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Dealing with a toothache

Joran Dilucian - Monday, November 27, 2017

Summary

The most common origins of a toothache are from an inflamed or infected tooth nerve. This can be from either a hole in the tooth, deep pits or fissures, worn enamel or cracking within the tooth. A toothache can also be due to infection, within the bone adjoining the tooth root, from gingival infection. 
Some illnesses, including sinusitis, can result in pain inside the face that may be misunderstood as toothache. Toothaches can be quite painful, however typically you can be relieved from pain after dental treatment.

Treatment

The best way to maintain healthy teeth is to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and have regular visits with a dentist and a dental hygienist. If your teeth become sore, prescription-free pain medications may help. However, you must see a dentist to treat the issue properly. Common methods to treat a toothache are fillings, endodontic treatment or dental extractions. 
Antibiotics may need to be prescribed by the dentist to treat an infection, though this will be prescribed by your dentist if required. When should I get dental care? You should see a dentist if you have
  • extended or continual aches or irritations in a tooth or multiple teeth
  • a tooth that is sore to touch or brush
  •  swollen gums
  • a broken tooth
routine examinations as prevention If the area under the tongue is swollen, seek dental medical attention as soon as possible.

What causes a toothache?

A toothache usually indicates that one or more teeth has been damaged or irritated. Pain is a signal that something is not right, which case a dentist should examine the teeth. Toothaches are usually due to the tooth nerve becoming inflamed or infected, however there are also other reasons why a toothache will occur. Toothaches in which the tooth nerve is infected or inflamed may be due to
  • tooth decay/cavities
  • deep pits or fissures
  • exposed enamel
  • tooth/teeth damage
  • lost or broken fillings
  • enamel cracks
  • tooth/teeth wear
Other causes of a toothache can be
  • clenching or grinding teeth or chewing on hard, sticky foods
  • gum infection
  • aching after a tooth extraction
  • periodontitis
  • a dental prosthesis that is rubbing

Tooth decay/cavities

A hole in the tooth, also known as a cavity, which reaches completely through to the tooth nerve can cause a toothache. Bacteria that causes cavities can add to an already inflamed dental nerve, causing pain. Initially the tooth can be sensitive to hot or cold and then progress to a more extreme or chronic pain. If the problem isn't treated quickly, the infection can spread through the root of the tooth to the bone tissue. The ache can then progress further into a dull throbbing pain and the tooth is usually tender to touch. The region around the jaw may also swell. This means the tooth and the jawbone have become infected due to the problem tooth.

Deep pits or fissures

Pits or fissures that go deep into the enamel near the tooth nerve can allow decay to form undetected deep into the tooth and could cause a toothache. Teeth that have had a filling are usually worse off than healthy teeth if they are not treated. If there is a deep pit, the tooth nerve can also be affected by leakage at the edge of a filling. 
 
 Exposed tooth neck 
Hard tooth enamel provides the nerve adequate protection; however the enamel ends on the gum edge. If the gum recedes, the base of the tooth can be visible, exposing the root. The surface of the root is porous and does not protect the tooth nerve. Therefore, there may be sensitivity when eating hot or cold food or to touch. Even the air that flows into the mouth whilst breathing can cause pain.   

Dental injuries 
Due to accidents, tooth breakages can cause a lot of pain. If components of a tooth have broken off , it can become very sensitive.

Loose or damaged fillings 
The filling in a tooth is used to protect the dental nerve from cold and warm objects in the mouth. If the filling loosens, the nerve can become exposed and then inflamed.   

Tooth cracks 
Deep cracks can cause pain and soreness. This is due to the tooth nerve becoming inflamed or infected.   

Grinding or clenching teeth 
Strong jaw muscles or stress can cause clenching and grinding. This usually happens when sleeping or eating   

Gum inflammation while a new tooth erupts 
When a tooth erupts through the gum it may emerge infected. This can be due to difficultly keeping teeth clean at the stage of the tooth breaking through. This is common when wisdom teeth erupt, but can also occur in children getting their permanent teeth.   

Teeth extraction 
Wound management after dental procedures should mean that pain should be minimised and well controlled with appropriate medications.  An infected wound would require antibiotics and management by  dentist.   

Periodontitis 
Advancing gum inflammation can cause infections or abcess which will be painful. The teeth become loose due to tooth attachment loss from the advancing disease.    

A prosthesis that rubs 
After numerous years, dental prosthesis or dentures will not fit correctly. The prosthesis can then begin to loosen and cause sore areas.   I

Infection underneath fillings 
Sometimes, fillings loosen and begin to leak, allowing bacteria to enter the pulp. Pulpal inflammation can cause severe pain.    

5 Things You Should Know About Teeth Whitening

Lentini Dental - Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Teeth whitening can help give you your white and healthy looking smile back. If you're considering making an appointment for teeth whitening in Melbourne, here is what you should know: 

Teeth whitening should be carried out by a dentist

Visiting your your dentist for teeth whitening makes sure you get the results you want, and it's also the safest option. Teeth whitening is perfectly safe when it’s being carried out by a trained dental practitioner,because your dentist is trained to provide you with whitening products that are safe for you. Your dentist will carefully control the application of the bleach based on the whiteness you seek. In contrast, over-the-counter teeth whitening kits offer no supervision or protection.

Teeth whitening is a simple and pain free procedure

Teeth whitening involves bleaching of your teeth to make them lighter. While a teeth whitening treatment won’t make your teeth brilliant and sparkling white, the procedure can lighten the existing colour of your teeth. The dentist will check that your teeth are healthy and suitable to proceed, but your dentist will also discuss your expectations with you. You should not whiten your teeth if have active cavities or gum disease or exposed root surfaces.

Teeth whitening only works on “real” teeth

Teeth whitening will only whiten your teeth. If you already have crowns, bridges, fillings, or veneers these will remain unchanged. Sometimes these can be changed after treatment and matched to your new brighter smile. Usually it’s only the fillings on your front teeth that needs to be addressed and matched to your new whiter smile.

Teeth whitening can make your teeth sensitive after the procedure

You should expect that your teeth will be sensitive after having a teeth whitening procedure. This is very common and usually only lasts for about 24 hours after you stop the whitening. Everyone is different with how they respond to this hypersensitivity, and your dentist will talk to you about this and address any concerns you might have. The latest products are less likely to cause noticeable sensitivity.

Teeth whitening isn't a permanent solution

A common misconception is that teeth whitening is a once-in-a-lifetime solution, but that isn't the case. Whitening needs to be maintained ,Teeth whitening treatments can provide great results for as long as up to three years. But this varies from person to person. Again speak to your dentist about this and he or she can address any questions you have. Remember if you are a smoker or a frequent red wine, tea or coffee drinker then this can also reduce the time that you teeth remain whiter.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Lentini Dental - Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cosmetic dentistry is used to describe the type of dental work and treatments that improves a person’s appearance in terms of his/her teeth or smile.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry primarily focuses on improvement dental aesthetics in color, position, shape, size, alignment and overall smile appearance.

This includes procedures that change the colour and shape of teeth or that fill in gaps or replace missing teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is not considered an area of specialisation in Australia because all dentists are taught cosmetic dental procedures as part of their undergraduate degree.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures are often considered to be a voluntary visit to the dentist because they are usually done at the request of the person for the purpose of changing a person’s appearance, rather than a necessary procedure to treat broken teeth or dental disease.

Here is a list of dental procedures that is often considered as cosmetic dentistry:

  • Replacement of gold/silver fillings with tooth-coloured fillings
  • Bleaching / whitening
  • Bonding
  • Veneers
  • Bridges (not all)
  • Crowns (not all)
  • Implants (not all)
  • Micro-abrasion
  • Reshaping or smoothing of the enamel

Sometimes treatments which are practically identical, they become cosmetic when they are done as a cosmetic choice.

For example. If any of these treatments is done to treat dental disease or damage to the teeth, it wouldn’t be considered cosmetic dentistry. On the other hand, if a tooth was broken and a crown was needed to rebuild the tooth, this would be considered general dentistry.

Another example. If a crown or veneer was placed on a front tooth with the purpose of changing its appearance (shape, colour, apparent alignment), this would be considered to be a cosmetic dental procedure (as it’s voluntary, not done to treat disease or damage).

Similarly, many people prefer to have tooth-coloured (white) fillings placed if they have a cavity: so placement of a white filling after decay has been removed from a tooth is a general dental procedure.

If a person had an amalgam filling but her or she wanted it removed and replaced with a white filling, this would be classified as cosmetic dentistry.

You can see that, while two treatments are nearly identical, one can become ‘cosmetic dentistry’ while the other one can become ‘general dentistry’.

If you want to learn more and talk to a cosmetic dentist professional, contact Lentini Dental today.

Techniques, Procedures and Benefits to getting your Teeth Straightened.

Lentini Dental - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

We’re not all blessed with perfectly straight teeth. Unfortunately, this can damage our self-confidence, overall quality of life and more importantly our oral hygiene with misplaced or crooked teeth causing cavities and gum disease. But luckily, faultless straight teeth is not out of reach. Modern day teeth straightening techniques align your teeth relatively simply with multiple options for teeth straightening available. Here are few of the most common ones:



 

Clear Aligners (Invisalign and Clearcorrect)

One of the newest and most sort after techniques available. Clear aligners are specifically designed aligners that, over time, allow the patient’s teeth to slowly shift in the direction designated by your dentist or orthodontist. This can result in a perfectly straight smile.

 

One of the biggest advantages of clear aligners and what makes them unique to their competition is their ‘invisible’ look and slim-line fit. Made from clear, smooth plastic, Invisalign and Clearcorrect are basically unnoticeable. Invisalign and Clearcorrect are replaced every two weeks for a new set and this step is repeated until the teeth are straight. The longevity of use differs from patient to patient. Downside to Invisalign aligners is that they can’t be used for severe cases and are a bit slower working than other alternatives.

 

Cosmetic contouring

When teeth are misaligned but not crooked, the technique of cosmetic contouring can be an option. Cosmetic contouring can be completed in just one visit that usually last about 30 to 40 minutes. In this procedure, your dentist or orthodontist will change the length and sculpt troublesome teeth. Sometimes, the position of the teeth might also be altered, to provide a more suitable outcome. Using specific dental tools, the dentist will shape the tooth by cautiously removing enamel. When the enamel is removed, the tooth shape changes and allows the surrounding teeth to move into better position over time. The finishing touches involve smoothing and polishing to create a bright, clean smile. Cosmetic contouring can only be used in minor displacement cases.

 

Ceramic braces

Like more traditional metal braces, ceramic braces work on the same principal - brackets and wires that bind to the teeth guide the teeth into place. The difference for ceramic braces is the brackets are tooth-coloured to be disguised on the tooth. Some people even go further with tooth coloured wires which become even less noticeable. Whilst ceramic braces help with moving the teeth fast, they do cost more. The brackets can also stain which means, in time, the colour of the brackets will differ from the teeth if proper maintenance isn’t adhered to.

 

Metal braces

The most common braces people envision when thinking of braces. However, modern braces are smaller and tend to be less noticeable than the older “metal-mouth” ones. They are the most economical option, and are the best option for severe cases and can be used on children from a very young age. Modern metal braces come with coloured bands which give kids a chance to express themselves. Newer heat-activated archwires use your body heat to help the teeth move more quickly and painlessly.

 

Lingual braces

Just like metal braces, though worn on the inside of your teeth. This means there is little to no visibility of the braces which sometime causes angst. They work the same way as metal braces and can be used for severe cases. But, they’re slightly more expensive, difficult to clean, harder to tension and can sometimes be more painful at the start. 

 

Benefits of having straight teeth

Having a great smile will not only help boost confidence, but will make sure that you don’t incur any nasty gum or tooth decay. Keeping up good oral hygiene is highly beneficial for your mouth, teeth, gums and your overall health. A simple consultation will give you the answers required about your mouth and its condition.

 

And, remember, early diagnosis is always best as it will yield the most suitable results. Children from as young as 8 should have a consultation if there is any concern of their teeth placement.

 

So, when looking for a consultation it’s always important to find the right practitioner. Dr Michael Lentini of Lentini Dental, Werribee has over 20 years’ experience and is regarded as one of the best Cosmetic Dentists in Melbourne. Lentini Dental is well known for prompt and courteous service along with its advanced knowledge in all things Dental. They are located on the Princes Highway, Werribee. Call today on (03) 9742 6928.