Little GiGi Info Center

Little GiGi info center is the point of our web page where we gathered useful information, answered some of your questions and help you understand our world and why we are passionate about smiles…

Questions and Answers – Pregnancy and Oral Health

In between trips to the doctor, hospital tours and setting up the nursery, don’t let visiting the dentist fall off your pregnancy to-do list before your baby comes. Getting a checkup during pregnancy is safe and important for your dental health. Not only can you take care of cleanings and procedures like cavity fillings before your baby is born, but your dentist can help you with any pregnancy-related dental symptoms you might be experiencing.

You are encouraged to visit your dentist as early as when you plan to to be pregnant or once you know you are pregnant. Visiting your dentist as early as possible is important because good dental health can be ensured during pregnancy and treatment needed can be planned.

Let your dentist know how far along you are and whether you have received any special advice from your physician. If your pregnancy is high-risk or if you have certain medical conditions, your dentist and your physician may recommend that some treatments be postponed.

Be sure your dentist knows what, if any, prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs you are taking. This information will help your dentist determine what type of prescription, if any, to write for you. Your dentist can consult with your physician to choose medications—such as pain relievers or antibiotics—you may safely take during the pregnancy. Both your dentist and physician are concerned about you and your baby, so ask them any questions you have about medications they recommend.

Most experts agree that procedures like cavity fillings and crowns are safe and important to have during pregnancy to prevent potential infection. It may be more uncomfortable to sit in a dental chair the later you are in pregnancy, so schedule dental work in your first trimester, if possible.

Cosmetic procedures, like whitening, should wait until after baby arrives. If you need an emergency procedure, work with your dentist on the best plan for the health of you and your baby.

If you’re pregnant and need a filling, root canal or tooth pulled, one thing you don’t have to worry about is the safety of the numbing medications your dentist may use during the procedure. They are, in fact, safe for both you and your baby.

Yes, dental X-rays are safe during pregnancy. Your dentist or hygienist will cover you with a protective apron that minimises exposure to the abdomen. Your dental office will also whenever possible cover your throat with a protective thyroid collar to protect the thyroid from radiation.

With pregnancy come changes in your body, emotions and mouth. As many as half of all women develop pregnancy gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that is most common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy. It usually goes away after childbirth.

Hormones make your gums more easily irritated by plaque and can cause gums to be red, tender, sore and bleed. Brush twice a day for two minutes, clean between your teeth once a day, and talk to your dentist about other steps you can take to keep your gums healthy.

Unfortunately, morning sickness can hit any time of the day. Vomit contains stomach acids that can eat away at your teeth, so waiting to brush after you’ve rinsed your mouth can help prevent those acids from doing damage.

Instead of brushing, first swish and spit. You can use water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 tsp. of baking soda. Spit it out, and brush your teeth about 30 minutes later.

No, this is an old wives’ tale. Losing a tooth is not a normal part of pregnancy, and if you do, you most likely already had an existing dental problem. You may, however, feel like your teeth are a bit loose.

According to the Mayo Clinic, progesterone and oestrogen can loosen the ligaments and bones that keep your teeth in place, even if you don’t have gum disease. Many times this goes away after pregnancy, but talk to your dentist if you feel like your teeth are moving when they shouldn’t.

Your baby’s teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth months of pregnancy, and eating well can help them form correctly. Get plenty of nutrients – including vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous.

To reduce the risk of neural tube defects, you need 600 mcg of folic acid each day while pregnant. Take folic acid supplements, and eat foods high in folate. While you’re at it, drink plenty of water with fluoride to keep your own teeth strong.

Questions and Answers – About Teeth

Tooth decay is a process which softens and destroys the hard tissues of the tooth. These tissues are called enamel and dentine. Bacteria, feeding on sugar, produce the acid that fuels this process.

Tooth decay is an infectious disease produced by bacteria. Some people are lucky and don’t catch it, but most people do catch it early in life and then are predisposed to developing tooth decay. People who have high risk of having tooth decay are those who take sweets “sugar” regularly and in excessive amounts “this is by far the most important reason for tooth decay”.

Tooth decay is a dynamic process, it can be reversed by Fluoride application in the early stage eg toothpaste, mouth rinse and professional applied gel. Dry mouth is another, less common reason. Consuming less sweets and brushing your teeth daily will greatly reduce the risk of having tooth decay.

When you don’t brush your teeth for a while, you will notice a yellowish sticky paste that accumulates on them. This material looks like food debris, but it’s actually a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day.
Many of these bacteria are harmless. But others happily munch away at the same food you’re eating and then excrete toxins and enzymes – using the grooves where your tooth meets the gum as a toilet of sorts. Bacteria thrive in the plaque environment and multiply until they account for nearly 100% of the mass of the plaque. This is why it’s important to remove it.

When your body notices the toxins, it mounts a defense against them by creating lots of new little blood vessels in the area to fight of the infection. The new blood vessels make the gums look red and swollen. But the bacteria attack the blood vessels, which then become fragile and bleed easily.

This first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, and it is easily reversed by simply cleaning the teeth thoroughly once a day.

But gum disease is painless, and many people are unaware that they have it (most adults do have some degree of gum disease). As it progresses, the bone which anchors the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose,If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out or have to be taken out because of pain.

The trick is simple; clean the teeth thoroughly once per day (preferably last thing before going to bed). Use a soft toothbrush with a small brush head (to get in hard-to-reach spots), and a pea-sized blob of toothpaste.

Quality brushing is focused on the prevention of gum disease; the brush is angled at 45 degrees upwards for the upper teeth and 45 degrees downwards for the lower teeth. The movement of the brush should be short circular movements (similar to the cleaning action of a washing machine).No scrubbing please – this may cause damage to both gum and tooth tissue and should be avoided.

Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Tooth decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.

Toothbrush or toothpaste damage may be the most frequent cause of sensitive teeth. By brushing too hard and/or using abrasive toothpaste, you may be removing tooth structure at the necks of your teeth. This can result in pain, especially to cold drinks, food, and air, but also to physical pressure, hot, sweet and sour.

The reason for the pain is exposed dentine – the inner substance of the tooth, which is covered by enamel. The enamel can get quite thin, especially where the tooth meets the root (at the gum line). The root is covered by a substance called cementum, which is easily worn away. Dentine contains little tunnels (tubules) that link to the nerves on the inside of the tooth, and when dentine is exposed, these nerves are easily stimulated, resulting in pain.

To prevent further damage, brush your teeth gently with SOFT bristle toothbrush and avoid abrasive toothpaste. Reduce intake of low pH foods or drinks. Regular dental check up to prevent gum disease.

Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products can also cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods, and irritate the gums.

Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be warning signs of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the build up of plaque on teeth. The bacteria cause toxins to form in the mouth, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.

Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental caries.
The medical condition dry mouth (also called xerostomia) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten and cleanse the mouth by neutralizing acids produced by plaque and washing away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks.

If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be caused by the side effects of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Don’t forget to brush the tongue, too. Replace your toothbrush every two to three months. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
See your dentist regularly — at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning and will be able detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odour.
Stop smoking/chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.

Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gums (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.

Keep a log of the foods you eat. If you think they may be causing bad breath, bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some drugs may play a role in creating mouth odours.

Instruction after dental procedures

When anaesthesia has been used (non-DPS conventional LA injection), your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. It is recommended that you take some painkiller (every 4-6 hours as needed) before the anaesthetic completely wears off. This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where your anaesthetic was administered.

It is normal to experience some hot, cold and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Your gums may be sore for several days. Rinse your mouth three times a day with warm salt water (put a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse and spit) to reduce pain and swelling.

Your new composite fillings are fully hardened before you even leave the office whereas the amalgam filling will only achieve maximum hardness after 24 hours. It is advisable to chew on the opposite side from the location of the newly placed filling(s). One of the most common problems following filling placement with anaesthesia, is an incorrect bite. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us immediately to obtain help or advice.

After one or more teeth have been removed, you will want to do all the right things for the area to heal quickly and smoothly. This requires that a blood clot is formed. The blood clot covers the extraction site and allows the area to heal.

It is normal for the area to be tender for the first few days, and in most cases simple over-the-counter pain relief is enough to ease any discomfort. Start taking painkillers immediately afterwards – don’t wait until pain sets in! It’s far easier to prevent pain than to make it go away. The usual painkillers of choice are paracetamol and ponstan. Check with your dentist or another health care provider that you can take these . If you can’t, your dentist will be able to recommend an alternative. Avoid Aspirin as this thins the blood and can make your mouth bleed unless is prescribed for other medical problem. Check with your dentist or pharmacist if you feel you need something stronger. If antibiotics are prescribed, follow the instructions and make sure you complete the course.

Control of bleeding. (a) Apply pressure on the wound. Immediately after the extraction, bite hard on the gauze for at least 30 minutes. If the gauze becomes soaked with blood and/or saliva, use a new one. A dry gauze provides better biting pressure, so swallow your saliva to ensure the gauze is not soaked with saliva. If fresh bleeding recurs later on, bite hard on a new gauze for at least 15 minutes. (b) Avoid hot food and drinks. Heat will cause the wound to bleed. In contrast, cold food/drinks will help arrest bleeding. (c) Rest. In the first 48 hours, avoid exercise and vigorous physical activities .these activities increase heart rate and blood pressure, which may trigger bleeding from the wound. (d) avoid rinsing too vigorously (e)If you want to lie down, and for the first night following surgery, keep your head up with pillows if possible. Do not bend over or do heavy lifting for 2-3 days.

While you shouldn’t rinse for the first 24 hours, after this initial period you should gently rinse 4 times a day using warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). Do not spit out forcefully! Rinse after every meal and snack, making sure that the water removes any bits of food around the area where the tooth is missing.

Stick to a liquid or soft food diet for the first day or two. Examples include soups, yoghurts, fruit milkshakes, smoothies, mashed potatoes, etc. A Vitamin C supplement may also be helpful. Avoid spicy foods, hot drinks and sodas for 2 days, to prevent irritation and burns.

Swelling and sometimes bruising can occur after surgery, esp. with so-called “wisdom teeth”. The worst swelling, pain and jaw stiffness normally occurs 2 or 3 days after surgery. On the day of the surgery, apply ice packs for 15 minutes on then 15 minutes off until bedtime.

It usually takes gum tissue about 3-4 weeks to heal. The bone can take up to 6 months to heal completely. However, pain should be lessening by the second day. But it varies from person to person, and also depends on how easy or difficult the tooth removal was.

After the extraction, do not smoke for 3 days. Avoid brushing the extraction area on the first day. Start brushing gently at / near extraction area when it is comfortable to do so. Brush your teeth as normal- clean mouth helps the wound heal faster.
“I’m still in pain. What should I do?”

Pain that lasts for up to a week or so but is gradually getting better is normal. You could ask your dentist or pharmacist for stronger painkillers.
Pain that starts to get worse after two days is considered abnormal and you may want to see your dentist. This could be a sign of “dry socket”.
Dry Socket

A dry socket occurs when the blood clot for healing becomes dislodged or doesn’t form. In that case, the bone and fine nerve endings are not protected and exposed to air, food, and liquids. Dry socket delays the healing process and can be very painful.

The tooth and surrounding tissues may be tender for several days as a result of manipulation during treatment, and due to the previous condition of your tooth. This is a perfectly normal and expected reaction. For a few days you may experience mild to moderate discomfort when eating. Avoid chewing on the tooth as much as possible.

If a temporary filling was placed to seal the tooth, avoid flossing in the area. It is not uncommon for a small portion of the filling to wear down or chip. If the entire filling breaks or falls out, please contact us to have it replaced.

To control discomfort, take pain killers such as paracetamol and ponstan as directed. Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water) may aid in relieving discomfort.

If swelling occurs, place an ice pack on the affected area. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection and swelling are gone.

A permanent restoration, either a filling or crown must be placed to protect the root canal tooth from fracture or decay. Please be sure to keep all scheduled follow-up appointments for these procedures.

Following scaling and root planning, you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding, and less swelling of your gum tissues. Your teeth may feel smoother, and your mouth will taste and feel better. Your gum health must be maintained with proper homecare, as instructed, and regular professional care.

When anesthesia has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. It is recommended that you take some painkiller (every 4-6 hours as needed) before the anesthetic completely wears off. This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where your anesthetic was administered.

It is not unusual for the teeth to be more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, and/or sweets. This occurs as the gum tissue heals and shrinks in size. Brushing two to three times daily with sensitivity toothpaste or using fluoride rinses may help alleviate this over time. If sensitivity continues or is severe, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required.

For a few days, a soft diet is recommended, chewing on the opposite side.
Consistent and thorough daily oral hygiene is essential to the proper healing of your gum tissues. Brushing, flossing and rinsing with recommended products are critical.

In most cases, only one half of the mouth is treated at a visit. Please remember to keep all appointments to complete the treatment on the opposite side, and all follow-up appointments thereafter.

It is normal for the area to be tender for the first few days, and in most cases simple over-the-counter pain relief is enough to ease any discomfort. Start taking painkillers immediately afterwards – don’t wait until pain sets in! It’s far easier to prevent pain than to make it go away.

The usual painkillers of choice are ibuprofen or arcoxia(some products have codeine added for extra pain relief). Check with your dentist or another health care provider that you can take these (for example, asthma sufferers shouldn’t). If you can’t, your dentist will be able to recommend an alternative. Avoid Aspirin as this thins the blood and can make your mouth bleed. Check with your dentist or pharmacist if you feel you need something stronger.

Go home, take it easy for the rest of the day, and don’t exercise for at least 12 to 24 hours. If you want to lie down, and for the first night following surgery, keep your head up with pillows if possible. Do not bend over or do heavy lifting for 2-3 days.
Stick to a liquid or soft food diet for the first day or two. Examples include soups, yoghurts, fruit milkshakes, smoothies, mashed potatoes, etc. A Vitamin C supplement may also be helpful. Avoid spicy foods, hot drinks and sodas for 3-4 days, to prevent irritation and burns.

If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, follow the instructions and make sure you finish the course.

Strictly avoid smoking a week before and after the implant surgery as it tends to delay healing and interfere with tissue regeneration.

Sutures will be placed following implant surgery, they will be removed 1-2 weeks after surgery, at the time of your post-operative check-up. Some sutures may become loose and fall out prematurely. Please contact us for check up.

A few hours after bleeding stops, begin drinking a lot of water and non-citrus juices.

DO NOT USE STRAW. It may dislodge the blood clot and delay healing. While you shouldn’t rinse for the first 24 hours, after this initial period you should gently rinse 4 times day using warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). Do not spit out forcefully!

Rinse after every meal and snack, making sure that the water removes any bits of food inside your mouth.

For the next 48 hours, dark staining substances should be avoided, such as:

Red wine, Cola, Coffee and tea.

Berries such as cherries, blueberries, strawberries.

Tobacco products.

Red sauces, Mustard or ketchup, Soy sauce.

During the first 24 hours after whitening treatment, some patients can experience some tooth sensitivity or pain. This is normal and is usually mild, but it can be worse in susceptible individuals. Normally, tooth sensitivity or pain following a treatment subsides within 24 hours.

Plastic temporary restorations will serve you for a short period of time while your permanent veneer is being made. They are attached only slightly to the underlying tooth so they can be removed easily.

If a veneer comes off, contact us, and we will replace it immediately.

The size, shape, and colour of the temporary do not resemble the final veneer.
Temporary veneers may leak saliva, or food onto the tooth. Sensitivity to hot, cold, pressure or sweets is not uncommon. You may also see stains under the temporaries. These will be removed prior to final cementation.

Avoid heavy brushing of the temporaries, and do not floss between them because you may pull them off.

Your final porcelain veneers will be as close to the natural beauty and function of your teeth as possible. They look and feel normal in every way. We place our veneers with the finest materials and techniques available today.

However, you should be aware of the following information about your restorations:

As with natural teeth, avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the veneered teeth (hard candy, ice, raw carrots, etc.) because the porcelain material can break under extreme forces.

Proper brushing, flossing, and regular 6-month (minimal) cleanings are essential to the long-term stability and appearance of your veneers. Often, problems that may develop with the veneers can be found at an early stage and repaired easily, while waiting for a longer time may require redoing entire restorations.

The gums may recede from the veneers, displaying discolored tooth structure underneath. This situation usually takes place after many years and requires veneer replacement.

For the next 48 hours, dark staining substances should be avoided, such as:
When anesthesia has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment.

Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. It is recommended that you take some painkiller (every 4-6 hours as needed) before the anesthetic completely wears off. This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where your anesthetic was administered.

The gum tissue around the prepared teeth may be sore for several days. You may rinse your mouth with warm salt water (put a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse and spit) to reduce pain and swelling. There are times when a prescription rinse may be dispensed to assist with gum tissue healing. It is important to use as directed.

Crowns and bridges usually take two to three appointments to complete. At the first visit, the teeth are prepared and a temporary crown or bridge is placed with temporary cement while awaiting the final restoration. The temporary restoration not only protects the tooth from damage, but it also prevents it from shifting position, helps the gum tissue to heal in the proper location, and provides a cosmetic solution until the permanent restoration can be placed.

Your tooth may feel sensitive to temperature, sweets, or biting. This is normal and should subside in a few days. If this sensitivity is severe and does not dissipate, please contact the office immediately for an evaluation.

Do not eat anything sticky, hard or chewy as this may pull the temporary off or break it. Be careful brushing and avoid flossing adjacent to the temporary as this may cause it to become dislodged. Once the permanent restoration is placed, you may brush and floss normally. Should a temporary inadvertently come off, try to place it back on the tooth, and contact the office immediately to have it re-cemented.