What are sensitive teeth?
They are pretty much just as they sound. Sensitive teeth can range anywhere from a severe pain for several hours to only a mild twinge. Occasionally sensitive teeth can be an early warning sign for further dental issues.
Who suffers from sensitive teeth?
Anyone can suffer from sensitive teeth and it can begin at any time. Having said that women are more prone than men and it is most commonly found in people aged between 20 and 40.
What causes sensitive teeth?
Your teeth and in particular the soft dentine of the tooth are protected by an outer layer of enamel. Sensitive teeth occur when the enamel is worn down and the dentine is exposed to some likely causes of sensitive teeth are:
- Abrasive brushing – brushing excessively hard, brushing from side to side or using some whitening kinds of toothpaste, can cause the enamel to be worn away, especially where the gums and teeth meet.
- Dental erosion– this is the exposure of the dentine from the consumption of acidic food and drinks.
- Gum recession– in some cases gums may recede and this can reveal the roots which do not have an enamel layer, therefore, leaving them exposed.
Image from gum disease handout.
- Gum disease– sensitivity can arise from the presence of plaque bacteria growing between the gum and tooth and slowly lodging the gums from the teeth.
Image from gum disease handout.
- Tooth grinding– persistent grinding and crunching of the teeth will wear down enamel quite quickly.
- Decay & cavities in your teeth
- Cracked teeth or fillings – a crack running through the tooth down to the root can provide a shortcut to the root making extreme temperatures such as eating ice cream as a very uncomfortable experience.
- Tooth bleaching– the initial time during and immediately after a tooth bleaching can be a short period of highly sensitive teeth.
When are teeth more likely to be sensitive?
Pain from sensitive teeth is most likely to strike when exposed to the extremes of temperature, sweetness and acidic foods/drink. The pain can come and go, with sometimes being worse than others.
Is there anything I can do to treat sensitive teeth at home?
You can use one of the kinds of toothpaste made to help ease the pain for sensitive teeth.
You should then use that toothpaste and brush with it twice a day. The key is to be patient with the toothpaste as its effect will differ with each person, for some it may take a few days and for others, it could be as long as several weeks. We also have a special toothpaste available on prescription for stubborn sensitivity. You may have cracked or decayed teeth that are contributing to your sensitive teeth so it is important to see a dentist if your sensitive teeth persist.
Is there anything I should avoid if I have sensitive teeth?
Hot, cold, sweet or acidic drinks such as orange juice or soft drinks.
Ice cream is the most common food that causes pain for those with sensitive teeth.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t eat ice cream anymore, you just need to be more cautious when eating it and perhaps eat it at a lower temperature.
For some, the use of cold tap water is enough to set off their nerves so beware of the water you are using to brush your teeth.
Do I need to go and see my dentist?
If you have seen no improvement in treating your sensitive teeth than it is advisable for you to see a dentist. You can make an appointment with us here by ringing the below number between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday.
01 834 1140
What treatments can we offer here at Duggan dentist?
We can prescribe special toothpaste for sensitive teeth check no decay or cracks causing the sensitivity. Possibly fill any worn away root surface or cracked teeth.
How can I prevent sensitive teeth?
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Use small circular movements with a soft to medium-bristled brush. Try to avoid brushing your teeth from side to side.
- Change your toothbrush every two to three months, or sooner if it becomes worn.
- Reduce the number of sugary foods and fizzy and acidic drinks in your diet. Try to have them only at mealtimes.
- If you grind your teeth, we can have you fit for a mouth guard here to be worn at night to prevent unconsciously grinding.
- If you want to have your teeth bleached then it would be advisable to discuss the sensitivity state of your teeth with a dentist before doing so.
- Attend regular dentist appointments.
Book an appointment today to have your sensitive teeth checked
01 834 1140
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Does your bathroom sink get a few drops of blood every time you brush your teeth?
Or worse every time you touch them they start bleeding.
Don’t worry you’re not alone. The Irish Dental Association reported that 80% of the Irish adult population have some form of gum disease. https://www.dentist.ie/latest-news/new-dental-health-survey-shows-80-of-irish-adults-believe-their-gums-are-healthy-however-80-of-irish-people-have-some-form-of-gum-disease.6504.html
Now you may be reading this and thinking that bleeding gums aren’t that bad as you’re not experiencing very much pain. However bleeding gums is a sign of gum disease, which can progress painlessly and can lead to much more severe conditions. So in order to prevent those from happening I’ve written this blog post to educate you on the appropriate treatment for bleeding gums.
To begin let’s have a look at the causes:
Bleeding gums: The Causes
All bleeding gums and gum disease for that matter are caused by plaque. Plaque is basically bacteria that lodges itself between the teeth and the gums. Many of the bacteria within plaque are completely harmless but some cause gum disease and others decay.
Here are some images to illustrate how plaque causes bleeding gums.
How plaque sets out to ruin your gums
Stage 1 – Plaqueless
So first here is your average healthy gum and tooth. Don’t they look nice together?
Stage 2 – Plaque attack
The bacteria (plaque) sticks between the side of the tooth and the gum. It attacks the gum causing it to swell up turn red and bleed easier, this is called gingivitis.
Stage 3 (6 months)
The bacteria attack the connection between the gum and the root of the tooth. Then it breaks this connection down and you get a gap between the gum and the root this is what we call a pocket.
The bacteria release these toxins that attack the bone causing it to be eaten away so the pocket gets deeper and there is less bone holding the tooth in place.
The pocket gets deeper, the gum recedes and the tooth starts to become loose and possibly painful.
The tooth becomes so loose or painful it can fall out or need to be extracted.
Treating bleeding gums
- Book an appointment with a dentist:
As each case of bleeding gums is different it is best advised to consult a dentist as soon as bleeding gums arise.
For example what we will do for you here at Duggan Dentist:
- We will give your teeth a thorough exam and cleaning
- Then we will show you how to remove plaque successfully yourself
- Possibly an X-ray to assess the amount of damage to the bone
- Help you control the disease, show you how to keep it under control and then prevent it from progressing again.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a stone in cure.”
To prevent gum disease all you need to do is make sure that you remove all of the plaque from your teeth every day. I’ve set out three levels of dental care that should ensure this, so you can choose your level of commitment.
- Brushes once a day, just before bed.
- Hasn’t been to the dentist in a while
- Brushes twice a day – in the morning and before bed.
- Uses dental floss
- Gets a dental check once a year.
- Brushes twice a day – in the morning and before bed.
- Uses dental floss once a day
- Gets a Dental check-up every six months
To fully control your gum disease/bad breath then you should aim to become a pro.
The importance of treating bleeding gums early.
If bleeding gums are left untreated then they can lead to much more serious conditions. Such as:
- Loose and painful teeth
- Tooth loss
- Untreated gum disease has even been associated with heart disease.
The good news is that early regular treatment can help prevent all of the above. But remember that the longer treatment is left the more expensive and harder it is to treat.
Can I get bleeding gums again?
Yes you can. Bleeding gums otherwise known as periodontal disease is never cured. But as long as you keep up the care you can prevent further loss of bone and keep it under control.
Take the first step to treating those bleeding gums by booking an appointment:
01 834 1140
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Are you afraid of visiting the dentist? If you are don’t worry you’re not the only one. In this blog post we’ll address some of the common fears people associate with dental appointments and how to address them.
Why am I afraid of the dentist?
There are many things that can contribute to being afraid of the dentist. There are a lot of factors in play when visiting a dentist. I often find that the trick is to pin point what exactly is the cause of your fear.
For example maybe the sounds and smells bring back memories of bad experiences from childhood, or the lingering thought that it may be a painful visit.
The good news is that you’re not alone, there is a large amount of Irish people who are afraid of the dentist, who come into my dental practice nervous, anxious and afraid of what’s to come from the appointment. So I’m well trained at this stage to assure you that you I will make your visit as painless as possible.
I’ve been scared of the dentist for a while – what is it like now?
It is perfectly natural to feel nervous about revisiting the dentist. But I will say that if you haven’t had a check-up in a while, there have been considerate improvements in dental technique that make modern dental treatment virtually painless
I haven’t been to the dentist in a long time – will I need a lot of treatment?
This all depends really on how well you’ve kept your teeth in the meantime. Each person will be different and the only way to tell is to have your teeth examined by a dentist.
How do I start?
With baby steps. It may be helpful to see the practice before you arrange an appointment. This way you’ll be able to get a feel for the practice and a sense if it’s the practice for you or not. Below are some pictures from our practice:
Our lovely staff
We would be happy to let you have a look around as a visitor before deciding if this is the dental practice for you. You can also take a virtual tour of the practice here on our website.
Our opening hours are:
Monday 9:00 am – 6:30 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Our address is:
10 Main Street, Finglas, Dublin 11
And you can ring us on:
01 834 1140
What will happen at the first appointment?
The first appointment will be a chance for you to get a feel for me and my practice. It will also be an opportunity for me to conduct my routine check-up to see what condition your teeth are in, and possibly what treatment you may need. Then at the end of the appointment we can have a chat about what to expect next.
Should I tell the dental team that I am nervous?
Make sure that to inform us of your anxiety as we can take special measures to help you with your fear.
If you can tell us specifically what it is that you particularly dislike about dental treatment or even your general thoughts as to what may be causing your fear we will do all we can to help you overcome it.
I am afraid of injections – what can I do?
Don’t worry you’re not alone in this respect. Many people are scared of the local anaesthetic injection. Just be sure to tell me or one of the dental team that injections are something that bothers you. There are anaesthetic gels that can be applied to the area of the gum to be injected. This gel numbs the gum so that you cannot feel the needle!!
What is the best time of day to visit the dentist?
I would recommend whatever time of the day that you feel your best, especially a time when you do not have any commitments to worry about. In order to have a relaxed state of mind, I suggest allowing yourself plenty of time either side of the appointment. Also it is probably best for you to eat something before visiting as this will reduce the chances of you feeling faint while you’re in the chair.
Can I take a friend with me?
Sure you can, if you feel it will help you feel relaxed, your friend is welcome to come along. We even have a special chair for them to sit on.
Can I listen to music while being treated?
Yes of course you can. If listening to music helps you to relax we can certainly facilitate this. We have done it in the past! We have the radio playing in the dental practice (usually TodayFM) but we know that music is such an opinionated subject and nobody has the same taste so feel free to listen to your own music.
What else can I do to help me relax during treatment?
I often find a good mental distraction does the trick for the patient. If you try to solve a particularly difficult puzzle in your mind,
or perhaps some visualisation of sun soaked beach on an isle of your dreams,
or a physical challenge like trying to wiggle each toe in turn, without moving any of the others. Like in Kill Bill!
Can I ask the dentist to stop if I need to?
What I have done with nervous patients in the past is we have agreed a sign that means ‘stop now – I need a break’ before I start the treatment. If we didn’t get to agree upon a signal you can just raise your hand, and the treatment can be stopped for a few minutes until you are ready to start again. Knowing that you have control over your situation should allow you to feel more confident about it.
Can I go to sleep for treatment?
I would rarely utilise general anesthetics for routine treatments. We occasionally use sedation for patients but you will need to have someone to accompany you to the surgery and back home if you have been sedated. If you are in need of a general anesthetic, I would usually refer you to a hospital where the necessary safety equipment is available.
Will things get better with time?
As with many things, the first step is the hardest and once you begin to feel comfortable with the dental practice your fear will begin to lessen. In time you will gain control over your fears, and dental care can become a normal part of life.
What will it cost me?
You can view the prices of all our treatments here: link to pricing page http://www.duggandentist.com/prices/
Who can I talk to?
There are many organisations that help people suffering from phobias. Most of them also offer help to people nervous of the dentist because it is a very common problem.
You can see a list of numbers you can call here:
We also have relaxation CD’s with techniques for nervous patients to try before treatment.
After the check-up
It’s important to remember that there’s no rush and that you can go at your own pace. After your treatment, I will discuss your future dental care needs, and we can decide together what you feel you can cope with.
This may be no more than an examination with a dental mirror first. If you succeed with that, you may feel you could have your teeth polished next, possibly by a dental hygienist. Don’t be afraid to say when you have had enough – there is usually no reason to hurry through the dental treatment.
Begin to embrace your fears today by booking an appointment today –
01 834 1140
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So first off there are two kinds of braces: fixed and removable. And they pretty much describe exactly what they are. A fixed brace is fixed to your teeth for a lengthy period of time and looks like this:
(By the way, this is just an picture example, we can offer you braces and bar in a colour to match your teeth).
And a removable brace can be taken out whenever you please and looks something like this:
Now that we have defined them we can get straight to the question that is the first out of everyone’s lips when they hear they have to wear braces…
How long will I have to wear them?
Now this really depends on how much correcting your teeth need, and which type of brace you get.
The average time needed for fixed braces is usually between 1-2 years, and could be even longer if your teeth are unusually out of shape.
Short term fixed braces.
We offer Six Month Smiles braces so you can get the smile you want in less time. These are short term fixed braces. They are used to concentrate on correcting misaligned/crooked front teeth. The average treatment time is 6 to 9 months, so, much shorter than other fixed braces. We use tooth coloured brackets and wires to achieve this so the braces are less visible.
These usually take less time than a fixed brace. It should be noted that in severe cases you may be told to wear removable brace before a fixed brace to correct your teeth.
How often do I have to / should I see the dentist while I am wearing my brace?
Usually an appointment every 4-6 weeks will be the optimal amount to make sure the teeth are heading in the right direction.
Will my mouth be sore in between visits?
The short answer is yes.
Your mouth is very sensitive to change and it will take you a few days to get used to wearing your brace. At first it will feel uncomfortable on your teeth because of the pressure put on them and on the insides of your mouth by the new addition of the brace.
Some parts of the brace may also cause discomfort to your gums and lips, causing sore spots. We can give you clear wax to place over the part of the brace that is causing discomfort.
However if after a few days any part of your brace is causing continual soreness, you should come back and we can adjust the tightness of your brace.
Will I be able to speak normally?
Lisping is often a problem initially but it soon passes as you begin to adapt your speech patterns to the new addition to your mouth.
You should avoid:
Nail biting and chewing pens/pencils as they can damage or break your brace.
Can I still play sports while wearing my brace?
It is best to take out your removable brace and place it in a protective plastic box whilst you’re playing sports (this includes swimming). We provide these cases for you here. While playing it’s important to wear a mouth guard and place your brace back into your mouth as soon as possible.
You will need to have a special mouth guard made for you to wear over your brace which we can make for you here. This is especially necessary for contact sports!
Can I still play musical instruments?
A small amount of practice with your newfound metal friends will ensure that you can play just as well without braces.
For removable braces, if you feel more comfortable to remove the brace, its ok to do so, it’s imperative to put them back in immediately afterwards.
Can I eat normally?
For the first few days it’s better to approach food cautiously as eating the wrong foods can damage or even brake your brace.
So for the first few days it’s best to stick to ‘Soft foods’
Scrambled eggs etc.
Water and milk are the best drinks
Avoid foods that are:
Fizzy drinks & Natural fruit juices – are high in sugar and acid and lead to – tooth decay, erosion and staining of the braces. If you do drink fizzy drinks then avoid constant sipping and use a straw.
Also avoid hard foods such as:
You want to aim for cutting your food into small easily digestible pieces.
Why should I look after my mouth when I have a brace?
The maintenance of your teeth is extremely important as it will help prevent problems such as inflamed gums, dental decay and ‘tooth decalcification’. This is when the calcium on the surface of your teeth have been eaten down. Signs of this are the presence of white spots on your teeth after the braces have been removed.
Routine dental appointments are also very important in order to make sure that your braces are serving their purpose and to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.
What if I lose or damage my brace?
If you lose or damage your brace it is vital to tell your dentist or orthodontist immediately. As any time your teeth aren’t in the correct position they will revert back to their old crooked placement and it may prolong your treatment.
How should I clean my mouth and brace?
After each meal is the recommended frequency and ensures that you pay special attention to each individual tooth and the gum line around it.
What products can I use?
- Flouride kinds of toothpaste – these help to control gum disease, plaque, and dental decay while also freshening your breath.
- Manual or Electric toothbrushes – these can be used, although with care, as long as you can get at all your teeth.
- Interdental brushes – These are very handy for cleaning between teeth and are perfect for those with a fixed brace.
- Floss threaders – You can use these to help you get dental floss under orthodontic wires to remove trapped food particles.
- Disclosing tablets – these contain a harmless dye which stains the dental plaque. This makes it easier to see where the plaque is when you are brushing. This helps you to make sure that you are brushing your teeth properly. Your dentist, chemist or supermarket will stock these.
- Fluoride mouthwash – It is important to note that mouthwash should only be used as a complementary method to brushing and flossing. It isn’t sufficient to be used on its own.
How do I clean my removable brace?
Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to show you special techniques for cleaning your brace. It is best to clean your brace over a sink full of water so that it isn’t damaged if you drop it. Keep a separate toothbrush just for cleaning your brace. Gently brush the brace and rinse it thoroughly with fresh water afterward.
Call to see if you need a brace today:
01 834 1140
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