Fissure Sealant
Topical Fluoride
– Bruxism
What Is Bruxism ?

Teeth grinding or clenching, also called bruxism, is the involuntary grinding, clenching or gnashing of teeth. It can happen during sleep, or when you are awake concentrating, under stress or anxiety. People who grind or clench their teeth during sleep are more likely to have other sleeping disorders such as snoring and sleep apnoea (breathing pauses), leading to poor sleep quality.

Mild bruxism does not always cause severe problems and may not require treatment. However, some people may get headaches, jaw disorders, damaged teeth and other issues.

What Causes Bruxism ?

As doctors do not know what exactly causes bruxism, it can be due to various factors. These include:

  • Daily emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension
  • The ability to cope or relax
  • Deep concentration
  • Sleeping habits
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Certain medications

Several factors may increase the risk of bruxism:

  • High levels of stress, anxiety, frustrations or anger
  • Aggressive or hyperactive personality
  • Smoking
  • Consuming caffeinated beverages or alcohol
  • Certain medications, including antidepressants.
  • Some mental and medical disorders, such as sleep apnoea, night terrors, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
How Do I Know If I Have Bruxism ?
As most people are unaware of their teeth grinding or clenching behaviours, it is crucial to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and seek immediate dental care.

Common signs and symptoms include:
  • Headaches, and/or stiffness of the face and neck
  • Aching teeth, especially after waking up
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • A chipped tooth or chipped restorations (fillings, crowns, bridges)
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Loose teeth
  • Substantial soreness or pain of the jaw muscles
  • Stiffness in jaws
  • Strains on the jaw joints (temporomandibular joint or TMJ)
  • Disrupted sleep
How Is Bruxism Diagnosed ?
During a dental visit, when a patient complains about facial or oral pain, including soreness while chewing, the dentist will:
  • Look for changes in your teeth and mouth for signs of bruxism.
  • Ask about his/her general dental health, current medications (if any), daily routines and sleeping habits
  • Check for noticeable dental abnormalities, such as broken or loose tooth
  • Examine the jaw joints and muscles to detect other disorders such as TMJ disorders
  • Take an X-ray to check for any underlying bone damage, if necessary
  • Refer the patient to an oral and maxillofacial specialist, for severe cases, to perform corrective jaw surgery.
  • May also refer the patient to a therapist or counsellor to resolve his/her stress, anxiety or other psychological issues.
What Are The Various Treatment Options For Bruxism ?
In most cases, bruxism does not cause serious problems and treatment isn’t necessary. However, if bruxism is severe, the dentist or doctor will suggest various possible treatment options that include:
  • Mouth Guards and Mouth Splints
  • Repair of damaged tooth
  • Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery)
  • Stress and Anxiety Management
Fissure Sealant
What Are Fissure Sealants ?

Fissure sealants are thin coatings applied on the molars' biting surfaces to prevent tooth decay and cavities. This dental procedure is quick, safe and painless and can be done by a general dentist. The sealants provide a protective barrier that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth that can cause plaque.

How Is Fissure Sealant Applied ?

As having fissure sealant applied is a simple and painless treatment, no “drilling” is required. The dentist will:

  • Clean and dry the tooth by gentle trimming or air abrasion. Don’t worry, this procedure is usually painless!
  • Apply a gel to roughen the tooth surface and place the fissure sealant on the tooth.
  • Bond and harden the sealant with a blue fibre-optic light
  • Polish off any excess sealant and check your bite
How Long Does Fissure Sealant Last ?
The procedure of placing a fissure sealant on a tooth may take around 10-20 minutes. Fissure sealants are durable and can usually last for many years, but they can wear over time. The dentist may need to add or replace some sealant to ensure that no decay can start underneath it. Hence, having regular dental check-ups is the best way to ensure that the fissure sealants on your teeth are still intact and in good condition.
What Is The Advantage Of Getting Fissure Sealant ?
Fissure sealants are simple and effective preventive treatments for tooth decay. They provide extra protection that keeps bacteria from getting into the deep grooves or pits in the teeth that even the bristles of a toothbrush might not be able to reach that far.
Is Fissure Sealant Necessary ?
It is still the most important to brush your teeth thoroughly twice and floss once every day to maintain good oral hygiene. Of course, regular dental check-ups every six months are necessary to help detect problems early. The dentists will advise if they think that fissure sealant would be beneficial for your teeth condition and if it is the right time to do it.

Always consult our dentists for advice first with any questions you may have regarding this treatment!
Topical Fluoride
What Is Topical Fluoride ?

Fluoride, a mineral, is naturally found in water and various kind of foods. Topical fluoride is an active ingredient present in many dental products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, gels and varnishes. It has been an essential oral health treatment for many years and has been proven safe and effective.

When acids attack the enamel (outer protective) layer of the tooth in the food and drinks we consume, the loss of minerals from tooth enamel over time is known as demineralization.

Topical fluoride in a dental clinic encourages remineralization by strengthening the bonding of calcium in our tooth enamel. This treatment gives rise to a more acid-resistant enamel surface of the teeth, preventing and even reversing tooth decay.

Topical fluoride treatment is beneficial if you are at high risk of developing cavities.

What Happens During A Professional Fluoride Treatment ?
Dentists provide professional topical fluoride treatments in the form of a gel or varnish. These treatments have a much higher concentration of fluoride than the amount found in toothpaste or mouth rinses. A dentist usually applies fluoride gel treatment via a fluoride tray after a routine Scaling and Polishing. When a tooth or a specific area of the teeth is experiencing sensitivity or demineralisation, the dentist will use the Duraphat(varnish) instead. The fluoride varnish is painted directly onto the front and back, top and bottom of the tooth with a tiny brush. It forms a thin and hard covering over the tooth to prevent new cavities and slow down or stop decay from getting worse. Avoid eating or drinking for thirty minutes after the treatment so that the fluoride can be absorbed into the enamel.

Fluoride supplements are also available as liquid and tablets prescribed by a dentist, paediatrician or family doctor.
Should I Get Fluoride Treatment ?
In most cases, drinking plenty of water and brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste can prevent tooth decay. For patients who may be a risk of developing tooth decay, fluoride treatments can provide extra benefits. Dentists recommend patients at moderate risk of caries to get topical fluoride treatment once a year and twice a year for high-risk caries patients.

You should always provide your dentist with your full medical history so that they can suggest the best treatment plan for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Topical Fluoride Treatment ?
Topical fluoride treatment helps to restore minerals to tooth surfaces where bacteria may have eroded the tooth enamel. It stops the decay from penetrating deeper into the teeth and further prevent cavities. Fluoride treatment also creates stronger teeth surface by making the teeth more resistant to acid attack from plaque and sugars in the mouth.

In addition to fighting tooth decay and cavities, topical fluoride treatment also reduces tooth sensitivity. It alleviates the sensitive tooth's discomfort by forming a protective barrier to protect the tooth enamel when exposed to cold food, drinks or air.

Consult our dentists to assess if you require topical fluoride treatment!

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