What is Gingivitis?

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Gingivitis is a common gum disease characterized by
swelling and redness of the gingiva. Gingiva is the gum tissue surrounding the
base of the teeth.

Gingivitis is caused by the body’s response to bacterial
overgrowth in the mouth. Bacteria naturally exist in the mouth. Some are good
and some are bad. The bad bacteria can spread with poor oral hygiene.

Other factors can trigger gingivitis but for
bacteria-related cases, the problem is the plaque that sticks to the tooth.
Plaque contains bacteria and food debris. When not removed, it irritates the
gums and as a response, the body starts to fight the bacteria.

When you notice bleeding, tenderness, and redness in
your gums, that’s a sign your body is attempting to beat down harmful bacteria.
Don’t panic when you see blood when you brush. Gingivitis is reversible. And
this shouldn’t keep you from brushing and flossing.

Some stop brushing and flossing thinking this could only
cause the gums to bleed more. But when gingivitis starts, the more you need to
start paying closer (and not less) attention to your dental care habits.

Risk
Factors for Gingivitis

Aside from gingivitis, other possible reasons for
bleeding gums include hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstrual or
post-menopausal cycles. At these times, the mouth can become extra sensitive.

Those diagnosed with diabetes and other diseases are
also more susceptible to gingivitis. Taking certain medications can also
increase your risk of developing gum disease.

How to
Treat and Prevent Gingivitis

Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is key.

  • Brush three times a day for at least two minutes at each time.
  • Floss daily as well to clean between teeth and below the gumline.
  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Drink water more often, especially after meals.
  • See your dentist every six months.

Some are more prone to developing tartar. Talk to your
dentist about this so you can be advised about the right frequency for your
dental hygiene appointments. You may need to visit the dental office more often
to get rid of plaque not removed by daily brushing and flossing and keep them
from maturing.

Poor Oral Health Can Increase Your Risk of Oral Cancer

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We are aware of the golden rule: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss every day. All rules come with rewards when followed to the latter, as well as consequences when ignored. If you are keen on maintaining proper oral health, then you will enjoy years of shiny white teeth, strong gums and fresh breath.

One the other hand, if you are totally ignorant of the golden rule and only floss when it’s convenient for you, then get ready for some health implications. These range from as mild as bad breath to loosing teeth and even oral cancer.

What Are Some Of the Bad Oral Hygiene Practices That Cause Oral Cancer?

Top on this list is consuming a lot of sugars. The second dangerous thing is consuming alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco. Most of the people who suffer from oral cancer are reported to have been regular consumers of one or all of these products. These sugars are responsible for causing dental caries commonly known as tooth decay. Eating foods that have too much acid is equally detrimental.

What Are The Dangers Posed By These Practices?

When plaque (microbial biofilm) forms around the teeth, it converts the free sugars into acids which in turn are responsible for dissolving dentine and tooth enamel over time. Without regular cleaning and removal of the plaque, one remains exposed to oral cancer as the teeth begin to loosen and eventually fall out.

The first thing you need to do to ensure that you keep yourself healthy is brush and floss regularly. This helps reduce the buildup around your teeth. Second, you need to discuss the condition of your oral health with one of our doctors and get to know what foods are not a threat. Pay us a visit at our clinic and get your mouth thoroughly cleaned every month or two.

Your Child’s First Visit at the Dentist

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This is a question which is asked very often at our office by parents and the answer may surprise you. Parents often wonder at what age it would be appropriate to bring their precious little ones to see the dentist. Some parents believe that there is no need to see a dentist until all the baby teeth have grown in, while others believe that visits are not necessary until all the permanent dentition are present.

The official guideline from the Canadian Dental Association is “First visit to the dentist by age 1 or within 6 months of first tooth eruption”, and “ideally children should see a dentist before their first birthday and regularly thereafter-just like regular check-ups with their family doctor”.

Parents may wonder: what is there to check when the baby has so few teeth? The fact is there are many inherited and infectious oral conditions that can be detected early, such as tongue-tie, thrush, or even cavities (yes, your child can get cavities even if he/she only has 2 teeth!). For children less than 3 years old, the visit usually consists of only visual examination- there are no cleaning or x-rays required unless the oral hygiene is very poor or if we see decay.

Visiting the dentist at an early age will also reduce your child’s anxiety when having dental visits later in life, as it become a fun routine. When we see children who are 3, 4, 5 years old or older who are only visiting the dentist for the first time, they can be more anxious of the whole new experience.

Flossing Can Impact Gum Disease Prevention

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Everyone knows that flossing is an important part of your oral hygiene, but most people assume it has to do with helping keep your teeth strong. Flossing does certainly remove food particles and other debris that get stuck between your teeth, but it also helps protect your gums from gum disease. Here’s how flossing helps prevent gum disease.

Bacteria Affects Your Teeth and Your Mouth

The same bacteria that sticks to your teeth and causes cavities also affects your gums. These bacteria convert sugar in foods into acid that damages your teeth. This acid can also get down onto your gums, damaging them as well. When that happens, the openings created in the gums allow the bacteria to enter your system. That leads to infection, inflammation, and other health concerns. It can even cause the bones that support your teeth to begin deteriorating, leading to tooth loss.

Flossing Prevents Bacteria from Getting to the Gums

While flossing helps prevent cavities, it also removes plaque before it the bacteria in it can attack your gums. By preventing that bacteria from reaching the gums, it reduces the risk of gum disease. Flossing also removes food debris that the bacteria feeds on, reducing the amount of tooth-damaging acids produced.

While brushing certainly helps control bacteria and reduce cavities and gum disease, toothbrushes simply can’t get in between teeth as well as dental floss. Flossing regularly in addition to brushing is the best way of combating gum disease.

Don’t Forget Teeth Cleanings!

Even if you brush several times a day and floss once a day, some stubborn bacteria can still get through. That’s why it’s also important that you come in and see us every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup.

This gives us a chance to make certain your teeth and gums are healthy and that there are no problems. Call today to make an appointment.

Why are my teeth sensitive?

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Having sensitive teeth is more than a minor inconvenience. When cold or sweet foods have an ‘ouch’ factor, it’s time to tell your dentist. Tooth sensitivity may be an initial sign of something more serious.

Sensitivity occurs when the protective enamel shell on the outside of a tooth is damaged, or when receding gums expose the root surface of a tooth to the oral cavity. The root of a tooth does not have the protective enamel layer and is porous, allowing irritants like cold, sweet, stimulation by brushing, etc. to reach the nerve of the tooth which interprets all sensations as pain.

If the enamel of a tooth is damaged through trauma or a habit of clenching and/or grinding your teeth, the underlying material called dentin is exposed to the mouth. Dentin is also porous like the root of a tooth and has the same symptoms mentioned above.

Once you have seen your dentist and the other possible causes ruled out, such as cavities, there are several ways to relieve the discomfort.

Brushing regularly with desensitizing toothpaste is often enough. These toothpastes are designed to plug the porosities in tooth surfaces to prevent irritants from reaching the nerve of the tooth, but they have to be used regularly and you have to avoid foods that undo their protective effect, like acidic and sugary foods.

A fluoride gel applied professionally, or a fluoride rinse used at home will also help as fluoride is able to provide relief similar to the desensitizing toothpastes mentioned, however the protective effect can also be undone by eating acidic and sugary foods.

Another option available that your dentist may recommend is a fluoride varnish, a thick paste with a high concentration of fluoride that’s applied to sensitive teeth every two or three months.

Bonding is a more permanent fix where an insulating layer of tooth-coloured composite resin (filling material) is applied to exposed, sensitive roots. This can provide long-lasting protection from tooth sensitivity provided you use a soft toothbrush, warm water and gentle brushing.

If grinding your teeth at night has caused tooth enamel to wear away, your dentist might suggest making you a close-fitting, thermoplastic night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.

5 Habits That Destroy Your Smile

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1. Not flossing

Brushing your teeth twice a day is important, but many patients don’t realize that flossing at least once a day is just as critical to achieving—and maintaining—a healthy smile. Flossing removes the cavity-causing bacteria left behind from food particles that get stuck between teeth. “Although bleeding and irritation sometimes can occur when you first start flossing, it’s important to keep at it,” says Dr. Ghareeb. “Your gums will toughen up and your oral health will be better for it.” 

2. Brushing too soon after eating

Consuming acidic foods and beverages, such as sports and energy drinks, citrus fruits, wine, and tomatoes, can erode tooth enamel—the glossy outer layer of the tooth. Brushing your teeth too soon after eating and drinking these items can cause more damage because you are essentially brushing the acid into the teeth, not getting rid of it. Instead, you should rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and beverages and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your pearly whites! 

3. Not replacing your toothbrush often enough

Not only are old toothbrushes ineffective, but they also harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections. Toothbrushes should be changed every three to four months. “It’s also important to change your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold,” says Dr. Ghareeb. 4. Excessively bleaching your teethOverzealous bleaching can cause your teeth to look unnaturally white and increase tooth sensitivity. Before using an at-home bleaching product, talk to your dentist. “He or she can advise you on proper use of these products as well as which type of bleaching system will provide you with the best results,” says Dr. Ghareeb. 

4. Excessively bleaching your teeth

Overzealous bleaching can cause your teeth to look unnaturally white and increase tooth sensitivity. Before using an at-home bleaching product, talk to your dentist. “He or she can advise you on proper use of these products as well as which type of bleaching system will provide you with the best results,” says Dr. Ghareeb.

5. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush

A hard-bristled toothbrush coupled with an aggressive brushing technique can cause irreversible damage to your gums. Use a soft toothbrush and gently brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle, in a circular motion. Using a back-and-forth, sawing motion causes the gums to recede, and can expose the root of the tooth, making teeth extremely sensitive.

When Should My Child First See a Dentist?

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Your child’s first visit to the dentist should happen before his or her first birthday. The general rule is six months after eruption of the first tooth. Taking your child to the dentist at a young age is the best way to prevent problems such as tooth decay, and can help parents learn how to clean their child’s teeth and identify his or her fluoride needs. After all, decay can occur as soon as teeth appear. Bringing your child to the dentist early often leads to a lifetime of good oral care habits and acclimates your child to the dental office, thereby reducing anxiety and fear, which will make for plenty of stress-free visits in the future.

How do I prepare my child and myself for the visit?

Before the visit, ask the dentist about the procedures of the first appointment so there are no surprises. Plan a course of action for either reaction your child may exhibit – cooperative or non- cooperative. Very young children may be fussy and not sit still. Talk to your child about what to expect, and build excitement as well as understanding about the upcoming visit. Bring with you to the appointment any records of your child’s complete medical history.

What will happen on the first visit?

Many first visits are nothing more than introductory icebreakers to acquaint your child with the dentist and the practice. If your child is frightened, uncomfortable or non-cooperative, a rescheduling may be necessary. Patience and calm on the part of the parent and reassuring communication with your child are very important in these instances. Short, successive visits are meant to build the child’s trust in the dentist and the dental office, and can prove invaluable if your child needs to be treated later for any dental problem.

Child appointments should always be scheduled earlier in the day, when your child is alert and fresh. For children under 36 months, the parent may need to sit in the dental chair and hold the child during the examination. Or, parents may be asked to wait in the reception area so a relationship can be built between your child and the dentist.

If the child is compliant, the first session often lasts between 15 and 30 minutes and may include the following, depending on age:

  • A gentle but thorough examination of the teeth, jaw, bite, gums and oral tissues to monitor growth and development and observe any problem areas
  • If indicated, a gentle cleaning, which includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar buildup or stains
  • X-rays
  • A demonstration on proper home cleaning
  • Assessment of the need for fluoride

The dentist should be able to answer any questions you have and try to make you and your child feel comfortable throughout the visit. The entire dental team should provide a relaxed, non-threatening environment for your child.

Oral Health For Seniors

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How Do I Maintain Good Oral Health in My Senior Years?

Your teeth can last a lifetime with proper home care and regular dental checkups. No matter what your age, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily and seeing your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

What Special Oral Health Issues Should I Know About as a Senior?

Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may face certain issues in your senior years when it comes to your oral health. Wearing dentures, taking medications and general health conditions are some of the issues many seniors face. Luckily, your dentist and physician can help you meet most of these challenges quite successfully.

  • Cavities and decay on the root surfaces of the teeth are more common in older adults. So it’s important to brush with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and see your dentist regularly.
  • Sensitivity can be an increasing problem as one ages. Your gums naturally recede over time, exposing areas of the tooth that are not protected by enamel. These areas are particularly prone to pain due to cold or hot foods or beverages. In severe cases cold air, as well as sensitivity to sour and sweet drinks and foods, can occur. If you experience sensitivity, try an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. If the problem persists, see your dentist, as the sensitivity may be an indication of a more serious condition, such as a cavity or a cracked or fractured tooth.
  • Dry mouth is a common condition in seniors, and one that may be caused by medications or certain medical disorders. Left untreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth. Your dentist can recommend various methods to restore moisture in your mouth, as well as appropriate treatments or medications to help prevent the problems associated with dry mouth.
  • Existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, can affect your oral health. Be sure to let your dentist know of any general health issues you’re facing, so that he or she understands the whole situation and can help you meet your special requirements.
  • Dentures can make life easier for many seniors, but they require special care. Follow your dentist’s instructions carefully and see your dentist if any problems arise. An annual checkup is recommended for long-term denture wearers.
  • Gum disease is a potentially serious condition that can affect people of all ages, but especially people over 40. A number of factors can increase the severity of gum disease, including:
  •     Bad diet
  •     Poor oral hygiene
  •     Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
  •     Environmental factors such as: stress and smoking
  • Because the earliest stages of gum disease are reversible, it is important to spot it early on. Regular dental checkups can insure early detection and treatment of gum disease. Best of all, it is easy to prevent gum disease from developing in the first place, by practicing proper oral hygiene.
  • Crowns and bridges are used to strengthen damaged teeth or replace missing ones. A crown is used to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space.

How Do I Care For My Teeth As An Adult?

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The key to keeping a bright, healthy smile throughout adulthood is to practice proper oral hygiene. Even adults can get cavities, as well as gum disease, that can lead to serious problems. Throughout your adult life, it’s important to continue to:

  • Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque-the sticky film on your teeth that’s the main cause of tooth decay.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under your gumline, before it can harden into tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
  • Limit sugary or starchy foods, especially sticky snacks. The more often you snack between meals, the more chances you give the acids in plaque to attack your tooth enamel.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

What Special Dental Issues Should I Be Aware of as an Adult?
Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may face certain oral health issues as an adult. Luckily, your dentist can help you meet most of these challenges quite successfully.

  • Gum disease begins as gingivitis, which in this early stage is still reversible. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen or tender gums that tend to bleed when you brush them. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your dentist before serious problems develop. Advanced stages of gum disease may lead to tooth loss.The health of your gums can also affect your overall health. Recent studies have shown a possible link between periodontitis (a gum disease) and other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and a possible link to premature births. To prevent gum disease from getting started in the first place, be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily and schedule professional cleanings every six months.
  • Cavities around existing fillings (called recurrent decay) and decay on the root surfaces of the teeth become more common as we age. So it’s important to brush with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and see your dentist regularly.
  • Sensitivity can be an increasing problem as one ages. Your gums naturally recede over time, exposing areas of the tooth that are not protected by enamel. These areas are particularly prone to pain due to cold or hot foods or beverages. In severe cases cold air, as well as sensitivity to sour and sweet drinks and foods, can occur. If you experience sensitivity, try an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. If the problem persists, see your dentist, as the sensitivity may be an indication of a more serious condition, such as a cavity or a cracked or fractured tooth.
  • Crowns are used to strengthen damaged teeth. A crown entirely covers or “caps” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. Implants and bridges are used to replace missing ones. Dental implants replace one or more teeth or are used to attach full or partial dentures. Consult with your dentist to see if implants are right for you. Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space.

How Can I Help Make My Teeth Look Whiter?
Thorough cleanings by a dentist or hygienist will remove most external staining caused by food and tobacco. Using a whitening toothpaste can also help remove these surface stains between dental visits. If stains have been present for years, you may need to have your teeth professionally whitened to remove these more stubborn external stains.

Internal stains can be bleached, bonded or capped (crowned). While each of these methods is safe and effective, your dentist will recommend which treatment is appropriate for you depending on the state of your teeth and the results that you wish to achieve.

What Effect Does Diet Have On My Oral Health?
In addition to greatly affecting your overall health, proper nutrition is necessary for healthy teeth and gums. Eating a well-balanced diet gives your gum tissues and teeth the important nutrients and minerals they need to stay strong and resist infections, which can contribute to gum disease. In addition, firm, fibrous foods such as fruits and vegetables tend to help clean the teeth and tissues. Soft, sticky foods tend to remain on the grooves and between teeth, producing more plaque.

Each time you consume foods and drinks that contain sugars or starches, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack your teeth for 20 minutes or more. To reduce damage to your tooth enamel, limit the number or between meal snacks and drinks. And when you do snack, choose nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or fruit.

Your wisdom teeth need to be removed?

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Have you been told that your wisdom teeth need to be removed? Don’t know what to do? Your dentist in Coquitlam tells you what wisdom teeth are and why you must get them removed?

Wisdom teeth are an additional set of molars which may or may not be visible in your mouth. Generally, they appear in the mouth between the ages of 17-25 years and can be seen on your dental panoramic X-rays. Sometimes, due to lack of space, they may remain trapped in the mouth and may cause pain and infection. They may also be trapped inside your jaw bones if they have developed at an incorrect angle. It might also be difficult for you to clean these teeth because your toothbrush or dental floss may not be able to reach them. This can lead to gum infections or cavities associated with wisdom teeth. In order to avoid these problems, Coquitlam dentist on Glen drive advises you to get your wisdom teeth removed.

Before your wisdom tooth removal surgery, your dentist will explain the procedure to you in detail and give you all the required information on post surgical care. Your doctor may have to cut your gums and/or your jaw bone in order to reach your wisdom tooth.

After surgery, you may be drowsy if you have had a general anesthesia or I.V sedation. You can expect mild discomfort and swelling for a few days after the surgery. Use an ice-pack externally on your face to keep the swelling in control. Avoid spitting out any blood in your mouth as it may loosen the blood clot that helps in healing. Restrict your diet to soft foods like rice or soup. Don’t brush your teeth on the day of your surgery; don’t brush too hard or over the wound. Don’t smoke as smoking can prolong the healing time.

Call your Coquitlam dentist if you have any questions or concerns regarding your wisdom tooth removal.

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