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Broken Tooth? | Emergency Dentist Services Dental Excel

What to Do if Your Tooth is Knocked Out

What to do if Your Tooth is Knocked Out | Dental BlogAccidents do happen occasionally, and having a tooth knocked out is a pretty big deal. Although the odds of saving a knocked-out tooth reduce as you get older, it is far more common these days for permanent teeth to be saved or re-implanted.

An intact tooth is always worth trying to save, however, if the tooth is broken into pieces, the likelihood of saving it is almost negated.

Let’s see what you can do if your tooth is knocked out.

Children’s first, or baby, teeth are never re-implanted, but they should still be examined by a dental professional as soon as possible following the trauma, particularly if the tooth wasn’t loose to begin with, just to make sure the gums are not damaged.

When a tooth is knocked out, an occurrence known in the professional dentistry world as an ‘avulsed tooth,’ the blood vessels, supporting soft tissues and the nerves all sustain damage. Although the nerves and blood vessels cannot be effectively repaired, the bone often will re-attach to the root after the tooth has been re-implanted.

The first things to do once the tooth is knocked out

  • Pick up the tooth by the part that ‘chews’. Try not to touch or handle the root part of the tooth, as this can cause further damage to the most delicate part.
  • Rinse off any excess dirt with clean water or milk. Do not dry the tooth, as the root could become damaged.
  • Call your emergency dentist and make an appointment, explaining what has happened.
  • Many experts recommend that you try to re-seat the tooth in your mouth, where it was before it was knocked out. If you can’t do that, then place the rinsed tooth in a container with a lid. Ideally the tooth should be kept moist, so cover the it with milk or cool, boiled water.
  • In an emergency situation, if you have none of the resources mentioned above, you can simply hold the tooth in your mouth, against your cheek, to keep it moist while you get to the dentist.
  • Get to your dentist as quickly as you can.

What the dentist can do to save your tooth

Depending upon the severity of the injury, and how much time has passed since the tooth is knocked out (ideally under an hour), your dentist should be able to re-implant the tooth during a root canal operation.

Your dentist may perform a temporary ‘fix’ to reseat the tooth, and wait before performing root canal treatment. Every case will be different, but a normal, straightforward process should take three to four weeks for the bone to re-attach to the root.

Dental Excel offers emergency dentistry at all our practices on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane. Should you have a tooth knocked out, contact us as soon as you can to try to save the tooth. We will if we can, but we need your help too, so follow the guidelines above and get to us quickly.

Symptoms of Gum Disease | Dental Excel Blog

Common Symptoms of Gum Disease

Symptoms of Gum Disease | Dental Excel BlogGum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is more common than you might think.

In the US, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention data, one in two Americans over the age of 30 has some form (or stage) of gum disease.

As the early stages and symptoms of gum disease are often painless, it makes sense to familiarise yourself with the most common symptoms.

Only then can you work towards prevention of a condition that can become progressively more serious if left to develop.

What causes gum disease?

Bacteria is constantly present in the mouth, and forms a colourless film over the teeth and gums called ‘plaque’. Plaque should be removed twice daily by brushing and flossing. If plaque is allowed to build up, it can transform into a hard substance called ‘tartar,’ which forms around the teeth and beneath the gum line. Once tartar has formed, it cannot be removed by simple brushing alone, and should be attended to by a dentist or hygienist professionally.

Although gum disease can be caused by a poor dental hygiene routine, there are other factors that can lead to the onset of periodontal issues, such as:

  • Smoking – smoking not only increases the risk of gum disease, but can also reduce the chance of successful treatment.
  • Diabetes – sufferers of diabetes find they have increased risk of infections.
  • Medication – one of the most common side-effects of certain prescription medications is the reduction of saliva production, which is a natural protector of the mouth tissues.
  • Hormonal changes – changes in hormone levels, particularly in women and girls, can lead to gum sensitivity and an increased risk of gingivitis* (see below).
  • Hereditary – some families are more prone to gum disease and other periodontal issues.

What to look for

The most common early warning signs of gum disease are easy to detect, and at this stage, less complicated to treat than at later stages when the bones that support the teeth can become affected. Therefore, it is important to understand the first signs of gum disease, so that you can address it quickly before it progresses. There are three main stages of gum disease, each carrying similar symptoms with varying degrees of severity. The most common signs to look for include:

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is one of the first signs that your teeth and gums are developing problems, and is a mild form of gum disease. Sufferers of gingivitis will find the gums growing redder, and likely to bleed when touched, brushed or flossed. Inflammation is usually mild, and in certain cases swelling of the gums around the teeth can occur.

Catching gum disease at this early stage can be addressed simply, with a scaling treatment at the dentist to remove tartar from the teeth, above and below the gum line, then the establishment of a good brushing and flossing routine to prevent re-occurrence.

Halitosis

Halitosis is a condition that is also known as bad breath. Prolonged periods of bad breath, sometimes accompanied by an unpleasant or metallic taste in the mouth, can be a good indication of gum disease in its early stages. There are many causes of halitosis, and sufferers may or may not be experiencing an early sign of gum disease. Your dentist will be able to confirm the cause and treatment of halitosis quickly and easily.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis is not treated. This advanced stage can be identified by inflammation around the teeth, swelling and a bright red colour. During this stage, gums can become tender to the touch, and can begin to withdraw from the teeth, making them appear elongated.

Spaces can develop between the teeth, forming periodontal ‘pockets’ that can become filled with food and bacteria, leading to infection.

This stage of gum disease can cause damage to the soft periodontal tissues and can contribute to the loss or reduction of the bones that support the teeth and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis should be addressed immediately by a dental professional.

Loose or misaligned teeth

Once gum disease has progressed to the later stages, the teeth may begin to feel loose. This is sometimes most obvious while eating. When the bones that support the teeth begin to suffer from infection, you may notice that your bite feels different when eating.

If you experience loose or misaligned teeth, it does not necessarily mean that you have late-stage gum disease, as there are other issues that could contribute to the problem, but a visit to your dentist will tell you all you need to know.

Should you experience any of these symptoms, a visit to your dentist is the best way to confirm the onset of gum disease. Generally, the progression of gum disease is slow, and attention in the earliest stages, such as gingivitis, can help to prevent the onset of more serious progression.

How Dental Excel can help with gum disease prevention

The friendly and professional teams at Dental Excel Caloundra, Beerwah, Bracken Ridge, Palmwoods and Wurtulla are experienced in the treatment of every stage of gum disease and are happy to support you in your journey to a healthy mouth and smile.

We also work proactively to help our patients of all ages establish a regular dental routine, which is by far the best way to tackle the issue of gum disease. We can help you to prevent the onset of periodontal problems, and can work with you to find the best options for you should you require further treatment.

Contact us today to make an appointment in one of our five dental practices local to you. With high-quality dentistry for all the family, and a range of opening times to suit your requirements, let Dental Excel help you to prevent gum disease, and keep your healthy smile for life.

Dental Phobia | How to Cope | Dental Excel Blog

What is Dental Phobia and How Can You Cope with It?

Anyone who suffers with a dental phobia will understand how terrifying a simple, routine visit to the dentist can be. Symptoms vary according to the severity of the condition, but can include:

  • Dental Phobia | How to Cope | Dental Excel BlogA build-up of fear over days leading up to the appointment.
  • Loss of sleep.
  • Sweating and nausea.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • A debilitating anxiety on the day, often leading to cancellation of the appointment.
  • Paralysing terror in the waiting room.

What is a dental phobia?

The widely-accepted definition of a phobia is ‘an intense, irrational fear’ of something. It is not simply a dislike of attending, which many people have for the dentist, hospital or the doctor, but a condition that leads to the inability to face that fear; igniting the body’s ‘fight or flight’ reaction, and leaving sufferers with the inescapable thought that they will do almost anything to avoid the situation.

A dental phobia is an intense, irrational fear of the dentist.

Sufferers of dental phobia face frustration, anxiety, physical symptoms and as a result, embarrassment when they have a routine appointment approaching. It is an uncontrollable condition, often entirely misunderstood by the people around you. The symptoms are very real, and can be terrifying.

Can dental phobia cause health problems?

Dental phobia, if not overcome, can lead to severe oral health issues. Regular dental check-ups are vital to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and if not attended at least twice a year, issues that may arise in the mouth can easily be missed.

Some dental phobia sufferers can put off routine dental care for years, and will suffer in silence with dental issues, such as pain in the gums or teeth, infection or even broken teeth to avoid a visit to the dentist.

Sufferers of dental phobia face a heightened risk of gum disease and can lose teeth earlier in life than a patient who attends for regular check-ups. Also, the appearance of the teeth can suffer, which can have a knock-on effect to self-esteem. Discolouration is common in teeth that are uncared for professionally, and conditions such as misalignment, overbite or underbite are not recognised early enough. There are many conditions that can be treated quickly and easily with a regular visit to the dentist, as they are spotted early enough to make treatment possible.

At a regular visit to the dentist, patients can ensure that plaque does not build up, and a quick scale and polish can do wonders for the health of your mouth and your confidence.

What can you do to begin coping with dental phobia, and how can Dental Excel help you?

The physical and emotional effects of dental phobia can be treated, and should be addressed, as over time they can only get worse.

For effective treatment of your condition, you need to assess the level of the phobia, and give yourself a little time to work out what will work best for you. Generally, the biggest fears people have are; the fear of pain, the lack of control they experience in the dentist chair and also, the self-consciousness that one’s mouth may be unsightly. All these things (and many more) can trigger an attack of acute anxiety or dental phobia.

Dental Excel dentists on the Sunshine Coast are experienced in handling patients coping with dental phobia on many levels. Our friendly dental nurses and reception staff are also trained to recognise your symptoms, and are happy to help you to overcome your fears.

We have a few ideas, and tricks up our sleeves to assist you with your dental treatment concerns, whether you experience nervousness or a full-blown dental phobia. We enjoy a relaxed, friendly atmosphere at all our practices, and extend a warm welcome to our patients, who benefit from our warm approach. We want to help you keep your teeth for life, and enjoy having us look after you!

Here are some things you could try:

  • Make an initial call to one of our four dental practices on the Sunshine Coast, or our practice in Bracken Ridge – talk to us about your fears.
  • Call in to one of our dental practices and meet the friendly teams. The atmosphere in all our practices is relaxed, we all work better that way! Talk to us and take a seat in the waiting room for a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the place.
  • Ask to see one of the treatment rooms.
  • Ask to sit in a dental treatment chair.
  • Make an appointment with one of our friendly, experienced dentists. Once you have talked through your appointment, you may find you feel more relaxed.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about treatments – we are more than happy to listen and discuss your options with you in advance.

Dental Excel dentists are skilled in pain relief, and can offer you a range of options, including Happy Gas, should you require advanced treatment beyond your regular check-up.

Dental practices today are not what they were a decade ago. Advancements in treatment and technology have brought changes to dentistry, and if you haven’t been to the dentist for a few years, you may be pleasantly surprised at these changes.

Dental Excel technology includes some of the very latest in next-generation dental care practices, such as the Intra Oral Camera, which allows you to see what we see. We pride ourselves in keeping up-to-date, ensuring we can provide our patients with a holistic approach to dentistry. Let us help to alleviate some of your concerns – talk to us today at Dental Excel.



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