Common dental conditions

Nothing compares to a first-class dental routine. Brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly, twice a day, regular check ups with your local Sheffield 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 a honed 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 Portman Dental & Implant Clinic 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 Portman dentist straight away. If the pain is severe, you should book an emergency dental appointment.

During your appointment your Sheffield dentist will talk through your symptoms, provide a thorough examination and advise on the best treatment for the cause. You can take steps to prevent tooth decay by eating a low-sugar diet, keeping a good oral care routine by brushing and flossing twice a day, and going for regular check ups.

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. Eating, drinking, lifestyle and age can all contribute to this kind of erosion and, unfortunately, enamel doesn’t 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 pH in your mouth and prevent erosion. If you can, avoid or reduce your intake of carbonated drinks – these culprits strip vital minerals from your enamel. A soft toothbrush is kinder to your gums and less abrasive on soft or weakened enamel, and 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. It can cause you to wince and sometimes be a painful experience. Enamel erosion can lead to tooth sensitivity, as can teeth clenching or grinding, and teeth bleaching.

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 – and incorporating more fibre-rich foods and vegetables. 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. Many contain the ingredient sodium lauryl sulphate, which can irritate sensitive teeth.

Usually sensitivity from tooth whitening is temporary, and should subside. Wear to teeth from grinding and clenching can usually be addressed with a mouth guard. Your Portman Dental & Implant Clinic dental specialist will be able to diagnose why you are experiencing sensitive teeth, and talk you through options and treatments.

Mouth sores

Eating and drinking when you have a mouth sore is an uncomfortable experience. A mouth sore can develop for a number of reasons. It could be from burning your mouth, biting your lip or even brushing too hard. These shallow sores, or ulcers, 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 often will go of their own accord.

How do I treat mouth sores?

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 sore for more than 3 weeks, are experiencing recurrent mouth ulcers or can see unusual white patches on the surface, make an appointment to see your dentist. Your body has ways of alerting you to problems, and 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 Portman Dental & Implant Clinic dentist.

Gum disease

There are 2 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 ultimate cause for gum disease is a build up of plaque and harmful bacteria in the mouth.

How do I treat gum disease?  

Gum disease is not usually painful, so keep an eye out for 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 an appointment to see your Sheffield hygienist. The quicker you treat gum disease, the better.    

If you have any concerns about your dental health, make an appointment today with Portman Dental & Implant Clinic on 0114 272 2726 for a check up.