Monthly Archives: October 2015

Can mouth ulcers be harmful?

dental advice near fosse park leicester

Mouth ulcers are a common complaint at our Leicester dental practice and whether you suffer from them occasionally or routinely they can really hinder your life.

Around 1 in 5 people will suffer from mouth ulcers at some point in their life. Mouth ulcers can be painful when eating, drinking or brushing teeth. It’s a problem that we see often at our Leicester dental clinic and thought it would be helpful to look into the most commonly asked questions surrounding mouth ulcers.

It’s ok to suffer from occasional mouth ulcers, they are usually harmless and generally clear up on their own.

What causes mouth ulcers?

Believe it or not the exact cause of mouth ulcers is still unknown!

There are things that are thought to trigger simple mouth ulcers such as stress or certain foods such as citrus fruits (such as lemons, oranges, pineapples, apples, figs, tomatoes and strawberries), can trigger a mouth ulcer or make the problem worse. Sometimes a sharp tooth surface or dental appliance, such as braces or ill-fitting dentures, might also trigger mouth ulcers.

Occasionally cases of complex mouth ulcers are caused by an underlying health condition, such as an impaired immune system; nutritional problems, such as vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, or iron deficiency and gastrointestinal tract disease, such as Coeliac disease and Crohn’s disease.
Seek medical advice if they last longer than 3 weeks or keep coming back.

Sometimes medications can cause mouth ulcers, if you notice a correlation between your medication and mouth ulcers then it’s important you continue with the medication but seek advice from your GP as soon as possible.

How are mouth ulcers treated?

Pain from a mouth ulcer generally lessens in a few days and the sores usually heal without treatment in about a week or two.

If sores are large, painful or persistent, your dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouth rinse, a corticosteroid ointment, or a prescription or non-prescription solution to reduce the pain and irritation.

Over the counter remedies such as Bonjela may help to relieve some discomfort temporarily.

Can mouth ulcers be prevented?

Although there is no cure for mouth ulcers and they often reoccur, you may be able to reduce their frequency with good dental hygiene and by:

Avoiding foods that irritate your mouth, including acidic or spicy foods
Avoiding irritation from gum chewing
Brushing with a soft-bristled brush after meals and flossing daily, which will keep your mouth free of foods that might trigger a sore.

Seek medical advice about mouth ulcers if you have:

Unusually large sores
Sores that are spreading
Sores that last three weeks or longer
Intolerable pain despite avoiding trigger foods and taking over-the-counter pain medication
Difficulty drinking enough fluids
A high fever with the appearance of the mouth ulcer(s)

If you’re concerned with mouth ulcers please speak to a member of our dental team, we are happy to help or book an appointment by calling 0116 2891317.

A superb, friendly dental experience

leicester dental surgery


A visit to a dentist would not be on most people’s agenda, but needs must! My wife and I were recommended to Smile Essential dental Practice and have been treated (pardon the pun) to a superb, friendly and professional service.

So much so that on moving from Leicestershire to Dorset we carried on with the monthly payment plan and now endure the 360 mile trip. A Smile Essential in Dorset would be cool!

Mr M.A. Gibbons, Dorset.

Live, love and laugh

smile Essential dental practice is within easy reach of LFE

Live, love and Laugh

I have been using this dental practice for many years and have found the dentist’s very efficient and caring towards my nervous disposition.

The dental staff are all very helpful and obliging, their friendliness puts you at ease and leaves you with a smile on your face.

Mrs H. LFE, Leicester

Click to read more about the services our patients receive

Does Your Jaw go Snap, Crack and Pop?

TMJ disorders occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. These disorders are also referred to as TMJ syndrome, TMJ dysfunction or temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

tmj pic.ccsearch

What is the temporomandibular joint?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. The joints are flexible, allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side and enabling you to talk, chew and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control the position and movement of the jaw.

What causes temporomandibular joint disorders?

The cause of TMJ disorders is not clear, but dentists believe it arises from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.

Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint or muscles of the head and neck – such as from a heavy blow or whiplash – can cause TMJ disorders. Other possible causes include:

  • Grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ
  • Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
  • Presence of osteoarthritis or arthritis in the TMJ.
  • Stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

People with TMJ disorders can experience severe pain and discomfort that can be temporary or last for many years. More women than men experience TMJ disorders and it is seen most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40.

Dr. Niket Patel of Smile Essential Dentist in Leicester has an interest in this area of dentistry. He has undergone advanced training on Occlusion from the world renowned DawsonAcademy. Here are some of the common symptoms of TMJ disorders:

  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak or open your mouth wide
  • Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
  • Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open or closed position
  • Clicking, popping or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth (which may or may not be accompanied by pain)
  • A tired feeling in the face
  • Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite, as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
  • Swelling on the side of the face.

Other common symptoms of TMJ disorders include toothaches, headaches/migraines, neckaches, dizziness,earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

It is best if you visit the dentist to diagnose a TMJ disorder as many other conditions can cause similar symptoms to TMJ disorders – including a toothache, sinus problems, arthritis or gum disease your dentist  will conduct a careful patient history and clinical examination to determine the cause of your symptoms and discuss any necessary treatment options to alleviate any discomfort.

If you attend Smile Essential Dentist in Leicester for regular Dental Health Checks, then you may have noticed that we check the health of your TMJ before we even check your teeth! So we can diagnose any areas of concern quickly and promptly.