There has been much publicity regarding the safety of dental amalgam. The World Health Organisation, the International Dental Federation, the (Australian) National Health & Medical Research Council and the Australian Dental Association all state, on the basis of the research available, that the use of dental amalgam produces no harmful effects.
Dr. Telford, therefore, believes there is no positive health or well-being gain in having dental amalgam fillings replaced with other materials for mecuro-phobic reasons. If anyone can produce evidence to the contrary, Dr. Telford would like reference to that evidence.
Yes, baby teeth may need to be filled to prevent toothaches, to maintain the baby teeth for eating, and, most importantly, to hold the right amount of space for the adult teeth.
If the baby teeth are going to be exfoliated (fall out) soon, then it is not always necessary to fill these teeth. Dr Telford often advises a wait-and-see approach.
There is no reason why pregnancy should cause you to lose your teeth.
Necessarily as the unborn baby is a "foreign" (not mother's own tissues), the whole inflammatory (secondary defence) system needs to be altered; it becomes more acutely active, more florid, to allow the placenta to "feed" the unborn. In this state, other inflammatory conditions also become more florid. This is most noticeable with extant gum disease.
When one is pregnant and one has gum disease the affected gums will bleed more easily and more floridly. Therefore, pregnancy is a great moment to check the effectiveness of one's daily oral hygiene; the body will tell one where one is missing out and leaving dirt. It is very important to maintain good oral hygiene and to continue regular dental checks during pregnancy.
Periodontitis can show a family tendency and/or an ethnic. So if a mother or father has periodontitis then there is an increased risk for their children to have periodontitis. Further it is more common with some systemic diseases such as diabetes. Regular dental checks for periodontitis are even more important for those at higher risk for periodontitis.
Oral Pathology is the study of the diseases of the mouth and jaws - not only the common ones of tooth decay and gum disease, but all of them from those that arise from vague, if severe, facial pain to the variety of cancers and other tumours that can appear.
Oral Medicine is the clinical part of dentistry that diagnoses those diseases. The two are closely related; the former is in the laboratory, the latter in the clinic.
Dr. Telford has made a career long study in the diagnosis of facial pains, the most common of which arise from nocturnal tooth-gnashing and is often confused with toothache. Often the medically compromised, that is, those that have serious medical problems, present to the clinic with special oral and dental problems. Oral medicine and Oral Pathology address these.
Needless to say, regular dental and oral check-ups are very important for the early detection of the more nasty diseases.
Cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth and is painless. The major risk factor in western countries is tobacco smoking.
Cancers of the lower lip occur more commonly in people who have a high exposure to UV sunlight, such as outdoor workers. By not smoking and always using sun protection on exposed skin and lips, patients can decrease their risk of developing these cancers.
Dr Telford routinely examines the mouth for these and will assess any ulcer or change in the appearance or texture of the skin of the mouth. In most cases of cancer, the earlier the treatment, and the better the outcome. Cancer of the mouth is both a preventable and potentially curable disease if it is detected early enough. However, the third most common cancer from which people die is oral cancer. Early detection is imperative.
No. However, there are three things that a smoker should do to help protect his or her oral health. Smoking brings with it a variety of toxins, some of which are carcinogens.
Leaving the formation of cancer aside, other than staining, smoking does not affect the teeth. However, it also has a profound effect on the saliva, promoting the formation of the thicker 'mucous' form of saliva at the expense of the thinner watery 'serous' saliva. There is a reduction in the acid-buffering capacity of their saliva. This effect of nicotine explains why some heavy smokers get decay even if they are brushing well.
No, but it increases one's chance of it becoming destructive by about six times and increases the severity by the same factor. Amongst other things, smoking reduces the amount of blood nutrient supplied to the tissues. Therefore the damaging aspect of the chronic inflammation of gum disease is accelerated.
Yes. Tobacco staining on the teeth is often superficial in the first few years of smoking and Dr Telford can usually readily remove it. Unfortunately, as the years pass, the staining tends to spread into microscopic cracks in t
All water supplies have some natural fluoride in them and the water fluoridation process just involves adding or removing fluoride to the level that protects dental health. It does not involve adding anything to the water that is not already there. There is no chemical difference between fluoride present naturally and that which is added to the water supply.
Drinking fluoridated water increases the resistance of teeth to decay, resulting in fewer cavities. This means fewer fillings, fewer extractions, fewer visits to the dentist and lower dental bills - resulting in better smiles, fewer dentures and less pain and suffering.
This benefit applies to all teeth (baby and adult) and to all age groups in our community. All teeth, at all ages, benefit as the fluoridated water has a continuous topical action.
Despite the availability of other sources of fluoride (tablets, drops, toothpaste, professional applications), water fluoridation is still shown to be the most appropriate means of reducing tooth decay in the twenty first century. The magnitude of the fluoridation benefits has decreased in recent decades, but they are still in the range of a 20-40% reduction in tooth decay in fluoridated areas.
There is ample evidence that if water fluoridation ceases, the rate of tooth decay increases despite the use of fluoride toothpaste and supplements. The decay rate decreases again when fluoridation is re-introduced.
A community that fluoridates its water today will have teeth with approximately half as many cavities in 10 years' time.
Fluoride tablets or drops should be used according to the following guidelines proposed by the Dental Health Committee Discretionary Fluoride Panel of the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Daily fluoride supplements are to be used ONLY in cases where the natural fluoride content of your drinking water supply is less than 0.3 mg per litre.
If you are not sure if your water supply is or is not fluoridated, check with your local water supply authority.
If a day is missed, DO NOT double up the next day. Keep fluoride supplements out of the reach of children.
Individual fluoride tablets should contain no more than 0.5 mg.
2.2 mg of sodium fluoride provides 1.0 mg of fluoride.
When you buy your tablets from the chemist, make sure he or she explains the dosage.
Remember that fluoride in toothpaste should be also taken into account. Children should use only a small amount of child-strength fluoride toothpaste when under fluoride supplements.
People of all ages benefit from water fluoridation.
Children benefit from the tooth decay preventive effects of water fluoridation with less tooth decay in their first and second set of teeth. Existing fillings in teeth last longer where water is fluoridated as there is less decay starting again where the filling meets the tooth surface.
The elderly and those with disabilities that prevent adequate cleaning of their teeth (including those in nursing homes), or those who require assistance with tooth brushing, will benefit from water fluoridation. This group is particularly susceptible to decay around the gum line of their teeth and water fluoridation would lower this risk factor.
Water fluoridation reduces decay and lessens the need for dental intervention. Dental treatment creates additional problems for some (e.g. diabetics, haemophiliacs, transplant patients, the immune compromised) for whom a healthy mouth is essential.
Water fluoridation is particularly beneficial in providing a preventive health measure to lower socio-economic groups who may have difficulty in implementing their own preventive care. Public health education has been shown to be effective only in the higher socio-economic groups.
An enormous amount of research has been published on the safety of water fluoridation, including any effects on the older members of the community who may have very few teeth or none at all. This extensive research has revealed no adverse health effects on the elderly or any other age group.