Thumb sucking. Can it impact my child’s teeth?

Thumb sucking at Jannali Dental Care

Did you know that your child’s thumb sucking can cause issues with their teeth and jaw?  We see quite a bit of it in our Jannali Dental Care practice with protruding teeth and problems with a kid’s bite when thumb sucking has gone on for too long.

 Why do some children suck their thumb?

Up until the age of about four months a baby will suck just about anything placed in their mouth.

Being able to suck from the moment they’re born is an essential survival skill to help babies feed. This is why babies have evolved a sucking reflex which can even be seen while a baby is still in utero.

Thumb sucking is generally accepted to be a calming or self-soothing habit, which most children give up in their own due course around the ages of two to four years.

However, if thumb sucking continues later into the teeth-forming years it can cause teeth and jaw issues.

When should my child stop sucking their thumb?

It is thought by some experts that thumb sucking doesn’t become a major issue until adult teeth start erupting around the age of eight. However, the earlier you nip thumb and finger sucking in the bud the less likely your child is to develop later problems.

Thumb sucking is perfectly normal in young children and most will naturally stop on their own by the age of four. However, if your child continues to suck their thumb or other fingers beyond this age it is time to look at solutions.

Thumb sucking – what are the consequences?

Most thumb sucking is completely harmless and has no lasting effects. The degree of damage done to the teeth and jaw depends on the frequency, length and strength of thumb sucking.

Some of the consequences of thumb sucking include protruding upper front teeth, or overbite;  back-tilting lower front teeth from strong thumb sucking; and open bite where front lower and upper teeth don’t make contact on biting; crossbite; possible palate damage; and more rarely speech issues or a lisp.

How can you stop your child from sucking their thumb?

While most children stop thumb sucking on their own, others require extra encouragement. Thumb sucking is frequently a comforting or soothing action used by a child, so it is important to consider the reasons behind their thumb sucking rather than just trying to break the habit. Kindness, patience and positive reinforcement is the best path to helping your child give up thumb sucking.

There are techniques to discourage thumb sucking such as being aware of the triggers – such as fear, anxiety, distress.   And then finding other ways of comforting your child, use toys or games as distractions when they suck their thumb, or consider other deterrents like band-aids, gloves or thumb guards.

What help is available?

If you’re feeling unsure, talk to your dentist about your child’s thumb sucking. At Jannali Dental Care we have  seen this hundreds of times before and while it may feel like your child will never stop sucking their thumb, there are lots of things you can do, and with your help, they will quit eventually.

 But above all, don’t stress.  And remember the thumb sucking habit is healthy in infants, toddlers and even pre-schoolers. It simply serves as a coping and comfort mechanism that is part of normal development.

If you have any concerns about  your child’s thumb sucking habit and its potential impact on their teeth, please give us a call on 9528 9204 or drop us an email info@jannalidentalcare.com.au

Talking to us is the best option – and rest assured we will look after you and your family, from Grandparents to babies.

5 Tips to Reduce Sugar and have a Healthy Diet

healthy diet with Jannali Dental care

Plaque is a thin, translucent film of horrible bacteria that coats the tooth surface. When sugar and starchy foods encounter plaque, it reacts with the bacteria to form acids that erode tooth enamel and cause decay. That’s it in a nutshell.

Naturally, more sugar you consume, the more acids are produced and over time this leads to more tooth decay.

A PERFECT STORM of ‘nasties’ for your teeth.

Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet is not only beneficial for your teeth but also your health in general. Healthy eating generally means a healthy life.

Here are 5 tips to slash sugar from your diet. Even just doing ONE of these is a good start.

TIP#1: OPT FOR A SUGAR FREE BREAKFAST

There are high levels of sugar in many brekky cereals so read the labels. Switching to lower level of sugar or no added sugar cereals will have a positive impact on your dental and overall health.

Go for unsweetened versions of common foods like oatmeal and fruits.

Be mindful of too many sultanas and raisins. They can get stuck in between the grooves and crevices of your teeth, where they cause decay.

Dried fruit/ fruit bars/ muesli bars are a perfect storm of stickiness and chewiness. The gooey bits are practically made for getting stuck between teeth and can be incredibly sweet. Bad combination.

TIP#2: RECOGNISE SUGAR CONTENT

Read food labels. So important.

5mg sugar is about 1 teaspoon. When a food says 25mgs sugar per serve, that’s approximately 5 teaspoons!

There are many hidden sugars in certain food items. Tomato sauce, salad dressings, condiments – all have sugar. Make sure you read the food label of the product where they have listed the contents and quantity of sugar. If it’s bad – simply don’t buy it.

Simples.

You will need to look for more than just the word ‘Sugar’ as it hides under various tricky names like sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, molasses and corn syrup.

TIP#3: BE SMART & SNACK WISELY

You have already eaten your breakfast and it’s still time for the lunch but you can’t stop craving something to eat.

Don’t rush out to Donut King for unhealthy options like donuts, cakes, lollies, biscuits and other sugary foods which cause tooth decay. Choose to snack smartly with fresh fruits, raw vegetables like carrots, cucumber or a handful of nuts which will provide that energy boost you need.

Remember to choose sugary food less often and avoid them between meals.

TIP#4: SAY YES TO HEALTHY DRINKS (and NO to the rest)

Sweetened drinks with high sugar content put you at a risk of tooth decay, weight gain and other health issues. Avoiding aerated or sugar drinks is a good idea but that is not the only sugar packed drink out there. Watch out for those energy drinks high in sugar and too much caffeine!

Don’t swish acidic drinks or hold them in your mouth – this exposes the teeth to acids for longer than necessary.

Make sure you try to moderate the amount of sugary drinks you consume and prefer healthy drinks like a smoothie, or even better, good old H2O.

TIP#5: HIT THE SACK EARLY

Brushing & flossing your teeth immediately after dinner serves as a reminder that you are not supposed to eat again.

The cool fresh toothpaste feeling in your mouth deters you from actually grabbing mid night snacks or scouting the refrigerator late for desserts and ice cream. Being a night owl can be detrimental so make sure you fix a time when you are supposed to head to the bed and stick to it.

Sometimes a cup of chai tea in the evening can help crave that evening sugar hit.

Don’t Forget…

Cutting down on sugar feels like an impossible task but your taste buds will adjust. And it doesn’t take long.

For your yogurt, mix half a serving of sweetened yogurt with half a serving of plain, and eventually move on to adding natural sweetness with fresh fruit.

If you normally put two sugars in your coffee, for instance, try one for a week, then half, and finally only add your milk.

You will be surprised how quickly you get used to dropping the amount of sugar in your diet – and doing yourself, your waistline, and your teeth, a huge favour.

It’ s a case of all in moderation. Enjoying a Mars Bar occasionally isn’t a bad thing BUT just don’t go overboard -and make sure you follow through with proper oral care after consuming that treat.

Make sure that you brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and an electric toothbrush, floss regularly and follow good oral hygiene. And of course, regular checkups with the crazy needle-phobic Jannali Dental Care Team.

We will look after you!

Our 2020 commitment to our patients

our new 2020 resolutions at jannali dental care

At the beginning of a new year, many of us set goals to have a healthier lifestyle.  We’ve all heard it……more yoga, less wine, more flossing, less Facebook etc etc etc.

At Jannali Dental Care we thought we’d mix things up a little and make some of our own resolutions for the new decade.

We spent some time brainstorming over a cuppa, and our 2020 resolutions are all about how our practice can best support YOU – our valued patients.

Here is our top 10 list – And PLEASE let us know if you think there is anything else we should add to make your dental experience an even better one.


At Jannali Dental Care we resolve to:

 

  • Always meet you with a friendly hello and a warm smile whenever you walk through our door;
  • Respect your schedule. We ensure that your appointment starts when scheduled and ends when you expect it to;
  • Respect your concerns. We know dentistry makes some people anxious. We do our best to make your visits as comfortable as possible;
  • Respond to you in a timely way, and in a way that answers any issues you have;
  • Give maximum value, giving top-notch dental services at competitive prices;
  • Stay up-to-date on current dental knowledge and techniques through ongoing education and training, and the latest technology;
  • Follow the industry-standard, or above, to provide a hygienic environment for your dental care;
  • Honestly analyse your need for treatment, and discuss viable alternatives, before making recommendations;
  • Give you a full understanding of your treatment, including accurate information on the cost.
  • Treat everyone fairly and equally, regardless of age, race, religion, creed, ethnicity, socio-economic background, or current health;
  • Continue our involvement with the local Jannali community.  We think ‘giving back’ is VERY important so expect to see us out there in 2020 and beyond.


And here’s what you can do:

 

Of course, now it’s your turn.  We have a few suggested 2020 resolutions for you!

  • Brush and floss regularly. But you already knew this, right? Oh, and that rumour about flossing extending your life, it’s true.  So, go on, floss like a boss.
  • Buy new toothbrushes four times a year. Toothbrushes have a lifespan of about three months. Making a swap at the new year will help keep your teeth clean for the next three months, and by Easter, it will be time to get another one.
  • Check-in with us. Hmmmm, if we had a dollar for every patient who said ‘I wish I’d come in earlier’, we’d be buying our own private island in the Caribbean right now.       Regular check-ups and cleans are a vital party of maintaining your dental health, and they are a resolution you can keep. Schedule your regular dental check-ups for the year, and you will be set to go!  And if you are nervous about coming to see us, remember we have twilight dentistry options (and Netflix).
  • Eat and drink properly. Avoid sugars, carbohydrates, and acids to make your dental health resolution successful. Drinking water with your snack, and rinsing after eating, make it more difficult for food to stick to your teeth.  Drink more water.  And don’t touch fizzy drinks – there are simply no winners there.
  • Quit smoking.  Say no more.
  • Reduce alcohol and coffee intake. There are multiple ways alcohol can harm your teeth. Alcohol is empty calories with high amounts of sugar to cause decay, and coffee and red wine stain your teeth.
  • Smile. We saved the easiest and quickest 2020 resolution for last. Did you know that even if you fake a smile it releases chemicals that will trick your brain and actually make you feel better TRUE.

You will be surprised how these simple tips will make a difference to your teeth, your gums and your overall general health.

And remember, even if you are ‘best friends’ with your toothbrush it’s really important to keep up with regular professional cleans and check-ups.  Nothing cleans your teeth like we do!

At Jannali Dental Care we want our practice to feel like family – so give us a call on 9528 9204 or contact us right here for an appointment. We promise we will always take good care of you and your smile.

A day in the life of your Jannali Dentist

Jannali Dentist

I really LOVE my job.

Apart from doing rewarding humanitarian work with kids in Vanuatu, I get to work in the most beautiful part of Sydney with a bunch of great people doing something I am passionate about.

The technical aspects of dentistry are great, and being really good at something in your life, I mean really an expert, is a deeply satisfying feeling. I love kids and people, I love my staff, and I am blessed with great friends and family.

Being a Jannali dentist 🦷also means I gain special insights to people’s lives in ways that other professionals don’t.

For a start, I am working inside people’s mouths. That’s pretty up close and personal, right?  I mean how many people stick their hands in your mouth?  (Hopefully just two, you and me.)

That closeness can be pretty confronting for some patients.  If a patient is faced with a challenging dental condition, a visit to the dentist can invoke some fear in even the hardiest.

This makes genuine, heartfelt patient care all the more important.  It is something  the entire Jannali Dental Care team practices daily – our clients are our number one priority.  And whenever a new team member starts at the practice, that message is drummed in.

Why is patient care from a dentist important?

Genuine patient care can really make a REAL difference.  Here’s a story I’d like to share.

In his early fifties, this gentleman came to see me – he already had partial dentures and his teeth that remained weren’t in great shape. The condition of his teeth and his oral health generally meant he regularly experienced a lot of discomfort and pain.

When he walked in he was pretty distressed.  It was obvious that seeing a dentist was a source of angst for him, and above all, he naturally wanted a solution to his sore mouth.

At the start of his appointment, his mind was made up that he wanted all of his remaining teeth removed and full dentures fitted.

That’s a pretty drastic course of action for anyone, but especially for a relatively young man who potentially has the next 30 plus years ahead of him.

If he decided to follow through on this decision, he would likely spend the next 30 years experiencing even more pain and discomfort.

For me, it simply wasn’t the way go. So what did I do?

Firstly, I acknowledged his difficult circumstances. I could completely understand his line of thinking. Often the path that gives us short term relief holds the greatest appeal because it gives us the quick fix we’re looking for.

The quick fix is not always the best fix

Unfortunately, in the longer term, the quick fix is not always the best fix.

I firmly believed this would be the case for my patient if he decided to go ahead with the option of removing ALL of his teeth.🦷🦷🦷

So I asked him to take a deep breath, and I created another picture for him.

I showed him that we could treat a number of his immediate concerns by alleviating some of his discomfort, while at the same time taking good care of his remaining teeth.

I said that if he committed to a program of good oral hygiene and care from this point forward, there would a good chance he’d get another four to five years out of those remaining teeth (and possibly longer) before having to invest in major restorative treatment.

We talked through what that treatment would look like and the probable cost.

After some immediate treatment and an interim program of care and maintenance, my patient was able to leave the practice feeling more confident and comfortable that there was a way forward that he could manage – both personally, financially, and in terms of his ongoing oral health and hygiene.

Stories like this one happen regularly in our Jannali dental practice – not always to this extreme perhaps – but every day there are cases where we practice genuine and compassionate patient care to ensure the best outcome.👍

It’s these experiences that makes a day in the life of a dentist such a satisfying profession.

I really DO love my job.  Now I must plan my next trip back to Vanuatu……

Caring for your smile during cold and flu season

Jannali Dental Care cold and flu

Its a cold and chilly winter and the dreaded cold and flu season is upon us.

At Jannali Dental Care we certainly hope you don’t have a brush with the lurgy thats lingering around our beautiful Sutherland Shire.   From all reports, it’s a particularly nasty one!

But if you do get sick, or a family  member, you may not have given much thought to teeth and mouthcare during a bout of illness.  Luckily there are a few simple steps you can take to protect your smile when you’re under the weather.

Keep to your routine

We all know that it’s no fun being sick.

Feeling exhausted makes it really difficult to muster the energy for everyday tasks – but you should always try to make an effort to stick to your dental routine.

Even if you spend all day tucked up in bed under the doona, be sure to brush your teeth morning and night.  And if you can manage it, floss too.

Keeping your teeth clean may seem like such a little thing, but apart from helping with oral hygiene it can really help you feel a little bit refreshed when you’re putting up with a cold.

No matter how ready you are to flop into bed, make sure you brush your teeth and tongue.  And if you have some mouthwash handy, have a quick rinse.  A clean mouth and fresh breath WILL make you feel a little brighter.

Hygiene and infection control

 

We all know about covering our mouth and washing our hands when we’re sick, but germ control extends to your dental hygiene too.

Your toothbrush bristles are the flu virus’s ideal home – it can survive up to 72 hours on moist surfaces!

Don’t be too alarmed! The main thing you need to do is keep your toothbrush isolated from other toothbrushes in your household and, for good measure, replace your toothbrush with a new one once you have recovered.

Dental care after vomiting

 

If vomiting  is one of your symptoms, your dental hygiene needs will change. It can be very tempting to brush your teeth straight after vomiting to get the taste out of your mouth, but this is actually not ideal.

Brushing immediately after vomiting can rub harmful stomach acids into your teeth and cause damage to the enamel.

At Jannali Dental Care we recommend, instead, that you rinse your mouth out with water, or a diluted mouthwash or, a solution of baking soda, which is alkaline and will neutralise the acid.

Wait about half an hour after vomiting to brush your teeth.

Stay Hydrated

 

Dehydration brought on by illness can lead to a very dry mouth.

Apart from being uncomfortable, dry mouth can increase tooth decay as there is no saliva controlling harmful bacteria.

Make sure you drink plenty of water and other sugar-free drinks.  Keeping hydrated not only prevents dry mouth but also helps your body fight the infection.

Beware of hidden sugars

 

Tempting as it may be to suck on a lozenge to ease your throat, a lot of lozenges are no better than lollies.

Butter Menthols, Eucalyptus Balls and others like them are chock full of sugar. Be sure to read the label when choosing throat lozenges and select a sugar-free option.  If in doubt, ask a pharmacist for a recommendation.

Hot drinks

 

Soup and hot drinks  are a traditional part of any cold and flu remedy routine, but you need to be mindful of what you’re consuming.

Hot drinks  loaded with acidic lemon juice and honey for instance may calm your sore throat but they’re doing your teeth no favours.  Opt for a herbal tea instead, something like lemongrass and ginger which is naturally soothing but has no added sugar.

We’ve found some great soup recipes that will help fight a cold so check them out here.  The flu fighter chicken noodle recipe looks yum.

Things you can do to prepare yourself this cold and flu season

 

When you’ve got that stuffy-headed feeling it can be hard to make the right decisions for your health.

If you’re stocked up with the right gear and prepared ahead of time you’ll be much more likely to do the right things if you get sick.

To prepare yourself for cold and flu season be sure to:

·       ✔️ Stock up on sugar-free lozenges, cough syrups and other medicines

·        ✔️Keep a store of spare toothbrushes in the cupboard

·        ✔️Have a selection of herbal teas on hand

·       ✔️ Store a small amount of baking soda in your bathroom cabinet

·        ✔️Keep toothbrushes isolated from each other at all times.

There you go !  You are now armed with few handy tips to get your mouth through the course of a cold or flu.  Fingers crossed you and yours get through the flu season unscathed and everyone’s health is 100% in tact.

If you have any questions about this blog or about your oral health during a bout of illness, give us a call or book in for an appointment  at Jannali Dental Care.

The hidden danger in your mouth. Are you a grinder?

Grinding teeth

Do you ever wake up in the morning with an aching jaw or a headache?

If this happens to you on a regular basis, there’s a good chance you are grinding your teeth in your deep sleep – and you don’t even realise you are doing it.

A significant part of our population in modern world grinds their teeth from time to time including kids, teenagers and adults.

Some of us could be regular, forceful tooth grinders.  Ouch!

This is the sort of chronic teeth grinding that can become problematic.  It can also be very noisy so you may find yourself unpopular with your sleeping partner or room-mate!

 

 

What IS teeth grinding?

 

Teeth grinding is otherwise known as bruxism (yep it’s a word that you don’t hear used too often – unless you work in a dental practice!)

Bruxism is defined as the involuntary clenching, gnashing and grinding of your teeth.

If your teeth are in contact too often or too forcefully, you can, over time wear down your tooth enamel – the outer layer that protects your tooth. Dental research says our teeth should only be in contact for two minutes in any 24 hour period.

If the second layer, the dentin, becomes exposed this can lead to tooth sensitivity. Without the enamel to protect your teeth, you can end up with some serious (and potentially costly) dental problems.

Symptoms of teeth grinding

 

You can be a ‘bruxer’ and not know it!  There are several tell-tale signs to look for:

Headaches or pain in the jaw joint

Aching teeth – particularly in the morning or after waking up

Teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures

Stiffness in the face (or temples) immediately after waking up

Teeth marks (indentations) on the tongue

Chipped or cracked tooth enamel

Loose teeth

Ear-ache

Grinding sounds whilst sleeping

Noticeably clenching the jaw when stressed or anxious

Painful jaw-joints or radiating neck pain.

 

Causes of teeth grinding

 

Stress

 Anxiety and depression

 Sleep disordered breathing in kids and adults

 Misaligned teeth or bite

 Alcohol, smoking, high caffeine intake

 Some medications including antidepressants and amphtetamines.

Other causes ….

 

While stress and anxiety have been identified as THE most common cause, there is new evidence to suggest another culprit.  Sleep apnoea.

Sleep apnoea is now considered to be strongly associated with chronic tooth grinding.

In this case, the grinding has less to do with stress.  As your body cycles through the various stages of sleep, many of your muscles relax.   For some people, relaxing the jaw and tongue obstructs their airway.

The physical act of clenching the jaw and grinding teeth actually serves to reopen the airway. In that sense, tooth grinding is a sort of automatic measure of self-preservation.  It allows you to continue breathing.

Sleep apnoea can be a serious problem. So if it turns out that your tooth grinding is related to a sleeping disorder, it is of utmost importance that you contact your local specialist or doctor trained in sleep medicine.

Treatment options

 

At Jannali Dental Care we can help patients who suffer from persistent teeth grinding. ✅✅✅

 We will ask you some questions and check your teeth for wear and any damage, as well as check the muscles in and around your jaw.

While there are no quick-fixes or medications to stop bruxism, Dr Brian would offer the following options to control your teeth grinding and prevent it from causing further damage to your teeth and jaws:

occlusal splint or night-guard,

relaxation of jaw-muscles with heat/cold application,

muscle relaxant injection (botox) in jaw muscles, or

referral to a specialist for a sleep study and related treatment.

If you think you grind your teeth, or you know someone who does, then CALL US at the clinic on (02) 9528 9204 or email us at info@jannalidentalcare.com.au OR click HERE to leave us a message and we will call you back.

Teeth grinding is not something to simply ignore.

How often do you floss?

Did you know that less than 5% of the Aussie population regularly floss their teeth?

And many of us floss just twice a year – the night before our 6 monthly dental check-up.

DOES THAT SOUND LIKE YOU?  It is so common I have even given this habit it’s own special name –  the #guiltyfloss or also known as the #panicfloss. 

The Australian Dental Association encourages us to floss every day for a clean and healthy mouth – but if daily flossing is not realistic for you, then try to floss at least once a week. 

Flossing properly removes plaque and food particles where a toothbrush simply can’t reach.  (Even if you are the most diligent tooth-brusher EVER!)

Between your teeth and under your gum line there is a place that is very hard to reach; and a buildup of plaque in those unreached areas can make your gums inflamed, lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss – in extreme cases.

So don’t just floss when food gets stuck.  I am going to ask you to make it part of your routine.  Just like cleaning your teeth, or having a daily shower. Or watching the latest Game of Thrones.

In order to get the most benefit out of your flossing,  just follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Get a piece of floss approximately 30cm in length and wrap it around both middle fingers, with more on one finger than the other. Leave 5 or 10cm of floss to utilise.
  2. Hold the dental floss tightly between your thumb and index finger, slide it between your teeth up-and-down gently.
  3. Glide the dental floss between your teeth using a zig-zag motion, making sure to go gently beneath the gum line. Do not use too much pressure and cause bleeding or damage your gums.
  4. Move from tooth to tooth, repeating the process and DO NOT FORGET your very back teeth!  I know its dark back there, but they also deserve some love.

Floss picks have also grown in popularity the last few years, and are pretty easy to use if you prefer.  Dental water jets are another way to encourage flossing.

But good old floss is just as effective – and cheaper. And in many ways, better.

Should I stop flossing if my gums bleed?

 

Seeing blood when you floss can be a little scary, but some bleeding is totally normal. It’s definitely not a reason to quit flossing.

Bleeding can also alert you to some potential problems. Some people bleed because they’re flossing too enthusiastically. If you bleed alot, try to be gentler and see whether you bleed less.

People with gum disease bleed more than others when they floss. Take a close look at your gum line and see whether it looks inflamed. If you think you might have gum disease, give us a call at our Jannali Dental practice on  9528 9204 so we can check it out.

Does flossing make receding gums worse?

 

There’s no truth to the myth that flossing exacerbates receding gums.

In fact, flossing can actually prevent gums from receding, since it cleans food particles and bacteria from below the gum line. That makes flossing CRUCIAL for people with hereditary receding gums and gingivitis.

If your gums are already receding, flossing daily can help prevent further damage.

Bear in mind though that over-zealous flossing CAN be hazardous to gum recession so speak to us if you need advice on your flossing technique.

Be thorough, but be gentle.

Should I still floss if I have braces?

 

So you, or your child has braces?  I am the first to agree that braces can make flossing challenging. But failing to floss for the months or years that you have braces is a bad idea.

Just imagine how much food and bacteria will be stuck between your teeth by the time you get your braces off!   (And yep it could be a bit smelly too.)

If you find flossing with braces difficult, let us at Jannali Dental Care help you perfect your technique.  Remember, we are here to guide and help you with you oral hygiene.

We hope with these helpful tips that flossing becomes an easier, more routine process for you.

Remember that a dental checkup is still necessary even if you practice good oral hygiene at home, so contact the best dentist in Jannali, today!  That’s us, Jannali Dental Care, of course!

Give us a call on  (02)  9528 9204 to make an appointment OR if you’d rather not ring, feel free to email us at info@jannalidentalcare.com.au OR click HERE to leave us a message and we will call you back.

Does your mouth feel dry like the Sahara Desert?

If you’ve ever dealt with chronic dry mouth, then you know how distracting and uncomfortable the condition can be.

Dry mouth arises when the mouth’s saliva glands don’t produce adequate amounts of saliva. It can result from a number of causes including smoking, certain medications, dehydration, depression or anxiety, cancer therapy, or autoimmune disorders.

No matter what the cause of dry mouth, the consequences are discomfort and a heightened risk of tooth decay and gum disease. That’s because saliva plays an extremely important role in our oral health, from cleaning the mouth to helping protect teeth from decay.

And if you don’t produce adequate saliva, you’re more likely to experience difficulty chewing and swallowing, bad breath, dry or cracked lips, cavities, and/or infections of the tongue, cheeks, or gums. Not nice.

Let’s talk about some of the common causes……

1.   Medications 

Dry mouth can often be a side effect of medication.

These medications are not limited to just prescription drugs – even some over-the-counter medications can make your mouth feel dry.  Antidepressants, antihistamines, decongestants, pain medication and BP medication, can also exacerbate a dry mouth.

If one of these medications is responsible for your symptoms, sometimes your doctor can put you on a different medication or possibly lower the dosage.

Dry mouth can also be caused by medical treatments such as radiotherapy, or some surgeries.  It can also be a direct result of a medical condition (for example diabetes, lupus, or blocked salivary glands).

So if you suffer from a consistently dry and uncomfortable mouth, always mention it to your doctor and your dentist.

2. Dehydration

One of the most obvious causes of dry mouth is simple dehydration.

We recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day but the best rule of thumb is to listen to your body and drink water even before you feel thirsty, especially when in the heat and/or exercising.

3. Smoking & Alcohol 

If you notice your dry mouth flares up after you’ve been smoking or drinking, that’s because both alcohol and tobacco dry out your mouth and inhibit saliva production.

It’s best you quit smoking altogether for reasons we all know too well.  And if you are consuming alcohol, ensure you’re drinking water between your drinks.  Common sense really.

If you like using a mouthrinse, be sure to buy an alcohol-free mouthwash. Alcohol, even in a mouthwash form, can cause a dry mouth.

Some foods, especially acidic salty and spicy foods can also impact the severity of dry mouth symptoms.

What can help ease the discomfort?

Some people find that sipping water, and sucking (sugar-free) sweets or chewing gum, can help in the short term to help produce saliva.  A water based lip moisturiser can also help.

Minimise sugary and acidic drinks, and brush and floss EVERY day.  It’s pretty simple.

There are also a variety of pastes and gels on the market so ask us about those when you see us at your next dental checkup.

How can Jannali Dental Care help you?

We will thoroughly examine your mouth and consider your medications and medical history to pinpoint the root cause, and suggest treatment customised to your individual dental needs.

Remember, you have a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease with dry mouth, and these can get worse more quickly than usual. So it is important to visit your dental team regularly.

If you are suffering from dry mouth give us a call on  (02)  9528 9204 to make an appointment. OR if you’d rather not ring, feel free to email us at info@jannalidentalcare.com.au OR click HERE to leave us a message and we will call you back.

There is no need for you to go on suffering with any sort of dry mouth discomfort!

Root Canal – answers to your top 5 questions!

root canal at jannali dental care

Have you been told you need a root canal? It’s okay!  There’s no reason to freak out because root canal therapy is not as scary as you might think.🤔

In fact, root canal therapy often gets an undeserved bad wrap but the reality is that it may be your best defence to save your tooth.

At Jannali Dental Care we’re going to take away the mystery of this procedure.

Here are the answers to the top 5 root canal questions we often get from our patients.

 

 

Root canal therapy – what is it?

 

Root canal therapy is needed when a tooth becomes severely damaged by decay or injury. This leads to an infection inside your tooth, which damages the pulp.

The signs and symptoms that you may need a root canal include:

·       severe tooth pain (which might be caused by an abscess)

·       sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures

·       swelling gums

·       an infected tooth gets dark.

The purpose of a root canal is to SAVE your natural tooth. 😄

During the procedure, we will safely remove the infected pulp and clean out the damaged nerve tissue and then we seal it against future pain with a temporary filling to keep food and other contaminants out of the tooth until the next appointment.

At the second appointment, we will fill the interior of the tooth with a sealer paste and a filling is placed in the hole in the enamel.

After a root canal, the tooth is weaker.  To keep it from breaking, we will place a crown, or another restoration on the tooth to protect it.  A root canal and crown is usually 2-3 appointments in total, and they are highly successful.👍

My tooth doesn’t hurt. Why do I need a root canal?

 

Just because you’re not experiencing pain doesn’t mean your tooth isn’t severely infected. A root canal could still be necessary to save your tooth and to keep your smile healthy.

It’s important to take care of the problem before it gets worse. The longer you delay treatment, the more opportunity there is for infection to infiltrate your bloodstream and harm your body.  And your oral health is directly connected to your overall wellness.

If not treated properly, you increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and some other nasties.😧

Sometimes a root canal may be needed because:

·       your tooth is cracked (sometime this crack is so fine you can’t see it or feel it)

·       your tooth is broken

·       you’ve had repeated dental procedures on the same tooth

·       you’ve had a severe tooth injury.

 Is a root canal painful?

 

Hearing the words “root canal” may make you cringe because of the stigma attached to the procedure and the pain associated with it.   Well, here’s the thing, in 2019 that is simply not the case any more! 😄

Technology has advanced so much and these days you’ll hardly feel it. It feels much the same as getting a filling – and patients are often surprised at how little discomfort there is!

Our team at Jannali Dental Care will make sure you’re comfortable the entire time. If you need an extra boost, we can always offer you some sedation, and you won’t feel a thing!

How will I feel after a root canal?

 

Your tooth may feel a little sensitive after the procedure, but you’ll finally be out of pain caused by the damaged tooth!  If you do experience any soreness or sensitivity, you can take over-the-counter pain relief like panadol.  Easy peasy.

Your mouth will likely feel numb for 2-3 hours from the anesthetic but you can return to work immediately if you wish. You might feel you need to chew your meals on the other side of your mouth for a bit, at least until the anesthetic wears off, but that is about the extent of the inconvenience.

Are there other alternatives to root canal therapy?

 

Unfortunately the only alternative to root canal is extracting the tooth.😨

If you choose this option, there are other solutions to replace your infected tooth. A bridge or dental implant can be a good solution to restore the functionality and beauty of your smile.

So if you come to us at Jannali Dental Care in pain – and we suggest a root canal – don’t be afraid.  It really may be the best thing for you AND your tooth.

If you are suffering from any tooth pain give us a call on 📞 (02)  9528 9204 to make an appointment. Or if you’d rather not ring, feel free to email us at info@jannalidentalcare.com.au OR click HERE to leave us a message and we will call you back.

There is no need for you to go on suffering with any sort of mouth discomfort at any time.  And let’s get it fixed nice and early before it becomes a bigger issue!  Our Sutherland Shire Dental practice is here to help you!

Did you know that preventative orthodontic screening is important for your child?

young girl smiling

But did you know they also recommend ALL kids may benefit from having a  preventative orthodontic assessment between the ages of 7 and 10 years old?

Yes its true!

According to the Australian Dental Association, children should start visiting the dentist when a baby’s tooth becomes visible or they reach one year old.

That may sound young, but prevention is always better than cure when it comes to your child’s oral health. 👪

By 7 years old, most children have a mix of adult and baby teeth, which will help the dentist to determine if there are any developing problems such as misalignment of the jaws, crowding, or overbites.

What are the signs my child should have an early orthodontic evaluation?

 

Sorry to say this Mum and Dad, but many orthodontic problems in your kids are inherited.  Here are a few common ones to watch out for:

  • Difficulty biting or chewing
  • Speech impediments
  • Mouth breathing and snoring
  • Late or early loss of baby teeth due to decay or trauma
  • Continuing to suck the thumb after the age of 5
  • Teeth that fail to meet properly
  • Protruding teeth
  • The jaw shifts when your child opens or closes their mouth
  • Crowded front teeth.

 

Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain.😀 A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and /or speaking, and excess stress on bones and gums.

Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional and more costly dental care later in life.💰

What are the benefits of early treatment?

 

One thing for certain is that an early orthodontic evaluation is always a really good idea.✅

It allows us to check if there are any problems present, and talk you through the best course of action to put you and your child’s minds at ease.

Early preventative treatment provides an opportunity to help:

  • Guide jaw growth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Improve appearance
  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favourable position.

 

At Jannali Dental Care we have a special interest in treating orthodontic problems in children. 👪

The idea of an initial visit is for a ‘screening.’  This is where Dr Brian and his dental team will examine and assess your child’s growing face, teeth, and jaws.

It is most likely early orthodontic treatment will NOT be needed – but in the cases that it is – the benefits of early screening can be significant.

We can discuss treatments to correct the growth of your child’s jaw and some bite problems.  We can also assist with gaining enough room for permanent teeth to properly come through, and guide your child’s teeth into a more favourable position, as well as minimising the chances of extractions later on.

Orthodontic procedures performed later in life take longer and are also way tougher on the hip pocket.💰

Early diagnosis is KEY!

 

The message to remember is that early diagnosis and timely management is KEY.  Bring your child in for their first orthodontic check between the ages of 7 and 10 years old.

This will allow us to catch any problems or abnormalities early on—when they’re easiest to treat and fix.😊

And naturally if your child’s case is complex, we would refer you to a specialist orthodontist.

At Jannali Dental Care we pride ourselves on helping you raise children with teeth that are free of dental issues.  You need a dentist you can trust.  You also need to find someone your child likes. 😊

Contact us for your child’s orthodontic screen and be reassured that he or she will grow up with a healthy and beautiful smile.