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Danielle Bolger

What Are the First Signs of Wisdom Teeth Coming In?

By | Preventative | No Comments

The arrival of wisdom teeth, or third molars, is a natural and common dental occurrence. These latecomers typically make their debut between the ages of 16 and 25. While their emergence is a rite of passage for many, it can also be accompanied by noticeable signs and symptoms. In this blog, we will explore the early signs that may indicate the onset of wisdom teeth eruption, helping you to better understand what to expect during this phase of dental development. 

Understanding Wisdom Teeth:

Before delving into the signs of wisdom teeth eruption, let’s start by understanding what these mysterious molars are all about. Wisdom teeth, scientifically known as third molars, are the last set of molars to emerge in the mouth. While most individuals have four wisdom teeth—two on the upper jaw and two on the lower—they do not appear in everyone. In fact, it’s not uncommon for some individuals to have fewer than four or none at all. They are the teeth to be the most commonly missing and possess the largest variation of appearance. 

Common Signs of Wisdom Teeth Eruption:

As wisdom teeth make their way into the oral landscape, they can bring about a variety of early signs and symptoms. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these indicators, but here are some common signs to be aware of: 

  • Mild Discomfort: One of the initial signs is often a mild, dull ache or discomfort in the back of the mouth. This sensation may come and go as the teeth gradually move into position. 
  • Swelling and Tenderness: The gum tissue surrounding the emerging wisdom tooth may become swollen and tender. This can lead to tenderness, particularly when eating or brushing near the area. 
  • Redness: Inflammation of the gum tissue is a typical response to the pressure exerted by the erupting wisdom tooth. This can result in redness and bleeding around the affected area. 
  • Bad Breath: Difficulty in properly cleaning around a partially erupted wisdom tooth can create a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to bad breath, also known as halitosis. 

The presence of these signs doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem, but they should prompt you to pay closer attention to your oral health and consider seeking professional evaluation if discomfort persists or worsens. 

Also Read: What to Eat After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Potential Complications:

While the emergence of wisdom teeth is a natural process, quite often it does not go smoothly. Here are some potential complications associated with wisdom teeth eruption: 

  • Impaction: Wisdom teeth are notorious for becoming impacted, which means they don’t fully emerge from the gum line. This can lead to pain, discomfort, an increased risk of infection, and tooth decay if left untreated. 
  • Crowding: The arrival of wisdom teeth can exert pressure on adjacent teeth, causing them to shift or become crowded. This can impact your bite and overall oral alignment. 
  • Infection: The partially erupted gum tissue around wisdom teeth can create pockets that trap food particles and bacteria, increasing the risk of infection. This condition is known as pericoronitis. 
  • Cysts and Tumours: Although rare, wisdom teeth can sometimes be associated with the development of cysts or tumours, which may require surgical intervention. 
  • Trauma to soft tissues: Particularly on the top, the wisdom teeth can erupt through at an angle, rubbing the insides of the cheeks and causing repeated trauma here. 

Understanding these potential complications highlights the importance of regular dental check-ups and early detection to address any issues that may arise during the eruption of wisdom teeth. 

Seeking Professional Evaluation:

If you experience any of the signs mentioned earlier, or if you have concerns about the emergence of your wisdom teeth, it’s advisable to seek professional dental evaluation. Dentists possess the expertise and tools to assess the situation and provide guidance on the best course of action. 

In Australia, dental professionals adhere to guidelines and standards set by the Dental Board of Australia, ensuring that dental evaluations and procedures are performed with the highest level of care and safety.  

Management Options:

The management of emerging wisdom teeth depends on various factors, including their position, the presence of symptoms, and your overall oral health. Here are the primary management options: 

  • Extraction: Wisdom teeth extraction is a common solution for impacted or problematic third molars. Your dentist will evaluate the position of the teeth and may recommend removal to prevent potential complications. In Australia, dental extractions are performed in accordance with guidelines set by the Dental Board of Australia. 
  • Monitoring: In some cases, wisdom teeth may be monitored rather than immediately extracted. If they are erupting without causing issues and there is sufficient space in the mouth, your dentist may choose a “wait and see” approach. Regular dental check-ups are essential during this period to assess their progress. 
  • Pain Relief: To alleviate discomfort associated with wisdom teeth eruption, over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, can be effective. Follow the recommended dosage and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns. 
  • Treating gum infections: When the wisdom teeth are only partially erupted, the gums can become easily infected (pericoronitis). Mild infections can be treated with gentle but thorough tooth brushing and saltwater rinses, or with a chlorhexidine mouthwash as an adjunct. In more severe infections, a script for antibiotics may be necessary. If swelling of the face presents (cellulitis), do not wait, see a dental professional ASAP. Antibiotics are required to treat cellulitis. Though rare, if left untreated mouth and facial swelling could become so severe the airways could become compromised. A medical emergency, known as Ludwig’s Angina, could result. 

Alleviating Discomfort and Maintaining Oral Hygiene:

If you’re experiencing discomfort due to wisdom teeth eruption or if you’re waiting for a dental evaluation or procedure, here are some strategies to manage the situation: 

  • Warm Saltwater Rinses: Gargling with a warm saltwater solution can help reduce inflammation and soothe discomfort. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and use it as a mouthwash. 
  • Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress to the outside of your cheek for 15-20 minutes can help reduce swelling and numb the area. 
  • Soft Diet: Opt for a soft diet that doesn’t require extensive chewing. Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that can aggravate the discomfort. 
  • Proper Oral Hygiene: Continue with your regular oral hygiene routine, but take extra care around the emerging wisdom teeth. Gently brush and floss the area, being mindful not to irritate the gum tissue. 
  • Avoiding Irritants: Steer clear of tobacco products and alcohol, as these can exacerbate irritation and delay healing. 


The emergence of wisdom teeth is a natural part of dental development, but it can be accompanied by noticeable signs and, in some cases, complications. Understanding the early signs of wisdom teeth eruption and being aware of potential issues is key to maintaining optimal oral health. 

If you suspect your wisdom teeth are coming in or if you’re experiencing discomfort, seeking professional dental evaluation is crucial. Dentists have the expertise to assess the situation and recommend the appropriate management approach, whether it’s extraction, monitoring, or pain relief. 

For residents of Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, Smile Design Dental is a trusted dental practice where you can receive expert dental care and guidance on managing wisdom teeth-related concerns. Whether you require an evaluation, extraction, or simply advice on maintaining oral hygiene during this phase, the team at Smile Design Dental is here to assist you on your journey to a healthier and more comfortable smile. 

Is It Better to Get Teeth Whitened at the Dentist?

By | Cosmetic | No Comments

A radiant smile is a universal symbol of confidence and self-assurance. In our pursuit of a brighter and more appealing smile, teeth whitening has become an increasingly popular cosmetic dental procedure. However, the decision of where to get teeth whitened can be a critical one. Should you entrust your quest for pearly whites to a dental professional, or is it wiser to embark on a DIY journey with at-home whitening kits? This blog will shed light on this dilemma by examining the advantages and disadvantages of professional teeth whitening at the dentist’s office compared to at-home options. 

Professional Teeth Whitening at the Dentist:

Professional teeth whitening, performed under the skilled supervision of a dentist, is a widely favoured method for achieving a gleaming smile. Here’s what this approach entails: 

  • Advanced Whitening Agents: Dentists have access to stronger whitening agents, typically based on hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, than those available in over-the-counter products. This enables them to tackle more stubborn stains effectively. 
  • Expertise and Precision: Dental professionals possess the expertise to assess your oral health and customise a whitening plan that suits your needs. They can ensure that the procedure is tailored to your specific dental condition and that your gums and surrounding tissues are adequately protected. 
  • Quick and Dramatic Results: One of the primary advantages of professional teeth whitening is the potential for rapid and dramatic results. In just a single in-office session, you can often achieve noticeably whiter teeth, which is a compelling option for individuals seeking immediate improvements. 
  • Safe and Controlled Environment: Under the supervision of a dentist, teeth whitening is performed in a controlled and safe environment. Any adverse reactions or discomfort can be promptly addressed by the dental team. 

In Australia, dental professionals adhere to the guidelines and standards set by the Dental Board of Australia. This ensures that dental procedures, including teeth whitening, are performed with the utmost care, following stringent safety protocols. 

Also Read: How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits:

The allure of convenience and affordability draws many individuals towards at-home teeth whitening kits. These kits come in various forms, from over-the-counter products to those prescribed by dentists: 

  • Milder Whitening Agents: At-home kits generally use milder whitening agents with lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. This can be less aggressive on teeth but may require more time to achieve desired results. 
  • Do-It-Yourself Convenience: At-home whitening provides the convenience of whitening your teeth at your own pace and schedule. This flexibility can be particularly appealing for individuals with busy lifestyles. 
  • Dentist-Prescribed Kits: Some at-home kits are provided by dentists, offering a middle ground between professional and DIY approaches. While still at-home, these kits typically contain higher-strength whitening agents than over-the-counter options. 

To ensure safety and efficacy, dental professionals in Australia may provide patients with dentist-prescribed kits, which are customised to their specific needs. This ensures that even at-home whitening is carried out under professional guidance. 

Effectiveness and Results:

The effectiveness of teeth whitening can significantly influence the decision-making process. Here’s a closer look at how professional and at-home methods compare: 

  • Professional Whitening: Due to the use of stronger whitening agents and professional expertise, in-office whitening tends to yield quicker and more dramatic results. Stubborn stains and discolorations are often effectively addressed in a single session. 
  • At-Home Whitening: At-home methods can also produce noticeable results, but they may require more time and consistency. The milder whitening agents mean that several applications may be needed to achieve the desired level of whiteness. 

It’s important to note that individual responses to teeth whitening can vary based on factors such as the extent of staining, compliance with instructions, and simply person to person. 

Safety and Potential Risks:

Safety is a paramount concern when it comes to teeth whitening. Both professional and at-home methods come with their own set of considerations: 

  • Professional Supervision: Under the care of a dentist, the risk of adverse effects is minimised. Dental professionals are trained to protect your gums and soft tissues while ensuring the whitening process is safe. 
  • Potential Risks: Teeth whitening, regardless of the method, can cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation in some individuals. This is often temporary and can be managed with the guidance of a dentist. Stronger bleach can result in damage to teeth if used incorrectly, therefore when administered by a dentist, this ensures no long-term damage will occur. 
  • Following Instructions: When using at-home kits, it is essential to follow the instructions meticulously to prevent overuse or misuse of whitening agents, which can lead to discomfort or damage. 

In Australia, the Dental Board of Australia and the Australian Dental Association provide guidelines and standards to ensure the safety and ethical practice of teeth whitening procedures by dental professionals. 

Cost Comparison:

Cost considerations play a significant role in the decision-making process. Here’s how professional and at-home teeth whitening stack up in terms of expenses: 

  • Professional Whitening: In-office teeth whitening typically comes with a higher upfront cost. This cost accounts for the professional expertise, advanced equipment, and stronger whitening agents used during the procedure. The benefit is that a greater result in achieved in just one session. 
  • At-Home Whitening: At-home whitening options, whether over-the-counter or dentist-prescribed, are generally more budget-friendly. They offer a cost-effective alternative for individuals who are willing to trade immediate results for a lower price point. 

The choice between the two methods often boils down to personal budget constraints and the importance placed on achieving rapid results. 

Convenience and Time:

When weighing the decision to whiten your teeth professionally or at home, convenience and time considerations come into play. Here’s a closer examination of these factors: 

  • Professional Whitening: In-office whitening typically requires a single appointment, making it a convenient option for individuals seeking immediate results. The appointment typically takes 1-1.5 hours. This means you need to allocate a chunk of your day for the procedure. 
  • At-Home Whitening: At-home whitening, whether with over-the-counter kits or dentist-prescribed options, offers the convenience of doing it on your schedule. You have the flexibility to whiten your teeth at your own pace, making it a suitable choice for those with busy lifestyles. The downside is that it requires more compliance to repeat sessions during your free time. 

Your choice here may depend on how urgently you desire whiter teeth, your budget, and how much time you can dedicate to the process. 

Maintenance and Longevity:

Achieving a dazzling white smile is a significant accomplishment, but the question remains: How long will the results last, and what maintenance is required? 

  • Professional Whitening: The longevity of results from professional teeth whitening can vary from person to person. Factors such as diet, smoking habits, and oral hygiene practices play a role. However, it’s common for results to last anywhere from several months to a couple of years or more. 
  • At-Home Whitening: The longevity of at-home whitening results also depends on individual habits. Regular touch-ups may be necessary to maintain the desired level of whiteness. Dentists often provide guidance on how to manage this. 

Remember that regardless of the method you choose, maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, can help prolong the effects of teeth whitening. 


The decision of whether to opt for professional teeth whitening at the dentist’s office or to pursue at-home options is a personal one, influenced by a combination of factors. Here’s a brief recap of the key points: 

  • Professional Whitening: This approach offers stronger whitening agents, expertise, quick results, and the assurance of a safe and controlled environment. It is ideal for those seeking immediate and dramatic improvements in their smile. 
  • At-Home Whitening: At-home methods provide flexibility, affordability, and the convenience of whitening at your own pace. While results may take longer, they can still be effective with consistency. 

Ultimately, the choice between the two methods comes down to your priorities, budget, and how much value you place on the factors of time, convenience, and rapid results. 

If you’re considering teeth whitening and reside in Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, Smile Design Dental is a trusted dental practice with the expertise and options to help you achieve the brighter, more confident smile you desire. Whether you opt for professional in-office whitening or dentist-prescribed at-home kits, the team at Smile Design Dental can guide you on your journey to a dazzling smile. 

Why Are Toothaches So Painful? Understanding the Agony

By | Dental Pathology | No Comments

Toothaches, though common, are often underestimated in their capacity to cause excruciating pain. For those who have experienced the agony, it’s clear that toothaches can be more than just a minor inconvenience. In this blog, we will delve into the intricate world of toothaches, exploring why they can be so painful. Understanding the underlying mechanisms can not only provide insight but also underscore the importance of proper oral care. 

Anatomy of a Tooth:

When it comes to comprehending toothaches, it’s vital to start with the basics: the anatomy of a tooth. Your teeth may seem like hard, inert structures, but beneath the surface lies a delicate network of tissues and nerves that make them surprisingly sensitive. 

Each tooth consists of several layers: 

  • Enamel: The hard, outermost layer that protects the tooth from external forces and substances. 
  • Dentin: A layer beneath the enamel that forms the bulk of the tooth’s structure. 
  • Pulp: The innermost layer, housing the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves. 

It’s the pulp, with its intricate nerve endings, that plays a pivotal role in sensing and transmitting pain signals. When this layer becomes irritated or compromised, it can result in the intense pain commonly associated with toothaches.  

Causes of Toothaches:

Toothaches can arise from various dental issues, all of which share the common trait of causing discomfort. Some of the most prevalent culprits include: 

  • Cavities: Tooth decay, or dental caries, if left untreated, can penetrate the enamel and dentin, reaching the sensitive pulp. 
  • Gum Disease: Periodontitis, or periodontal disease, can lead to gum recession and exposure of the tooth’s roots, causing pain. If the disease is severe enough, the pulp can be infected from the root tip. 
  • Dental Abscess: An abscess is a painful pocket of pus that forms at the tooth’s root, often due to an infection or trauma. 
  • Tooth Fractures: Cracked or fractured teeth can expose the pulp, leading to pulpal infection, and causing severe pain. 

The severity of the pain experienced can vary depending on the underlying cause and its extent. Dental issues left unattended can exacerbate the pain over time. 

Inflammation and Irritation:

In the realm of toothaches, inflammation and irritation are formidable adversaries. When the pulp becomes inflamed or irritated, it triggers a cascade of events that amplify the pain sensation. 

The body’s natural response to injury or infection involves increasing blood flow to the affected area. This influx of blood brings immune cells to combat the issue but also heightens the sensitivity of the nerves. As a result, the pain intensifies, often becoming relentless and unbearable. 

Normally, when there is inflammation and increased blood flow, tissues swell. However, because the pulp is such a small and narrow space, and the walls of the tooth are so hard and stiff, the inflammation and swelling cannot easily leave the tooth. In the case of an infected or traumatised pulp, this results in the nerves being intensely compressed and eliciting a severe pain response. 

Inflamed tissues can also press against neighbouring structures, causing discomfort in surrounding areas of the mouth, face and sinuses. The nerves inside teeth do not have a sense of location, meaning that pain can be difficult to pin-point and may also refer to these nearby structures. 

Nerve Sensitivity:

Dental nerves are among the most sensitive in the body. They are finely tuned to respond to even the slightest changes in temperature, pressure, or chemical composition. This heightened sensitivity serves a protective function, alerting us to potential threats to our teeth. 

However, it also means that when dental nerves are exposed due to issues like cavities or fractures, they can react intensely to external stimuli. For instance, sipping on a hot beverage or biting into something cold can send shockwaves of pain through the affected tooth. This heightened nerve sensitivity is a key contributor to the pain experienced during a toothache. 

Understanding this sensitivity underscores the importance of protecting and caring for our dental nerves through diligent oral hygiene practices. 

Referred Pain:

One peculiar aspect of toothaches is referred pain. This phenomenon occurs when a problem in one tooth causes pain in other teeth or even in distant parts of the face or head. This can make pinpointing the exact source of the pain challenging. 

For example, an issue in a lower molar may cause pain that seems to radiate to the ear or jaw. This occurs because the nerves in the affected tooth share pathways with nearby nerves, leading to the sensation of pain in multiple locations. Understanding referred pain is crucial for dental professionals to accurately diagnose and treat the root cause of toothaches. 

Pain Management and Relief:

Relief from the torment of a toothache is understandably a top priority for anyone enduring this discomfort. While it’s crucial to seek professional dental care for a long-term solution, there are some steps you can take at home to alleviate the pain temporarily. 

  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Non-prescription pain relievers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can help reduce inflammation and provide some relief from toothache pain. Ensure you follow the recommended dosage and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions. 
  • Topical Anaesthetics: Some over-the-counter gels or ointments contain topical anaesthetics that can temporarily numb the affected area, providing relief from pain. Be sure to follow the product’s instructions carefully. These are more likely to be of benefit for pain arising in the gums than within the teeth themselves, however. 
  • Rinsing with Warm Saltwater: Gargling with a warm saltwater solution can help reduce inflammation and ease discomfort. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and use it as a mouthwash. 
  • Sensitive toothpastes: Some toothpastes that are aimed at reducing sensitivity have ingredients in them that help to block off the tubules, or pores, within exposed dentine, and reducing sensitivity to cold stimuli. Once you stop using these products however your initial sensitivity is likely to return. 
  • Antibiotics: Teeth that are infected in the nerves, or pulps, of the teeth, usually responds well to systemic antibiotics however, when the course of antibiotics is completed the bacteria within the pulps of teeth are allowed to repopulate again and you can expect your toothache to return soon after. 

It’s important to remember that these measures are temporary solutions. Toothaches are typically indicative of an underlying dental problem that requires professional attention. Delaying a visit to the dentist can lead to more severe issues down the road, so it’s wise to seek expert care as soon as possible. 

Preventing Toothaches:

Prevention is often the best approach when it comes to toothaches. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to minimise the risk of developing dental issues that lead to pain: 

  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Scheduling routine check-ups with your dentist is essential for early detection and treatment of dental problems. In Australia, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends regular dental visits to maintain optimal oral health. We recommend every 6 months. For low risk individuals, 12 monthly is fine. For those with a history of gum disease, 3 monthly is best. 
  • Oral Hygiene: Proper oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing daily, can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Use fluoride toothpaste and replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. 
  • Balanced Diet: A diet rich in nutrients, especially calcium and vitamin D, can help maintain strong teeth. Limit sugary and acidic foods and beverages, which can contribute to tooth decay. Also drink plenty of water. 
  • Avoid Tobacco and Excessive Alcohol: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of gum disease and other dental issues. Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake can benefit both your dental and overall health. 
  • Mouthguards: If you engage in contact sports or grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth from injury or damage. 

Dental Health and Overall Well-being:

The link between oral health and overall well-being is an area of growing interest in the field of dentistry. Maintaining good oral health is not just about avoiding toothaches; it’s also about promoting your overall health and quality of life. 

Several studies have shown that poor oral health can be associated with various systemic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory infections, and Alzheimer’s disease. This underscores the importance of oral health in maintaining your general health and well-being. 

In Australia, the National Oral Health Plan 2025 highlights the significance of oral health as an integral part of overall health. It emphasises the need for a collaborative approach between healthcare professionals to ensure the well-being of individuals. 

In conclusion, toothaches are painful for several reasons, from the intricate anatomy of our teeth to the heightened sensitivity of dental nerves. While temporary relief measures can provide respite, seeking professional dental care is crucial to address the underlying issues. 

Prevention, through regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene, remains the most effective strategy to avoid the agony of toothaches. Remember that your oral health is not isolated; it is closely intertwined with your overall well-being. 

If you’re experiencing a toothache, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted dental professional. They can diagnose the problem, provide appropriate treatment, and guide you in maintaining optimal oral health. 

For residents of Brisbane, Smile Design Dental in Kangaroo Point, is a reputable dental practice ready to address your dental concerns and ensure your smile remains healthy and pain-free. 

The Power of a Smile: Understanding the Benefits of Regular Dental Check-ups

By | Preventative | No Comments

Introduction: A radiant smile is more than just a sign of happiness. It’s a reflection of health, confidence, and the care we give to our oral hygiene. With modern lifestyles becoming increasingly hectic, it’s easy to neglect the simple act of visiting the dentist for a regular check-up. But the implications of doing so stretch far beyond mere aesthetics. In this blog, we’ll uncover the profound impacts of a smile and emphasise the importance of regular dental visits

Section 1: The Science Behind a Smile

A smile is more than just a physical act. When you flash those pearly whites, a series of physiological changes occur in your body. Here’s a closer look:

  • The anatomy of a smile:The act of smiling activates several muscles in our face, predominantly the zygomatic major muscles, which pull the corners of the mouth upward. But it’s not just about muscles. Our teeth play a starring role in making a smile captivating. Their health and alignment are central to the aesthetics and functionality of a smile.
  • Endorphins and the act of smiling:It’s no myth that smiling makes you feel good. When you smile, your brain releases endorphins—natural chemicals that promote feelings of pleasure and reduce perceptions of pain. So, the act of smiling not only enhances your mood but can also act as a natural stress-reliever. But, for many, the confidence to flaunt a genuine smile stems from the assurance that their teeth are in good health, emphasising the need for regular dental check-ups.

Section 2: The Aesthetics of a Healthy Smile

The psychological impacts of having a luminous smile are vast. Here’s how it translates to real-life scenarios:

  • The confidence boost:Everyone has experienced that surge of self-assurance after a dental cleaning when our teeth feel fresh, and our breath is at its best. That confidence carries over to our day-to-day interactions, whether it’s a presentation at work or a casual meetup with friends.
  • First impressions:In many cultures, a smile is a cornerstone of making a positive first impression. Think about job interviews, first dates, or any social gathering. A bright and healthy smile can communicate approachability, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. In contrast, discoloured, missing, or misaligned teeth might make one self-conscious, leading to a hesitancy to smile openly. Regular dental check-ups ensure that minor issues don’t escalate, allowing everyone to smile with unabashed confidence.
  • Role of regular dental check-ups:It’s not just about avoiding cavities. Dental check-ups also encompass cleaning, which removes tartar and plaque, and potentially polishing to reduce surface stains. This maintenance is the secret behind many of the dazzling smiles you see around.

Section 3: Beyond the Surface – Dental Check-ups and Oral Health

While a smile’s aesthetics are undoubtedly vital, the health benefits of maintaining one’s oral hygiene through regular dental check-ups are even more profound:

  • Identifying potential issues:Think of regular dental check-ups as your early warning system. Cavities, when detected early, can be dealt with minimal interventions. Gum diseases, which might manifest as simple gum bleeding, can be a sign of more severe periodontal issues. Regular visits allow your dentist to identify and rectify these issues before they become complicated – and often more expensive to treat.
  • Preventive care:Many people fear the drill, but ironically, the best way to avoid it is through regular check-ups. Routine cleanings can prevent the buildup of plaque, the primary culprit behind cavities. Exams can also spot early signs of gum diseases, ensuring timely intervention and avoiding potential tooth loss.
  • The link between oral health and overall health:Our mouth is a gateway to our body. Chronic gum infections can have links to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even respiratory diseases. There’s also mounting evidence that poor oral health can be a factor in Alzheimer’s disease. Regular dental visits not only safeguard your oral health but can also be a crucial step in maintaining your overall well-being.


Section 4: Financial and Long-Term Benefits

When we think about our health, we often consider our diet, exercise, and even our mental well-being. But how often do we contemplate the financial aspects of our health, especially concerning our oral care? Here’s a closer look:

  • Saving money in the long run:You might think skipping a dentist appointment is saving you money, but in reality, it could be just the opposite. Minor dental issues, when left untreated, can become significant concerns. A small cavity today can lead to a root canal or even a tooth extraction in the future. And the cost difference is vast. Regular check-ups aim to prevent these extensive procedures, ensuring that your oral health doesn’t become a financial burden.
  • Prolonging the lifespan of your teeth:Regular dental care isn’t just about maintaining a bright smile today but ensuring you have a functional set of teeth well into your golden years. Tooth loss can have profound effects, from dietary restrictions to speech challenges. Routine care, including professional cleanings and check-ups, can ensure the longevity of your natural teeth, saving you from potential prosthetics or implants in the future.

Section 5: Overcoming Anxiety – Making Dental Visits a Routine

Dental anxiety is real, and it’s more common than you might think. Here’s how you can tackle it:

  • Addressing dental anxiety:Everyone has their reasons. Some fear the pain, while others have had past traumatic experiences. Recognising that you’re not alone in this fear is the first step. Many modern dental practices now offer a soothing environment and employ techniques to make your visit as comfortable as possible.
  • Modern dentistry:Gone are the days when every dental issue required invasive procedures. With advancements in technology and techniques, many treatments are now minimally invasive and nearly pain-free. Sedation dentistry offers options for those with heightened anxiety, ensuring their comfort during procedures.
  • Tips for a smooth dental visit:If you’re anxious, consider the following:
    1. Bring headphones:Sometimes, it’s not the procedure but the sound that can be unsettling. Listening to your favourite music or a podcast can be a distraction.
    2. Deep breathing:Simple breathing exercises can relax your mind and body.
    3. Communicate with your dentist:They’re there to help. Letting them know your fears can allow them to tailor their approach, ensuring your utmost comfort.

Section 6: How Often Should You Visit?

You’ve understood the importance of regular dental visits, but how often is “regular”?

  • The general recommendation:Most dental professionals advise a visit once every six months. These biannual visits typically include a thorough cleaning and an examination, ensuring your teeth are in optimal health and catching potential issues early.
  • Individualised care:Not everyone’s oral health is the same. Some might be more prone to cavities or gum diseases due to genetics, diet, or other factors. In such cases, your dentist might recommend more frequent visits to ensure your oral health is maintained at its best.


The brilliance of a smile goes beyond mere aesthetics. It’s an interplay of health, confidence, and the care we dedicate to our oral hygiene. Regular dental check-ups are an investment – in your health, in your confidence, and even in your finances. Whether it’s the release of those feel-good endorphins, making a lasting first impression, or avoiding a costly dental procedure, the benefits of regular dental visits are manifold.

So, the next time you think about pushing that dental appointment, remember the power of your smile and everything it encapsulates. And if you’re in the Brisbane area and are looking for expert dental care, consider visiting Smile Design Dental in Brisbane. Your smile deserves nothing but the best!


  1. Why are biannual dental check-ups recommended for most people?

Answer: Biannual (twice a year) dental check-ups are recommended to maintain optimal oral health. Regular check-ups allow dentists to clean areas of your mouth that might be challenging to reach with regular brushing and flossing. Additionally, frequent visits help in the early detection of potential issues like cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer, ensuring timely intervention and treatment.

  1. If I maintain good oral hygiene at home, do I still need regular dental check-ups?

Answer: Yes, even if you are diligent about your oral hygiene at home, regular dental check-ups are crucial. While brushing and flossing are essential, professional cleanings can remove plaque and tartar buildup that home routines might miss. Moreover, dentists can identify early signs of oral health issues that may not be visible or noticeable to you.

  1. How can regular dental check-ups impact my overall health?

Answer: Your oral health is a window to your overall health. Chronic gum infections can be linked to conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and respiratory issues. Regular dental check-ups not only maintain your oral health but can also detect symptoms or signs related to broader health concerns, ensuring you receive the necessary medical attention early on.

  1. I have dental anxiety. How can modern dentistry help me?

Answer: Dental anxiety is common, and many modern dental practices are equipped to ensure patient comfort. From sedation dentistry, which can help patients relax during procedures, to painless treatments using advanced technology, the focus is on minimising discomfort and stress. Always communicate your fears with your dentist, as they can offer solutions and techniques tailored to your comfort.

  1. Are there any visible signs that I should immediately see a dentist, even if my regular check-up is months away?

Answer: Yes, if you experience persistent pain, swollen or bleeding gums, sudden sensitivity to hot or cold, loose teeth, or any unusual changes in your mouth or on your tongue, it’s essential to schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible. Such symptoms can indicate underlying issues that need prompt attention.

What Can I Eat After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

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Everyone has heard of wisdom teeth and how painful they can be if not grown properly. Sometimes, the only treatment for the pain caused by wisdom teeth is removing them. Irrespective of the procedure of wisdom teeth extraction, aftercare is very important. The situation may lead to severe complications if proper precautions are not taken. After surgery, you must be careful about what you eat during recovery. Eating good and healthy food after tooth extraction helps to heal the mouth. It lowers the chance of infection and decreases swelling and pain.

Tips to Follow 

Following are some tips for the after-protection of tooth extraction. 

  • Eating is essential during the recovery after an extraction. Eating the right foods right after an extraction is important for recovery.
  • It is better to avoid hard food. Switch to softer foods because chewing is not recommended. Chewing food immediately after tooth extraction is impossible because it leads to discomfort and pain. 
  • In the first twenty-eight hours, drink plenty of fluids. We all know hydration is the key to proper relief and treatment. So, stay hydrated most of the time. 
  • Ice cream is a good idea because it works like an ice pack to help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Soft foods like yogurt, scrambled eggs, and mashed potatoes help to gain nutrients. These are easy to chew. The body needs these nutrients to heal. After the procedure, eating foods with proteins, vitamins A, C, zinc, and iron is important. They help your body heal and grow new cells.  Eating fibre-rich foods can reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Vegetable intake is a rich source of nutrients. You should not take raw vegetables as chewing is not allowed. Mashing the vegetables helps to reduce the need to chew. Mashed potatoes are a soft and nutritious option.
  • Smoothie shakes with various fruits help provide the nutrients required for healing. Remember one thing: that every fruit is not suitable for healing purposes. You should avoid seeded fruits. The seeds in them can get stuck in the wound and cause severe pain, irritation, and even bleeding. 
  • Avoid foods with alcohol and hot beverages. They can dislodge the clot of blood, leading to a dry socket.  A dry socket, in turn, can cause intense pain in the jaw or gum.
  • A healthy diet is a part of recovery. Pain and inflammation can make eating difficult. Doctors suggest using anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers. On the first day, use ice packs to ease pain, reduce swelling, and be cautious with what you eat.
  • Some doctors prescribe an antibiotic after extraction. This antibiotic reduces the risk of infection. It is better to listen to your doctor anyhow. Many doctors advise rinsing with salt water to control bleeding. Avoid smoking and drinking. With the right after-care, it takes about one to two weeks for full healing.

You can return to your regular diet a week after a tooth extraction, but if there are problems, it might take longer. If you feel this comfort or pain in any area of your mouth, immediately consult the dentist and do as prescribed.

Good hygiene and the right diet are essential to recover after tooth extraction. Eating a soft diet with the right nutrients helps keep the blood clot in place, nourishes your body, and speeds up healing.

Cost of Tooth Extraction in Brisbane, Australia

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Toothaches can ruin your smile. Getting them treated is important. Tooth extractions can relieve pain and prevent future problems. The cost of tooth extraction is a common concern for many. It varies by country and depends on factors like the tooth’s condition and position. Your dentist will assess your teeth to determine the procedure’s cost.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Procedure

The cost depends upon the variety of factors which we will discuss here.

Complexity of Procedure

The cost depends on how complicated the procedure is. Experienced surgeons charge more, which raises the overall cost. Complex procedures are more expensive than simpler ones.

Variation Based on Individuals

It varies from individual to individual to individual. Sometimes, the tooth is stuck between the soft tissues and requires much attention. It makes the procedure more complex,  and the price gets high automatically.

Number of Removed Teeth

The cost of removing teeth depends on how many you’re taking out. Removal of multiple teeth costs higher costs than less or single teeth removal. If you’re removing multiple teeth, it’s more expensive than taking out just one. Removing a single tooth is usually cheaper.

Used Anesthesia

The cost of sedation is connected to the method used. Basic methods like IV sedation or general anaesthesia are affordable. More advanced methods are expensive. The choice depends on the patient’s needs, medical history, and how complicated the procedure is.

Geographical Locations

The geographical locations are also associated with the procedure fee. Dental care is usually cheaper in rural and suburban areas compared to cities. In cities, there’s more competition and demand, which makes teeth extractions more expensive.

Additional Procedures

While going to the dentist, you should expect additional procedures. The original procedure is sometimes associated with X-rays and follow-up appointments. A single sitting is usually cost-effective. Other procedures add to the actual cost of the process.


Insurance can be helpful, but it doesn’t always cover everything. It depends on the insurance plan you have. Depending on your coverage, the cost can be a big deal or not much of a problem.


Dental care is too expensive for many people, and some insurance companies don’t help much. You must trust the dentist’s advice, but it is tough to know if they’re looking out for you or just trying to make money.

Average Cost of Tooth Extraction

The average cost ranges from $1200 to $3000 depending on the mentioned factors. The locality where you belong and the complexity of the procedure plays a major role in the cost.

Private health insurance does help with rebating your money. You need to check the policy before you get it. Also, there’s usually a waiting period of 12 to 18 months before you can use it for dental services. You can also use payment plans to cover tooth extraction costs. 

Hence, teeth removal depends on various factors and is linked to the costs of the whole procedure. You should understand the average available payment options.

How Much Tooth Implant Costs in Brisbane, Australia

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A beautiful smile requires attention to your oral health. It enhances the personality and boosts confidence in a person. Certain factors, like natural aging, accidents, or gum diseases, can affect the smile. Fortunately, technological advancement allows the person to revive the smile they own.

A single-tooth implant is one of the most efficient treatments for tooth loss. Especially in Australia, it is the most common treatment for tooth loss. The costs vary for certain reasons. A single-tooth implant can cost approximately $5500. The value increases depending on various factors, i.e., if a sinus is involved, the cost can rise even up to $11000.

What is a dental implant?

A tooth implant is a new-age treatment for tooth loss. Traditional methods to treat tooth loss were dentures or bridges.

Several factors cause the success of tooth implants. One of which is the usage of biocompatible material. These materials adjust easily and have no side effects on the body. Titanium is a biocompatible material and is surgically inserted into the jawbone. It serves as the stable foundation for artificial teeth. It also supports the artificial crown. Unlike dentures and bridges, these implants are adjustable and comfortable in your mouth. Over time, they become a part of your bone, giving strength and adding beauty to your smile. It boosts your self-confidence. It also improves other abilities like chewing and your facial structure.

Implants function like natural teeth. It makes them a preferable choice for most Australians for tooth loss treatment.

Factors Influencing Tooth Implant Cost in Australia

Let us talk about the factors which impact the cost of an implant.

Number of Implants:

Cost can vary depending on the number of tooth implants. If you do a single tooth implant, it will cost less. There is an increase in price with the number of implants. For multiple implants, the cost will increase.


The location of the dental clinic is the biggest factor affecting the cost of tooth implants. It plays a very significant role. The dental implant cost in an urban dental clinic is higher than in a rural dental clinic.


“The more expert, the more expensive” can be a phrase applicable to famous and expert dentists. Experienced professionals may charge more for the services they provide.


The choice of anesthesia also affects the cost of the treatment. General anesthesia is costly as compared to the local anesthesia.


The usage of premium materials costs more as compared to the lower quality materials. Generally, dentists use Titanium as the implant material. Others include zirconium because of its excellent bending capability with teeth.

Type of implant:

There are many types of implants. Standard implants, mini-implants, and all-on-four implants are some types. The cost of each type of implant varies from the other.

Single Dental Implant:

The typical cost of a single tooth implant in Australia ranges from $3000-$6000. It can vary based on location and the material used. Multiple Dental Implants cover the implant of more than one tooth and are also called MDA.

All-on-four dental implants:

These include only four implants on the upper and lower sets of jaws. These serve as the support mechanism for the new fixed teeth. A typical all-on-four dental implant ranges between $23000-$27000 in Australia.

Implant-Supported Dentures:

Replacing several teeth at once. This type of implant is an overdenture that can be very helpful if a person has lost most of his teeth. This treatment costs from $15000 to $30000 in Australia.

Managing Dental Implant Cost

There are lots of tips for managing the cost of tooth implants. Some are listed here.


Always opt for insurance while visiting your dentists. Insurance policies are very rigid. Try to explain the importance of implants in your case. Most plans do not cover the treatment, but some partially cover it.

Choice of dentist:

Consult multiple dentists. Compare the treatments and plans offered by them. Try choosing the most experienced dentist who is also cheap.

Tax Deductions:

Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for tax deductions. Consult with a tax professional for guidance.

Payment Plans:

Enquire about payment plans or financing options dental clinics offer. It will make the cost more manageable over time.


Some dentists also offer saving plans like 10% off and 20% off. All you need to do is to find one such dentist.

FSA and HSA:

Both of these pay funds for the medical and dental expenses of the people. Consult with your Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) administrators and Health Saving Accounts (HSA). They will check for a plan that can cover the expenses.


Gum Health 101: The Surprising Connections Between Your Gums and Overall Health

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Dental health is often centred around sparkling teeth and a bright smile. Yet many of us tend to overlook a crucial component: gum health. While we might be quick to brush off a bit of bleeding after a vigorous floss, there’s growing evidence from Australian health bodies that suggests the health of our gums can greatly influence other systemic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Let’s dive deeper into this.

The Basics of Gum Health:

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, medically known as periodontal disease, is an inflammatory condition affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth. In Australia, it’s a prevalent issue. According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA), there are two main types:

  • Gingivitis:This is the milder form, characterised by red, swollen gums that bleed easily, especially during brushing or flossing.
  • Periodontitis:If gingivitis isn’t treated, it can advance to periodontitis. This involves the inner layer of the gum and bone pulling away from the teeth, forming pockets, collecting debris, and becoming infected.

Common symptoms and signs of gum disease

While regular dental check-ups can identify early signs of gum disease, being aware of the following symptoms can be a lifesaver:

  • Red or swollen gums.
  • Tender or bleeding gums.
  • Painful chewing.
  • Loose teeth or sensitive teeth.
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste.

Causes of gum disease:

Several factors can contribute:

  • Poor oral hygiene:skipping regular brushing or flossing leaves plaque to harden and form calculus/ tartar, leading to gum inflammation.
  • Smoking:The Australian government’s Department of Health has long warned about smoking’s role in gum disease, as it hinders the gum tissue’s ability to repair itself.
  • Hormonal changes in women:Fluctuations during periods, pregnancy, menopause, and even using contraceptives can make gums more sensitive.
  • Medications:Some medicines, as noted by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), can reduce saliva flow, which is crucial for cleaning the mouth and neutralising bacteria.

Gum Health and Systemic Diseases:

The Biological Link:

One might wonder, How exactly does a gum issue impact the rest of our body? The connection lies largely in inflammation and the entry of bacteria into the bloodstream. Inflamed gums act as a gateway for bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which can then travel to various parts of the body, potentially contributing to other health issues.

Gum Health and Heart Disease:

What research says about the connection

The link between gum health and heart disease is quite compelling. Several studies, referenced by the Heart Foundation of Australia, indicate that individuals with periodontal disease have an increased risk of heart disease. It’s not merely a coincidence; the same bacteria found in inflamed gums have been discovered in the arteries of patients with heart disease.

Potential reasons for the link:

Gum inflammation may cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause atherosclerosis. Obstructions can cause heart attacks. The inflammation may also increase the chance of endocarditis, an infection of the heart’s inner lining.

Proactive measures to protect both gum and heart health

Protection is a two-fold approach:

  • Prioritise oral hygiene:regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and getting professional cleanings at least twice a year can keep gum diseases at bay.
  • Lifestyle changes:eating a balanced diet, cutting down on sugar and salt, quitting smoking, and regular exercise—all these recommendations by the Department of Health not only benefit your heart but your gums too.
  1. Gum Health and Diabetes:

How diabetes can exacerbate gum issues

Diabetes, prevalent among many Australians, has a close-knit relationship with gum health. Those with poorly managed blood sugar levels are more susceptible to infections, and that includes gum infections. The gums, in turn, become another battleground where the body fights to maintain equilibrium, often unsuccessfully if diabetes remains uncontrolled.

The two-way street: how gum disease can influence blood sugar control

This relationship isn’t just one-sided. While diabetes can make gum disease worse, the reverse is also true. Severe gum disease can hinder the body’s ability to utilise insulin, making it even tougher to manage blood sugar levels. In this sense, maintaining gum health can actually be a key aspect of diabetes management, something that Diabetes Australia has frequently underscored.

Also Read: What causes bad breath?

Managing and preventing gum issues for diabetics

For those living with diabetes, a bit of extra attention to oral care goes a long way.

  • Monitor blood sugar levels:Regularly checking and maintaining optimal blood sugar levels reduces the risk of gum infections.
  • Regular dental check-ups:With diabetes, routine dental exams are paramount. These should ideally be more frequent than for the average person.
  • Dietary management:A balanced diet low in sugar and high in nutrients, as recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council, is essential.
  1. Other health concerns linked to gum health:

Respiratory diseases:

Emerging research indicates that the bacteria causing gum inflammation can be aspirated into the lungs. This can contribute to respiratory conditions such as pneumonia. The Australian Lung Foundation has even emphasised the importance of good oral hygiene in the prevention of respiratory diseases.

Rheumatoid arthritis:

This autoimmune disorder, which affects many Australians, shows striking similarities with gum disease. Both are essentially inflammatory conditions. Studies suggest that individuals with gum disease have a higher likelihood of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Pregnancy complications:

For expectant mums, gum health is vital. Research in Australia has unveiled a connection between gum disease and complications like preterm birth and low birth weight. Pregnant women are recommended to have regular dental checkups to monitor and maintain gum health.

Prevention and Management:

Daily oral hygiene habits

The cornerstone of healthy gums:

  • Brushing:At least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles fray.
  • Flossing:Daily flossing is crucial. It reaches those spots between the teeth and beneath the gumline that a toothbrush can’t.

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings

Yearly visits might not cut it. Depending on your oral health, your dentist might recommend visits every six months or even more frequently.

The role of a balanced diet in gum health

A diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and dairy, as advised by the Australian Dietary Guidelines, provides the essential nutrients for optimal gum health.

Quitting smoking and other harmful habits

The Australian government has run numerous campaigns underscoring the risks of smoking for our health. When it comes to your gums, quitting smoking might be one of the best decisions you can make.


From heart disease to diabetes, the health of our gums casts a long shadow over our overall well-being. Ensuring they remain healthy isn’t just about flashing a confident smile; it’s about nurturing our entire body. For those around Kangaroo Point, Qld, seeking expert dental advice or services, “Smile Design Dental” is an excellent option.


Can gum disease be reversed?
Gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, can be reversed with proper dental care. However, advanced gum diseases like periodontitis require more intensive treatments.

How often should I visit the dentist for a gum health check?
Ideally, every six months. However, those with existing conditions like diabetes or a history of gum disease might need more frequent visits.

Are electric toothbrushes better for gum health?
Electric toothbrushes can be more effective in removing plaque, but what’s more important is the technique used. Whether manual or electric, it’s the consistency and method of brushing that count.

Can children develop gum disease?
Yes, though it’s less common in adults. Proper oral care habits from a young age can prevent its onset.

Remember, the mouth is the gateway to our overall health. Prioritizing gum health is an investment in your holistic well-being.

Are Bad Teeth Genetic?

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It is quite common for tooth decay and crooked teeth to occur more in families. Many people will despairingly state that they have, “chalky teeth” or “soft teeth”, like their parents. But does that really have to be the case and how much is genetic and environmental?

There are some genetic factors that lead to weaker teeth. Amelogenesis Imperfecta, Dentinogenesis Imperfecta, Enamel Hypoplasia, Dentine Hypoplasia, are conditions where the teeth do not develop correctly and can be softer, more prone to decay, and fall out much sooner. These conditions are quite rare however, and typically occur with other genetic conditions and will be more clearly diagnosed in people that possess them. There are other conditions where teeth may be absent, smaller, or fused to other teeth. In otherwise healthy people these conditions do not usually affect the whole dentition and can be managed with your dentist.

Some people are also more susceptible to gum diease: gingivitis and periodontitis, which can also lead to early tooth loss. Most cases are of a chronic nature and tooth loss/recession does not usually present until people start to age. More aggressive cases can occur younger and can be much more destructive. Fortunately aggressive cases are rare and both can be well managed with professional dental care before too much damage occurs.

There are a number of genetic conditions that can lead to poorer tooth quality though generally, the more destructive they are the rarer they are, and the more likely there are other genetic conditions being managed. For the vast majority of the population the genetic structure of their teeth are actually quite sound. So, if genetically bad teeth are so rare then why is it so common to see bad teeth in families?

Environmental Factors

For most families that see more tooth decay environmental factors play a large role and that starts before bub’s first tooth even erupts.

Oral bacteria runs in families. Studies show that a parent with tooth decay, will carry more cariogenic (hole-causing) bacteria in their mouths and will more likely lead to early colonisation of this same bad bacteria into the infant’s mouth. This association is even more directly linked to the mother. So all those loving kisses could be spreading worse germs for young bub. Of course, we don’t recommend stopping the kissing but rather, that parents get onto their oral health before the delivery of their children and seek a dentist’s advice as soon as teeth start erupting. It may be that fluoridated toothpaste is recommended from an earlier age to help counteract this bacteria.

Parents Set The Stage

Parents have a hard time raising kids whether it be fifty years ago with less access to information and health care, or now where two parents are typically expected to work and are critically time-poor, as well as facing today’s financial pressures. However, it is in the formative years that sets the stage for the health of your teeth as an adult. The biggest predictor of tooth decay in adult teeth is the presence of decay in baby teeth. In addition, space issues and dental anxiety can develop if there’s decay in baby teeth and these are lost early.

Then you’ll likely learn off your parents’ habits. However your parents have learnt to clean their teeth and mouths they’ve passed onto you. Unfortunately, if they didn’t have the best knowledge or motivation at the time, they may not have brushed their teeth for two minutes, twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, and once daily flossing. And then they may have been less likely to force their uncompliant child to do the same.

Dietary habits are formed here as well and any diet that has frequent exposure to sugars will lead to weakening of the tooth structure. Chalky teeth may develop from here, or only become a little bit weaker, but this could lead to damage and wear not obvious for years down the track.

If your family lives off tank water, or use more advanced filtration for your drinking water, you may also be missing out on fluoride. Some regions in Australia and places overseas also do not add fluoride to the water. Without fluoride in the water, your teeth will just be a little less acid resistant and will be a little more susceptible to tooth decay. Understanding this, teeth can still remain strong with good oral hygiene care.

Some people are also opting for fluoride-free toothpaste and refraining from giving their children any as well. Of a particular note, baby teeth are a little less acid resistant than adult teeth, so holding back fluoride content here can be even more hazardous to children’s oral health. It is best to speak to your dentist about what toothpaste you and your kids are using and together you should be able to accommodate a plan that is right for your family.

It’s hard being a parent, but it is so important to get onto your child’s oral health from the time their first tooth appears. Even before the first tooth you can wipe their gums with a moist cloth to help disturb the bacteria in the mouth and allow your child to get used to the action. At this time, have a simple consult with your local dentist to ensure you’re doing the right things for your child’s teeth and to help guide their care into the future. Aside from early holes, these teeth cleaning habits are carried into adulthood and will have long-term ramnifications.

What to do about chalky teeth

So unfortunately you didn’t have the best factors affecting your teeth as a child or they’ve softened over time and find yourself with “chalky teeth” or “bad teeth”. Now what to do about it.

Firstly, you can always strengthen your teeth.

When teeth are soft, or chalky, the enamel (the stronger outer layer or your teeth) is demineralised. It is weakened by acid and the structure can be worn off easily just with a fingernail in some cases. But this can harden up again.

First step is to reduce acid. Reduce acidic beverages and best to just drink water. Then, if your really want something with a bit of flavour, drink it at mealtimes and drink it quickly. Try not to graze on snacks all day. Increasing your water intake will improve your saliva flow which will help to return your mouth to a more neutral pH. Use an extra soft toothbrush with soft pressure, a high fluoride toothpaste and potentially a home remineralising agent, like Tooth Mousse. Discuss a plan to strengthen your teeth with your dentist and once they’re a bit harder, then start any restorative work that needs to done.

The enamel is the strongest layer of the tooth. It can be demineralised by acid and become soft or chalky, and flake away easily. This can be reversed by gentle brushing with high fluoride toothpaste and remineralising agents.
Dentine is a softer inner layer of the tooth that gets exposed when enamel is lost. This layer is more susceptible to tooth decay. Like enamel however, dentine can also harden up with good oral hygiene. If there is a lot of exposed dentine/structure loss then restorations or crowns may be indicated.

With good oral care chalky teeth can become hard strong teeth.

Prevention is certainly better than a cure. The cycle of bad teeth running through families can end simply by ensuring good oral hygiene practices. And it all starts with the parents, so make sure you’re onto your children’s teeth from the time they’re in the womb. Improving your own oral health will have a downstream effect on your child. Teach them the right habits from the time the first tooth erupts. As an adult, you can always harden your teeth by brushing and flossing, so go gently at first so as to not wear off the softer structure. In time, you should find your teeth will become firmer and decay progresses slower and is less likely to develop.

You’re not destined to have chalky teeth like your parents!

Medical Conditions and Your Dental Health

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The mouth and body are intricately linked and unsurprisingly, any medical conditions you have or medications you take can affect your dental health. A few diseases of note for oral health are: diabetes mellitus; heart disease or recent/unresolved heart surgeries; high blood pressure; osteoporosis; pregnancy; auto-immune conditions. Your medications can also affect conditions and treatment we give you, particularly: blood thinners; osteoporosis medications; chemotherapy; recreational drug use; among others.

Below are some of the typical associations of dental health and medical conditions and medications/drugs though this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Gum disease and medical conditions

Gum disease starts off as gingivitis, bleeding of the gums where the damage is usually reversible. However, if this has been long standing this can progress to periodontal disease where the bone holding onto your teeth starts to break down. Recession occurs and teeth can become mobile and even fall out.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, can show more aggressive deterioration in conditions where the immune system is compromised. Periodontal disease is a very common auto-immune disease where the body’s reaction to the bacteria beneath the gums is over-responsive, leading to deterioration in the area. If you already have one auto-immune condition like osteo-arthritis or irritable bowel disease, you are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.

Diabetes mellitus also shows a link with periodontal disease. When blood sugars are not well controlled, an aggressive form of periodontal disease presents more frequently. Whilst the normal progression of periodontal disease is chronic and slow, deterioration here can occur much more rapidly. Once blood sugars are well managed however, your periodontal health should be much simpler to manage.

Bleeding and peeling gums may occur with more complicated medical conditions. From vitamin C deficiencies (scurvy) to chemotherapy to other auto-immune conditions, these can all thin the tissues and lead to tearing. Some conditions require consulting with specialists to improve or mitigate these effects. The use of specialised ultra-soft toothbrushes can help reduce trauma to the gums in such cases.

High Blood Pressure, Blood Thinners and Dental Work

It is important to have your blood pressure controlled when undergoing any medical procedure and that includes dentistry. In particular, any procedures that put the body under more stress, like extractions, could elevate your blood and put it at risk of developing a hypertensive crisis. Most dental anaesthetics also contain adrenaline in them to allow them to function better. This can at times enter nearby blood vessels and raise your heart rate for a few minutes. It is therefore very important to let your dentist know if your blood pressure is not well controlled.

Medications used to thin the blood can also mean additional bleeding with dental procedures. Complicated procedures like tooth extractions will cause a fair amount of bleeding but even simple treatments, like a clean or fillings, can disrupt the gums and cause bleeding.

There are multiple medications available now as blood thinners, but the one that will have the most impact with dentistry is warfarin. This can thin your blood so much that in the event of a tooth extraction you will not be able to form a blood clot and will potentially keep bleeding without further treatment. In such case we will require an INR test to be performed within 24 hours of your procedure, this will tell us the risk level of your bleeding and what further protocols will need to be taken. Other medications can have a similar effect to this but are generally more dose dependant, make sure to communicate to your dentist all the details of these.

Aspirin usually does not require any special protocols, as long as your blood typically clots within 10 minutes, but may require a dressing after any extractions.

Fish oil and other vitamins/extracts can also thin your blood, so relate any of these types of medications also.

Antibiotic Prophylaxis and Dental Treatment

Antibiotic prophylaxis is usually only required in conditions that may lead to bacterial endocarditis.  This is where irritation from the mouth leads to bacteria entering the vascular system and may attach to the heart, primarily the valves. This is a rare infection that has shown an association in individuals that faulty/unrepaired heart valves, recent valvular surgery, unrepaired heart defects, in those who have previously had bacterial endocarditis, and those who have had rheumatic fever in Indigenous/Torres Strait Islander heritage. If you have any conditions with your heart/valves it is always be