How Does Seasonal Change Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

Have you noticed your teeth are more sensitive as the weather gets colder? It’s a common complaint. During colder weather, your teeth can contract slightly, potentially causing microcracks that slightly open whenever you bite down, and which can allow unwanted sensations to penetrate your tooth nerves.

Usually, your teeth are protected by tooth enamel, which covers the dentine underneath. Unlike enamel, dentine consists of microscopic tubules which can easily transmit the sensations of hot and cold to your tooth nerves. There are other reasons why your teeth could feel more sensitive and which include:

  • Overusing tooth whitening agents that can wear down your enamel. If this is a problem, stop using the product immediately and ask us for help and advice.
  • Tooth decay, as an untreated cavity or failing filling will allow cold sensations to penetrate the tooth easily.
  • Periodontal or gum disease can expose your tooth roots which aren’t covered with protective tooth enamel, causing sensitivity.
  • Brushing your teeth too vigorously can literally wear down your enamel.
  • Bruxism or clenching and grinding can crack and wear down your teeth.

If you do have tooth sensitivity, it’s best to have a checkup in case you require dental treatment. Otherwise, using toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help.

Oral Health and The Connection with Your Immune System

Studies conducted over the past few years show the close links between oral health and your immune system. We now know that when people neglect their oral health, it can detrimentally affect their immune system, increasing the risk of serious health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, dementia and respiratory diseases.

Most of these problems are a result of bacterial buildup in your mouth. The warm, moist environment of your mouth couldn’t be better for bacteria to thrive. Additionally, leftover food particles ensure these bacteria have plenty of nutrients. This is why it’s so important to brush and floss daily.

People who fail to look after their dental health can soon develop gum disease, a bacterial infection that gradually destroys gum tissue, causing gums to bleed readily. As the gums bleed, they allow mouth bacteria to enter the bloodstream, prompting an immune response as the body tries to fight this new source of infection. In the short term, this immune response won’t do any harm, but when it occurs continually, it can cause other health problems.

We are passionate about preventative dentistry and encourage everyone to visit us regularly and to brush at least twice a day and floss once-a-day.

Managing Cold and Flu Season with Braces

Everybody knows what it’s like to have a cold or to get the flu, but if you are wearing braces when you have the sniffles, it is a little different. While wearing braces, it’s even more critical to take care of your dental health, so we’ve outlined some easy tips on how to keep your teeth strong and healthy during cold and flu season.

Drink Plenty of Water

It’s essential to remain well hydrated when you feel under the weather, as when you have a stuffy nose, you may need to breathe through your mouth. This decreases the amount of saliva, creating ideal conditions for bacteria to thrive, so make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water each day.

Choose Sugar-Free Cough Syrup and Cough Drops

Cough syrup can be soothing for a tickly throat, but many are laden with sugar. If you can, try to choose lozenges or sugar-free cough syrup. Otherwise, rinse your mouth thoroughly after using these products.

We know you may feel tired and out of sorts, but please make time to brush and floss your teeth regularly. At the very least, having a nice clean mouth will almost certainly help you feel a little better.

What to Do in a Dental Emergency?

We know dental emergencies can be painful and often frightening, but we are here to help and make every effort to see people in discomfort or pain quickly. Some situations are more urgent than others, for example:

  • Severe toothache
  • Gum or facial swelling near the affected tooth
  • Jaw injuries
  • Knocking out or loosening a permanent tooth
  • Bleeding that fails to stop after applying gentle pressure for fifteen minutes

If you do lose a tooth, store it in a little milk and come and see us immediately as we might be able to save the tooth. Swelling affecting your mouth or face can be relieved using a warm saltwater rinse made by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a mug of water. However, you must still see a dentist urgently as you could have a severe infection that may even become life-threatening.

Other situations might be unpleasant, but may not need emergency dental care and include:

  • Losing a filling or crown
  • Cracking or breaking a tooth where there isn’t severe pain
  • Food trapped between teeth
  • Damaging or breaking braces, a retainer or nightguard

We are still open for dental emergencies. Contact us for more detailed advice over the phone, and we can get you booked in to see our dentist.

Periodontal Disease and the Connection to Systemic Diseases

For decades it was thought that diseases affecting the mouth were completely separate from those affecting the body. However, we now know that oral health and particularly periodontal disease is closely connected to systemic health. Periodontal disease or gum disease is now linked to serious systemic conditions including Type II diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease amongst others. It can also adversely affect pregnancy.

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the tissues surrounding teeth and which occurs when bacteria in the mouth build up in dental plaque, usually because of poor oral hygiene. The body’s inflammatory response to this bacterial buildup can destroy the tissues around your teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. There are several stages of periodontal disease, ranging from reversible gingivitis to chronic periodontitis.

One of the most common symptoms of periodontal disease is bleeding gums, and these open wounds allow bacteria in the mouth to enter the body. Once these bacteria get into the bloodstream, they can travel virtually anywhere, and oral bacteria have been found in arteries of patients with cardiovascular disease. Periodontal disease can make conditions like diabetes harder to control and may increase the chances of developing Type II diabetes.

The good news is that periodontal disease is avoidable with good oral hygiene to reduce plaque buildup. Regular dental visits allow us to detect signs of this disease early when it is still reversible.

At-Home Guide for Keeping Your Dental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In an uncertain world, there is one thing that you can control, and that is your preventative dental care routine. Practising good oral care is key to avoid emergency dental appointments for toothaches and other problems.

Tooth Brushing and Flossing

Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head is small enough to reach right to the back of your mouth. Use dental floss or interdental brushes or a water pik to floss between your teeth every day.

Mouthwash

You don’t need to use mouthwash if you have a good brushing and flossing routine. However, if you want to use one, make sure it is alcohol-free and perhaps look for a brand that contains fluoride for additional protection.

Mouth Ulcers

Many people develop mouth ulcers and especially when under stress. Make a saltwater rinse by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and regularly use to help your mouth ulcers heal and to relieve discomfort. If your mouth ulcers persist for more than two weeks, contact us for help and information.

Snacking

Snacking can harm your dental health. Try to eat regular, balanced meals and if you do want a snack, enjoy it as part of your main meal. Good hydration is essential for oral health so make sure you drink plenty of water.

Celebrating World Oral Health Day: What Is It and What Does It Mean for You?

Did you know we celebrate World Oral Health Day every March and this year it’s on March 20? It’s a day when we hope people spend a few moments thinking about their oral health and what it means to them. Most of us tend to take oral health for granted until we develop dental problems, so this day is an ideal opportunity to consider ways to improve your oral care routine. Here at Casey Dental, March is a month where we hope to inspire our patients to look after their mouths and to think about how it affects general health too.

When you have a healthy mouth, it helps you in so many ways, allowing you to eat without discomfort and pain and to speak and smile with confidence. But, good oral health protects your overall health, reducing the risk of developing serious diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes or of these diseases worsening when they are already present. Even though tooth decay and gum disease are common, these conditions are preventable. Our dedicated dental team work hard to educate our patients so everyone can enjoy excellent dental health year-round, not just on World Oral Health Day.

How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too During Easter

Given the choice of sweet treats in the shops, Easter can be a scary time for dental health, but by taking a few precautions, you can enjoy your Easter cake and other indulgences without harming your smile.

Choose Chocolate over Other Sweet Treats

Chocolate really is the best sweet treat compared with others that are gooey or sticky and which are hard to remove from teeth. When you eat chocolate, it melts more quickly, reducing the risk to your pearly whites. It’s also best to avoid very hard sweets that can easily chip or crack tooth enamel.

Avoid Grazing

It’s so easy to graze on chocolate and lollies all day long, but it’s a terrible idea for your dental health. When you eat something sweet, mouth bacteria soon produce acids that damage tooth enamel. Acidity levels remain high for at least half an hour afterwards before they begin to normalise. Constantly snacking increases the time your teeth are exposed to these acids, increasing the damage.

Rinse after Eating

Because your tooth enamel is softer immediately after eating something sweet and, it’s best to wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth. Instead, rinse your mouth with water which helps to neutralise acids more quickly.

Our Top Tips for the Best Easter Egg Hunt

If you love arranging Easter egg hunts each year, follow our top tips for the best Easter egg hunt.

  • Be prepared by purchasing your Easter eggs and any fillers early, so you don’t have to worry that about them last-minute. Even better, buy your supplies when they are on clearance after Easter in preparation for the next year.
  • Choose the right size eggs for the age of the child, as some plastic eggs can present a choking hazard.
  • Designate an area for your Easter egg hunts to prevent children from wandering off and so they know where to look for their goodies.
  • Ditch sugary treats entirely by filling eggs with other items such as small toys or even close to a bigger prize.
  • Make sure you hide enough extra each participant as there’s nothing more disappointing than an Easter egg hunt that ends too soon.
  • Hide the eggs in age-appropriate places based on the child’s abilities and height. For example, a 10-year-old will get bored searching for eggs hidden in the grass, but a three-year-old wouldn’t be capable of climbing a tree safely.
  • Hide one or two special eggs that entitle the finder to an even bigger prize so everyone will be searching for those special eggs.

Give Your Kids a Gift That Will Last for Life – Establishing a “Dental Home”

If you have a young child, you probably take then to see a great family doctor regularly to ensure they are healthy, but what about seeing a dentist? Establishing a “dental home” is essential for a healthy smile and helps to set the stage for enjoying good dental health for life. Ideally, a child should see a dentist as soon as they get their first tooth and certainly by age one.

Early dental visits form an important part of a preventative dental care plan. When we first see a very young child, we can gently examine their mouth, often while they sit on mum or dad’s lap, to make sure their teeth and jaws are developing as they should. We can provide a wealth of additional information for parents, including how to brush those precious first teeth. If needed, we can give dietary advice and other preventative treatments such as topical fluoride applications to increase resistance to tooth decay.

Regular ongoing preventative care, including dental checkups, ensure any problems are diagnosed sooner when treatment is less invasive and quicker, so it is easier for a child to tolerate. As children get older, we work with them directly, ensuring they grow up with an excellent dental education, so they know exactly how to care for their teeth and why it is so important.