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……

Oral Hygiene and Diabetes

DIABETES and Oral health at Jannali Dental Care

 

 

Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st century and one of the biggest challenges confronting Australia’s health system.

1.7 million Aussies have diabetes. Maybe one of the 1.7 million is you, or someone you care for or love.💖

It is a serious condition that requires constant management and if you live with diabetes, you are also more prone to oral health issues including gum disease, tooth infections and tooth decay.

It’s not all bad news – it simply boils down to a little extra care.✔️

 

Which oral health problems are people with diabetes more prone to?

 

Gum disease
Tooth decay
Oral infections
Dry or burning mouth

Why are diabetics at higher risk?

 

There are a few factors which explain why a bit of extra dental care is needed:

Glucose levels in saliva – People with diabetes have higher blood glucose levels, and this also applies to their saliva. High glucose levels in saliva means more sugar for bad bacteria to feed on, which contributes to gum disease, tooth decay and oral infections.

Medications 💊- Some diabetes medications can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth, apart from being uncomfortable, can lead to oral infections, and particularly oral thrush. Diabetic medications can also cause taste changes such as a metallic flavour.

Hypo treatments – Fizzy drinks, lollies and other sweet things🧁 used to treat hypo episodes are loaded with sugars and acids which can damage teeth.

How can people with diabetes protect their teeth?

 

The risk factors associated with diabetes mean people with diabetes need to exercise a little more care than most.

Luckily, most of the care is common sense and easily managed.

Keep blood glucose levels in check✔️ – all diabetics should be doing this regardless, and this also helps with dental and oral care. Make sure you stay up to date with your target glucose levels and keep them in order.

Eat healthy food 🍌🍎🍓– avoid excess sugars and acidic food and drink.

Establish a good oral care routine 🦷– teeth and gums should be brushed at least twice a day and floss should be used to clean between teeth and help prevent gum disease.

Stay hydrated🥛 – by drinking lots of water and chewing a sugar-free gum you can avoid dry mouth symptoms.

Quit smoking 🚬– this is an excellent thing to do for your general health anyway, but it will also help prevent dry mouth and lower your risk of gum disease, tooth decay and infection.

Brush your teeth after consuming sugar 🧁– if you have to treat a ‘hypo episode’ with sugary products make sure you clean your teeth thoroughly afterwards.

Visit your dentist regularly 🦷– every six months. Remember to keep your dentist up to date with your medical history and any changes in your health.

Prevention is always better than cure; keeping on top of your oral health now can save you a lot of pain and bother in the future.

If you have any other questions about diabetes management, check out the Diabetes Australia website. They have a tonne of great resources. 👍👍👍

Give Jannali Dental Care a call if you would like to talk to us more about oral hygiene with diabetes, or if you need an appointment to discuss any matters concerning your smile.

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!