Hygiene and Gum Care
Our Dentists and Oral Health Therapist aim to provide a comfortable and thorough scale/clean for our patients. We happily run through flossing, brushing and general gum care techniques to ensure everyone knows exactly how they should be taking care of their oral hygiene at home.
- Regular recall examination and cleans
- Periodontal cleaning: Deep cleaning under the gums for those who present with Periodontitis*.
- Tooth remineralisation treatment: Products that are applied to teeth to remineralise from acid wear damage or initial tooth decay.
*Periodontitis or Periodontal Disease can be either an aggressive or slow acting disease which affects the fibres that attach the tooth to the jawbone. The bacteria and plaque slide under the gums and harden to create a stone like substance called Tartar/Calculus, which releases toxins that prevent the gums from healing. Periodontitis if treated and maintained can stabilise otherwise we refer off to a Periodontal specialist. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease which is reversible and can be easily fixed with good dental care at home, but if left to progress will become Periodontitis which is irreversible. Periodontitis is associated with tooth loss, as the bone wastes away around the affected teeth.
Fissure seals are painless protective coatings that are applied to deep pits and fissures on the biting surfaces of the back teeth. No injection or numbing is required because there is no feeling on the enamel surfaces of the teeth.
Benefits of sealants:
- Prevents and delays tooth decay
- Painless procedure, no injection needed
- Affordable preventive procedure which are much cheaper than a filling
- Tooth coloured and a relatively quick procedure
Grinding/clenching (Bruxism) and Sports mouthguards
Grinding and clenching is a habit we usually do when sleeping but sometimes when awake and can cause permanent damage to your teeth, gums and jaw joint (temporomandibular joint – TMJ). Stress or an incorrect bite can cause the onset of grinding which may be constant or on/off.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to hot/sweet/cold due to the outside enamel layer wearing away and exposing the inner sensitive layer.
- Headaches or facial pain due to muscle tension.
- Pain from the jaw joint on opening or closing.
- Recession of the gums, when the gums shrink away due to the trauma of consistent grinding.
- Difficulty opening as wide as normal or the inability to close which is called “lock jaw”
- Loose teeth or cracks in the teeth
- Ear aches, ringing in the ears or hearing loss
Treatment of Grinding or Clenching:
- Heated compress (heat pack) on the area of sore facial muscles or jaw joint. The heat will release tension in the muscles and ease the pain.
- Prescribe muscle relaxant medication in severe cases where headaches are debilitating, in conjunction with inflammation pain medication.
- Occlusal splint: A small but strong plastic dental guard which is worn at night to prevent further wear of the teeth. It may also make you less inclined to grind or clench during the night. There are two types of splints; the first has a cushioned inside layer with a hard outer layer, the second type is a much harder acrylic based splint for severe cases.
- Your teeth should only be together during eating, so if you are grinding or clenching during the day you will need to consciously break the habit or wear a guard in severe cases.
- Osteopaths are also able to provide treatment
Sports mouthguards are an extremely important part of preventing trauma during contact sports. Our dental professionals take moulds of your teeth and within two weeks will create a mouthguard specific to your teeth, in a range of colours. For kids with orthodontics, our Dental Prosthetist can create a mouthguard to enable space for the braces and movement of teeth.