The importance of looking after your oral health
We can’t stress highly enough the importance of an effective oral hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day, in conjunction with regular professional cleaning appointments with your dental team, will keep your teeth and gums healthy and your breath fresh.
Gum Disease and Periodontitis
Gum (periodontal) disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, and has also been linked to other serious health problems such as:
The first sign of gingivitis is red, swollen gums that bleed easily when you brush and floss. If this is not treated it can progress to periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss and jawbone deterioration. An effective oral hygiene routine will prevent the progression of gum disease and improve your overall oral health.
What you eat and how often you eat it, is just as important for your teeth and gums as it is for your general health. Food and drinks that contain starch and sugar react to the bacteria in your mouth and produce acid, which attacks your tooth enamel and causes decay. If left unaddressed, over time this can lead to periodontal disease, the main cause of tooth loss in adults.
Plaque is the sticky film on the surface of your teeth which attracts food particles, the longer this remains on your teeth the more acid is produced and damage done. The more you consume products laden with starch and sugar, the longer your teeth are exposed to decay-causing acid.
Reducing how often you have sugary or starchy drinks and snacks will help to maintain your optimal oral health considerably. Foods such as cheese, fresh fruit, nuts and vegetable sticks including carrot and celery, make good substitutes for sweet treats. Chewing sugar-free gum will stimulate saliva production, your natural neutraliser to mouth acid, and rinsing with water after eating can also help.
Smoking and Your Oral Health
Tooth staining and constant bad breath are the least of your worries when it comes to smoking and your oral health. In addition to causing lung cancer, heart disease and other health conditions, smoking is one of the main contributors to gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums causing them to bleed easily when you brush and floss, and periodontal (gum) disease, the leading cause of adult tooth loss.
Smoking is the major cause of oral cancer, which accounts for 3% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia. Often in its early stages it does not cause any discomfort and is therefore difficult to diagnose. Many smokers are also unable to receive some restorative dental procedures, such as dental implants, because smoking impedes the recovery of the gum tissue and gum disease causes a reduction in jawbone density.
We understand quitting is difficult, however the team at WhiteSmile Dental Care are dedicated to providing whatever advice and support we can to help you quit smoking and restore your oral health.
Brushing and Flossing
To maintain oral health, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day, as well as attending regular professional cleaning appointments at WhiteSmile Dental Care.
We can provide advice on cleaning and flossing techniques that can help maximise the effectiveness of your at home oral care routine, so you can enjoy a healthy mouth and bright smile for life.
Replace multiple teeth with Dentures
Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth, typically made from an acrylic resin, sometimes incorporating porcelain or metal for additional support. There are three main types of dentures, complete, partial, and overdentures, and all are finely crafted and custom-fitted.
If you’ve lost or are losing all of your teeth, a complete, or full arch, denture may be the solution for you. If some of your teeth remain and are healthy, a partial denture may be your path to a great smile. Lastly, an overdenture uses precision attachments in the tooth root to hold the denture in place.
There are two types of dentures: conventional and immediate. A conventional denture is made after the teeth are removed (if removal is necessary) and the gum tissue has begun to heal—it usually takes 8 to 12 weeks for a conventional denture to be ready for placement. Immediate dentures are fabricated prior to your teeth being removed (if removal is necessary) and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed.
A partial denture is made up of replacement teeth attached to a gum-coloured base. This is connected by a metal framework which holds your dentures in place. Partial dentures are used if you have one or more teeth remaining in the upper or lower jaw. An advantage of partial dentures is that it prevents other teeth from changing position.
An overdenture uses your remaining teeth as an anchor. The first step involves preparing the supporting teeth by removing the part of the tooth above the gum line. The next step is root canal treatment to prevent inflammation and infection. Abutments may be placed in the teeth to help secure the overdenture in place. Once this is done, impressions are taken and then sent to the lab to create the overdenture.
Looking after your dentures
If you properly maintain your dentures they will appear natural and provide a perfect smile. Additionally, dentures help strengthen muscles controlling your expressions that require the support of your teeth, rid you of pronunciation problems caused by missing teeth and aid with chewing.
At WhiteSmile Dental Care we provide our patients with a range of treatments to restore the form and function of their smile. If you are looking to replace your teeth our team of friendly and skilled dentists will work with you to discuss what the best option for your smile is.
Whether you are looking to get a dental bridge, dental implant or dentures, WhiteSmile Dental Care can help you.
Root Canal Therapy
1. The first step involves making an opening through the top of your tooth (the crown of the tooth) into where the pulp is found.
2. The second step is where the pulp is removed, the root canal cleaned and shaped so that it can be filled easily.
3. Depending on the severity of your infection, medications may be placed into the pulp chamber to prevent further infection.
4. Either one of two things can happen here: either your dentist will leave your tooth open to let it drain or a temporary filing will be placed until your next visit. More often than not, a temporary filling will be placed to protect your tooth until your second visit.
5. When you come back your temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber will be cleaned again and the root canal filled.
6. The final step involves the placement of a dental crown. This will cover your newly treated tooth and protect and strengthen it.
An advantage of root canal therapy is that if you look after the tooth like you would your other teeth it can last a lifetime—although it should be noted that, on average, a dental crown can last up to ten years. After root canal therapy we here at WhiteSmile Dental Care recommend that you come for regular check-ups to assess your overall oral health as well as the treated tooth and its dental crown.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction/Dental Extractions
At WhiteSmile Dental Care extraction is performed for positional, structural, or economic reasons.
Teeth may be extracted to make more room in the mouth prior to straightening the remaining teeth (orthodontic treatment), or because they are so badly positioned that straightening is impossible. Extraction may be used to remove teeth that are so badly decayed or broken that they cannot be restored. In addition, patients sometimes choose extraction as a less expensive alternative to filling or placing a crown on a severely decayed tooth.
On the other hand, teeth are often removed because they are impacted. Teeth become impacted when they are prevented from growing into their normal position in the mouth by gum tissue, bone, or other teeth. Impaction is a common reason for the extraction of wisdom teeth. Extraction is the only known method that will prevent further problems.
Often fully erupted wisdom teeth can be removed simply and easily. However, for impacted wisdom teeth, a surgical approach may be required. With a surgical approach, it is necessary for the gum around the tooth to be incised and lifted to simplify removal of the tooth. The gum is then replaced and sutured back into position.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom teeth are the very last teeth to emerge, usually at around 15 to 20 years of age, however this can vary between individuals.
Sometimes as the wisdom teeth emerge a small infection can occur in the gum immediately surrounding the tooth. This infection is called ‘pericoronitis’ and is a result of plaque and bacteria becoming trapped between the tooth and the surrounding gum.
If the wisdom teeth do not have enough room to erupt, or if the infection is a constant occurrence, removal of the problem teeth may be the best solution. The method used for extraction varies for each tooth and person. Some teeth can be simply removed under local anaesthesia like any other extraction. Impacted or trapped teeth will often require a minor surgical procedure to lift the tooth out of the surrounding bone and gum.
Speak to your WhiteSmile Dental Care at your next scheduled appointment, to discuss the options available for wisdom tooth extraction.