Common Oral Infections

Dr David Nolte

Dr David Nolte takes a look at some common oral health issues.

As dentists, we not only see problems with the teeth, such as decay or breakages, but also with the rest of your mouth, as we examine you. This offers an excellent opportunity to monitor your overall oral health and offer advice where any problems are noted.

Whilst there are some potentially very serious oral health issues that can be detected in this way, there are also others which may still need to be treated, albeit less serious.

Even non serious conditions in the mouth can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. They can also make everyday tasks such as eating, very difficult and often uncomfortable. They may even cause us to stop brushing our teeth completely if the discomfort is too significant and as our Bedford patients will know from our previous blogs, this could be a recipe for disaster!

In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the other more common oral health problems that we come across from time to time at The Dental Centre Bedford.

Tooth decay

Yes, tooth decay, or dental caries, is actually caused by bacterial infection. As the bacteria multiply, often due to poor oral care, they produce acidic bi-products which then start to damage the tooth, leading to cavities which will need to be cleaned and filled. For anyone interested, the bacteria which is a main contributor to this problem, is called Streptococcus mutans.


We have touched on this a few times before, but essentially, gingivitis is the earlier stage of gum disease. It is caused by a number of different bacteria which, when not removed, accumulate in the hard to reach spots in the mouth, such as just below the gum line. They then produce substances which cause the gums to become inflamed and sore. There is an ever growing school of thought that some of these bacteria can enter the bloodstream and may contribute towards other illnesses, not just problems in the mouth.


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Illegal Drug Use – How It Affects Your Oral Health

Dentist Dr Sarah Nackasha of The Dental Centre Bedford

‘Street drugs’ are known to cause many health issues, but did you know that they can also be harmful to your teeth and gums?

Firstly, we want to say that, as oral health professionals, we certainly do not condone illegal drug use!

Even some regulated medical drugs can have a negative effect on your teeth and gums, but those that are unregulated and can be variable in potency, are particularly dangerous for both your general health and your oral health.

A study, carried out earlier this year showed, amongst other things, that around 8.5% of adults between the ages of 16-59 in England and Wales had taken an illegal drug within the last year. Whilst this figure may include a number who do so very irregularly or maybe even just the once, it does indicate a higher number of drug users than many of us may like to believe. There are, of course, a number of arguments as to the best approach to take to reduce this usage, but in the meantime, health professionals and users families have to deal with the consequences.

We obviously encourage our Bedford patients not to risk their teeth and gums by using illegal substances and to help indicate the serious health risks involved, below we take a look at some of the risks of some of the more common substances.

Cannabis (Marijuana)

Perhaps one of the most widely used illegal drugs in the UK. It is sometimes considered to be non addictive and relatively harmless by some users. Although not strictly ‘addictive’, dependency is common and long term heavy usage has been widely linked to psychosis issues. From an oral health angle, cannabis is usually smoked, often combined with tobacco. This will often lead to a very dry mouth, with the associated heightened risk of gum disease. Studies have indicated that heavy cannabis smokers are around 60% more likely to have gum disease than those who don’t.


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Specialist Dental Care – What Is It?

Specialist dentist using a microscope

A review of specialist dentistry services at our modern Bedford clinic.

Most patients who visit a dentist will usually do so for their regular check up, hygienist visit or minor treatment, such as a filling.

This isn’t always the case though, and, from time to time, more extensive treatment may be needed to save a natural tooth.

Some of these treatments fall into the category of ‘specialist dental care’ and usually require additional training by the dentist who carries them out.

The Dental Centre Bedford is pleased to offer three of these specialisms at our modern dental practice. Each one plays an important role in restoring a patient’s teeth when a minor procedure would not be sufficient. Our experienced dentists are here to make sure that everything possible is done to help you to keep your natural teeth. Where this is not possible, through decay or damage being too extensive, our prosthodontist can help to replace any lost teeth using artificial means.

Let’s take a closer look at the three specialisms that we currently offer.


The endodontist is primarily concerned with what happens inside of the tooth. This generally means looking after a tooth that has been infected in the root canals. This is a problem that cannot be ignored and can lead to intense pain if not treated promptly. The only way to save a tooth that is infected in this manner, is through the use of root canal therapy. We have discussed this role relatively recently, and more information about it can be found over at this blog.


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Maintaining healthy, attractive teeth long term

Dentist in a surgery

Fundamental oral care guidance from your local Bedford dentist.

Given a choice, no doubt we would all like to have nice looking teeth.

Hopefully our parents gave us a good start and we arrived in adult life with healthy teeth; but even if not, then it’s not too late to correct this, as we will see later.

By and large, how we look after our teeth on a daily basis will help to determine how nice and attractive, or otherwise, they are. In today’s blog, we take a look at how what we do day-to-day, contributes to maintaining our oral health and smile.

Keep them clean!

The most essential thing that you can do for your smile is to make sure that both your teeth and gums are healthy. This can only be done through a combination of a tooth friendly diet, regular brushing and flossing, along with ongoing monitoring during check ups at our Bedford dental practice. This everyday groundwork will lay the foundation for you to have healthy and attractive teeth over the longer term.

Remember too, that decay often starts in the most hard to reach areas. Make sure to take time to brush those areas well. Dental floss should always be used between the teeth, an area that is often affected by tooth decay. Although we do offer almost invisible tooth coloured fillings, it is far better to avoid the need for them in the first instance!

Don’t smoke

If you want to have teeth that stay naturally white for as long as possible, then don’t smoke and guidance to help quit starts here at the NHS website. If you have previously been a smoker, there are ways to rectify that which we will discuss later. Smoking is bad for your teeth in so many different ways, as well as for your general health; for example, not only does it increase the risk of gum disease but will heavily stain your teeth too. Our teeth are not as smooth on the surface as you may think, and tar and other staining substances in tobacco smoke will soon find their way into the tiny spaces on our teeth surface, leaving a discolouration that is very difficult to remove.

Reduce staining food and drinks

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Tooth Development

eating an apple with good teeth

Manish Patel explains how our teeth develop, from the womb, through to our adult years.

It may seem a long time ago for many of us, but can you remember when your first tooth came out? For some of us it may have been a surprise to find our wobbly tooth stuck in a toffee or other sticky food. Others may have had theirs pulled away from the gum by an over-zealous parent or other non-recommended method (please don’t do that by the way!)

Our ‘baby teeth’ or ‘milk teeth’ only last us a few years before being replaced by our adult teeth; but we should take care to keep both sets as healthy as possible.

Very early tooth development

It may surprise our Bedford patients to know that, although we don’t see any teeth for several months, they actually start to develop whilst we are in the womb. This development starts in the foetus at around six weeks as a collection of cells. These gradually grow beneath the gums until the time is right for them to erupt after we are born. This eruption usually occurs between the ages of six to twelve months, although this will vary with each individual. If you are concerned about your child’s tooth development, or lack of,  at this stage, you should discuss this with your local family dentist.

Baby teeth

When a tooth starts to erupt or ‘come through’, it can be a distressing time for the child, and cause a lack of sleep for some parents too. There are children’s medications that are available from the chemists that can help ease any discomfort associated with this. You may also find allowing the child to chew on a clean wet cloth will help to sooth them too. Although it can certainly be a trying time for both baby and parents, it is a healthy sign that their teeth are developing as they should do. Interestingly, girl’s baby teeth tend to erupt sooner than boys. Whatever the case though, although these teeth will fall out eventually, you should make sure to keep them clean and healthy and, if you are registered with The Dental Centre Bedford, you should register your child too.

Losing baby teeth

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Wellbeing And Financial Reasons To Stop Smoking

Dentist Dr Sarah Nackasha of The Dental Centre Bedford

Dental surgeon, Sarah Nackasha offers some advice for those wavering.

Although there are probably some smokers who will never stop unless absolutely forced to do so, the majority of people who smoke would probably prefer to quit if they could. A combination of health awareness, rising costs and a lack of places to smoke in public (1) means that some of the ‘pleasures’ associated with smoking cigarettes have largely been taken away.

As some of our Bedford patients will be aware, we will soon be coming up to ‘Stoptober’ a month of public health information, provided by Public Health England, which is designed to help and encourage people to stop smoking. For today’s blog, we thought that we would offer our own contribution to this debate a little earlier than usual. Here are some of the main reasons that the team at The Dental Centre Bedford came up with when we asked them why they thought people should ‘stub it out’.

Money and health

If you can’t convince people that smoking isn’t good for them, the dramatic rise in the cost of cigarettes over the past few years should go some way to correcting this. If you smoke even 10 cigarettes each day, at an approximate price of say £10 for 20 (and that is cheaper than many!); over the course of a year, you would have spent £1,825.00. We are pretty sure it’s easy enough to think of lots of things where that sort of money would be better spent!

Health is an issue that we perhaps close our eyes to when it isn’t affecting us directly. Anyone who knows someone who suffers from a smoking related disease though, is very likely to make more effort to stop. Don’t wait until it affects you or someone else; help to avoid health issues all round by stopping smoking.

The ageing process

You can often tell a long term smoker by their complexion as many smokers generally have dry and old looking skin. Smoking dehydrates the skin and, over time, it will lose its elasticity at a faster rate than a non smoker, leaving you looking older than your years.

Oral health issues

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Cosmetic Dentistry – More Popular Than Ever

Dr David Nolte

Dr David Nolte Reviews Options at The Dental Centre Bedford.

Cosmetic dentistry is extremely popular at the moment because it is simply much more accessible now than it used to be.

Celebrities never used to talk about their gorgeous smile secrets, prices were only suitable for A list bank balances, and techniques weren’t quite as advanced a decade or so ago. These days there are treatments to suit most budgets, and treatments are more widely available than ever before. Not only that, but there are monthly plans to make payment for treatments easier, and the treatments have been carefully designed so they are as efficient and convenient as possible.

Dr David Nolte, a highly experienced dentist in our local team, takes a close look at your options below.

Are You Considering Cosmetic Dentistry?

Lots of people want the ‘perfect’ celebrity smile and so seek dental treatments to achieve that. They may want a straighter, whiter smile, or even strive to reach the most “perfect” smile possible. For many people, this type of treatment is transformational, leading to  improvements in their social and business lives.

Your Bedford dentist has a wide range of cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry available to completely restore and transform your smile regardless of its current state. We are not here to judge, we are only here to help, so please get in touch for more information.

Versatile Treatments Options

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How To Care For Your Baby’s Teeth

Hygienist in Bedford Hilary Sinclair

Dental care in the early months in Bedford

Here at your local Bedford dentist we are proud of our professional services offered to the whole family, all the way from pregnant mothers and baby’s with their first teeth, to retirees needing high-quality dentures or implants.

We also have a central focus on preventative care so patients can maintain excellent oral health of their own teeth for as long as possible. This preventative care starts from baby’s first tooth, and you can start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they come through. Caring for your child’s teeth and helping them understand why, is so important because it means they will also learn to care for their teeth well.

Hopefully it means they will grow healthy, beautiful teeth which stay with them into adolescence, and then into adulthood. You are the first step in protecting their precious smile and your Bedford dentist is here to help you.

Our hygienist and dental care professional Hilary Sinclair offers advice on early years care.

Brushing From The Beginning

Even before baby’s first tooth emerges you can start gently cleaning their gums with a soft, wet, clean washcloth. When the first tooth comes you can begin brushing it with a smear of toothpaste. You might not be able to brush much at all in the beginning, but the important part is simply getting your child used to teeth cleaning as a normal part of the daily routine.

Oral Care As Your Child Grows Up

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Could Summer Sports Ruin Your Smile?

Dentist Dr Sarah Nackasha of The Dental Centre Bedford

Dr Sarah Nackasha says get a custom built mouth guard and look after your teeth!

The World Cup may not have gone exactly how we wanted it to in the end, but it didn’t stop many people getting inspired by the ‘beautiful game’ and lots of enjoyment was had.

The weather has also brought many of us out of our homes, into the fresh air to enjoy healthy outdoor exercise like football, rugby, rounders and tennis.

These types of activities are fantastic for cardiovascular health and for mental well-being, and should only be encouraged for all age groups. However, they do have a hidden risk that you may not be aware of. All sports, but especially contact sports or sports using balls carry a risk of dental injury. This is where the teeth or gums (or both) along with the soft tissues in the mouth are damaged during sport. These injuries can be as minor as a bruise or small cut, or as extensive as a broken jaw, teeth knocked out and deep soft tissue damage.

The risk of injury is certainly minor in comparison to the huge benefits of regular exercise. However, there are things you can do to minimise the risk for yourself when you play sports, so that you don’t have to endure the pain, costs and inconvenience of a dental injury.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Weaker teeth will be damaged much more easily than strong, healthy teeth. If you have teeth which are already wobbly or damaged by decay, they are much likely to be damaged or come out during a moment of impact than if they are completely healthy. Eating and drinking a healthy diet, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, maintaining an excellent oral health regime, and visiting your Bedford dentist regularly will help to ensure your teeth are as healthy as possible.

Avoid Sugary Sports Drinks

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Treatment For Gaps Between Your Teeth In Bedford

Unwanted gappy smile?

Celebrities like Madonna have made gaps between the teeth very appealing and desirable for some.

However, gaps between the teeth aren’t a feature some people want to maintain, and some people would prefer not to have any gaps between their teeth at all.

In some instances, gaps between the teeth can cause dental issues that can cause damage to the teeth over time and so need to be addressed.

Do you have gaps between your teeth that make you feel self conscious? Do you wish your smile could be gap free? If so, there are some excellent modern dentistry options available to you here at your Bedford dentist so you can get the smile you have always wanted.


Depending on how many gaps you have, or where the gap is, it may be appropriate for a bridge to be fitted. A bridge may be all it takes to effectively ‘close the gap’, simply preparing adjacent teeth to support the crowns which hold the bridge in place.


Veneers are used for a wide variety of reasons, because they can completely transform a smile. They are very thin sheets of porcelain which fit over prepared teeth, presenting teeth that are whiter, and the exact shape you desire. So they can be made wider to close the gaps between the natural teeth, creating the perfect gap-free smile!

Cosmetic Bonding

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