Preventative Care



At Gentle Dental, we strive to provide you with the best and most up-to-date effective treatments for long lasting smiles. With our professional knowhow, we aim to inform you with all of the cutting edge dental technology and to listen to your individual circumstances.

By diagnosing and treating problems in their early stage, we can save you money and more importantly, prevent long-term damage to the health of your mouth. Regular checkups, along with good personal oral hygiene routines, can provide you with peace of mind about your best asset – your smile.

Consultations
We encourage you to book regular maintenance checkups every 6 months for a minor clean and to allow us to treat problems before they become significant.

Sensitivity Tooth sensitivity can be triggered by hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks, or even by breathing cold air. There are a number of factors that lead to teeth becoming sensitive:

• Brushing too hard
• Gum recession
• Plaque build-up
• Diet (acidic foods)
• Tooth fractures or chipped teeth
• Tooth decay

Brushing teeth too hard or using hard bristled tooth brushes over time can wear down enamel and cause the dentine (the softer inner tooth) to be exposed or ridges into the tooth to form. It can also cause recession of the gums.

What can I do to reduce tooth sensitivity?
• Maintain good oral hygiene – Continue to follow good brushing techniques to reduce gum recession and teeth abrasion by brushing in a light circular action angling the bristles of the toothbrush into the gums instead of a hard back and forth action.
• Use a soft bristled brush – We recommend using electric toothbrushes because it allows better control without being heavy handed in your action.
• Use desensitising toothpaste – Toothpaste especially designed for sensitive teeth does not contain an abrasive, so it is gentle on your teeth.
• Watch what you eat – Avoid excessive eating of highly acidic foods (citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, tea) which can gradually dissolve tooth enamel and lead to dentine exposure.
• Use fluoridated dental products – Fluoridated products can decrease sensitivity.
• Avoid teeth grinding – If you grind or clench your teeth it can lead to teeth wear resulting in sensitive teeth. Gentle Dental can help you develop a plan to address teeth grinding.
• Regular dental check-ups – A good habit to develop where you can receive professional advice and treatment on a regular basis before problems occur.

Toothbrush abrasions caused by vigorous brushing that wears the gum away may require repair using a tooth colour covering to replace the destroyed enamel.

Gingivitis



Bacteria in our mouth and on our gums can cause inflammation of the gums and is called “gingivitis”. Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease in which the inflamed gums begin to pull back from the teeth. No damage is done to the connective tissue and bone in this early stage. What does happen is that gums become red and swollen, and bleed easily. People with gingivitis may also have persistent bad breath. Ordinary gingivitis is the most common and least severe form of periodontal disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or hygienist. When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to the more serious problem of periodontitis.

Periodontitis



Periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic bacterial infection that if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The infection causes red swollen gums and can mean the connective tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place may be destroyed. Approximately 40 per cent of adults experience permanent gum disease. The good news is that it can be easily prevented and treated through regular visits to the hygienist at Gentle Dental.

Bacteria in our mouth produce soft sticky colourless substance known as plaque. Plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease that can lead gums to swell, turn red and bleed easily. When plaque hardens, it forms tartar which can build up around the base of your teeth. As tartar continues to form, your gums pull away from your teeth. Deep pockets may form in between your gums and teeth. Later, bacteria invades these pockets causing inflammation and infection destroying the underlying connective tissue and bone, loosening the teeth. Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss.

Other factors affect the health of your gums including:

• Smoking
• Family history or genetic susceptibility
• Uncontrolled diabetes can result in more severe periodontal disease
• Stress can influence the rate of periodontitis progression

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

• Gums bleed when you brush or floss
• Gums are red, swollen or tender
• Gums are receding and pulling away from your teeth
• Pockets have formed between your teeth and gums
• Suffering bad breath
• Constant bad taste in your mouth
• Sensitive teeth
• Loose teeth
• A change in your bite

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend that you visit Gentle Dental for a thorough oral examination. There are a number of easily administered treatments available to restore and manage the effects of periodontal disease. Gentle Dental can develop a monitoring and therapy program for you to instigate preventative and restorative action straight away. Successful management of the disease depends on your commitment to caring for your gums every day, from this point forward.

You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Protect your teeth and gums for a lifetime of healthy smiles by:

• Committing to regular dental visits (every 3, 4 or 6 months)
• Developing a good personal oral hygiene routine
• Effective brushing twice daily
• Brushing with soft or extra soft bristles
• Daily flossing
• Tongue cleaning
• Using a non-alcoholic mouthwash to reduce the accumulation of plaque
• Don’t smoke

Tooth decay


Bacteria in plaque use the sugars that we eat to produce an acid which can cause cavities to form destroying healthy teeth. Acid formation, and hence tooth decay, begins within minutes of the bacteria receiving a sugary meal. It can take several hours for saliva to penetrate the layer of dental plaque and neutralise these acids.

Prevention of tooth decay is a priority and can be achieved through cleaning in between the teeth with floss and correct tooth brushing using fluoride gels and pastes.

Dry mouth
You may not realise that having a consistently dry mouth can dramatically increase the risk of tooth decay. Approximately, one in four Australians has a dry mouth. A dry mouth is where there is a lack of saliva which can lead to tooth decay. This is because saliva directly attacks bacteria causing decay, has antifungal properties, helps to destroy viruses, neutralises the acids produced by plaque and re-mineralises tooth enamel.

So when you consistently have a dry mouth (a lack of a steady flow of saliva) tooth decay can take hold. Plaque can also calcify at a very fast rate resulting in inflammation and infection of the gums.

For dry mouths, we recommend:

• Regular preventative dental checkups
• Re-hydrate during the day (2 L per day)
• Use fluoride products to protect the enamel
• Use a soft bristle toothbrush
• Floss daily to remove accumulated plaque
• Clean your tongue daily to remove bacteria that cause decay
• Avoid any substance that increases mouth dryness such as cigarettes, alcohol, caffeinated drinks and spicy foods

Fresh Breath


Nothing like the smell of fresh air...

No one likes bad breath – particularly in others. However, bad breath is a common problem affecting almost all of us at one time or another. We all know that bad breath can be a big turn off.

Without proper oral hygiene, we can suffer from bad breath. If you have a concern about the condition of your breath, or simply want more information about it, then schedule an appointment with Gentle Dental today. We have a number of treatments and products that can give you a breath of fresh air!

Causes of bad breath
There are lots of reasons for us having bad breath, some transient and others chronic. A well known agent of bad breath is garlic. And another one is smoking. Both of these conditions can only be temporarily masked by brushing. Minimising the intake of these foods and stopping smoking is the best alternative.

Chronic bad breath, however, can be a sign of an ongoing medical condition and should be diagnosed by a dentist. The cause of bad breath that is most easily treated by Gentle Dental is a build up of plaque which causes pockets to develop between the teeth and gums which then fill with bacteria and food particles. This can only be corrected with deep professional cleaning by a dental hygienist every six months (sometimes more frequently is required). In the more severe cases, we will recommend an antibacterial mouthwash which is only available with prescription. But an important point here is that the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ bacteria will be removed from your mouth which means that long term use of these mouth washes is not a good idea.

Another cause of bad breath is having a ‘dry mouth’ which is a common side effect of various medications and can be treated by a dentist. Schedule an appointment >