Dental Health At Any Age

June 19, 2017 | Posted Education

Regardless of your age, being aware of dental problems you are more likely to face is the best way to stay ahead of them. Pregnant women can help out their children by eating healthy foods and taking calcium supplements. After the child's birth, it is a good idea to wipe your baby’s gums with a soft moistened cloth, to prevent a buildup of bacteria. At the age of six months, when the baby's teeth begin to erupt, parents should brush their teeth and gums twice a day using a soft children's toothbrush.
 
With adults, untreated tooth decay is very common. Tooth decay is often painless and only recognized during a dental exam. Periodontal disease is another dental problem that adults may face, and requires a dentist’s intervention. The risk of these dental problems has been shown to be connected to overall health. In the case of periodontal disease, smoking and certain medications can increase the risk of developing it. You should speak to your dentist about any medications you may be on, as they may recommend you visit more often than every six months.
 
Older adults should visit the dentist regularly, as they are at a higher risk of developing throat and oral cancers. Also, older adults are often taking medication that can have an affect on their oral health, so it's important to talk about this with their dentist.
 
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Dental emergencies can be extremely dangerous, and if left untreated can cause permanent damage and the need for more expensive treatment after the fact. Here are some common dental emergencies, and what you should do about them.

  • Chipped teeth - Collect and rinse any broken pieces, and apply gauze if there is any bleeding until it stops. If there is any swelling, apply a cold compress on the mouth, cheek or lip where the chip has occurred. See your dentist as soon as possible.

  • Toothaches - Start off by rinsing your mouth with hot water. If your mouth is swollen use a cold compress to help reduce swelling. See your dentist as soon as possible.

  • Knocked-out tooth - Pick up the tooth, holding it by the crown, and gently rinse it with water if it is dirty. If you can, try to put the tooth back in place, but do not force it into the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth into a container with milk. Immediately visit your dentist, as knocked out teeth have the highest chance of being saved if they are seen by a dentist within one hour of the accident.

  • Abscess - An infection near the root of the tooth, abscesses are very serious, as the infection can even spread to other parts of the body. See your dentist as soon as possible if you discover that you have a pimple-like swelling on your gum.

 
These are just some of the more common dental emergencies. In all cases, the best course of action is to visit your dentist as soon as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Are Amalgam Fillings Safe?

May 31, 2017 | Posted Education

Commonly used to fill cavities is a material called dental amalgam. Cavities filled with amalgam are also known as silver fillings. Amalgam fillings contain mercury, which raises some concerns, but should you really be worried?
 
Amalgam is a combination of metals including silver, tin, mercury, and copper. Small amounts of other metals may also be included. Nowadays, new tooth coloured materials are usually used to fill cavities. At the Rideau Dental Centre, we monitor the condition of existing amalgam fillings and if it is deemed that they are fractured or leaking, we opt to remove and replace them with alternative materials.
 
Many studies have been done about the effects of mercury in amalgam fillings, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration came to the conclusion that there was no need to limit the use of amalgam fillings, and that they are safe for people ages six and above. Like most substances, the danger posed by mercury to the body is proportional to the amount. At low, natural levels, there is no danger. Studies have shown that the amount of mercury the body is exposed to due to the slow breakdown of amalgam fillings is less than the amount that people are exposed to in their normal food and drink.
 
At the Rideau Dental Centre, we have not used amalgam in over 20 years due to advancements in technology. If you have any questions about amalgam fillings or any other dental topics, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Saliva is needed to moisten and cleanse the mouth, and to digest food. It also controls bacteria in the mouth, which helps prevent infection. When saliva production is too low, the mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Dry mouth has a number of different possible causes, including the following:
 

  • As a side effect - Dry mouth is a common side effect to many nonprescription and prescription drugs, including allergy, cold, pain, diarrhea and acne medications.  Dry mouth can also be a side effect to diabetes, cystic fibrosis, anemia, hypertension, stroke, and mumps.

  • Dehydration - Not drinking enough water, or having a condition that dehydrates the body such as fever, vomiting or diarrhea can cause dry mouth.

  • Tobacco - Smoking or chewing tobacco can lower the amount of saliva that your mouth produces.

 
It is often easy to tell if you have dry mouth, typical symptoms include a dry feeling in the mouth, frequent thirst, difficulty tasting, and bad breath. Along with those symptoms, dry mouth increases one's risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth infections.
 
If your dry mouth is caused by a certain medication, speak to your doctor, as there may be an alternative that will not cause dry mouth. Other things that you can do to promote saliva production are sucking on sugar free candies or chewing gum, drinking lots of water, breathing through your nose, and using a humidifier in the winter. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

 
 

If you have been feeling a sharp pain coming from part of your mouth when biting or chewing certain foods, you may have a tooth fracture. A cracked tooth can occur for a number of different reasons, including grinding of the teeth, chewing on hard objects, exposure of the tooth’s enamel to a rapid temperature change, or an accident such as falling off of a bike.
 
Depending on the location and size of the fracture, it might be easy to visually identify it’s location, or it could be a hairline fracture on a hidden part of a tooth. Your dentist will usually be able to determine it’s location by asking you about where the pain is occurring, when it occurs, and taking an x-ray of the affected area.
 
When the exact location and size of the fracture have been determined, your dentist will determine the best treatment for you. Possible types of treatment include bonding and root canals. Small fractures often do not usually cause any problems, but can be repaired for cosmetic reasons. 
 
If you have any questions, or would like to see us about a possible fracture, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Taking good care of your teeth is always important, but even more so during pregnancy. When you get pregnant, your body deals with many different hormonal changes. Here are some dental problems that may be experienced during pregnancy:

  • Gum disease - Occurs when a bacterial infection develops that can affect the fibers holding your teeth in place. Gum disease can affect the health of the baby, as women who have it are at a higher risk of giving birth early and having babies with low birth weights.

  • Gingivitis - An increase in hormone levels can cause gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. This may cause bleeding when brushing or flossing.

  • Dry mouth - Caused by a decrease in saliva due to hormonal changes, it can increase the risk of many oral health issues.

  • Pregnancy granuloma - A red growth that typically appears on the edge of the gum near the tooth. These growths are are not dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable and affect speaking and eating. They usually disappear after the baby has been born.

 
To avoid the above problems, make sure to pay extra attention to your teeth while you are pregnant, and eat a healthy diet. Visit your dentist frequently, and make sure that you let them know that you are pregnant so they are able to weigh the risks of x-rays and medications if they happen to be required. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Finding out that you may need a lot of dental work can be pretty stressful, and you may wonder if it’s really necessary. If you feel like you should get a second opinion on your specific situation, it is probably a good idea to do so. There’s nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion.
 
While there aren’t rules as to when you should and shouldn’t get a second opinion, but usually, routine procedures such as fillings do not require one. Examples of when it may be a good idea to get a second opinion are:

  • If you are diagnosed with something major, such as oral cancer.

  • You are unsure if the recommended solution to a problem is necessary.

  • You have already had dental work but it did not fix your problem.

  • You feel your dentist is not qualified to treat your problem.

 
There are a number of benefits to getting a second opinion. Different dentists have different backgrounds, which can help provide an alternate perspective on a problem, allowing you to make a more informed opinion. Another reason to seek a second opinion is if you need to see a specialist, as some dentists have more training in specific areas than others, which may be able to help with your problem.
 
If you are looking for a second opinion, asking your dentist for a referral to another dentist or specialist is a great place to start. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating affect a large number of people across Canada. Along with negatively impacting one's health and quality of life, eating disorders can affect relationships with friends and family, and performance at school or work. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s extremely important that you speak with your doctor.
 
Along with affecting overall health, eating disorders can also impact one’s oral health. When the body does not get proper nutrition, gums and other tissue in the mouth can become sensitive, increasing the chance of it bleeding. Saliva glands may swell, causing dry mouth and bad breath. Repeatedly throwing up due to an eating disorder can destroy the enamel on teeth, to the point where they change colour and shape. Enamel loss can also cause tooth sensitivity, which makes eating hot or cold foods and drinks painful.
 
Eating disorders can be caused by a number of different social, emotional, and physical factors, and they should all be addressed to help treat and prevent them. If you suffer from an eating disorder, we recommend paying extra attention to your oral health by frequently brushing and flossing. If you vomit, instead of brushing, immediately rinse your mouth with baking soda to help neutralize the stomach acid. We strongly encourage people with eating disorders to seek treatment. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Does Acid Reflux Cause Tooth Decay?

February 27, 2017 | Posted Education

Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD, is quite common among adults. It is the reflux of stomach acids back up into the esophagus, which can make its way into the mouth. When the acid comes in contact with teeth, it can demineralize them.
 
Typically, enamel on the tongue and palate surfaces of the teeth is affected the most, rather than the cheek side of the tooth. Acid reflux can also cause dry mouth, aiding the growth of bacteria and plaque, which increases the risk of developing cavities.
 
Other symptoms of acid reflux disease include bad breath, sore throat, heartburn, and a bad taste. Molars are usually the most affected, due to their proximity to the esophagus, so the signs of enamel loss may not be noticeable without inspection by your dentist.
 
If you know that you have acid reflux disease, or are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above, make sure to contact your dentist. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

The temporomandibular joint is what connects your jaw to your skull. It’s what allows you to move your jaw up, down, left, and right, so you can talk and chew. When there is a problem with this joint, you may have what is called a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
 
Most commonly, symptoms of TMDs include pain in the area around the ear, jaw joint, jaw muscles, face, or temples. Other possible symptoms are a popping noise when chewing or yawning, neck pain, and headaches. If you have any of these symptoms, make sure to inform your dentist and your doctor.
 
Exactly what causes TMDs is often difficult to determine, but in most cases they are caused by multiple factors, including joint disease, jaw injuries, arthritis, teeth grinding, and stress. Usually, TMDs heal without much assistance, but using a cold or warm compress on the affected area can help ease the pain. Try not to open your mouth too wide or bite together too hard, keep your jaw relaxed.
 
If after an examination it’s determined that treatment for a TMD is necessary, your dentist will create a plan that may include relaxation techniques, referrals to other types of doctors, medicine, or wearing a night guard. Here at the Rideau Dental Centre, we have dentists who have developed an expertise in diagnosing and treating TMDs. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475.