At Dural Dental Practice, we take pride in looking after your overall health which is why it is important for you to let us know if you are on any medications for Osteoporosis prescribed by your General Practioner.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a common disease affecting over 1 million Australians. This disease makes our bones more brittle leading to a higher risk of fracture. Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals such as Calcium more quickly than the body can replace them, causing a loss of bone thickness (bone density or mass).
We are pleased and excited to introduce Sleep Dentistry (Sedation) to Dural Dental Practice!
What is Sleep Dentistry?
Sleep dentistry often referred to as twilight sleep or twilight sedation is a form of sedation achieved with the combination of sedative and pain relieving drugs. The intravenous sedation is administered and supervised by an experienced medical doctor/ anaesthetist.
The drugs create a deep, calming relaxing effect for the entire duration of your dental procedure. During this time you will be unaware of, and undisturbed by the noises, tastes, sights and smells of the dental procedure, or of the needles, drilling or instruments in the mouth. There will be no pain, anxiety or discomfort. However, you will still be able to cooperate with the dentist when asked and drift off again with no recollection of the treatment being performed.
This will be ideally suited for:
- anyone above the age of 12, who are anxious or nervous
- anyone experiencing difficulty with getting numb (anaesthesia)
- anyone with a strong gag reflex
- anyone needing one long dental appointment to get complicated work (such multiple fillings, wisdom teeth extractions)
What is Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)?
Dry mouth occurs as the result of a decrease in the amount of saliva in your mouth. It may occur for several reasons, including: dehydration, as a side effect of medications, lifestyle habits like smoking, or a symptom of medical conditions such as the autoimmune disorder Sjögren’s syndrome.
What can cause it?
Many people commonly experience dry mouth because of dehydration and a lack of water throughout the day. Tea and coffee consumption may contribute as these drinks are diuretics, causing water to be eliminated from the body. For others, dry mouth occurs with the smoking, or the use of certain medications which are known to affect saliva flow and cause dry mouth. In fact, there are hundreds of medications known to have this as a side effect. Medical conditions such as Sjögren’s syndrome, which affects the salivary glands among other areas of the body, causes dry mouth in more frequent and severe ways.
There are a variety of energy drinks on the market being consumed by all age groups of people, most notably among teenagers. Energy drinks contain Citric Acid- a preservative that enhances their flavour and shelf life but also happens to be very good at dissolving the enamel on the tooth surface. Because enamel cannot be regrown after it is damaged the effects are irreparable. The loss in enamel makes the teeth sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, prone to decay and unsightly. Most energy drinks contain sugar as well as Citric Acid which enhances the damage to natural tooth structure by reducing the pH of the saliva further.
Try to avoid frequent consumption of energy drinks if possible. When you do consume these types of drinks we recommend you rinse your mouth out with water (or drink plenty of water) immediately afterwards to prevent the acid from sitting around your teeth for long periods of time. Chewing sugar-free gum will also help reduce the acid around the mouth.
You may have heard of a condition which affects the teeth called hypomineralisation. Teeth affected may vary in appearance and severity from mild patchy or milky-white areas, to yellow or yellow-brown with breaks in the tooth surface. These teeth are more vulnerable to tooth decay and prone to breaking down over time if not carefully monitored and treated. More commonly, hypomineralisation occurs in the molar teeth and the lateral incisors. It can affect baby teeth as well as adult teeth.
What is hypomineralisation?
During tooth development, hypomineralisation occurs during the maturation stage of tooth formation and affects the final quality of the enamel. Enamel is the hard and dense white layer which covers and protects the surface of our teeth. Hypomineralisation more commonly affects only a few teeth, usually the molars and lateral incisors. The cells responsible for creating the enamel structure are very sensitive, and disturbances to these cells during development can affect the quality and appearance of enamel. Possible factors that contribute to this condition during development are high fever, low calcium, exposure to antibiotics, traumatic birth or a lack of oxygen. The enamel can be impacted by these kinds of events particularly during the critical period of the tooth development around birth and the first year of life for babies.