Avoiding decay with a sweet tooth

managng a sweet tooth at jannali dental care

Yes it would be VERY easy for me to say “just avoid sugar”.  But in an age of fast food, chocolate thick-shakes and Donut King, how does one do that?  It’s simply not realistic.

We live with sugar. It’s here and it is  not going away.

Here are my top three tips for preventing tooth decay if you have a sweet tooth.  Hope you find these helpful.

Tip Number One: ORAL HYGIENE

This one is a no-brainer.  Brush your teeth twice a day.

Small circles, angled at 45 degrees to your teeth and gently massage your gums while you brush. This mechanically removes any food residue still stuck to your teeth.

Use floss to clean the areas between your teeth. This is important as a toothbrush cannot reach these spots and food can easily get lodged and sit here for days causing bad breath, decay and gum infection.

When using floss make sure you contact the surfaces of your teeth to again mechanically remove bits of food stuck to them.

As much as I’d love you to floss every day, even once a week is better then nothing.

Tip Number Two: SUBSTITUTION

If you cook your own cakes and biscuits and jams, then try substituting white sugar with something like Xylitol.

This is a natural sugar and many studies have come out recently showing it actually STOPS decay from progressing through your teeth. It doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin, starves the plaque-producing bacteria in your mouth and feeds friendly microbes in your digestive system.

There are also sugar alternatives out there for bodybuilders and diabetics so have a look at these products and see if they are suitable for you.

Another tip is avoid fruit juices and swap for the raw fruit version. Have an apple instead of slowly sipping on apple juice. Sugary juices are definitely not great for your teeth.

Tip Number Three: TIMING

Lots of studies have shown it is not necessarily the AMOUNT of sugar you have, but rather how FREQUENTLY you have it.

This is because when you frequently consume sugar throughout the day, you are not giving your saliva enough time to replenish itself and buffer the mouth from the acidity created from consuming the sugar.

So if you are going to have sugary foods and drinks, try and consume them during or after a main meal. Once you have had the sugary meal or drink, then that is it.   Don’t snack on sugary foods all day.

Of course during the course of every day, make sure you are having lots of veggies, protein and water.

I hope you have found this blog helpful.  These 3 tips are simple and pretty easy to follow – and they will help minimise the chance of decay.

If you need a caring dentist that won’t make you feel bad about having a sweet tooth, then give us a call at Jannali Dental Care on 9528 9204 OR book your appointment online right here.

We certainly won’t judge your sugar intake, but we may give you some tips to help manage it.

Amalgam fillings – fact versus fiction

amalgam filling at Jannali Dental Care

Replacing mercury fillings with white fillings

Can you believe that those silver-coloured fillings called ‘amalgam’ have been around since 1812?   Yes, they were created by a British chemist more than 200 years ago!

Amalgam is a very specific mixture of metals.  It consists of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy of silver, tin, and copper. They bind together to form a putty, which quickly sets. After being positioned in the tooth hole, it sets to form a strong filling.

These days, many clients request to have their old silver amalgam fillings replaced with white fillings, mainly for aesthetic reasons but sometimes for a perceived health risk.

Is there a safety issue with amalgam fillings?

No, there is no safety issue.

The issue that concerns many people is the health risk of leaking mercury from the silver fillings. However, the mercury of the amalgam is bound together to the tin and copper, so once it’s set, there’s no liquid mercury present anymore.

At Jannali Dental Care we see hundreds of amalgam fillings every day.  Many of them have been in mouths for 10 or 20 years.

Rest assured, amalgam doesn’t pose a health risk. It’s safe for adults, as well as children who are six and over. The Australian Dental Association continues to support the use of amalgam fillings. However, they suggest minimising their use in pregnant or breastfeeding women, by children under 6, and by people with kidney disease.

Rest assured the weight of evidence doesn’t establish any association between amalgam and any adverse health effects.

If the old fillings are in good condition with no decay beneath them, we do not generally recommend their removal.

Dental aesthetics

There are a number of reasons why amalgam fillings are not used anymore.

White fillings are definitely more aesthetically appealing. It’s not very attractive to have silver fillings in your teeth, particularly if they show when you smile.

With advancements in technology, these days dentists have more aesthetic materials on offer.  Composite resin and porcelain last just as long as amalgam if done properly.

If a client wishes to replace the old silver filling for aesthetic reasons then we are very happy to do so.

Filling Break Down

Sometimes the old silver fillings start to break down as they come to the end of their longevity. This simply means that the interface between the filling and the tooth is starting to separate. If there are gaps occurring, this allows bacteria to get into that space and create a potential cavity.

So please don’t panic, it’s not the mercury that’s leaking — it’s just the fillings breaking down.

The best filling is no filling at all

There’s no real urgency in getting the old amalgam’s filling replaced unless the silver filling is not doing the job it was designed to do.

Most importantly, rest assured that you’re not going to be poisoned by the old filling.

So the take-home message here is that the best filling is no filling at all!  Just remember daily brushing, flossing and practice good oral hygiene!

If you have any concerns about your fillings, 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 and we want to help you keep your mouth in the best possible shape. 

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. ❤️

Dental x-rays, the who, the what, and the why?

dental x-ray at Jannali Dental Care

A dental x-ray is one of the most important diagnostic tools in a dentist’s arsenal. And they are safer and simpler than ever before –  quick, painless, and modern x-rays emit very low-radiation. 

And, most importantly, an x-ray allow us to assess a number of dental conditions.  Even though we may have a keen eye and loads of experience, there are still some things that even the very best dentist cannot see with just the naked eye.

What are dental x-rays?

Have you noticed how quickly an x-ray appears on the dentist’s screen?  Modern x-rays are digital and INSTANT.  Pretty amazing technology.

Not only do they allow for immediate viewing and diagnosis, they emit around 30% to 40% less radiation than traditional dental x-rays.

Dental x-rays are used for check-ups (usually every two years) and for diagnostic purposes.  We don’t need to take x-rays at every appointment.

Specialist x-rays like OPG and CBCT (described below), are used when more detailed or specialised imagery is needed.

CBCT

A Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) or Cone Beam Scan, is a precise method of x-ray used to create a 3D image of a patient’s mouth, teeth and jaw. This type of x-ray can be used for root canal, dental implants and gum disease assessment.

OPG

An orthopantomogram (try pronouncing that one!), or OPG, is a specialist x-ray which provides a 360-degree view of the teeth, jawbones, joints and sinuses. This type of x-ray may be required for braces preparation, dental implants, investigating gum disease, wisdom tooth removal or gaining a detailed picture of how a patient’s teeth fit into their jaw.

What are dental x-rays useful for?

Even the most experienced and eagle-eyed dentist can’t spot everything with the naked eye. An x-ray can help detect dental problems which are hidden beneath the surface or establish the extent of an infection.

Decay

If tooth decay is suspected by your dentist an x-ray can confirm its presence and the extent of the decay.

Infections and Abscesses

Abscesses and infections can be detected using dental x-rays. While your dentist may be able to establish that you have an infection during a regular check-up, a dental x-ray will establish the extent of the infection or abscess.

It gives us a much better idea of what is going on in your mouth.

Preparation and progress

Dental x-rays can be used to help prepare and assess the progress of patients for things such as braces, wisdom teeth extraction, dental implants and other cosmetic procedures which require a clear and detailed picture.

Are dental x-rays safe?

A dental x-ray every two years, or even more frequently, poses no health risk and the benefits to your dental health far outweigh any risk from exposure to the radiation emitted by the x-ray.

Modern digital x-rays, as opposed to traditional radiographic x-rays, emit a much lower level of radiation. At Jannali Dental Care, we only use digital x-rays – but if in doubt, always check with your dentist.

When are children able to have dental x-rays?

There is no general rule about when children can start to have x-rays.

A dentist will typically administer an x-ray on a child if they suspect particular dental health issues, or if that child is at high-risk of developing a dental issue.

Radiation levels can be lowered for child x-rays, but they are not given as a routine necessity as is the case in an adult check-up, usually only when they are needed as a diagnostic tool.

Are dental x-rays dangerous for pregnant women?

The Australian Dental Association says that x-rays are safe during all stages of pregnancy.

However, extra precautions are recommended during the first three terms of pregnancy and generally at Jannali Dental Care, our dentists will avoid routine preventative x-rays during pregnancy and only use them if required for more urgent diagnostic purposes.

The patient does of course have the right to refuse an x-ray if she feels it is not in her best interest.

How often should I get a dental x-ray?

Dental x-rays are recommended every two years as part of your check-up. Prevention is always better than cure and dental x-rays can pick up issues which can be missed by the eyes of even the most experienced dentist.

Some patients may require x-rays more frequently if they have a history of tooth decay or are at a high risk of dental problems.

X-rays are also administered if a patient presents with pain or other symptoms of infection or decay.

An xray can be just the thing that identifies and allows us to fix the problem that may be well-hidden to the naked eye.

If you have any concerns about dental xrays or any oral health issue, 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 always the best option.

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!

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.

Is a Dental Implant right for me?

implant Jannali Dental Care

Are you struggling to eat apples or corn on the cob with a missing tooth?  If that’s a ‘yes’, then dental implants may be the perfect option for you.

Dr Brian has placed hundreds of implants in his career.  His experience and understanding of oral surgery and dental implants gives him a leading edge and Brian ensures a great outcome for all his patients.

What is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth and have been a successful option for several decades.

The implant is a small titanium alloy screw which connects a replacement tooth to the jawbone. Dental implants allow for strong, permanent, natural-looking replacement teeth.

Not only do they offer you the opportunity to improve the aesthetic of your mouth and smile, they also provide a high-quality solution to patients who have lost teeth through a sporting accident, or gum disease, or significant dental decay.

They Look And Feel Just Like The Real Thing

Dental implants are designed to be as close to natural teeth as possible in structure and appearance. You – or anyone else – won’t be able to tell the difference.

You will be able to speak, smile and eat with confidence.

High Success Rate, Lasting Effect

If you’re tired of having to return to the dentist because of nagging dental issues, implants may be the best option for the long term. The vast majority of implants are successful and give patients decades of quality wear.

Perfect Solution after a Root Canal

Dental implants can be a perfect solution after a root canal.  With root canal procedures the entire tooth and its roots are removed, leaving a void in your jawbone. Over time these voids degrade the strength of your jaw. With dental implants, the implant fills that void and strengthens the overall structure of your jaw.

Eat Confidently and Without Pain

Anyone who’s ever suffered with brittle teeth, dental sensitivity or a cavity knows how painful and difficult eating and drinking can be. Unlike dentures, dental implants provide the strength and grip to allow you to bite through and chew anything with confidence and no pain.

Zero Decay Issues

While  natural teeth are subject to several potential risks of decay, implants are structurally resilient and won’t become brittle or develop cavities over time. Zero decay!

It’s a Fairly Painless Procedure

While the thought of it probably sounds daunting, dental implant procedures are less painful than a tooth extraction. You’ll also heal much quicker and be able to return to normal life in almost no time after the procedure.

Cost Effectiveness

There’s no point beating about the bush: dental implants are not cheap.

The important thing to remember is that dental implants last a lifetime and replacing a tooth now can prevent further problems down the road.

Not to mention you will avoid that awful feeling and inconvenience of getting food stuck in the gap – or other chewing and tooth alignment issues if teeth shift in your mouth.

Your health insurance may be able to help contribute to the cost of your dental implants.  So be sure to check in with them and also talk to us about whether it’s the right option for you.

Dental implants can be a great investment but they aren’t suitable for everyone (including smokers, pregnant women and teeth grinders).  So if an implant is NOT right for your personal circumstances, you may need to speak to us about an alternative solution.

If you’d like to explore your options and think they might involve dental implants – then give us a call at ️9528 9204 or contact us online for an appointment.

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.

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.