What Is Sleep Apnea?

May 09, 2016 | Posted Education

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you are sleeping. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring and feeling tired after a full night’s rest. There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea - The most common form of sleep apnea. Breaks in breathing are caused by throat muscles relaxing.

  • Central sleep apnea - Occurs when the brain does not send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing. 

  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome - Occurs when someone has both central and obstructive sleep apnea.

 
If gone unnoticed, sleep apnea can be extremely dangerous. Your dentist can help you create a proper plan to help you deal with sleep apnea. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

We’ve all heard of gum disease, but what is it really and how can it be treated? There are actually two different types of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the more mild version of gum disease, but if gone untreated, can develop into the more serious condition called periodontitis.
 
Gingivitis is typically caused due to poor dental care. Without frequent brushing and flossing, plaque can develop on your teeth, and over time it can turn into tartar. Both plaque and tartar will lead to gingivitis. Other common causes of gingivitis include tobacco use, overly aggressive brushing and flossing, and uncontrolled diabetes.
 
Common symptoms of gingivitis are:

  • Frequent mouth sores

  • Frequent gum bleeding

  • Swollen gums

  • Persistent bad breath

  • Pain when chewing

  • Gums appear more shiny than usual

 
If you are diagnosed with gingivitis or periodontal disease your dentist/hygienist will recommend a treatment plan specific to your needs, which will include a preventive regimen.
 
If you have any questions or would like to book a visit to your dentist, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475!

What is a Healthy Diet?

April 11, 2016 | Posted Education

Your diet affects your entire immune system. Studies have shown that a healthy and nutritious diet can help lower the risk of oral related health issues such as periodontal disease and tooth decay.
 
But what is a healthy diet?
A healthy diet is based on the concepts of balance, variety, and moderation. To achieve balance in your diet, try eating appropriate amounts of food from each of the recommended categories in a food guide such as the Canada's Food Guide. Try to make sure you are eating a variety of different foods, as one food cannot meet all of your daily nutritional requirements, and this can also help keep meals more interesting! Finally, make sure you have appropriate serving sizes of your food and drink, as this can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of other health issues.
 
Certain foods and drinks such as soft drinks, citrus fruit, vinegar, and wine can cause acid erosion in your mouth, so you should try to control how often you eat them, and when you do, try to brush your teeth right after. Some foods that can help keep your teeth healthy are whole grain breads, cheese, lean meats, nuts, and yogurt.
 
If you have any questions regarding eating healthy and how what you eat affects your oral health, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475!
 

Whether you are off relaxing on a beach in Mexico, horseback riding through the Mongolian steppe, or backpacking around Europe, it’s important to remember to keep your good oral hygiene habits so your mouth stays healthy. If you are on a long trip, this is especially important. You do not want to end up in a Nepalese dentist office after having to get air rescued from the himalayas due to a dental emergency, as usually a third world dental office will not have the same health regulations as one in Canada.
 
First off, you need to remember to bring proper dental hygiene tools, such as your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Don’t worry though, if you forget any of these or need replacements during your travels, you should be able to purchase them in almost every country with no issues.
 
After brushing your teeth, make sure you allow your toothbrush time to dry out. If you put it in your bag immediately after brushing when the brush is still wet, it will be a prime breeding ground for bacteria. 
 
When brushing your teeth or even washing your toothbrush, make sure to use clean, safe water. If the tap water from the location you are visiting is not suitable for drinking, then it is not suitable for brushing your teeth. It’s also a good idea to watch what you’re eating while on the road, as often times it becomes much easier for us to indulge ourselves with sweets.
 
To reduce the risk of a dental emergency while on vacation, it’s always a good idea to have a thorough dental examination prior to your departure. If you’ve got any questions about oral health care while travelling, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, cheeks, tongue, sinuses, and pharynx. If not diagnosed and treated early, oral cancer can be life threatening. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of oral cancer so that you can contact your dentist or doctor immediately if you develop any of them. 
 
Common symptoms of oral cancer include, but are not limited to:

  • Velvety white or red patches in the mouth.

  • Swelling, lumps, bumps, and rough spots on the lips, gums or other areas of the mouth.

  • Ear pain.

  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing.

  • Numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth.

  • Hoarseness

If you notice any of the above symptoms, make sure to contact your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.
 
Oral cancer is treated in the same way most other cancers are treated, by using surgery to remove the cancerous cells, and then radiation therapy to eliminate any remaining cancerous cells.
 
There are a few simple things you can do to highly decrease your chances of getting oral cancer.
Do not smoke or use any tobacco products, eat a well balanced diet, and limit your exposure to the sun, as it can increase the chances of cancer on your lip.
 
Here at the Rideau Dental Center, our team of dentists and hygienists perform an oral cancer check at every appointment. If you have any specific concerns be sure to discuss it at your next visit. If you have any other questions or would like to book an appointment, please contact us here at the Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475.

Dental Radiography Safety

February 29, 2016 | Posted Education

In our last blog post, we talked about the different types of dental x-rays (also known as dental radiographs), and how each type is used differently so that your dentist can get all of the diagnostic information they require to do their job. When you think about it, getting an x-ray can sound scary at first; high frequency wavelengths get blasted right through your body! But don’t worry, dental radiographs are actually very safe if proper safety measures are taken. Here are some of the measures we take here at the Rideau Dental Center to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.

  • Digital Radiography: Digital radiography requires 50-80% less radiation exposure for the patient when compared to old fashioned film systems. Other advantages to digital radiography include that no film, darkroom, or chemicals are needed, and no lead foil waste is generated. In addition to all of that, digital radiographs have a higher resolution than conventional radiographs, and the digital x-ray is displayed on a monitor immediately.

  • Lead Apron and Thyroid Collar: When a patient receives an x-ray, they are provided with a lead apron and thyroid collar. Lead aprons help protect your chest area from the already fairly small amount of radiation emitted from a digital radiograph. A thyroid collar helps reduce the amount of radiation that reaches your thyroid gland, one of the most radiation-sensitive organs.

  • Lead Walls: The walls in our office that are near radiation producing equipment have lead inside them to prevent radiation from penetrating them, protecting other patients and staff from radiation exposure.

 
Along with the safety measures listed above, we also provide all of our staff with personal radiation monitors, and have an in-house radiation safety committee. Our goal here at the Rideau Dental Center is safety for all patients and staff, and we take as many measures as possible to ensure this. If you have any questions about dental radiography safety, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475!

The Different Types of Dental X-Rays

February 16, 2016 | Posted Education

If you’ve visited the dentist before, you probably know a bit about dental x-rays (also known as radiographs). Dentists use x-rays as a tool to help them diagnose potential oral health problems. X-rays are a type of light wavelength that passes through soft tissue such as your cheeks and gums, but gets absorbed by dense tissue such as your teeth and bones, allowing them to be visible on an x-ray image.
 
There are two main categories of dental x-rays, intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral x-rays are a type of x-ray that is taken inside the mouth, whereas an extraoral x-ray is taken outside the mouth. Intraoral x-rays are the most common type, as they give a high level of detail of the teeth and bone in the mouth. They allow dentists to find cavities, see the status of developing teeth, look at tooth roots, and more.
 
The most common types of intraoral x-rays are:

  • Periapical - This type of x-ray provides a view of the entire tooth, from the crown all the way to the bone that supports the tooth.

  • Bite-Wing - Shows details of both upper and lower teeth in a specific area of the mouth. This type of x-ray can show your dentist how your teeth touch one another.

  • Occlusal - These x-rays are larger and show full tooth development and position.

 
Extraoral x-rays are less common, the most popular one being a panoramic x-ray. A panoramic x-ray shows a full view of the jaw, teeth, and even sinuses.
 
If you have questions about the different types of dental x-rays, or are interested in getting one for yourself, contact us here at the Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475!

What Causes Bad Breath

February 01, 2016 | Posted Education

Bad breath has a number of different causes. Often, simple changes can be made to eliminate things that contribute to your bad breath. Some common causes of bad breath include:

  • Diet - Certain foods with strong odors can result in bad breath lingering long after you eat them. This is because as they are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, they eventually are carried to your lungs and their odor is given off in your breath. Foods that can cause this include garlic and onions.

  • Not brushing/flossing - If you don’t brush and floss your teeth, food particles can remain in your mouth. This can produce bacterial growth between teeth, and on your tongue and gums.

  • Smoking/chewing tobacco - Can bring about bad breath, stain your teeth, and even reduce your ability to taste foods.

  • Gum disease - Persistent bad breath can be a warning sign of gum disease.

 
There are a number of other diseases/illnesses that can cause bad breath, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and postnasal drip. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475!

Many people take their teeth for granted. Your teeth help you chew food, which makes it easier to digest. There are four main types of teeth, and each one has a different shape and function.
The four main types of teeth are:

  • Incisors - Your incisors are eight teeth in the front center of your mouth (four on both bottom and top). These are typically the first adult teeth that a child will get, coming in  when the child is between six and eight years old. Incisors are the teeth that you use to bite into your food.

  • Canines - Your canines are the next teeth that develop in your mouth. You have four of them and they are your sharpest teeth, used for tearing apart food.

  • Premolars - Premolars are used for tearing and crushing food. Unlike your incisors and canines, premolars have a flat biting surface. You have eight premolars in total.

  • Molars - Your molars are your largest teeth. Their function is similar to that of the premolars, to grind, tear, and crush food. Molars have a large flat biting surface which makes them perfect for this job.

 
These are the four basic types of teeth. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475!

What Is Invisalign?

January 04, 2016 | Posted Education

Invisalign is a modern way to straighten teeth, by using a series of custom-made transparent aligners made specifically for you. There are a number of benefits that Invisalign brings over traditional braces, including:

  • Clear aligners that are virtually invisible, versus braces which require brackets and wires.

  • You can eat whatever you want, whereas with braces there are a lot of restrictions on what you can eat.

  • Removable aligners for easy cleaning of teeth.

  • Smooth and comfortable plastic aligners, instead of wires that can poke your mouth.

 
If you’re interested in Invisalign, book an appointment with Dr. Nguyen here at the Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475 to see if you would be a good candidate for this new type of tooth straightening system.