Understanding Cavities

Ad Min - Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Cavities are formed in the teeth after the protective enamel covering is eroded. These are tiny openings on the surface of the teeth. Damage to the teeth gets multiplied if there are cavities or dental caries. This dental problem is seen in children and adults alike. Cavities are usually seen on the top portion of the teeth where the dental enamel has exposed the inner layer of the teeth.

Dental Cavities

Easy treatment options are available for cavities and are routinely conducted in dental clinics. Dentists provide treatment procedures based on the requirement of the client. This is decided after a thorough dental consultation. Oral health of the person is taken into consideration and also the presence of other disease conditions like diabetes or any other chronic diseases.

Causes of Cavities

Cavities usually appear as white spots on the surface of the teeth. As mentioned earlier they are usually seen on the top portion of the teeth. The reason is cavities are formed when bacteria present in the mouth work on sugary food that is consumed. If there is less than perfect dental hygiene, then sugary food will remain stuck to the top portion of the teeth. Bacteria in the mouth move to this area and attack the food debris. They release acid and this will work on the dental enamel.

The enamel is a hard covering of the teeth. Below this level, there is the dentine region and then the inner pulp of the teeth. This area has the nerve endings and is the inner most level of the teeth. When cavities are left untreated, the damage moves to the interior of the teeth and the whole teeth are lost. The gum lining also gets swollen and irritated due to the infection. The teeth along with the root is damaged due to this plaque attack.

Risk factors for cavities

It is also important to know what are the risk factors that speed up cavity formation. The main reason for cavity formation is sugary food. Besides this milk, soda, candy, mints etc. can also speed up cavity formation. This food stay longer on the teeth or rather they stick to the teeth for a longer period of time. If a person consumes a lot of sugary and junk food then they are at a higher risk for cavities.

The teeth that usually have cavities are usually teeth at the back of the mouth. These teeth have more grooves or pits when compared with the front teeth. These grooves will be a good place for sugary food to stick to the teeth. Babies usually consume food such as milk or juices and the food will stick to these teeth similar to the adults who consume larger quantities of junk food. This will bring about decay for both children and adults alike.

Some people have a condition known as dry mouth. There is a reduced amount of saliva in the mouth when compared with other people. Usually saliva will act as a cleansing agent and washes away sugary food. Besides this, saliva also attacks the acid that is released by the bacteria. Eating disorders also contribute to this condition. Stomach acid will act on the teeth when there is repeated vomiting and erode the protective covering of the teeth.

Inadequate dental hygiene or brushing will also contribute to dental cavities. Brushing and flossing will help to remove the food debris that is stuck in the teeth. It is important to brush teeth twice a day particularly after meals. If it is not done properly, then plaque formation happens on the teeth after bacteria acts on the food particulars.

Symptoms and treatment

The different symptoms that are seen in those who have cavities are toothache, which is so normal that many will ignore it. Along with it comes tooth sensitivity. When a person consumes hot or cold food then there is irritation experienced along with slight pain. Pain is also noticed when chewing food, discolouration of the teeth is also seen. This is usually seen in cases when the decay has spread and cavities are in their advanced stage. The protective covering of the teeth is lost and the inner layer is more pronounced giving the teeth a darker shade. Brown or black stain can be noticed on the teeth. Some of the symptoms mentioned are common and might go away in a few days’ time, hence it is avoided mostly. And few may not have symptoms that are visibly felt. So to avoid that, it is recommended to go for routine dental check-ups.

Treatment options

For those who go for regular check-ups, the treatment can begin early. X-rays will help in finding out the exact issue with the teeth. Different treatment options are available when it’s quite early – the most common type is the fluoride treatments. Fluoride is generally found in tap water and tooth pastes. In this treatment, the amount of fluoride is higher, usually they are used in the form of gels or foam. The teeth are treated using these materials and help to contain the cavity formation.

When it has advanced, then dental crowns and fillings are chosen. Fillings are of different types. There are silver, gold, porcelain fillings available. The teeth are cleaned and based on the suitability of the material and personal choice of the patient the fillings are chosen. Dental crowns are placed as ‘crowns’ on the teeth. They cover the teeth that are affected and protect the teeth. The colour of these crowns is chosen to mimic that of the teeth similar to dental fillings.

Severe damage to the teeth would need a more detailed treatment option. Root canal treatment is performed in such a situation. The damage will have spread to the tooth root. The infected pulp is removed and is replaced with a filling. This treatment helps to save the teeth rather than removing it. But sometimes when the cavity formation is beyond control, then dentists will suggest removing it. This helps to save the overall dental health of the person.

Can adults wear braces?

Ad Min - Tuesday, May 19, 2020

All people are not fortunate enough to be born with a set of pearl white set of teeth. Many people have teeth which they want to improve. Braces are basically appliances which apply gentle pressure on teeth for them to move slowly in the jaw to help correct the protrusion and bite. Your bite, either overbite or under bite are important for chewing and amount of pressure they put on lower jaw. They also help in to straighten your teeth. The braces are more often made of metal but now many options are available.

adult braces

Who benefits from braces?

The people who benefit from braces are the ones who have crooked teeth, who have faulty bite, who do not have correct pressure of teeth required for chewing. Also people who have decayed teeth, cavities, and gum diseases.

How do braces help people with dental problems?

  • Braces correct the dental problems by spacing out teeth, so that cleaning teeth becomes easier.
  • Braces help controlling pressure of upper teeth on lower teeth.
  • As teeth are required to be cleaned, and cavities are filled, before braces can be fixed, this vital step is taken which helps getting rid of major dental troubles.
  • Braces also helps in protecting teeth from injury. When teeth are protruding, they are more prone to get broken. Braces can give protection by helping in straighten the teeth.

Can Adults Wear Braces Too?

There was a time when braces were only associated with the youth, teenagers and adolescents. When braces were discovered it was thought to start the treatment of braces, the child should have developed all permanent teeth because it would be useless to give braces to children who are going to lose temporary teeth anyway. Then doctors would advise parents to wait till all permamnt teeth erupted and they could be braced as early as possible to move them to correct position.

Slowly the treatment of braces to correct teeth alignment and a host of other dental problems began catching up all over the world. By the time it became very popular, many people had passed their adolescence and had become adults. They began to wonder about their own non aligned and crooked teeth. They started to wonder about correcting their own smile and how to get a better smile and in turn get a better self concept.

Many adults realized that it was possible to correct their previous dental work and get straighter and better looking teeth. It is now possible for adults to get braces on their teeth.

When do adults need braces?

Those who were not fortunate enough to receive timely dental braces for their dental problems such as overbites, under bites, overcrowded teeth, incorrect jaw position, crooked and protruding teeth may need braces when they become adults.

Can adults wear braces?

Since wearing braces have been an adolescent thing for so many years, adults always take time to think about going in for braces. It takes courage to take the decision of wearing braces in adulthood. It can be quite intimidating. Although now more and more adults are opting for wearing braces to correct dental problems and getting a better smile even in adulthood, it is not very easy to opt for in later age.

Adults who are professionals and have to present themselves in formal settings find it daunting to wear traditional braces comprising of dark wires and brackets. They find it undesirable to go about their social meetings wearing these brackets where the smile looks really unbecoming.

Now thanks to advances in dental treatment methodology, there are many options to braces which make more and more adults opting for braces. Today adult patients have a lot of choices available to them like lingual and ceramic braces to Damon, fixed, and clear braces.

Difference between braces among adults and young adults

Adults are as good candidates for receiving same benefits from braces as children. But the differences is that the recovery time for adults may be longer than in children because when children are growing they are more capable getting faster recovery. Adults have already grown that is why they take longer to recover from treatment.

Usually youth requires 12 months or more to wear braces whereas adults may require 18 months to 3 years to wear braces for them to be effective. The adults need to wear retainers also for a longer period after braces are removed to maintain the results of treatment.

Types of braces available

One of the reason today it has become possible for adults to go for  braces is the variety of braces available. Although the best option traditional dentists opt for is metal, there are other materials braces are made of which are attractive and reasonable priced.

There are smaller and less noticeable braces which are becoming popular.  There are natural tooth colour ceramic braces which are liked by many because they are not noticed at all and look natural at the same time very effective in straightening the teeth and correcting the bite.

The minor teeth and jaw alignment needs are taken care of by invisible clear braces made of plastic which is virtually invisible making it preferred choice among adults.

Traditional metal braces: These are made of stainless steel. They are attached to the front of teeth and are the most used braces among traditional practitioners.

Clear ceramic: The braces made from ceramic are worn on front of teeth like metal braces. They are clear and blend with the colour of teeth and are unnoticeable. They look better than metal braces but break more easily than metal.

Concealed or lingual: These brackets which are attached at the back of the teeth and therefore not seen or visible to people.

Invisible: These are a series of braces which are clear appliances made to order and are removable. They are called aligners. These are more convenient because they do not trap food as they can be removed. These are used for minor alignment problems.

As you can see, there are many methods available to correct your dental problems and enhance your smile. If you need a smile that needs correcting, get in touch with your dentist today!

Cosmetic dentistry for a great smile and youthful appearance

Ad Min - Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Giving teeth ‘a makeover’ is the ultimate aim of cosmetic dentistry. It improves self-esteem and helps regain a youthful appearance by repairing damaged teeth, giving teeth the lost shine and lustre, and by restoring the ‘perfect smile’.
Dentists focus on improving dental aesthetics by improving the colour, shape, alignment. Depending on the dental condition, there are different procedures that you can choose from. Dental consultations form the basis on which the dental procedure is selected. Along with improved appearance, dental and oral health is also a crucial consideration.

Oral diseases are treated and oral health is restored through the various procedures that are available under the cosmetic surgery umbrella. In this article, we discuss some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures across the world.

Teeth Whitening

This procedure is by far one of the commonest procedures opted by many. Making the teeth whiter and shiner can improve the smile significantly. Many are affected by the dull colour of their teeth. They lose their self-confidence when they are not sure of their smile.

Teeth whitening procedures employ many measures to clean the stains from the teeth and make it brighter. Professional teeth whitening procedure in dental clinics is the better option rather than picking up a teeth whitening product over the counter. With professional whitening, products are carefully chosen to suit the patients. The risk of allergic reactions is low and the result is also durable when compared with other procedures.

However, if you cannot go to the dental clinic for teeth whitening, you may also use whitening gels or strips, whitening trays, whitening chewing gums etc. which are available over the counter. You have to follow instructions precisely and be careful not to overdo the bleaching.

Inlays and Onlays

Teeth decay can set in due to various reasons. Eating habits, inadequate dental cleaning habits etc. can all trigger decay in the teeth. The decay needs to be cleared out and the teeth must be filled to restore health and functionality.

Inlays and onlays are indirect fillings that are bonded to the teeth. They are called indirect as the procedure is done outside in the dental lab. Decay or damage to the teeth is sometimes seen on the cusps or grooves on the teeth. Protecting this area is possible through this procedure.

Both inlays and onlays are the same except Inlays are laid within the cusps in the teeth and onlays cover the cusps of the teeth. This technique does not require drilling of the teeth like in other procedures.

The teeth are first numbed. Then an impression of the teeth is taken for making the inlay or onlay. To give a natural look, the colour of inlay and onlay is matched to that of the natural teeth.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers help give better colour, shape and changes the appearance of the teeth. A veneer is a very thin covering that is placed on top of the teeth that requires treatment. It fits over teeth like a thin coat.

There are different types of veneers to choose from like porcelain or composite veneers. Colours that match the teeth colour can be chosen so they look completely natural. If the teeth are chipped or stained or has lost colour considerably, placing veneers on the teeth can help bring back fully restored shiny teeth.

Before placing the veneers on the teeth, a bit of scraping is done the teeth surface. Dental veneers are held in place by strong adhesives, they help to stick to the surface of the teeth. Veneers are made by using a mould from the teeth so they remain in the exact shape of the teeth that require treatment. Dental veneers are also used to close gaps between teeth. This will give an even and bright smile and restore the confidence of the person.

Dental implants

Having a complete set of natural teeth always is everyone’s dream. But age, accidents, trauma or other diseases may cause loss of teeth. Speech, nutrition, health, self–esteem all get affected due to loss of teeth.

Replacement teeth provided through dental implants are strong and durable. Implants are the closest replacement for natural teeth among currently available teeth restoration options.

There are a few preconditions for a patient to receive implants. The gums must be healthy and must be able to hold the implant. The implant is first surgically fixed to the jawbone. Once it heals, then the replacement tooth is placed on top. The colour of the tooth is chosen to match that of natural teeth. This surgery takes time as the gums need to heal after the implants are placed and then the new tooth is placed on it.

Composite Bonding

This is another popular cosmetic procedure to restore the appearance of chipped or discoloured teeth. In this procedure, a composite resin is applied to the teeth. The resin will be of the same colour as natural teeth.

Teeth are prepared by roughening it and then the cosmetic resin is applied. For the resin to stick on to the teeth, an ultra violet light is applied. Even small gaps can be treated using teeth bonding. This procedure is not complicated, does not require anaesthesia unless decay in the teeth need to be removed. Many favour this treatment as it can be completed in a single visit to the dentist and also does not cost much. Proper care must be taken as this resin is fragile and can chip off.

A Complete Overview of Teeth Whitening

Ad Min - Friday, March 20, 2020

Whitening procedures are done primarily to bring the lost colour and shine to the teeth. This cosmetic restorative procedure is quite common across the world. One of the main reasons why people opt for this procedure is for the smile. Many are disturbed when their smile is less than perfect. This also affects a person’s self-confidence.

Overview of Teeth Whitening

It is important to know all aspects of teeth whitening before going ahead with the procedure. Many do the treatment at home and are often affected by abrasions on the teeth, teeth roughening and also loosening their natural protection. Some have also reported an increase in teeth sensitivity and gum irritation as the product used is unsuitable.

Discolouration of teeth is usually brought due to staining, which can be external or internal. External staining is seen on the dental enamel and is superficial. The entire tooth changes to yellowish in colour. The strong stains in the food consumed or tobacco will get caught in the pores of the teeth and it changes colour. Intrinsic staining is typically not spread all over the teeth, but on a particular portion of the teeth. This is usually deeper on the teeth, and is usually seen due to medication. Internal staining requires more care and treatment when compared with external staining.

Causes of teeth discolouration

There are many reasons for teeth discolouration:

Food and drinks
Food and drinks like coffee, tea, wine and even vegetables are known to bring discolouration to teeth. It is also caused due to tobacco chewing or smoking. The dental enamel gets eroded and loses colour. Aging also is one of the main reasons why teeth change colour. The protective dental enamel loses its strength as age goes by. When the protective covering loses its strength, it becomes easier for the stains to reach the internal part of the teeth.

Poor dental hygiene
Besides external causes bringing about staining of teeth, there are other reasons also. Poor dental hygiene is one of them. Many do not practice good personal hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing are important to maintain good dental hygiene. Plaque and stain causing elements remain in the teeth and stick to the teeth. Inadequate brushing and cleaning techniques do not remove tobacco or food debris and cause staining of teeth.

Disease conditions that affect dental enamel will bring about a change in teeth colour. Other treatments like those for cancer can also discolour the teeth. Chemotherapy and radiation will change the colour of the teeth, especially if it is in the head and neck region. If pregnant mothers have any infections, the dental enamel of the child will also be affected and a change of colour can be seen in that of the child.

Use of medicines for a longer period will change the colour of the teeth. Antibiotics if taken for a continuous period will make the teeth turn yellowish. Medicines for mental illness, or antihypertensive medicines will change the teeth colour. Some mouthwashes are known to have ingredients in them that bring about discolouration of teeth. Besides, if teeth or mouth area has suffered any trauma or accident then teeth will change colour due to the damage they suffered. Some people have discoloured teeth due to genetics as well.

Types of whitening products

There are many options available at your disposal to whiten your teeth.

Whitening strips and chewing gums

Many products are available that can be used at home as a whitening product. Whitening strips have whitening material like peroxide in it. It’s a gel-like material that is applied on the outer side of the teeth. Peroxide helps reduce the stain on the teeth and make it bright. The strip should be used for the time as mentioned on the product cover for maximum results.

Teeth whitening chewing gums can be used after each meal. They are available in sugarless variety as well. These gums help provide a refreshing taste and remove food odours after a meal. They also provide a coating on the teeth, this acts as a protection to the teeth and also helps prevent staining.

Tray-based whiteners

This product can be purchased from a drugstore and is also available from a dental clinic. The product is a mouth guard shaped tray that can be fitted onto the teeth. The tray contains whitening gel. Teeth are subjected to the treatment in the trays for a specific period of time and this helps to change colour from yellow to white. If at home, this can be worn for a couple of hours as part of the treatment. The peroxide will work on the stains and lighten it. The advantage of getting this from the dental clinic is the dentist can provide treatment that is suited for each person. Some may have sensitivity and irritation while using these trays. Dentists can help choose a treatment option that is suited to their needs.

Toothpastes and rinses

Whitening toothpaste are available in the market to help remove stains. It is mostly the external stains that can be removed using this method. The toothpastes contain mild abrasives that help remove the stains from the top of the teeth. Some also contain polishing agents that help to bring out the sparkle in the teeth. These polishing agents are mild and do not harm the teeth. Toothpastes do not clean out the stains fully, they only lighten it. Similar to the toothpastes, there are mouth rinses available that also help in reducing the yellowish stains in the teeth.

Whatever be the type of treatment that is chosen, expert advice from the dentist can be taken. Any type of dental treatment, be it simple or complex should be done after a consultation with the dentist. This is necessary to rule out any dental complications. Oral health is checked and the proper treatment is planned after proper diagnosis. This helps to maintain oral health and hygiene.

Common Dental Fillings Options for Treating Cavities

Ad Min - Saturday, February 22, 2020

Dental fillings are used to treat cavities. A cavity is a hole left in the teeth because of bacterial action. Even after the cavity is formed in the teeth, the bacteria do not go away. They are still present in the cavities and continue to cause damage to the what is remaining of the teeth.

Common Dental Fillings Options for Treating Cavities

Dental fillings will stop the damage and make that sure oral health is not compromised. Dentists will examine the teeth that are affected, and may order X-rays if required. The cavity is cleaned to remove bacteria and decayed matter. Then it is filled with an inert material and sealed. Fillings replace the part of the teeth that are damaged. Dental restoration is possible with the help of fillings. The functionality and structure of the teeth are preserved with fillings.

Types of dental fillings

There are a variety of dental fillings to choose from.

Amalgam fillings
This is the traditional or the classic fillings that most people choose. They are usually called silver fillings but actually it is a combination of different materials like tin, mercury, copper and silver. Mercury is the main element and forms almost half of this mixture. These fillings are used because of their durability and strength. Cost-wise also they are cheaper than the other fillings.

After drilling the tooth, the dentist cleans the cavity. They will then mix the mixture of alloy with liquid mercury. This forms a soft putty like material which will harden into a solid filling and works as a filler for the damaged teeth. Many have concerns because of mercury being used in dental fillings, but research shows that amalgams have not posed much of a health risk apart from some allergic reactions. If your old filling is still strong, there is typically no need to remove it. However, do inform your dentist if you feel you are sensitive to mercury or any of the other materials used in the filling mixture.

Composite fillings
A mixture of powdered glass and resin is used in composite fillings. They are favoured over the other types of fillings as they match the colour of the teeth. They blend well with the natural teeth and are hard to detect. They are also used for other cosmetic procedures like changing the colour of the teeth or even reshaping the disfigured teeth.

When compared with the traditional ‘silver’ fillings they cost a bit more, but can’t beat the camouflage effect they provide. Besides this, composite fillings bond well with the teeth, they stick to the sides of the teeth and provide support. They also provide strength to the teeth, act against any breakage or extreme temperatures. After placing the filling, some may notice increased teeth sensitivity. Inform the dentist about this and they will take appropriate measures. Composite fillings are also known to absorb the stains of food that is consumed, this can be prevented by applying a plastic coating over the teeth. Though they are sturdy, composite fillings do not last as long as the amalgam fillings.

Gold fillings
Gold fillings provide good strength and are durable. They do not chip or break away and are usually preferred to be placed in the rear teeth so they are not visible. Teeth get affected according to the food consumed. But gold fillings do not absorb stains from the food. Gold also expands and shrinks along with the teeth and this quality goes a long way when used as a filling.

Some of the other features of gold fillings are that they do not change colour after being used for many years. They do not change shape and also help in the chewing mechanism. Plaque formation is also reduced because of the polished surface of the filling. It does not allow food particles to stick and helps improve oral health.

Ceramic fillings
When the thought is on aesthetics along with providing restoration care for cavities, ceramic fillings score better. They are tooth coloured fillings and blend in well with the natural teeth. They are mostly made up of porcelain and do not take up stains like other fillings. It lasts for 10-15 years and is expensive as well. Earlier it took longer to make ceramic fillings but now due to advancement in technology the waiting period for the fillings is reduced.

There are concerns over ceramic fillings being brittle and breaking often. For this reason, ceramic fillings are filled in a larger space in the tooth. This offers extra support and they do not break off easily. Unlike the other fillings, there is no issue of allergy as metals are not used. Ceramic fillings are generally used as inlays and onlays.

Glass ionomer fillings
These fillings are made of acrylic and glass. Fillings of this variety are used when they are to be placed above the gum lining. They are especially recommended for use for children. Since fluoride is present in this mixture, it helps boost oral health by slowly releasing fluoride into the teeth. They also blend well with the natural teeth and have a good bonding with the dental enamel. Extra strength is given to the teeth due to this and there is no need for any bonding agent as it provides good attachment to the teeth. Glass ionomer fillings increase their support over the years, they absorb water and become stronger and are less susceptible to wear and tear.

5 Top Reasons For Toothache And What To Do About It

Ad Min - Monday, January 20, 2020

Toothache is the most common reason that would make anyone visit a dental clinic. It is a signal sent by the body to make you aware that your oral health is not top notch. Proper care and treatment might take care of the pain, but sometimes it will need more complex dental procedures.

Moving on, let us examine some of the main reasons for a toothache.

5 Top Reasons For Toothache

Tooth decay

Unchecked bacterial action in the teeth is what brings about its decay. The outer dental enamel gets eroded and the decay goes into the layers of the teeth and reaches the pulp of the teeth. Food contains sugar and when food debris gets stuck in between the teeth, the sugar also remains in the mouth. This sugary food attracts bacteria, bacteria acts on the food remnants and releases acids. These acids act on the different layers of the teeth and bring about decay.

Cleaning the mouth, brushing, and flossing can ward off this bacterial action. If cleaning is not thorough, then food stays in the mouth and plaque and tartar development will occur. This can also cause tooth decay. Along with daily cleaning of the teeth and tongue, it is also important to have a dental consultation at least twice a year.

Gum diseases

When you develop gum disease, there is inflammation and infection in the soft tissues surrounding the teeth. The gums become reddish and swell. They bleed easily when brushing. This condition is called gingivitis, and when left untreated progresses to periodontal disease. Infection is very severe in this stage. The gum tissues pull away from the teeth and jaw bone and forms small pockets. This space collects food debris and attracts bacterial action. The infection spreads rapidly and the plaque can be seen developing below the gum lining.

As the infection spreads, the gum lining and sometimes even the bone gets destroyed. It can spread to neighbouring teeth as well. The health of the gums will be lost and the jaw bone loses its strength and cannot provide support to the teeth. Dentists provide treatment to reduce the infection and reduce the pockets that are formed in the gum lining. The swelling of the gums and the accompanying pain is treated with antibiotics. The time of treatment and the recovery depends on the stage of the treatment and how the disease reacts to the treatment. The strength of the supporting tissues is regained by proper treatment and oral health is restored.

Fractured teeth

Teeth that are fractured or cracked cause tooth pain. This might not be a continuous pain, but it can strike sporadically. Pain is mostly seen when one is consuming food, or when exposed to hot or cold food.

When dental enamel is broken due to accident or sports injury, it exposes the inner layers of the teeth. The crack in the tooth might be just on the surface or it can go right to the root of the tooth. Cracks can be shallow, a fractured cusp, or it can break the tooth into two either from the root to the tip of the tooth or from the top of the tooth to the root. Some of the cracked or broken teeth can bring pain to the soft tissues of the mouth by cutting into them. They can also bring in bacterial action and infection.

Treatment is focused on protecting the teeth. Options are decided based on the type of fracture or chipping. Some can be helped by placing a crown on top of the affected tooth or it can be taken care of by placing dental veneers.

Tooth grinding

Tooth grinding or bruxism is a condition where some would clench, grind the teeth. This happens unconsciously when one is awake or while sleeping. This is also related to sleep disorders and can occur with snoring or sleep apnoea. Teeth get affected due to grinding and it can cause the teeth to be flattened or fractured or loose. The protective layer of the teeth gets lost and the inner layers of the tooth get exposed. This can cause pain and sensitivity when hot or cold food is consumed.

Besides pain in the teeth, jaw and neck pain are also felt by many patients. Depending on the extent of the problem, different options are explored by dentists to treat this dental concern.

Mouth guards are typically worn to reduce the flattening of the tooth. Some may need to wear dental veneers, sometimes even go for dental implants if the whole tooth is affected. Partial or complete dentures are also suggested by dentists if the tooth cannot be saved and the tooth is fully damaged.

Tooth abscess

A tooth abscess is a collection of pus caused by bacterial action. This can happen at any part of the mouth – at the root of the tooth or in the gum lining. The throbbing pain from the tooth can spread to the neck or jaws. Swelling can also be seen, some will also experience sensitivity to hot or cold food. When there is a tooth abscess, it can also loosen the tooth and there would be a bad odour from the mouth because of bacterial action. It is important to see the dentist when you notice swelling or pain and not ignore it. This will not go away on its own, it will need treatment.

How smoking affects dental health

Ad Min - Friday, December 20, 2019

Smoking and its effects are felt not merely by smokers but also by those who are in the smoker’s environment. Smoking related diseases are one of the highest contributors to mortality. One of the main aspects one needs to remember is smoking related diseases can be avoided and prevented. Cancer is one of the main disease affecting people of all ages. Of all the different types of cancer, smoking contributes to 90% of lung cancer and 30% in other types of cancer.

How smoking affects dental health

Smoking has an additive substance called nicotine and this makes the users difficult to stop smoking. Along with nicotine, there are hundreds of chemicals in the smoke that is harmful to the human body. Tobacco smoke is known to have about 70-80 types of cancer causing chemicals. Smoking affects not just one part of the body, it affects all parts of the human body and brings down the health of the person and can also be fatal.

Tooth decay and cavities
Smoking and tobacco products as mentioned earlier contains a lot of chemicals. When smoke is inhaled, these chemicals are taken into the mouth. This mixes with the saliva and effects the teeth. The dental enamel which acts as a protective covering gets eroded. Bacteria can act on the teeth easily. Decay sets in slowly and with each puff the tooth decay progresses. Tooth cavities are also caused due to smoking. The structure of the teeth gets eroded and cavities are formed.

Gum diseases
Gum disease or periodontal disease refers to the infection of the gums. The lining of the teeth is infected in this case. Bacteria gets into the gum lining, this can also be a cause of tooth decay. If bacteria stays in the area, it will pull away from the teeth from the gum lining. A pocket will form and adds on to more infections. The jaw bone can also get affected if the infection is not stopped and smoking is continued regardless of the health concerns. Smoking increases by about 50% of the chance of gum disease.

Plaque and tartar
The smoke has a lot of chemicals in it, this affects the moisture content of the mouth. Saliva production gets hindered. Bacteria can easily stick on to the teeth and gums in this case. Bacteria produce plaque on the teeth and this can also be seen along the gum lining. If not removed, plaque gets hardened and tartar is formed. This substance is so hard that normal and personal cleaning of the teeth is not enough. It requires help from the dentist as it is quite hard and requires special tools. Continued smoking helps in more creation of plaque and tartar.

Immune system
The overall health of a person gets affected due to smoking. Inhaling the smoke continuously is similar to pumping in a lot of harmful chemicals into the body. The risk of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis or pneumonia is increased greatly due to smoking and tobacco products. Antibodies in the blood stream get reduced due to smoking. This makes it easy for disease causing germs to attack. Infections and diseases do not go away easily because there are fewer antibodies to fight against them. The diseases linger longer and bring down the ability of the immune system down. This also invites other diseases into the body- minor conditions like the common cold e.g. does not go away quickly as before.

Cancer is caused when cells in the body multiply abnormally and also control other tissues in the body. The main aspect of smoking that causes cancer is the carcinogens that are there in the smoke. These poisons damage the structure and function of the cells. They multiply abnormally and affect the growth of the cells and also that of the organ and cause cancer. Smoking also affects the immune system and the body is not able to fight against the tumours developing in the body.

Loss of taste/discolouration of teeth
Studies have proven that smoking affects the taste buds. It makes the food taste dull and bland. The taste buds in that of smokers were found to be flatter in shape than that of non-smokers. Smoking and its chemicals affect the shape of the taste buds in the mouth. The blood vessels in the mouth are also affected and this can also affect the taste buds. Sensitivity to taste is reduced to a great deal due to smoking. This can also lead to a lack of appetite in smokers. Nicotine in the smoke stains the teeth. Teeth lose their sparkle and acquire a dull and yellow stained tooth. Smoking stains the teeth easily and the also gives out bad breath.

Smoking affects dental health by not just creating stained teeth and dull taste buds, it brings in overall health concerns and especially in dental health. The soft tissues in the mouth, gum lining all get compromised due to smoking. Continued smoking adds on to the damage done in the mouth. It also invites other diseases, due to the damage to the immune system. Recovery gets delayed and this affects the complete health of the body.

Many teenagers get into the habit of smoking to appear ‘cool’ or due to peer pressure. Children do not understand how health deteriorates due to smoking. It is important to teach children about the effects of smoking on oral health and overall health. Dental consultations are especially important in the case of smokers as there are a lot of dental diseases that are caused due to smoking.

Keeping the mouth and teeth clean and free from diseases is very important, hence the added importance of quitting smoking. Smoking is breathing in different kinds of chemicals into the body for the perceived feel good effect it provides. Quitting smoking helps to build the oral and overall health of a person.

Common Dental Defects Corrected by Oral Surgery

Ad Min - Thursday, November 28, 2019

When one hears ‘surgery’ one would think there is some complicated issue that needs to be corrected. Oral surgery is a procedure done to correct many dental concerns and it is done routinely. These procedures are done on an outpatient basis – like that for impacted teeth, tooth extraction etc. After the surgery, people can go back to their daily routine within a few days time. Oral surgery helps to restore and maintain good oral health.

Common Dental Defects Corrected by Oral Surgery

When Oral surgery is mentioned – it often combines both oral surgery and maxillofacial surgery. While both aid in improving oral health, Oral surgery refers to the mouth while Maxillofacial refers to the face and jaw area. Injuries, trauma, genetic conditions that need to be corrected are all diagnosed and treated by surgeons. In some conditions, surgeons would assist dentists in providing information to the dental issue at hand.

Common procedures in oral surgery

  1. Wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom teeth appear after all the rest of the teeth have erupted. This might create a situation of not having enough space in the mouth to accommodate the teeth. When this happens the teeth will be crooked or misaligned. Crowding of teeth will create dental issues like tooth decay, bad breath and infection. Thorough brushing will also not be able to clean the spaces in between the teeth. Food gets stuck in these spaces and bacteria will act on this food and erode the teeth. To avoid dental decay, surgery is performed. Surgeons conduct the surgery under anaesthesia. When the misaligned wisdom teeth is removed, the dental health of remaining teeth is maintained.

  1. Impacted teeth removal

Wisdom teeth erupt after the premolars and molars are in position. Wisdom teeth do not have enough position to come out, they do not emerge completely. They get stuck in the jaw bone. This condition is known as impacted wisdom teeth. When the wisdom teeth are stuck in the gums, it brings about infection, inflammation and swelling in the gums. This infection can bring about gum diseases and tooth decay. Removal of this impacted tooth is suggested. The jaw bone is cut to remove the teeth that is stuck. Proper care needs to be taken after surgery for better oral health.

  1. Dental implants/denture placement

Due to various reasons, you may need to undergo teeth replacement. Dentists suggest implants to provide support and strength to teeth. In this procedure, strong roots are given to the new teeth which help to support them and makes sure that they stay in position. The surgeon will place metal roots for providing anchorage to the new teeth. These roots are grafted into the jaw bone and the new replacement teeth stay in position. Cuts are made in the bones to place these sturdy roots. Healing will take place in a few weeks time. This procedure will also provide support in improving oral health. Some who have undergone this procedure have noticed an improvement in their speech conditions as well.

  1. Misaligned/uneven jaw

Having a misaligned or uneven jaw can be due to trauma to the jaw bone or a birth defect. If due to genetics, the jaw does not develop properly. There will be associated problems in swallowing, speech and even chewing food. If it is only misaligned teeth, then wearing braces can help correct them. But if the jaw bone is misaligned then surgery is recommended. With surgery, the jaw bones and teeth are moved into their correct positions and they are aligned correctly. To aid in proper positioning of the jaw bones after surgery, some dental specialists will recommend using braces.

  1. Facial Pain/Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

The temporomandibular joint essentially works like a hinge and helps to connect the jaw bone to the skull. When there is a disorder in the TMJ it causes facial pain and also a pain in the neck region. Surgery is suggested if the pain or TMJ does not go away after other corrective procedures. According to the diagnosis, surgery is performed either on the jaw bone or the neighbouring soft tissues. There are different types of surgeries performed to set right this dental issue.

  1. Cleft lip and cleft palate correction

A cleft lip or palate is seen in some children, they are born with this condition. This is a defect at the time of development. While developing in the womb, the right and left side of the face or mouth do not meet, this leaves a hole in the roof of the mouth. Due to this condition, children will have problems in consuming food, speech etc. Surgery will be done under anaesthesia, and the roof of the mouth will be repaired. It is often suggested by surgeons to do this surgery quite early as this will help in the proper overall development of the child.

  1. Surgery due to cancer in the oral region

Surgery for oral cancer depends on the nature of cancer- the location of cancer and the stage it is in. Surgery to remove the part of the oral region to contain the spread of cancer is usually suggested. Surgery of the lips, tongue or any other part of the mouth is done to help treat the disease. If there is any tumour in any part of the oral region, then that tumour is removed. Reconstruction surgery is also performed to help in treatment and healing.

  1. Surgery for facial injuries and facial infections

Trauma to the face and mouth can happen due to accidents or from contact sports. Injury to the facial nerves, salivary glands, or those affecting the jaw bone is often helped by surgery. This type of treatment will involve treating injury to the fractures in the oral region or even replacing the lost teeth. Much of the surgery involves a restorative type of treatment and helps in promoting oral health.

  1. Sleep apnea corrections

Surgery for sleep apnea is sometimes suggested by dentists to help in treatment. Surgery is done on the roof of the palate. The air passage is cleared to make it wider and help in getting good sleep. Depending on the severity of the issue and the diagnosis different surgery options are considered.

Plaque - how to get rid of it and prevent recurrence

Ad Min - Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Plaque is a colourless, soft and sticky film which builds up on the outside of teeth and also along the gums. It harbours hordes of germs which multiplies at an alarming rate and reside in your mouth. Plaque build-up if not removed, will harden and turn into a yellow brown matter called tartar. Some kinds of plaque may cause dental decay and some causes gum diseases. Plaque is colourless and therefore not noticed easily unless it turns into tartar.

How is plaque created?

When we eat, our food starts digesting in the mouth itself. Our saliva contains enzymes which break down food into carbohydrates. This carbohydrate is further turns into sugar by further processes. The bacteria present in the mouth breaks down the sugar left on teeth and in the mouth and turn it into acid. This acid along with saliva mixes with food remnants in mouth and creates plaque. This thin film coats your teeth and sticks at the base of the teeth. It may also stick to fillings or any other dental work. If this film is not removed every day with brushing and flossing it will ruin your dental health and you may end up with tons of dental work.

How to get rid of plaque

It was believed that as we grow older our teeth give way and get dental decay which will end in tooth lost. One by one we may lose all teeth and we may have to wear dentures for the rest of our lives. But now with the increased dental health awareness and better opportunities to seek dental health care and remedies, we know better. Because of the sustained efforts of the state and better information, we know how we can take care of our teeth and prevent teeth loss.

Dental plaque is the beginning of tooth decay and ultimate loss. We should try to stop dental plaque from forming on our teeth and gums.

It requires simple steps, which consists of healthy dental care routine from childhood and visiting your dentist regularly so that dental problems can be nipped in bud before it becomes too big to lead to dental loss.

One way of knowing whether you are following proper dental care routine is to check for plaque in your mouth by chewing coloured bubble gum which will stain the plaque and you will know whether there is plaque build-up in your mouth.

The first step for removing plaque is to visit your dentist and ask for guidance in removing plaque. If the plaque has turned into tartar, your dentist will suggest removing it with the help of special instruments.

After the tartar has been removed you need to see to it that your teeth and gums remain plaque free.

Flossing for dental hygiene

Flossing is extremely important for proper dental hygiene. It is advised that you should floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing removes food particles which get stuck between the teeth and do not get out while brushing.

The floss is a thin string which has to be held between pointer fingers of both hands and drawing the string in between spaces of teeth. This exercise has to be done for both upper and lower teeth. Ease the string slowly and do not use force if the string does not move. If you use force ion the string your gums may get harmed.

Floss is easily available at every chemist. If you do not know how to use floss, get your dentist’s help. If flossing is done before brushing, it will help cleaning all debris from the mouth while brushing and rinsing the mouth. It is advisable to floss first before brushing.


Brushing teeth at least twice a day is very important to stop the build-up of plaque.

Use a toothbrush which is comfortable on your teeth. It should not be too hard or too soft. Ask your dentist to show you the movement of how you should use your toothbrush.

Make a slightly short and circular movement on your teeth but do not brush from downward to upward. It will harm your gums. Rinse well. While brushing remember to reach the back of upper teeth because it gets neglected when we brush in a hurry. Make it a point to brush upper and lower front and back teeth. Pay attention to upper back molars. Start with brushing upper back molars and then brush upper front teeth. Then come down to lower back molars and then to lower front.

Manual toothbrushes work well for most people, but electric tooth brushes with oscillating heads make circular movements which is beneficial to clean most areas in the mouth. Rinsing the mouth after flossing and brushing with a mouthwash will give a fresh feeling in the mouth as well as stops the bacterial growth when the mouth is not active during sleep.

Cleaning the tongue

Use a tongue cleaner to clean your tongue. Tongue also harbours plaque and bacteria. It is important to get rid of a white film from the tongue which leads to tooth decay. Tongue is a rough surface unlike teeth which have a smooth surface because of enamel. Sugar particles stick to tongue and breed bacteria. Some people use dental pick which a thin plastic string strung between two ends which also helps in quickly removing food particles stuck between teeth.


Using a fluoride tooth paste is very important because many water bodies in towns may not have natural fluoride in them. The body needs fluoride to nourishment of teeth in addition to other needs.

Basically, a regular and consistent dental care routine will help keep your teeth healthy and clean. Remember to visit your dentist at least once in 6 months for a thorough cleaning as well.


Ad Min - Monday, September 09, 2019

Are you a proud pre primary teacher? Or a primary teacher? Or a secondary teacher? Come all you teachers of children of all ages. Register for the music and movement training called Sydney Dalcroze Days, for 2 days or 4 days on Tuesday October 1 to Friday October 4 between .30 AM to .30 PM at Ascham Schools 88 New South Head Road, Edgecliff, NSW, 2027 Australia.

Here you will get complete musicianship training with movement. The holistic and rigorous approach used is amazingly balanced between expression and creativity with the ability to understand the musical language and skills. This approach will enable you to apply these movement skills to teaching young children and professional performers as well.

Dr Sandra Nash, Australia’s Director of Studies, leads The Sydney Dalcroze days.

Dates: Tues 1 October to Friday 4 October.

Venue: The peter Adam Studios, Ascham School, 188 NSW, South Head Rd
Opposite Edgecliff train station, Edgecliff.

Visit for more information and registration

This workshop relates to APST standards and the music and art teachers as well as those who use Australian Curriculum and Arts will benefit by this workshop a lot.

A print record of attendance to the workshop also will be provided on request.

find out more (02) 9327 4223    OR    make an enquiry

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