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Is tooth whitening damaging to my teeth?

No, teeth whitening is not damaging to your teeth. Tooth whitening is a chemical process that has no irreversible effect on the physical structure of the tooth. Peroxide has an oxidizing effect on internal staining of the tooth. It may make your teeth sensitive during the process, but that is all.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is a concern for many people and unfortunately is not always easy to cure. The mouth is essentially a breeding ground for bacteria. Like our gut, there are a number of good bacteria and bad bacteria that live naturally in our mouths. Generally speaking, the bad bacteria are the bacteria that smell. Anything that could result in the growth of these germs may predispose a person to having bad breath.

This may include:

Inadequate hygiene (lack of tongue cleaning, flossing, brushing, professional scaling)
Untreated tooth decay
Impacted wisdom teeth
Mouth breathing (some patients breathe through their mouths more than their nose, and these people often have bad breath)
Inadequate food intake (a meal, not containing onion and garlic, will often improve bacterial balance. It is thought that yogurt containing lactobacillus may improve bad breath)

What age should my children first visit the dentist?

Children who are familiar with the dentist and dental surroundings make good dental patients. So with that in mind, children should be brought to the dentist as young as 18 months to 2 years old even if just to sit on mum or dad’s lap.

They should be able to take in the surroundings and learn to trust that there is nothing to fear. Avoid bringing your child to the dentist for the first time with tooth ache. They are not the circumstances to create good memories of the dentist for your children.

Why do my gums bleed?

Gums bleed when they are irritated by bacteria. All of our mouths are full of germs and germs will always sit where the gum meets the tooth. We brush and floss our teeth to remove the germs from this area. If hygiene is not adequate, patients from time to time will experience bleeding from the inflamed gums where germs have been left behind. Also, because teeth live in the wet, they grow barnacles at or under the gum line.

If these barnacles are not scraped off the teeth regularly, we recommend 6-12 months, they may hide bacteria and be a constant source of gum inflammation and bleeding. Bleeding gums is something to be concerned about because it may be early signs of irreversible gum and bone disease, that may lead to tooth loss and other systemic health complications.

Why do I need a crown?

Teeth that have been worked on extensively become very weak. If a tooth has a large portion of it as filling, it is effectively very hollow and likely to crack or break under the pressure of biting and chewing. If this happens, the patient may need to have the remaining sharp fragments of the tooth removed. Not only this, but the patient may then need to pay for costly replacements to fill the gap.

A crown is a top for the tooth that will prevent it from breaking for 10-15 years in most cases. Although it is not uncommon to see crowns much older than this.

Patients that choose to not have a crown on a heavily filled tooth choose to take this risk, sometimes at their own peril.