Understanding gum disease. What to look for and how to treat it.

treating gum disease at Jannali Dental Care

You would not live with a chronic eye or ear infection, would you?

Yet 45% of the population over 65 years live with a chronic infection known as gum disease, or periodontitis.

If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and the infection can actually spread throughout the body. Research shows that gum disease is associate with heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and even pre-term delivery in pregnancy.

From these studies, it has been shown that men with gum disease are 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers. Very good reasons to take care of your gums.

Most people don’t realise they have this disease – but it is a serious, and very treatable, infection.

The good news is that gum disease can be treated!

For years it was thought that the bacteria linked to gum disease was linked to other disease in the body. Current research now shows that in fact it’s inflammation which is responsible for the link. Therefore treating gum disease and the inflammation will not only help manage periodontal diseases, but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Gum disease is often silent. That means that the symptoms may not actually appear until the disease has advanced to a more severe stage.

What are the warning signs?

 

Red, swollen, or tender gums – or other pain in your mouth
Bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating hard food (don’t panic, some bleeding while flossing is ok)
Pus between your gums and teeth
Sores in your mouth
Gums that are receding or pulling away from your teeth
Loose or separating teeth
Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
A change to the way your teeth fit together in your mouth.

What is the treatment?

 

The treatment for gum disease depends on the severity.

For starters, coming to see us at Jannali Dental Care and having a full checkup with one of our dentists, is a great way to assess your gum health.

You can get your gums healthy again. If you have mild to moderate disease, it can be treated simply with regular brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and regular check-ups with us including frequent dental cleanings. It may also help to review your diet and lifestyle choices. Quitting smoking would also go along way towards healthier gums.

With more severe cases, specific treatment is required. The treatment can vary from sub gingival cleaning to referral for treatment by a periodontist for severe infections.

If gum disease is not caught soon enough, sometimes it is necessary to replace natural teeth with implants, restorations, bridges, or even dentures.

Remember, gum disease IS preventable. But let’s make sure we catch it early.

If you have any concerns about your gums, or any oral health issue, please give us a call on 9528 9204 or drop us an email info@jannalidentalcare.com.au

Talking to us is always the best option. Your teeth are important so let us help you keep them ship-shape. ❤️

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!

Fluoride: The good and the bad

fluoride and water

This month’s blog is all about fluoride. Fluoride sometimes (unfairly) gets a bad wrap. But it does have advantages and disadvantages, so if you’d like to know more about how fluoride, in the right quantities, helps keep your teeth healthy, then read on below.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance which strengthens and protects our teeth and bones. In many countries, including Australia, fluoride is added to drinking water and is present in many dental hygiene products.

While some groups argue against the use of fluoride, if used correctly there is no reason it should cause you or your family any harm.

What are the risks?

When used correctly, fluoride is highly beneficial in dental care. However, like many other beneficial substances, too much fluoride can be detrimental, in the same way that an overdose of Vitamin C or even too much water can be harmful.

So, how much is too much?

The World Health Organisation recommends no more than 1.5mg of fluoride per litre, which Australia currently recommends in its Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Around 70% of the Australian population currently has access to fluoridated water.

Fluoride is also present in many dental products such as toothpaste, mouthwash and dental floss, as well as trace elements of fluoride found in food, water, soil, rocks and air. In some places naturally high and unsafe levels of fluoride occur in ground water. When too much fluoride is taken in there are some detrimental effects which can occur.

The most common risk associated with fluoride is Fluorosis.

Dental Fluorosis

Dental fluorosis is a discolouration of tooth enamel caused by over-mineralisation from excessive fluoride exposure. Dental Fluorosis damage tends to occur while teeth are still developing, in the first 8 years of life, which makes it very important to monitor fluoride intake levels in young children.

Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic problem, so while it leads to  discolouration, which presents as white patches or streaks on your teeth, or sometimes brown marks, teeth will still be strong and healthy.

Skeletal fluorosis

Skeletal fluorosis is a bone disease brought on by excessive exposure to fluoride. It eventually causes bones to become hard and brittle, making them more prone to factures and breakages and may also lead to stiff joints.

Skeletal fluorosis is highly unlikely to occur from normal dental processes and drinking water.  It is most prevalent in India and China where there can be very high naturally occurring levels of fluoride in the groundwater, along with other factors like industrial exposure, which can lead to a higher prevalence of skeletal fluorosis.

Other potential problems which may be associated with fluoride include:

·       Hyperthyroidism

·       Neurological problems

·       Skin problems such as acne

·       Cardiovascular issues

·       Bone and joint issues including osteoarthritis

It is important to remember that a normal, safe amount of fluoride will have ABSOLUTELY NO ILL EFFECTS on your health.  And it will have plenty of positive ones.

What are the benefits?

While its misuse may lead to unwanted side effects, safe and controlled use of fluoride is highly beneficial for your teeth. It strengthens teeth and aids repairs to help avoid cavities.

Simply by brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and by drinking fluoridated water you can gain the following benefits:

Enamel remineralisation: when your tooth enamel loses minerals, it becomes weakened and more prone to cavities. Fluoride swoops in and re-mineralises your tooth enamel, depositing calcium and other minerals to strengthen the enamel.

Decay: fluroide reduces the early signs of tooth decay and reduces the growth of certain bacteria

Acid control: fluoride increases the ability of your teeth to fight off acid attack

Improved enamel quality: fluoride taken when our teeth are still developing in early childhood helps create stronger enamel which is more resistant to  demineralisation.

Who should use fluoride?

No matter what stage of life you’re at, everyone can benefit from fluoride. It is so easy to keep your fluoride intake up and give your teeth a healthy boost. You can keep your fluoride levels up by:

·       Brushing your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste

·       Drinking fluoridated water, if available

·       Taking fluoride supplements if fluoridated water is not readily available

·       Having a fluoride treatment at your dentist.

While it’s recommended everyone makes fluoride part of their dental health routine, it is particularly important if any of the following apply to you:

·       If you are prone to or have a history of cavities and tooth decay

·       If you have a diet high in sugar

·       If you have limited access to dental services

·       If you’ve had dental procedures such as braces or crowns.

Fluoride plays a key role in the health of your teeth, and now that you know of its importance, you can include it in your oral care habits.

If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to talk to us at your next Jannali Dental Care appointment.  We are here to help you because the quality of your oral hygiene is SO important to your overall health and well-being.

Call us anytime on 95289204 for a checkup or to discuss any dental concerns!

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.