When do I need a mouthguard for teeth grinding?

When do I need a mouthguard for teeth grinding?

You may need a mouthguard, known as a nightguard, if you have a chronic teeth grinding habit. If you don’t address the physical/psychological reasons for your teeth grinding habit (i.e. stress), nor use a night guard, you may experience further complications that may put your teeth at risk of permanent damage.

That said, everyone grinds, clenches or gnashes their teeth at one time or another. Most times we don’t even know we do it because teeth grinding, or bruxism, is usually subconscious behaviour, and symptoms aren’t always noticeable at first. It’s not until a partner or carer notices, or one experiences advanced symptoms that you may start to figure out what you’ve been doing with your teeth at night. But when does grinding become a problem that puts your oral health at risk?

The common symptoms of bruxism that indicate you may need to wear a “night guard” mouthguard from your dentist, include:

  • Dull headaches or ear pain – if you wake up with either of these symptoms, the reason could be teeth grinding at night.
  • Sore toothaches – a dull toothache may indicate excess pressure on your teeth from grinding.   
  • Facial stiffness – this symptom may indicate that your facial muscles have tensed for a long period indicating extended teeth grinding.
  • Medication – some medications, such as anti-depressants, cause teeth grinding while you sleep.
  • Non-stop grinding – if you have temporary or chronic stress issues, your teeth may be grinding on them at night.
  • Intense jaw clenching – this may cause your teeth to clench also.
  • Chipped tooth – if you notice a chip on a tooth or wear on the cusps/edges of your teeth – that is not the result of “poor” food choices (e.g. ice cubes) – you may be grinding your teeth excessively.
  • Sore, inflamed jaw joints in the morning – this may be a sign of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) which can occur from teeth grinding.

If you suspect that you have any of the signs and symptoms listed above and may be grinding your teeth, the next step is to see your dentist for a proper diagnosis and potential treatment options.


Teeth grinding may arise from a range of physical and/or psychological issues that will need to be dealt with – especially for children who are experiencing stress, anger and/or anxiety issues.  In the meantime, if you (or a family member) are experiencing bruxism, your dentist can help prevent any further oral health complications – such as attrition – by fitting you with a custom “nightguard” mouthguard that you can wear comfortably at night.

Dental Health Week 2019 – Are you tracking your oral health?

Dental Health Week 2019 – Are you tracking your oral health?

Dental Health Week 2019 starts today and will continue for the next week! So what is Dental Health Week?  It’s Australia’s own annual oral health promotion week which aims to remind Australians adults and kids about the importance of keeping good oral health.

This year event is all about keeping track of the oral health of you and your family. Unfortunately, this is a responsibility that not all Aussies are taking seriously enough.

According the Australian Dental Association’s Oral Health Tracker report card on the oral health habits of child, teen and adult Australians:

  • 65% of Australians haven’t visited their dentist for a check up for two years,
  • Half of Australians only brush their teeth once daily,
  • Approximately 40% of Australians don’t floss or use interdental brushes for the spaces in between their teeth and around their gums, and
  • 73% of teens aged 14 to 18 years are eating too much added sugar.

So, what’s the message to all Australians from the ADA regarding these serious community oral health issues?

  1. Visit your dentist for regular checkups and preventative dental treatment, once or twice a year.
  2. Brush your teeth TWICE a day with fluoride toothpaste – once when you wake up and again before you go to bed.
  3. Make sure you clean the interdental spaces between your teeth at least once a day, using floss, piksters or interdental brushes.
  4. Ensure your child eats a balanced, healthy diet, and limit their intake of added sugars.

Keeping track of your oral health is so important to avoid serious complications to your oral and general health – now and later in life. Happy Dental Health Week from the TC Dental team!

Pro tips for a healthy mouth

✔ Check out ADA’s 2018 Australian Health Tracker Report Card for adults

✔ Check out ADA’s 2018 Australian Health Tracker Report Card for children and teens

Watch your mouth…it’s Dental Health Week 2018!

Watch your mouth…it’s Dental Health Week 2018!

The slogan for Dental Health Week 2018 says it all. Don’t focus on just your teeth or gums, but try to take better care of your whole mouth in general.

That might sound obvious but Dental Health Week 2018 is going back to basics this year, due in part to the publication of the 2018 National Oral Health Report in March. This report, which you can read more about in our May blog post, revealed a lot of disappointing statistics regarding the oral health and habits of everyday Australians. For example, only 50% of Australians brush their teeth twice a day, while nearly 40% never floss or clean in-between their teeth!

Key messages

If Australians don’t keep up good oral health practices, they are putting themselves at risk of a number of oral health problems and complications. So for Dental Health Week this year, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) would like all Australians to take note of and share the following key messages:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily, morning and night, with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean in-between your teeth once daily with floss or an interdental brush.
  • Eat and drink a healthy diet, and limit your sugar intake to less than 10% of your total energy intake. The WHO sugar recommendation for adults and active children aged 2-18 is no more than 6 teaspoons per day. To put that amount into perspective, one can of soft drink contains about 7 teaspoons of sugar!
  • Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and preventative treatment, such as scale & cleans.
  • How to play your part

    Upper-Mt-Gravatt-dentist-ADA_DHW2018 2

    Dental Health Week is a time to reflect on what we have been doing, or not doing, to maintain the oral health of ourselves and our loved ones. It also gives us a fresh opportunity to renew and focus better on our oral health goals, and those of the children we teach and care for.
    Visit dentalhealthweek.com.au for more oral health information, activities and educational resources for kids and students. Lastly, have a great Dental Health Week from the TC Dental team!

Australia fails in 2018 National Oral Health Report

Australia fails in 2018 National Oral Health Report

A national oral health report card published in March, 2018 has revealed some sobering statistics regarding the oral health of Australians adults.

Australia’s Adult Oral Health Tracker is a joint initiative of the Aust. Dental Association (ADA) and the Aust. Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC). The report aims to track the progress of preventable oral diseases along with their risk factors and negative oral health outcomes. The report will be published on a regular basis, in order to monitor the progress of oral health targets – set for all Australians to achieve by 2025.

Where are we failing?

  • The most common chronic disease in Australia is tooth decay. This includes all oral and general health diseases. Currently 90.1% of Australians have experienced or are experiencing tooth decay in their permanent teeth.
  • A lot of Australians are not having their tooth decay treated by a dentist. The latest data reveals that 25.5% of us are living with untreated tooth decay. This can lead to oral health complications such as cavities, gum disease and tooth loss.
  • 19.8 % of adults aged over 15, have periodontal pockets greater than 4mm in width. Periodontal pockets are deep spaces between your teeth and gums that contain plaque and oral bacteria. As these pockets develop, your gums start to pull away and detach from your teeth irreversibly, leading to receding gums and potential tooth loss. If you have periodontal pockets, then you probably have gum disease (periodontitis).
  • Australians aren’t brushing their teeth enough. Half of all Australian adults do not brush their teeth twice a day as recommended. Over a 24 hour period, the development of plaque and tooth decay can progress significantly.
  • 52.2% of Australian adults are consuming too much sugar. Furthermore, approximately 75% of children consume excess sugar. Excess sugar intake is a major risk factor for tooth decay and erosion, not to mention cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
  • Poor childhood oral health is a high risk factor for poor oral health outcomes in adults. Over 22,000 Australian children aged less than 9 years old were hospitalised for oral health problems. All of these cases could have been prevented through proper oral care and hygiene, and access to free dental services via the Children Dental Benefit Schedule (CDBS).


Despite the current challenges, the best way to move forward is to improve action that can prevent poor oral health in Australia. Individuals, parents, families, communities, health professionals and government will need to play a part to ensure the oral health of all Australians in the future.


Manton DJ, Foley M, Gikas A, Ivanoski S, McCullough M, Peres MA, Roberts-Thomson K, Skinner J, Irving E, Seselja A, Calder R, Harris B, Lindberg R, Millar L, Nichols T. 2018 Australia’s Oral Health Tracker: Technical Paper, Australian Health Policy Collaboration, Victoria University, Melbourne. Retrieved from https://www.ada.org.au/Dental-Professionals/Australia-s-Oral-Health-Tracker/Australia-s-Oral-Health-Tracker-Technical-Appendix/ADA_AHPC_Technical-Appendix_07032018

Inlays and onlays – the conservative tooth restoration

Inlays and onlays – the conservative tooth restoration

Inlays and onlays are dental treatments for teeth that are moderately decayed, damaged, chipped or cracked. Unlike fillings, which are molded into a cavity, inlays and onlays are prosthetic partial teeth that are fabricated in a dental lab to fit precisely into the space left by the missing portion of the tooth.

Inlays and onlays – What’s the difference?

They are very similar but each has a specific purpose. Inlays are designed to fit where traditional fillings usually go – the space within the cusps of a tooth. If one or more of the cusps are damaged or missing, then an onlay is more suitable. Onlays are a little bigger and cover more of your tooth’s surface. They can fit within and over any outer cusps that have broken off as a result of damage or decay.

The conservative approach

Why are inlays and onlays considered to be a conservative alternative to tooth restoration? They only restore the part of a tooth that is actually damaged.

If you were to opt for a full-coverage crown to restore the same tooth, more invasive procedures are needed to prepare the tooth for a crown. That means you may sacrifice perfectly healthy tooth structure to accommodate the crown. So in that sense, inlay and onlay treatment is a conservative approach, since it preserves as much of your natural tooth structure as possible during prep.

What are the benefits of inlays/onlays?

  • Seal teeth better than fillings
  • Fit perfectly
  • Strong, durable and stable
  • Protect and support weaker parts of a tooth
  • Preserve more of your natural tooth structure for better long-term functionality
  • Easier to clean for better oral care
  • Colour-matched with surrounding tooth enamel
  • Stain resistant, and better colour retention than tooth-coloured fillings
  • More cost effective than other tooth restoration options


If you have a tooth that is decayed and damaged, inlays and onlays may be the perfect solution. Call us on 07 3349 9334 to schedule a visit before your tooth gets damaged any further!

The many benefits of dental crowns

The many benefits of dental crowns

Dental crowns are a dental prosthetic restoration that fits over a heavily damaged tooth or dental implant. Once the crown is permanently bonded into place, it effectively becomes that tooth’s new outer surface, and restores its function and appearance. You can eat and drink normally, and you clean crowns in the same way as you would brush and floss your other natural teeth.

How do dental crowns work?

A crown is basically a prosthetic tooth that is usually made from porcelain or gold and metal alloys. The underside of a crown has an exact negative impression of the prepared natural tooth structure, so when placed, it fits perfectly onto the tooth, and can be bonded seamlessly – to prevent oral bacteria from entering between the crown and tooth. In the event of a dental implant, the crown is specially designed to fit and be secured onto the implant.

The benefits and advantages of crowns

Dental crowns are a beneficial solution for a range of tooth health issues. Your dentist may recommend a dental crown for the following reasons:

  • Restore and strengthen teeth heavily damaged by major tooth decay and cavities
  • Replace large fillings because of a lack of remaining natural, supportive tooth structure
  • Renew tooth grinding surfaces that have worn away or eroded
  • Protect teeth from further decay, erosion or damage
  • Restore teeth that have undergone root canal treatment
  • Secure and support cracked, fractured or broken teeth
  • Prevent weak teeth from cracking or fracturing
  • Cap a dental implant
  • Attach a dental bridge
  • Make cosmetic improvements to your teeth’s shape, size and colour

Crowns custom-made on-site

At TC Dental Group, we have a special-partner dental ceramist on-site right next to our clinic – for faster and more efficient service. Oral Ceramics is renowned for their skill, quality and reliability in producing crowns using only the highest quality materials. Together, we aim to provide our patients with strong, functional and aesthetic crown restorations that will last for many years.


If you would like to find out more information regarding crowns, or to book a consultation, please call us on 3349 9334 (Mt.Gravatt), or 3848 1574 (Annerley).

Removing amalgam fillings

Removing amalgam fillings

Dental amalgam is a cost effective and popular filling material that has been used in dentistry for over a hundred years. Amalgam is an alloy made up of silver, tin, mercury, zinc and copper. When the mixture has set, these metals bond permanently and harden. Amalgam has been clinically proven to be bio-safe despite ongoing concerns about the release of mercury into the body.

The main advantages of amalgam fillings are durability, resistance and strength. They may not look that attractive but on the upside, amalgam fillings can last well over 10 years and can withstand strong chewing and grinding forces, especially on your back teeth.

Amalgam is also very effective for large cavities below the gum line. While the alloy is pliable, it can be pushed and compacted deep into the prepared cavity.


Should amalgam fillings be replaced or removed?

There is no conclusive clinical evidence that amalgam fillings can cause health problems unless you have specific metal allergies. In that case, you wouldn’t have been recommended an amalgam filling treatment in the first place.

If there isn’t a good reason to remove a sound amalgam filling, then removal is not usually recommended. Removing good amalgams is a safe procedure but trace amounts of mercury may be released, and the healthy parts of your tooth may be affected unnecessarily in the process. The preparation and restoration process alone may remove and weaken your existing tooth structure more than simply leaving the existing filling undisturbed.

However, there are situations were removing or replacing amalgam fillings is still preferred or even necessary.

Reasons for removal or replacement include:

  • Appearance. Amalgams have a silver colour that doesn’t match the natural shade of your teeth. When you open your mouth too wide as you speak or laugh, these fillings are very visible. This can be a big issue for a lot of people. Solution? Have your amalgams removed and replaced with composite resin fillings which can be colour-matched perfectly to your surrounding teeth. They are just as strong but may need to be replaced after five years. If you prefer to keep your amalgam filling, you can also elect to have a dental onlay applied to mask it.
  • Worn or broken amalgam fillings. Amalgams may be long lasting but they can wear out and break. And as with any type of filling, bacteria and decay may develop beneath a filling. Your dentist should spot any potential problems early at your regular check up, and give you advice concerning the best time to replace or restore your amalgams.

If you are concerned about your amalgams, or would like more information about getting your amalgams removed or restored, call our friendly staff to book a consultation on (07) 3349 9334.

Invisalign® – the invisible teeth straightening solution

Invisalign® – the invisible teeth straightening solution

Invisalign® is a clear and removable alternative to braces that can help adults, teens and kids to transform their smiles – while maintaining good oral health and an active lifestyle at the same time.

With Invisalign® clear aligners, you have the freedom to take out your aligners for eating, cleaning your teeth and attending special occasions. When you’re done, you just pop them back in. At any other time, when you are wearing Invisalign® “crystal clear” aligners, most people won’t even notice because they are almost invisible!

TC Dental Invisalign®teeth straightening

You won’t even notice that you are wearing them because Invisalign clear aligners straighten your teeth without any irritation or discomfort.

Getting your teeth aligned correctly with Invisalign is a proven way to improve your smile and confidence. But did you know that there are important oral health benefits from straightening your teeth?

The most common oral health reason to straighten misaligned teeth is to correct a “bad bite”. Crooked or crowded teeth can cause chewing and digestive problems, headaches, chronic pain and TMD (temporomandibular disorder).

Invisalign® is suitable for most cases of teeth misalignment. In cases of more complex teeth-straightening issues, such as large gaps and rotated teeth, you may be referred to an orthodontist. However, research has shown that up to 80% of all adults are suitable candidates for using aligners.

If you are planning to have veneers, then straightening your teeth first can contribute to a better result. The aligners move your teeth into their ideal positions before veneers are applied. This means that there is minimal veneer preparation involved, and less weakening of your teeth in the process.

For a big, beautiful smile, Invisalign® invisible aligners do all the work for you – without you or anyone else noticing. Invisalign® patients experience better periodontal health, comfort, convenience and satisfaction during treatment compared to fixed wired braces.

For more information about Invisalign clear aligners, or if you would like to book a consultation with one of our Invisalign®-trained dentists, call TC Dental today on (07) 3349 9334

Be careful what you eat this Christmas – for teeth’s sake!

Be careful what you eat this Christmas – for teeth’s sake!

Christmas is almost upon us again, and Australian kids and adults are experts at Christmas snacking over the holiday period. Chocolate, cake, chips, Xmas pudding, custard, endless bowls of sweets – you name it, we munch it. We feast like kings and queens – but for our teeth and gums, it is an entirely different experience.

In fact, for them, the holiday period is more like holiday hell.

TC dental group eathing sake oral healthThere are heaps of healthy foods that are beneficial to our oral health. Unfortunately, a lot of traditional Christmas snacks and beverages don’t fit into this category. As it happens, they are the reason why the Xmas/New Year holiday period is probably the worst time of the year for our teeth.

Snacks that are high in refined carbohydrates and sugar, such as iced donuts, fruit mince pies and cakes, are the perfect food supply for billions of pathogenic oral bacteria in our mouths. And the more snacks we consume, the more food residue builds up on our teeth.

It’s when we take a break from snacking to watch TV that the fun really starts. That’s because it’s low tide, and the oral bacteria can feast on the food residue trapped in the nooks and crannies of our teeth – and start reproducing very quickly.

In just a few hours, the entire population of bacterial microbes on your teeth, tongue and cheeks can double in number, forming huge bacterial plaque colonies. If these bacteria are left undisturbed for 24 hours because you forgot to brush and floss your teeth – then you’ve got a bacteria population explosion.

You can even see it growing on your teeth in the mirror. It’s that whitish sticky fuzz – on your teeth, close to your gum line – that you can remove with your fingernail. It looks innocuous enough, when actually it’s a thriving plaque colony of living – and reproducing – microorganisms.

The main waste product of these developing plaque colonies is acid. Not just any acid, but a potent compound lactic acid that aggressively demineralises tooth enamel. It can start leeching out calcium from your tooth enamel within minutes – causing loss of enamel, tooth decay and cavity formation.

To make matters worse, it can take up to two hours for your saliva to neutralise this harmful acid because it is beneath dental plaque. The plaque acts as a protective cover preventing the bacterial acid from being diluted or washed away by saliva, food and beverages.

The only way to remove plaque is by brushing and flossing. For ultra-clean teeth, visit your dentist for a professional scale and clean.

Always remembers these teeth saving tips when eating and drinking over Christmas:

  1. Don’t graze on snacks or sip on sugary drinks. Consume in a timely fashion.
  2. Minimise the time sugars are present in your mouth. (E.g. avoid sucking lollies).
  3. Don’t forget your daily brush and floss routine. Look out for plaque build-ups. Keep your teeth clean and fresh, and stay hydrated when you are not eating.
  4. Don’t savour that lingering food-flavour after-taste. That’s actually the taste of trapped food residue on your teeth and tongue. At the very least, rinse your mouth with water to wash away food residue after snacking. Tooth picks and sugar-free gum can also assist.
  5. Moderation is key – eat when you are hungry. Avoid binge eating snack foods or sipping large quantities of sugary soft drinks.
  6. Try to make healthier food choices for snacks.

Eat healthy for a healthy mouth this Xmas!

FIRST AID for KIDS: Sports Injury / Dental Trauma

FIRST AID for KIDS: Sports Injury / Dental Trauma

If your child suffers a dental injury – it is a dental emergency.

There are 4 main types of teeth injuries:

  • Knocked-out (Alvulsed) teeth
  • Dislodged (Luxated) teeth
  • Chipped or fractured teeth
  • Root fractures

The causes of these teeth injuries range from falling over to accidents while playing sports. They can also occur when biting something hard.

All of these types of teeth injuries require prompt dental attention and treatment. Soft tissue trauma to your child’s mouth, gums or cheek may also need to be assessed and treated by a dentist.

In the case of a knocked-out tooth, take your child to your nearest dentist immediately. You can locate your nearest dentist by using the locator in the National Health Services Directory website. Your child’s tooth has the best chance of survival if a dentist can replant and stabilise it – within 30 minutes of being knocked out.

It is also important to remain calm and act quickly, when your child or student experiences a tooth injury.

Before jumping in the car, call the dentist for specific advice on how to handle your child’s dental emergency, if possible. There are steps you can take, that can influence the successful outcome of dental treatment and recovery.

If you have access to basic first aid supplies, you can also take immediate action to relieve your child of pain and discomfort, as well as to reduce any swelling or bleeding.

For knocked-out teeth:

  1. Locate the tooth, and handle it carefully by the crown to avoid further injury to the root.
  2. Rinse the tooth gently in clean water, without drying.
  3. Reinsert the tooth carefully into its socket.
  4. Instruct your child to keep their mouth closed and bite gently (or use a clean finger) to hold the tooth in place.
  5. If the tooth cannot be replanted, keep it moist. Do not allow it to dry out. You can store it in a sealed cup of milk, or instruct your child to keep the tooth between their gums and cheek – without swallowing it.
  6. See a dentist within 30 minutes if possible, though a tooth can be saved after an hour or more.

TC dental children missing teeth

For chipped or broken teeth:

  1. Collect all pieces of broken teeth.
  2. Instruct your child to rinse their mouth with clean, warm water.
  3. Call your dentist to schedule a visit, as soon as possible.

For soft tissue injury:

  • To stop bleeding, give your child a folded piece of cold, moist gauze. Instruct them to bite down gently on the gauze.
  • To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to the affected cheek.
  • Administer a suitable dose of pain medication, such as Ibuprofen, if necessary.
  • Call your dentist to schedule a visit, as soon as possible.
  • Monitor your child for signs and symptoms of further swelling, increase of pain, fever and changes in tooth colour.

With the right emergency action, you can ensure the best outcome – when your child experiences a dental injury.