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DENTAL HEALTH

Understanding your dental health will help you smile with confidence for life, and put you and your family on the path to good oral health.

At Totally Teeth, we have a highly trained team that wants you to understand the dental problems both you and your children may face throughout your lives. From the minute your teeth start to emerge there are factors you need to be aware of and at Totally Teeth, we spend time explaining how these problems can be prevented.

Babies & baby bottle tooth decay

Finding the best way to feed your child can be one of the many daunting experiences when you become a parent. The soothing nature of a bottle may help calm your baby but at the same time can introduce yet another parenting challenge- baby bottle tooth decay. Leaving your baby with a bottle containing milk or juice while they sleep may mean they settle themselves, however it exposes their newly emerged teeth to sugar and food acid for a prolonged period, which can lead to devastating tooth decay problems. Early recognition and intervention are essential to successful treatment of this problem.

Gingivitis

This is one of the most common untreated infections of the gums. It does not always have associated pain to start with and therefore is often ignored. A constant unpleasant odour may be noticeable, followed by redness and bleeding gums, however some people think this is not something that needs treating. Ultimately, if an infection in your mouth is using your immune system resources on a regular basis, your general health will suffer. Gingivitis is a build-up of plaque at the base of the teeth, caused by an accumulation of food debris and bacteria not being completely removed during brushing and flossing. Once plaque hardens (tartar), it can only be removed professionally by specially designed cleaning instruments and not by brushing and flossing alone. If not addressed early, gum pockets can develop, which will lead to more severe problems such as periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease

A more serious dental health problem is periodontitis, an infection that if left untreated can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal means ‘around the tooth’ and therefore relates to the gums and underlying bone structure that holds a tooth in place. As the pockets between the tooth and gum, created through the formation of plaque build-up, increase in size, the infection deepens and more bone and gum tissue are destroyed. Although the symptoms can often be seen as being mild, the teeth will eventually become loose and may have to be removed.

There are also other factors as well as plaque that can have a detrimental effect on your teeth and gums.

Smoking & Your Oral Health

You are probably aware that smoking and tobacco use is linked to many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease to name just a few. However many people don’t know that smoking and tobacco users are also at an increased risk of periodontal disease.

Pregnancy

Your body changes in the most amazing ways during pregnancy in order to cope with the growth and development of your baby. During this time, there are many routines you need to incorporate into your life to encourage your baby to thrive and enable your body and general health to cope. These hormonal changes can affect many of the tissues in your body, including your gums. Your gums will become more spongy during pregnancy and therefore more susceptible to gum disease. A thorough oral care routine is essential during pregnancy, as recent studies have shown an expectant mother with gum disease is more likely to deliver a preterm low weight baby.

Stress

Most of us experience some levels of stress at times in our lives. As well as being linked to conditions such as hypertension, cancer and other health problems, it is also a risk factor for periodontal disease. Research shows that stress lowers the immune system and makes it more difficult for the body to fight off infection.

Medication

Some medicines that are prescribed to help other parts of your overall health can affect your oral health. During your initial examination with your Totally Teeth dentist, we will ask if you are currently taking any medications. This will help us evaluate your treatment and future oral health direction.

Diabetes

Diabetes alters the levels of sugar in the blood and affects many Australians every year. The disease develops from either an insulin production deficiency (a hormone prominent in your body that is key to blood sugar levels) or the body’s inability to use insulin correctly. People with diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing infections, including periodontal disease. In addition, if an infection occurs, it becomes more difficult to manage the insulin levels in your body.

Poor Nutrition

A diet that does not contain the correct nutrients compromises the body’s ability to fight off infection. Poor nutrition levels can worsen the condition of your gums, therefore allowing a serious disease such as periodontal disease to thrive.

Halitosis

More commonly known as bad breath, halitosis can be a devastating problem for someone to live with. Affecting not only your dental health, bad breath can affect your professional and social lives too, ultimately causing low self-esteem and confidence. A problem that can range from easy to resolve to much more serious cases, halitosis is often a symptom of periodontal disease and needs professional treatment by your Totally Teeth dentist.

If you feel that you are suffering from poor dental health, simply talk to one of the highly trained Totally Teeth team today. Your continued dental health is very important to us. We look forward to helping you smile for life.