What Your Mouth Can Reveal About Your Health

Did you realise that every time you visit our dentist, your mouth can provide valuable clues about your general health? Regular dental check-ups do a great deal more than just protect your smile! In fact, your oral health and general health are intimately connected.

  1. When we take routine dental x-rays, our dentist can assess the density of the bone around your teeth. Signs of any bone loss or deterioration could indicate the first signs of osteoporosis.
  2. Gum disease which is a bacterial infection, is frequently more common in people who have diabetes. People with diabetes also have more difficulty controlling blood sugar levels, increasing the levels of glucose in saliva, which in turn allows infection-causing bacteria in the mouth to thrive.
  3. When you have higher levels of bacteria in your mouth, it can impact your vascular system and may be a precursor to cardiovascular disease.
  4. Mouth ulcers can indicate a nutritional deficiency or may be a sign of stress or hormonal imbalances.
  5. Intestinal disease such as acid reflux can cause white, yellow or brown pits on your tooth surfaces, where enamel exposed to strong stomach acids has become eroded.

How to Host a Virtual Scavenger Hunt

A virtual scavenger hunt is a great way to connect safely with family and friends or for children to stay in touch with their friends. It is also an excellent team-building activity and can be a fun way to begin or end an online meeting.

Send Out Invites

Send out your invitations with the time and program for everyone to connect. Include a link to the software in case anyone needs to install it ahead of time. Everyone should have a sheet of paper marked with an “X”.

Nominate a Moderator

Your moderator cannot share their screen with others and must print out the list of scavenger items. Make sure the list has items you will commonly find at home.

Start the Hunt

Before you begin the hunt, make sure everyone can hear and see everyone else. The moderator says the item to find and everyone has one minute to fetch it. Players cannot look up items on their device, or use the same item twice. If someone knows they don’t have that item, they display the paper with the “X” on the screen. The adult or child who gathers the most items wins.

Virtual Prizes

It is fun to include a virtual prize such as an eGift card or another treat with home delivery.

The Not So Sweet Side of Halloween and Braces

Halloween is one celebration that you won’t want to miss, and we certainly don’t want to stop you from enjoying this spooky night of fun. However, it is sensible to take some precautions and to make the right choices to protect your smile, and especially if you wear braces. We’ve listed a few tips and tricks on how to get the most out of Halloween, and which treats are best with braces.

Tricks to Avoid

One of the biggest concerns on Halloween is which sweets are best avoided. Children (and adults!) with braces are a better avoiding very hard and crunchy sweets. Some people think they are okay because they can let them dissolve slowly, but this gives corrosive sugars and acid more time to damage your teeth and to stick to your braces. The same goes for very sticky or chewy sweets and which are easily caught in between braces and brackets and can be a Halloween nightmare to remove thoroughly. One less obvious food to avoid is popcorn as while it may seem soft and easily chewed, popcorn kernels can be extremely hard and can easily damage brackets or become painfully lodged between teeth.

Treats to Indulge In

Chocolate is usually soft enough to chew or easily melts in the mouth. Just avoid chocolate with nuts or caramel. If you aren’t keen on chocolate, look for other sweets that have deliciously soft pillowy centres such as marshmallow fluff or nut butter. It’s even better if you choose dark chocolate as it is lower in sugar and has more antioxidants.

Plan Halloween Activities Other Than Trick or Treating

Halloween needn’t be just about the sweet stuff, as there are plenty of other things you can do such as host a pumpkin carving party, enter a costume contest or find out if there is a haunted house attraction locally or other interesting events.

No matter how you choose to spend Halloween, please make sure you brush your teeth afterwards and floss thoroughly. If you are handing out treats, consider including some that are brace friendly.

Halloween Monster Burgers

These Halloween themed monster burgers are scary delicious and packed with flavour and are incredibly easy to make. They are a tasty addition to any Halloween party.

Ingredients

4 beef burgers

4 slices cheddar cheese

4 brioche burger buns, halved and toasted

1tbsp olive oil

4 iceberg lettuce leaves

1 thinly sliced tomato

4 halved cherry tomatoes

8 black olives

Tomato sauce and shoestring fries for serving

Instructions

  1. Taking a sharp knife, place the cheese slices on a clean chopping board and cut triangles from one edge of each slice, forming fangs.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook burgers for three minutes until brown underneath, then turn and cook for another three minutes until the burgers are cooked through. Top with cheese slices.
  3. Take four serving plates and place a bun base on each. Top with lettuce, the burger and sliced tomato, and a drizzle of tomato sauce. Put the bun tops on the burgers and place cherry tomato halves on each to make eyes. Slice the olives and place on cherry tomato halves, so they form pupils. Serve with fries.

Serves 4

This September, Why Not Get a Bright and Beautiful Smile?

Did you know 65% of Australians haven’t seen a dentist during the past two years? It is a statistic we’d love to see change. This month is an excellent chance to book a check-up if you are overdue. Keeping up with your regular check-ups is easy and cost-effective because we can detect and treat any dental problems that much sooner, often before they cause discomfort.

Regular hygiene appointments keep your smile at its sparkling best, but if it could do with a boost, why not whiten it? The ideal time to whiten is after your check-up and hygiene appointment because we must assess your teeth to ensure a whitening treatment is appropriate.

Whiten Your Smile Safely and Effectively

We have two fantastic options to choose from, which include in-office whitening and a custom home whitening kit. An in-office whitening treatment brightens your smile in a single treatment. A home whitening kit must be used for approximately two weeks, and you can wear the comfortable whitening trays for a few hours each day or overnight. The choice is yours!

Casey Dental Group uses the Pola Advanced Tooth Whitening system because it provides such excellent results. These are high-strength whitening products only available to dentists.

How is Hay Fever Linked to Dental Health Problems?

If you suffer from seasonal allergies like hay fever, you know all about the unpleasant side-effects including coughing, sneezing, having a stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes. What’s not so well-known is the potential effect on your dental health as allergies can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath and sore throats.

Frequently, hay fever causes sinus pain, and when your sinuses are full of mucus, the additional pressure can press down on your upper back teeth, potentially causing toothache. One way to tell if it is true toothache is to take antihistamines to relieve the symptoms. If the tooth pain remains, it’s best to come and see us here at Casey Dental, in case the toothache is due to an infection.

Other problems include dry mouth and especially if you need to breathe through your mouth. Medications like antihistamines can frequently cause dry mouth as a side-effect. When your mouth is drier, it loses the protective effects of saliva, increasing your risk of cavities, bad breath and gum disease. If you have dry mouth, make sure you drink plenty of water, and some people like to chew sugar-free gum or suck sugar-free sweets. Also, remember we can provide you with additional advice and care to reduce the impact of hay fever on your dental health.

Getting Older and How It Affects Your Dental Health – The Life of Your Smile

As you get older, the effects of ageing gradually become more obvious, and this includes changes to your dental health. A lifetime of bad oral habits can take its toll, but while some pessimistic people might say tooth loss is inevitable, it needn’t be.

Common Dental Problems in Later Life

Natural wear and tear caused by biting and chewing, and exposure to acids in the mouth and foods can thin tooth enamel. This can increase tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, and your teeth may look darker because the thinner tooth enamel exposes the natural colour in the dentin underneath. Your risk of tooth decay and gum disease may increase, as dry mouth is a common side-effect of many prescription medications, reducing the protective effect of saliva. Also, some people lose dexterity as they age, making it harder to hold a toothbrush and to use dental floss.

How We Can Help You

There is plenty you can do to look after your teeth and hopefully keep them for life, and we can help you, providing a custom preventative dental care plan for optimal oral health. We can advise you on the best way to care for your teeth, and how to reduce the effects of ageing on your smile.

Lets talk crown lengthening

Crown lengthening is a procedure normally used to improve gum health or in preparation for restorative or cosmetic treatments, for example, if you want dental crowns or veneers. When teeth have broken below the gum line or are substantially damaged, it is difficult to place dental crowns or veneers properly, so crown lengthening helps to provide more space by exposing more of the natural tooth. We can also use crown lengthening to correct what’s called a “gummy” smile, where you expose an excess of gum tissue when you smile or talk. Crown lengthening treatment exposes more of the natural tooth, reshaping the gum tissue and sometimes recontouring the bone underneath. We can perform crown lengthening procedures on a single tooth or multiple teeth, creating a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

What is the Procedure for Crown Lengthening?

We usually do this procedure under local anaesthetic and will carefully remove the excess gum tissue, so your gums frame your teeth beautifully. Your teeth will already look longer because we have exposed more of the natural structure. It will take a while for your gums to heal, and we will give you precise instructions on how to care for them during this time.

How Seasonal Allergies Can Impact Oral Health

If you are prone to allergies, you may find they typically flare up twice yearly in the spring and autumn. This can lead to long months of misery where you feel congested, have an itchy nose, throat or mouth, or frequently find you need to sneeze or cough. Often, allergies can cause tingling or swollen lips or will irritate the gums, tongue or mouth. One of the most common ways allergies can affect your oral health is dry mouth. When you are congested, it’s easier to breathe through the mouth instead of through the nose, but unfortunately, this dries up saliva.

How Can Dry Mouth Threaten Oral Health?

Saliva is a protective fluid, reducing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Without it, harmful bacteria can thrive more easily, and dead skin cells and old particles of food are more likely to remain trapped around your teeth. To combat these effects, make sure you drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated. Some people find it useful to chew sugar-free gum or sweets to stimulate saliva flow. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once-a-day. Also, ensure you take any medications for allergies prescribed by your doctor and which can help to reduce these unpleasant symptoms.

Supercharged Foods for Your Teeth

We’ve all heard the saying you are what you eat, and this certainly applies to your dental health. Sugary foods like fizzy drinks and sweets will all contribute to tooth decay. Try to include at least some of these healthy, tooth-friendly foods in your diet.

Cheese

Cheese is great for teeth because it increases the pH level in your mouth, and just chewing cheese increases saliva flow. Cheese also contains lots of protein and calcium, both of which can strengthen your tooth enamel.

Yoghurt

Yoghurt is another food that is high in calcium and protein, and the probiotics found in certain yoghurt products can also benefit your gum health. If you do like yoghurt, choose sugar-free plain yoghurt and if you want to sweeten it, add some fresh fruit.

Leafy Greens

Your mum was right when she told you to eat up your greens because they are packed full of vitamins and minerals and are low-calorie too. Choose greens such as kale and spinach because they also contain calcium and folic acid, which has lots of health benefits.

Crunchy Fruits and Veggies

Crunchy fruits and vegetables have a high fibre and water content, which helps to wash away excess food particles and to scrub your teeth slightly. Also, they are an excellent source of vitamins.