How to avoid dental emergencies over the Holidays

The Holidays are upon us and the celebrations are in full swing…smiling-santa

With the holidays inevitably come the food and the drinks as well as the running around and playing with the kids. With all this festive fun happening nobody wants to put a dent in it with a cracked or sore tooth!

Some tips for avoiding dental related problems during the Holidays:

STAY HYDRATED – hydrated teeth are happy teeth! And yes teeth get dehydrated too. So with all that running around and the consumption of any sugary and/or alcoholic beverages, make sure you drink your H20. Water helps the body and mouth keep hydrated so saliva production is high which equals GOOD.

ICE BLOCKS- Wow that mojito sure was refreshing! Stop there! Do not attempt to continue that drink onward by biting any last drop of mojitoey goodness from the ice it has been mingling with. Ice blocks can, and do, break teeth. Period. Letting it melt in your mouth is ok as long as you are not tempted to chew on it.

ALCOHOLIC BEVVIES – Many of these drinks contain a lot of sugar and can be quite acidic. Neither sugar nor acid are very good for our pearly whites.  So whilst enjoying a few beverages is totally fine, perhaps brushing thoroughly and even supplementing your routine with a product such as ToothMousse is a good idea to help balance out the mouth. This can help combat any effects those two culprits may be doing to your teeth.

Avoid holiday mishaps to your teeth.

OPENING ANYTHING WITH YOUR TEETH

OK. Gift wrap is one thing but tearing off piece after piece of sticky tape or (Heaven forbid) opening a bottle of beer with your teeth is not always (read NEVER) the best option. Ask Santa for a bottle opener.  Merry Christmas 😉

 THE BEST WAY TO AVOID DENTAL PROBLEMS DURING THE HOLIDAYS– If you are feeling that a tooth is on-the-fence or a possible dental-emergency-waiting-to happen- you should probably see a dentist before the Holidays.  We often wait until something is so painful we can barely eat or sleep but that is often a bad idea.

We are always here for you even during the holidays if you happen to have any dental emergency.

Wishing you safe, happy and healthy Holidays and a fantastic New Year!

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Snoring is more than a relationship killer. It can be a sign of a significant medical condition such as sleep apnea.

WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP YOU CAN TAKE FOR SNORING?

Take this Self Assessment for Sleep Disorders:

  1.  Do you snore loudly?
  2. Is your snoring a problem for others?
  3.  Do you wake feeling unrefreshed?
  4. Are you somewhat sleepy during the day?
  5.  Has anyone seen any disturbances to your breathing during sleep such as pauses, gasping, or choking?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions you may be suffering from more than just snoring, you may have obstructive sleep apnea.

It is recommended you contact us for further assessment so we can get you on track to a safer and snore-free sleep.  If you would like more information on how we can help please READ ON >>>

Recent guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (the peak body in the field) recognise dental sleep appliances as a frontline treatment for snoring and mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. In severe cases of sleep apnea the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is the optimal treatment, in which air pressure of adjustable intensity is delivered through a nasal mask worn during sleep. However many people find it very difficult, or just cannot use CPAP.

This is where dental sleep appliances are an excellent alternative therapy – for people with severe sleep apnea when CPAP is not tolerated, or when having a machine is not possible i.e. travelling, camping, or no access to electricity.

Here are some answers to popular Frequently Asked Questions on how Dental Sleep Applicances and Jeremy Keating Dental Practice can support you on your way to a healthier sleep.

How does the dental sleep appliance work?
Dental sleep appliances work by comfortably holding the lower jaw slightly forward, which prevents the tongue and structures at the back of the throat from collapsing into the airway. This keeps the airway open.

What is the best treatment for snoring?
Dental sleep appliances are generally regarded as the most effective treatment for snoring, with the least side-effects. Studies demonstrate that dental sleep appliances are far more effective than surgical treatments. Surgery is only around 55% effective with significant potential side-effects including severe post-operative pain and regurgitation of food through the nose.

Comfortable, effective and easy to use
Dental sleep appliances are comfortable and easy to use with studies demonstrating 95% effectiveness in overcoming snoring. Recent guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the peak body in the field, recognise dental sleep appliances as a frontline treatment for snoring and mild-to-moderate sleep apnea.

Do you also have sleep apnea?
If you snore you also might have sleep apnea If you wake feeling somewhat unrefreshed and are sleepy during the day then your snoring may be more than just a noise – it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition called sleep apnea. Up to 70% of adults who regularly snore have sleep apnea, with most unaware they have this condition.

What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is caused by soft tissues in the throat, including the tongue, collapsing against the back of the throat. This obstructs the upper airway and air flow is reduced. This cycle of obstruction and then breathing can occur many times per hour disrupting the quality of sleep. Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, heart and health problems and is an important cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

***Important note: It is possible to have significant sleep apnea even if no one has seen you stop breathing. Often it is the more severe cases where breathing is halted completely for a period of time.

Benefits of Dental Sleep Appliances: • You and your partner can look forward to a quiet night of sleep. • Wake up feeling refreshed. • Improved quality of life with a better mood and greater vitality. • Decreased risk of fatigue-related vehicle and work accidents. • Improved work performance due to greater concentration and energy levels. • Decreased risk of heart disease, stroke and blood pressure problems.

Dental Sleep Appliances the best solution
Custom made, adjustable dental sleep appliances are scientifically proven and widely regarded by sleep physicians as the best available treatment for snoring and a frontline treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Book in today for a consult with one of our dentists at Jeremy Keating Dental Practice.

**Reference: Assessment of dental sleep appliance treatment’ August-October 2010Assoc. Professor G Kennedy PhD BBSc Grad Dip Mntl Hlth Sci (Clin Hypn) Dip Clin Hypn MAPS Victoria University Dr Harry Ball B.D.Sc. L.D.S.(Melb) M. Counsell.(Lat) Grad. Dip. Counsell. & H.S.(Lat)

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Wisdom Teeth – The Good, The Bad, and The Impacted.

wisdomLet’s face it: Most of us are familiar with the coming and going of teeth, maybe even making a couple of dollars from the Tooth Fairy along the way.  The difference is that with these “wisdom” teeth they don’t fall out on their own.  Well they are certainly not supposed to at any rate….

  • WHAT: Wisdom teeth or third molars are one of the three molars per quadrant that make up the teeth in our mouth. If you have 3 molars (larger, flatter teeth) at the back of each side of your mouth, left and/ or right, top and/or bottom, congratulations, you have a wisdom tooth! Well sort of congratulations… (Wisdom tooth circled in red).

dental quadrants1

Wisdom teeth/third molars are often a source of problems and generally are the most commonly impacted of all the teeth in the mouth. When a tooth is impacted it means the teeth do not fully come through the gum into the mouth. Obstructions such as other teeth, tissue and bone can prohibit the teeth from exposing themselves. If the wisdom teeth do not surface completely in the mouth, and they remain even partially under the gum, then pain, inflammation and even damage to surrounding teeth is quite possible. Boooooooo!

  • WHEN can we expect this (delightful) happening: Wisdom teeth generally emerge from the gum in a person’s early twenties. Generally, adults have 4 wisdom teeth (a third molar in each of the four quadrants), but it is possible to have fewer or more.
  • WHY then do we have them?  Back when our human ancestors wandered this glorious earth, human skulls had larger jaws with more teeth. Neanderthal vs cro magnum, skullIt is generally thought this may be due to the fact they had to chew certain foods more as their digestive systems weren’t as refined as our gluten-free-lactose-sensitive-selves 😉 As our diets changed, so did our mouths, getting smaller and therefore less room for all those teeth! The “wisdom teeth” however, still commonly develop in our now smaller, human mouths. So, just as Bart and the rest of the Simpson family have evolved to have only 4 fingers (cartoons, they are sooooo advanced) scientists reckon that we will eventually stop growing these often-bothersome, not-so-useful, molars.
  • HOW: to know if your wisdom teeth are growing in healthy, or if the pain in your mouth is a wisdom tooth trying to erupt:

Just like any type of toothache you should book in to see your dentist. It is often hard to identify if the pain is coming from an un-erupted wisdom tooth, or another, neighbouring tooth. However, to relieve the discomfort, warm saltwater rinses and taking an appropriate painkiller/anti-inflammatory is a good temporary fix.  (Check with your doctor for what medicine is right for you).

So, alas, these congratulatory “welcome to adulthood” phenomena aka wisdom teeth do not necessarily make you smarter. The good news however, is that reading this article likely does 🙂