Frequently Asked Questions
Oral health is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. The mouth is the gateway to the body, and oral health problems can affect other parts of the body as well. In recent years, researchers have discovered a strong link between oral and systemic health.
Many diseases that affect the body can also have an impact on oral health. For example, people with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease. This is because diabetes weakens the body's ability to fight infection, including the bacteria that cause gum disease.
Similarly, there is a link between gum disease and heart disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart, where they can cause inflammation and damage to the blood vessels. This can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries and can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Other diseases that are linked to oral health include osteoporosis, respiratory infections, dementia, and even certain cancers. Poor oral health can also have a negative impact on pregnancy outcomes, because bleeding gums have been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. All of these conditions are affected by the bacteria in your mouth that enters your bloodstream and travels to different parts of the body like your brain, uterus, heart, lungs, etc.
Maintaining good oral health is therefore essential for overall health and well-being. Regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental check-ups, can help prevent oral health problems from developing. In addition, people with certain health conditions should be extra vigilant about their oral health and work closely with their healthcare providers to manage their overall health.
In conclusion, the link between oral and systemic health is clear. By taking care of our oral health, we can help prevent a wide range of health problems and improve our overall quality of life. So, take care of your teeth and gums, and remember that a healthy mouth is important for maintaining a healthy body.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common oral health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is caused by a bacterial infection that can damage the gums, bones, and ligaments that support the teeth. In this article, we will explore the pathogenesis of gum disease, including the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
Gum disease begins with the formation of plaque, a sticky layer of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums. If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which cannot be removed with a toothbrush. Tartar buildup can then lead to gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.
Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. It is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist.
However, if left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis occurs when the infection spreads beneath the gum line and damages the bones and ligaments that support the teeth. As a result, teeth can become loose and may even fall out.
One of the main symptoms of periodontitis is receding gums which causes your teeth to look longer, or you may notice spaces between your teeth where food gets stuck. Other common symptoms include a foul taste or odor in the mouth, pain or discomfort when chewing, sensitivity to hot or cold foods, and loose or shifting teeth.
Treatment for gum disease depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases of gingivitis can usually be treated with improved oral hygiene and professional cleanings by your hygienist. More advanced cases of periodontitis may require scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning procedure that removes tartar and bacteria from below the gum line. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged tissue and repair the bones and ligaments that support the teeth. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help control the bacterial infection. Your hygienist will recommend how often you should come in for cleanings based on the severity of gum disease.
In conclusion, the pathogenesis of gum disease is complex and can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, to prevent the development of gum disease. If you experience any symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding or swollen gums, it is important to see your dentist for an evaluation and treatment.
Cavities, also known as dental caries, are one of the most common dental problems people face. They are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria, sugar, and acid. In this article, we'll explore how cavities form and what can be done to prevent them.
Cavities form when the bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugars that you eat. After metabolizing the sugar, the bacteria produce acid which erode your tooth enamel. This process is known as demineralization. Over time, demineralization can lead to the formation of a cavity, which is a small hole in your tooth. Cavities can be painful and can cause sensitivity if the hole gets deeper and closer to the nerve of the tooth. This is why you might feel sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold things.
Preventing cavities requires a combination of good oral hygiene habits and dietary choices. Here are some tips for preventing cavities:
Brush your teeth regularly: Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. This will help to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth.
- Floss daily: Flossing helps to remove food particles and bacteria from between your teeth and under your gum line. Did you know you can add some toothpaste to your floss to get fluoride in between your teeth and reverse small cavities?
- Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks: Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can increase the amount of acid in your mouth, leading to demineralization. Try to limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks, and rinse your mouth with water after consuming them.
- Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate saliva production, which can help to neutralize acid and prevent demineralization.
Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help to prevent cavities by removing plaque and identifying any potential problems early on.
In conclusion, cavities form when you consume sugary foods. Sticky treats like dried fruit and gummy candies are the worst for your teeth.. To prevent cavities, brush and floss regularly, limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks, and visit your dentist regularly. By following these tips, you can help to keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free.
In-office tooth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that can help brighten teeth and improve the overall appearance of a person's smile. While it can be an effective way to achieve a brighter, whiter smile, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of in-office tooth whitening, as well as its indications.
Pros of in-office tooth whitening:
Immediate results: In-office tooth whitening can produce significant results in a single appointment, making it a popular choice for people who want fast, noticeable results.
- Professional supervision: In-office tooth whitening is performed by a trained dental professional, usually one of our hygienists, who will lead you through the entire process and make sure you feel comfortable.
- Predictability: A dental professional can help make sure you get an even, predictable whitening result with in-office whitening. Sometimes patients get uneven whitening or patchy results when they try doing it themselves at home.
- Lower risk for side effects: In-office whitening is only done after a consultation with a dentist to make sure you are an ideal candidate for whitening. The dentist will screen you for signs of cavities and gum disease which can result in a lot of pain and sensitivity if not treated prior to teeth whitening.
- Custom whitening trays: Part of our in-office whitening includes take home trays and whitening gel to freshen up your smile after those coffee and tea stains return. Since the majority of the whitening was done professionally, these touch-ups have a better chance of succeeding when used by patients at home.
- Personalized treatment plan: A dental professional can advise you whether or not you can expect a good result after in-office whitening. Pre-existing restorations like old fillings or crowns will NOT whiten along with the rest of your teeth. A dentist can help replace old restorations so you end up with a beautiful smile.
Cons of in-office tooth whitening:
Sensitivity is the most common side effect reported by patients. It is most often experienced during the actual whitening process, and teeth can remain sensitive for up to 24 hours after treatment.
- The cost of in-office whitening is slightly higher than take-home whitening.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The TMJ is the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull, and it allows you to open and close your mouth. TMJ pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, arthritis, and teeth grinding. In this article, we'll explore the causes of TMJ pain and the treatment options available. Causes of TMJ Pain:
- Injury: A blow to the jaw or head or even other parts of the body such as motor vehicle accidents can cause damage to the TMJ, leading to pain and discomfort.
- Arthritis: If you have arthritis throughout your body it is very likely that it is also affected the TMJ. Arthritis can cause inflammation, leading to pain and stiffness.
- Teeth Grinding: Do you grind your teeth at night? Teeth grinding can put stress on the TMJ, causing pain and discomfort.
- Teeth Clenching: Did you know your top and bottom teeth should only touch when chewing or swallowing or saliva? If your teeth are clenched together throughout the day, make a conscious effort to loosen your jaw muscles.
- Stress: Stress and anxiety can cause muscle tension in the head, neck, shoulders, and jaw, leading to TMJ pain and even causing secondary headaches.
Treatment Options for TMJ Pain:
- Self-Care: At-home remedies such as ice packs, facial massages, soft diet, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate TMJ pain.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy or acupuncture can help to strengthen the muscles in the jaw, reducing pain and improving range of motion.
- Oral Appliances: Oral appliances such as splints or mouthguards can help to reduce the effects of teeth grinding and improve TMJ alignment.
- Medications: Prescription medications such as muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct TMJ issues, such as a misaligned joint or a damaged disc.
- Botox: Small injections of Botox into the hyperactive muscles of your jaw can help them relax and offer relief from chronic pain and secondary headaches.
In conclusion, TMJ pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, arthritis, and teeth grinding. Treatment options for TMJ pain include self-care, physical therapy, oral appliances, medications, Botox, and surgery. If you are experiencing TMJ pain, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and the best course of treatment for your individual needs. With proper care, most cases of TMJ pain can be effectively managed, allowing you to enjoy a pain-free life.
Tooth sensitivity after a filling is a common occurrence, and it can be caused by several factors. Here are a few
reasons why your tooth may be sensitive after a filling:
Natural healing process: Inflammation is a normal response of the body to injury or trauma. During a dental
filling procedure, the dentist may have to remove a small amount of the tooth structure, which can lead to
inflammation of the surrounding tissues. This inflammation can cause temporary sensitivity.
Nerve Irritation: If the filling is very deep and located near the nerve of the tooth, it can cause nerve
irritation, leading to sensitivity.
Bite Issues: If the filling is not aligned properly with the opposing tooth, it can cause bite issues and
Muscle Tension: Do you grind or clench your teeth? If you think you hold tension in your head or neck area, you
may experience increased sensitivity after certain dental procedures. A nightguard or physiotherapy can help
reduce the tension in your jaw and by extension lower the pressure you are putting on your new filling.
To lower the sensitivity after a filling, here are some steps you can take:
Over-the-counter pain relief: You can take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, to help reduce
Sensitivity toothpaste: You can use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, which can help to reduce
sensitivity over time. Sensodyne, Pronamel, or Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief are some examples that work well.
Avoid hot and cold foods: Avoid eating hot or cold foods and drinks, as extreme temperatures can aggravate
- Soft diet: Try eating soft foods that are easy to chew to avoid putting too much pressure on the filling.
Night guard: A custom made night guard appliance can help lower the pressure placed on the teeth if you grind or
clench at night or during the day.
Contact your dentist: If the sensitivity persists or worsens, contact your dentist. They can determine if there
are any underlying issues and recommend appropriate treatment.
It is important to remember that tooth sensitivity after a filling is usually temporary and should resolve on its own
within a few days or weeks. However, if the sensitivity persists or worsens, contact your dentist to ensure that there
are no underlying issues.
Answer: Cavities are caused by bacteria in your mouth that produce acid, which erodes tooth enamel.
Answer: You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, unless suggested otherwise by your dentist or hygienist.
Answer: You should floss your teeth at least once a day. If you have large spaces between your teeth you should use a pick or floss to remove food after each meal.
Answer: Tooth decay is the breakdown of tooth structure caused by sugar and bacteria in your mouth. It is a transmissable bacterial infection, so avoid sharing spoons or food with family members if you have untreated dental cavities.
Answer: Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the skin and bone that support your teeth. Bacteria that cause gum disease are transmissable between humans, so avoid kissing young children on the mouth or sharing cutlery.
Answer: A dental filling is a treatment that restores a tooth damaged by cavities or other trauma back to its normal function and shape.
Answer: You can prevent bad breath by brushing and flossing regularly, drinking plenty of water, using a tongue cleaner, and avoiding certain foods. Treating active gum disease will also help reduce bacteria that cause bad breath.
Answer: You should visit the dentist at least once every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning, or more often if you have ongoing dental issues.
Answer: Signs of oral cancer include white or red patches in the mouth, sores that do not heal, lumps or bumps, and difficulty swallowing or speaking.
Answer: You can whiten your teeth with professional teeth whitening treatments or over-the-counter products like whitening toothpaste.
Answer: A root canal is a treatment that removes infected or damaged tissue inside a tooth. It does not remove the entire tooth.
Answer: You can replace missing teeth with dental implants, dentures, or bridges.
Answer: An impacted tooth is a tooth that does not fully emerge from the gum.
Answer: A crown is a cap that covers a damaged tooth to restore its shape and function. It can be made of porcelain or metal.
Answer: A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more missing teeth by anchoring to adjacent teeth.
Answer: Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that focuses on correcting tooth and jaw alignment, or in other words straightening crooked teeth.
Answer: If you have signs of a concussion or injury besides the missing tooth, seek medical attention first. If the tooth that fell out is a baby tooth, do not try to put it back in the mouth. If the lost tooth is a permanent tooth, bring it with you to the dentist in a glass of milk or keep the tooth carefully under your tongue. The dentist will assess the damage and decide whether it is possible to safely reimplant the original tooth.
Answer: Wisdom teeth are the third molars that usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Not all people have wisdom teeth.
Answer: You can prevent tooth sensitivity by brushing gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush, use anti-sensitivity toothpaste, and avoiding acidic or sugary foods.
Answer: Bruxism is a condition where a person grinds or clenches their teeth, often during sleep.
Answer: Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that can cause inflammation, bleeding, and tooth loss if left untreated. Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Read more about it in our blog section!
Answer: Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Answer: You can care for your child's teeth by helping them brush and floss regularly, limiting sugary snacks and drinks, and scheduling regular dental checkups. Avoid kissing children on the mouth or sharing food/cutlery if you or your partner have active gum disease, untreated cavities, or herpes lesions (cold sores). Check out our paedatric dental care guide under Patient Resources.
Answer: A healthy smile is a beautiful smile. Schedule a consultation with one of our doctors to go through a personalized assessment to see what you’d like to change about your smile and how we can help you achieve your goals. Some cosmetic dental treatments include orthodontics, teeth whitening, veneers, and bonding.
Answer: A sealant is a thin, protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth to prevent tooth decay. Sealants are often recommended to children who exhibit difficulty brushing their newly emerging adult teeth.
Answer: Schedule a consultation with a dentist to go over your treatment options after a thorough assessment. Some options to fix cracked teeth include fillings, a nightguard to prevent more cracks, crowns, or replacing badly cracked teeth with dental implants.