What are the Risks and Danger of Dental Tourism?

Dental tourism, also called dental holidays in Thailand, is a subset of the sector known as medical tourism. It involves individuals seeking dental care outside their local healthcare systems and may be accompanied by a holiday. Dental tourism is growing worldwide. As the world becomes ever more interdependent and competitive, technique, material, and technological advances spread rapidly, allowing providers in developing countries to provide dental care at significant cost savings when compared to their peers in the developed world.

Why Dental Tourism?

While dental tourists may travel for a variety of reasons, their choices are usually driven by price considerations, and while medical tourism is often generalized to travel from high-income countries to low-cost developing economies, other factors can influence a decision to travel, including differences between the funding of public healthcare or general access to healthcare.

Dental tourists travel chiefly to take advantage of lower prices. Reasons for
lower prices are many. Dentists outside the “developed world” are able to take advantage of much lower fixed costs, lower labour costs, less government intervention, lower education fees and expenses, and lower insurance costs. Much of the bureaucratic red-tape that engulfs businesses in the developed world is eliminated abroad, and dentists are free to focus on their trade, dentistry.

Risk of Dental Tourism?

The flip-side of this is the lack of follow up after complex treatment, and
less legal recourse for patients when something goes wrong, but the result is that procedure, such as Dental Implants and Porcelain Veneers, which are simply financially out of reach for many people in the developed world, are made affordable overseas.

Consideration for Dental Tourism?

Similarly, since procedures often require multiple steps or subsequent checkups, the patient may have to return to the same doctor for those reasons. Typically, a patient takes two trips to have Dental Implants. The first trip is to set the base and the provisional crown. The second trip is typically four to six months later after the Dental Implant has stabilised in the bone. One Day Dental Implants are not recommended for dental tourists due to the higher failure rate of the system, so to find out more about dental implants,

So before you decide to get dental work done overseas please seek advice from your local dentist beforehand to ensure things aren’t going to be a problem. To BOOK in for a cosultation please click here!

What are Dental Implants?

Dental Implant is an artificial replacement for the root of a tooth. The benefit of using Implants is that they don’t rely on neighbouring teeth for support like a dental bridge and unlike a denture, they are permanent and stable. Dental Implants are made from titanium and are similar in shape to a screw. The implant is surgically placed in your jaw bone and left for several months for healing where they make a bond with your natural bone. After that, a Dental Crown is attached to the top of the implant to replace the missing tooth. It will match your natural teeth seamlessly.

How is the Implant fitted?

A dentist or dental specialist will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth which includes x-rays and or 3D images to see whether you are suitable for implants. It is important to ensure you have enough healthy bone structure. Even if your bone is diseased or missing, there is still a possibility of a bone graft in order to make an Implant viable.

Then the titanium Implant is surgically anchored in the bone of your jaw where a tooth is missed. It is then left for between two and six months so the bone can grow around the implant. Once the Implant is securely bonded to the bone a permanent crown is either cemented or screwed into place.

What are the advantages of an Implant?

Implants feel, look, fit and function totally like natural teeth. There is no need to remove them for cleaning, you can brush and floss them just like your own teeth. The result is virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth. It looks good and feels good.

Other possible solutions for replacing missing teeth – either a bridge or dentures – are not as reliable or natural-looking. Also, Dental Implants don’t require grinding down adjacent teeth to place bridges or attach partial dentures. Implants allow you to eat, communicate and smile as if you had never lost a tooth in the first place.

Am I a suitable candidate for Implants?

To be considered for implants your overall mouth health must be in good condition. If Implants are fitted in the presence of active periodontal disease, there is a danger that an infection will develop around the implant, which will lead to its failure and loss.

The success rate of Dental Implants is very high is you meet all the health-related criteria.

An important factor that can influence success is your lifestyle habits. Smoking needs to be stopped before treatment and ideally after the implants are fitted. Smoking reduces healing capacity and can cause complications at the integration point of the implant, not to mention its other effects on general health.

Some health conditions and the medication required to treat them can also have an adverse effect on implants. these include diabetes, cancer, and gastric reflux.

It’s very important to discuss your medical history with your dentist in the initial stages of the Implant procedure.

Maintaining Dental Implants

One of the greatest advantages of Dental Implants is that they require no special after-care; simply brush, floss and visit your dentist as normal. Good oral hygiene, healthy gums, and twice-yearly dentist visits are all your implant need to last. Though to maximize the lifespan of implants it is strongly recommended to avoid smoking.

Book in now for a free Dental Implant consultation by clicking Book now!

How a Root Canal Treatment Works

The root canal treatment is probably one of the better-known dental procedures out there. Chances are you’ve heard of it before – but how does it work and what does it entail? Today, we’re looking at the ins and outs of the root canal treatment, and why your dentist may recommend the treatment.

What is a root canal?

A root canal treatment belongs to a group of procedures grouped together under the term ‘endodontic’. This word is derived from two Greek terms; ‘endo’ for ‘inside’, and ‘odont’ for ‘tooth’. It follows that an ‘endodontic’ treatment involves working on the ‘inside of a tooth’. So, what does a root canal treatment have to do with the inside of your tooth? Well, to explain, we need to cover some basics about the construction of your teeth.

Teeth are made up of a number of layers. The first – enamel – is what you see on the outside, and what you need to keep clean. Beneath it is a soft layer called dentin, and then beneath that there is a soft layer of tissue referred to as pulp. This pulp contains all the blood vessels and nerves, and forms the connection that the exterior layers have with your body.

The pulp exists in the crown of the tooth, but also extends right down into the roots that secure the tooth to your jaw. This helps the pulp supply the tooth with nutrients while it’s growing.

If a tooth sustains damage – such as a deep cavity or a crack – bacteria can enter the tooth and infect the pulp, even if the tooth is no longer using the pulp to grow.

A root canal treatment removes the inflamed or infected pulp from inside the tooth, and replaces it with a synthetic filling, keeping the tooth intact.

How does a root canal treatment work?

Often, pulp can repair itself. If infected, however, it’s common for pulp to lose its ability to self-repair. Once this has happened, it begins to die, and must be removed.

Leaving the pulp as is can cause pain or make the tooth very sensitive to temperature. This can begin to cause problems with neighboring teeth, and cause the mouth to become irritated and the gums to swell up.

A root canal treatment acts to save a tooth from complete removal. The first step is to use a special tool to enter the tooth through the top, and take out the unneeded pulp. To do this, your dentist will use local anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything.

After the anesthesia kicks in, the dentist will remove the pulp through a small hole. Then, all that’s left to do is to fill the tooth with a root filling, and seal the hole with adhesive tooth cement.

Do you need a root canal treatment?

If you’ve damaged your tooth, or suspect you have a cavity, there’s a chance that bacteria have been able to compromise your tooth pulp. Come in for a professional check, and the team at Victoria Street Dental will be able to let you know if you need a root canal or not. If you catch damage early enough, a root canal can save you from the much costlier process of extraction and replacement of a tooth.

Here are Victoria Street Dental, we’re proud to be able to help relieve pain and save teeth every day. Our top of the line equipment allows us to complete procedures with none of the stereotypical dental pain of decades gone by. These days, we’re about to put your comfort first.

Booking a checkup online is easy and convenient. Book now!

Root Canal vs Tooth Extraction: Which Is Better?

As a leading dentist in Wellington, the team here at Victoria Street Dental often helps patients find the best course of action for their issues. A question we help answer often is whether to opt for a tooth extraction or try to save the damaged tooth with a root canal treatment.

When you’re put in a position where you need to choose one of these procedures, the best possible thing you can do is find out as much as you can about them. Making a good decision depends on how much information you have, so today we’re looking at the differences between these options. Read on to find out more!

What is a root canal?

First, let’s cover the basics. A root canal is a dental procedure designed to extract the nerve endings from inside a tooth. This becomes necessary when a nerve is infected or damaged, which can happen through trauma after suffering an injury to the mouth or gradual tooth decay. Gradual and untreated decay can lead to cavities, and if a cavity worsens to the point where it reaches a nerve, the nerve ending can become compromised and infected.

In either case, a nerve exposed by either a crack or cavity can be painful, may hurt in response to pressure or temperature, and at its worse, causes terrible headaches and discomfort. Exposed nerves can swell too, which may be noticeable as swelling on your face.

Why choose a root canal?

Natural teeth are so good at their job that it’s generally considered a good idea to keep them whenever possible. Even if the nerve must be removed, there’s a chance the tooth can still do what it needs to do. Furthermore, keeping teeth in their place is ideal as this prevents neighbouring teeth from moving into the gap left by an extraction.

Medical conditions can also invalidate extractions. If you are taking blood thinners or your bone structure is undergoing treatment, extraction may be deemed unsafe.

All these benefits listed above make canal treatments very attractive, but they only suit specific circumstances. For example, root canals work best on easy to access teeth, like those you can see when you smile. It’s also important to have proper bone and gum support around the teeth. If the trauma which damaged the tooth has also loosened it, a root canal may not be your best option.

What can I expect from a root canal?

Many patients expect root canals to be long and painful. Frankly, this is because when root canals first became an option, they were long and painful.

These days things are much different. The name of the operation has become associated with the way things used to be, but we’re happy to inform patients that dentistry has advanced to the point where a root canal treatment is much faster and much less difficult than it used to be. Local anaesthetic is applied to the area, so you won’t feel much of anything beyond the first few seconds of the procedure.

When is extraction the better option?

If you have a tooth that’s been damaged too much to be saved, extraction is likely the better option. Root canals are also not suitable for teeth that are further back in the mouth.

Some patients ask whether or not extraction involves fewer appointments, as a root canal sometimes needs to be carried out over multiple visits. The answer depends on your teeth – there are so many variables involved that there’s no single best option. After all, tooth extraction may also need to be carried out over two or three appointments, especially if the patient wants to replace the tooth with a dental implant.

What is an extraction like?

Extraction has also come a long way in dentistry. With modern anaesthetic, you shouldn’t feel any pain at all. Throughout the procedure, dentists check to make sure you are comfortable multiple times.

There are some guidelines for post-operation care, including eating on the opposite side of your mouth, making sure you don’t eat foods that are too hot and too hard, and resting as much as possible.

Still need help deciding?

If you’re still unsure which option is best for you, talk to the team here at Victoria Street Dental or book an appointment online. The best course of action is to let the professionals take a look at your circumstances – after all, every set of teeth is different!

Fillings, Crowns, Bridges: What’s the Difference?

Tooth crowns, dental bridges, and fillings are all dental treatment options that allow our teeth to heal from damage and trauma. Each available option serves its own purpose, and has its own value depending on the patient’s teeth requirements. Today, we discuss what these are and the specific cases or situations each treatment is most suitable for.

What are Tooth Crowns?

A tooth crown or a dental crown is a ceramic or porcelain prosthetic tooth that is made to fit directly over an existing tooth. It acts as a cover and is used mainly for patients with a decaying or damaged tooth. The crown acts as a “cap” to protect it from further deteriorating.

Crowns are fabricated outside of the mouth in a dental laboratory, and generally require at least two appointments. They can usually be made to match the colour of your natural teeth, but aside from ceramic and porcelain, other materials can be used to create crowns, such as gold and metal alloys. These are generally stronger than porcelain, and are the recommended material to use for molars, which can’t be seen as easily.

When do I need a Crown?

• When you need to replace a large filling
• When you have a weak tooth and you need to protect it from fractures
• When you have a fractured tooth that needs to be restored
• When you have discoloured or poorly shaped teeth that needs to be covered
• When you’ve just undergone a root canal treatment, and need to cover the tooth

What are Dental Bridges?

Just like a dental crown, a dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic device cemented onto existing teeth. A bridge is recommended by dentists in cases wherein you’re missing one or more teeth. Missing teeth that leave gaps will eventually cause the nearby teeth to rotate or shift, and try to fill in the empty space. This results in the formation of uneven teeth, and a bad bite. In more serious cases, it can also lead to gum disease, and temporomandibular joint disorders. With a dental bridge, we can replace these missing teeth, and these replacements, called abutments, will serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments.

When do I need a Bridge?

•  When you need to replace one or more missing teeth
•  When you have missing teeth and need to prevent the rest from moving to gaps

What are Dental Fillings?

While crowns are used in more serious cases of teeth decay, dental fillings will restore teeth that have lesser amounts of damage. Unlike crowns that only sit over you existing tooth, dental fillings require the removal of material. When treating a cavity, dentists will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill it with another substance. There are different types of material available to be used in fillings; Gold, porcelain, composite, and amalgam (silver fillings).

When do I need Fillings?

The amount of decay from a patient’s tooth can only be determined by dentists during a check-up. If your dentist can see you have a cavity, they will let you know.

Things to consider

It is important to have a trusted dentist that will guide you throughout the process of finding the most suitable treatment plan. Your dentist should be able to clearly explain your current oral situation. and what will work best for you and your teeth.

The dentist will determine whether you need a crown, bridge or a filling depending on:

• The severity of decay or tooth damage
• Your budget
• Your desired results
• Your heath

Ready for your check-up?

One sure way to find out whether you will be needing a crown, bridge, or a filling, is to set up an appointment with a trusted dentist, such as at Victoria Street Dental. Having a regular check-up with us will help you feel at ease, as we can guide you toward achieving your best possible smile. Contact us to book your appointment today.

Achieve the Perfect Smile with Cosmetic Dental Treatment

As a busy dentist in Wellington, we here at Victoria Street Dental see patients who are self-conscious about their smile all the time. If that sounds like you, don’t worry! You’re not alone, and even better, it’s not permanent! There’s always a solution for tooth-related problems – whether they are stained, chipped, or misaligned, your best bet is modern cosmetic dentistry.

Depending on your needs and your situation, there are a variety of cosmetic dental treatments suited for your teeth’s specific requirements. Today, we’re going over the various types of cosmetic dental procedures that can help you achieve that perfect smile.

Dental Implants

When you have a missing tooth that keeps you from giving your best smile, having dental implants is one option you can turn to. Dental implants are made of titanium, and are used to replicate the root of your tooth, inserted into the bone socket. When the jawbone starts to heal, it will then surround the implanted metal, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The best thing about dental implants is that they look and feel just like your own teeth. They are designed to fuse with the bone, so they are a permanent solution that does not require replacements.

Crowns and Bridges

It’s understandable that having gaps between your teeth can become a concern. Inserting dental crowns and bridges can help bond those gaps for a better smile. A dental crown or bridge is a tooth-shaped cover placed over an existing tooth – it’s used to keep a weak tooth from further breakage, and can also be used cosmetically to cover severely discoloured teeth. This procedure is also done for clients that need to restore a fractured tooth, cover a poorly shaped tooth, or prevent loose teeth from moving.

Clear Aligners

Traditional braces are a good way to align teeth, but clear aligners are a great alternative, and draw less attention. Clear aligners – such as Invisalign – act as clear braces that allow you to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. They use a series of virtually invisible and removable plastic aligners that fit comfortably over your teeth, in order to gradually shift them into place over time, with each new set of aligners.

Professional Cleaning

When you don’t practice good oral hygiene, your teeth can suffer from tooth decay, plaque build-up, gum disease, and more. All of these things can greatly affect the way your teeth feel, and how they look. Proper brushing and flossing is a great way to keep your smile looking great, but it’s also advisable to have regular teeth cleanings with your dentist, to remove plaque you can’t see at home, and prevent early stages of gum disease.

Ready to Achieve a Perfect Smile?

If you are keen on achieving the perfect smile and improving your oral health, you should choose the most trusted dentist Wellington offers. The team here at Victoria St. Dental can help you choose the most suitable treatment for your teeth. Book your consultation with our friendly dentists today, and greet the day with a perfect smile.

How to Prepare for a Root Canal

You may have heard things about root canals – mostly that they can be painful. However, with modern anaesthesia the procedure can usually be performed mostly free of pain and hassle. To ensure a smooth procedure, it’s important to prepare correctly – reading up a little about what a root canal is will help set your mind at ease, and there are also certain physical steps that can be taken to reduce pain and complications during the procedure. These tips will help you prepare for your root canal so it can go off without a hitch, read on to find out more

1. Know what to expect

If you know what the procedure will look like, you won’t be surprised by it, which will mitigate stress. One of the most important things to know is that it won’t be over in one sitting – on the first visit, your dentist will drill into your tooth to remove the infected tissue underneath and put a temporary crown on. In about a week, you’ll have to come back so they can fill the hole with Gutta Percha rubber. You’ll probably also need to book another appointment to follow up – root canals are usually a precursor treatment for getting a dental crown, which will help protect your tooth in the long term.

2. Get good information from your dentist

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your dentist about the procedure. A root canal can be needed when a filling is left untreated and an infection occurs inside the tooth, so you can first ask about the severity of the infection and its likeliness to spread. Left untreated, spreading infections can threaten other parts of your body. You could also ask about the relative merits of the alternative, which is getting the tooth removed and having an implant put in. It’s important to know as much as you can about your unique situation in order to make the best possible decisions.

3. Get antibiotics and painkillers

When you need a root canal, you’ll need to get antibiotics. These are important to help stop the infection spread while you wait for your appointment, since untreated tooth infections can cause serious complications to other bodily systems. Another benefit in reducing the size of the infection before the procedure is that it will make the whole experience less painful, especially during the drilling. You may also be able to get some over the counter painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen, and you can take these before the procedure, and during recovery.

4. Prepare physically for your appointment

A bit of planning around the appointment can help immensely. First, get a good night’s sleep beforehand. This is recommended for any medical procedure – whenever you are going to put your body through any level of surgery, having the energy of an adequate night’s sleep behind you goes much further than many think. You should also eat healthy in the days leading up to your root canal, since your body will need a lot of nutrients to repair the damage. It’s a good idea to eat a couple hours before going in, since your mouth will be numb afterwards and it will be hard to eat anything. Finally, avoid alcohol before the procedure – it dries out your mouth, and can lead to complications.

Have you planned for a problem-free procedure?

If you follow these steps, you’re unlikely to have anything go wrong during your root canal. Of course, we’ll tell you all of this and more as we guide you through the whole process. For a dentist in Wellington who is focussed on making sure you feel comfortable and secure, look no further. Contact us to book your appointment today.

Braces vs Invisalign: Which is Better for You?

Woman smiling holding model of braces and Invisalign

Are you searching for the best Wellington braces? What if there was an easier way?

In today’s blog, we’re taking a look at how braces compare to the future of corrective dentistry – Invisalign.
If you’re someone with dental issues such as crowding, spacing, or an excessive overbite, then you’re looking for a solution that won’t impact your lifestyle beyond what you’re comfortable with. Many people are sent running by the image of traditional metal braces, and nobody can blame them. Pain, pressure, and alarmingly frequent doctor’s visits to tighten or adjust braces are just some of the drawbacks of the traditional method.
Invisalign offers correction for:
• Spacing
• Crossbite
• Open Bite
• Crowding
• Excessive Overjet
• Deep Bite

So, let’s talk about why Invisalign might be the better choice for you.

Reasons to choose Invisalign over braces

They’re better for your self-esteem

Unfortunately, traditional metal braces are very visible and can impact your self-esteem. The goal of dental correction is to make you feel better about your smile, and most people won’t want to wait the 6 months to 2 years it takes to remove metal braces in order to see results. The inventors of Invisalign took this into account when formulating the technology. The clear retainer-like structure of the Invisalign orthodontic tray is shaped by your clinician using ClinCheck™ Software to fit your teeth perfectly, meaning that it is virtually invisible to those around you.
Because why not feel better about your smile right now?

They’re more hygienic

The idea of dental correction is to improve your dental hygiene, right? The problem is, braces can make it harder to brush and floss regularly. In the time you’re undergoing correction, your teeth may become more susceptible to plaque build-up, and halitosis (bad breath) could become a looming figure in your life.
Invisalign clear aligners are removable to combat this problem. You can brush and floss just as easily as before, and you are also encouraged to clean the trays themselves to prevent staining or plaque build-up.
And, since they are removable, you’re able to eat your favourite foods without restrictions. After all, who would want to be denied popcorn?

Invisalign is far more comfortable

Braces are known for being rather uncomfortable! Tightening, the placement of bands, and cuts and nicks from the metal itself are all possible obstacles you could face during this kind of treatment. Invisalign offers a custom-tailored series of orthodontic trays. Made to fit your teeth precisely, these trays are far more comfortable. Your correction course, tailor made by your clinician, means that every two weeks your Invisalign tray will change shape to gradually correct your teeth, with only the first few days of each new tray exhibiting any uncomfortable pressure.
A bonus here is a distinct decline in the number of doctor’s visits you will have to endure. The correction course is formulated so that you change the trays out yourself at the right time: no painful tightening sessions!

 

Want to know more?

If you’re considering dental correction, come to us at Victoria Street Dental we’ll help you find out if Invisalign is right for you. Consultation is free, and you’ll have the chance to see your treatment plan from start to finish. To learn more about Invisalign, take a look at the official website or learn about what to expect. Don’t settle for anything less than the best dentist Wellington has to offer – contact us today!

Treating a Chipped Tooth Instead of Extraction

You might be familiar with that sinking feeling that comes when you feel a tiny, hard fragment of enamel in your mouth – you’ve chipped a tooth. Or maybe it’ll happen to you in the future. Plenty of situations can result in you getting a small chip. When there’s a crack or chip on the exterior of the tooth, several procedures could be called for depending on the damage. We’ve got some handy advice for what to do when it happens to you, and what kind of dental procedures your dentist could perform to treat it.

Get to the dentist as soon as possible

If you damage your tooth, you need to get to a professional as soon as possible. If you’re looking for a trusted dentist in Wellington, look no further than our trusted team here at Victoria Street Dental. Meanwhile, there are a couple of dangers involved with a chipped tooth. It could expose the pulp, in which case you’ll know – your tooth will be very sensitive and sore. Some pain relief like paracetamol is a good idea in this case, as well as avoiding eating on that side and sticking to soft foods. The jagged edge could also cut your lip or tongue, so you could use some paraffin wax or chewing gum to cover it up.

Minor repairs to get back on the road

For most chips, bonding or filling procedures will fix you up and often only require one visit to the dentist. Fillings are not overly painful and reduce a lot of long-term pain and damage risk. Fillings can be made of multiple materials. Silver amalgam and plastic resins are used as a quicker and more inexpensive option that can be completed in one visit. For a more clean-looking and hard-wearing job, or for a more natural look to match the tooth, porcelain or even gold fillings can be used. Bonding is similar but uses a coating of resin applied to the tooth and dried with a high-intensity curing light to fill in small chips and leave your tooth looking just like it did before – no worries.

The crown jewel

A dental crown is a cover that is moulded to your tooth and is placed over the top. They can be used for structural or cosmetic reasons, or both. While crowns require multiple visits, since they are made in a dental laboratory to specification, the results are phenomenal and are well worth the effort. If your teeth are severely weakened, or they have cosmetic damage like discolouring, crowns can be the answer. The tooth crown can be made of resin, porcelain or metal and is cemented on to the tooth after reducing it a little in size. The result is like a whole new tooth, sturdy and great looking, giving you that confidence to smile!

Could a chip result in tooth extraction?

A chip will not require extraction, but more substantial damage might. Especially large cavities, as well as fractures that compromise the structural integrity of the tooth – for example, if they go down below the gumline – make some teeth prime candidates for extraction. If this is the case, your dentist will let you know. But, if you chip your tooth, don’t worry about it – there is almost no chance you’ll need to get the tooth pulled.

Are you ready to give us a toothy grin?

No matter what treatment you require, a visit to your dentist is all it takes to get the ball rolling. They will be able to judge which treatment is needed for your teeth and get you smiling again in no time. Contact us at Victoria St Dental today – your teeth will thank you for it.

How to identify and treat sensitive teeth

Looking for the advice of a dentist Wellington can trust? Today we’re talking about sensitive teeth – if you’ve been experiencing discomfort, this is the article for you. Read on to find out about the varieties of tooth sensitivity, how to spot the cause, and how to help manage the pain.

Possible triggers

To identify whether or not your teeth are sensitive, it’s worth looking into the possible triggers. There are a number of things that may cause sudden sharp pains in sensitive teeth, including:
• Cold – cool temperatures can penetrate enamel and chill the dentin of sensitive teeth, prompting a painful response. Cold air can also be a cause of this; sucking in air suddenly can pull air through microscopic holes in your dentin.
• Heat – similarly, high-temperature foods or beverages can cause pain by heating the gas produced by bacteria within your teeth. This can cause painful internal pressure.
• Sugar – sweet sensitivity is another kind of pain you may be experiencing. If sugar comes in contact with your tooth’s dentin, a possible reaction is loss of fluid, which creates a similar pressure imbalance to heat.

Conducting a self-examination

If you’re concerned about your teeth, there are a couple of major signs you can look for yourself. These include plaque, tooth decay, gingivitis, and cavities. Plaque is relatively easy to notice – food by products and proteins build up on your teeth over time and, if you fail to brush often enough, you’ll be able to see and feel the plaque that builds up as a result. Tartar is plaque that has hardened, and is usually a yellow or brown colour.
Tooth decay may not cause any symptoms straight away, but is usually visible as white or darker blotches on your teeth. If left unchecked, tooth decay will progress form simple sensitivity into cavities or infections.
Gingivitis is also relatively easy to spot as red or swollen gums. Gingivitis is important to take note of, as it can develop into periodontal disease if ignored. This is much worse than tooth sensitivity, as it can result in the loosening of your teeth from the gums.
Finally, you may notice cavities in your teeth while performing a self-examination. Cavities are typically noticeable as visible holes in teeth, and are commonly associated with bad breath. Cavities may not always contribute to sensitive teeth at first but, if ignored for a long time, they will.

Mitigating the pain

If your teeth are sensitive and causing you consistent pain, seeking professional advice is the best thing you can do. In the meantime, there are several toothpaste brands available at your local supermarket or pharmacy which are specifically designed for sensitive teeth. It’s important to find the right one for you, and then also to use it properly – many people use sensitivity toothpastes until the pain subsides, and then switch back, only for it to return. Your dentist will be able to recommend the best toothpaste and pain management for your teeth.
Another avenue you can pursue is altering your brushing method. When you have sensitive teeth, using a softer brush, avoiding scrubbing too hard, and making sure you brush for a full two minutes are all advisable. Brushing your teeth too hard, with a very stiff brush, can eventually strip off layers of tooth enamel. It can be difficult to alter these habits, but it could completely turn your oral health around.
Limiting highly acidic foods and beverages is another great tactic for sensitive teeth. Red wine, soft drinks, and acidic fruits all have the potential to help wear away your enamel too. Over-indulging in these is dangerous even if you don’t have sensitive teeth, as enamel can’t grow back. Even diet soft drinks – while absent of sugar – alter the acidity of your mouth, which is why chewing gum is recommended to stimulate saliva and help prevent tooth decay.
Finally, many people have sensitive teeth due to grinding. Teeth grinding, especially during sleep, is a common cause of tooth sensitivity, and some may not even notice that they are doing it. Try wearing a mouth guard at night, and see if it makes a difference. Beyond that, there are exercises you can do to relax your jaw, and it may even be worth examining your mental health, as tooth grinding is often a symptom of unaddressed stress and anxiety in your life.

Talk to the dental experts

From tooth sensitivity to wisdom teeth removal, Victoria Street Dental has you covered. Come talk to us about your oral health today, and we can help you stop worrying about your teeth, and get back to enjoying life. Book a dental examination on our website now!