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Why a Visit to Your Dentist Has Bigger Implications

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why a Visit to Your Dentist Has Bigger Implications

The next time that you have any hesitation about going to the dentist, stop for a moment and think about the benefits. You will of course be familiar with the specific dental benefits (including a healthier mouth, fewer cavities and a nice smile) but what about the rest of your body? What do you need to think about? The Bigger Picture The medical and scientific professions have been able to link good dental health practices to specific benefits for rest of your body. You may not think in terms of your other, vital organs when it comes to dental care, but when you do consider these other elements, a trip to the dentist becomes a necessity and not something for consideration. Diabetes If you’re unfortunate to be one of the millions of people who are diabetic, then this condition will make you more susceptible to developing infections in your mouth, potentially resulting in periodontal disease. However, with regular dental care, you stand a much better chance of avoiding this. Bone Loss Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become brittle and weak. Some people think that if you allow tooth decay and gum disease to progress, that this is then linked to periodontal bone issues and osteoporosis as well. Inflammation If oral bacteria is allowed to get out of control, this can lead to infections or inflammation at the cellular level around the rest of the body. Inflammation is in turn linked to the development of clogged arteries, which can lead to stroke or heart disease. During Pregnancy If you’re pregnant, it is even more important to schedule regular visits to your dentist. If you have an oral infection or abscess that goes untreated, it can lead to toxins circulating in your body. These toxins can potentially stunt the development and growth of the baby. Remember that you will have constantly changing hormonal levels, and this in turn can make your body less able to resist the onset of illness or disease. It’s possible that these fluctuating hormones can actually cause an increase in the number of bacteria present in the mouth and therefore an increased risk of inflammation. In this case, therefore, it’s a double-edged sword and makes it even more important for you to visit the dentist regularly when you’re expecting. Make the Appointment The good news is that regular visits to the dentist not only keep your oral health in check, but they can also help to stave off the development of other serious problems later in...

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Why You May Be at Greater Risk of Developing Gum Disease Than You Thought

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You May Be at Greater Risk of Developing Gum Disease Than You Thought

Are you at risk for the development of gum disease? One study in America estimated that almost one in two adults had some stage of gum disease, whether mild, moderate or severe. In addition to poor general dental hygiene, what are some of the bigger risk factors associated with gum disease? What can you do to try and avoid its onset? Do It Every Day The dentist will tell you that the primary cause of gum disease and the development of periodontitis is plaque that’s simply allowed to build up without being removed. Regular and comprehensive daily cleaning, together with the use of floss or a toothpick, can make a significant difference, as can visits to your dental hygienist periodically. Quit, Already! If you’ve been trying to quit smoking, you now have another reason, as tobacco use can cause an elevated risk for the development of periodontitis. Of course, smoking can also put you at greater risk of developing heart disease, lung disease and cancer, as well, so this is really a “no-brainer.” Thanks, Mum and Dad! Many people will be unfortunate enough to develop gum disease purely due to their genetic code. You may be able to request a genetic test through your dentist or family doctor in order to determine what type of risk factors you have. If it is shown that you are at very high risk of developing the disease, then the dentist can work with this information to create a specific oral care routine in your case. Popping Pills Virtually everything that you put into your mouth has an effect on your oral health. The digestive system is inextricably linked to the health of your mouth. You should be aware that certain medications you may have been described can contribute to the development of some dental issues. Make sure that you notify the dentist about any prescribed, or “over-the-counter” medications you’re on. Under Pressure, Literally Has somebody told you that you tend to grind your teeth at night? Bruxism is fairly common, and the exact cause is not well understood. However, when you clench your teeth excessively, you put a lot of force on the supporting structure. This could lead to degeneration of the soft tissues and the potential development of periodontitis. Some people do think that tooth grinding is linked to general stress in your life. If you have high levels of stress as a result of your job or other issues, then you should try to introduce calming measures like meditation to try and reduce its impact. Stress will make it difficult for your body to ward off infection, and this can include diseases in the mouth. What You Can Do If you’re particularly worried about gum disease and its development, take the time to have a chat with your dentist, so you can come up with a plan of...

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Long in the Tooth: 3 Dental Treatments for Overly Long Front Teeth

Posted by on Nov 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Long in the Tooth: 3 Dental Treatments for Overly Long Front Teeth

Are your two front teeth too long? Do you feel uncomfortable when smiling because you fear what others might think or say about your teeth? According to a recent survey by Bupa, about a quarter of people hate smiling for this very reason. The fact that almost everyone on TV and in magazines has gleaming, straight, white teeth doesn’t help matters either.  People are under more pressure than ever before to look their best, and teeth are a big part of what makes a person physically appealing. If you feel that your two front teeth are too long, you don’t have to hide your smile in silence. There are several cosmetic and orthodontic dentistry treatments available to you, that could shorten your two front teeth. Invisalign Overly long central incisors can be shortened by wearing clear aligners, Invisalign being one common version of this. While Invisalign is generally used to correct minor spacing or overcrowding issues, this treatment has also proven to be effective at gradually intruding teeth, in other words, pushing teeth upwards into the bone.  It is simply a matter of millimetres, and depending on the state of your periodontal (gum) health, it may take a few months to shorten your teeth.  Enameloplasty  Also called reshaping or contouring, the term enameloplasty refers to the removal of tooth enamel in order to reshape or shorten teeth. Your dentist will first X-ray your teeth to determine the amount of enamel present and the position of the inner tooth pulp, before deciding if this option is viable for you.  In general, teeth have up to 1.70 mm of enamel protecting the more sensitive, underlying layer called dentin. If your teeth are in good condition, a cosmetic dentist may be able to remove up to 1 mm of this enamel to shorten your central incisors, which should be enough to bring them closer to the surrounding teeth.  However, if your enamel is too thin, the dentin underneath may be exposed. Dentin is connected to a tooth’s nerves via thousands of channels, meaning exposure will lead to tooth sensitivity. Veneers Enameloplasty can be combined with veneers to protect the weaker dentin underneath. Porcelain or plastic veneers can be fitted once your teeth have been shortened via enameloplasty. Of the two materials, porcelain is the more expensive but sturdier option. However, when compared to bonding, veneers are superior in that they are stain resistant and last much longer.  An alternative option to reshaping and placing veneers on the central incisors is to place veneers on the two teeth to either side. Not only will this be cheaper, but it will also mean your two front teeth retain their structure and protective layer of enamel whilst matching the size of the surrounding teeth to create an attractive smile.  If you feel your two front teeth are too long, discuss your options with your dentist, and together you can settle on an option that is financially convenient for...

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Why You Need a Dental First Aid Kit

Posted by on Nov 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Need a Dental First Aid Kit

There’s a good chance you carry a regular first aid kit with you, but have you considered investing in a dental first aid kit? This lesser known product is really handy to have around in a dental emergency. The products included can help you to preserve teeth that have been knocked out, reattach fillings or crowns until you can have them professionally replaced and carry out emergency repairs to your dentures. This means that you won’t be stuck unable to eat or talk, and your need to get to a dentist might not be as urgent. If an emergency takes place overnight or at the weekend, you’ll be able to wait until the next working day, rather than pay for an expensive 24-hour dentist. Read on for details of exactly what you can do with the kit. Carry out emergency denture repairs Using a special denture cement or glue allows you to put your dentures back together in an emergency. If one of the teeth has been knocked out, it should be fairly simple to glue back into position. However, if you’ve lost the tooth or it has broken into several pieces, this might not be an option. Some first aid kits will include sample teeth that can be inserted as a stop gap until you can get to your dentist to have a new set of dentures made. You can also use the denture cement to fill in any cracks or bond broken pieces back together until you can go in for professional denture repair. Make sure you only ever use the glue that comes with your first aid kit as normal household glues can be harmful. Preserve knocked out teeth If stored properly, knocked out teeth can often be successfully re-implanted as long as you see a dentist very soon after an accident. A special tooth saving container will be included in your kit, along with emergency instructions. You should put the tooth inside the container and cover it completely in milk or your own saliva. Don’t attempt to wash the tooth as you may remove soft tissues that are important in the re-implanting process. Temporarily replace fillings and crowns Your dental first aid kit will include a filling repair putty. This is made from the same ingredients dentists use and allows you to continue eating as normal while waiting for a professional replacement. To replace a filling, you’ll simply need to pinch off a small piece of putty, shape into a ball and push into the gap where your lost filling would have been. Bite down a few times to push the material into place, and then let it set. To replace a crown, place a small ball of putty onto the back of the crown, position it carefully and push it securely into place. Avoid chewing for a few hours to give the material time to set...

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What Does Sleep Apnoea Do To Your Teeth?

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Does Sleep Apnoea Do To Your Teeth?

If you’re struggling with obstructive sleep apnoea (often called ‘OSA’), you’re probably talking about it with your doctor already. You might not have realised that your dentist is also an important part of dealing with this condition; sleep apnoea affects your teeth as well as other parts of your body, and by discussing the problem with your dentist you can limit the impact it has and potentially explore new ways to overcome it. What Sleep Apnoea Does To Your Teeth People with sleep apnoea often develop temporomandibular joint disorders, more commonly known as TMD. These disorders are strongly associated with night-time tooth grinding behaviour, which will over time seriously damage both the enamel on your back teeth and your molars themselves.   Sleep apnoea generally leaves its sufferers with very dry mouths in the morning. This makes your ‘morning breath’ considerably worse, but it has other effects too–including an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. How Your Dentist Can Help There are numerous treatments for sleep apnoea–including CPAP machines, lifestyle adjustments and surgery–and for most of them your doctor will be your first port of call. These methods don’t work for everyone; making changes to your lifestyle can be incredibly difficult and it’s even harder for anyone suffering from the sleep deprivation OSA leaves you with, and surgery is a huge step to be taken only when other options have been exhausted. This is where your dentist comes in. A dentist can fit you for an oral sleep appliance, which have been found by the Australasian Sleep Association to be an excellent non-surgical alternative or addition to CPAP machines for people who are intolerant of them. These devices come in two main types: Mandibular advancement devices (MAD) look a little like mouthguards sometimes worn for sport, and aim to relieve your sleep apnoea by using splints to re-align your jaw while you sleep. This opens up your airways, allowing you to breathe more freely and keeping your nightly OSA episodes to a minimum.   Tongue retaining devices (TRD) are less common and aim to combat your nightly OSA episodes by holding the tongue in place rather than by adjusting the jaw. Some people find that they are more effective, and if you have dentures that you don’t wish to sleep in, a TRD will be a better fit for you than a MAD. Whichever treatment option is right for you, it’s important that you don’t let OSA go unchecked–the consequences can be serious. Make an appointment with your dentist today to discuss sleep apnoea...

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Stop Avoiding It and Get Those Dentures!

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stop Avoiding It and Get Those Dentures!

When your dentist tells you that it’s time to remove the damaged teeth you have and get a set of dentures, you may avoid his or her advice. The thought of getting dentures may make you feel old, and you may worry about dentures slipping out when talking or eating, and the embarrassment you might then suffer. While it is your own decision whether or not to get dentures, note a few reasons why you might want to stop avoiding the subject and seriously consider your dentist’s advice. Keeping the gums and jaw healthy The bones of your jaw need to stay stimulated with good blood circulation to remain healthy and strong, and they get this stimulation from your teeth. When you’re missing teeth or teeth are severely rotted, blood circulation in the gums and mouth may slow down. In turn, the bones of the jaw may soften over time and your gum line may actually sink and weaken, making it harder for you to talk and chew properly. You may also be more prone to bone fractures as those bones get soft and weak. Having dentures will increase blood circulation so that your jawbone is stimulated and then stronger and healthier. Dentures also help to protect the sensitive tissue of the gums. Note that the upper areas of your gums are not meant to be exposed but should be covered by teeth; when you have missing or damaged teeth, you may then be more prone to sores along the gum line. Dentures will protect this sensitive area of the gums and keep your mouth healthier. Tooth decay Your dentist may suggest pulling the teeth you have because they’re severely decayed; this is because those areas of decay and cavities may hold germs and bacteria that you can’t always address with standard brushing and rinsing. This buildup of germs and bacteria can increase your risk of oral infections. Pulling severely decayed teeth now and replacing them with dentures can protect your mouth and overall oral health. Self-esteem You may be afraid of dentures falling out but note that properly fitted dentures, when used with a high-quality adhesive, actually have very little chance of slipping. You typically don’t need to worry about not being able to talk or eat your favorite foods with a good set of dentures; if they do ever slip, your dentist can easily refit them and advise on the best adhesive to use to keep them in place. Getting rotted or decayed teeth pulled and replacing them with dentures can then actually help to improve your appearance and overall...

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Factors That Determine How Long Braces Will Remain in Place

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Factors That Determine How Long Braces Will Remain in Place

Many parents who are advised to have their child undergo orthodontic treatment wonder how long that child will have those braces on. This article discusses some of the factors that may influence the duration that the child will have his or her braces. Will Permanent Teeth Be Extracted? One of the major determinants of how long your child will need to stay with the braces is whether he or she requires the removal of a permanent tooth. Children who require the removal of a permanent tooth usually stay with the braces for a much longer time than those who don’t need a permanent tooth to be removed. This extended duration normally helps the braces to move the adjacent teeth so that the gap left by the extracted tooth is covered. Your child may require having a permanent tooth extracted in case the orthodontist finds that the child has severe tooth crowding that can only be solved by removing a tooth. Have All Permanent Teeth Erupted? Another factor that can affect how long your child may have to keep the braces on is whether his or her permanent teeth have all erupted. Children whose permanent teeth have erupted may have the braces for a shorter duration when compared to those whose permanent teeth have not all erupted. This is because the eruption of more permanent teeth during the orthodontic treatment may require the professional to adjust the braces so that the newly erupted teeth can be accommodated within the treatment plan. Does Your Child Have Jaw Discrepancies? Some children have jaws that don’t line up properly, such as kids with a cross-bite. Such kids may need to undergo surgery in order to correct the jaw discrepancy before braces are fitted. Such surgical procedures may prolong the duration that the child has to keep the braces in place. This may be because the braces have to be adjusted gradually as the jaw heals and more bone tissue forms around the teeth that are being moved into a better location in order to correct the bite issues of your child. As you can see, the duration that your child may have to spend when he or she has the braces in place depends on the specific issues that the orthodontic treatment has to address. It can therefore only be possible to estimate the duration after an orthodontist has examined your child and designed an appropriate treatment plan for him or her. Generally, the braces may be in place for about a year or even more than two years. Talk to your family dentist in case you need additional information about the dental treatment of your...

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Smile! Get the Perfect Teeth Ahead of Your Wedding

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Smile! Get the Perfect Teeth Ahead of Your Wedding

Your wedding is a really special event, and you want to be sure everything is perfect—including your appearance. You might be planning to get in shape, try a new hairstyle, or splash out on make-up, but have you considered the appearance of your teeth? A sparkly white smile can massively increase self-confidence —especially when it comes to those close-up photos. Whether your teeth are crooked, stained, or chipped, there are cosmetic dentistry treatments that can help. One study has shown that whiter teeth can lead to greater success in work and love, so it’s an investment that should last you well beyond your wedding day! Read on to find out which treatment could be right for you. Discolored Teeth For teeth that are stained or discolored, there are a variety of options. Professional bleaching is the most common, and can be carried out by most dentists. Traditional whitening works by whitening product being applied to a tray which is molded to the shape of your teeth. Once you’ve had the first application of bleach at your dentist’s office, you’ll continue treatment yourself at home, applying whitening product for short periods of time over the next few weeks. You may also choose laser whitening, which takes effect more quickly—perfect if your wedding is just around the corner. Whitening product is painted onto your teeth, then activated using a laser for faster results. Wonky Teeth Crooked teeth aren’t the end of the world, and they can be solved using discreet, modern methods. If the thought of walking down the aisle looking like a teenager with a full set of metal braces fills you with horror, don’t worry. There are now several types of invisible braces, specially designed for adults. These clear plastic braces are molded to the shape of your mouth and worn throughout the day. They can be removed to eat and for special occasions like your wedding. No matter how far away your bid day is, invisible braces are a great investment towards a perfectly straight smile. Chipped Teeth A chipped tooth can really dent your confidence, so it’s lucky they’re easy to treat. For a small chip, your dentist may be able to carry out a repair using a tooth-colored bonding material which will be shaped to resemble your original tooth. For a more severe chip, a veneer may be necessary. This is a thin piece of porcelain or resin that is placed over your entire tooth, covering the area of the chip. No-one will be able to tell the difference between a veneer and your natural teeth, and your finished smile will look healthy and...

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How to Maintain Your Dental Crown

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Maintain Your Dental Crown

Dental crowns are a popular tooth restoration that is done to protect your natural tooth. It might be placed after having a root canal, or to protect a tooth that is cracking and at risk of breaking off. Regardless of the reason, you need to take good care of the tooth so that it lasts as long as possible. These tips help you to maintain your new dental crown. Wear a Mouth Guard If you have a history of clenching or grinding your teeth at night, you should have a custom mouth guard made to wear at night. This does a lot of damage to your natural teeth by wearing down the enamel, but it can do even more damage to your crown. You can actually crack the crown and cause it to become loose, which severely reduces how long it remains in place. Try to be fitted for the mouth guard or night guard after you get the permanent crown so the impressions match the crown perfectly. Don’t Bite Anything But Food With the tooth that has the crown, be gentle with it. It won’t break just from mild chewing or biting, but you shouldn’t use it for excessive force. For example, don’t try to rip tags off new clothing or open up plastic packaging with your teeth. This is a good general rule to follow even without a crown, but dental crowns usually can’t handle this type of excessive force. Also avoid bad chewing habits like biting your fingernails or chewing on the erasers of pencils. These are bad habits that tend to do a number on your crown. Be Careful With Hard and Sticky Foods When you get a dental crown, you should be able to eat mostly like you used to. However, it will never be as strong as your natural teeth, so you do need to be careful with certain things. While you can have crunchy food like crackers and chips, be careful with foods that are extremely hard like almonds or certain raw vegetables. Also watch out for anything that is overly sticky or chewy that could dislodge the crown, such as caramel and chewing gum. Brush Close to the Gumline Keeping your mouth clean and practicing good oral hygiene is also good when you have a dental crown. In addition to brushing and flossing regularly, pay close attention to brushing the edge of the crown close to the gumline. This area is prone to decay, so it needs to be cleaned very well. For more information, talk to a...

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Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed? Follow These 5 Tips to Prevent Dry Socket

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed? Follow These 5 Tips to Prevent Dry Socket

Getting a wisdom tooth removed is a safe procedure, but developing dry socket can prolong your recovery time. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot that forms in the extraction site dislodges before the damaged gum tissue has had time to heal. When dry socket occurs, it can be very painful, but thankfully there are things you can do to prevent it. 1. Avoid Touching the Clot The more you touch the clot, the more likely you are to dislodge it before the gum beneath has finished healing. Avoid the temptation to probe the extraction site with your tongue and keep your fingers out of your mouth unless you are changing a dressing or cleaning your teeth. 2. Don’t Smoke Smokers are much more likely to develop dry socket than non-smokers. This is partly because drawing smoke into the mouth creates forces that can suck the clot out of its socket. The chemicals in cigarettes are also harmful, as they slow down the rate at which the gum tissue can heal. Your dentist may advise that you can smoke once 24 hours have passed since the extraction, although kicking the habit for good is the best option for your overall dental health. 3. Don’t Use a Straw You might think that using a straw limits contact between liquids and your extraction site, but in fact using a straw can increase the risk of dry socket. This is because sucking forces can shift a clot out of place. Instead, take small sips of water to keep your mouth moist throughout the day. 4. Choose Beverages Carefully The bubbles in carbonated soft drinks can increase the risk of a clot dissolving early. After your extraction, replace your favourite soft drinks with cool water. Avoid hot drinks like tea or coffee, as your mouth is likely to be very sensitive to heat after you wisdom teeth removal. 5. Consider Your Cycle Women who use hormonal contraception have an additional consideration when planning to have their wisdom teeth taken out. While you are taking the active pills, your chance of developing dry socket can be as much as 30 percent higher than usual. Reduce your risk of dry socket by scheduling the procedure during your placebo or pill-free week, when you have your withdrawal bleed. The level of hormones in your blood is lower during this time, which means that it can form a strong and stable clot. For more information, talk to your...

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