Archive for March 2012

This will probably not come as a surprise to anyone, but the more we learn, the more we understand that women and men really are different in many respects. Like the book says, men really are from Mars and women from Venus.

And the differences between the sexes manifest themselves in your oral health. They are particularly prevalent depending upon the age of the woman.

The hormones released into a young girl’s body when she reaches puberty often result in the first difference.  As a result of these hormones, young girls may find that their gums are more prone to bleeding.

This may be a normal reaction and may be nothing to worry about. However, you also need to be aware that swollen gums are easier for bacteria to penetrate and then access the blood stream.

This can be a potentially dangerous situation as oral bacteria has been linked to numerous health issues, including heart disease. If you notice your daughter experiencing higher levels of bleeding in the gums as puberty arrives, make sure you mention that to us when you are into our office for your next (or first) appointment.

Another factor that is of particular concern to us at Rideau Dental Centre is the impact of body image. We all know that young girls feel tremendous pressure to “look good”, and that often means conforming to a specific body image. Many young girls resort to unhealthy dieting practices to achieve this body image, despite the fact they are at a perfectly healthy weight.

Poor diets deny the body of essential nutrients and this can affect the mouth as well as the rest of the body. Even the simple reduction in food intake can reduce the amount of saliva a body produces, and saliva can play a vital role in controlling the levels of oral bacteria.

The situation becomes more severe if eating disorders become a problem. Women with bulimia obviously have a great deal of acid flow through their mouths. This acid can literally eat away at the teeth. Even if the eating disorder is brought under control, the damage done to the teeth can persist and require expensive treatment.

Unfortunately, the news may not be better on the other end as women reach menopause. Menopausal women are more likely to suffer from dry mouth, which can lead to more cavities. At the same time, jaw bones become susceptible to a loss of bone density as osteoporosis sets in.

In other words, ladies, it might seem like even your oral health does not give you a break no matter what your age! The best thing you can do is eat healthy and maintain good oral health practices. That means brush and floss regularly and visit us at Rideau Dental Centre at least twice per year. We can help you monitor any changes to your oral health at all of life’s changing stages.

Because monitoring your changing oral health is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. George Parry

Dental Surgeon

Have you ever wondered why we at Rideau Dental Centre consider it so important to know as much about your overall health as possible? Why would we need to know about any recent surgical procedures when our job’s as dentists is to look after your oral health?

We believe the answer to that question can be found in the word that is common to both of those queries: health. The truth is that our bodies are marvelous machines with various different systems that function as one. If one of these systems is not performing well, it can have an impact on the overall machine!

So the truth is, when you come to the Rideau Dental Centre for the first time as a new patient, we will ask that you fill out a medical questionnaire.  The information you provide will be kept confidential and will only be used to help look after your oral health.

Not convinced that we require this information? Let’s take a moment to consider some of the common events that occur in our office.

Certain dental conditions can cause discomfort and could require that we prescribe painkillers for you. Of you may require some form of medication during the course of your treatment in the office.

Many people are allergic to certain medications and some of those allergies can be fatal. When we know about your allergic conditions, we can often work with alternatives that are just as effective and obviously much safer for you!

Aside from allergies, many health conditions have a profound impact on your oral health. For instance, individuals with diabetes are more likely to experience periodontal disease. The sooner we know about your condition, the sooner we can devise a treatment plan to help monitor your periodontal health and reduce the likelihood of tooth loss due to periodontal conditions.

Perhaps you are scheduled for or have recently undergone hip-replacement surgery.  Although it is rare, there are some instances where oral bacteria entered the bloodstream and resulted in the failure of such surgery. If we know of your surgical condition, we can work with your surgeon to make sure both your hip and your mouth are protected!

The fact is that proper oral health care does require knowledge of your complete health. It is so important to us at Rideau Dental Centre; we will ask that you update it periodically to make sure we have an accurate understanding of YOU!

So when we ask you to complete a medical history form, understand that it is with your health in mind. Because keeping your dentist informed is a healthy habit…and healthier habits lead to healthier lives.

Dr. Bao Nguyen

Dental Surgeon

 

 

In the modern, fast-paced society in which we live, it is sometimes nice to nostalgically look back on a time when life was simpler, slower and far less hectic! Still, while thinking back on a time when technology did not seem so pervasive may have some appeal, there are some aspects of returning to bygone days that can be quite troubling.

Unfortunately, we may be experiencing one of those troubling time reversals when it comes to the level of tooth decay in young children.  In a recent study, some pedodontists have reported that the levels of tooth decay are worse than they have been for approximately 40 years.

This is proving to be a major concern for a number of reasons.

The pain, discomfort and illness associated with poor oral health is one of the major reasons for missed school time in North America today. Unfortunately, this tends to have a negative impact upon academic performance as well.

When a child’s oral health is compromised, even if it is with their “baby teeth”, the impact can be felt on adult teeth that have not yet started to grow. That means the chance of such children maintaining their natural teeth for most of their lives is dramatically reduced.

The link between overall health and oral health is becoming increasingly well documented. You can be reasonably certain that the bacteria that are compromising the structure of your children’s teeth may also be affecting their overall health.

Most surprisingly, the poor level of oral health may actually be affecting the length of wait times in hospitals. Children who require dental procedures to attempt to rectify their poor oral health are more likely to require sedation. That often means they need to attend at a hospital for treatment. The more children going to the hospital for preventable dental conditions, the longer wait times become for everyone!

Notice how we mentioned “preventable dental conditions”.  The pedodontists in this study attributed the increase in decay to a number of lifestyle developments. These include:

  • letting young toddlers drink sugary juices from a sippy cup;
  • removing fluoride from water, either at the city level or by drinking bottled water; and
  • allowing children to brush their own teeth unsupervised.

Truth is, parents need to be brushing the teeth of their children aged 6 and under. Young children simply lack the patience and coordination required to brush properly.

In fact, at Rideau Dental Centre, we recommend that parents continue to closely supervise their children at least until 9 years of age.  Allow your children the opportunity to do the first brushing themselves while you watch. Otherwise, they will never learn the proper technique. However, parents need to follow up with a proper brushing to ensure the removal of as much bacteria as possible.

The good news is that up until recently, the trend was that we had succeeded in reducing the levels of childhood tooth decay. While this trend has, sadly, been reversed, undoing some of the behavior that led to this reversal should get us back on track. For the sake of our children, it is a step we should all be willing to take. Because reducing the levels of childhood tooth decay is a health habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr.  David Lui

Dental Surgeon

With the Oscars having been awarded over a week ago, most of the major awards have been handed out in the entertainment industry. We still have the Junos to look forward to in a couple of weeks, but somehow, that seems separated from the hoopla of the rest of the awards season.

 So for many, the time has come to start planning acceptance speeches and appropriate attire for next season’s awards! And it is never too early to start thinking about making ourselves look great!

Over the past couple of weeks, we have discussed some of the options to make sure you have a red carpet smile that dazzles! We would like to close off that thought with one of the major dental innovations of the last few years…implants!

For a great many of our patients here at Rideau Dental Centre, implants have taken the place of cumbersome, sometimes embarrassing, dentures! When time, combined with general wear and tear has taken its toll on your teeth, or you have sustained a traumatic accident that resulted in broken or lost teeth, implants can be one of the best options available.

So what is an implant and what is involved with installing them?

An implant is a metal post that is inserted into the jaw bone below the gum line. A crown is subsequently attached to that part of the post that protrudes above the gums, giving you a tooth that functions very much like a natural tooth.

The process of obtaining implants will require more than one trip to the dentist and also requires some time to allow the gums to heal after the posts have been put in place. Inserting the metal post into the jaw bone is done on one visit.

At a following visit when the gum and jaw have healed, usually a couple of months later, a permanent crown will be affixed to the post. One of the most exciting features is that today’s crowns can be matched to your natural teeth making them virtually impossible to tell apart.

While the end result can be spectacular, implants are not the best option for all people. Some people may not have sufficient bone mass or density in their jaw to support the implant. Bone grafting may solve this problem in some cases, but not necessarily all.

As you can see from the description, there is some time needed to complete the process. That is why, if you are planning on making your red carpet smile all the rage next awards season, now is a good time to talk to us at Rideau Dental Centre to see if implants might be the solution for you. If you are a candidate for implants, you will be thrilled with the results!

Perhaps even more important than the cosmetic results is the functionality. Unlike dentures, implants will work as your natural teeth. That means you will have no trouble eating some of those healthy foods your dental condition may have required you to give up, such as carrots and apples. Just imagine how much healthier that can help make you!

In other words, implants are not just a cosmetic treatment option. They can be an important option for your total health. Still, there is no denying the appeal of their beautiful appearance! So talk to us now if you want to plan for that spectacular smile next award season. Because planning that beautiful smile is a healthy habit…and healthier habits lead to healthier lives.

Dr. Pete Georgopoulos

Dental Surgeon