Common causes of sensitive teeth explored by our dentist Mackay

Does it hurt when you drink hot coffee? Or do you get a sharp sensation in one or more of your teeth when you eat ice cream?


Dental sensitivity, also known as tooth sensitivity, is a well-known condition that can affect millions of people globally. How do you know whether you have it? If you get a sharp, sudden pain or discomfort in the teeth when exposed to things such as high-sugar beverages, hot coffee, iced water or even acidic drinks like orange juice.

When you come to Northern Beaches Dental, our dentist Mackay will aim to reduce any dental sensitivity that you are having and will help you to prevent any further discomfort.

Sadly, there are various causes of dental sensitivity, and here are five common ones that our dentist Mackay sees.

Dental decay

Decay on a tooth, also known as a cavity, is the most common cause of dental sensitivity that our dentist Mackay encounters. It occurs when the enamel on the surface of the tooth is damaged, exposing the sensitive dentin underneath. The enamel can be damaged by the bacteria in plaque that produce acids that erode the enamel over time. The loss of enamel can lead to tooth decay, which causes sensitivity and pain when the teeth are exposed to certain stimuli.

Gum disease

Gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums and periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease, are both common causes of dental sensitivity. Gingivitis occurs when bacteria in plaque build up on the gums, causing inflammation and, eventually, damage to the tissue that supports the teeth. The receding gums can expose the roots of the teeth, which are not covered by enamel and are more sensitive to stimuli such as hot and cold foods and drinks.

Teeth grinding

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is constant pressure and friction on the teeth that can wear down the enamel, exposing the sensitive dentin underneath. This can lead to dental sensitivity and other problems, such as cracked or chipped teeth.

Dental procedures

Some dental procedures can cause temporary dental sensitivity. For example, teeth whitening treatments can cause sensitivity due to the use of bleaching agents that penetrate the enamel to remove stains. Other procedures like dental fillings, root canals, and extractions can also cause sensitivity due to the trauma to the tooth and surrounding tissues.

Acidic foods and drinks

Acidic food and drink like soda and orange juice can also cause dental sensitivity. The acid in these foods and drinks can erode the enamel, exposing the sensitive dentin underneath.

If you have sensitive teeth due to diet, our team will advise you to cut out the acid to help us restore your teeth.

How we treat dental sensitivity

The treatment for dental sensitivity depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, simply switching to a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth may be enough to alleviate the discomfort. However, for more severe cases, we may recommend fluoride sealants and high-fluoride toothpaste (to rebuild damaged enamel), and, in very extreme cases, we may opt for veneers or root canals depending on the cause of the sensitivity.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

For a dentist Mackay, come to Northern Beaches Dental!

Northern Beaches Dental is a dental practice that is part of a thriving health precinct, which also offers GPs, a skin clinic, physiotherapy and a chemist, so your health is covered in one place. Our dentist Mackay offers a wide range of general dentistry services, from routine checkups and cleanings to more complex procedures like root canals and crowns. We also offer cosmetic dentistry services, such as teeth whitening and veneers. Our team of experienced and compassionate dentists is committed to providing our patients with the highest quality care in a comfortable and relaxed setting. We understand that going to the dentist can be a stressful experience for some people, so we do everything we can to make you feel at ease. If you’re looking for a dentist Mackay who can provide you with high quality care in a comfortable and relaxed setting, then Northern Beaches Dental is the right choice for you.


What is general dentistry?

General dentistry is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the teeth and gums. General dentists provide a wide range of services, including routine checkups and cleanings, oral cancer screenings, fillings, root canals, crowns, and bridges. They may also provide cosmetic dentistry services, such as teeth whitening and veneers. At Northern Beaches Dental, however, we also offer more advanced treatments, such as those for realigning your teeth and replacing missing teeth as well.

Why choose Northern Beaches Dental?

There are many reasons why you should choose Northern Beaches Dental for your general dentistry needs. Firstly, we offer a wide range of general dentistry services. Our team of experienced and compassionate dentists is committed to providing you with the highest quality care. We offer a comfortable and relaxed setting in a convenient location as part of the treatment hub. We understand that some patients may be nervous and will do everything we can to help you relax, never rushing you through your treatment.

What to expect at your first appointment

Your first appointment at Northern Beaches Dental will begin with a consultation with one of our dentists. During the consultation, our dentist will review your medical history and dental history. They will also ask you about your current oral health concerns, before they examine your teeth and gums; this may also include taking X-rays.

After the examination, we will discuss our findings with you and recommend a treatment plan. The treatment plan will be based on your individual needs and goals, so that it is tailored to suit you specifically.

What to expect during your visit

Your visit to Northern Beaches Dental will typically involve being greeted by our friendly receptionists as well as your dentist, who will then ask you about your health and any concerns you have. The dentist will check your teeth and gums, and take x-rays as required. You may be able to have treatment that day, or you may be asked to return for a longer appointment to have the treatment that has been agreed upon. After any treatment, you will always be provided with instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums at home.

Come and visit!

Northern Beaches Dental is the perfect choice for all your general dentistry needs. We offer a wide range of services, from routine checkups and cleanings to more complex procedures. Our team of experienced and compassionate dentists is committed to providing you with high quality care in a comfortable and relaxed setting. Call us today to schedule your appointment and give your teeth and gums the treatment they deserve!

All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

What is a dental x-ray and when might your dentist use them?

As a dentist Mackay, we understand that dental X-rays can be a source of anxiety for our patients. We want to reassure you that X-rays are an essential tool that allows us to diagnose dental problems and provide the best possible treatment for your oral health.


What is a dental x-ray?

X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation that has a higher frequency and shorter wavelength than visible light. They were discovered by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen in 1895 and were initially used for medical imaging soon after.

X-rays are used in the medical field to create images of the inside of the body, including the teeth and bones. When X-rays pass through the body, they are absorbed by different tissues to varying degrees. Dense tissues, such as bones, absorb more X-rays and appear white on the resulting image, while less dense tissues, such as muscles, appear darker.

Dental X-rays specifically are used to create images of the teeth and surrounding bone structure. They are typically used to diagnose dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, impacted teeth, and bone loss. Dental X-rays may be taken using traditional film X-rays or digital X-rays, which use sensors to capture the images.

Why are dental x-rays necessary?

Dental X-rays are essential for diagnosing dental problems that may not be visible during a routine dental exam. They allow us to see cavities, impacted teeth, bone loss, and other dental issues that can affect your oral health.

X-rays are also necessary for developing treatment plans. For example, if you are considering dental implants or orthodontic treatment, X-rays are necessary to determine if your teeth and jaw are healthy enough for the procedure.

Do dental x-rays use radiation?

With Dental X-rays from your dentist Mackay, the amount of radiation used is minimal. We take every precaution to ensure that our patients are exposed to the lowest amount of radiation possible. We use lead aprons and collars to protect the body from radiation, and we only take X-rays when necessary.

At Northern Beaches Dental, we use digital X-rays, which require less radiation than traditional film X-rays. Digital X-rays also provide a more detailed image, making it easier to diagnose dental problems.

How often should you get dental x-rays?

The frequency of dental X-rays will depend on your individual oral health needs. We may recommend an X-ray every six months for patients who are at high risk for dental problems, such as those with a history of gum disease or frequent cavities. For patients with healthy teeth and gums, X-rays may be recommended every 12-24 months.

Dental X-rays are an essential tool used by your dentist Mackay that allows us to diagnose dental problems and provide the best possible treatment for your oral health. At Northern Beaches Dental in Mackay, we take every precaution to ensure that our patients are comfortable during the X-ray process. If you have any concerns about dental X-rays, please don’t hesitate to talk to one of our experienced dental professionals.

All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Building A Positive relationship Between The Dentist And Your Child

Finding a dentist Mackay that you feel confident and comfortable with for yourself and your family is really important. We all know that the dentist Mackay can be a scary place for children and therefore finding a dentist that is friendly, informative, and calm is essential. With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at all the ways in which parents can help their children form better relationships with the dentist.


Why Is The Dentist So ‘Scary’?

This is a super interesting question which, when we start to unpack, we see is informed by a few different factors.

Firstly, the way in which dentists are portrayed in the media, whether this be via television, cinema, or even books, can often result in a negative perception of the dental experience. The dentist has long been painted as a painful and scary place where people in white aprons use scary instruments to look into your mouth. And, whilst producers aren’t actively out to create a scary image of dentists, they end up doing exactly that, as they’re indirectly placing a negative connotation of the dentist in the audience’s mind.

The second area of focus is the feelings and thoughts we may inherit from loved ones and their personal experiences of the dentist. We’re constantly absorbing the experiences of others and, when someone we know has a bad experience of something, we take it all in and it can sometimes become part of our own thought process.

Finally, in the past, the dentist has been a much tricker place for patients; before we had fancy tools and more experienced skills, the dentist could be a really uncomfortable experience. But, we’ve come a very long way since then and it’s time we adjusted our thought patterns accordingly.

Where Do Children Fit In To This?

Children are the future, and what we should want as a society is to raise children who are keen to go to the dentist and understand the health benefits of doing so. Unfortunately, children are more susceptible to all the factors stated above and no more so than that of absorbing other people’s opinions.

How To Help Our Children

Helping your little ones really doesn’t need to be complex at all, it can be as simple as using positive language about the dentist. An example might be “I’m so pleased I’m going for my check up tomorrow as looking after my teeth is really important to me”. This may feel forced or unnatural; however, by planting those little seeds positively will make such a difference when it’s their turn to get in the chair.

Another practical tool which really helps is to practise visiting the dentist at home before going. Having anyone use foreign objects to look into your mouth at any age isn’t necessarily pleasant; and even more so if you’re young and unable to understand the importance. Practising a visit to the dentist can include using a cotton bud to practise opening and closing their mouth.


All treatments have risks. Ask for individual consultation with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Causes of halitosis explored by our dentist

It is a social faux pas and one that can instantly put people off of talking to you on a date; bad breath.


Indeed, everyone has had bad breath at one time or another and may have been able to simply chew on some gum to get rid of it. When it becomes chronic, it is known as halitosis and can impact every aspect of your daily life.

But it rarely occurs in a vacuum, and our team at Northern Beaches Dental can help.

When you come to see our dentist Mackay and are suffering from persistent bad breath, we will aim to alleviate the odour with some good old-fashioned diagnostics and professional cleaning. We will also advise you on how to prevent it from coming back, thus eliminating it long-term. Great!

So, what are the most common causes of bad breath or halitosis, according to our dentist Mackay?

Poor oral hygiene

Not brushing your teeth and tongue regularly can lead to the buildup of bacteria in your mouth, which can produce bad odours. In this instance, you may simply need to up your dental routine and use flossing thread to remove bacteria and plaque in hard-to-reach places.

Our dentist Mackay will always be happy to advise you on how to adapt your dental hygiene routine to get the best results.

Dry mouth

Saliva can cleanse the mouth and remove bacteria, so a lack of saliva (due to certain medications or medical conditions) can cause bad breath.

We can help with this, too, by providing you with saliva-increasing tablets and mouthwashes to help keep your mouth clean. If your dry mouth is a side effect of medications, it may be worth talking to your general or family doctor for advice.

Gum disease

Gum disease is an infection of the gums and the tendons that support the teeth, and it can cause very bad breath. It is caused by the buildup of plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that can form on the teeth. If the plaque is not removed, it can harden into a substance called tartar. As you can imagine, both of these can irritate the gums and cause them to become inflamed, leading to gum disease, which can cause bad breath as well as other symptoms such as red, swollen, or tender gums, bleeding gums when brushing, and loose teeth.

Tobacco products

Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause bad breath and increase the risk of gum disease, as well as oral cancer. Luckily, our team at Northern Beaches Dental can help with smoking cessation, so if you are looking to kick the habit, call our team for help today.

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as sinus infections, respiratory tract infections, and some digestive disorders, can cause bad breath. Indeed, some of these, such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can also cause acid to rise into the mouth, which can create issues with the enamel on your teeth. So, if you have GERD, constant acid reflux, or other digestive disorders that can cause bad breath, please see our team today, and we will aim to minimise the impact that they have on your teeth and oral health.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

What our dentist checks for during a dental examination

Most people have the assumption that when they attend a dental check-up every six months, the only thing that is being looked for is signs of dental decay, which would then usually warrant either a filling or a crown to be fitted.


However, dental check-ups are a lot more sophisticated than this, and while dental decay is one thing that our team will always aim to prevent and treat, we actually look for a lot more when we put that small mirror into your mouth.

Our team at Northern Beaches Dental firmly believes in prevention being better than cure, especially when it comes to dentistry. Our dentist MacKay always urges our patients to attend check-ups with our team at least twice a year to keep their teeth and gums in good condition and reap the benefit to their general health as well.

So, with that in mind, what are some of the things our dentist Mackay checks for during a routine appointment? Read on to find out!

Tooth decay

Tooth decay does not always present as small brown holes, and, in actuality, there are many ways that our team can spot the warning signs of a cavity forming. Our dentist Mackay looks out for potential cavities, if caught very early, we will aim to treat it with a high-fluoride treatment. This will prevent the area from developing into a cavity and keep your smile whiter for longer.

Gum disease

Gum disease is not pleasant for anybody suffering from it, and one thing that needs to be considered by patients is that untreated gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. This is why we poke your gums with a metal pick; we are assessing the texture and sponginess of the gum tissue. If your gums bleed, this is a sign that there may be underlying issues with inflammation and the onset of periodontal disease. For this, we will usually offer a mouthwash aimed at treating gum disease and a scale-and-polish.

Restorative issues

If you have a crown, a filling or a root canal, it is more important than ever that you attend dental check-ups, as restorative issues can become very unpleasant very quickly. Specifically, if a crown or filling comes loose, this can cause dental decay and even an abscess.

Oral cancer

One of the more serious aspects of what we do during a dental check-up is to check your mouth for signs of oral cancer. This can be something as insidious as a patch of skin in your mouth that is a slightly different texture or something more obvious such as a lump or a bump. Either way, this is a core part of what we do as part of our dental maintenance, meaning that if you were a smoker or have a history of oral cancer in your family, you will need to see our team regularly.

Orthodontic problems

It is not only children who develop orthodontic issues. As teeth are in a constant state of motion, many adults may begin to develop orthodontic problems as well. If we spot that there is a misalignment forming with your teeth, we can offer you treatments to prevent it from worsening, such as clear aligners like Invisalign.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Teeth straightening with our dentist MacKay

Teeth straightening has a beneficial impact on the appearance of your smile as well as your dental health. There are many different ways to straighten your teeth with our dentist Mackay thanks to significant advances in dental technology. Speak to us at Northern Beaches Dental if you are looking to address the misalignment issues of your teeth. Our dentist Mackay will carry out a smile assessment and a thorough examination of your teeth and gums and we will be able to decide on the best method of teeth straightening for you.


Traditional braces versus clear aligners for teeth straightening

There are two main ways of straightening teeth. Firstly you can use the traditional form of braces which consist of metal brackets and wires that are fixed to the surface of your teeth or you can speak to us at Northern Beaches Dental and find out about straightening your teeth with clear aligners. Our dentist Mackay recommends Invisalign clear aligners for teeth straightening. Both types of teeth straightening allow you to achieve a beautiful straight smile. Both have advantages and disadvantages and our dentist Mackay will be able to decide which is the most suitable for you.

Metal braces are recommended for those with complex orthodontic issues. The disadvantage of metal braces is that they are very obvious in the mouth. If you are worried about drawing further attention to your teeth then metal braces may not be the most suitable option for you. In stark contrast, invisalign clear aligners, as the name suggests, are almost invisible in the mouth and you can undergo dental treatment at your complete discretion. Invisalign aligners are clear thermoplastic aligners and therefore they can only be detected by a trained eye.

A significant advantage of Invisalign aligners is that they do not affect your dietary choices and you can enjoy your favourite food and drink without any cause for concern. This is because clear aligners are removable and you take them out of your mouth at mealtimes. With metal braces you have to be more careful with your choice of food and drink. Certain food can become stuck within the brackets or wires whilst others may damage the braces. It is also important that you maintain excellent dental hygiene with both types of braces. With metal braces it is not as easy to clean your teeth or floss between your teeth whereas with invisalign aligners you can maintain a normal dental hygiene routine as well as clean the aligners each time you take them out of your mouth. Metal braces can increase your risk of tooth decay or gum disease therefore it is important that you visit our dentist Mackay on a regular basis to make sure that your teeth remain clean and healthy throughout the process.

As mentioned the advantage of metal braces is that they can address complex orthodontic issues whereas aligners are better suited for mild or moderate issues. Because of this metal braces may need to be worn for a longer period of time whereas invisalign aligners have an average treatment time of 6 to 12-months. Speak to us at Northern beaches dental today and find out more about straightening your teeth with invisalign aligners or traditional braces depending on your dental requirements and what is best for you.


All treatments carry risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Emergency dental treatment with our dentist

It is important to visit the dentist on a regular basis to make sure that your teeth are strong and healthy and free from signs of tooth decay or gum disease. Despite good dental care, one day you may find yourself in a dental emergency. Here at Northern Beaches Dental we are able to provide you with emergency dental care. Toothache can be extremely painful and therefore, if you feel the onset of a toothache, then it is essential that you book an emergency appointment with our dentist Mackay urgently.


What happens if you injure your mouth?

Toothache can occur as a result of many different reasons. If you have been in an accident or suffered an injury or trauma to your mouth, this can lead to cracks and chips in the tooth and cause excruciating toothache which needs to be dealt with immediately. Often an injury simply causes aesthetic issues to your smile. However, if the tooth is fractured then you may need to undergo a filling or have the tooth restored with a crown. In some cases, a badly fractured tooth may be non-restorable and you may need to undergo an extraction. In this case you can find out about the different treatments and procedures available to replace the missing tooth. If the tooth has become wobbly then our dentist MacKay can reposition the tooth by splinting it together with your adjacent healthy teeth. This can be done using a wire or other bonding material. We will advise that you visit the dentist and make a follow-up appointment to ensure that the tooth heals successfully. If your tooth falls out then you can manually replace it into position and visit our dentist Mackay immediately. If this is done within 60 minutes then there is a good chance of success.

Toothache as a result of tooth decay

Tooth decay that has been left unaddressed and spread to the dental pulp causes severe pain as well as infection or dental abscesses. Toothache which occurs as a result of tooth decay can almost always be successfully treated by extracting the tooth or carrying out a root canal. A root canal procedure helps eliminate the infection and protects the tooth from future microbial invasion, but unfortunately if this is not possible then the tooth will have to be removed. This should provide instant relief and as with an injury, our dentist Mackay will talk to you about replacing your missing teeth according to your requirements and preferences at Northern Beaches Dental


Infections of a dental origin are also a dental emergency and can cause serious pain and swelling. It is important that you visit our dentist immediately as these infections can be treated with antibiotics, and if this does not solve the issue then you may require a tooth extraction or root canal therapy of the infected tooth. If you or someone you know is in pain and suffering from toothache then visit us for emergency dental treatment immediately. We understand what a traumatic situation a dental emergency can be and we will aim to see you as soon as possible, usually on the same day, to help relieve the pain and discomfort.

All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Do you REALLY need to visit the dentist every six months?

Most patients are acquainted with visits to the dentist Mackay to check the condition of teeth and undergo deep dental cleaning procedures, but few stop to question why these are necessary in the first place. There is a whole lot more to keeping to your bi-annual checkups at the dentist Mackay than you might think.

At Northern Beaches Dental, we always aim to educate patients on the significance of their dental health to their physical health and mental well-being. Medical research continues to draw links between poor dental health and other systemic diseases and medical complaints.

Another critical reason dental authorities encourage these bi-annual checkups is to identify potential problems early and establish preventive measures to stop their progression. Filling in dental cavities may seem of minor importance to patients, but these treatments offer significant benefits when taken in the grand scheme of things.

Ignoring minor problems only ends in one way – the issue gets worse and more expensive to fix, the more complex it gets. Dental care is as much about taking steps to prevent dental disease as it is about treating these diseases. The earlier the dental issues are tackled, the easier and quicker they are resolved with much less expense involved.

Here are some of the reasons we encourage patients to book those bi-annual teeth and gum checkup appointments.

Reasons why trips to our dentist Mackay are so important

Dental problems are not always first seen or felt by the patient. Tooth pain and inflamed gums are the most common dental complaints patients are familiar with, but there are other danger signs that lurk beneath the surface that point to the progression of diseases. Loss of jawbone density, tooth bone decay and tumours require x-ray equipment in order to be identified. Identifying these below-surface issues is one of the under-valued benefits of visiting the dentist every six months.

Regular visits to our dental practice will help our dentist keep an eye out for bad lifestyle habits you may be guilty of that can potentially ruin your dental health. Teeth grinding and using teeth for something apart from biting and chewing food put undue pressure on them that damages enamel and results in tooth loss.

While twice-daily brushing and flossing once a day form the backbone of the at-home oral hygiene routine, professional dental cleanings still play a significant role in keeping oral hygiene in check. Due to the natural design of the mouth, there are inevitably areas in the mouth that remain out of reach of toothbrush bristles and floss thread. These spaces create safe harbours for bad bacteria to thrive, and it is only a trained dentist using suitable equipment who can effectively clean teeth and gums. Are you looking for an accredited dental practice with a family-like feel to it? At Northern Beaches Dental, we offer superior dental care for patients of all ages. We are well-recognised for our professional devotion to excellence and care.

You’ve got a dentist Mackay at Northern Beaches Dental!

When you think of a dentist Mackay, we hope you think of Northern Beaches Dental as we have a wide range of treatments available that should mean you won’t need to go anywhere else. Whether you require general dentistry or something more specific, our dentist Mackay can devise a treatment plan that is suitable for you and your family’s needs. We aim to put your comfort at the heart of everything that we do right from the moment you enter the building and sit in our relaxing waiting rooms, through to the treatment you receive from our dentist Mackay. One of our popular treatments is for realigning teeth and is called Invisalign.


Invisalign: what it is

Invisalign is a treatment that consists of plastic aligners. The plastic is see-through, so when they are worn, only your teeth should be seen by other people. The aligners push the teeth into the correct position over a period of time, which could take as little as 6 to 18 months. Invisalign is used to treat mild to moderate alignment issues such as overbites, underbites, crowded or gapped teeth. The aligners will need to be changed on a regular basis and you will be provided with new aligners every 6 weeks, so you don’t need to come and see us all the time!

Reasons to choose Invisalign

If Invisalign is considered an appropriate treatment for your specific needs, then there are many reasons to celebrate! Apart from being nearly invisible, Invisalign’s aligners may be removed for up to 2 hours a day, allowing you to eat and clean your teeth without them in your way. There should also be plenty of time left over to then play sports, go on a date or do the conga – the choice is yours!

Another benefit of Invisalign is the fact that the aligners are made to measure your mouth precisely. Using iTero technology, we will digitally scan your mouth to get the measurements for your aligners. We can then also generate a 3D animation of what your teeth will look like after treatment has been completed, before you even get started, so that you will have a clear vision of how your teeth will appear. It can be highly motivating for patients to know where wearing their aligners is going to take them to – having a great smile!

A further benefit of realigning your smile is not just the fact that it will look beautiful, but also that it should be easier to clean your teeth thoroughly and if you had any speech difficulties or jaw pain due to the misalignment, this should be rectified once the treatment is over.

Find out more

To find out about Invisalign or any of the other treatments that we provide here at the practice, book for an initial consultation and our friendly team will be ready to welcome you and to discuss your needs. We will examine your mouth to determine what the treatment options might be and together we can devise a treatment plan that’s tailored to you.

All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

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