Monthly Archives: January 2017

Dental health and pregnancy

By | Preventative | No Comments

Being pregnant is incredibly exciting. And it’s a time when you need to pay particular attention to looking after your teeth, especially your gums, with regular dental checkups and cleans.

During pregnancy your body will go through massive hormonal changes and an increase in blood flow. Due to these changes your gums are more likely to become inflamed, or even infected and bleed, if not being cared for correctly. Many pregnant women experience some bleeding of their gums, especially when brushing or flossing their teeth. This is one of the first signs of gingivitis (inflammation), which may turn into periodontal disease (infection) if left untreated. These infections, along with tooth decay, may harm your baby. So it is recommended that every pregnant woman to have a dental examination to check for any signs of gingivitis, periodontal disease or tooth decay.

A checklist of what you can do

    • Keep your teeth and gums clean, which means brushing twice daily for a minimum of 2 minutes and flossing once daily.
    • Be gentle with your teeth and gums and always use a soft-bristled toothbrush, a gentle brushing technique and a fluoride toothpaste.
    • If you have extreme gum sensitivity, try using a sensitive toothpaste or talk with your dentist about what you can use.
    • Cut down on sweets and candy. Try to make healthy snack choices such as fruit, vegie sticks or nuts.
    • Have a dental checkup. Ideally it is best to do this before you fall pregnant, or in the early stages of pregnancy, then again throughout the pregnancy and afterwards. It is best to see your dentist more regularly while you are pregnant.
    • Don’t put off dental work until after delivery as decaying teeth, gingivitis or periodontal disease might cause infection that could harm your baby.
    • Always tell your dentist when you are pregnant and how far along you are.

Enjoy this special time in your life. It is a precious journey in which you will want to stay healthy and keep your baby healthy. So look after yourself, your body, your teeth and your gums, and have a dental checkup and clean when pregnant.

Why do we have bad teeth?

By | Social, Treatment information | No Comments

Why are our teeth so bad? Why do we get tooth decay and crooked teeth? It may have something to do with what we eat, not just today – but 10,000 years ago!
Unlike most animals, humans have undergone a rapid dietary change in a relatively short period of time.

As an oversimplification, take any animal species, and you’re looking at a creature that’s been eating the same general diet for the last million years or so.

Now, look at humans. Our diets have changed drastically in the past 20,000 years which in evolutionary terms is extremely fast. We’ve gone from diets heavy in fibrous plant materials, which are tough and require a lot of chewing, to being able to eat an entire meal through a straw!

Our early ancestors ate a lot of tough hard foods, and this required large jaws with teeth that could break down this material. The more the teeth can break down the food, the more energy can be potentially extracted from it by the body.

As our diets have gotten softer, our ancestors could get away with smaller jaws – which required less energy to grow and use. Using less energy to eat while acquiring the same energy in your diet as your large-jawed brethren = evolutionary advantage.

So humans have evolved much smaller jaws in a very short order of time. Having smaller jaws and the same number of teeth means that there is far less space, causing all manner of problems (think: wisdom teeth, cross-bites, malocclusion etc.).

Add to that the modern diet full of sugar, and you’ve got the perfect scenario for bad teeth!