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Spruce Ridge Dental Blog

Bad Breath

January 24, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 5:24 pm

There are a few different causes of bad breath. Ranging from stomach problems to diet and teeth problems, most of the causes can be found in the mouth. They are:

  1. Tongue (when bacteria grows in between the papilla).  If you look under a microscope the tongue is not smooth.  In fact it has a lot of small areas for bacteria and hide.  It is important for you to brush your tongue when you brush your teeth.
  2. Teeth cavities (especially when food particles get stuck in them).  Cavities are caused by bacterial infection.  The bacteria will cause destruction and small craters in your teeth, which then become food and plaque traps.  It is important for you to take care of the cavities before the bacteria travels to the nerve which will then lead to an abscess.  This then becomes serious since the bacteria in the abscess can travel to other parts of the body.
  3. Gum diseases which is a bacterial infection of the gums.  It is important for you to have regular professional scaling (cleanings) to remove the plaque, food and bacteria that gets trapped underneath the gum.  When we brush our teeth we can easily clean above the gums but it is very difficult to clean underneath the gums.
  4. Extraction sites during healing can become a food, plaque and bacterial trap.  It is important for you to rinse your mouth regularly and especially after you eat to keep the extraction site as clean as possible.
  5. Dentures when not cleaned properly.  These prosthesis trap bacteria and food particles.  The food then ferments and release a bad taste and odor.
  6. Alcohol and tobacco

bad breath


If you or someone you know is concerned about bad breath, the first step is a dental check up. Your dentist will be able to confirm or rule out the source of the bad breath.

When the cause is found, treatment will be determined and explained by your dentist. If the source of the bad breath is your mouth, there is little chance that mouth washes or mints can treat the problem. They usually mask the problem for a short period of time, and can sometimes exacerbate the situation (mouthwashes that contain alcohol cause dry mouth and usually make the bad breath worse).

bad breath

These are a few other, non-dental reasons that cause bad breath:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Tonsillitis
  3. Some food
  4. Infection of air passages


Following a good oral hygiene routine and receiving regular dental check ups are the best ways to prevent bad breath.

Tooth Extraction is Forever. So are Dental Implants

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:50 am

Implant Dentists

Dentists Grande Cache, Edson, Hinton, Jasper

No one wants to lose teeth. We do our best to keep our natural teeth by tending to good, daily oral care. However, there are times when even the best oral care cannot prevent tooth loss. In the event this occurs, fortunately, dental implant procedures have become the gold standard for permanent tooth replacement.

Disease, accidents, trauma and poor dental hygiene are the major culprits in tooth loss. We are so fortunate to have a way to replace lost teeth. Tooth loss not only affects what we can eat and how easily we can smile, it may also affect the shape of our face. All of these aspects of tooth loss severely affect our confidence.  And, we certainly never want to lose confidence in ourselves.

The science, research and understanding necessary for the discovery of advanced dental treatments is time-consuming and requires great curiosity and patience. The application in clinical practice also demands great training and advanced education. The practice of implant dentistry is as much about art and experience as it is about science.

You Didn’t Grow Your Teeth Overnight

How many years does it take for human teeth to grow? The answer is years. The artistry and dentistry required for dental implants certainly does not take as long as the time it takes to grow a natural tooth. However, it is lengthy which is why you want to be very discriminating in your choice of dentist. Once you’ve selected the person you want to work with, you will undergo a consultation during which the dentist or oral surgeon will walk you through the entire procedure. Understand that replacing a tooth with an implant is a lengthy process.

You will have a complete understanding of the process, and will know whether you will need to have a bone graft or sinus lift. Frequently dental implants take as long as six to eight months to complete. If it is necessary to do a bone graft, the area will require 4 to six months of healing time. Once the area is healed, the titanium post will be implanted, which can also require a fairly lengthy time in which the bone attaches itself to the post.  Finally the crown that looks and feels like the tooth you lost is placed over the titanium post. You will return to eating and smiling and feeling as good about your implant as you did your natural tooth. Maybe you’ll feel even better, knowing that it will last the rest of your life.

implant replacing missing front tooth

Implant Maintenance

Like your natural teeth, dental implants require brushing, flossing, rinsing and regular visits to the dentists for cleaning. If you have teeth that need to be replaced, don’t hesitate to seriously consider dental implants. They are one of modern dentistry’s finest contributions.

What should I do if I have bad breath?

January 23, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 1:02 am

Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning.

Bad breath
There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.

What may cause bad breath?

• Morning time – Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
• Certain foods – Garlic, onions, etc. Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.
• Poor oral hygiene habits – Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.
• Periodontal (gum) disease – Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.
• Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances – May also contribute to bad breath.
• Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.
• Tobacco products – Dry the mouth, causing bad breath.
• Dieting – Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat.
• Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals – Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.
• Certain medical conditions and illnesses – Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath.
Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath. Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with you dentist.

What can I do to prevent bad-breath?

• Practice good oral hygiene – Brush at least twice a day with a Canadian Dental Association CDA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush. Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline. Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.
• See your dentist regularly – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year. If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.
• Stop smoking/chewing tobacco – Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit.
• Drink water frequently – Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.
• Use mouthwash/rinses – Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor. Ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem.
In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.

A Restoration To Restore The Health and Function Of Your Teeth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 12:26 am

A restoration (filling) can restore the health, esthetics and function of your teeth when there are cracks, caries, trauma, infection or pain.  There are various types of restorations available depending on your specific condition and needs.  When a restoration is a smaller size, amalgam or composite resin restoration fillings are good options.  When the restoration is a larger size, either a composite resin, gold or ceramic inlay or onlay would be a better restoration option.

Firstly, your tooth needs to be assessed to see what the issue and problem is.  A diagnosis is made and treatment restoration options are provided.  We are here to answer all of your questions and help you make the right decision for your specific condition.


It’s great news that the incidence of tooth decay has significantly diminished over the years due to the use of fluorides and an increase in patient awareness.  However, teeth are still susceptible to decay, infection, and breakage and sometimes need to be restored back to health.  Through improved techniques and modern technology, we are now able to offer more options for restoring a tooth back to its normal shape, appearance and function.

Should your teeth ever require a restorative treatment, you can rest assured knowing we will always discuss with you the available options, and recommend what we believe to be the most comfortable and least invasive treatment.  Providing you with excellent care is our number one priority when creating your beautiful smile.

Reasons for restorative dentistry:

  • Enhance your smile.
  • Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth.
  • Improve or correct an improper bite.
  • Prevent the loss of a tooth.
  • Relieve dental pain.
  • Repair damaged and decayed teeth.
  • Replace missing teeth.
  • Replace old, unattractive dental treatments.
  • Restore normal eating and chewing.

Remember to give your teeth the attention they need today!

Sinus Augmentation

January 22, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 5:25 pm

Before the  Sinus Augmentation procedure is started, you will be given freezing to the visit comfortable.  A detailed explanation of what the treatment entails is provided and all your questions will be answered.

 Sinus Augmentation

In the most common sinus augmentation technique, a tiny incision is made near the upper premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone. A small opening is cut into the bone and the membrane lining the sinus on the other side of the opening is gently pushed upward.  The underlying space is filled with bone graft material and the incision is closed.  The bone which is used for this procedure may be from your own body or from a cadaver.  Sometimes the dentist might use synthetic materials which can also stimulate bone formation.  The implants are placed after healing has occurred; this will depend on the individual case.  Sinus augmentation has been shown to increase the success of dental implant procedures.

The incision is closed with sutures that will dissolve on their own (so that you do not have to come back to remove the sutures) and several months of healing will be required. The sutures are the longer lasting types so they will remain in the mouth for several weeks.  Detailed post operative instructions will be given to you on how to care for the area.  You will be given medication to help with the healing and make you more comfortable.

A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root which is attached to the jaw bone.  Eventually, a replacement tooth or bridge will be firmly fixed to this root, restoring complete function to the tooth.  The key to a successful and long-lasting implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached.  If bone has been lost due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor to allow for new bone formation.

At Foothills Dental we are truly a full service, one stop dental clinic that can provide comprehensive dental care for your entire family. Dr. Madej and Dr. Vu have taken extensive continuing education course in oral surgery including sinus and bone grafting, implants surgery and soft tissue modification. All procedures can be done under iv sedation for your complete comfort.

We understand that driving to Edmonton to see a specialist is time consuming. Therefore we try to do as much treatment procedures as possible right here in our dental office. This way you have continuity of care and don’t have to travel.

Dental Implants

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:47 am

Top 5 allies against tooth decay

January 21, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:46 am

At your first suspicion of tooth decay, you should get to a dentist, and fast. Getting a cavity filled quickly can prevent a lot of pain and infection.

Tooth decay is one of the main reasons we go see the dentist. The appearance of tooth decay, also called dental caries or cavities, consists of small holes that form on the surface enamel of the teeth. Bacteria are the bad guys here, at least the kind that proliferate in the presence of sugary food particles stuck in the teeth.

Other factors can contribute to the problem, including a person’s diet, tooth brushing habits, quality of saliva, and immune system. And while those factors may vary, you can always count on the pain of a cavity.

tooth decay
  1. The toothbrush

Of course, the old idiom ‘‘anounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’’ takes on its full meaning when it comes to tooth decay. Dentists and dental hygienists recommend brushing the teeth a minimum of twice or, ideally, three times a day. Brushing dislodges food particles caught in the teeth and under the gums, and the fluoride contained in adult toothpaste helps protect the tooth’s enamel.

  1. Dental floss

Daily flossing is also recommended. Dental floss allows for proper cleaning between the teeth and under the gums that surround the teeth, something the toothbrush can’t do. In addition to preventing cavities between the teeth, dental floss stimulates the gums and helps prevent gingivitis, or gum disease.

  1. Mouthwash

Cavity prevention wouldn’t be complete without the daily use of a mouthwash. Mouthwash eliminates the bacteria that produce tooth decay, as well as bad breath, making it a precious ally for good oral health.

  1. Consultations

A professional cleaning performed by a dental hygienist should take place every six months. A check-up and a cleaning help to determine the condition of the teeth, enamel, occlusion, gums, and tongue. These regular consultations make it easier to take preventive action and help with the early detection of any problems that may occur.

With a bit of information on the medical history and lifestyle of the patient, the dentist and the hygienist are able to give personalized advice and treatment. If a patient is on medication, if he smokes or drinks alcohol on a regular basis, if she experiences intense stress, or if other members of the family have multiple cavities, a more regular follow-up schedule might be recommended by the dentist.

  1. Personalized treatment

Once a cavity is identified, it is absolutely necessary to have it treated by a dentist. In truth, tooth decay does not heal itself and only a dentist is capable of halting its progression. A quick repair will prevent the decay from progressing into the pulp of the tooth and causing damage to the surrounding teeth. Getting a cavity filled promptly also helps prevent infection and any complications that could arise from a neglected cavity.


Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:39 am

Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve it’s shape.  They are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay.  They can be customized in terms of shape and colour to naturally blend in with the rest of your dentition.


Crowns 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. 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.  They can also be made very thin to preserve the tooth structure underneath.  Ceramic crowns can be costumed colour to include all of the unique characteristics of your teeth.  Our teeth are rarely uniform in colour.  There are usually many shades and it is slightly more yellow towards the gum line.  In addition, our teeth often have subtle shades of grey, blue or white spots.  All of these unique characters create “personality” for our teeth.  The crowns can include all of your unique features.

Hinton, Edson, Jasper, Grande Cache Dental Office

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.

These photos are depictions for illustration only. They demonstrate an example of how teeth may look, following certain procedures. Not all patients will achieve identical results and may not be a suitable candidate. An examination is required to determine how this procedure can be an option for your specific treatment.

Tooth Extraction: What to Expect

January 20, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 9:59 pm

Although it sounds complicated, a tooth extraction is a routine procedure that according to The Mayo Clinic carries a very low risk of long-term complications. The procedure itself is painless when performed by an experienced dentist or oral surgeon, and the recovery process is usually equally simple.


Causes for Tooth Extraction

There are many reasons why a dental healthcare provider would recommend extracting one or more teeth. One of the most common reasons is due to severe tooth decay beyond what is reasonable to save. In these cases, an extraction is performed to prevent infection and also make the patient more comfortable.

A dentist may also recommend extraction for impacted teeth, malfunctioning teeth or teeth that are hard to clean, such as the wisdom teeth. Removal of wisdom teeth can prevent crowding and may also be more prone to causing inflammation or infection if they do not fully emerge.


Although there are exceptions, most tooth extractions are uneventful procedures that last only a few minutes. Usually, the dentist or surgeon will have already taken x-rays of the teeth prior to the procedure. The tooth, gum and bone will then be anesthetized using a local numbing agent for a patient who will be awake for the extraction. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, may also be administered to help with anxiety during the procedure. Once the extraction begins, patients should feel only pressure – not pain. In most cases, the dentist can remove the tooth using only applied pressure to the socket and dental forceps, rather than surgical intervention.

In some cases, a dentist or oral surgeon will recommend full sedation – especially if there will be more than one tooth extracted during the procedure. In this case, the patient is instead given anesthesia intravenously to prevent pain throughout the entire body. Patients who undergo a sedated tooth extraction will have no memory of the procedure.


Following a dental extraction, the dentist or oral surgeon will have a very specific set of instructions for caring for the extraction site in the hours and days following the tooth removal. Usually, this involves leaving gauze on the extraction site to minimize bleeding for the first few hours.

Depending on the type of tooth extraction performed, the dentist or oral surgeon may also prescribe medication to help relieve pain for the first few days following the procedure. So long as the extraction site is kept clean and patients follow the instructions for care, the gums should heal in a matter of weeks without complication or infection. Furthermore, if necessary and once the extraction site heals, the dentist can replace one or more missing teeth with a bridge, a denture or a permanent dental implant for both functional and aesthetic purposes.

Dental Cleaning Therapy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:44 am

At Foothills Dental Centre our registered dental hygienists provide dental cleaning therapy to ensure your teeth, gums and bone remain healthy for a lifetime.

Hinton, Edson, Jasper, Grande Cache Dental

According to the health of your oral cavity you may visit our office for various types of dental cleaning hygiene appointments.

Preventative Dental Hygiene Appointment-This type of dental hygiene appointment is for those whose oral cavity is in a healthy state and need to have plaque and tartar removal to ensure the oral cavity remains healthy. These types of appointments of are for children and adults alike, typically they are 1 hour long.

Periodontal Therapy Appointment-This type of dental hygiene appointment is for those who have oral disease present such as gingivitis or periodontitis. The goal of these types of appointments are to remove plaque, tartar and bacteria below the gumline to assist with healing and/or halt the disease process. These appointments are typically 1 hour in length but depending on the oral disease present there may be multiple appointments involved.

Laser Therapy Appointment-This type of dental hygiene appointment is for those that have been diagnosed with gingivitis or periodontal disease and the dentist/dental hygienist has determined that laser may assist in halting the disease process. These appointments are also 1 hour in length, but depending on the oral disease present there may be multiple appointments involved.

As each person is an individual, so are the dental hygiene needs.

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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