Why is it necessary to have check-ups twice a year?

You are constantly using your mouth to eat, chew, breathe, and possibly even grind or clench while sleeping. Your teeth and gums need to be maintained in the same way your car needs to be serviced roughly every 10,000km.

Many other health conditions do arise and present themselves in the mouth even when there are no bodily effects. During the maintenance visits, we also search for any defects or anomalies.

Some people may need to have more frequent oral hygiene visits due to factors such as medical conditions, medications and dexterity issues. Everyone is different and so oral hygiene programmes must be tailored for each individual.

Contact Healthy Smile Centre for a comprehensive assessment and personalised programme.

What is a Dry socket?

What is a Dry socket? (alveolar osteitis) This is the most common post-extraction complication and perhaps the most painful. Incidence varies from 1.7-3% for routine extractions and 15-37% for surgical and impaction extractions, many times involving lower molars.

A dry socket results due to failure of a blood clot after tooth removal which can leave bone exposed and get filled with food debris.

Signs/ Symptoms include:

  • unrelenting, increasing pain after tooth removal, especially within the first three days
  • pain not relieved with mild pain killers such as Nurofen and Panadol
  • empty socket
  • foul odour
  • foul taste
  • pain radiating to ear

Factors causing dry socket:

  • smoking
  • decreased blood supply
  • vigorous rinsing after extraction
  • surgical extractions
  • bacterial overload
  • food impaction
  • oral contraceptives

If you are experiencing a dry socket contact Healthy Smile Centre 9662 0999 immediately for an assessment.

What is sleep apnoea? Why is it a problem?

What is sleep apnoea? Why is it a problem?
Sleep apnoea is a serious illness that can not be treated simply with a oral appliance or CPAP device.

Recently, an inquest into the death of a 27 year old male involved in a head-on collision with a B-double in 2010, was due to the truck driver falling asleep at the wheel. He suffered from sleep apnoea.

Read the article here.

Sleep apnoea is the cessation of airflow while asleep. It may be caused by a physical obstruction to the airway, such as the tongue, or may be due to an instability in the body’s feedback mechanism to control breathing.

When a sleep apnoeic event occurs, generally, breathing stops between 10-30 seconds at a time. In serious cases this can happen, several times per hour throughout the night.

When we sleep, the body is meant to be recovering and recouperating from the days activities. However, if a person has sleep apnoea, the body is unable to rest and instead has to work harder to keep the person alive.

A common symptom is restlessness at night and tiredness during the day. Sometimes, this may get misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome.

Other signs or symptoms include:

  • loud snoring, snorting, gasping while sleeping
  • head or jaw aches
  • grinding
  • tiredness upon waking up in the morning
  • difficulty falling asleep
  • heart burn
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • change in personality
  • depression
  • reduced libido
  • broken sleep
  • frequent visits to toilet during sleep
  • excessive sweating during sleep

Sleep apnoea is a serious illness that can not be treated simply with a oral appliance or CPAP device. Sleep apnoea needs to be managed and treated by a team of dedicated and well-trained health professionals.

If suspect your child has sleep apnoea, click here.

If you know somebody who may have sleep apnoea, contact Healthy Smile Centre immediately for an assessment.

Does mouthwash work? Does it cause cancer?

Mouthwash should never be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing. We all have plaque bacteria on the surfaces of our teeth and need to physically clean the tooth with a toothbrush and floss. Mouthrinses may aid in reducing bacterial levels by other means but does not actually remove plaque bacteria.

It is like attempting to remove bird droppings by pouring a bottle of water over it.

There have previously been reports in the media about mouthrinses causing cancer but nothing has been founded or proven as yet. If you are concerned, switch to a mouthrinse which does not contain alcohol.

I am thinking of having a baby. Is there anything I should be aware of?

It is well established and documented that gum disease has a 2-7 fold increase in causing preterm births, preeclampsia, and low birth weight. Premature birth is an important issue as it is the leading cause of death in the first month, causing up to 70% of perinatal deaths, among other issues such as feeding difficulties, respiratory distress syndrome, and delayed brain development.

During pregnancy, changes in hormone levels (progesterone and oestrogen) cause changes in blood vessels in the gums, leading to an inflammatory response, and increasing susceptibility to oral infections. Without changes in plaque bacteria levels, 50-70% of women will experience pregnancy gingivitis. It is this hypersenstivity that creates a hyperinflammatory response to bacteria found in dental plaque – resulting in pregnancy gingivitis.

Pregnancy gingivitis is characterised by uncontrollable swelling and bleeding of the gums during pregnancy which can not simply be resolved with a tootbrush and floss. Pregnancy gingivitis may also cause pain and discomfort and hence why prevention should be a priority.

Ideally a check-up should be made before you consider conceiving. There are many dental problems that can occur during the pregnancy for the mum-to-be, so a check-up prior to conception is important.
There are certain procedures which should be avoided while pregnant (unless for emergencies) especially during the first and third trimesters.

Contact Healthy Smile Centre for a personalised assessment and advice.
The information above was summarised from: Jared & Boggess 2008, “Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy Adverse Outcomes: A Review of the Evidence and Implications for Clinical Practice”, Journal of Dental Hygiene. Vol82 (3)

My children snore and/or grind their teeth. Is it normal?

No. Snoring and grinding is not normal for anyone, especially in children. Usually it is due to an airway obstruction such as enlarged adenoids and tonsils or incorrect jaw positioning affecting facial structures and underlying airways.

Children who snore or grind their teeth tend to have shorter attention spans, become hyperactive and moody in nature, perform poorly at school and have bed wetting tendencies.

If your child does snore or grind their teeth, contact Healthy Smile Centre immediately to see an experienced clinician who has an understanding in orofacial orthopaedics.

My friends say that my breath smells; I notice my teeth moving a little. What is going on?

If you notice your teeth becoming mobile or loose it is most likely due to gum disease. Gum disease is caused by chronic bacteria causing gum and supportive jaw bone loss. As the supportive structures become severely infected, the bacteria cause a foul odour resulting in bad breath.

Gum disease is easily prevented with proper oral hygiene and twice yearly check-ups. The effects of gum disease is unfortunately irreversible but can be halted relatively quickly with correct treatment and management.

If you think you may have a problem, contact Healthy Smile Centre for a personalised assessment and advice.

What do I do if my tooth has come out?

If it is a baby tooth, do not reinsert the tooth. See your dentist to make sure there is no other damage or pieces embedded in the lips/ cheeks. The baby tooth will not be reinserted.

If you are not sure, or it is an adult tooth, ALWAYS hold the tooth by the crown and NEVER HOLD THE ROOT. Place in a cup of milk or saliva. NEVER WASH WITH WATER AS THIS WILL KILL THE ATTACHED LIGAMENTS.

Contact Healthy Smile Centre for an emergency appointment.

When should my child have their first check up? When is a good time to see if my child needs braces?

After giving birth, mums should come in for a check-up to make sure their oral health is satisfactory. At this appointment, oral care for babies will also be given. A child’s first check-up should be when most of their teeth have come through (approximately 1 year old). The younger a child is exposed to proper oral hygiene, diet and a fun dental practice environment, the less likely they will develop a fear but also less likely they will need treatment such as injections and fillings.

Facial and dental development occurs from the moment your child is conceived. Habits such as thumb sucking, dummy use, tongue thrusting, tongue tie and prolonged bottle feeding have adverse affects to your child’s face and teeth.

These development problems need to addressed immediately as children do not simply “grow out” of facial developmental problems. By 10 years of age, facial growth is near completion so must be addressed prior.

If your child is older than 7 years and still has not had their first check-up, make an appointment immediately!

Call us on 9662 0999 to make an appointment and contact us today.

Why do my gums bleed?

Gums usually bleed because of swelling and inflammation. Inflammation is caused by persistent bacterial presence on the gums causing them to swell and bleed easily.

It will not go away or “settle down” until it is professionally and thoroughly scale and cleaned by a dentist or hygienist.

Contact Healthy Smile Centre for a personalised assessment and hygiene

All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you. Contact us for more information

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