South Yarra Dental Group

Dental Problems

Jaw Disorders

More than 15% of Australian adults suffer from chronic facial pain, typically in or around the ear and jaw. The pain is often accompanied by clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth, or headaches and neck aches.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw, called the mandible, to the temporal bone at the side of the head. Because these joints are flexible, the jaw can move smoothly up and down and side to side, enabling us to talk, chew, and yawn. Muscles attached to, and surrounding the jaw joint, control its position and movement.

Continue reading


When dentists observe bone loss in the jaw, it may be a sign of bone loss in other parts of the body, signalling osteoporosis, a disease that leads to a loss of bone density. A dentist may be the first health professional to suspect a patient has osteoporosis, based on the patient’s medical history and the results of clinical and X-ray examination. If osteoporosis is suspect, the dentist can then refer the patient to his or her physician for medical assessment and any subsequent treatment.

Continue reading

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding affects one in three people at some time or another. It occurs during sleep. Some teeth grinders or ‘bruxers’ are also fingernail biters, and inclined to chew pencils and the inside of their cheeks.

Over time, teeth grinding can lead to a host of problems, including cracked teeth, sensitive teeth, jaw pain, headaches, and excessive wear on the teeth. Forceful biting when not chewing can also cause the jaw to move out of alignment.

Continue reading

Snoring and Sleeping Disorders

Some sleep disorders can be treated with cosmetic dentistry. Others are more complex. One common condition is sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a condition where the tissues and muscles at the back of the throat collapse the airway. This causes the person to stop breathing momentarily and wake up.

Continue reading

Sensitive Teeth

If you wince with pain after sipping a hot cup of coffee or chewing a piece of ice, chances are that you may suffer from dentin hypersensitivity. This is commonly known as sensitive teeth.

Hot and cold temperature changes cause your teeth to expand and contract. Over time, your teeth can develop microscopic cracks that allow these sensations to seep through to the nerves. Exposed areas of the tooth can cause pain and even affect or change your eating, drinking, and breathing habits.

Continue reading

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer, and accounts for about 3.6 percent of all cancers diagnosed. The vast majority of oral cancers occur in people older than 45, with men being twice as likely as women to develop the disease.

Oral cancer accounts for roughly 3% of all cancer-caused deaths. Of all major cancers, oral cancer has the worst five-year survival rate, being approximately 54%. Because oral cancer is usually not diagnosed in its early stages, less than half of all oral cancer patients are cured.

Continue reading

Impacted Teeth

Your third set of molars are no different to any other tooth, save for the fact that they are the last to erupt, or grow, into the mouth. Because they typically do so at around the age of eighteen to twenty, when adolescents are close to turning into adults, these teeth are commonly referred to as ‘wisdom teeth’.

Continue reading

Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease) and Gingivitis

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth, and a major cause of tooth loss in adults. It most often is caused by bacteria. If left along the gum line, these bacteria can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. The gums begin to bleed and swell, which allow the bacteria even more opportunity to go deeper under the gum line.

Continue reading

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Dry mouth is caused by improperly functioning salivary glands. This is often caused by disease, certain medications, or cancer treatment. Dry mouth can make it difficult to swallow, taste and speak. In certain cases, the lack of moisture can make your tongue very sensitive, causing a condition known as ‘burning tongue syndrome’.

Continue reading

Diabetes and Teeth

Because of the nature of their disease, diabetics are sometime more prone to common dental ailments than the rest of us.

Diabetes is one of the conditions that increase the probability of someone developing periodontal disease, or gum disease. Gum disease is often caused by gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums brought on by the presence of bacteria in plaque. Plaque is the sticky colourless film that accumulates on teeth both above and below the gum line. Without regular dental checkups, periodontal disease may result if gingivitis is left untreated. Periodontal disease causes inflammation and destruction of tissues surrounding and supporting teeth, gums, bone, and fibres that hold the gums to the teeth.

Continue reading