My Hills Dentist https://myhillsdentist.com Wed, 14 Aug 2019 23:13:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 https://myhillsdentist.com/x/lc-content/uploads/2019/08/cropped-Favicon-32x32.png My Hills Dentist https://myhillsdentist.com 32 32 Why Can’t I Stop Clenching My Jaw? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/why-cant-i-stop-clenching-my-jaw/ Wed, 14 Aug 2019 08:14:19 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=2007 Bruxism is often described as a “bad habit,” like chewing fingernails or smoking. Your doctor or dentist might tell you that you need to quit doing it the same way you might be told to quit smoking or get more exercise. They may even give helpful tips about mindfulness or meditation that can help you [...]

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Bruxism is often described as a “bad habit,” like chewing fingernails or smoking. Your doctor or dentist might tell you that you need to quit doing it the same way you might be told to quit smoking or get more exercise. They may even give helpful tips about mindfulness or meditation that can help you relax.

Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy to stop clenching your jaw and damaging your teeth and jaw structure, causing jaw pain and headaches. Here’s why it can be hard to get control of your jaw clenching.

A young brunette woman with glasses places pressure on ther temples on her forehead with a stressful migraine due to bruxism and clenching her jaw. Bruxism is often described as a “bad habit,” like chewing fingernails or smoking. Your doctor or dentist might tell you that you need to quit doing it the same way you might be told to quit smoking or get more exercise. They may even give helpful tips about mindfulness or meditation that can help you relax.

It’s Not All About Stress

One of the common causes of jaw clenching is stress. In times of stress, you might clench or grind your teeth the same way that others might chew on their fingernails or other objects.

If this is a cause of your jaw clenching, then something like meditation or other stress relief techniques could help, but stress isn’t the only, or even the primary cause of teeth clenching.

You Use Your Jaw More Than You Think

You probably are clenching your jaw more than you realize because you’re not always aware of the function of your jaw. You might think that you’re only using your jaw when you’re talking or when you’re chewing, but you’re actually using your jaw all the time.

Swallowing to clear saliva causes your jaw to clamp closed. Setting yourself to lift a heavy weight also sets your jaw. Even breathing can depend on your jaw clamping shut, especially if you have sleep apnea and your body is working hard to hold your airway open.

Why does it matter how often you’re using your jaw? Every time you use your jaw, you can trigger unconscious jaw clenching.

Why Your Jaw Clenches Unconsciously

But why does your jaw clench unconsciously? Partly it’s because your jaw has its own control and feedback mechanisms. When you chew, you don’t need to consciously tell your jaw how hard to bite down — it knows how hard to chew and how to avoid hitting your teeth together as you chew. That’s because the body’s control mechanisms have that under control. Your jaw is designed to to take most of those chewing tasks and regulate them without any interference from your conscious mind.

But when your jaw’s feedback systems are not working properly, this can cause your jaw to clench unconsciously and uncontrollably. Some of your muscles are tensed when they should be relaxed, while others are relaxed when they should be tensed, and they can’t get to the proper balance because your teeth and bones are interfering. This sets your jaw muscles against your teeth and jaw, and that’s the cause of your unconscious clenching.

This could be related to your teeth. Ideally, your teeth should come together so that your jaw is at a position of maximum rest. However, for many people, teeth don’t come together so easily, and it keeps your jaw muscles from relaxing. This contributes to the imbalance in your jaw regulation system.

Change Consumption Habits

Some of your jaw clenching is likely related to things you consume regularly. Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol have been linked to jaw clenching. Caffeine is a stimulant, as is nicotine, one of the active ingredients in tobacco. Alcohol, on the other hand, is partly a relaxant, but also has a stimulant effect. While it might seem to relax you at first, it can cause excitation later that leads to jaw clenching. It may also be linked to sleep apnea.

Treat Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing at night. This is usually because your airway collapses during sleep. Because your jaw partly supports your airway, you may clench your jaw to try to keep your airway open. Since apneas may happen hundreds of times a night, you essentially end up clenching your teeth all night long. Treating sleep apnea can help reduce clenching that happens overnight.

You Need to Change the Jaw System

Because you don’t have control over the self-regulating and feedback system in your mouth, when you have TMJ you may not be able to make yourself stop clenching your jaw, no matter how hard you want to.

Stopping this unconscious clenching requires restoring your jaw’s elements back to a configuration where your muscles, bones, and teeth are no longer working against each other. Instead, they will work together harmoniously, so that the optimal position for your jaw is good for all the parts involved, including the jaw, teeth, and muscles.

If you are looking for help restoring balance to your jaw and avoiding clenching in Sydney, please call (02) 9686 7375 for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills.

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Dancing With the Stars’ Courtney Act’s Dental Journey https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/courtney-acts-dental-journey/ Wed, 24 Jul 2019 22:43:03 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52896 This year, Brisbane-born Courtney Act took the stage on season 16 of Dancing with the Stars, blowing us all away. But Act wasn’t Dancing with the Stars’ typical female performer, because, well, she’s a drag queen. Act, or Shane Jenek, is no stranger to the stage, or to talent television. Act appeared on season one [...]

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This year, Brisbane-born Courtney Act took the stage on season 16 of Dancing with the Stars, blowing us all away. But Act wasn’t Dancing with the Stars’ typical female performer, because, well, she’s a drag queen.

Act, or Shane Jenek, is no stranger to the stage, or to talent television. Act appeared on season one of Australian Idol in 2003, was a runner-up on season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race and took the No. 1 spot on Celebrity Big Brother UK’s 21st season.

Act won over audiences with her sweet but witty personality and stunning makeup and costuming. That’s why, when a longtime friend posted a picture of a young Shane in full headgear, fans went wild.

Dancing With the Stars’ Courtney Act’s Dental Journey

Skip the Headgear, Get A Beautiful Smile

The photo featured Shane as a child with messy hair, smiling straight into the camera. Metal protrudes from his mouth, toward his ears and around his head. A far cry from the polished diva we now see on TV.

While the throwback photo is both endearing and funny, to get a smile like Courtney Act, we luckily don’t need to wear full headgear anymore. In fact, thanks to recent advancements in dental technology, you have a swath of treatments to choose from. Patients with a variety of needs and goals can get a smile fit for the Dancing with the Stars stage.

One Size Does Not Fit All

In the past, there was just one answer to crooked teeth: braces, often accompanied by the dreaded headgear. We’ve learned that not every patient has the same goal for their smile, so one treatment plan doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why here at My Hills Dentist, we offer a number of cosmetic options to get you a smile you love.

The first step is determining your needs. If your goals are purely cosmetic, it makes things a bit easier. However, if you have a misaligned bite, or malocclusion, there are specific treatments that will help you sleep better, feel better and reduce pain in the future. Here are just a few treatment options we offer here at My Hills Dentist:

Smilefast

If you dread spending over a year or two in traditional braces, Smilefast is a speedy and efficient option. First, we take a 3D image of your teeth, and the software digitally adjusts your smile. Patients love this treatment plan because there are no surprises; you get to see exactly how your smile will look before we begin. Smilefast features brackets and a wire like traditional braces, but the 3D software helps us place everything precisely.

Six Month Smiles

It may sound unbelievable, but Six Month Smiles has revolutionized the braces game and can get you a straight smile in just half a year. The treatment focuses on your front teeth – the teeth you see when you smile – rather than trying to move hard-to-adjust back teeth and molars. Combined with sophisticated computer algorithms, this allows Six Month Smiles to work faster than traditional braces.

eXceed Clear Braces

If you hate the look of wires and brackets, eXceed Clear Braces may be right for you. They look like a thin, subtle mouthguard that you wear for 16-20 hours a day. You’ll receive a series of aligners to gradually shift your teeth.

Inman Aligner

The Inman Aligner is removable, just like eXceed Clear Braces. While it does have visible wires, treatment can finish in as early as six weeks. While the Inman Aligner offers unmatched speed, not everyone is a perfect candidate.

Smile Like Courtney

If you’re ready to have a beautiful smile like Dancing with the Stars’ Courtney Act, you can skip the headgear. Here at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve a whiter, straighter and stunning smile that you’re proud of.

To schedule an appointment to talk about what treatment plan is right for you, please call (02) 9686 7375 today, or book online.

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Are Dogs’ Mouths Really Cleaner than Humans’? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/is-your-pets-mouth-really-clean/ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 06:36:02 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52863 Dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans’: urban myth, or is there some truth there? Either way, we’ve all likely heard the statement before, and promptly pictured our furry friend licking themselves or eating dirt. The answer, as it turns out, is a little more complicated, especially considering there are a few different ways to define [...]

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Dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans’: urban myth, or is there some truth there? Either way, we’ve all likely heard the statement before, and promptly pictured our furry friend licking themselves or eating dirt.

The answer, as it turns out, is a little more complicated, especially considering there are a few different ways to define “clean.” According to a 2017 article published in National Geographic, humans have between 400 and 500 bacteria species in our mouths (ew!). In comparison, dogs typically have around 400 species and cats just have 200, though not all species have been identified. Overall, we have different species of bacteria than in our cats’ and dogs’ mouths, so it’s best to avoid letting your pets lick you, especially on your face or if you have an open wound.

Frame with a beautiful girl with a beautiful dog in a park on green grass. Dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans’: urban myth, or is there some truth there? Either way, we’ve all likely heard the statement before, and promptly pictured our furry friend licking themselves or eating dirt.

What’s in My Pet’s Mouth?

Because the bacteria in your cat and dog’s mouth is naturally occurring, you don’t have to worry about the bacteria making them sick. It doesn’t even play a major role in their bad breath. As long as you’re not letting your pet lick open wounds or the inside of your mouth or bite you, you shouldn’t be worried about the bacteria, either. However, if you do get bitten by any animal, you should clean the wound immediately and visit a doctor.

In dogs’ mouths, the most worrisome bacteria is Capnocytophaga canimorsus. While it’s incredibly rare for the bacteria to infect you, it can cause some major complications, and can necessitate limb amputation in the most severe cases. Cats also have C. canimorsus in their mouths, but the more common disease to contract from Fluffy is Bartonella henselae. B. henselae, commonly called cat scratch disease, is less serious than C. canimorsus.

If you’ve been bitten or scratched by your pet, you should always consult your primary care physician, especially if you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, body aches or soreness, a fever, or swollen lymph nodes.

How to Reduce Bacteria in Your Mouth

While we stick to human patients here at My Hills Dentist, we do have one thing in common with vets; we both recommend our patients brush their teeth often. Humans should brush their teeth twice every day. And, yes, while there are hundreds of natural bacteria in your mouth, you should still do your best to keep your mouth as clean as possible and be mindful about your oral health.

Getting rid of all the bacteria in your mouth is impossible and, frankly, unhealthy, as many healthy bacteria help you break down food. The bad bacteria, however, can cause problems. Allowing bad bacteria to fester in your mouth can enable plaque buildup, which can lead to loss of bone mass in your teeth and jaw, gingivitis, periodontitis, and other ailments. Here are just a few ways you can keep your mouth clean and reduce your bad bacteria:

Keep Your Mouth Cleaner Than Spot’s

It’s a relief to know our mouths aren’t quite comparable to your dog’s and the “your dog’s mouth is cleaner than your own” myth can be dispelled. Still, it never hurts to reassess your oral health.

If you’re interested in hearing a second opinion on your teeth, need an appointment for a regular dental cleaning or are ready to take your oral health to the next level, the professional dentists at My Hills Dentist can help. To schedule an appointment with My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills today, please call (02) 9686 7375 or click here to book an appointment online.

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How Do I Take the Best Care of My Dentures? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/how-to-care-for-your-dentures/ Wed, 26 Jun 2019 23:00:56 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52844 Congratulations – you now have a beautiful new set of dentures, restoring your smile and helping you feel young and vibrant. Though your will give you clear and detailed instructions on using and caring for your new set of teeth, you may still have a few questions. So, how do you best care [...]

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Congratulations – you now have a beautiful new set of dentures, restoring your smile and helping you feel young and vibrant.

Though your dentist and caring staff at My Hills Dentist will give you clear and detailed instructions on using and caring for your new set of teeth, you may still have a few questions. So, how do you best care for your new smile? What should you do differently with dentures than you did with your natural teeth?

An upper denture sitting on a countertop with a toothbrush. Now that you have a new set of dentures it's time to have a daily care schedule.

Daily Denture Care

You should incorporate a new daily routine into your existing one. While denture care isn’t any more time consuming than care for natural teeth, you should commit this to memory and follow it every day to keep your dentures shining and bright.

  • Brush every day. Brushing your dentures every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush will help remove food and plaque buildup. Don’t use whitening toothpaste, however, as this contains chemicals that can damage the synthetic dentures.
  • Rinse dentures after eating. After you eat, simply remove and rinse your dentures in water to wash off food particles.
  • Soak dentures at night. Your mouth naturally gets dry at night, which is bad for dentures. The best way to keep them strong is to remove them while you sleep and soak them in a glass of water. Also, sleeping with dentures in at night can increase your risk of certain infections.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups. Just because you have dentures now doesn’t mean you don’t still need regular dental appointments. Talk with your dentist about how often you should come in to the office.

What If My Dentures Are Damaged?

If your dentures become cracked or damaged, don’t worry. First, remove them and rinse them off. Assess the level of damage.

Though you may be tempted to buy an over-the-counter kit that promises an easy at-home fix, we do not recommend this. By attempting to fix your dentures at home with glue or other repair tools, you may end up damaging your dentures even more. So, schedule an appointment with My Hills Dentist; we’ll be able to fix damage.

Your next step is to stop wearing your dentures. It can be difficult to live without the teeth you rely on, but the best way to avoid damaging the dentures further is to simply put them away until your next dental appointment (which we’ll try to make as soon as possible). While you’re waiting for your dental appointment, eat soft foods like yogurt.

Ready to Try Out Dentures or Need Repairs?

If you think your dentures may be damaged, don’t attempt at-home repair. We’ll know exactly how to fix your dentures and help you fix the problem so it doesn’t happen again. If you don’t have dentures but you believe they’re right for you, we can help you determine whether Fountain of Youth Dentures or BPS Dentures are right for you.

Your trusted cosmetic dentists at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills and the surrounding Sydney area are dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain the smile you’ve dreamed of. To schedule an appointment, please call (02) 9686 7375 or contact us online today.

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Dental Implants Can Dramatically Change Your Face https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/dental-implants-can-dramatically-change-your-face/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:54:32 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52838 Just one discoloured, crooked or missing tooth can turn a gorgeous smile into a smile that you’re afraid to show off. Laughing and smiling are two times when we should feel the most comfortable and happy in our own skin, and time we should spend connecting with those around us and enjoying the moment. However, [...]

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Just one discoloured, crooked or missing tooth can turn a gorgeous smile into a smile that you’re afraid to show off. Laughing and smiling are two times when we should feel the most comfortable and happy in our own skin, and time we should spend connecting with those around us and enjoying the moment.

However, that one tooth you’re not pleased with may be in the back of your mind, preventing you from smiling as wide or from taking as many pictures with your loved ones.

And that’s why even just one dental implant can change your face – and your self-esteem – dramatically.

Attractive woman sitting at the kitchen table, eating and laughing. It's amazing how a dental implant has dramatically changed her smile!

Restoring Your Smile

Whether your tooth is dead, has been knocked out or is simply the oddball of your mouth, My Hills Dentist can transform your smile with just one dental implant. Your trusted dentist here in Baulkham Hills uses cutting edge technology for dental implants, increasing success rates and helping your dental implant last longer and look beautiful and natural in your mouth.

My Hills Dentist can perform digital dental implants from start to finish, so you don’t need to put your dental health in the hands of someone you don’t know. The process is comprised of just four simple steps:

  • Consultation and scans. We want to create an implant that you’re happy with, and everyone has different goals for their new tooth. Are you concerned with size? Shape? Colour? All of the above? We will listen to you and ensure your goals are met.
  • Surgical plan. With dazzling 3D technology, My Hills Dentist will create a model of your teeth and build a plan of attack, keeping your goals in mind every step of the way.
  • Printing a surgical guide. The 3D surgical plan is now printed. This 3D map informs your dentist during the surgery, making the process fast, efficient and precise.
  • Placing the implant. Finally, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: the placing of your implant. In as little as 15 minutes, your implant will be set and ready for the world to admire.

How it Transforms Your Face

Not only does an implant fill in a gap in your smile or restore a worn or chipped tooth, it can transform the bottom third of your face – even when your mouth is closed.

Wrinkles and loose skin happens in the face partly because, as we age, our bone mass deteriorates naturally, teeth included. By restoring bone mass in the jaw and teeth through an implant, it restores the face’s shape and tightens the appearance of the skin, making you look younger and more confident.

Plus, dental implants look natural. You don’t have to worry about “chiclet teeth” nor one tooth that’s too white or too dark to fit in with your other teeth. Your expert cosmetic dentist will ensure your new dental implant perfectly complements your natural teeth and fills out your smile perfectly.

One New Tooth, A Whole New Look

If you have one problem tooth that you’re interested in fixing or if you have questions about the benefits of a dental implant, My Hills Dentist in the Sydney area can answer your questions and show you how a dental implant can dramatically improve not just your smile, but the look of your whole face.

To schedule an appointment with My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills, please call (02) 9686 7375 today.

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I’m On the Keto Diet—Why Does My Breath Smell? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/the-dreaded-keto-breath/ Wed, 29 May 2019 22:23:20 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52814 You’ve taken the plunge to start a new diet—congratulations! Starting a new diet is difficult, especially one as restrictive as the ketogenic diet, which mandates eating a high-fat, low-carb regime. Studies suggest the keto diet is beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, and those on a keto diet can lose weight quickly. As [...]

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You’ve taken the plunge to start a new diet—congratulations! Starting a new diet is difficult, especially one as restrictive as the ketogenic diet, which mandates eating a high-fat, low-carb regime. Studies suggest the keto diet is beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, and those on a keto diet can lose weight quickly.

As with any restrictive diet, it is important to make it as easy as possible to stay on track and reduce obstacles toward a healthier you.

However, you’ve run into an obstacle, and a somewhat embarrassing one at that. You’ve got the dreaded “keto breath.” How serious is it? Are the benefits of giving up carbs really worth it?

An attractive young woman laying under an apple tree. Those apples has a very destint fruity smell, just like the how you breath might smell when on the Keto diet.

How Does a Diet Affect My Breath?

As we know, the body gets its energy from what we eat. Typically, our bodies burn carbs before moving on to fat, which is stored in case of starvation. The keto diet is unlike others because, by removing carbs from our diet, it forces the body to burn fat—and our stores of fat—first, putting the body into a biological state called ketosis. When our body burns fat, it releases chemicals called ketones through exhalation and urine. The ketones affect the smell.

How Does it Affect My Health?

The keto diet is great for those who want to lose weight fast, and the rules are simple: eat as much as you want, as long as your diet consists primarily of fats and as few carbs as you can handle. The keto diet also has plenty of benefits for those with type 2 diabetes, epilepsy and certain other ailments. It can also lower blood pressure and bad cholesterols. It is also great for the teeth, as cutting carbs means cutting sugar, leading cause for tooth decay.

However, let’s be honest: cutting carbs almost entirely is difficult, and most doctors do not recommend the keto diet in the long-term. The keto diet disallows fruits, some vegetables, grains, beans, alcohol and sweets, which makes it tough to follow. Plus, it is not uncommon to experience the “keto flu” for the first few days of the diet, as your body experiences a form of withdrawal. Gear up for moderate nausea, headaches and drowsiness, though this will go away soon. The keto breath may be unavoidable, however it can be mitigated with lots of water and by brushing your teeth often.

Is Giving Up Carbs Worth It?

Talk to your doctor before going keto, as with any diet, to ensure a low-carb diet is right for your body. However, the answer largely depends on your lifestyle. Ask yourself if you can commit to cutting carbs and eating chiefly fats. Remember, cutting carbs means giving up hamburgers, pasta and pizza.

Additionally, keto dieters are known to bounce back to their original weight quickly, as your body does not get as hungry on a low-carb diet. Many people feel over-hungry after coming off of the keto diet and end up overeating, gaining much of the weight back.

Talk To Us About Your Health

If you have questions about how a new diet will affect your health, particularly your oral health, a dentist can discuss options and make suggestions to help you be successful.

To schedule an appointment at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills, please call (02) 9686 7375 today.

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I Have Jaw Pain on One Side, Can This Be TMJ? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/tmj-on-one-side/ Wed, 15 May 2019 15:42:38 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52805 often develop symmetrically, in both jaw joints at the same time. However, it is possible for people to develop the disorder and experience symptoms on just one side of the head. However, as the condition progresses, it will likely spread to affect the other joint as well. Why TMJ Might Develop on Just [...]

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Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) often develop symmetrically, in both jaw joints at the same time. However, it is possible for people to develop the disorder and experience symptoms on just one side of the head. However, as the condition progresses, it will likely spread to affect the other joint as well.

A portrait of a womans face with a split design. Is is possible to only have TMJ on one side of your face like her?

Why TMJ Might Develop on Just One Side

The temporomandibular joints are supposed to work as a matched pair, balancing forces in a way that maintains healthy function over the long term. It’s also possible that they can become unbalanced, leading to dysfunction on just one side of the face.

Usually, trauma is the cause of imbalance. If you experience a blow to one side of the face, you might experience damage to the jaw joint, which can cause dysfunction. Of course, sometimes this isn’t the side that starts to show symptoms. After you start to experience jaw pain on one side, it’s not uncommon to favor that side. You might consciously chew on the other side of your mouth, which can lead to jaw damage and muscle soreness there.

Another reason for imbalance in jaw joint damage is simply that you might strongly favor one side of your jaw over the other. Similar to handedness, some people have a tendency to chew mostly on one side of their mouth, which can stress the jaw joint, leading to dysfunction. With a habit like gum chewing, it’s possible to do a lot of damage to your jaw joint when favoring one side over the other. Unconscious clenching and grinding (bruxism) can also be governed by your tendency to favor one side over the other, and because you might clench with 50 times the force or more than you normally chew with, damage can escalate quickly.

Jaw joint damage might be more directly linked to handedness, too. If you are strongly right-handed, for example,  you might be more likely to put objects into your mouth on the right side, and biting down on these pens, pencils, fingernails, and other objects can damage your jaw joint (not to mention your teeth!).

Symptoms Will Likely Spread

So, yes, it is possible to develop TMJ on just one side of the face. However, the condition probably won’t stay isolated like that. After all, the two joints do work together, and what affects the one will affect the other, though often in an inverse way. If you are compressing one jaw joint, you might be expanding the other. This causes stress, too, though it might not be obvious at first.

When you bite, chew, and grind on one side of the mouth, you can cause the teeth to wear down there much faster than on the other side. This can cause your jaw to tilt visibly, creating an uneven facial appearance. Not only that, but eventually the stretching force will lead to dysfunction in the decompressed joint.

You might also spread dysfunction in the same way you developed it on the first side: by compensating. If one jaw joint is causing  you pain such as headaches, you can switch over to the other side to avoid the pain. This might work, but over time both joints can develop TMJ symptoms.

Correct Problems Before Symptoms Spread

Fortunately, TMJ is treatable. And if you’re experiencing symptoms on just one side of your face, treatment can head off the spread of those symptoms.

If you are looking for treatment of TMJ in the Sydney area, please call (02) 9686 7375 today for an appointment with a dentist at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills.

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Is a Chipped Tooth Just a Cosmetic Problem? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/a-chipped-tooth-is-more-than-cosmetic/ Wed, 01 May 2019 19:05:17 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52798 The main reason why people want to get a chipped tooth fixed is that it doesn’t look very attractive. A damaged tooth can disrupt your smile line and even create an unsightly black gap in your smile. But that’s not the only reason to correct a chipped tooth with a or . [...]

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The main reason why people want to get a chipped tooth fixed is that it doesn’t look very attractive. A damaged tooth can disrupt your smile line and even create an unsightly black gap in your smile.

But that’s not the only reason to correct a chipped tooth with a veneer or crown. In fact, there are several other important reasons to correct a chipped tooth.

Young Sydney, Australia woman smiling in the sunset showing off her veneer where she use to have a chipped tooth. It's more than cosmetic!

Sharp Edges

If you have a chipped tooth, the newly created edges can be very sharp and painful to your tongue. Tooth enamel is similar to glass, and it often breaks to create an edge that can cut your tongue. These small cuts can be especially sensitive to salty or sour foods like lemon juice.

While the edge will eventually wear down smooth, it can take a long time, because tooth enamel is very hard, and the chipped edge may not contact food or opposing teeth because of the way it affects your ability to bite and chew. And instead of wearing down, it might keep chipping off to create new sharp edges.

Vulnerable to More Chipping

Once a tooth has chipped, the surface that’s created might encourage more chipping in the future. The sharp edge is vulnerable to getting chipped off. This creates new sharp edges, which are themselves vulnerable to being chipped off. The process can accelerate the wear of your teeth, especially if you are getting chipped teeth in both arches.

There are many reasons why your teeth might be more vulnerable to chipping.

Accelerated Decay

A chipped edge of your tooth can be more vulnerable to tooth decay. There are a couple of reasons why that might be the case. First, the shape of the chipped tooth can make an area where food and bacteria can collect. When this happens, oral bacteria will gather there and create more acid in the local area, creating a hole that then collects more food and provides shelter for more bacteria.

The other reason why decay might be faster in this area is that the chip might have exposed your dentin, the darker-colored layer under the enamel. Dentin is not as resistant to tooth decay as enamel is, so once it’s exposed, cavities can grow faster.

Biting and Chewing Might Suffer

Your teeth are set up to work together as a team to bite and chew your food. If your chipped tooth no longer creates the proper shape when it teams up with your other teeth, it can make it harder for you to bite and chew your food.

Sensitivity

Chipping reduces the amount of protection around the sensitive tooth nerve. This can make the tooth more sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure.

In some cases, a chip has actually broken all the way into the nerve chamber. This can make the tooth very sensitive, and exposes it to infection. If a chip is damaged like this, root canal therapy is necessary to protect you from the consequences of an infected tooth.

Have You Chipped a Tooth in Sydney?

If you have chipped a tooth in the Sydney area, there are many reasons to get it fixed. If you are looking for a dentist who provides quality tooth repair, please call (02) 9686 7375 today for an appointment at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills.

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Do You Have a Sinus Infection or an Infected Tooth? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/do-you-have-a-sinus-infection-or-an-infected-tooth/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 16:04:02 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52766 It’s fall and pretty soon everyone you know is going to be coughing and sneezing. And then it will be your turn. There’s really no way to avoid at least a short illness over the winter, especially if you have kids. But sometimes your cold or flu symptoms linger on. They don’t go away as [...]

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It’s fall and pretty soon everyone you know is going to be coughing and sneezing. And then it will be your turn. There’s really no way to avoid at least a short illness over the winter, especially if you have kids.

But sometimes your cold or flu symptoms linger on. They don’t go away as they should, and they may even worsen. You might think you have developed a sinus infection, but is that really what you’ve got? It’s possible you’ve got an infected tooth, and that won’t get better without dental care.

Here’s how to tell the difference.

Young man with a handkerchief. Is it an infection in his sinuses or a bad tooth

Why Sinus and Tooth Infections Get Confused

It might seem like the two conditions should be very distinct. These are two different places being infected, so how can they be confused?

The problem is that the two conditions have many overlapping symptoms. These can include:

  • Pain in the face
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

People who get these symptoms during cold and flu season tend to assume that they’re either related to their cold or that they’re from a secondary infection, like a sinus infection.

However, these symptoms might be related to a tooth infection that has been growing steadily, but advanced suddenly when your body’s immune system was taxed by sickness.

Plus, many of the things we do when we’re sick can fuel the growth of oral bacteria. Cold syrups and cough drops are often full of sugar, and sipping tea with honey in it all give oral bacteria a steady supply of food so they can grow all day long. A clogged nose can force you to breathe through your mouth, which dries out the mouth, creating an environment that’s perfect for oral bacteria to thrive. And to top it all off, some people skip brushing and flossing when they’re feeling bad.

So it’s almost as likely that a long cold could cause a small cavity to turn into a tooth infection as it could cause a sinus infection.

How to Distinguish Infections

So with many overlapping symptoms and the potential that both could be linked to a cold, how do you tell which type of infection you have? Look for the symptoms that can distinguish the conditions. With a tooth infection, you are likely to experience one or more of the following:

  • Tenderness and swelling around tooth
  • Discharge from tooth or gums
  • Foul taste in the mouth or persistent bad breath
  • Pimple-like sore on gums
  • Discolored tooth

On the other hand, if you have:

  • Postnasal drip
  • Nasal congestion
  • Tenderness and swelling in the nose

You are more likely to have a sinus infection.

Another strategy is to start by assuming that you have a sinus infection and treat it accordingly. Antibiotics work well to control sinus infections, but they are not very effective against tooth infections. If antibiotics seem to get the infection under control temporarily, but they keep coming back, it’s likely that you have an infected tooth and should see a dentist.

Treating a tooth infection is more difficult than just using antibiotics. Root canal therapy can take care of the infection and restore the tooth if it’s not too badly damaged. However, in some cases, we might recommend removing the tooth and replacing it with a dental bridge or dental implant.

Are You Looking for Relief in the Sydney Area?

Many people struggle for months with what they think are sinus infections, only to discover that it’s actually their teeth that are infected. If you have been fighting a sinus infection all winter long (or even since last winter), but haven’t had your teeth checked, we can help.

Please call (02) 9686 7375 today for an appointment with a Sydney area dentist at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills.

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Does More Fluoride in Toothpastes Lead to Better Cavity Prevention? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/is-more-fluoride-in-toothpaste-better/ Wed, 03 Apr 2019 17:22:35 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52756 Fluoride toothpaste has been proven to help prevent tooth decay. The level of fluoride concentration that is effective for this purpose is 1000 ppm (parts per million), so that’s what most use. Although toothpastes often deviate from their stated fluoride levels, a fluoride toothpaste should generally contain this minimum amount of fluoride. However, [...]

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Fluoride toothpaste has been proven to help prevent tooth decay. The level of fluoride concentration that is effective for this purpose is 1000 ppm (parts per million), so that’s what most toothpaste with the ADA symbol of approval use. Although toothpastes often deviate from their stated fluoride levels, a fluoride toothpaste should generally contain this minimum amount of fluoride.

However, would a higher concentration of fluoride do a better job of protecting against cavities? A new review suggests that it might.

A young family spends the time brushing their teeth together to promote good oral hygiene. The amount of fluoride in your toothpaste comes into question as does it better prevent cavities or not.

A Large Review of Toothpaste Effectiveness

This new review was conducted and published by the Cochrane Review. The Cochrane Review is commonly considered the top standard for evidence-based medicine because they conduct in-depth, thorough reviews that look skeptically at all treatments. The reviews not only report on what the studies say, but on how well the studies were conducted, and what that says about how well we can trust their conclusions.

In this case, researchers looked for studies published between 1955 and 2014 looking at toothpaste with fluoride. After evaluating over 7000 studies, they found 96 studies that met their inclusion criteria, studies that included nearly 70,000 individuals. Some of the studies looked at primary teeth for children, others looked at adult teeth of children, and still others looked at both primary and adult teeth. Some of the studies also looked at the impact of fluoride toothpaste on adult teeth in adults.

The review confirmed that, yes, fluoride toothpastes did prevent more tooth decay than nonfluoride toothpastes. Not a surprise, but a good thing to have evaluated.

However, the study also looked at how well different concentrations of toothpaste did at reducing decay. They found that using a toothpaste with 1450 to 1500 ppm of fluoride worked better to reduce cavities than brushing with toothpaste that has 1000 to 1250 ppm.

Researchers asserted that the benefits of using toothpaste at a minimum of 1000 ppm fluoride were well-established. But they also said that the evidence for using stronger concentrations of fluoride were less well-supported. In fact, using toothpaste with just 550 ppm fluoride was statistically indistinguishable from toothpaste with 1055 ppm fluoride in some studies. However, 1450 ppm toothpaste was significantly better than 440 ppm toothpaste. And even higher concentrations showed some likelihood of being even better, but the evidence for these comparisons got weaker. The strength of individual comparisons depended on the studies where they were done, so while they could say that it seemed higher concentrations might be better, the level of certainty was only moderate.

Comprehensive Prevention

Of course, regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste is only one part of a good oral hygiene regimen. If you are looking to truly maintain  your best oral health, you will also want to floss and make regular dental appointments.

Flossing helps clean between teeth to prevent cavities on the surfaces where the teeth are closest together.

Regular dental checkups give us an opportunity to provide a professional cleaning, additional tooth treatments, and an examination to look for decay. In a professional cleaning, we remove hardened plaque deposits (called tartar) that you can’t remove with brushing. And we can supply additional fluoride treatments to strengthen teeth and polish teeth to keep plaque from sticking.

At a checkup, we can make sure that your at-home prevention routine is doing its job. If so, then no additional treatment is necessary. We might also recommend changes to your hygiene routine (including a higher concentration of fluoride in your toothpaste). And if there are any problems with your teeth, we can use tooth-coloured fillings to fix them–the sooner the better.

To round out your preventive dentistry routine with professional cleanings in the Sydney area, please call (02) 9686 7375 today for an appointment with a dentist at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills.

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