionals enables these risks to be minimised. There is also more complete provision of precautions and facilities to deal with any mishaps.


Side Effects

Other than risks, tooth whitening also has some side effects that may or may not affect some people. These include elevated teeth sensitivity to hot and cold, and gum irritation. Your dentist is responsible for assessing your oral health status, determining the most suitable treatment for you, monitoring you and following your progress to make sure that side effects are mitigated. This is where we at Ashford Dental come in. Our well-trained, dedicated dentists have accumulated experience in treating patients exactly like you. If you have any queries, please do contact us to find out more about your treatment options and how we can help you achieve the smile of your dreams.



Written for Ashford Dental, by Kai Ng



General Dental Council Publications. Considering Tooth Whitening; 2014 [pdf]. Available at

Ishikawa, M. , Satoh, K. , Miyashin, M. A clinical study of traumatic injuries to deciduous teeth. (3). The influence on their permanent successors. Shoni Shikagaku Zasshi. The Japanese Journal of Pedodontics 1990; 28(2), p.397-406.

General Dental Council Publications. Position Statement on Tooth Whitening UD; 2014 [pdf]. Available at


Li, Y. Safety controversies in tooth bleaching. Dent Clin N Am 2011; 55: p255–263.

Tavares M, Stultz J, Newman M, Smith V, Kent R, Carpino E, Goodson JM. Light augments tooth whitening with peroxide. J Am Dent Assoc. 2003 Feb;134(2):167-75.

Floyd R A. Role of oxygen free radicals in carcinogenesis and brain ischemia. FASEB J1990; 4: 2587–2597.

Li Y. The safety of peroxide-containing at-home tooth whiteners. Compend Contin Educ Dent 2003; 24: 384–389.

Christmas And New Year Opening Times 2015-2016

December 15th, 2015

Christmas times 2


Icon treatment

August 22nd, 2015

We were recently contact by a representative from DMG regarding their product call Icon.

The product was originally developed for treating interproximal caries, (decay between the teeth to me and you)

however they noticed that is also had more of a cosmetic use as well.

Many people including myself have white spots on their teeth. Mine, I have no idea where it came from I’ve just always had it and was a bit of a clumsy child so just assumed it was trauma and there wasn’t much to be done about it unless I wanted a veneer or filling.

My tooth is healthy therefore drilling a healthy tooth seems somewhat wrong.

The cosmetic use is for vestibular treatment, therefore it can be applied directly to a white spot to change how light reflects on the defect therefore diminishing the appearance of the white spot. I basically wanted to try this to improve my white spot and considering mine was pretty large and very milky in colour, it made the rest of my teeth seem very yellow. Below is a photo of my front teeth prior to the treatment.

icon before

The procedure is as follows

  • A mouth prop is placed to retract the soft tissues of the mouth, a rubber dam barrier between the tooth and the soft tissues is placed. This stops any of the products coming into contact with the soft tissues of the mouth.
  • The Icon Etch is then placed on the tooth area and left for two minutes, until rinsed off and the tooth is dried, this process may be repeated 3-4 times depending on how deep the defect is within the tooth. Air abrasion may also be used to gain better access before etching. In my case air abrasion was used.
  • Once the defective area is exposed the Icon dry is placed to see if the tooth has been etched enough. If the defect is non visible then it is time to place the Icon Infiltrant and to let set for 3 minutes. If not then the etch process may be repeated.
  • Then the tooth is highly polished, additional composite material may need to be applied depending on how deep the defect was.


After this process which took around an hour including the polishing of the tooth surface. The results straight after the treatment are  shown below.

icon after

I was very pleased with this result, however the full effect of the product does not show until 2 weeks after, where it is recommended to give and secondary tooth surface polish. During this two week period it is not recommended to whiten the teeth as the product may take up staining.            icon after2weeks

As you can see this is quite a dramatic change and did not require any filling material to smooth the surface.

This is a great result to book in for a consultation priced at £30.oo please call us on 01233 639289

Taking the Stress out of Dental Treatment, Anxious and Phobic Patients Welcome

June 10th, 2015

calm woman

We all know visiting the dentist can be daunting for most people but we also understand how terrifying it can be to those of us who have had traumatic experiences in the past and therefore lost faith and trust in healthcare professionals. Professionals are the people who you should have faith in.
That’s exactly what we at Ashford Dental Care train and work hard to be every day. Professional.
We source new ways to put our patients at ease, to educate, and implement them as part of our integrative approach to dentistry.
In this blog I will summarise a few of the articles on our website and highlight the key points.
Overcoming fear and anxiety can be difficult and taking that first step is daunting. Dear Doctor explains just how to develop a trusting relationship with the right dentist.

  • Firstly the key points to consider when selecting the right dentist
  • Discussion and Openness -Does the Dentist engage open discussion about treatment and options?
  • Listening- Does the dentist listen to you in a non-judgemental way, understanding your fears and concerns?
  • Control- Does the dentist let you decide and give you control over procedures and time to make informed decisions?

If the dentist does then you are more likely to feel comfortable with them as it is an open relaxed non pressured environment. If there is still stress or fear there are other methods to help which will be discussed later. It is about working to reduce your fear rather than simply fixing the teeth.
Making patients more comfortable is important because when you are stressed and afraid you behave differently whether it is consciously or unconsciously. Fear also means you release chemicals such as adrenaline which engages a flight or fight response; you perceive a threat and therefore react. You tense your muscles and are likely to experience sensitivity to pain making the experience worse than if you were calm.
So.. How do we alleviate the fear and keep our patients calm
• Oral sedatives
• Inhalation
• IV sedation also known as Deep conscious sedation
Oral sedatives are drugs that you take prior to visiting the dentist; they are anxiolytics with some amnesic properties. They allow relaxation and time to pass in minutes.
Inhalation or as it is otherwise known nitrous oxide/ laughing gas is an excellent analgesic (pain reliever) and give a euphoric feeling, however not as effective for relieving anxiety and effects only last whilst you are breathing in through the hood. It also has no hang over effects.
IV sedation, dental professionals need specialised training to offer this option. It works immediately and the levels can be adjusted easily to reduce pain and anxiety. It is a slightly high risk option as heart rate; breathing and blood pressure have to be monitored throughout. The drugs are more effective due to the IV going directly into the blood stream; therefore amnesia of dental treatment while sedated is often profound.
Things to consider if you require conscious sedation
It is important that your dentist discusses which of these apply to your situation.
• Disclose all medications, including over the counter, or any herbal remedies that you are taking. Even some herbal medications like St Johns Wort can cause drug interactions.
• Provide a concise medical history.
• Be prepared to take a day off of work, certain procedures can take half a day at least.
• Do not drive yourself to and from treatment and bring a family member with you. Sometimes the after effects can last a few hours after treatment.
• You may not be able to eat 6 hours before depending on advice from dentist. Certain foods may not be eaten such as grapefruit days prior to sedation as they interact with oral or iv sedation drugs.
• Tell the dentist about your alcohol intake or if you smoke.
• Stay hydrated.
For more information please read the articles in our sedation and phobic patients sections by clicking here

We want all our patients to feel safe and comfortable in our surgery, if you wish to discuss sedation techniques book in and visit us for a treatment plan and chat and we will work with you to decide the best course of treatment for you and at your own pace.

Book online with one of our experts to check how well you Brush your teeth

March 20th, 2015

According to recent studies many of us don’t brush our teeth properly.

Sadly research also suggests poor oral health doesn’t stop at the mouth, it can be linked to heart attacks, a stroke, and some forms of cancer. Therefore I have put a blog together to highlight which areas we can all improve of brushing and oral health regimes.

Firstly which brush is best?

Generally it is technique, and many will say that there is not much difference between a manual and electric toothbrush. However an electric toothbrush does take the effort out of brushing in the morning, some studies suggest it can be 45% percent more effective, but this is likely to the brush head moving at a consistent speed and the inbuilt timer makes you spend that extra time brushing so also have pressure sensors that let you know when you are brushing too hard. Electric toothbrushes come in two forms, sonic waves such as the sonicare, others work with a mixture of oscillations and pulsations such as Oral B. Generally most people leave it to a matter of choice.

Manual brushes the recommendation is a soft brush with a small head.

How to brush?

Using small circular movements over each tooth, starting with the outward faces then on the inside faces.

The holding the brush like a pen, angle it at 45 degrees, tilting it slightly upwards when brushing the upper teeth, tilting slightly downwards when brushing the lower teeth with the brush gently touching the gum.

Finally brush the biting surfaces.

What is important to consider is that you do not want to be brushing too hard as this can cause trauma to the gums and abrasion, therefore the gums will recede and this will cause sensitivity. This is why Professor Aubrey Sheiham of University college London  suggests holding the toothbrush like a pen so that you don’t over brush as you would if you gripped it with your hand. For more information on the study it can be read here

You should be brushing for 2 minutes twice daily if not more, that’s 30 seconds per quadrant, any more could also lead to abrasion and gum recession.

They also suggest you do not rinse your mouth after brushing instead leaving fluoride on the teeth to maximise the benefit of fluoride. It is also recommended that you wait 40 minutes to 1 hour after eating to brush so allow PH levels in the mouth to neutralise particularly after eating acidic food.

Below is a link to a video that shows you how to brush