Prevention is the key to a healthy smile
Strong, healthy teeth are vital for normal speech, eating, and a beautiful smile. If you have not had a dental checkup in the past 12 months, we recommend you book for a thorough dental hygiene examination to evaluate the health of your teeth and gums.
During the appointment, we will perform a thorough clean and polish to remove plaque and staining. When appropriate, X-rays will be taken to view decay within and between the teeth. The appointment is completed with a fluoride application to help protect the teeth.
Regular dental check-ups and professional cleans are essential but they are only one part of maintaining a healthy smile. You need to look after your teeth between visits! Brushing twice a day and regular flossing are key.
During the checkup appointment, we use the latest equipment to remove plaque and tartar. We also polish your teeth to remove any staining to leave your teeth looking their brightest and feeling the cleanest they’ve ever felt. If your dental hygiene techniques need improvement, we will show you how to brush and floss effectively to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
There’s a lot going on in your mouth that is not visible to the naked eye, and dental x-rays allow your dentist to safely and accurately detect hidden problems that could otherwise go undetected. Digital x-rays are the latest technology used to provide a comprehensive assessment of the health of your mouth. They reduce radiation by 80–90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental X-rays.
Digital x-rays can reveal:
Abcess and infection
Periodontal problems such as bone loss
Decay between the teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth
Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort and your teeth!
Are dental x-rays safe?
Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays better for the safety of the patient, they are also faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental practice.
Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary.
How often should dental x-rays be taken?
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist will recommend necessary x-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age and risk factors.
Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. Your dentist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth
Exposed and sensitive root surfaces
Poor oral hygiene habits
Frequent sugar intake
Inadequate exposure to fluoride in water
Reduced saliva flow due to medical conditions or medications
Recent history of dental decay
How does fluoride protect your teeth?
We gain topical fluoride by using dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses and gels. This strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Dentists generally recommend that children and adults have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.
We gain systemic fluoride from most foods and our community water supplies. This strengthens the teeth that are developing under the gums. It is also available as a supplement in drop or gel form and should only be taken if prescribed by your dentist.
Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks and visit your dentist on a regular basis.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease begins when the toxins from bacteria found in plaque, start to irritate the gum tissue. This bacterial infection, known as gingivitis, can eventually lead to the destruction of the gum tissue and underlying bone. This is known as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a progressive disease, which, if left untreated, can result in tooth loss in the long term.
Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it becomes hard and turns into calculus. Plaque and calculus buildup may cause irritation and inflammation of the gum tissue. This is often characterised by red, swollen and bleeding gums. If treated promptly, these signs are completely reversible.
Gradually, the bacterial infection caused by plaque and calculus collects in the gum tissue and produces deep pockets between the teeth and the gums. The gums recede as tissue is destroyed. If the bacterial infection is allowed to progress, periodontal disease eventually attacks the underlying bone that supports the teeth. Eventually the loss of bone will result in tooth mobility and tooth loss. In some cases, the bacteria from this infection can travel to other areas of the body via the bloodstream.
Importantly, many people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Not only is periodontal disease the number one reason for tooth loss, there is now a well established link between severe gum disease and heart attack and stroke. Research also suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy.
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
What are the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can sometimes progress without any signs or symptoms. This is why regular dental check-ups are exceptionally important. However, some common signs and symptoms are:
Puffy, red or swollen gums
Persistent bad breath
Pus around the teeth and gums
New spaces between teeth
Pain, tenderness or discomfort of the gums or teeth
What are the common causes of periodontal disease?
Poor dental hygiene – Poor brushing and flossing leads to the buildup of harmful plaque and calculus.
Smoking – Smoking and tobacco use is one of the leading causes. Smokers are more susceptible to bacterial infections and calculus build-up on teeth.
Genetic predisposition – Despite practising rigorous oral hygiene routines, 30% of the population may have a strong genetic predisposition to periodontal disease.
Pregnancy and menopause – Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause can cause the gum tissue to become more sensitive, rendering them more susceptible to gum disease.
Chronic stress and poor diet – Stress lowers the ability of the immune system to fight off disease, increasing the risk of bacterial infection. Poor diet or malnutrition can also lower the body’s ability to fight periodontal infections.
Diabetes and underlying medical issues – Many medical conditions can accelerate the onset and progression of periodontal disease including respiratory disease, heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis.
Grinding teeth – The clenching or grinding of the teeth can significantly damage the supporting tissue surrounding the teeth. When an individual is suffering from periodontal disease, the additional destruction of gum tissue due to grinding can accelerate the progression of the disease.
Medication – Many drugs including oral contraceptive pills, heart medicines, anti-depressants and steroids affect the overall condition of teeth and gums. This makes them more susceptible to gum disease.
65 Parraween Street, Cremorne 2090