What can I do to help my sensitive teeth?

Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by open tubules on the tooth surface. These dentine tubules are mainly on the exposed root of the tooth. The tubules are normally closed but any acidity or abrasion can open them up.  As the tubules contain fluid all the way down to the pulp chamber any extremes of temperature make the fluid contract or expand, thus stimulating the nerve inside the tooth.  The sensation can also be felt if the open tubules are touched with a toothbrush or finger.

The best way to help the sensitivity is to close up the tubule openings so that the fluid inside no longer contracts or expands with a change in temperature or touch. Our saliva has the ability to do this but sometimes requires a bit of help.

Sensitive toothpaste contains ingredients which can help by depositing in the tubule openings and blocking them up, thus reducing the sensitivity. A lot of the newer sensitive toothpastes are good toothpastes to use routinely. Always remember when you brush to only spit and not rinse! This is to ensure the goodness of the toothpaste is left on the teeth helping them with sensitivity and building a barrier against cavity’s. However the important bit is to dab a bit of the sensitive toothpaste on the sensitive part of the tooth and leave it. Ideally after brushing dry the tooth by sucking some air in and then apply and leave. Repeat this for a few days and once the sensitivity is better continue twice a week, to maintain the tubules blocked.

 

My Denture is broken what can I do?

Try not to use superglue unless you really have to because it makes the permanent repair more difficult. In addition the superglue will only hold the repair for a short time because of the wet environment of the mouth but still leave a residue.

If there are any sharp edges which are rubbing on the inside of the mouth then a few rubs with a clean emery board will smooth off the sharp edges and make it more comfortable until it is repaired.

For the permanent repair either take it to your dentist where it can be repaired using our normal denture laboratory normally within the next working day. The dentist can also take an impression if needed for the repair and check the fit of it once repaired. Alternatively there are also some denture technicians who offer a denture repair service and can often do it while you wait.

My wisdom teeth are causing me pain, What should I do?

In most cases pain from wisdom teeth is due to the infection of the gum around the tooth. Often there is not enough space in the mouth for the wisdom tooth to come through fully leaving a loose flap of gum covering part of the tooth. Plaque gets in beneath this loose flap of gum and causes pain and swelling. When it is in this state it is tempting not to touch it but by not cleaning the area the plaque builds up further making it worse.

We advise the use of a small headed toothbrush like an single tufted brush to clean beneath the flap of gum and around the tooth and eliminate as much of the plaque as possible. Initially, the swollen gum will be sore, and will bleed but the more it is cleaned, the better the chance of it settling.

To help this cleaning process you can also bathe the area in warm salt water which acts as an antibacterial and will also help reduce the swelling. If convenient bathe the area for a minute every 1-2 hours.

In some cases if the infection has gone further or if the above measures are not working then a short course of antibiotics will be required from your dentist. If the problem keeps reoccurring despite good cleaning then it may be worth having a chat with your dentist about removing the impacted wisdom tooth.