Many patients come to the surgery complaining of pain with their wisdom teeth. Here is some information on the cause and what you can do to treat wisdom tooth pain.

• Pain on opening mouth or chewing around the last molar
• Swelling
• Reddening of the gum surrounding the wisdom tooth
• Bad taste in mouth and foul smell

The technical term for pain in the gum surrounding the wisdom tooth is called pericoronitis. This occurs from bacteria causing inflammation around the erupting wisdom tooth.

wisdom Bacteria from trapped food proliferate under the flap of gum that is formed from the erupting wisdom tooth

What can be done to prevent or treat pericoronitis?

The simple solution is to remove the source of the inflammation which in this case is the trap food or bacteria. This can be done by the following methods:

• Single tufted tooth brush to clean deeply around the wisdom tooth

• Warm salt water rinses (small cup of warm water with two tea spoons of salt)

• Corsodyl mouth wash (be careful as this can stain your teeth brown)

Very occasionally an infection can develop. Antibiotics are only prescribed in severe cases where there is limited mouth opening or when the patient feel very unwell.

If you have any concerns about wisdom teeth then please do not hesitate to speak to one of the St Stephens dental team.

Giving you the confidence to smile


You wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself at home, so why try and remove your teeth or apply fillings yourself?
You may have read in the news recently about the rise of ‘DIY dentistry’ – people taking it upon themselves to treat their own teeth. There was also a discussion about DIY dentistry on the Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show on Monday 20th April which you can go to at this LINK. Doing it yourself is often to do with saving the perceived monetary cost of treatment from a professional dentist, but this decision almost undoubtedly comes with a much greater potential cost to the individual’s health.

In a survey carried out by the British Dental Health Foundation, a worrying one in five Britons said they would remove a decaying or diseased tooth themselves rather than visit a dentist. The decision to self-treat has been made increasingly popular with the availability and convenience of various DIY kits, including those which allow individuals to apply temporary fillings themselves. Manufactured by Dentek, over 250,000 of these kits alone are sold in the UK every year, and are normally found in easily accessible High Street shops like Poundland. There are now even DIY extraction kits!! But no mention of anaesthesia!!!

However, there are several serious risks involved with trying to carry out your own treatment. Dentists have to go through years of rigorous training and studying in order to be able to carry out even the most basic of procedures safely. Attempting to carry out your own ‘quick fix’ has an understandably substantial risk of causing infection or creating further serious problems.

Without knowing exactly what you’re doing, it’s easy to miss vital stages in any procedure you might attempt. When you have a filling at the dentist, for example, the tooth and surrounding area will be properly cleaned and prepared, with any plaque or decay removed so that bacteria cannot cause problems underneath the filling. At home, you would not have the knowledge, let alone the correct equipment, to be able to do this properly. It’s all too easy to make the problem worse, which in turn will only lead to more urgent, expensive, and perhaps even more prolonged treatment to fix your own efforts.

The press has recently reported some horrific DIY dentistry stories, including a woman who used a fork to pop an abscess in her mouth, and a man who plugged a cavity in his mouth with QuikSteel – a potentially toxic steel-reinforced putty used to fix car engines. Other cases involve removing teeth with spanners and even a toffee hammer (whatever that is!).On Youtube there are unbelievable videos of teeth being removed by tying to a golf ball which is then hit. And several cases of tying teeth to fireworks! It is amazing the lengths some people will go to avoid dentists who are usually trying to help people in the most painless manner!

There have been cases of people extracting the wrong tooth, thinking it was a different one that was causing the problem, or developing nasty infections in the empty socket. The most bizarre was the case of a person trying to improve the fit of their denture by relining or “retreading” it. They melted down carriers bags, poured the molten plastic into their plate and then inserted it in their mouth!! It saved them some money.. Not! but the months of agony did not offset that!

Withexaminations available from St Stephens Dental Practice from just £25.00 or so, and emergency or urgent appointments available, professional treatment from the outset is often not only much cheaper overall, but also much safer than attempting to fix a problem yourself. You’ll also have the reassuring peace of mind that you won’t suffer any unnecessary pain or prolonged discomfort if your DIY approach was to go wrong!

For more information about treatment options available at St Stephens Dental Practice, or to book an appointment with us, please call a member of our team on 01227 452668 or Email at
Remember the team at St Stephens Dental Practice will give you the confidence to smile.


Part Two of our two part guide on how to prevent tooth decay and cavities, to keep your teeth looking healthy, is all about how what we eat and drink can effect what happens to our teeth. Now we all know that too many sugary foods and drinks aren’t good for our teeth, but do you know how to help prevent tooth decay without giving up all of your treats?

Keep reading to discover some handy tips on how to help keep your teeth healthy without saying goodbye to sugar!


tooth The maximum number of times you should eat/drink sugar in a day is 4. So enjoy all the lovely sugary                       foods and drinks with a meal.

In between mealtimes, only drink or snack on sugar free foods and drinks.

Having a healthy, balanced diet, with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, will help to keep your immune                    system strong so you can fight diseases anywhere in your body, not just your mouth.

Some medicines contain sugar, so ask your doctor or pharmacist if there is a sugar-free version.




So what food and drink is good and bad for our teeth?

Bad for Teeth

  • Fizzy drinks and flavoured water
  • Chocolate, biscuits, sweets and crisps
  • Dried fruit and raisins
  • Fruit juice and flavoured
  • Hot chocolate, Tea/Coffee with sugar


Good for Teeth

  • Savoury sandwiches
  • Nuts
  • Plain water or milk
  • Cheese
  • Tea or coffee without sugar or with a sweetener


It is also important to look at the ingredients on the packaging of your food and drink so you know how much sugar is in each portion. Check the ingredients list for all the types of sugar:-

  • Glucose
  • Sucrose
  • Honey
  • Dextrose
  • Maltose
  • Fructose
  • Hydrolysed
  • Starch


If there is a traffic light system on the packaging, red or amber means it is bad for your teeth. In general, if there are more than 15g of sugar in 100g then it is high sugar and less then 5g in 100g is low.