Temporomandibular Jaw Disorders (TMJ)

Temporomandibular Jaw Disorders (TMJ)

Temporomandibular Jaw Disorders (TMJ)

Dentist Oatlands and Jaw disorders temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
Dentists look after more than the teeth, gums and mouth. They have training in facial muscles and anatomy so that they can also look after problems with the jaw. Some individuals suffer ‘clicking’ in one or both sides of their jaw. This may or may not be painful. This Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can be dealt with by the dentist.

Our jaws are supposed to work as a symmetrical, matched manner. If there is any asymmetry then the jaw can be out of alignment, and suffer problems. Jaw alignment problems are sometimes the result of trauma, caused by a sufficiently heavy blow to one side of the face. Some jaw alignment problems are hereditary- the jawbones formed in a slightly off-centre shape. Else, a bad chewing habit, always favouring one side of the mouth, may steadily cause the jaw to develop some asymmetry.

It is possible for jaw alignment problems to be caused by a combination of factors. An earlier injury on one side of the face may cause us to chew on the other side of the mouth, eventually leading to an alignment problem that causes clicking or pain. It is not uncommon for people to start chewing with one side of their mouth if they recently had a dental operation on the other side. This may lead to temporary jaw clicking. Once the patient starts chewing correctly the alignment problems should steadily fade.

Dentist Newington Causes of jaw problems.
• Always chewing on one side of the mouth. The other side of the mouth tend to develop the clicking problem
• Grinding or clenching teeth whist asleep.
• Stress that causes teeth clenching. This often goes unnoticed.
• Migraine headaches that cause us to clench the jaw.
• An injury to one side of the jaw. Perhaps causing us to use the other side more.
• Genetics – we are born with an asymmetrical jaw.
• A tooth alignment problem may lead to asymmetrical jaw problems, at least partially because normal chewing is difficult.
Most Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) are not too serious. While a few grow worse over time most simply stay as they are, being only a minor hindrance.

Dentist Telopea Fixing jaw problems.
• Chewing on the other side of the mouth will often alleviate the problem. This often means chewing with the side of the jaw that suffers the ‘click’.
• Chewing gum can help. If we chew on the side of the jaw that has the problem we can steadily restore the balance.
• A mouthguard will prevent nigh time tooth grinding and lessen jaw clenching.
• Have teeth alignment corrected by braces or other dental work can significantly benefit the jaw, and remove the problem over time.
• Occasionally the jaw needs to be operated on.

Jaw problems Dentist Denistone
Most jaw problems are not serious and will not grow any worse. If we develop some good chewing habits the problem will steadily disappear.
If you jaw problem does get worse, or if the problem is hard to live with, then you should consult the dentist for treatment

Order and Orthodontics

Dundas Dentist and Orthodontics

Many of us develop problems with our teeth. And many of us were born with teeth that were less than ideal. So we seek dental and orthodontic treatment to fix our less-than-perfect teeth.

Modern treatments for teeth include orthodontic treatments like braces or Invisalign. These will straighten teeth and jaw so that they look better and function well. We can also have dental treatments like implants and crowns. These fix individual teeth, with an individual tooth sometime being connected to larger problems, like a misaligned jaw.

Of course there is a right order for these treatments. Generally we have orthodontic work when we are in our late teens, so as to have straight teeth for the rest of our life. Then we might have implants or crowns latter on.

Braces Dundas

Braces are very effective for aligning natural teeth. They will also move teeth that have been crowned or fitted with veneers, though the technique will be slightly varied. But they cannot be used to move any implanted teeth. This is why braces are also most always used before any other dental restoration.

Invisalign Denistone

Invisalign is an alternative to braces. It will effectively align slight to moderate tooth problems. If can be used to move crowns if necessary, but it will not move implants.
It is possible to use Invisalign to move other teeth relative to the implant, but not the implant itself.

Crowns Oatlands Dentist

A crown replaces the outer section of a tooth with a realistic looking replica. The root of the crowned tooth is still natural, so this can still be moved with braces or Invisalign.
When braces are used on a crowned tooth the orthodontist will use a different adhesive technique. This is to avoid damaging the tooth surface. Excellent alignment results are still possible when using braces on crowned teeth.

Implant Dundas

Implants consist of an artificial tooth affixed to the jawbone with a titanium post. This titanium post is permanently bonded to the jawbone at a molecular level, and cannot be moved without surgery. 
Implants cannot be moved with braces or Invisalign.

Veneers at Newington Dentist
Some teeth have their front surf
ace covered with a veneer. Some veneers are like a crown, but only cover one surface of the tooth. Other veneers are a resin that sets hard on the tooth surface. 
Braces can be used on teeth with veneers.

Telopea Dentist

Your dental and orthodontic treatment will work together to give you the best results possible, with treatments conduced in the right order.

Electric Toothbrush

Brushing Advice Dental Denistone

Brushing advice is simple, but fundamental. Our mouths are full of bacteria, both good and bad. The bad bacteria break down sugars, turning them into acid that quickly damages teeth. Brushing is important because it removes the sugars and bacteria from the tooth surface, greatly reducing any problems with decay. Mouthwash and flossing are also important for removing bacteria, plaque and food debris.

Failure to remove bad bacteria from the mouth will quickly lead to a build-up of plaque. This is a sticky film of bacteria that coats the teeth. Left for any period of time this plaque will harden, turning into tartar, which is very difficult to remove.

Electric toothbrushes Dentist Dundas

Electric toothbrushes clean at least as well as traditional, manual toothbrushes. And they require less effort.
– Electric toothbrushes can provide 3000 strokes per second when cleaning teeth. This is more than ten times as many strokes as a manual toothbrush.
– Electric toothbrushes can clean hard to reach places in the mouth. This may be hard to move the manual toothbrush when brush the molars at the back of the mouth, but electric toothbrushes can clean this with minimal effort.
– Electric toothbrushes are useful for people who are still wearing braces; the electric brush can held against the teeth to clean between the braces. This is difficult with a manual toothbrush that must be physically moved.
– Electric toothbrushes are the best option for those with limited dexterity. Traditional brushing is difficult for the elderly, the disabled, or those with arthritis. But electric toothbrushes require only moderate effort.
– Children often like electric toothbrushes, and this encourages them to brush.
Timers on electric toothbrushes remind us not to cut the brush time too short.
– Ultrasonic toothbrushes vibrate at even higher speeds than regular electric toothbrushes. This super high speed breaks down bacteria.

Newington Dentist

Clean teeth have many health advantages. Apart from less decay, and subsequently less expense from the dentist, clean teeth and a healthy mouth means a lower risk of developing cardiovascular and cognitive problems later in life.

Myths

Myths

It can be hard to dispel a myth. Sometime advice sounds reasonable, or we are so use to an idea because we have heard it all our life. But occasionally the truth shows that some beliefs are myths.

Only sugar causes tooth decay.

Sugar is definitely bad for teeth and general health, and we tend to eat far too much of the sweet stuff. But any starchy foods can cause the same type of decay problems. And anything acidic, like lemon or fruit juice, is almost as bad.

The bacteria in our mouths turn all sorts of food into decay causing acid. Sugar and starch are the worst of the lot.

We should brush out teeth straight after eating and drinking.

This was thought to be true, until research showed that many foods and drinks would weaken the tooth enamel. This means that the brushing would wear the tooth away! The teeth became sensitive as the enamel became thin.

Wait 30 minutes after meals before brushing teeth. In the meantime it helps to drink water or chew gum.

Diet drinks are a healthier option.

Most diet drinks are still acidic, so they will damage teeth pretty badly. And at least some artificial sweeteners are bad for health.

Only teenagers wear braces

There are adults who straighten their teeth with braces, or perhaps invisalign. It is just as effective.
The advantage of using braces as a teenager is that your teeth will be straight by the time you are an adult, so you can enjoy them for the rest of your life.

Bottled water is best

Water is definitely healthy. It cleans teeth and keeps us healthy. But bottled water has one small disadvantage is not containing fluoride. The fluoride in tap water helps reduce tooth decay. If the local water supply is good (as it is on Sydney) then tap water is a good reliable option.

Women lose a tooth each time they have a child.

This is not literally true, but there is a certain poetic truth in this. Pregnancy does strain the health. So in older generations many women tended to lose teeth for this reason. But modern dental care can largely prevent this.

Well aligned teeth are just for aesthetic value

A neat appearance tends to go with good functionality. Neatly aligned teeth will make chewing and speaking easier, and tend to be free from jaw pain. They are almost always easier to clean.

Baby teeth are expendable.

Decay in a baby tooth increases the risk of problems in the permanent teeth. Keep the baby teeth healthy.

Factors For a Smile

Factors For a Smile

Any understanding of aesthetics will discuss the idea of coherence – all the parts of an object or artwork must fit together to create the right overall impression. This is true whether the parts are meant to be pleasantly balanced (which is the usual case) or if they are deliberately meant to clash.

All the elements of an attractive object or artwork may contribute to the overall effect. Sometimes changing one element we change that overall effect; one element can make or break the end result. On the other hand we occasionally find that changing element of the whole makes no different. Changing one element will make no difference if all the other elements were not quite right to start with.

There are various elements of a mouth and its smile. All contribute to the overall effect.

Tooth colour

The tooth colour is most noticeable when something is wrong. We expect teeth to be bright white, and associate this with cleanliness. Bleaching can make dull looking teeth a very nice shade of white.

Smile Arc
The curve of the teeth. The row of teeth will usually look most pleasing if they gently curve upward.

Gum Ratio.

We usually show some gum line with our teeth. Too much gum can look unbalanced. But having a smile that is all teeth can also look unbalanced.

Spacing

Teeth look best when evenly spaced, almost touching with no gaps.

Overbite Slight

Our culture expects the upper teeth to be slightly more forward then the lower teeth. This is a very mild overbite. This alignment can be altered with orthodontics.

Midline

The front teeth should be in the centre of the face, though slight asymmetry does work well for some people.

Braces Dundas

Orthodontic treatment, including braces, will straighten teeth. This is especially effective when done in the teenage years as the patient will benefit from the improved teeth for their entire adult life.

Braces will make the teeth look neat and straight, and can improve the mechanical functioning so the jaw can move without issues.

Cosmetic Dental Denistone

Home of dental office bleaching can whiten teeth. The right shade of tooth will improve the appearance of the individual.

Newington Dentist

Healthy teeth and gums make all the difference to our health and our appearance. And there’s no downside to having a healthier mouth.

Toothache

There are many causes of toothache. It is always a symptom of a problem/ toothache require professional treatment, or at least professional advice. While proper cleaning and good health goes a long way to preventing the problems that cause toothache even the most diligent brusher may suffer the occasional problems.

Dentist Oatlands

Toothaches come in many forms, though none of them are pleasant. Some aches are mild, some are so severe that they prevent the individual from being able to adequately function. The pain of a toothache may be intermittent, or continuous. It may throb, or it may only occur with hot or cold temperatures (sensitive tooth). Else the paint may only occur under physical pressure.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell exactly where the pain is coming from. It might be the tooth or gum, or even deeper inside the jaw.

Telopea Dental

Any toothache pain is most likely felt in the soft pulp of a tooth’s insides, though gums and jaws might also cause similar pain.

Tooth Decay – if decay breaks down the outer tooth’s enamel, forming a cavity, then the tooth’s inner nerve will be exposed and cause pain. This will require at least a filling. If the pulp in the tooth is inflected than a root canal treatment will also be necessary.

Cracked tooth- A tooth can become cracked because of an accidental impact, or from very cold temperatures. This will cause a pain when chewing or biting.
A cracked tooth is very prone to decay because it is difficult to clean.

Thin enamel – If the enamel of a tooth has grown thin, either from over-brushing or exposure to acidic liquids, then it will be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

Some toothpastes will greatly reduce the sensitivity of teeth. But these take a week or more to be fully effective. Always consult the dentist about sensitive teeth.

An abscess – This is a serious infection either in the gum or tooth. It requires serious dental treatment lest is lead to bone and tooth lose.

Denistone Dentist

Wisdom teeth are notorious for not emerging properly. A wisdom tooth that is partly or fully buried in the gum will often be painful. These teeth are often removed.

Sinus problems can cause an ache that feels like a toothache in the upper jaw. While this pain is real it is one of the few dental pains that is not too serious. If the sinus problem (perhaps just the flu) clear up the pain in the upper teeth will disappear. Talk to a doctor if this continues for more than a day or two.

Damaged filling- a former filling can be painful if the tooth suffers more decay. The dentist will need to fix the filling, and the patient will need to take more thorough cleaning measures.

Teeth grinding can cause problems by steadily wearing away teeth. This can make the teeth very sensitive.

Jaw alignment problems can cause problem pain, especially if the misalignment causes the individual trouble when chewing or speaking. This may require long term orthodontic treatment.

Cosmetic Dentistry

The idea of cosmetic Dentistry is slightly misleading. As the name suggests it is about appearances. But appearances and functionality tend to be closely tied together. In most cases improving the function of the teeth and jaws leads to a better physical appearances. And where the dentist does a purely cosmetic procedure it is because the optimal functionality and health of the teeth has already been achieved.

Teeth whitening Denistone Dentist

Teeth whitening is one of the few examples of a purely cosmetic procedure. It lightens and whitens the teeth to make them look better, and perhaps match the patient’s skin tone.

The one health advantage of white teeth is with cleaning; it is easy to see if white teeth and clean or not.

Implant Oatlands

Implants replace a lost or badly damaged tooth. While almost everybody agrees that a natural healthy tooth is the best option an implant is so close to the natural tooth the patient soon forgets that the implant is artificial.

Modern implants are made from lithium desilicate or zirconia. These are both extremely strong, and lithium disilicate (almost always used for front teeth) looks realistic and natural.

Cosmetically an implant look better than a missing tooth.

Braces Rydalmere

Braces are the best example of combining functionality with improved appearances. Braces are about neatly aligning teeth and jaws. The aim is to produce a set of teeth that neatly fit together. This makes chewing and speaking much easier. It almost always means a noticeable improvement in the appearance of the teeth.

Modern options, like ceramic braces, are less conspicuous that old models. 

Braces during our teenage years mean straight teeth during our adult years, though diligent cleaning is important.

Invisalign Telopea Dentist

Adults who suffer tooth alignment problems may have them corrected with invisalign. These are a series of clear retainers that can alter the position of the teeth. They cannot correct all the dental problems that braces can, but they work very effectively for most minor to moderate alignment issues.

Invisalign, being clear, is not very noticeable.

Mouthwash- Types and Concerns.

Denistone Dentist – Mouthwash Concerns

There was a lot of concern a few years ago over mouthwash causing oral cancer. This was very misleading. It was only the mouthwash containing alcohol that was under suspicion.

Mouthwash containing alcohol may raise the risk of oral cancer. The concern is over the heavy exposure. The mouthwashes would contain 25-40% alcohol, and individuals would gargle this for a full minute three times per day. This is a high amount of alcohol exposure.

Realistically, when people do use mouthwash it is gargled twice per day for half a minute. This level of alcohol exposure is a little high, but probably not too bad.

However, alcohol will tend to dry out the mouth, and this is bad for teeth and breath. Ironically the mouthwash can cause the very problems that it is supposed to remove. It is best to avoid alcohol mouthwashes.

Really, it is now easy to buy alcohol free mouthwashes, including most good quality, brand names. These can be used two or three times daily, and you teeth, not to mention you breathe, will be noticeably improved.

Dentist Oatlands – Types of Mouthwash

There are a few different types of mouthwash, designed to treat different dental concerns.

Antiseptic / general mouthwashes

This is the most common type. It does a decent job of killing off germs and bacteria, especially if you have already brushed you teeth, and it gives you fresh breath.

Fluoride mouthwashes

These are very good for sensitive or slightly damaged teeth. If the outer tooth enamel is damaged be de-calcification then the fluoride in these mouthwashes will reverse the process. It takes a few week to feel the benefits, but these mouthwashes can stop decay from getting worse, and reverse the process if we start using them early on.

Cosmetic Mouthwash

Basically just to freshen breath. It would be better to use an antiseptic mouthwash if we are already quite healthy, or a specialized mouthwash if we have a specific problems.

Natural Mouthwashes

Mouthwashes with all natural, non-chemical ingredients. Their effectiveness varies.

Prescription Mouthwashes

Patients with gum disease may be given a prescription for an extremely strong mouthwash that fights infections. This will only be used for a short period, until the infection is removed.

Braces Telopea

Mouthwash is of particular use to those of us still wearing braces as regular brushing and flossing is difficult with braces. Mouthwash, adds that extra bit of protection.

We recommend interdental brushes or Waterpik when teeth with braces. 

Dental Implants

Implants Dental Dundas

Dental implants are a more modern method of replacing a missing or badly damaged tooth. And recent advances in material have made implants even better.

Older methods or replacing a tooth included a dental bridge. This supported an artificial tooth between two healthy teeth. Unfortunately, this meant heavily modifying the healthy teeth, which seemed a great pity.

Implants consist of an artificial tooth attached to a titanium post that is embedded in the jaw. This is an excellent replacement for a natural tooth.

Osseointegrated Titanium Denistone Dental

Titanium is used for the post because this metal has a unique property – it bonds to the jawbone of the patient. This bonding is termed osseointegration. It produces a very strong connection at a biological level.

Osseointegrated implanted teeth last for many years.

New Implant Materials Dental Telopea

Older implants were made of porcelain. These provided fairly realistic looking teeth. But technology has improved on this.

Newer implants are made from either lithium disilicate or zirconia. These have proved stronger than older porcelain implants, and have other advantages.

Lithium Disilicate looks very like a natural tooth, and is stronger than porcelain. It is used for teeth at the front of the mouth.

Zirconia is even stronger than lithium disilicate, though it is less realistic looking than other materials. It is used for the back molars where the extra strength is an advantage.

Oatlands Dental

A dental implant will require a few dental visits. But the results are impressive.

Dental implants will only require the same diligent cleaning required of regular teeth. Though a dental implant is immune to decay the surrounding gum is still prone to infection, so the implant must cleaned on a twice daily basis. 

Better Breath

Denistone Dental

Fresh breath is important.

Bad breath will compromise our social life. It is also an indication of something wrong with our mouth or with some other part of our digestive system. Quite possibly bad breath is a symptom of tooth decay, or a symptom of something that can cause tooth decay. It is important to remove the cause of the breath problems before it leads to serious damage to teeth or our health in general.

Dental Telopea

The first thing to look at with breath problems is basic dental hygiene.

Brushing twice daily is essential. Individuals should also Floss and use mouthwash at least one per day. Using mouthwash more frequently is a good idea if the bad breath continues.

Smoking will almost always cause bad breath. It is always healthier to quit smoking.

If the bad breath persist there may be a diet problem.

Try removing strong food from the diet, like garlic, onions and spicy foods. These do have general health benefits, but they may also cause bad breath. Else, coffee causes breath problems for some people.

Some people find that processed / frozen food cause bad breath, and perhaps associated stomach unrest. Try eating more natural foods.

Atkins Diet – High carb diets can cause bad breath. This type of bad breath is not harmful, but it can be socially awkward.

Oatlands Dental

Bad breath can be caused by bad bacteria in the mouth and digestive system. This is often the same bacteria that causes tooth decay, gum infections and other problems. Some good practices beyond regular brushing can help here.

  • Green tea is good for breath and helps fight bad bacteria. Drink a few cup per day. Decaffeinated green tea is available.
  • Chewing sugar free gum is good for freshening breath, though it can sometimes cover up the problem causing the odour. Xylitol sweetened gum is the best option.
  • Chew some parsley to freshen breath.
  • Eat some foods with healthy bacteria to help digestion and mouth bacteria. Kimchi (Korea), sauerkraut (Germany), probiotic drinks and yogurt are all good for health bacteria.
  • Cashew nuts help fight some forms of bad bacteria. They are high in calories, but otherwise healthy.
  • Breath mints can remove the bad breath, but use a sugar free variety. And make sure the underlying cause of the bad breath isn’t a health threat.
  • Just eating more healthy fruit and vegetables can help with our breath.

Dundas Dental

Bad breath could be a sign of a serious dental problem.

Gum disease like periodontitis will cause bad breath, this needs to be treated by the dentist as it will quickly lead to serious problems like tooth loss.

An Abscess will cause bad breath. This also need to be treated by a dentist. Untreated abscesses will lead to even more serious problems.

Mouth breathing, especially at night, will lead to dry teeth and gums. This will often lead to bad breath, or at least make the problem worse. Dentist can provide mouthguards to facilitate better breathing.

Have any persistent breath problems checked by the dentist.