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What is an abscessed tooth?

An abscess of the tooth is an infection. An abscess can include pus and swelling of the soft gum tissues surrounding the tooth. An abscess can develop from tooth decay or tooth trauma, such as a broken tooth. If there is an opening in the enamel of a tooth, such as a cavity, bacteria can get in and infect the pulp (centre) of the tooth and cause an abscess. Once an abscess happens, the infection could spread throughout the mouth and body. If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, you should see Aoife and Niall right away.

Which toothbrush is better, manual or electric?

The most important thing to consider when deciding which toothbrush to buy is which one you will actually use. Both electric and manual toothbrushes have some pros and cons, but both will be useless if not used. The Irish Dental Association recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes. After that it is personal preference as to whether you use a manual or electric.

What is tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity means experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from cold air, hot drinks, cold drinks, ice cream, sweet things or even when brushing or flossing. Several factors can contribute to tooth sensitivity including cavities, a fractured tooth or worn enamel. As a rule these can all be treated easily. One of the main reasons can be gum recession where the gum has been worn away and the root surface has been exposed. The enamel on the root surface is thinner and temperature changes are felt more by the nerve. Sensodyne toothpaste can help relieve some of the sensitivity over a period of time. Come in and discuss options with Niall and Aoife.

What is a root canal?

A Root Canal is a dental procedure to fix a tooth by removing the pulp chamber of the tooth (not the roots of the tooth) and filling it with a suitable filling material. A root canal is usually performed when the tooth cannot be filled or restored any other way because the decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or the tooth has become infected. Today, with modern technology and better anaesthetics, root canal treatments are no more painful than having a filling. Most root canals can be performed in two surgery visits. It is important to remember that after a root canal treatment you will need to make a follow up appointment with your dentist to have the tooth permanently restored. After the pulp of the tooth has been removed, the tooth can become very dry and brittle. Having a permanent restoration placed will help protect your tooth from fracturing.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a hole in the tooth that is caused by decay. Decay occurs when plague, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars in the food we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. This acid attack lasts for 20 minutes after each meal or snack. Often it is not the amount of sugar we consume but the amount of times a day we consume it. We advise eating a good breakfast, a snack at 11, Lunch in the middle of the day, a mid afternoon snack and an evening meal and trying to avoid other snacks. Grazing throughout the day is a big cause of decay. The best way to prevent tooth decay is brushing twice a day, flossing daily and going to your regular dental check-ups. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.

What are the causes of Bad Breath?

According to dental studies, about 85% of people with persistent bad breath also known as halitosis have a dental condition that is to blame. If bad breath is caused by a dental condition, mouthwash will only mask the odour and not cure it. If you suffer from chronic bad breath, you should visit your dentist first, to rule out any dental problems.
Seven key ways to prevent bad breathe are, brushing twice a day, flossing daily, regular dental check-ups, using a mouth rinse, brushing your tongue, drinking water and avoiding tobacco.

How often should I floss my teeth?

You should floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing in between your teeth removes food debris and plaque from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. Plaque causes tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. Another great reason to floss is that recent studies have shown that flossing helps to prevent a heart attack or stroke. When flossing, be sure to gently insert the floss in between the teeth, without snapping, which could damage the gum tissue. Gently move the floss up and down into the spaces between the gum and teeth. There are a number of dental products available that are designed to make flossing easier. Please ask Niall and Aoife for more details.

How often should I brush my teeth?

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth helps to remove plaque which causes tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. Always use a soft toothbrush with toothpaste that contains fluoride. An example of a good brush is Sensodyne Search 3.5 but any soft toothbrush is ok. Make sure that the toothbrush fits inside of your mouth so that you can easily reach all areas. When brushing, open your mouth and brush top and bottom separately with gentle circular strokes and brush only 2 teeth at a time moving around from front to back one tooth at a time. Always brush your tongue to remove any bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

What are the differences between Silver and White fillings?

The main difference between silver and white dental fillings is the material that they consist of. Silver (amalgam) fillings, are made up of 50% mercury and 50% of other various metals. White (composite) fillings are made up of acrylic and various glass particles. There are pros and cons to both. Silver fillings are cheaper, easier and quicker to place and can last longer in the mouth. They don’t look as good and contain mercury. White fillings look like a tooth and have no mercury on the other hand they are more expensive, take longer to place and may not last as long before needing to be redone.

How often should I change my Toothbrush?

Adults and children should change their toothbrush every 3 months because they become worn out and are not as effective as they once were. Exceptions to this would be if you were using an electric toothbrush, and the manufacturer states otherwise. Some electric rechargeable toothbrushes have very good brush heads that only need to be changed every 6 months. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4 – 6 weeks because bacteria can harbour in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick.

How often should I see the Dentist for a check up and a clean?

Most children and adults should see their dentist for a regular cleaning and check up every six months. People at a greater risk for oral diseases should have dental check-ups more than twice a year. Tobacco and alcohol use, diabetes, pregnancy, periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene and certain medical conditions are some of the many factors that your dentist takes into consideration when deciding how often you need your dental cleaning and check-up.

What are Fissure Sealants

Fissure Sealants are a clear and protective coating that are applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant protects the tooth from getting a cavity by shielding against bacteria and plaque. Sealants are most commonly placed on children’s permanent back teeth because they are more prone to cavities. They can also be placed on adult’s teeth.