G Dental is dedicated to helping you understand as much about your oral health, and how to care for your mouth as possible. Here’s a list of some of our most frequently asked questions.
I’ve lost a tooth, what can I do?
If you’ve lost an adult tooth or had your tooth knocked out, don’t stress. Call your dentist to arrange an emergency appointment, as it may be able to be saved.
Pick your tooth up carefully by the crown of the tooth, avoid touching the root as you may cause damage to the fragile root system. If the tooth is dirty you can clean it either using your saliva or milk; the proteins that are found in milk will help to preserve your tooth. You should transport your tooth either in your mouth or in a cup of milk, do not try to place the tooth back in the socket as you may damage the root system.
Why should I replace a missing tooth?
Replacing a tooth is not just for aesthetic appeal: your teeth play a larger role in your oral health and maintenance than just chewing your food.
Your teeth help to preserve the structure of your mouth; they make contact with each other briefly hundreds of times a day. This contact helps maintain the health of the jaw bone, as well as promotes blood flow. Once your tooth is lost you no longer gain this stimulation and your jaw line begins to deteriorate, this is why you may observe cheeks with a “hollowed out” appearance in the elderly or those with missing teeth.
By not replacing a missing tooth you are not only sacrificing the health of the jaw where the tooth no longer sits, you are also sacrificing the health of the tooth above. Your teeth are like partners, they rely on the adjacent tooth to help promote growth and health around them. Lost teeth can also affect your ability to chew food and may lead to speech impediments.
What do I do if my crown is damaged?
Sometimes if a crown isn’t fitted correctly it may cause the dental crown to fall out. You may also find that you have managed to chip your crown. If either of these scenarios occurs it is important not to stress, as we can help.
Depending on the severity of the chip your dentist may be able to repair the crown while it’s still on your tooth. To begin with, the remaining porcelain will be gently etched and then a composite resin will be used to repair the chip. Depending on the chip, if the structure is compromised, you may be advised to have a replacement crown made.
If your crown has fallen out and doesn’t cause you any discomfort, or affect your appearance, don’t attempt to refit it yourself. Wash the crown and place it in a zip lock bag. Call your dentist and arrange an appointment to have the crown looked at and the damage assessed. In many cases, a new crown will need to be replaced, though your dentist may choose to use the original as a temporary. If you are experiencing discomfort and do require the crown to be replaced right away, ensure you clean the inside of it well. You may wish to use a toothpick in order to remove any debris or dried cement stuck to the crown, followed by a wet cotton swab. Your crown can be replaced temporarily using any denture or temporary dental cement found at many pharmacies: however this should not replace your dentist.
Why should I get X-rays?
Dental X-rays assist your dentist in visualising any diseases or decay of the teeth and surrounding teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, or bone degeneration that may otherwise remain invisible during a regular oral exam. This early detection method may be able to help pin-point any potential issues in their early development.
In children, X-rays can assist in decay prevention and early treatment, determining if the primary teeth are being lost fast enough for the permanent teeth to erupt properly, and to determine if there is enough space in the mouth for all of the teeth.
Early detection can potentially save you money, time and discomfort.
When should my child’s first dentist trip be?
The Australian Dental Association recommends your child have their first dental visit at 12 months of age, or shortly after their first baby teeth erupt.
Your child’s first dental visit will evaluate overall oral health, look at their face and jaw for signs of mal-alignment, try to examine any teeth that have come through to evaluate their health, and instruct their parent or guardian on diet, brushing and general oral health tips as well as fluoride use.
Regular dental visits starting at an early age help lay the foundation for a lifetime of good oral and dental health and hygiene. At G Dental we realise that a traumatic first visit will shape your child’s view on dentistry for the rest of their life, and aim to create a safe reassuring environment.
It is vital to know how to detect early childhood decay. Starting as white patches close to the gum that seem unable to be brushed away, childhood decay often occurs close to the gum and eventually breaks down further to form holes.
I brush my teeth and use mouthwash constantly, but still have bad breath. What can I do?
If you are concerned about bad breath you should book an appointment with your dentist. Bad breath is often embarrassing and could be warning you of deteriorating oral health.
Bad breath, even after brushing and mouthwash, can be caused by a number of factors. Also known as Halitosis, bacteria in the mouth forms to emit sulphur-like odours. Various foods and drinks such as coffee can influence bacterial growth and promote bad breath further.
Illnesses such as gall bladder dysfunction, liver disease, diabetes and sinus infections may influence bad breath despite good oral health regimes. Alternatively, if your bad breath is linked to other symptoms such as inflamed or sensitive gums, sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks, then it could be a warning sign of gum disease.
Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
Some people go through their whole life without their wisdom teeth giving them any grief, however, wisdom teeth erupting in perfect alignment are rare.
An extra set of molars is often too much for our jaws to handle, causing your other teeth to be pushed around to create space. By rubbing against other teeth, they could cause cavities, as well as jaw soreness. This is assuming they erupt at all, some wisdom teeth are impacted or get stuck altogether as they can grow sideways or on an angle. If your wisdom tooth is having trouble growing this may lead to inflamed gums, and can even promote sinus pain and congestion.
When wisdom teeth removal is mentioned, a lot of people stress that it will require a hospital visit. This is not always the case. Your dentist will look at your X-rays and advise you if having your wisdom teeth removed in the clinic is an option.