Usually occurring during sleep, teeth grinding is typically caused by an abnormal bite, missing/crooked teeth, or stress. Grinding wears down, loosens, and can even fracture the teeth.
 
To prevent teeth grinding, your dentist will first try to identify its cause. An intraoral appliance may be used to help reduce the detrimental effects of the grinding. If it is stress that is causing you to grind your teeth, you should ask your doctor or dentist about ways to reduce it. If your grinding is caused by a sleeping disorder, seeking treatment for it should reduce grinding. Some other things you can consider to help reduce tooth grinding are:

  • Cutting back on drinks/foods that contain caffeine such as coffee and chocolate.

  • Trying not to chew on any non-food objects, including gum. Chewing on things allows your jaw to get used to it and makes it more likely that you will grind your teeth.

If you would like to talk about treating your teeth grinding or have any other questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Do You Really Need To Floss?

July 31, 2017 | Posted Education

Flossing should be an essential part of everyone's oral hygiene routine. Floss helps clean out food and plaque from places where your toothbrush can't reach. This helps prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. You should attempt to floss at least once per day. When flossing, be gentle to avoid damaging your gums.
 
There are a few different tools you can use to clean between your teeth, the most common being waxed or unwaxed dental floss, which both work well. If the spaces between your teeth are small, it may be easier to use waxed floss. Floss holders also exist for those who who have trouble handling a long thread of floss.
 
If you are unsure of how to properly floss your teeth, ask your dentist during your next visit. Proper flossing technique is critical. One of our dental hygiene team members at Rideau Dental Centre will review this with you during your next visit. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475.
 
 

Tobacco Use and Oral Health

July 17, 2017 | Posted Education

Most people know about the impact that tobacco has on their overall health, but people often don't consider its effect on oral health. The following are some of the possible oral health problems that smoking or chewing tobacco can cause.

  • Tooth discolouration

  • Persistent bad breath

  • Gum disease

  • Mouth sores

  • Cavities

  • Sinusitis

  • Different sense of taste and smell

  • Oral cancer

 
Smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells, which makes one more susceptible to gum (periodontal) disease. This interference also impairs the flow of blood in the gums, which causes wounds to take longer to heal.
 
We at the Rideau Dental Centre are always available to diagnose the above oral effects and assist you in a smoking cessation plan. Take a look at the Canadian Cancer Society's website smokershelpline.ca for some great resources.
 
When you visit our office we always complete a thorough oral examination. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us by calling 613-230-7475.

Mouthwash, while not an alternative to brushing and flossing, can be a good addition to your normal oral hygiene routine. Here are a few of the benefits that mouthwash can bring:

  • Many mouthwashes can help prevent the buildup of plaque. However, this does not mean that they can remove pre-existing plaque from the teeth, so remember to keep brushing and flossing!

  • Certain mouthwashes contain fluoride, which can help prevent cavities.

  • Antibacterial mouthwash kills bacteria in the mouth, which freshens your breath, and helps fight gum disease.

 
If you are noticing that you need to frequently use mouthwash to mask bad breath, it may be a sign that you have an underlying oral health problem. Speak to your dentist about this. Mouthwash, like salt water, can also help soothe canker sores, as it kills bacteria that can irritate the sore.
 
While there are many benefits to adding mouthwash to your daily routine, remember that it should be an addition to your normal oral hygiene routine, and not a replacement of it. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475. Happy 150th Canada! Wishing everybody a great weekend.
 

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.