Friday, July 19, 2024

Toothache cures

On 11 Feb, 2023 Seniors Today hosted their weekly Health Live webinar with Dr Pratibha
Mahajan, a senior dental surgeon. Our guest this week spoke on and answered questions on
cleaning teeth and resolving toothaches.


About Dr Pratibha Mahajan:

Dr Pratibha Mahajan is an Associate Consultant, Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgeon in the Department
of Dental Services at Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai. This
session is being conducted to coincide with National Toothache Day on February 9.
She is specialised in tooth extractions in difficult cases and medically compromised patients with
complicated medical conditions like heart diseases, diabetes, kidney transplant, patients
undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy etc.
Her speciality practice deals with delivering surgical treatment of problems related to oral cavity
and jaws, removal of wisdom teeth and impacted teeth , minor oral surgeries like frenectomy,
removal of dental cysts, oro antral communications, facial space infections and other oral
pathologies, fractures of facial bones, pain and problems related to temporo mandibular joint,
trigeminal neuralgia, pediatric oral surgery. She has vast experience in dental implantology and
dental implant related surgeries like bone grafting, ridge augmentation,sinus lift etc.
Dr Mahajan was one of the top performers of Government Dental College and Hospital, Mumbai
during her BDS. After completing her post-graduation training at KLE, Bangalore in 2010, she did
her super specialty fellowship training under internationally renowned surgeons of the country in
the field of facial aesthetic surgery and facial reconstruction. She has received training from
international faculties at many AO workshops on maxillofacial trauma and orthognathic surgery.
She has several publications to her credit. She has also delivered lectures at gatherings of Medical
and Dental practitioners.
Before joining the Hospital she has worked as an assistant professor in the D.Y. Patil School of
Dentistry, Navi Mumbai for four years where she was involved in clinical practice, research work
and teaching activities.
Additional Speciality Interests :
• Dental Implantology
• Diagnosis and management of oral precancerous and cancerous lesions
• Reconstructive surgeries and rehabilitation of patients undergoing chemotherapy,
radiotherapy and operated for oral cancer
• Orthognathic Surgery for correction of jaw deformities
• Rehabilitation of children and adults with cleft lip and cleft palate deformity

The work of dentistry has come a long way. We no more see senior citizens with ill fitted dentures,
a dental box and brushes. We now have dental implants, implant supported bridges, fixed
dentures, etc.
With a changed lifestyle, we also need to take care of how we take care of our teeth and dentures.
Seniors with teeth have common complaints of- 1. cavities- which are painful and lead to
toothache. The most common cause for a cavity is decayed tooth which can be caused by a part of
your food being left/ stuck behind; this is called plaque. And deposition of plaque over a long
duration of time leads to formation of cavities.
2. Exposed root surfaces- as we progress in age, the gums recede thus exposing the roots of the
tooth. This can also cause dental sensitivity and pain.
3. Gum diseases are another common concern.
4. Halitosis- bad breath. This can be due to poor dental hygiene, poor dental cleaning technique,
gum diseases, etc.
5. Teeth loss

Cancer patients who have undergone radiation and chemotherapy run a higher risk of radiation
caries, dry mouth, infection of the oral mucosa because of the drugs.
We see elderly patients suffering from osteoarthritis and other bone related pains, aches and
deformities, diseases like Parkinsonism- that causes some hindrance in proper cleaning and
maintenance of the teeth and orodental hygiene.
• But because of the advancements we have made, we now have advanced tools to help you take
better care of your teeth and for the purpose of better nap proper cleaning. Differently designed,
smaller brushes who can reach difficult areas with better ease and avoid root surfaces and root
caries which can cause sensitivity and pain. These are called interdental brushes.
• Water floss or water picks are another such tool. Dental plaque, as previously said, is the cause
for many dental and gum problems. This is where water floss comes into play. It is easy to use,
efficient and gentle on the teeth. It also helps in maintaining your gum health.
• Electronic brushes- their heads are designed in such a way that they can reach difficult areas
with more ease. Electronic brushes are not as technique sensitive as manual brushes and come
to aid when you have difficulty holding and brushing for long times. They also help in whitening,
polishing your teeth and also gently massage your gums.
Ideally, one should visit their dentist every 6 months, even if you feel you do not have any dental
issues at the moment.
If you have a building plaque that is not getting removed by the dental practices you follow at
home, you can get your scaling done and get your plaque removed when you visit the dentist, if he
feels the need for it.
These frequent visits will help in early diagnosis and faster treatment, should there be a problem.

Dr Noor Gill
Dr Noor Gill, MBBS, deciphers the space between heartbeats, figuratively and literally. Powered by frequent long naps and caffeine, she believes that “knowledge without giving back to society is meaningless” and works to make caring cool again.

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