Do Root Canals Hurt?

No. Root canal procedures should not cause you any pain, so keep those worries aside!

Root canal treatments are performed to treat damaged or infected tissue in the tooth, after treatment patients often report feeling instant relief as they no longer feel any discomfort or toothache.

It’s a common misunderstanding that root canals are painful procedures. Your experience should not be any different to a routine filling. Throughout the treatment the infected site will be treated with anaesthesia to make sure you feel no pain and remain comfortable.

What are the signs that I might need a root canal?

There’s a chance you might not show any symptoms, but normally a root canal procedure may be required if you experience:

  • Sensitivity of tooth to heat or cold even after it has been taken away
  • Serious pain in the tooth while chewing
  • Swollen gums
  • Tender gums
  • Darkening of the infected tooth
  • Face or neck swelling

Are carbonated drinks bad for your teeth?

Are carbonated drinks bad for your teeth? New alternative (i.e. sugar free / limited) soft drinks have hit the market recently. These drinks are shifting the way we think about traditional sugary ‘rot your teeth’ drinks. We can place ‘classic’ soft drink / soda on one side and newer ‘lightly sparkling no sugar’ drinks as the other.

Are Carbonated Drinks Bad For Your Teeth - Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling
Are Carbonated Drinks Bad For Your Teeth – Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling (source: amazon.com.au)

Usually there are two things in soft drink that will cause harm to our teeth:

  • First issue is sugar – bacteria in our mouths metabolise this sugar and produce acid as a by product which in turn causes tooth decay – more sugar equals more decay. The solution to this is to avoid drinking sugary drinks (this is good for your health anyway and starves bacteria of food source) and avoid exposure of the sugar to our teeth (be sure to rinse thoroughly with water afterwards).
  • The second issue you’ll experience from drinking soft drinks is acid wear; the PH scale measures how acidic or basic something is. A 7 is a neutral result (i.e. the same as water), and less than 7 is acidic (e.g. lemons).

More about PH Scales

A PH scale of more than 7 is basic (like bicarb soda). Our saliva has a ph of 7.4 – anything with a PH of 5.5 or less is so acidic that it will dissolve our teeth. The more acidic the quicker it dissolves. Lemons have a PH of 2, cola 2.5 and sparkling water has a PH level of approx 4.5-5.5 depending on brand. So sparkling water is definitely less dissolving potential than cola, but still more than water. You can minimise the affect of acid on your teeth by having less acidic drinks (more waters), lessening exposure (drink through a straw) or making sure you don’t brush your teeth 30 mins or so after drinking or eating acidic drinks or anything really aside from water.

Carbonated drinks and your teeth: key takeaways

Realistically, moderation here is key, with the newer age drinks. If you are sensible and drink 1-2 a day (thus minimising long term exposure to the slightly acidic drink) through a straw and wait 30 mins before brushing you’ll be fine. These sugarfree sodas are a great new age solution for a refreshing drink. For soda/soft drink sadly – there’s never really a great time to drink them – especially if you can tolerate these newer drinks.

Any questions? Please feel free to contact us or make an appointment with the friendly team at Polished Dental.

Naughty or Nice – Impact of Food and Drinks on Dental Health

Can you guess which of these foods are naughty or nice?

 Although some may seems obvious, some of these foods are sneakily a lot worse than the usual suspects. Which ones can you get right?

Naughty or Nice? – Food and Dental Health!

Dairy 

Most dairy is also quite good for you but milk is quite sugary to begin with so there is a ‘naughty’ option here – can you guess which one?

  • Yoghurt
  • Cheese
  • Plain milk
  • Flavoured milk (BAD these have very high amounts of sugar and as a general rule we advise avoiding flavoured milk in your diet).

 Vegetables and Fruit

Fruits and vegetables are generally quite good for your teeth but there’s one big exception – do you know which one it is?

  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Citrus Fruit (Oranges, Lemon, Lime) (BAD – these citrus fruits are highly acidic and will increase erosion and wear on your teeth).

Teas

These seem like they’re probably bad for your teeth, right? Well, not necessarily. They can be naughty or nice. Green and black teas contain polyphenols which can kill/hold back bacteria. You can also get fluoride from your tea depending on your local water supply…

  • Black and green tea
  • Be wary of staining if you drink too much tea/caffeine.

Chips

Seems like the salt and fat would be worse for your body rather than your teeth, but that can be misleading:

  • Potato  Crisps (can get trapped between your teeth)
  • Corn chips (can get trapped between your teeth)
  • One of the main causes of tooth decay as not as obvious as sugars. Even though the crisps aren’t sweet, they do get broken down into sugars.

 Medications

  • Asthma puffers decrease saliva flow so be careful with these.

Chewing gum

Since it helps create saliva it should be good, but a lot of gum on the market has sugar added to it, causing the same old problems for your teeth:

  • Sugarfree extra
  • Sugar gum (BAD – too sugary)
  • PK (BAD – too sugary)
  • Hubba bubba (BAD – too sugary)

Food and dental health – What Next?

Here are a few things to remember if you are going to eat sugary foods :

  • Eat them with a meal. Your increased saliva will reduce the acidity of the sugar.
  • Drink more water, preferably with fluoride in it (if you’re buying bottled water check the label to see if fluoride is included)
  • Brush twice daily, after meals.
  • Floss once daily.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you down at Polished Dental for your next checkup! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about sugar and its impact on teeth, or want to come up with a plan to try and minimise the sugar you’re consuming.

Dental Pain – 5 Different Types and Causes of Dental Pain

Ever had that random dental pain and worry about what it might mean? Your teeth are trying to reach out to you – and this is what they might be trying to tell you:

Short sharp sensitivity to cold, or sweet

Examples:

That glass of cold water that causes you to wince or that ice block that you just can’t bite intoThe pain is short and sharp and is gone within seconds.

You tuck into some chocolate but every so often, in one part of the mouth, you get a short bit of sensitivity.

Possible cause:

Exposed tooth nerves causing dental pain. Nerves can become exposed fairly easily. All it takes is some gum recession or tooth decay to expose dentine. Within dentine there are tubules that connect the tooth nerve with your mouth (or that cold water).

Dull ache or throbbing

Example:

You’ve finished for the day, you head to bed and a throbbing ache starts in a tooth that was only niggling before.

You sit down to have your morning cup of coffee but the heat causes a tooth to really ache

Possible cause:

Inflamed or infected nerve. When nerves have been irritated for an extended amount of time or when they’ve passed the point of being temporarily irritated – tooth pain can come spontaneous and present ass a dull ache instead of a quick sharp pain

Aching pain that moves around

You have a hot tea and then the pain starts along the bottom left jaw and then moves to the top left as well. As annoying as it is you cannot tell where the pain is coming from.

Possible causes:

Inflamed or infected nerve causing radiating or referred pain. This radiating pain can sometimes come from multiple teeth or can be the just the one tooth causing pain that seems like it’s coming from multiple teeth.  Referred pain can move from the top to the bottom of one side but will never move from the left hand side of the mouth to the right and side (and vice versa)

Pain in the jaw joint or cheek muscles

You wake up tired and it feels like you’ve been using your cheek muscles all night as they’re very tight.

Your jaw joints are clicky and it’s very sore on the joint to open wide sometimes.  

Muscular pain around the mouth can come from many different reasons. Some can come from clenching or grinding and others can come from degeneration of the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ). Just like the diagnosis, treatment for muscular pain can really vary too – so proper diagnoses is key.

Dental pain around the sinuses

You’ve had a cold and your sinuses are sore. At the same time your top teeth feel weak and are sore to chew with.

When your sinuses are inflamed you can get referred pain to your top teeth as there is increased pressure at the roots of the top back tooth. This can feel like toothache but it is not as common – so as a rule if suspicious of any pain coming from the teeth it’s best to get it checked rather than assume it is coming from the sinus.   

Hopefully these tips allow you to interpret some of the messages your teeth are sending you. Although it’s good to know why you’re getting pain it’s another thing to try to get the problem fixed. Please let us know if you’re experiencing these symptoms so we can let you know how you can get you individual problem looked at, diagnosed and resolved.

Sensitive Teeth – What Causes Them and How Can It Be Managed

Sensitive Teeth AshgroveSensitive teeth can occur for a wide range of reasons, some as innocuous as extra sensitivity, to more concerning problems such as tooth decay or infection.
 
The tricky part is telling these causes apart!

Extra sensitive teeth

Some people simply have extra sensitive teeth! We call this hypersensitivity and although treatment is not typically required, the good news is this can usually be managed well at home with products such as a sensitive toothpaste.

Receding gums

Ever heard the saying “long in the tooth”? It should really be called “short in the gums”! It is true that your gums can recede with age however this can also occur in younger patients.
 
Gum disease, missing adjacent teeth, and repositioning of teeth after orthodontic treatment are all possible causes although overly hard brushing is one of the more common culprits. As the gum migrates further down the tooth, more of the root is exposed causing sensitivity.
 
It’s best to either prevent this recession or maintain our gums before the recession worsens.

Enamel wear 

Enamel is the hard protective layer on the outermost part of our teeth. This can be worn away over time due to acid erosion or hard tooth brushing habits, leaving the more sensitive dentine layer exposed.
 
Monitor acidic foods and drinks such as fizzy drinks, lemon water, some fruits, wine and vinegar, and try to avoid their contact with your teeth by drinking through a straw or rinsing with plain water.
 
Internal acids, such as those resulting from reflux, are also risk factors for enamel erosion and it is best to address the causes of these acids where possible.
 
Also remember to use a soft toothbrush and a gentle brushing technique to avoid over-scrubbing your pearly whites! Where enamel loss is more significant, a filling can be placed to cover the exposed tooth surface. This replaces your enamel and will help protect the tooth from further wear.

Chipped teeth causing sensitive teeth

Similarly to enamel wear, when a tooth fractures, the second dentine layer of the tooth can be exposed, leading to sensitivity. This is usually resolved once the broken portion is repaired and the tooth is covered and sealed again.

Tooth decay causing sensitivity

Tooth decay can cause a cavity within your tooth resulting in sensitivity. Initially this may be sensitive to cold only although sensitivity to hot food and drinks can mean the nerve is deteriorating further.
 
Often a simple filling is all that is required however, in more severe conditions, infection may mean further treatment is necessary.
 
Regardless of the cause of tooth sensitivity, the best practice for you and your mouth is to get checked out while the problem is still manageable.
 
We’re here to help with any questions you may have, to ensure you can keep smiling until you’re grey in the hair and not “long in the tooth”!
 
Please give us a call on 3878 3889 or click here to use our online contact form.