At Wahroonga Family Dental Centre, we believe a proactive preventive dental care program is the secret to maintaining optimal oral health
Regular general dental check-ups are the key to convenient, comfortable and cost-effective oral health maintenance.
Dr Freelander and Dr Tsang recommend that our valued patients and their family members visit our Wahroonga dental practice once every six months for an oral health check-up. We strive to ensure that these visits are efficient, enjoyable and productive so that you can make the most of your time while in our care. During your appointment, our dentists have the ability to:
- Conduct a professional clean – This is done to remove the hardened deposits of plaque that cannot be removed by brushing alone.
- Check for any potential threats to your oral health – Concerns such as tooth decay or gum disease are treated much more easily if they are caught in their early stages.
- Conduct an oral cancer screening – Oral cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers, if caught in its early stages patients experience a much better prognosis.
To complement this in-practice oral health program we also strongly suggest that patients employ a comprehensive at-home oral care program. This should include maintaining a healthy diet, brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing your teeth every single day.
At our Wahroonga dental practice, our goal is for our patients to retain their natural teeth for as long as possible.
With our comprehensive general care, we also cater for anxious patients
Dr Freelander and Dr Tsang employ an integrated approach to maintaining your smile and will take the time to diagnose any oral health issues in their early stages. If you are nervous about your dental treatment, they will discuss the wide range of techniques that are available to ensure that all treatments are carried out comfortably. These include various types of local anaesthesia, topical anaesthesia, ‘happy gas’, oral sedation and a host of other techniques which modern dentistry provides. Visit our Sleep dentistry page here for information on how we help anxious patients.
What causes a toothache?
A toothache is caused by the inflammation of the dental pulp, which is the innermost layer of the tooth that contains the nerves and blood vessels of that tooth.
This may be caused by:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Tooth sensitivity to extreme temperatures of food and drinks
- A cracked or a chipped tooth
- Damaged dental fillings or sealants
- Receding gums
- Periapical abscess
- Periodontal abscess
- Swollen gums around a wisdom tooth that is beginning to break through the gums
- Ulcers on the gums
- Adjustment made to braces or retainers that tighten and move teeth
- Teeth grinding
Non-dental factors can also cause toothaches. These include:
- Injury to the temporomandibular joint (the joint that connects the jaw to the skull)
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Cluster headaches
- Viral infection (Shingles)
- Methamphetamine abuse
Why are my gums bleeding?
There are a number of reasons as to why your gums may be bleeding. A big cause of bleeding gums is the build-up of plaque along the gum line. Plaque that isn’t removed on a regular basis hardens into tartar, which sticks to plaque and results in further irritation to the gums, leading to bleeding gums. Other reasons for bleeding gums include:
- Gingivitis– This condition results in the swelling and tenderness of the gums, causing them to bleed easily when brushing your teeth.
- Certain medications– Blood-thinning medications can cause gums to bleed. When the blood’s ability to clot is hampered by these medications, the gums tend to bleed more easily.
- Infrequent flossing habits– A change in your flossing routine can cause bleeding gums. If you forget to floss for a few days and then resume flossing, or if you decide to engage in more frequent flossing than before, there will be some bleeding. This should ease within a week, as the gums adjust to the new flossing routine.
- Use of a new tooth brush– A firm brush with harder bristles can cause gums to bleed. A soft to medium-bristled brush is much gentler on the gums.
- Pregnancy gingivitis- This condition causes the gums to become inflamed and tender during pregnancy, resulting in bleeding.
- Smoking- Smoking creates inflammation and detrimentally affects the body’s immune response. Where the gum becomes enlarged due to inflammation caused by the toxins contained in cigarettes, they are more susceptible to bleeding.
General Dentistry FAQs
A dental check-up can take anywhere between 30 – 60 minutes to complete. If all is well, then the examination should be over in 5 minutes followed by your cleaning. However, if you are experiencing any problems, the examination will take longer as your dentist tries to pinpoint the issue.
Dental cleanings usually take between 15 – 30 minutes to complete but can be longer if you don’t maintain proper oral hygiene and have a lot of plaque or tartar built up on your teeth. It can also take more time if you have crooked teeth which can make the cleaning more difficult to do.
Experiencing sensitivity and some soreness in your teeth and gums is normal and should be expected following a proper and thorough cleaning. This is caused by the powerful and high-pressure tools used by the dental hygienist to clean your teeth but this should be eased after a few short hours.
Some bleeding can be expected during and even after a proper teeth cleaning. If bleeding happens during your cleaning it could be because you are not cleaning regularly enough (allowing plaque and tartar to build up), you are suffering from gingivitis, have teeth too close together, or even have some food stuck between your gum and tooth. Removing stubborn plaque, tartar and even food can cause some bleeding since more pressure is required to remove it but it usually goes away after an hour so following the cleaning.
Regular dental check-ups are so important if you want to maintain a healthy set of teeth and should be done regardless of any problems. Even if your teeth are well-cared for and you don’t appear to have any pains or issues, you could still have a dental problem which is not exhibiting any symptoms, making you unaware of it. Dentist are trained to identify problems even in its earliest stages which means they could pick up a potential problem early on and help you treat it before it becomes worse. They can also provide advice on preventative care helping you avoid any problems in future.
If you experience pain when consuming hot or cold foods or beverages, then you are suffering from tooth sensitivity. This occurs when the natural enamel in your teeth begins wearing away making it more susceptible to pain and damage. Tooth sensitivity can be treated using over-the-counter desensitising toothpastes and treatments, and mouthwash containing fluoride, all of which help to reinforce your teeth’s natural enamel. You should also avoid highly acidic and sugary foods and use a mouthguard if you suffer from tooth grinding at night which can contribute to eroding the enamel in your teeth. You should however, speak to your dentist about your symptoms since he can prescribe the most effective products and treatments for you.
Choosing the right dentist for you is an important step in maintaining your oral and dental care. Visiting a dentist who makes you uncomfortable or whom you don’t trust can cause you to avoid getting regular check-ups. When trying to choose the right dentist for you, start by locating all the dentists in your area and then research them by checking out patient testimonials and reviews online and speaking to people about them. Once you have an idea about where you’d like to go, make an appointment for a routine check-up. The actual experience at the dentist’s office will help you decide if this should be your dentist or not. You should remember to consider:
- Is it a convenient place for you?
- Is the staff friendly and helpful?
- Is the dentist a friendly and approachable person with a good bedside manner?
- Is their office organised and does the space make you feel comfortable and safe?
You can but only to a certain extent. Proper, thorough, and regular brushing and flossing can help eliminate plaque, tartar, and food debris from building up on your teeth which could lead to gum disease. However, it is very important to visit your dentist regularly for a proper professional cleaning to help eradicate any tough plaque or tartar which your brushing and flossing are unable to remove. The specialised, high-pressure tools used by dentists can manoeuvre between teeth providing a more thorough clean which is effective in helping you avoid any dental problems or diseases.