Bad breath and bad taste in your mouth? Tooth grinding and helping your child avoid cavities
Welcome to our first issue for 2011:
Mark from Strathpine asks: “Over the last week I have noticed I have been getting a really bad taste in my mouth and I do not know what the cause of it is. I brush my teeth twice a day. Do you know what the cause of the bad breath taste may be?”
Dr David Kerr replies:
“There are a couple of different reasons why you might get a bad taste your mouth.
The most common one is from an infection. Whether it is pus draining into your mouth, or there is an infection in the gum or jawbone, you will also get a bad taste from that. The problem with these is that quite often there is no pain associated with the early stages, so you can have this infection for quite a while, weeks or even months, before you start to get any pain from it.
The down side of this is, all that time that the infection is festering away the bacteria is going into your bloodstream… ”
Teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) is the clenching or gnashing together of the bottom and upper jaw accompanied by the grinding of the lower set of teeth with the upper set. It is a subconscious behaviour that affects between 10-50% of the population, although many people do not realise that they are doing it. Often it is the partner who tells them about the night time sounds their bruxism creates.
This grinding of the teeth can create quite a bit of damage including wearing down of the teeth, tooth sensitivity, pain and in some extreme cases loss of the teeth. Some common signs and symptoms of bruxism include:
Other causes of bruxism include stress, incorrect tooth alignment and dehydration.
In most cases no treatment is necessary. But if you suspect that you may be grinding or your partner does then seeing your dentist for all your options is the best thing to do. In some cases a night guard may be fitted or relaxation techniques and stress management therapy can help as well.
Darryl’s Dental Tip: “The easiest way to do this is with a tool called a ‘flossette’. These can be purchased from chemists or from your dentist. Using toothpaste on the flossette has been shown to lower decay rates by reducing the survival rates of harmful bacteria.”
In the latest entry in his Dental blog Dr Darryl Marsh writes…
Everyone knows that daily brushing is vital to help prevent cavities in children.
However, high percentages of cavities in children below 12 years of age occur between the back teeth where a brush will often not reach. This is why it is important to floss these back teeth.
Make sure you also throw away that ‘shaggy dog toothbrush’. Toothbrushes with more than three months of wear were 17% less effective at cleaning than new toothbrushes. Dental researches recommended all toothbrushes be replaced every three months.
For regular updates from Darryl’s blog sign up as our friend on Facebook.
Welcome to Dr Tharaka ! Tharaka has recently moved up to Brisbane from Victoria, married and started at Today’s Dentistry. We look forward to helping Tharaka settle in to Today’s Dentistry and Brisbane – make sure you say hello the next time you are in.
In February we bid a fond farewell to our Hygienist Debbie who has been with Today’s Dentistry for 7 years. Debbie is moving on to a practice closer to home where she is looking to start a dental hygiene programme – all the best for the future Debbie!
The rest of our news is all about holidays and babies! Shannon, had a 3 week holiday to Cambodia recently. Apart from seeing some of the beautiful countryside she also volunteered in an Orphanage, making the holiday a truly memorable experience. Robyn and Belinda have both had their babies recently. Robyn had a gorgeous little girl and Belinda a bouncing baby boy. Congratulations to them both and we wish them the very best of luck with their growing families.
Finally our last bit of news for February is that it is a big birthday month for our founding dentist, Darryl. We wish him a very Happy Birthday!