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Spruce Ridge Dental Blog

Teeth Whitening Options

November 14, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:14 am

When you want a brighter, whiter smile, there are many treatment options to choose from for teeth whitening. The best way to determine which teeth whitening method is best for you is to schedule an appointment with our dentist and discuss your needs. Our dentist will also take the time to talk to you about the differences between at-home and professional teeth whitening treatments, so you can make the most informed choice.

Teeth Whitening

 

In-Office Teeth Whitening

“In office” whitening refers to a common professional whitening service. As the name implies, this treatment will be performed within a dental office. A whitening lamp or laser will be used to enhance the effectiveness of the whitening gel which has been applied by a professional. During your visit to our office, a Dental professional will apply the procedure, and within 90 minutes, you will begin to see immediate results.
Some professional teeth whitening procedures can even take place in the home. For example, tray bleaching employs the use of a custom-made tray and whitening gel which can only be obtained from your dentist. This process will whiten all of your natural teeth with maximum comfort. Tray bleaching can take anywhere from 10 to 14 days to reach completion, but you may begin to see results in as little as 3 to 5 days.

Teeth Whitening
At-Home Teeth Whitening

• Paint-on teeth whiteners—For an over-the-counter teeth whitening option, you might decide to go with “paint-on” teeth whiteners. This treatment will require the use of a small brush to apply the whitening gel. The gel will then harden into a film and eventually dissolve in the mouth. Again, please check with a Dental professional before determining which method is best for you.
• Teeth whitening strips — With thin and flexible plastic strips, you can apply hydrogen peroxide to bleach stains out of your teeth. Typically, the procedure will take a total of 30 days, with two treatments a day. However, results and duration will vary from patient to patient.

These are just a few of the teeth whitening treatments which may be available to you.  Please contact our office if you would like to learn more. Our dental professionals would be glad to schedule an appointment to discuss your case and help you determine which treatment best fits your needs.

Have you had an Oral Cancer Exam?

November 13, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:08 am

An oral cancer (OC) exam and early detection is vital to surviving oral cancer (mouth cancer). As a result of most oral cancers being diagnosed too late, the overall 5 year survival rate is less than 50%. When discovered early through regular oral screening, the survival rate increases to over 80%.

oral cancer
Oral Exams

Patient at our office will have an oral cancer exam done regularly, because we know that most family doctors don’t provide this type of screening. We do this in a non-invasive manner to detect abnormal tissue within your mouth that could lead to mouth cancer.

Mouth Cancer in Young Patients

Although mouth cancer is more prevalent in older patients (over 50), it can also affect younger patients. Factors which may contribute to an increased risk of oral cancer include alcohol consumption, tobacco use (smoking and smokeless products), and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Mouth  cancer is often deemed the “forgotten disease,” because it kills more people than testicular cancer, cervical cancer and cancer of the brain each year and receives little publicity in return.  Each year, over 30,000 Americans contract oral cancer, and only 57% of these people will live for more than five years without treatment.

Many people believe that if they abstain from tobacco and alcohol use, oral cancer will not affect them.  Tobacco and alcohol use does contribute to oral cancer; however, 25% of those diagnosed abstain from both substances.

The best way to stay protected from oral cancer is to get annual oral cancer screenings.  Most dentists perform an oral cancer exam during a regular dental checkup.  The FDA-approved VELscope® offers dentists another examination tool to help detect oral cancer in its earliest stages.  The VELscope® is a blue excitation lamp, which highlights precancerous and cancerous cell changes.

How does the VELscope® work?

The VELscope® uses Fluorescence Visualization (FV) in an exciting new way.  Essentially, bright blue light is shone into the mouth to expose changes and lesions that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.  One of the biggest difficulties in diagnosing oral cancer is that its symptoms look similar to symptoms of less serious problems.  The VELscope® System affords the dentist important insight as to what is happening beneath the surface.

The healthy soft tissue of the mouth naturally absorbs the VELscope® frequency of blue light. Healthy areas beneath the surface of the soft tissue show up green, and the problem areas become much darker.

Here are some of the advantages of using the VELscope® System:

  • Can be combined with digital photography.
  • Detects lesions, white and red patches.
  • Detects problem areas that cannot be seen under white light.
  • Exposes precancerous and cancerous tissue.
  • FDA-approved.
  • Helps dentists check that diseased soft tissue is completely removed.
  • Helps diagnose oral cancer in its earliest stages, exponentially increasing the chance of survival.
  • Quick, painless examinations.

How is the VELscope® examination performed?

The VELscope® examination literally takes only two or three minutes.  It is a painless and noninvasive procedure that saves many lives every single year.

Here is a brief overview of what a VELscope® examination is like:

Initially, the dentist will perform a regular visual examination of the whole lower face.  This includes the glands, tongue, cheeks and palate as well as the teeth.  Next a pre-rinse solution is swilled around the mouth for slightly less than a minute.  The dentist provides special eyewear to protect the integrity of the retinas.  The lights in the room are dimmed to allow a clear view of the oral cavity.

The small VELscope® is bent to project blue light inside the mouth.  Lesions and other indicators of oral cancer are easily noticeable because they appear much darker under the specialized light.

If symptoms are noted, the dentist may take a biopsy there and then to determine whether or not this is oral cancer.  The results of the biopsy dictate the best course of action from there. Otherwise, another oral cancer screening is performed in one year’s time.

If you have any questions or concerns about mouth cancer screening or the VELscope® system, please contact our office.

When was the last time you had an oral cancer exam?

Orthodontic treatment

November 12, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 10:09 pm

The benefits of orthodontic treatment often go beyond the obvious physical changes of an improved bite and straighter teeth; it’s also a great way to improve a person’s overall self-image.   While having beautiful straight teeth is important, even more important is the need to alleviate any potential health problems associated with the teeth or jaw.  Crooked teeth or jaw problems may contribute to improper cleaning of teeth, leading to tooth decay and, possibly, gum disease or total tooth loss.  Orthodontic problems that go untreated can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments, and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces.  Over time, excessive strain on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth can affect the jaw joints leading to problems such as headaches or face and neck pain.

 

Orthodontic treatment

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children get an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7.  Though orthodontic treatment can be done at any age, timely treatment ensures maximum dental health.

Some patients may even be candidates for treatment with Invisalign, a revolutionary way to straighten teeth using clear, retainer type aligners that require no braces or wires!

If treatment is necessary, we will thoroughly discuss which treatment option is best suited for you!

Reasons for orthodontic treatment adults & children:

  • Breathing or swallowing problems – Mouth breathing can lead to snoring and sleep apnea.
  • Crossbite – One or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (towards the tongue).
  • Crowding – Involving extra teeth or malpositioned teeth.
  • Deep Overbite – The lower front teeth bite into the upper tissue of the upper teeth.
  • Disfiguring of the face & mouth – Affects the development of the jaw and position of the teeth.
  • Jaw & jaw joint pain
  • Missing or extra teeth – Due to tooth decay, injuries, or inherited problems.
  • Overjet (protruding upper teeth) – Upper teeth that protrude beyond normal and are usually associated with a short lower jaw.
  • Self-image – An attractive smile can boost a person’s self-image and confidence.
  • Spacing between teeth – Teeth are missing or may be too small or too large.
  • Speech, chewing or biting problems
  • Underbite (lower jaw protrusion) – Lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw.

Specific to children:

  • Finger or thumb sucking – These habits can cause protrusion of the upper incisor teeth, and mouth breathing.
  • Teeth erupting out of position – Can be guided to proper alignment.

What does orthodontic treatment involve?

Orthodontic treatment involves three phases:

  1. Planning Phase – Your first couple of visits may include the following:
  • A medical and dental history evaluation.
  • Castings or “molds” of your teeth.
  • Computer generated photograph of the head and neck that will aid in planning.
  • Photographs of your face and mouth.
  • X-rays of the teeth and jaws.

After careful planning, our dentist will design and apply braces or fabricate custom-made appliances for you.

  1. Active Phase – Active treatment involves visiting your orthodontist on a regular basis for adjustments and following specific treatment requirements to ensure successful treatment.
  2.  Retention Phase – When treatment is completed, the  appliances are removed and a new appliance is made.  Usually these retainers are removable and will maintain the changes made to your teeth if worn continuously until the teeth and bone are stabilized in their new positions.

Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case.  Our dentists will ensure you have a successful treatment for a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime.

 

Veneers and Laminates

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:23 am

Veneers and Laminates are a thin shell of porcelain or resin that is bonded to the surface of the teeth. This can change their shape, shade, and position to improve the cosmetics of your teeth and smile. They are also used to replace and restore any lost tooth structure where indicated. This is one way to quickly get that beautiful smile.

Your dentist will do a complete examination of your teeth to determine if these restorations are ideal for you. Veneers often provide the opportunity to dramatically transform the aesthetics of your teeth and smile.  During the examination, you personal preference of how you want your teeth to look like, the shape and colour.  You are welcomed to bring photos as examples of the smile that you want.  The shape of your face and personality with be considered in designing your smile.

veneers
Veneers can enhance the shape of your teeth, make your teeth as white as you want, and give you the smile you have always desired. Additionally, these restorations are bonded to your tooth structure, which gives them strength.

These restorations are done in several stages.  Usually our dentist will take photos, radiographs and models of your teeth.  An examination will be done to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and you do not have any decay.  The photos will be done to document how your teeth are currently.  The models will be waxed up to show you how your final smile will look like.  At this stage, changes can still be done to the veneers until you are completely happy.  Once you have approved of your new smile then two appointments are required.  The first appointment your teeth are prepared so that a final impression can be taken and sent to the lab to make the real veneers based on your feedback and approval.  You will have temporary veneers on you teeth by the end of the appointment.  This allows you to test-drive your new veneers.  The final appointment will involve removing the temporaries and bonding on the real ones.

veneers

Since they are very thin, these restorations are considered one of the most conservative cosmetic treatments available. Most of the time, very little or no tooth structure is removed before placing veneers. Ask your dentist how veneers can improve your smile.

Porcelain Crowns

November 11, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:59 am

Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape and colour. They are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, have had a root canal or partially destroyed by tooth decay.

crowns

These restorations are “cemented” onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. They help to strengthen and reinforce your teeth.  Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.

How are crowns made?

They are done in two appointments.  The first appointment the tooth is prepared for the restoration and an impression is taken and sent off to the lab.  A temporary crown will be made to protect your tooth in the mean time.  A colour shade will be chosen to make the crown match with your your other teeth.

The second appointment is very easy and quick.  The temporary crown will be removed and the real crown will be bonded on.

Two easy appointments and your tooth will be stronger from the protection of the crown and your smile will be restored back to its natural look and function!

crowns

Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.

Gum Disease

November 10, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 11:12 pm

Gum disease may refer to:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis

Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) (gingiva) around the teeth is a general term for gingival diseases affecting the gums. As generally used, the term gingivitis refers to gingival inflammation induced by bacterial plaque adherent to tooth surfaces.

gum disease

Causes
Gingivitis is usually caused by bacterial plaque that accumulates in the spaces between the gums and the teeth and in calculus (tartar) that forms on the teeth. These accumulations may be tiny, even microscopic, but the bacteria in them produce foreign chemicals and toxins that cause inflammation of the gums around the teeth. This inflammation can, over the years, cause deep pockets between the teeth and gums and loss of bone around teeth otherwise known as periodontitis.

People with a healthy periodontium (gums, bone and ligament) or people with gingivitis only require periodontal debridement every 3-4 months. However, many dental professionals only recommend periodontal debridement (cleanings) every 3-4 months, because this has been the standard advice for decades, and because the benefits of regular periodontal debridement (cleanings) are too subtle for many patients to notice without regular education from the dental hygienist or dentist. If the inflammation in the gums becomes especially well-developed, it can invade the gums and allow tiny amounts of bacteria and bacterial toxins to enter the bloodstream. The patient may not be able to notice this, but studies suggest this can result in a generalized increase in inflammation in the body cause possible long term heart problems. Periodontitis has also been linked to diabetes, arteriosclerosis, osteoporosis, pancreatic cancer and pre-term low birth weight babies.

When the teeth are not cleaned properly by regular brushing and flossing, bacterial plaque accumulates, and becomes mineralized by calcium and other minerals in the saliva transforming it into a hard material called calculus (tartar) which harbors bacteria and irritates the gingiva (gums). Also, as the bacterial plaque biofilm becomes thicker this creates an anoxygenic environment which allows more pathogenic bacteria to flourish and release toxins and cause gingival inflammation. Alternatively, excessive injury to the gums caused by very vigorous brushing may lead to recession, inflammation and infection. Pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and the onset of puberty increase the risk of gingivitis, due to hormonal changes that may increase the susceptibility of the gums or alter the composition of the dentogingival microflora. The risk of gingivitis is increased by misaligned teeth, the rough edges of fillings, and ill-fitting or unclean dentures, bridges, and crowns. This is due to their plaque retentive properties. The drug phenytoin, birth control pills, and ingestion of heavy metals such as lead and bismuth may also cause gingivitis.

gum disease

The sudden onset of gingivitis in a normal, healthy person should be considered an alert to the possibility of an underlying viral aetiology, although most systemically healthy individuals have gingivitis in some area of their mouth, usually due to inadequate brushing and flossing.

Symptoms
The symptoms of gingivitis are as follows:

  • Swollen gums
  • Mouth sores
  • Bright-red, or purple gums
  • Shiny gums
  • Gums that are painless, except when pressure is applied
  • Gums that bleed easily, even with gentle brushing, and especially when flossing.
  • Gums that itch with varying degrees of severity
  • Receding gum line

Prevention
Gingivitis can be prevented through regular oral hygiene that includes daily brushing and flossing. Rigorous plaque control programmes along with periodontal scaling and curettage also have proved to be helpful.

Diagnosis
It is recommended that a dental hygienist or dentist be seen after the signs of gingivitis appear. A dental hygienist or dentist will check for the symptoms of gingivitis, and may also examine the amount of plaque in the oral cavity. A dental hygienist or dentist should also test for periodontitis using X-rays or gingival probing as well as other methods.

gum disease

Treatment
A dentist or dental hygienist will perform a thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums; following this, persistent oral hygiene is necessary. The removal of plaque is usually not painful, and the inflammation of the gums should be gone between one and two weeks. A gargling of brine water also helps. Oral hygiene including proper brushing and flossing is required to prevent the recurrence of gingivitis. Anti-bacterial rinses or mouthwash, in particular chlorhexidine digluconate 0.2% solution, may reduce the swelling and local mouth gels which are usually antiseptic and anaesthetic can also help.

Complications:

  • Recurrence of gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Infection or abscess of the gingiva or the jaw bones
  • Trench mouth (bacterial infection and ulceration of the gums)

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is the name of a collection of inflammatory diseases affecting the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Periodontitis involves progressive loss of the bone around teeth which may lead to loosening and eventual loss of teeth if untreated.
Periodontitis is caused by bacteria that adhere to and grow on tooth surfaces (microbial plaque or biofilms), particularly in areas under the gum line.
Dentists diagnose periodontitis by inspecting the tissues around the teeth with a probe and by radiographs to detect bone loss around the teeth. Although the different forms of periodontitis are bacterial diseases, a variety of factors affect the severity of the disease. Important “risk factors” include smoking, poorly controlled diabetes, and inherited (genetic) susceptibility.

Etiology
Periodontitis is an inflammation of the periodontium -the tissues that support the teeth in the mouth. The periodontium is comprised of:

  • the gingiva, or gum tissue
  • the cementum, or outer layer of the roots of teeth
  • the alveolar bone, or the bony sockets into which the teeth are anchored
  • the periodontal ligaments (PDLs), which are the connective tissue fibres that connect the cementum and the gingiva to the alveolar bone.

The primary etiology, or cause, of gingivitis is the accumulation of a bacterial matrix at the gum line, called dental plaque. In some people, gingivitis progresses to periodontitis – the gum tissues separate from the tooth and form a periodontal pocket. Subgingival bacteria (those that exist under the gum line) colonize the periodontal pockets and cause further inflammation in the gum tissues and progressive bone loss. Examples of secondary etiology would be those things that cause plaque accumulation, such as restoration overhangs and root proximity.

The excess restorative material that exceeds the natural contours of restored teeth, such as these, are termed overhangs, and serve to trap plaque, potentially leading to localized periodontitis. If left undisturbed, bacterial plaque calcifies to form calculus. Calculus above and below the gum line must be removed completely by the dental hygienist or dentist to treat gingivitis and periodontitis. Although the primary cause of both gingivitis and periodontitis is the bacterial plaque that adheres to the tooth surface, there are many other modifying factors. One of the most predominant risk factors of periodontal disease is tobacco use. Another very strong risk factor is one’s genetic susceptibility. Several conditions and diseases, including Down syndrome, diabetes, and other diseases that affect one’s resistance to infection also increase susceptibility to periodontitis.

Another factor that makes periodontitis a difficult disease to study is that human host response can also affect the alveolar bone resorption. Host response to the bacterial insult is mainly determined by genetics, however immune development may play some role in susceptibility.

Signs and symptoms
Symptoms may include the following:

  • occasional redness or bleeding of gums while brushing teeth, using dental floss or biting into hard food (e.g. apples) (though this may occur even in gingivitis, where there is no attachment loss)

 

  • occasional gum swellings that recurs
    halitosis, or bad breath, and a persistent metallic taste in the mouth

 

  • gingival recession, resulting in apparent lengthening of teeth. (This may also be caused by heavy handed brushing or with a stiff tooth brush.)

 

  • deep pockets between the teeth and the gums (pockets are sites where the attachment has been gradually destroyed by collagen-destroying enzymes, known as collagenases)

 

  • loose teeth, in the later stages (though this may occur for other reasons as well)

 

Patients should realize that the gingival inflammation and bone destruction are largely painless. Hence, people may wrongly assume that painless bleeding after teeth cleaning is insignificant, although this may be a symptom of progressing periodontitis in that patient.

Prevention
Daily oral hygiene measures to prevent periodontal disease include:

  • brushing properly on a regular basis (at least twice daily), with the patient attempting to direct the toothbrush bristles underneath the gum-line, so as to help disrupt the bacterial growth and formation of subgingival plaque and calculus.
    flossing daily and using interdental brushes (if there is a sufficiently large space between teeth), as well as cleaning behind the last tooth in each quarter.
    using an antiseptic mouthwash. Chlorhexidine gluconate based mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide in combination with careful oral hygiene may cure gingivitis, although they cannot reverse any attachment loss due to periodontitis. (Alcohol based mouthwashes may aggravate the condition).

 

  • regular dental check-ups and professional teeth cleaning as required. Dental check-ups serve to monitor the person’s oral hygiene methods and levels of attachment around teeth, identify any early signs of periodontitis, and monitor response to treatment.
    Typically dental hygienists (or dentists) use special instruments to clean (debride) teeth below the gum line and disrupt any plaque growing below the gum line. This is a standard treatment to prevent any further progress of established periodontitis. Studies show that after such a professional cleaning (periodontal debridement), bacteria and plaque tend to grow back to pre-cleaning levels after about 3-4 months. Hence, in theory, cleanings every 3-4 months might be expected to also prevent the initial onset of periodontitis. The continued stabilization of a patient’s periodontal state depends largely, if not primarily, on the patient’s oral hygiene at home if not on the go too. Without daily oral hygiene, periodontal disease will not be overcome, especially if the patient has a history of extensive periodontal disease.

Treatment of established disease

This section from a panoramic X-ray film depicts the teeth of the lower left quadrant, exhibiting generalized severe bone loss of 30-80%. The red line depicts the existing bone level, whereas the yellow line depicts where the bone was originally, prior to the patient developing periodontal disease. The pink arrow, on the right, points to a furcation involvement, or the loss of enough bone to reveal the location at which the individual roots of a molar begin to branch from the single root trunk; this is a sign of advanced periodontal disease. The blue arrow, in the middle, shows up to 80% bone loss on tooth #21, and clinically, this tooth exhibited gross mobility.

Periodontal disease generally affects mandibular incisors aggressively. Because their roots are generally situated very close to each other, with minimal interproximal bone, and because of their location in the mouth, where plaque and calculus accumulation is greatest because of the pooling of saliva, mandibular anteriors suffer excessively. The split in the red line depicts varying densities of bone that contribute to a vague region of definitive bone height. If good oral hygiene is not yet already undertaken daily by the patient, then twice daily brushing with daily flossing, mouth washing and use of an interdental brush needs to be started. Technique with these tools is very important. Aged persons may find that use of these interdental devices more necessary and easier, since the gaps between the teeth may become larger.

A dental hygienist or a periodontist can use professional scraping instruments, such as scalers and curettes to remove bacterial plaque and calculus (formerly referred to as tartar) around teeth and below the gum-line. There are devices that use a powerful ultra-sonic vibration and irrigation system to break up the bacterial plaque and calculus. Local anesthetic is commonly used to prevent discomfort in the patient during this process.

It is difficult to induce the body to repair bone that has been destroyed due to periodontitis. Much depends on exactly how much bone was lost and the architectural configuration of the remaining bone. Vertical defects are those instances of bone loss where the height of the bone remains somewhat constant except in the localized area where there is a steep, almost vertical drop. Horizontal defects are those instances of more generalized bone loss, resulting in anywhere from mild to severe loss of initial bone height. Sometimes bone grafting surgery may be tried, but this has mixed success. Bone grafts are more reliable in instances of vertical defects, where there might be a sufficient “hole” within which to place the added bone. Horizontal defects are rarely if ever able to be grafted properly, as there is nowhere to secure the bone.

Dentists sometimes attempt to treat patients with periodontitis by placing tiny wafers dispensing antibiotics underneath the gum line in affected areas. However, the general scientific consensus is that antibiotic treatment is of minimal value in treating bone loss due to periodontitis. It may help to recover about one millimeter of bone, but it is questionable if this is of significant therapeutic value.

Alternatively, regular subgingival flushing with an anti-calculus composition can dissolve subgingival calculus (tartar) thus facilitating natural healing without surgery. This process is widely used for supragingival tartar via tartar-control toothpastes. Subgingival application of an anti-calculus composition requires a subgingival syringe or an oral irrigator.

One such anti-calculus composition (Periogen) contains sodium tripolyphosphate, tetrapotassium pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and sodium fluoride.

In the composition, tetrapotassium pyrophosphate (TKPP) is a cleaning agent designed to clear away biofilms in order to facilitate chemical access to calculus. Sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) acts as the anti-calculus agent, activated by sodium fluoride (.04%), providing a chelating action on the structure of the calculus.

Sodium bicarbonate and citric acid are product activators which assist in dissolving the composition in water for periodontal delivery via a subgingival syringe or oral irrigator with a periodontal tip.

Assessment and prognosis
Dentists or dental hygienists “measure” periodontal disease using a device called a periodontal probe. This is a thin “measuring stick” that is gently placed into the space between the gums and the teeth, and slipped below the gum-line. If the probe can slip more than 3 millimetres length below the gum-line, the patient is said to have a “gingival pocket” around that tooth. This is somewhat of a misnomer, as any depth is in essence a pocket, which in turn is defined by its depth, i.e., a 2 mm pocket or a 6 mm pocket. However, it is generally accepted that pockets are self-cleansable (at home, by the patient, with a toothbrush) if they are 3 mm or less in depth. This is important because if there is a pocket which is deeper than 3 mm around the tooth, at-home care will not be sufficient to cleanse the pocket, and professional care should be sought. When the pocket depths reach 5, 6 and 7 mm in depth, even the hand instruments and cavitrons used by the dental professionals cannot reach deeply enough into the pocket to clean out the bacterial plaque that cause gingival inflammation. In such a situation the pocket or the gums around that tooth will always have inflammation which will likely result in bone loss around that tooth. The only way to stop the inflammation would be for the patient to undergo some form of gingival surgery to access the depths of the pockets and perhaps even change the pocket depths so that they become 3 or less mm in depth and can once again be properly cleaned by the patient at home with his or her toothbrush.

If a patient has 5 mm or deeper pockets around their teeth, then they would risk eventual tooth loss over the years. If this periodontal condition is not identified and the patient remains unaware of the progressive nature of the disease then, years later, they may be surprised that some teeth will gradually become loose and may need to be extracted, sometimes due to a severe infection or even pain.

 

Gum Disease Risk Factors

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 8:13 pm

The main cause of gum disease is plaque and bacteria that gets trapped underneath the gums.  When we clean our teeth at home, we are able to do a good job with cleaning our teeth above the gums, but it is very hard to reach underneath the gum-line.  Bacteria, plaque, toxins and tartar accumulates underneath the gums, inside spaces call periodontal pockets.  The bacteria will attack the gum and bone and cause gum disease.

gum disease

Other factors affect the health of your gums include:

Age

Studies indicate that older people have the highest rates of periodontal gum disease. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that over 70% of Americans 65 and older have periodontitis.

Smoking/Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease, as well as numerous other health problems. Tobacco users also are at increased risk for periodontal gum disease. Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal gum disease.

Genetics

Research has indicated that some people may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be more likely to develop periodontal disease. Identifying these people with a genetic test before they even show signs of the disease and getting them into early intervention treatment may help them keep their teeth for a lifetime.

Stress

Stress is linked to many serious conditions such as hypertension, cancer, and numerous other health problems. Stress also is a risk factor for periodontal disease. Research demonstrates that stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal gum diseases.

Medications

Some drugs, such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, and certain heart medicines, can affect your oral health. Just as you notify your pharmacist and other health care providers of all medicines you are taking and any changes in your overall health, you should also inform your dental care provider.

Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth

Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could speed up the rate at which these periodontal tissues are destroyed.

Other Systemic Diseases

Other systemic diseases that interfere with the body’s inflammatory system may worsen the condition of the gums. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Poor Nutrition and Obesity

A diet low in important nutrients can compromise the body’s immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off infection. Because periodontal disease begins as an infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of your gums. In addition, research has shown that obesity may increase the risk of periodontal disease.

Controlling dental health through diet

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 6:15 pm

In addition to brushing and flossing, a dental healthful diet (with natural or added fluoride) protects teeth from decay and keeps the gums healthy. Read on to learn more.

dental

Tooth decay (cavities and dental caries) and gum disease are caused by colonies of bacteria that constantly coat the teeth with a sticky film called plaque. If plaque is not brushed away, these bacteria break down the sugars and starches in foods to produce acids that wear away the tooth enamel. The plaque also hardens into tartar, which can lead to gum inflammation or gingivitis.

A well-balanced diet provides the minerals, vitamins and other nutrients essential for healthy teeth and gums. Fluoride, occurring naturally in foods and water or added to the water supply, can be a powerful tool in fighting decay. It can reduce the rate of cavities by as much as 60 percent.

  1. Protecting your teeth

You can protect your teeth by concluding meals with foods that do not promote cavities and may even prevent them.

  • For instance, aged cheeses help prevent cavities if consumed at the end of a meal.
  • Chewing sugarless gum stimulates the flow of saliva, which decreases acid and flushes out food particles.
  • Rinsing your mouth and brushing your teeth after eating are important strategies to prevent cavities.
  • Limit dried fruits and other sticky foods that lodge between the teeth.
  • Avoid sweet drinks and snacks and steady sipping of acidic drinks for prolonged periods.
  1. Dental health tips
  1. Make sure that your children’s teeth get off to a good start by eating sensibly during pregnancy. Particularly important is cal­cium, which helps to form strong teeth and bones, and vitamin D, which the body needs to absorb calcium.
  2. You need lots of calcium for healthy teeth and gums. Low-fat dairy products, fortified soy and rice beverages, canned salmon or sardines (with bones), almonds and dark green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of calcium.
  3. You need vitamin D to help absorb the calcium. Vitamin D is obtained from fluid milk, fortified soy and rice beverages, marga­rine, fatty fish such as salmon, and moderate exposure to the sun.
  4. To a large extent, cavities can be prevented by giving children fluoride in the first few years of life. Fluoride is supplied through fluoridated water (not all municipalities fluoridate their water supply, however), beverages made with fluoridated water, tea and some fish, as well as many brands of toothpaste and some mouthwash. Fluoride supplements are available for children who don’t have access to fluori­dated drinking water. It is wise to check to see if the water supply in your area is fluoridated. Excess consumption of fluoride can cause mottling of the teeth.
  5. Also needed are phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A and beta carotene.
  6. In addition to calcium and fluoride, minerals needed for the formation of tooth enamel include phosphorus (richly supplied in meat, fish and eggs) and magnesium (found in whole grains, spinach and bananas). Vitamin A also helps build strong bones and teeth. Good sources of beta carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A, include orange-coloured fruits and vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables.

dental

  1. Tips for parents

Children are particularly vulnerable to tooth decay. Parents, here are some tips:

  •  Provide a good diet throughout childhood.
  •  Brush children’s teeth until they’re mature enough to do a thorough job by themselves (usually by six or seven years old).
  • Supervise twice-daily brushing and flossing thereafter.
  • Never put babies or toddlers to bed accompanied by a bottle of milk (which contains the natural sugar lactose), juice or other sweet drink.
  •  Never dip pacifiers in honey or syrup.

 

Dental Emergencies

November 9, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 10:18 pm

When a patient experiences a dental emergency, adherence to several steps should result in quicker care and relief:

  1. If the patient currently sees a dentist, s/he needs to call his or her own personal dentist. Most dentists belong to a call group, meaning that they trade call with other dentists. Therefore, a caller may be directed to contact the dentist who is on call.
  2. If a person with a dental emergency does not currently have a dentist of record, s/he should call the local dental association and ask for a listing of dentists who accept dental emergencies. The list is broken down by specialties and by time periods. Patients should expect to be charged for emergency care.
  3. If the dental emergency requires an oral surgeon for immediate care, the hospital emergency room personnel will call the oral surgeon who is on call. Patients will be charged for these services.

dental emergency

 

These problems require an immediate Emergency Room visit:
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fractured jaws
  • Loss of consciousness
These problems require a dentist’s attention:
  • Broke a tooth
  • Badly chipped tooth/tooth is bleeding (not the gums)
  • Bumped a tooth hard; it used to hurt; it got better, but now it hurts again
  • Chipped a tooth
  • Knocked out a tooth
  • Loosened a tooth, pushed in or hanging out of position
  • Have pain with swelling
    • Swelling of gums around teeth
    • Swelling around the wisdom teeth
    • Swelling around the eye
    • Swelling in the roof of the mouth
    • Swelling in the jaw
  • Experiencing toothache
These problems require a dentist’s attention but not immediate unless accompanied by pain:Treat before pain develops or your bite changes.
  • Broken or lost crown or cap
  • Broken or lost filling
  • Broken denture or appliance
What should I do for a toothache? This pain can be relatively simple or quite complicated. It can be simple because sometimes by biting or chewing, a person can tell which tooth is causing pain. More often than not, biting does not identify the offending tooth; and the pain can be referred to a distant location like the ear, the chin, the corner of the jaw, or even one side of the throat (the same side the pain is on). If a tooth is hypersensitive to thermal stimulation like hot or cold food or drinks or if spontaneous pain from the mouth occurs “out of the blue” or if tooth pain awakens you from sleep, then you most likely have a toothache and should see a dentist as soon as possible.

Dental dictionary

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 8:23 pm

We know that dental professionals seems to have a  “language” of their own.  So…to help you better decipher what we are saying, we came up with a mini dictionary of terms regularly used in dentistry.  We hope this helps!

dental dictionary

Abscess

A collection of pus. Usually forms because of infection.

Abutment

A tooth or tooth structure which is responsible for the anchorage of a bridge or a denture.

Amalgam

A silver filling material.

Anesthetic

An agent that causes temporary loss of sensation/feeling.

Anterior

The front position.

Apex

The end of the root.

Asepsis

No micro-organism.

Attrition

Wear of teeth due to activities such as chewing.

Avulsed

An injury that causes a tooth to be completely knocked out of the mouth.

Bitewing

A kind of dental x-ray which is taken with the teeth bite together. The main function of this kind of x-ray is to detect cavities in between teeth and height of bone support.

Bleaching

Whitening of teeth.

Bridge

A prosthesis which is fixed inside the mouth to replace missing teeth.

Bruxism

Teeth grinding.

Canine

The third tooth from the middle of the jaw. There are four of them. They are the longest teeth in humans.

Canker sore

An ulceration with yellow base and red border in mouth. It can be caused by trauma or herpes simplex virus.

Caries

Tooth decay.

Cavity

A hole on the tooth.

Cast

A model of teeth.

Cementation

The process of “gluing” the appliance/prosthesis on the associated area.

Chlorhexidine

An anti-microbial agent. It is available in many forms such as gels and rinses. It is an effective agent in controlling gum diseases.

Clasp

A metal arm extended from a removable partial denture. It helps to hold onto natural tooth structure and thus provide anchorage for the denture.

Cold sore

An ulcer or blister on lip. A form of herpes simplex.

Composite

White filling.

Cross-bite

An abnormal bite relationship of upper and lower jaw. The lower teeth/tooth align toward the check/ lip side more than the upper teeth/tooth.

Crown (porcelain/plastic/metal)

A crown is almost like a “cap” on a tooth. It covers the tooth partially or totally above the gum to restore its function and outlook.

Decay

The rotten part of the tooth.

Dentistry

A branch of medicine that involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of any disease concerning teeth, oral cavity, and associated structures.

Dentition

The position, type, and number of teeth in upper and lower jaw.

Denture

(Immediate/complete/partial) (overdenture, temporary)
An artificial object to replace missing teeth and their neighboring structures. There are many different types of denture to satisfy different treatment requirements and patient preferences.

Denturist

The person who specializes in fabricating dentures. A Denturist is not responsible for making any type of diagnosis or carrying out any other treatment (e.g. removing teeth).

Desensitization

A procedure to reduce the sensitivity of teeth.

Diagnosis

The process of identifying dental disease.

Diastema

The space between two adjacent teeth.

Distal

A direction indication in the mouth. It indicates the direction away from the middle of the jaw.

Edentulous

No teeth.

Endodontics

A department of dentistry involving diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental pulp (where the nerves and blood vessels are inside the tooth).

Eruption

The process of the tooth appearing in the mouth.

Excision

The action of cutting something off.

Extruded

When a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket.

Filling

A restoration placed on a tooth to restore its function and appearance.

Flipper

A temporary denture to replace missing teeth during the waiting period for long term treatment.

Floss

A thread/tape that goes in between teeth for cleaning.

Fluoride

A compound of fluorine (an element) which be put in different forms such as water, gels, and rinses to strengthen teeth.

Fluoride Treatment

Teeth treatment with fluoride agents like gel or rinse. It helps to prevent tooth decay.

Fracture

When a cusp of a tooth becomes weakened, a fracture may result. It is possible for the crack to extend further into the root and damage to the pulp is commonplace.

Framework

A metal skeleton of a removable partial denture to support the false teeth and the plastic attachments.

Gingivitis

The mildest form of gum disease: inflammation of gum. The earliest sign is bleeding gum.

Hemorrhage

Bleeding

Homeostasis

Stop bleeding.

Impaction

A condition where a tooth is not able to come in normally or is stuck underneath another tooth or bone.

Implant

A device (usually “screw-like”) put in the jaw bone to support a false tooth, a denture or a bridge.

Impression

A mold taken by some jelly-like material loaded on a tray.

Incisal

The cutting edge of front teeth.

Incisor

The four upper and lower front teeth.

Inlay

A restoration (usually gold, composite or ceramics) fabricated in the lab that cements on a tooth like a missing puzzle piece. It helps to restore the normal function and outlook of the tooth.

Interproximal

The space between two adjacent teeth.

Lingual

The side of the tooth towards the tongue.

Mesial

The side of the tooth towards the middle of the jaw.

Molar

The last three upper and lower teeth on both sides of the mouth.

Mouthguard

A device to be worn in the mouth. Depending on the design of it, it prevents injury to teeth and/or jaw during teeth grinding or sport events.

Nightguard

A mouthguard which is worn at night time.

Occlusal

The biting surface of the back teeth.

Occlusion

The way how the upper and lower teeth close together.

Onlay

A restoration covers the entire biting surface of a tooth.

Open bite

The situation where the upper teeth not able to contact the opposing lower teeth.

Orthodontics

A special field in dentistry which involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of bite abnormalities or facial irregularities.

Over bite

The overlap of upper teeth and lower teeth when they close together.

Overhang

The portion of filling material that hangs beyond the border of the cavity.

Palate

The roof of the mouth.

Panoramic Radiograph

An x-ray film used to obtain the wide view of upper and lower jaw and their associated structures.

Perforation

An opening on a tooth or other oral structure.

Periapical

The surrounding of the bottom of the root of a tooth.

Periodontics

A specialty of dentistry involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum (periodontal) disease.

Permanent teeth

Adult’s teeth. The first permanent tooth usually comes in around 6 years old.

Pin

A piece of “nail-like” metal. It usually is used for better retention of a filling.

Polish

A process to make the tooth or filling or other denture smooth and glossy.

Pontic

The false tooth in a bridge or denture to replace the missing tooth.

Post

A big pin which can be made with different materials such as metal or carbon. Its function usually is to support a big buildup on a tooth.

Posterior

Located at the back.

Pre-authorization

An approval from the particular authority (usually insurance company in dentistry) before any action (treatment) is carried out.

Pre-medication

Medication needing to be taken before treatment.

Premolar

The two teeth located in front of the molar.

Prescription

A written statement (from a doctor to a pharmacist) regarding the type, the amount and direction of the use of a medication for a patient. In dentistry, a prescription can also be a written statement for preparation of an appliance from a dentist to a lab technician.

Primary teeth

Baby teeth.

Prophylaxis/prophy

The procedure of teeth polishing. It also means the prevention of diseases.

Prosthesis

An artificial part to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

Prosthodontics

A specialty of dentistry involving diagnosis, treatment planning, and fabrication of artificial parts to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

Pulp

The innermost part of a tooth. It contains nerves and blood vessels inside a tooth.

Pulpectomy

The removal of the whole pulp inside a tooth.

Pulpotomy

The removal of the top part of the pulp inside a tooth.

Q

Radiograph

An x-ray picture.

Recall

The regular checkup and teeth cleaning appointment.

Recementation

The process of “gluing” the appliance/prosthesis back on the associated area.

Restoration

An item a dentist uses to restore the normal function of a tooth or an area in the mouth. It can be a filling, a crown, a bridge, etc.

Retainer

A device used for maintaining the position of teeth in the jaw in orthodontic treatment.

Retreatment

The process of repeating the root canal treatment.

Root

The bottom part of tooth. It anchors the tooth to its supporting units.

Root canal

The canal that runs inside the root of the tooth. It contains the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth.

Root canal treatment

A treatment for the root canal inside the tooth.

Root planing

The action of cleaning the root area of teeth.

Rubber dam

A rubber sheet that fits around teeth. It isolates the treatment area from the rest of the oral cavity.

Scaling

The action of cleaning teeth below the gumline.

Sealant

A thin layer of plastic-like material covering the grooves and pits on a tooth to prevent cavity.

Sedation

The use of medication to calm a patient.

Space Maintainer

An appliance to maintain the space between teeth.

Splint

An appliance or a material to prevent movement of a mobile part.

Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ)

The joint that links the two parts of the jaw.

Torus

An outgrowth of bone. It usually develops on the roof of the mouth or around the premolar area on the lower jaw.

U

Veneer

A layer of tooth-colored material (can be porcelain, composite, or ceramics) that attaches to the front of the tooth. It is usually used to improve the appearance of the tooth.

Wisdom tooth

The eighth (also the last) tooth from the middle of the jaw.

Xerostomia

Dry mouth

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#20 - 4 Spruce Ridge Drive, Spruce Grove, AB T7X 4S3 CA
Dr. Mark Southwood Spruce Grove, AB dentist. (780) 962-5538 (780) 962-4485 spruceridgedental@hotmail.ca