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Thousand waiting for NHS dentists


Over 4,000 people living in Plymouth are on the waiting list for a place with an NHS dentist, the National Health Service has revealed. Although this figure has dropped from 6,300 from last year, a large portion of those registered signed up seven months ago and are still waiting.

Only 53% of Plymouth residents are thought to be using dental services – a two percent drop from last year – due at least in part to the potential cost of treatment. Those waiting to be allocated a dentist are being encouraged to ring around their practices to see if any spaces have become available, as it has been suggested that city centre offices are more inclined to take on new patients if they are contacted directly. In the NHS Plymouth dental report, Vikki Johnson says; ‘Whilst allocation of people is sporadic and not easily predictable, we continually talk with practices persuading them to take, usually, several hundred people as their capacity allows and the number is gradually reducing.’

Furthermore, the report showed that only 50% of people who were given a spot with a surgery had taken advantage of it, Ms Johnson commented that this makes it even harder to allocate spaces and could impact further on waiting times. She added ‘NHS Plymouth strongly encourages any patient who is seeking an NHS dentist to contact practices directly. But it is generally perceived to be a mixture of the economic climate forcing patients to be more aware of their spending, the deferments of check-ups, and resultant under-delivery of targeted activity.’

Cut out caffeine ‘to stop tooth grinding’


Cut out caffeine 'to stop tooth grinding'Regularly grinding teeth can put individuals at risk of needing emergency dentistry to repair tooth and jaw damage, according to one industry commentator.

Writing for the Chicago Tribune, Alison Johnson claimed that 20 per cent of adults suffer from the disorder and advised people on what to do to help prevent them from clenching their teeth at night.

Getting a professionally made mouthguard is a good idea she said, as they disable the ability to rub teeth together while sleeping.

More basic methods recommended included relaxing the mouth during the day by not clenching and attempting to reduce stress through exercise, deep breathing and meditation.

Equally beneficial are cutting out caffeine and alcohol before bed and unwinding with a bath or glass of warm milk, she suggested.

Ms Johnson explained that worn teeth, jaw pain, headaches and gum sensitivity are all signs of a grinding problem and it is important to seek medical guidance if the issue persists instead of relying on pain relief.

Dental splint specialist S4S will be running a campaign from October 25th to 31st to highlight the condition and raise awareness.ADNFCR-2621-ID-19855864-ADNFCR

Relieve stress ‘to prevent tooth grinding’


Relieve stress 'to prevent tooth grinding'Stress can aggravate teeth grinding and result in jaw and tooth damage, according to one industry reporter, who recommends meditation to help.

Writing for the Detroit News, Alison Johnson claimed deep breathing and exercise can help to diffuse stress and reduce the likelihood of people grinding their teeth as they sleep.

Relaxing before bed by reading a book or listening to calming music and avoiding alcohol and caffeine were also recommended techniques.

Jaw pain, worn or chipped teeth, early morning headaches and gum tenderness are all signs of night time clenching and grinding, Ms Johnson explained and should be assessed by a dentist.

She also suggested that some people may find wearing a mouthguard protects their teeth by preventing them from rubbing together throughout the night.

The rise in the number of people seeking treatment for the condition is of concern, according to recent reports in Medical News Today, which said severe cases could result in tooth loss.ADNFCR-2621-ID-19842780-ADNFCR

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