What is Periodontitis? How do it be prevented?

Periodontitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end -- if not properly treated -- with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth.

What's the Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis?

Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes periodontitis (gum disease). However, it is important to know that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis.

In the early stage of gingivitis, bacteria in plaque buildup, causing the gums to become inflamed and to easily bleed during tooth brushing. Although the gums may be irritated, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. No irreversible bone or other tissue damage has occurred at this stage.

When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. In a person with periodontitis, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These small spaces between teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected. The body's immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.

Toxins or poisons -- produced by the bacteria in plaque as well as the body's "good" enzymes involved in fighting infections -- start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. When this happens, teeth are no longer anchored in place, they become loose, and tooth loss occurs. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease. These include:

  • Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation, make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for gingivitis to develop.

  • Illnesses may affect the condition of your gums. This includes diseases such as cancer or HIV that interfere with the immune system. Because diabetes affects the body's ability to use blood sugar, patients with this disease are at higher risk of developing infections, including periodontal disease and cavities.

  • Medications can affect oral health, because some lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums. Some drugs, such as the anticonvulsant medication Dilantin and the anti-angina drug Procardia and Adalat, can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.

  • Bad habits such as smoking make it harder for gum tissue to repair itself.

  • Poor oral hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing on a daily basis, make it easier for gingivitis to develop.

  • Family history of dental disease can be a contributing factor for the development of gingivitis.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums

  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth

  • Receding gums

  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums

  • Loose or shifting teeth

  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures.

Even if you don't notice any symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease.

How Is Gum Disease Treated?

The goals of gum disease treatment are to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth; reduce swelling, the depth of pockets, and the risk of infection; and to stop disease progression. Treatment options depend on the stage of disease, how you may have responded to earlier treatments, and your overall health. Options range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues. A full description of the various treatment options is provided in Gum Disease Treatments.

How Can Gum Disease Be Prevented?

Gingivitis can be reversed and the progression of gum disease can be stopped in nearly all cases when proper plaque control is practiced. Proper plaque control consists of professional cleanings at least twice a year and daily brushing and flossing. Brushing eliminates plaque from the surfaces of the teeth that can be reached; flossing removes food particles and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gum line. Antibacterial mouth rinses can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease, according to the American Dental Association.

Other health and lifestyle changes that will decrease the risk, severity, and speed of gum disease development include:

  • Stop smoking. Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for development of periodontitis. Smokers are seven times more likely to get gum disease than nonsmokers, and smoking can lower the chances of success of some treatments.

  • Reduce stress. Stress may make it difficult for your body's immune system to fight off infection.

  • Maintain a well-balanced diet. Proper nutrition helps your immune system fight infection. Eating foods with antioxidant properties -- for example, those containing vitamin E ( vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables) and vitamin C (citrus fruits, broccoli, potatoes) -- can help your body repair damaged tissue.

  • Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth. These actions may put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could increase the rate at which these tissues are destroyed.

Despite following good oral hygiene practices and making other healthy lifestyle choices, the American Academy of Periodontology says that up to 30% of Americans may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. And those who are genetically predisposed may be up to six times more likely to develop some form of gum disease. If anyone in your family has gum disease, it may mean that you are at greater risk, as well. If you are more susceptible to gum disease, we may recommend more frequent check-ups, cleanings, and treatments to better manage the condition.

Is Gum Disease Linked to Other Health Problems?

According to the CDC, researchers have uncovered potential links between gum disease and other serious health conditions. In people with healthy immune systems, the bacteria in the mouth that makes its way into the bloodstream is usually harmless. But under certain circumstances, these microorganisms are associated with health problems such as stroke and heart disease. Diabetes is not only a risk factor for gum disease, but gum disease may make diabetes worse.



I Have Jaw Pain on One Side, Can This Be TMJ?

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) often develop symmetrically, in both jaw joints at the same time. However, it is possible for people to develop the disorder and experience symptoms on just one side of the head. However, as the condition progresses, it will likely spread to affect the other joint as well.

Why TMJ Might Develop on Just One Side

The temporomandibular joints are supposed to work as a matched pair, balancing forces in a way that maintains healthy function over the long term. It’s also possible that they can become unbalanced, leading to dysfunction on just one side of the face.

Usually, trauma is the cause of imbalance. If you experience a blow to one side of the face, you might experience damage to the jaw joint, which can cause dysfunction. Of course, sometimes this isn’t the side that starts to show symptoms. After you start to experience jaw pain on one side, it’s not uncommon to favor that side. You might consciously chew on the other side of your mouth, which can lead to jaw damage and muscle soreness there.

Another reason for imbalance in jaw joint damage is simply that you might strongly favor one side of your jaw over the other. Similar to handedness, some people have a tendency to chew mostly on one side of their mouth, which can stress the jaw joint, leading to dysfunction. With a habit like gum chewing, it’s possible to do a lot of damage to your jaw joint when favoring one side over the other. Unconscious clenching and grinding (bruxism) can also be governed by your tendency to favor one side over the other, and because you might clench with 50 times the force or more than you normally chew with, damage can escalate quickly.

Jaw joint damage might be more directly linked to handedness, too. If you are strongly right-handed, for example, you might be more likely to put objects into your mouth on the right side, and biting down on these pens, pencils, fingernails, and other objects can damage your jaw joint (not to mention your teeth!).

Symptoms Will Likely Spread

So, yes, it is possible to develop TMJ on just one side of the face. However, the condition probably won’t stay isolated like that. After all, the two joints do work together, and what affects the one will affect the other, though often in an inverse way. If you are compressing one jaw joint, you might be expanding the other. This causes stress, too, though it might not be obvious at first.

When you bite, chew, and grind on one side of the mouth, you can cause the teeth to wear down there much faster than on the other side. This can cause your jaw to tilt visibly, creating an uneven facial appearance. Not only that, but eventually the stretching force will lead to dysfunction in the decompressed joint.

You might also spread dysfunction in the same way you developed it on the first side: by compensating. If one jaw joint is causing  you pain such as headaches, you can switch over to the other side to avoid the pain. This might work, but over time both joints can develop TMJ symptoms.

Correct Problems Before Symptoms Spread

Fortunately, TMJ is treatable. And if you’re experiencing symptoms on just one side of your face, treatment can head off the spread of those symptoms.

If you are looking for treatment of TMJ in the Sydney area, please call 02 9558 8988 today for an appointment with Dr Chong in Hurlstone Park.


Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry refers to the dental treatment that improves the teeth, gums, bite or even smile. Many treatments can improve appearance, but not all treatments are suitable for all patients. Dr Lisa will be able to provide you with the most appropriate choices regarding your current concerns, expected results and budget.

If you want to improve your teeth and smile, Dr Lisa at Pain Free Dentist Sydney may recommend one or more of the following dental treatments.

Types of dental procedures


Tooth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that lightens the color of teeth. It is safe for the dentist to do the operation. For more information on tooth whitening, please click here.


The veneer includes a dental cosmetic procedure in which a thin tooth enamel or composite resin surface is bonded to the front of one or more teeth. Veneers are more conservative than crowns and are good cosmetic options for patients with the following dental problems

•           Gaps between teeth

•           Stained or discoloured teeth

•           Broken or chipped teeth

•           Crowded teeth

•           Crooked, oddly shaped or misaligned teeth

Click here for more information about this cosmetic dental option.


Dental implants provide patients with the opportunity to replace missing teeth, greatly enhancing appearance and function. The implant can be thought of as an artificial root that attaches to the lower jaw. They are cylindrical devices made of medical titanium and placed on missing teeth or on teeth that have been attached to skeletal organisms. A ceramic crown that matches the existing tooth is then attached to the secure implant.

Click here for more information.


Custom crowns can be placed over prepared natural teeth to replace natural crowns, which are visible above the teeth 'gums. Crowns not only improve a person's smile, but also increase strength, durability, and stability.

Click here for more information.

If you would like to know more about cosmetic dentistry that is suitable for you, please contact us for more information or an appointment.


Missing Tooth: Dental Bridge or Implants?

The missing tooth should be filled, or it will cause tooth displacement and cause tooth alignment.

With the exception of the last wisdom tooth, if there is a missing tooth, the tooth at the back of the missing tooth will be tilted forward. If the missing tooth is left unfilled for a long time, the upper and lower teeth at the front and back of the missing tooth will begin to move.

Options for missing teeth reconstruction

When a tooth is missing, there are three ways to restore the tooth to its normal function:

  1. The implant

  2. The bridge

  3. Movable dentures

Each has its advantages and disadvantages

Preparation time (from fast to slow) bridge > movable denture > implant

Costs (less to more) denture > bridge > implant

Degree of aesthetics (from beauty to ugliness) implant > bridge > movable denture

Life span (from long to short) implant > bridge > movable denture

Can withstand the bite force (from large to small) implant > bridge > movable denture


The advantage of dental implant is that it does not need to affect the adjacent good tooth, and the artificial tooth root can be directly inserted into the bone drill hole in the missing part of the tooth, and the denture can be loaded after the healing of the artificial tooth root and bone for 4-6 months. The bite force load of the implant can be the same as that of a normal tooth, so it's ok to eat a steak with guano. If the implant is well maintained and the design and material of the denture are good, it can be expected to be used for 20 to 30 years.

The downside of implants is that they take longer, are more expensive, and the surgery can be scary.

The life of the implant varies from 5 to 30 years.


The advantage of bridge is that it can be made quickly, which can be finished in about a week. They are less expensive than implants, look good and last longer, and have about the same bite force as normal teeth.

The disadvantage of dental bridge is that it has to remove a layer of enamel from the adjacent tooth where the tooth is missing. If the bridge becomes loose due to too much bite force in the future, after the adhesive dissolves, saliva will infiltrate into the denture and cause abutment tooth decay, which will be caused by tooth extraction.

Abutment teeth on both sides of the bridge cannot be used as bridge support teeth if they are in poor health (too short root, periodontal disease).

The service life of bridge varies from 5 to 12 years.


Removable dentures are cheap, take about 2 to 4 weeks to make, and are easy to remove and clean.

Movable denture disadvantage is not beautiful, not very hard to bite food, pressure to the gums may have pain.

The service life of movable denture is about 5~8 years.

Veteran Affairs


If you have a Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Health Card - All Conditions (Gold) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold), DVA will fund most clinically required dental services, provided under DVA arrangements. We will provide dental services for you through the Medicare Benefits Scheme, free of charge. For information about the Gold Card, please refer to DVA website.


Gold card holders will normally receive all dental treatment subsidy provided, which our dentist will determine the clinical need for dental treatment. Depending on the type of treatment you need, our dentist can do this immediately without DVA approval or seek approval from the department before continuing treatment.

Procedures such as dental exams, x-rays and temporary crowns, for example, can be done without delay, while some surgeries, dental implants and artificial tooth replacements (A.K.A. dentures) must wait until the DVA approves them.

The good news is that many general dental procedures do not require approval.


Keep in mind that while many standard treatments don't have an annual monetary limit, some do. Our dentist will tell you what falls into this category and how much money you can spend each year on medical services.

If you have further inquiries or questions, please contact DVA directly.


Currently, we only accept Gold card members to perform the treatment.

You do not need a referral from your doctor to make an appointment with us.

Come today with family members!

TMJ disorders


The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. There is a joint on each side of the jaw. TMJ disorders are disorders in the temporomandibular joint that cause pain in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement.

The exact cause of a person's TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. Your pain may be the result of a combination of factors, such as genetics, arthritis or a jaw injury. Some people with mandibular pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth (bruxism), although many people habitually clench or grind their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders.

In some cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders are temporary and can be relieved by self-managed care or non-surgical treatment. Surgery is often the last resort after conservative treatment has failed, but some patients with TMJ disorders may benefit from surgery.


Symptoms and signs of TMJ disorders may include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw

  • Pain in the temporomandibular joint

  • Pain in and around the ears

  • Difficulty or pain in chewing

  • Facial pain

  • Locking the joints, difficult to open or close your mouth

TMJ disorders can also cause a clicking or jarring sensation when you open your mouth or chew.


The temporomandibular joint combines hinge movement and sliding motion. The bones that interact within the joint are partly covered with cartilage and separated by a small shock absorber, which usually keeps the motion steady.

TMJ disorder could happen if:

  • Disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment

  • Articular cartilage is damaged by arthritis

  • The joint is damaged by a blow or other impact

However, in many cases, the causes of TMJ disorders are unclear.


Factors that may increase the risk of TMJ disorders include:

  • Various types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

  • Jaw injury

  • Permanent (chronic) grinding or clenching of teeth

Certain connective tissue diseases may affect the temporomandibular joint

Do You Need an Emergency Dentist?

We know that there are days where you may need to see a dentist as soon as possible! You may have been kept up all night from your toothache and want the issue to be resolved as soon as possible. At Pain Free Dentist Sydney, we always keep some spaces available in the appointment slots everyday for patients requiring an emergency dentist. 

Pain Free Dentist Sydney is located at two convenient locations in Rozelle and Hurlstone Park and we open 6 days a week and take emergencies on Sundays. 

Dental emergencies that we treat include: 

  • Tooth aches
  • Sports injuries 
  • Tooth or teeth being knocked out 
  • Denture repairs 
  • Crown chips
  • Fractured Teeth 
  • Broken filling
  • Jaw pain
  • Locked jaw 

In the situation that your tooth has been knocked out, please follow these first aid instructions: 

1. If the tooth is free from dirt, put the tooth straight back into the socket, making sure that you do not touch the root - only grip the crown of the tooth
2. If the tooth is dirt wash the tooth with milk or Hank's balanced salt solution and then place it back into the socket
3. If you can't place the tooth back into the socket - place it in between your back teeth and your cheek or in a container containing milk, saliva or Hank's balanced salt solution
4. Book an emergency appointment with your Dentist immediately.

If you or someone close to you have experienced a dental emergency, please do not hesitate to contact Pain Free Dentist Sydney on (02) 9818 8887 for urgent care. 

Adult Tongue Tie Revision

Symptoms of tongue tie before surgery

Tongue tie symptoms in adults is presents a broader set of conditions and diseases.

Here are the symptoms:

Lack of energy and sugar craving, brain fog

Sleep apnea or bad sleeper, snoring

Chronic Neck and Back pain

Pain In Jaw Joint


Mouth breathing and dry lips

Teeth sensitivity when drinking water




Am I Tongue Tied? How to identify oral restrictions

Does any of the above sound familiar?  If you suffer any of these conditions, let’s do a simple test that may reveal a tongue tie.

  • Do a finger swipe under your tongue, is there a catch? It should be a smooth transition. There should be no flap under the tongue.
  • Do you have a strong gag reflex?
  • Stick your tongue out, straight, now can you lift the tip without moving the rest of the tongue?  The tip should move independently to the rest of the tongue.
  • Open your mouth, as wide as it goes. Without moving or closing the jaw, can you reach the tip of your tongue to spot behind your upper front teeth? Your tongue should reach the spot behind your front teeth at FULL jaw opening.
  • Can your tongue comfortably wipe across the outer sides of your upper and lower back teeth and reach where the gums connect with the cheeks?
  • Can you move your lips side to side (lips closed) without moving the entire jaw? The lips should be able to move independently to the jaw. Lip tie restricts full lip movement.

*There are other signs on the face and body that a well trained professional can assess as well as several related issues that stem from tongue restriction. These include airway, posture, and sleep and a practitioner can assess you beyond just appearance of the tongue.


Adult Tongue Tie Surgery

Before Tongue Tie Surgery

As a trained Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist, Dr Lisa Chong and her great team at Pain Free Dentist Sydney will develop a program for you to assist in Nasal breathing, Correct tongue posture and swallowing function.

Tongue tie surgery types for adults

This treatment can be carried out without needing to have General Anesthetic and options are:

  • Release of the frenum by scissors with local anaesthetic.
  • Release of frenum by laser.


Tongue tie surgery complications

  • Recurrence of lingual frenum can occur, especially in growing children. This may mean a revision is necessary in certain cases.
  •  Always consult with your practitioner regarding potential risks and complications before surgery.


What is the cost of tongue tie surgery for adults? 

Prices generally vary from depending on the level of support and lead up treatment. 

If you have a question regarding adult tongue-tie release, please call and book at (02) 9558 8988.

How to Encourage Children to Have Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Maintaining healthy teeth starts at home. Prevention is key! This is why it is important to teach children from a young age to have good oral hygiene habits. If you are struggling to encourage your child to perform oral hygiene habits than these tips may help!

1.       Fun and Entertaining YouTube Video: Showing your child some fun and entertaining YouTube videos on how to brush teeth and possibly of their favourite cartoon character brushing their teeth will surely encourage them to do so as well.

2.       Become a Good Example: Children tend to mimic what their parents do, so it is important that you show your child that you also brush your teeth 2 times a day. Perhaps, you can brush your teeth together.

3.       Education: Instead of just telling them to brush their teeth, try to also explain why brushing their teeth is important. You can refer to bacteria growing in the mouth as ‘little monsters’ that will try to eat away their tooth!

4.       Choosing a Toothbrush: Involve your child in the process of choosing a toothbrush. If they like the toothbrush they have, they will be more excited to use it daily.

5.       Monitor: Always watch over your child as they are brushing their teeth and try to correct their technique. Overtime they will become more experienced and this will lay down the foundation a life time of good oral hygiene.

We hope this helps! Good luck and if you have any more questions or are concerned about your child’s oral hygiene, call us on (02) 9558 8988 to book an appointment with one of our friendly dentists!

Tongue and Lip Tie: Frequently Asked Questions

If my child has a lip tie, what are the chances that they also have a tongue tie?

  • There is a very high chance that your child may also have a tongue tie 
  • This does not mean that both the tongue tie and lip tie need to be treated.
  • Treatment will depend on the signs and symptoms

What is better, using a laser or scissors for tongue tie release?

  •  In the hands of an experienced clinician it should not matter what method is used to release the tongue/lip tie
  • Both procedures will produce excellent results if done correctly

What do you do after the tongue/lip tie procedure?

  • The Dentist will inform parents about certain exercises (e.g. stretches) that they should perform on the child.
  • This will prevent reattachment and promote healing. 
  • They can be done while the child is awake or asleep 
  • The child should also be brought in for a review appointment to assess that everything is going to plan and healing well.  

Can a tongue tie cause speech problems?

  • Not everyone who has a tongue tie will have speech problems - it is usually case based. That being said, it is very common though. 
  • The most affected letters are CH, TH, SH, S, L and R sounds 
  • There is an improvement in speech following tongue tie release

When can I expect to see Improvements in breastfeeding?

  • Typically you will see an improvement straight away following release, however it could take as long as a week to show
  • We recommend that you also seek assistance from a lactation nurse after the procedure
  • At Pain Free Dentist Sydney we can recommend a lactation nurse for you if you do not have one already

Are stitches necessary following a tongue or lip tie release?

  • For children stitches are not necessary however for adult tongue tie release they may be needed.
  • It all depends on the degree of tongue tie that will be released. You will be informed whether or not you will need stitches at your initial consultation  

We hope that this has helped answer some of your questions! If you have any other questions in regards to tongue or lip ties, please do not hesitate to call us on (02) 9558 8988.

Adult Tongue Tie

You are probably aware of what a tongue tie is if you have read our previous blog posts. It is essentially a condition that you are born with where your tongue has limited movement due to a shortened piece of skin which connects the underside of your tongue to the floor of the mouth. This is usually an issue that is apparent in infants; however it is also prevalent in the adult population. Many adults have gone through life with an un-diagnosed tongue tie. This may seem as an irrelevant issue; however you would be surprised to know just how many different symptoms it could cause ranging from social to sleeping and dental problems such as:

  • Inability to open mouth widely which affects pronunciation of certain letters and inability to speak clearly when talking fast or loud.
  • Pain or clicking in one or both jaw joints
  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Chronic neck, back and shoulder pain.
  • Increased risk for developing gum inflammation and cavities.
  • Mouth breathing leading to frequently dry mouth.
  • Sleep apnea which affects the quality of your sleep. You may be waking up tired often and have an increased need to take afternoon naps.
  • Crooked teeth

 A good way to test whether or not your tongue is tied is by opening your mouth to it's full extent and then extending the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth just behind your front teeth. If you are unable to do this, then there is a possibility that you are tongue tied and you should probably book an appointment with your Dentist for a full examination. 

Treatment of the adult tongue involves a procedure using a laser where the piece of skin restricting the tongue movement is released. At Pain Free Dentist Sydney, in the hands of our experienced clinician you are guaranteed to have a pain free experience. Post operative care involves performing a range of simple exercises for a period of time to prevent re-attachment and scaring. 

If you have any questions in regards to adult tongue ties or suspect that you may have this condition feel free to call us on (02) 9558 8988 to book a consultation appointment.

Causes of Clicking during Breastfeeding

Have you noticed that your baby makes a clicking sound while they are nursing? This usually indicated that the seal or suction is being broken numerous times as the baby feeds. There are many reasons as to why this issue occurs and you must evaluate the symptoms that you and the baby are experiencing and inform your lactation nurse.

When the mother is comfortable (i.e. she is not experiencing any nipple soreness or pain) and the baby is growing and gaining adequate weight relative to their age then there is probably no reason to worry about this. However, if the mother is experiencing discomfort as a result of breastfeeding, and the baby is losing weight than the underlying issue must be identified.

Some causes of clicking during breastfeeding include poor positioning, poor latching, breast milk oversupply, fast let down, teething, ear infections and intraoral infections such as thrush.

Anatomical variations in the baby’s mouth can also cause clicking however this is a less common reason. Such variations include, tongue and lip tie as the baby will not be able to maintain adequate seal during feeding. Furthermore, highly arched palates and clefts of the soft palates can also be a reason of clicking during breastfeeding.

In conclusion, if you find that your baby is clicking during feeding, do not worry. It is always a good idea to consult your lactation nurse to rule out any problems. 

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment please call us on (02) 9558 8988

Breastfeeding and How it is Affected by Tongue Ties

There are various reasons as to why your baby is failing to breastfeed. Sometimes it is due to anatomical reasons such as tongue and lip ties that are preventing the baby from latching appropriately.

Firstly, tongue and lip ties prevent a baby from opening his or her mouth widely enough, and thus will result in the baby not latching onto the nipple properly and possibly chewing on it. Additionally, due to the tension caused by the short frenum the tongue is unable to protrude horizontally past the gum ridge/lips and thus it unable to protect the nipple from injury. This will cause severe pain and discomfort for the mother. You may also notice that milk is dribbling from the mouth while the baby is sucking. This is due to the baby’s inability to make a good seal around the breast with his/her lips. This can sometimes also be caused by the presence of a lip tie, which limits the mobility of the upper lip.

Inappropriate breastfeeding technique not only affects the mother, but it also affects the baby. The baby will not be receiving the required nutrient intake and thus will lead to weight loss.

To summarise, some signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • Nipple damage: cracking, bruising, blistering, misshapen nipple after breastfeeding
  • Pain: most common symptom that a mother experiences. Painful breastfeeding is usually not normal.
  • Incomplete Breast Drainage: can be caused by various reasons which includes inability to draw enough negative intraoral pressure due to poor seal and inadequate use of tongue
  • Decrease in milk supply over time
  • Clicking sound while breast feeding (this is not always linked to tongue ties- perhaps you can consult a lactation nurse about the other reasons that cause this issue)

If you have any information or would like to book your child in for an examination please do not hesitate to contact us on (02) 9558 8988.

Pain Free Dentist Sydney: G01A, 570 New Canterbury Road, Hurlstone Park NSW 2193

Tongue Tie

So you are probably wondering what a 'tongue tie' is. It is pretty much a condition that a child is born with, where there is a thin piece of skin under the baby's tongue, that restricts movement. This can affect the way a baby feeds as they have trouble latching on and possibly painful breastfeeding, reflux and failure to thrive. 

Tongue tie may have a genetic predisposition, however it can be congenital as well, meaning that a baby is born with it but it is not genetic. There is some research that links a mother with a MTHFR gene mutation to a child with tongue tie. Further research is required to confirm this association. 

If you have been informed that your child may have a tongue tie, there is no reason to worry. There is a simple treatment available to resolve this tongue tie. Firstly, a dentist can release the tie with surgical scissors. This procedure can be done without anesthesia in the surgery. If the procedure is done properly with the right hands, the baby will not be in pain. Immediately after the procedure is conducted, the baby will be able to latch on for breast feeding. 

Another treatment method involves using a laser to release the tongue tie. There is a bit more preparation involved when using the laser, such as safety procedures e.g. laser protective eye wear. Generally, the pre-operative preparation is a bit more lengthy and the baby might become restless. However, both procedures will procedure the same results, it is a matter of what the clinician determines is best practice. 

Once the procedure has been conducted, the parents are encouraged to follow some post operative practices. This involves  conducting exercises to the area daily to prevent re-attachment of the tissue, as there is a high chance of the tongue tie re-occuring. The dentist will provide further instructions on the post operative care on a case by case basis. 

Please talk to your dentist about any risks or adverse reactions that may occur. 

This article is contributed by Dr. Lisa Chong of Pain Free Dentist Sydney (Hurlstone Park). For more information contact on (02) 9558 8988 or info@painfreedentistsydney.com.au 

Do You Grind Your Teeth?

If you have noticed pain, headaches or even teeth that seem to have worn down then you are probably grinding. Grinding is not part of normal chewing and must be treated as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage to the jaw joints (also known as the TMJ or temporomandibular joint) 

The cause of grinding is different from person to person. It may be caused by: 

  1. Stress, tension and anxiety 
  2. Sleep disorders 
  3. Abnormal anatomy of the teeth that cause an improper bite (example: high spots) 
  4. Physical stress (example: chewing gum too much) 

Often, individuals do not realise they are grinding until they begin to experience symptoms such as chronic tension headaches, flattened teeth surfaces or even broken teeth

If you suspect that you have been grinding your teeth (while you’re alert or even sleeping) than it is essential to visit your Dentist as this will help you avoid further complications and lengthy treatments. 

Your Dentist will usually recommend for you to wear an Occlusal splint (also known as night guards) to prevent further wearing down of teeth. Occlusal splints are custom made from a hard plastic to fit your upper or lower teeth. Patients with severe grinding will often use a combination of the splint and other treatments such as muscle relaxants. Both treatment options mentioned above increase an individuals comfort by eventually reducing or eliminating pain.














悉尼无痛牙医— 感染控制管理