Top 5 Patient Questions To Ask Your Dentistby Dr Anthony Hua
Great oral health is about having a healthy mouth, teeth and gums; it is not just about having white teeth. If you have any questions about sensitivity, grinding your teeth, fluoride-use or anything in between make sure you ask your dentist – we love discussing anything to do with Dentistry!
At Burleigh Dental Studio, we take the time to discuss your oral health queries and concerns and tailor advice to help improve your personal circumstances. We have put together some of the most common questions asked in Gold Coast to help you better understand some of the areas you may be curious about yourself.
Why are my teeth sensitive and how do I treat sensitivity?
When you have sensitive teeth, you may notice a sharp but temporary pain with routine activities such as brushing, eating and drinking. This is commonly caused by worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. Tooth soreness or discomfort can be caused by other factors such as decay, a worn filling, a cracked or chipped tooth, or even gum disease.
If this sensitivity bothers you, visit your dentist to have an assessment and treatment – which can be as simple as a fluoride application to help strengthen tooth enamel or a filling to protect an exposed tooth root. If you grind or clench your teeth, an occlusal splint may be recommended to protect your teeth from further fracture and damage. Your dentist may recommend a desensitising toothpaste which after several applications can help block pain associated with sensitive teeth. You may also consider reviewing your diet and reducing the consumption of acidic foods and drinks such as soft drinks, citrus fruits and wine which can remove small amounts of tooth enamel over time. Another handy tip is to use a straw when drinking acidic liquids to help limit contact with your teeth and to drink water immediately after to balance the acid levels in your mouth.
What causes bad breath, and can it be treated?
Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be a source of embarrassment and even anxiety for some people. Certain foods and health conditions are common causes of bad breath. Often consistent proper oral hygiene can solve this problem, such as brushing your teeth and tongue after eating as well as flossing your teeth and drinking plenty of water. Mouthwash, rinses and sugar-free gum can also help to reduce bad breath.
If your bad breath persists, then it is important to see your dentist to assess whether a more serious condition may be the underlying cause.
Common causes for bad breath include:
- Poor oral hygiene – without adequate brushing and flossing, food particles can remain in your mouth and a colourless film of bacteria (plaque) will also form on your teeth. If not cleaned away regularly, plaque irritates your gums and eventually creates plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums (periodontitis). Your tongue can also trap odour-causing bacteria. Dentures that are not cleaned routinely or are ill-fitting can harbour bacteria and food particles which will increase bad breath.
- Food – the breakdown of certain types of food can increase bacteria around your teeth that cause a foul odour, and some foods after being digested, enter your bloodstream and are carried to your lungs to temporarily alter your breath (e.g. garlic, onions and spices).
- Tobacco – smoking and oral tobacco-use directly causes an unpleasant odour in your mouth and increases your chance of periodontitis, another source of bad breath.
- Dry mouth – saliva helps cleanse and remove particles that cause bad odours in your mouth. Dry mouth, also referred to as xerostomia, can become a chronic problem if caused by an underlying defect with your salivary glands or with some diseases.
- Medications – some medications can be broken down in the body to release chemicals that can alter your breath, others may contribute indirectly by causing dry mouth.
- Infections in your mouth – tooth decay, mouth sores, gum disease or surgical wounds from removal of a tooth can cause bad breath.
- Other causes – chronic reflux of stomach acids, some cancers and metabolic disorders can be associated with bad breath.
How do I clean my teeth properly?
Brushing your teeth is the most important aspect of keeping your teeth, gums and mouth healthy. If you have any questions or would like professional, personalised advice just ask your dentist. Here are a few tips to help you get it right in your own home:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, every day
- Avoid brushing too hard, gentle circular motions are recommended
- Choose soft bristle brushes
- Always use toothpaste
- Brush all surfaces of your teeth and gum lines
- Floss at least once a day
How often should I visit my dentist for a clean?
Your recommended dental care routine and treatment plan will depend on your specific oral health needs. As a guide, you should be visiting your dentist every 6 months for an examination and professional clean, and more often if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort. Treatment and maintenance are key in keeping your teeth and gums in their best shape for life.
What can I expect at my routine dental visits?
During your initial or 6 monthly dental visits, you can expect to have a comprehensive or periodic examination, professional clean and fluoride treatment. The dental examination will evaluate your overall health and oral hygiene, risk of tooth decay and gum disease, the need for tooth restoration or replacement and to have your bite and jaws checked for any problems. Dental x-rays and other diagnostic procedures may be taken if necessary, to assess for certain conditions such as decay between your posterior teeth. The professional clean will remove stains and deposits on your teeth and around your gumline and a fluoride treatment will be performed if suitable for your teeth. If you have any questions about proper cleaning techniques for your teeth or dentures, these can be discussed and demonstrated during the visit.
Why choose Burleigh Dental Studio as your dentist in Gold Coast?
Our practice was established as a centre for dental excellence. Patients know that when they visit Burleigh Dental Studio they will receive comprehensive dental care and be leaving their appointment with a smile. Our team love what we do, and take the time to explain your dental concerns, what treatment is involved, how it will be performed and how you can best look after your teeth and gums properly between visits.
As a Quality Innovation Performance (QIP) accredited practice, Australian Dentist Association (ADA) member, and holder of several prestigious dental Fellowships and memberships in Australia and internationally, Burleigh Dental Studio is the dentist you can trust for high-quality and reliable dental care.
Article by Dr Anthony Hua – Principal Dentist
Dr Anthony Hua is the Founder & Principal Dentist at Burleigh Dental Studio. His passion, expertise and dedication to the field of dentistry have been recognised by his achievement of Fellowship status with the Australian Society of Implant Dentistry (ASID) and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI).
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