How You Can Sooth Sore, Inflamed Gums

How You Can Sooth Sore, Inflamed Gums

Suffering from sore, irritated & inflamed gums can ruin your whole day. Most of us at some point have noticed blood in the skin when rinsing your mouth out after brushing and flossing or even sharp pains when eating and drinking. If so, this is a likely sign your gums are unhealthy. Overall body health has a strong link to oral health so it is vital to take note when you start to experience these symptoms and pay notice to what is causing them.

The most common reason as to why you may experience painful, sore or inflamed gums comes down to inconsistent oral home at home. When bacteria is left to build up in your mouth it creates plaque. When this happens your inflammatory system kicks in to try and rid infections, therefore causing your gums to become puffy and sore. 

In some instances, you may come to find sores in the mouth which can also contribute to sore gums.  Abscesses are lumps of pus that usually stem from a bacterial infection, and should be attended to by your dentist as soon as possible. You may come to find ulcers developing in certain areas of the mouth. 

Below you will find some simple tips and tricks to start improving your gum health immediately. 

  1. With many toothbrushes on the market, it's important to choose the right one. Choose a soft bristle brush with blunt ends. A brush with hard bristles may damage tooth enamel and cause further gum irritation. 
  2. Flossing is important but be gentle. Slide the floss gently up and down between teeth rather than forcing it. 
  3. Twice a day keeps the bugs away! To keep gums healthy it is important to brush morning and night and floss once daily. This ensures there are no food particles left on teeth or between them.
  4. If you are suffering from ulcers these will usually clear up in a week or two. To help healing we recommend over the counter treatment from your chemist or daily warm salt water mouth rinses. 
  5. Diet plays an important role in gum health. Consume a diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin c as this will help boost your immune system in order to fight plaque effectively. 
  6. Take time out for rest and relaxation. Ulcers usually become present in times of stress so it is important to take time out to do the things you enjoy.

With a little extra tender loving care you will get your gums into tip top shape. It is important to maintain and continue good oral hygiene habits once symptoms have resolved. If you let sore inflamed gums go without treatment you may run a risk of developing periodontitis.

There are also other conditions which may be contributing to sore gums so if symptoms persist seek help from you dental professional as early prevention is best. If you are concerned about gums that have been sore for more than a week, click the link below to schedule an appointment or call one of our friendly team members on 9382 8266.

What Is Fluorosis?

What Is Fluorosis?

What is fluorosis?

That is a good question and one that we are asked often. Fluorosis is a change in the appearance of the tooth’s enamel surface. The most common types of fluorosis do not affect the function of the tooth and do not cause pain.

Most cases of fluorosis that we see are mild and appear as white, lacy markings on the tooth’s enamel and with an untrained eye are difficult to see.

Fewer instances of fluorosis are moderate. This appears as again as white, lacy markings, however, cover more of the tooth surface.

In rare cases, fluorosis is described as severe. In this instance, we will find the enamel pitted with brown spots.

What Causes Dental Fluorosis?

The simple answer to this question is due to an overconsumption of fluoride over a period of time when teeth are forming but before they appear in the mouth. This takes place before8 years of age. To avoid this from happening it is important to supervise children when brushing their teeth to ensure they do not use too much toothpaste or mouthwash. It is important to ensure your child spits out toothpaste after brushing and rinses their mouth with water rather than allowing them to swallow the excess.

Fluorosis markings

Fluorosis markings

How can I determine if my child has fluorosis?

As there are many possible causes in the appearance of teeth, it is best to have your child’s teeth checked by a dental professional. It is recommended that children start visiting a dentist by their first birthday.

How much fluoride should my child have in order to protect his/her teeth without the risk of fluorosis?

Children who consume a well-balanced diet, drink fluoridated water, and use fluoridated dental products correctly will get the necessary fluoride levels to maintain healthy teeth. It is not necessary to monitor water or food consumption since your child will ingest low levels of fluoride from these sources. It is important to ensure that your child does not swallow toothpaste or mouth rinse as these contain higher concentrations of fluoride.

Is there anything I can do to protect my child’s teeth without causing fluorosis?

The following steps can help protect your child’s teeth:

  1. Children younger than 3 should use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste.
  2. Limit tooth brushing to 2 times a day for this age group.
  3. Children aged 3-6 years should use a slightly larger “pea-sized” amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
  4. Make sure your child is supervised and help your child brush his/her teeth. Most young children will instinctively swallow water, but they should be encouraged to spit out excess toothpaste.
  5. Keep all dental hygiene products out of reach to avoid accidental ingestion.
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Treatment And Advice For Missing Teeth

Treatment And Advice For Missing Teeth

Some people are quite happy to have missing teeth and can cope well after they have lost a tooth. It is important to understand the possible consequences of leaving a missing tooth for a long period of time. Missing teeth cannot only lead to crowding in your mouth and teeth leaning in but the longer a missing tooth is left the more difficult it can be to replace. A missing tooth can lead to a number of serious issues such as aesthetic changes through to serious health concerns if dental treatment is not sought.

One of the more serious issues that can arise from a missing tooth is bone resorption.  As your jaw bone is continually stimulated by chewing and biting when a tooth is lost this stimulation stops. A consequence of this is that it can cause a loss to the part of your jawbone that contains the roots of your teeth (alveolar bone). Due to this over time gum tissue starts to recede therefore exposing the tooth roots. 

The bone below the alveolar bone begins to resorb affecting the shape of your face, cheeks, and chin. This may begin to affect your speech as well as your ability to chew. While this process may be slow it can be quite painful and uncomfortable causing sensitive teeth as well as headaches. Do not put off making an appointment to see us as the sooner you seek advice the better the outcome will be for your teeth.

There are many problems associated with missing teeth. While bone resorption may be a scary thought there are also smaller issues to take into consideration before choosing to ignore a missing tooth. Some of these issues include:

  1. Once a tooth is lost adjacent teeth often drift into its space which leads to leaning teeth as well as crowding.
  2. Teeth either side of a missing tooth may tip or rotate. This can affect your bite and place strain or your jaw joints causing pain. 
  3. Missing teeth can lead to gum issues, root decay, and sensitive teeth and can cause periodontal issues. 
  4. Unfortunately losing a tooth can cause an uneven bite.  This can cause you to chew more on one side than the other causing strain on that side, therefore, increasing problems in that area.
  5. The tooth or teeth opposite the missing tooth may supra-erupt. What this means is the teeth grow down and out of the gum. This, in turn, can lead to periodontal disease. 
  6. A missing tooth can affect speech as well as your smile.

If you have been involved in an accident where you accidentally knock out an adult tooth do not panic. It is important that you handle this tooth with care by rinsing it gently under cold running water and placing it in a container with some milk. If the tooth has been knocked out cleanly and you are not in too much pain or the injury to your mouth is not severe then place the tooth back in its socket gently. Bute down on a piece of gauze or a clean handkerchief to hold it in place. While this may be difficult to do it will help your dental professional re-implant the tooth and keep the root healthy. However, in this circumstance, it is best to contact us for an emergency appointment. 

Failure to see your dentist may result in the socket becoming infected and reimplanting the tooth may not be possible.  For more information on how to look after a missing or broken tooth, you may read or article what to do if you have a broken tooth. If you love to play sports we highly recommend a custom-made sport mouthguard. (Information can be found by visiting our blog why mouthguards are important during playing sport. 

7 Reasons Your Teeth May Be Sensitive

7 Reasons Your Teeth May Be Sensitive

If the thought of eating ice cream or having an ice cold drink is enough to make you cringe chances are you at some point have suffered from tooth sensitivity. 

So what is tooth sensitivity?

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Many people describe this as pain when eating or drinking something hot, cold, sweet or acidic. The most common reason for tooth sensitivity is exposed dentin. Dentin is the inner substance of your teeth which is covered by the hard enamel layer. This inner substance contains tiny tunnels linking to the nerves inside your teeth. When enamel wears down dentin becomes exposed and generally will occur close to the gumline. This results in these tiny channels becoming exposed to temperature and food which stimulates the nerve and in turn causes pain.  

So what causes enamel wear?

Brushing your teeth aggressively:

While we definitely recommend brushing after meals brushing must be done in the correct manner. If too much force is used, or if the bristles of your toothbrush are too hard, the protective enamel layer on your teeth can be worn down. Aggressive brushing can also contribute to gum recession. This eventually leads to exposed dentin and greater exposure of tooth nerves to changes in temperature and pressure. 

Excessive consumption of acidic foods and beverages:

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There are a number of foods and beverages with a high acidic content. Some of these include tomato products,  citrus fruits, pickles, sports drinks, carbonated drinks, and tea. These types of foods and drinks can contribute to the erosion of enamel and exposure of dentin. This, in turn, leads to greater tooth sensitivity. As we are well aware carbonated drinks are unhealthy in general and should be eliminated from your diet as much as possible. We are not recommending that you cut citrus fruits or any other healthy acidic foods out of your diet completely but we do recommend that you counteract the acidic effects of these foods by eating cheese, milk, bananas or other foods which have a low acidic content. 

Clenching or grinding:

While it is true that enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, be aware that enamel is not indestructible. Grinding or clenching your teeth will not have immediate effects but over time results in the wear down of tooth enamel. This, in turn, exposes the inner dentin leading to tooth sensitivity. Anyone who finds they have this habit should consult their dentist as a splint is recommended to protect the teeth.

Excessive use of toothpaste or mouthwash:

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What you may not realise is the overuse of toothpaste and mouthwash can be harmful if overused. Many products on the market such as tooth whiteners, whitening toothpastes, and mouthwashes contain peroxide based bleaching solutions, acids, alcohol and other chemicals which remove stains. These stain removing chemicals remove enamel on the teeth which again exposes the dentin layer and nerves. These types of products also exacerbate pre-existing tooth sensitivity further by damaging the dentin layer. When in doubt about what oral hygiene products you should be using it is best to consult your dentist. 

Gum recession:

This condition is most commonly referred to as gum inflammation or gum disease as the gum layer starts to recede away from the teeth. Both of these conditions mean an increase in the exposure of sensitive tooth roots. These tooth roots carry temperature and pressure to the nerve centers within the teeth. It is common for people who suffer from gum inflammation and disease to also experience tooth sensitivity. It important for anyone who suffers from this condition to consult your dentist and maintain regular dental check-ups. 

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Sensitivity after a dental visit:

We know that this may seem a little unfair but teeth can become sensitive after having dental procedures. Some procedures which may cause sensitivity include tooth extractions, root canal therapy, crown preparations & fillings. You will most likely come to find that this sensitivity will subside in about 4-6 weeks. If sensitivity does persist we recommend that you contact your dentist as this may be the result of something more serious. 

Broken, decayed and cracked teeth:

Cracked and broken teeth can result in the nerve center of the tooth being more exposed. This can result in pain when eating and drinking. If teeth are left untreated these areas become filled with bacteria from plaque and start to cause inflammation to the nerve center. An accumulation of bacteria also leads to the build-up of acid and the wearing down of the enamel layer. Cavities and decayed teeth expose the dentin layer as well as the roots of your teeth. So as mentioned it is important to have these teeth treated as broken, cracked and decayed teeth all contribute to tooth sensitivity. 

We hope that this explains some of the reasons for tooth sensitivity. The good news is tooth sensitivity can be treated with the help of your dentist, the right oral hygiene products, and the correct home care. If you suffer from tooth sensitivity which is not resolving it is best to see your dentist. 

Click the link below to schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained dentists or call our reception staff on 9382 8266

What To Do If You Have Broken A Tooth

What To Do If You Have Broken A Tooth

Experiencing a dental injury is never fun. If you have cracked a tooth, fractured a tooth, broken a tooth or split a tooth the good news is it may be able to be saved. 

In the instance where you have a dental injury, it is important that you seek the help of a dental professional as soon as possible. A good rule of thumb is to remember the faster you act, and the better the outcome will be. 

Most dental trauma result from a sporting injury or accident of some sort. The most common injuries we see are chipped. Dislodged or knocked out teeth we see less likely, however, if you have knocked out a tooth this issue is more severe and if not managed correctly at the time of injury can cause serious repercussions.

If you have suffered a dental injury and are not sure what to do, the below information includes a few tips to minimise damage as well as pain. 

Schedule An Emergency Appointment With Your Dentist

While your injury may not appear severe, it is important to see your dentist ASAP (http://www.ccdental.com.au/book-an-appointment). While it may not be obvious neighbouring teeth may have also suffered trauma. Acting immediately helps to decrease the risk of developing further complications down the track, therefore, saving you pain, treatment, time and money. 

Our experienced team is trained to help save injured teeth where possible so remember the faster you book an appointment the better chance we have of helping you.

What To Do If You Have Broken A Tooth

The best thing to do if you have broken a tooth is to seek professional help from your dentist. However, these simple steps will help you look after the tooth until your appointment.

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  1. Use warm water to rinse your mouth.
  2. Apply firm pressure to any bleeding areas by gently biting on a piece of clean gauze or a clean rolled up handkerchief.  Continue to bite down firmly until bleeding has subsided. 
  3. Applying a cold pack wrapped in a tea towel to your lip or cheek may help with pain and swelling. We do not recommend placing anything cold directly on your tooth as this may cause further pain.
  4. In most cases, cracked teeth are difficult to see and therefore you may not notice any damage. It is important to look out for symptoms such as tooth pain when biting in a specific way. You will notice the pain will feel sharper and much different to the dull ache of a cavity or a dental abscess.

What To Do If You Have Knocked Out A Tooth

The good news is if you have acted quickly by booking an appointment at the time of injury we may be able to reattach the tooth even if it has been knocked out completely. In the event that you have completely knocked the tooth out clean, we recommend that you follow the following steps to give yourself the best chance to keep your natural tooth. 

  1. Avoid touching the root surface if possible. It is important that you treat the knocked out tooth very gently to avoid further damage. 
  2. Rinse the tooth with water very gently if it requires cleaning. We do not recommend scrubbing the tooth or using any chemicals to clean the tooth. 
  3. If possible reposition the tooth in its socket. If you are unable to do this place the tooth in a glass of milk.

What To Expect At Your Dental Visit

The severity of your injury will indicate the treatment you will receive. Your dentist will carry out a thorough examination in order to determine the best treatment outcome to help repair your existing teeth. 

In most cases fractured or chipped teeth are able to be repaired by either reattaching the broken piece or by placing a tooth coloured filling. In the event that the tooth has broken substantially, a crown may be recommended to restore the tooth.

If you find eating or drinking cold food is painful, the inside of the tooth may be exposed or damaged. In the event of this occurring root canal treatment may be recommended. A dislodged tooth may be repositioned after moving sideways, out of, or into the gum. Again root canal treatment may be recommended to make sure the tooth reattaches correctly.

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At your appointment, we will make sure you have not suffered from any other unnoticed dental or facial injuries. We will also gently place the tooth back in its socket. A wire may be placed to stabilise the tooth and this will be in place for a few weeks. If a root connection is not able to be reestablished by itself, again root canal may be recommended.

Other tooth injuries which may occur include broken/ fractured cusps, cracked or split teeth. In some cases, root fractures can occur. In the event of a root fracture, tooth removal and root canal treatment may be recommended. Again as with any dental injury, it is important that you see a dentist as soon as possible for an assessment and treatment. 

What To Do If Your Child Has Broken A Tooth

If a child's baby (primary) teeth are injured, they are able to be restored. In some cases, we may not recommend repairing dislodged or knocked out baby teeth. The reason for this is that we risk further damage to the permanent tooth which is still developing underneath.

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If a child's adult teeth are still developing it is important to ensure careful attention if they suffer injury. It is important to schedule regular follow ups with your dentist to make sure the root grows correctly in order for your child to keep his/her natural tooth.

The success of your tooth repair comes down to how quick you are able to see your dentist once injury occurs. 

We have a team of experienced dentists and dental nurses to help give you the best chance of keeping your natural tooth. Call us on 9382 8266 if you require dental assistance or click the book now button to schedule your emergency appointment.