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Category: Blog

August 30, 2018

When it comes to the modern world of dentistry, there is some good news – research shows that the number of teeth Australians are retaining into old age is increasing. However, the issue of oral health is not all smiles-unfortunately as the time frame increases so does the likelihood and frequency of dental problems.

 
So, what are the most common dental problems in adults?

 

Gum Disease

One of the more common dental issues is periodontitis, which is also known as gum disease. Periodontitis is the inflammation of bone and dental tissue caused by bacteria, and it can affect connective tissue (the gum and ligaments) and the bone that supports a tooth. It occurs when ‘pockets’ or gaps form between a tooth and the surrounding gum, and in severe cases, patients can experience the extensive loss of tissue and bone, which can then cause teeth to become loose or fall out.

 
According to the ADA, although oral hygiene has improved substantially over the last 30 years, the prevalence of severe periodontitis has increased from 5.8% in 1990 to around 7.3% in 2015. The risk of periodontitis also increases with age – according to the last National Survey of Adult Oral Health, 53.4% of people aged 65 and over had periodontal disease, compared with 2.7% of people aged 15 to 24.

 
Older people are also more likely to experience advanced forms of gum disease, which may be due to an accumulation of risk factors and longer-term exposure to periodontal bacteria. Risk factors include diabetes, obesity, smoking and heart disease, and the length of time a person is exposed to periodontal bacteria may increase the severity of the disease.

 

Cavities

Dental cavities occur when plaque forms on our teeth and then we eat or drink foods containing sugars. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that dissolve tooth enamel, and over time, cavitated lesions (or holes) are formed. Dental caries, if left untreated, can often result in discomfort, pain, tooth sensitivity and the increased likelihood of further treatment being required such as tooth extraction or even root canal therapy.

 
According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA), having dental caries (also known as cavities) is one of the most common dental problems in Australia today, with over 90% of Australian adults having experienced these at some point in their lives.

 

Tooth-Ache

 

Another issue concerning oral health in adults is a toothache, which generally refers to pain in and around teeth and jaws, and if left untreated, can cause dental caries and dental decay (and unfortunately, further pain). A toothache can also occur as a result of receding gums, a cracked tooth, loose or broken fillings or a periapical abscess, which is a collection of pus at the end of a tooth that is usually caused by an infection that’s spread from a tooth to the surrounding tissues.

 
When it comes to a toothache, it is important that the underlying cause is identified and treated, as although it’s not a medically diagnosed symptom, there is a range of health and social impacts that result that can impact on an individual’s quality of life. A toothache can disrupt daily activities including eating and sleeping and can mean sufferers go as far as avoiding certain foods and also social situations.

 

Teeth Discolouration

Another one of the more common dental problems affecting adults is tooth discolouration, which can be caused by stains on the surface of a tooth or by changes occurring inside the tooth. There are three basic types – extrinsic discolouration occurs when the outer layer (or enamel) of a tooth is stained, which can be caused by smoking and by foods including wine, coffee, tea and acidic foods. Intrinsic discolouration occurs when the inner structure of a tooth (the dentin) darkens or has a yellow tint, and it can be caused by a range of things including tooth trauma. The third reason for discoloured teeth is due to age and is generally a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

 
Whether you are after a basic teeth whitening treatment or a total smile makeover, the process generally involves a consultation with your dentist to determine the issue and an appropriate treatment plan, which can include at-home teeth whitening solutions.

 

Grinding Teeth

One of the other common dental issues that adults can experience is teeth grinding or bruxism, the effects of which can often be most pronounced with age. Many people grind their teeth when they are asleep as a result of genetics, psychological factors such as stress, or external factors like smoking or drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks before bed.

 
Bruxism can result in headaches, tooth sensitivity, aching teeth and jaw and ear pain, and in the long term lead to dental problems including tooth decay, cracked tooth enamel, broken fillings and damage to existing crowns or bridges.

 
Treatment generally includes dental repair work if needed and the provision of a special mouth guard, which can reduce the pain caused by bruxism and alleviate many of the symptoms.

 
If you experience any of the ailments listed above, book an appointment with your local dentist today! The team at Hillarys Dental Clinic will be able to assess your dental health to determine the best course of treatment for you. Book your consultation today!

Posted in Blog by pwebadmin
May 8, 2018

If you have gum disease, have smashed or damaged your adult teeth, or your teeth haven’t faired too well in the ageing process, dental implants could be a good long-term solution to your dental woes.

Want to know more? Read on for our complete guide to dental implants, including what they are, their benefits, and how they can fix a gap-filled smile.

 

What are Dental Implants? 

Dental implants are a perfect long-term solution for replacing missing teeth as they’re embedded straight into your jawbone – just like your natural teeth! In some regards they’re even better than your natural teeth, as you won’t have to worry about developing cavities. Plus, they won’t affect your healthy neighbouring teeth or lead top bone loss in your jaw like removable dentures or fixed bridges.

 

dental implants

Dental implants are made up of a titanium implant, an abutment and a crown, and act in the same way as a natural tooth. Implants are usually made from titanium, as it’s a durable material that fuses easily with the bone tissue. Usually fitted in root form, the implant will be inserted directly into the gums and jaw. However, if your jawbone is too narrow for bone grafting, your dentist might decide to insert a plate form implant instead.

 

Why are Dental Implants Important?

 Missing teeth can be problematic both in terms of functionality and aesthetics. For instance, if food becomes trapped in the gaps between you teeth, it can increase plaque build-up, which increases your chances of developing gum disease and other oral health issues.

Missing teeth can also lead to a lack in self-confidence, as many people feel uncomfortable smiling, or even speaking when they have missing teeth or what they feel are ‘unsightly’ gaps. Dental implants can assist with this as they can restore the appearance of your face and jaw, giving you a healthier, more youthful look.

 

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

As well as improving your oral health and the appearance of your smile and facial structure, dental implants come with a host of extra benefits. These include:

  • No diet restrictions
  • They help preserve the bone in your jaw, as they’re imbedded into the jaw to prevent bone loss
  • They won’t cause any harm or put any extra pressure on your neighbouring teeth
  • They have a natural appearance, making it difficult to tell them apart from your natural teeth. Your cosmetic dentist will also take steps to ensure the colour of your implants matches the shade of your natural teeth as closely as possible
  • After the initial procedure, they won’t cause you any pain or discomfort
  • While bridges and dentures need to be replaced every seven to 15 years, on average, when properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime!

 

If you have missing teeth and aren’t sure what course of treatment will best suit your needs, book an appointment with your local dentist today! Our team at Hillarys Dental Clinic will be able to assess your mouth and jawbone to determine the best course of treatment for you, which could be dental implants. Book your consultation today!

Posted in Blog by pwebadmin
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