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Dental Health Week

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Mind, body, mouth: It’s all connected

From August 7th to 13th, 2023, Dental Health Week (DHW) will be held.

DHW stands as the Australian Dental Association’s (ADA) primary yearly campaign dedicated to promoting oral health. It is scheduled annually during the initial complete week of August.

This initiative underscores the significance of adopting measures to maintain the well-being of your teeth and gums, ensuring their longevity and preserving a confident smile throughout your life.

In the current year, DHW’s emphasis revolves around the intricate connection between oral health and overall bodily health.

Notable connections exist between oral ailments and various systemic diseases. Microorganisms present in the mouth can migrate to different parts of the body, while oral inflammation can contribute to overall bodily inflammation. Six medical conditions have been investigated for their associations with oral health:

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Diabetes
  3. Alzheimer’s Disease
  4. Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes
  5. Lung Conditions
  6. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
 
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Dental Mouthguards

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Participating in sport can be exhilarating and beneficial, promoting physical fitness, teamwork and confidence, however it’s crucial to prioritize safety during sport. One essential aspect of sports safety is the use of a professionally fitted mouthguard.

The mouth is highly susceptible to trauma during contact sports. Impact to the face can result in various dental and facial injuries, ranging from chipped or broken teeth, tooth loss, soft tissue damage and even more severe injuries such as concussion or a broken jaw. These injuries can require extensive and costly treatments to restore the mouth’s function and appearance.

At Tendler Dental we believe in caring for smiles on and off the sports field. Our professionally custom fitted mouthguards are created from molds of the upper teeth ensuring even occlusal contact. This gives a superior fit, comfort and maximum protection.

Don’t compromise on your dental safety during sporting activities. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a mouthguard fitting and ensure your teeth are protected while you enjoy your chosen sports.

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Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

TMJ Patient Image

The cause of a TMJ disorder is often unknown, however various factors can aggravate a TMJ disorder such as:

  • Missing teeth
  • Grinding or clenching teeth which could be linked to stress
  • TMJ fractures or dislocation
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Wrongly shaped dental fillings, crowns or bridges

TMJ disorders in different people can vary from mild to discomfort to severe pain. Symptoms of a TMJ disorder may include:

  • Limited jaw movement
  • Difficulty in mouth opening
  • A stuck or “locked” jaw
  • Clicking, grating, or popping noises from jaw joints
  • Pain when chewing
  • Pain in or around the ears and cheeks
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Disorders of the Jaw Joint (TMJ)

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The jaw joint is also known as the “temporomandibular joint”, or ”TMJ”. It can be felt by placing your fingers in front of your ears, and opening and closing your mouth. The joint allows the jaw to open, close, move side-side and forward. It is important for talking, chewing, and yawning.

A TMJ disorder may affect one or both joints often causing pain and limiting jaw function. Symptoms usually come about in early adulthood, but children and the elderly can also be affected.

Please keep an eye out for next week’s blog on more information about TMJ disorders.

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Problems Caused By Impacted Wisdom Teeth

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  • Infection
    When an impacted wisdom tooth starts to erupt through the gum, an infection can start around the top of the tooth. Infection and inflammation (swollen, red gums) can cause pain, swelling and jaw stiffness. 
  • Crowding
    A wisdom tooth may push nearby teeth out of their correct position.
  • Pain
    Pressure from the wisdom tooth may cause pain in the neighbouring tooth.
  • Cyst
    If a wisdom tooth is not removed, a fluid sac called a cyst can form around the tooth and can damage bone, other teeth and the gums.
  • Ulcer
    An upper wisdom tooth may push sideways out of the gum and can cause a cheek ulcer when it rubs against it.
  • Food Trap
    Food becomes trapped between the wisdom tooth, and the tooth next door and can cause cavities in both teeth.
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Wisdom Teeth: The Facts & FAQs

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Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars. Wisdom teeth do not erupt through the gums until people are in their late teens, twenties or even older and are usually the last teeth to come through the gums. Most people have four wisdom teeth and some people have none. In many people, there is not enough space at the back of the jaws for wisdom teeth to erupt through the gums and if there is not enough space, the tooth will become wedged in or ”impacted”.

Some impacted wisdom teeth remain in place and cause no trouble, whereas other impacted wisdom teeth may cause severe problems. Often one or more wisdom teeth will cause problems and must be removed. If one (or more) of your wisdom teeth causes problems, your dentist may recommend that it be removed.

If your wisdom teeth are likely to be very difficult or complicated to remove, your dentist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

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Bruxism

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Bruxism is excessive clenching or grinding of teeth that is not a part of normal chewing. It can result in excessive wear on the teeth and may cause permanent damage to teeth and jaws. Excessive clenching and grinding of the jaws are not healthy movements. In some adults and children, clenching may occur during the day or at night. When sleeping, they have no conscious control over excessive clenching and grinding.

Causes:
A combination of physical and psychological factors are believed to be contributing
factors, namely:

  • Physical stress such as illness, nutritional deficiencies or dehydration
  • Psychological stress and anxiety
  • Abnormal anatomy of teeth or jaws that results in an improper bite and can lead to
    bruxism behaviour.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Tooth pain and sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Chronic facial pain with tension headaches from intense muscle contraction
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Loose teeth with possible damage to tooth sockets
  • Jaw stiffness and pain
  • Earache in jaw

The variations in the signs and symptoms reflects the strength of clenching and grinding involved in bruxism. Some people may experience tension-related headaches but may have little or no damage to their teeth or jaws and those who experience severe grinding may have damaged teeth and jaw problems.

Periodontal Disease

Preventing and Controlling Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease

To cure periodontal disease, or to control it:

  • Excellent oral hygiene must be maintained everyday
  • Bleeding from the gums caused by periodontal disease must be
    reduced or stopped
  • Plaque and calculus on teeth must be treated
  • Gum pockets surrounding the teeth must be treated

As gum diseases tend to recur, maintenance therapy will follow periodontal treatment. Gum diseases can be prevented by taking good care of your teeth and having regular dental check-ups.

If the gums have responded well and oral hygiene has been good, a program will be implemented to maintain oral health. If the gums have not healed well, and there are still signs of disease, antibiotics may need to be prescribed. In severe cases, periodontal surgery may be required. If treatment is not done, the risk is that gum disease may get worse, leading to tooth loss.

Periodontal Disease

7 Signs of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease
  • Red, swollen, tender, painful or bleeding gums
  • Gums that have shrunk from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A foul taste in the mouth
  • Abscesses between teeth and gums
  • Change in the fit of a denture
  • Loose teeth; drifting apart of teeth, and gaps appearing between
    teeth