Dental photography is a practice that more and more dental offices are using in order to provide the highest quality of care to their patients. Dental photography goes beyond just the typical x-rays that are given–these are actual photos taken by a DSLR camera. If you are a dental office that does not currently provide dental photography, here are a few reasons why you should start today.

First off, it gives an HD look at the inside of the mouth, providing crystal clear images that can be examined and even shown to patients so they are able to see what their dentist’s see. For people who are skeptical of their dentist and believe that they are trying to push them into procedures that they don’t actually need, these images are incredibly helpful to show them what’s going on in their mouth and what can be done in order to fix or reverse it. A popular option for the camera in use is a Canon T6 Rebel equipped with a 100mm macro lens.

Secondly, it’s helpful for the dentists and hygienists to track slow changes processes that happen to the gums and teeth such as gum recession, tooth movement, and even the wearing down of teeth–things that aren’t always able to be memorized for each patient and taken note of with just a pen and paper. This can be helpful for early detection of these kinds of changes as well so that early treatment can begin before the problem gets worse.

Third, it builds trust between patient and dentist, and also benefits the patient in the form of education. As mentioned above, there are many people who are skeptical of dentists either by rumours, stereotypes, and personal experiences that make them wary of accepting recommended treatments. Through the use of dental photography, dentists can show their patients exactly what is going on in their mouth, such as a cavity, educate them on the problem, and then use these tools with the patient in order to come up with a solution. Just as continuing education is important for dentists, educating patients should be another priority so they feel informed and comfortable.

With these things in mind, it might be time to integrate this service in with your own practice. Many dental offices offer this service for free as they believe that everyone should have access to this kind of service to receive the best possible care, while others charge a small fee. However you decide to run your practice, dental photography provides multiple benefits that can, in turn, benefit you as well.

For patients, remember that you always have a choice on whether or not you want this service to be performed on you. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of having their photos taken, but rest assured, these photos are confidential, not shared with anyone except your dental health team, and can be beneficial to your health.

Tongue piercings are one of the most popular body modifications out there, and although piercings have become more of an accepted norm amongst society, dentists remain critical of tongue piercings and their effect on oral health. Tongue piercings can cause a variety of problems including the cracking and chipping of teeth, as well as causing tooth movement. 

Cracking and Chipping

Particularly when the piercing is first placed, there will be a little bit of time needed before the individual is used to it. After all, there is now something foreign in their mouth that will now affect how they talk, chew, and behave. Many fiddle with the tongue piercing once healed, making it clang against the surface of the tooth. Overtime, and with enough force, it can actually start chipping away at the enamel, and biting down can cause a crack.

Tooth Movement

If the tongue piercing is too far forward, it can cause constant pressure on the back of the teeth. This pressure can cause the teeth to become loose and shift from their positions, making them force their way over other teeth or creating gaps. Although this can occur without the presence of oral jewelry, it is much more prevalent in individuals who choose to have a tongue piercing.

This is not to say to not get a tongue piercing. Although it continues to not be recommended by oral health providers, if taking it out is not an option, there are jewelry options available that can lessen or eliminate the damage completely. Speak with your piercer about the options available once the initial piercing heals and is ready to be changed out with something else.

For more information about the risks associated with tongue and oral piercings, consult with your dentist.

An impacted tooth is a tooth that has not managed to break through the gum, or has partially broke through, but becomes stuck and is unable to fully come through. For the most part, impacted teeth do not cause any symptoms are are usually discovered by your dentist during a normal oral exam that includes an x-ray.

Symptoms:

As mentioned, symptoms are not frequently experienced, but for the individuals that do have symptoms, they can be any of the following:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Halitosis
  • Pain when biting or chewing

Causes:

The most common reason for an impacted tooth to occur is when there is not enough space for the tooth to come through. Wisdom teeth are the most common teeth to become impacted, usually in people who have smaller jaws. In this case, the wisdom teeth are often extracted rather than encouraged to come through. The upper canines are the second most common to become impacted, but as these teeth are much are useful, your dentist will go through treatment options to make sure that these teeth are able to break through the gum and be useable.

Treatment:

Depending on the tooth that is impacted, your dentist will recommend the following options:

Waiting:

This is for individuals who are experiencing no symptoms. Because the tooth is not causing any pain, there is no need for drastic measures. By checking in every 6 months, your dentist can monitor the situations and change tactics at any time if the tooth shows no sign of improvement.

Surgery:

For those that experience pain, surgery may be recommended in order to alleviate it. This method is especially common for wisdom teeth, but may be recommended in other cases where surgery is the only option, or if the impacted tooth is negatively affecting the surrounding teeth. Surgery is done at an oral surgeon’s office, so there’s no need for a hospital stay and you can go home the very same day. 

If you suspect that you have an impacted tooth, contact your dentist for a consultation.

Whether or not you believe in making new year’s resolutions, there’s never a better time to start establishing healthy habits than at the beginning of the new year. So get out there, buy some floss, replace your toothbrush, and think about making these changes for better oral health.

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking may be the most challenging on the list as there are things like nicotine addiction to consider, but doing so will impact your entire body for good in the long run. Besides the fact that it will improve your mood, stamina, and reduce your risk of lung cancer, it will also decrease your chances of mouth cancers as well and prevent your teeth from becoming discoloured.

Bi-Yearly Dental Visits

You would be surprised at how many people avoid going to the dentist and miss their twice yearly appointments. If it makes it easier, schedule them in advance and mark them on your calendar so you don’t forget. Stick to the appointment and make it a priority. If you have to reschedule, make sure you do it on the day that you cancel as you may forget to phone back.

Brush and Floss

Dentists recommend brushing three times a day, after each meal preferably, and yet most people only brush their teeth once a day, if at all. Brushing your teeth takes no more than five minutes, so plan out your morning before work to incorporate it in your routine. Buy a travel toothbrush and travel size toothpaste as well to freshen up at work before you come back from your lunch break. The last one of the day is the easiest as you can do it before going to bed. If you’re the type of person to watch TV until you fall asleep, rush your teeth beforehand so you can just fall back into the pillows for a long, relaxing slumber.

Dental Procedures

If there is something that your dentist has been recommending for awhile, the new year may just be the time to do it. Whether it’s a crown, an implant, or maybe even something cosmetic like a veneer or two, save up or finance the procedure, and stop putting it off. 

When a bacterial infection becomes present in the tooth, an abcess can appear, which forms a pocket of pus. These abscesses are typically very painful, even being felt in the neck or ear, and should be looked at right away because they can lead to life threatening conditions.

There are many symptoms that can indicate the presence of an abscess, including:

  • Radiating pain
  • Pain when eating
  • Redness and swelling in the face
  • Worsening pain when lying down
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever

To treat an abscess, a dental x-ray may need to be taken to check and see if the infection has spread anywhere else. Depending on the severity, your dentist will recommend one of the following treatment options:

  • Making an incision and draining the abscess
  • Root canal therapy
  • Antibiotics
  • Removing the tooth

If you’re unable to reach your dentist right away or have pain, over the counter medication can be taken to relieve the symptoms until medical help can be given.

Experiencing headaches and difficulty talking and eating? Before you start searching up different causes, discover whether or not it has something to do with your temporomandibular joint or TMJ. These joints connect your lower jaw to your skull, hence why they can cause headaches. Normally, these joints are able to move freely, which is why you can talk and chew without difficulty, but sometimes trauma and overuse can cause the TMJ to slip out of place and cause pain and discomfort. When a problem in your TMJ is diagnosed, it is referred to as TMD or Temporomandibular Disorder.

Causes of TMD

Trauma: A sports injury, car accident, or anything that comes into contact with your TMJ can be considered trauma.

Bruxism: Grinding and clenching your teeth causes pressure on the TMJ.

Arthritis: This disease can manifest in any joint, including your TMJ.

Nerve Damage: If your jaw nerves become affected, the pain may be centralized in your TMJ.

Symptoms of TMD

Jaw pain is the most common of the symptoms, but suffers of TMJ may also experience all or a combination of the following

  • Mild to severe headaches
  • Jaw locking, popping, and sliding
  • Difficulty or unable to do activities such as talking and eating.

Diagnosis of TMD

Before a treatment plan can be started, a diagnosis needs to be made on the cause of the TMD. Most commonly, x-rays will be ordered, as well as an MRI or blood tests in order to reach the most accurate conclusion.

Treatment of TMD

No two people will go through the same TMD treatment if the cause is different. One person may have to go through a bottle of antibiotics, others may have to be on arthritic medication, and other may have to have mouth guards and even surgery to correct the discomfort.

Talk to your dentist if you experience any of the symptoms of TMD and they’ll be able to put you on the right path to recovery.

Sleep apnea occurs when a person has pauses in their breathing during their sleep, but they may not know it. However, there are a few distinct symptoms that a person with sleep apnea will have, such as those that are listed below.

Snoring

Snoring can be an issue all on its own and may not indicate that the person has sleep apnea, but it is one of the most common symptoms amongst patients. This is because something is obstructing their airway and when the air cannot flow properly, snoring occurs.

Difficulty Concentrating

People often face this issue when they’re unable to get enough sleep during the night. Because sleep apnea disrupts a person’s sleeping pattern, it leaves them feeling exhausted in the morning, even if they don’t wake from their sleep apnea. Those who suffer from sleep apnea also have low levels of gamma-Aminobutyric acid and glutamate, two chemicals that are needed for regular brain function and to ensure a good night’s rest.

Irregular Breathing During Sleep

This is by far the most distinct symptom that a person with sleep apnea will exhibit. The pauses in the sleep that are known as apneas in the medical world can last anywhere from 10-30 seconds, and in severe cases can happen every few minutes. Those who sleep with a partner at night may notice the signs of this symptom as it can come in the form of choking or gasping, but other times the apnea is silent.

Headaches Upon Waking

When people with sleep apnea fall asleep, the brain sends a message to the rest of the body to dilate the arteries so that it can conserve oxygen and maximize blood flow throughout the body since the proper amount of oxygen is not being taken in. This dilation, however, causes pressure in the head, causing sufferers to wake up with a pounding in their skull. This often fades after a few hours of regular breathing.

Dry Mouth 

Since breathing through the nose is difficult when you have sleep apnea, this causes the person to breathe through their mouth in order to try and get enough oxygen. This naturally dries the saliva that the mouth produces, therefore making the mouth feel rough and dry.

Frequent Waking

Again, this symptom may not indicate sleep apnea as many people wake during the night. However, what sets it apart is that people with sleep apnea find no reason for their body to wake during the night, such as using the bathroom, hunger, or a bad dream.

High Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea often goes hand in hand with poor cardiovascular health. This is because oxygen is needed in the blood in order to move properly throughout the body. When the heart doesn’t detect enough oxygen in the blood it has to work harder in order to pump blood throughout the body. Because of overexertion, your blood pressure rises, which goes hand in hand with stress levels as well. Severe, untreated sleep apnea can further lead to conditions such as obesity, stokes, and even heart attacks.

Luckily, there are options. For more severe cases, a CPAP machine is available to make sure that a person stays breathing throughout the night. For milder cases, your dentist can offer a device. To discuss your options, schedule a consultation with your dentist.

More than likely you’ve been to a bi-yearly dental appointment, but for others it may be their first time, or maybe they’re coming back to the dentist after a long time and have forgotten what all is involved in the visit. This article will take you step by step through all the things involved in a bi-yearly checkup.

First up is the physical exam. These exams are mostly performed by dental hygienists and not the dentist themselves. This step involves the hygienist examining your mouth using a tiny mirror to check for inflamed gums, bleeding, sores, and signs of gingivitis. If nothing it found, they proceed to the next step. If there is something that concerns them, they will often call the dentist to take a look as well before proceeding. Depending on how long it has been, your dentist may also want to take x-rays to update your file before they begin the cleaning.

Second comes the cleaning, also performed by the hygienist. The hygienist will use the same mirror to look around your mouth while they use a scaler to clean the spaces between your teeth and around your gum line. This is often the most uncomfortable part of the cleaning process, but you can help to lessen it with proper brushing and flossing as this step is merely to get rid of the tartar and plaque that has built up in your mouth.

Third comes the polishing and cleaning with a gritty toothpaste. Combined with a high powered brush, this will both scrub your teeth clean, polish them, and remove any excess tartar left behind.

Fourth comes flossing, another unpleasant part for those who do not floss daily. If you do floss at home, this part will be simple with no bleeding or irritated gums, and will remove anything left behind by the two previous steps.

Lastly, the hygienist will rinse your mouth for one final sweep to get rid of anything lying around, then give you a toothbrush and a small container of floss and you’ll be ready to go.

You know by now that sore and bleeding gums are not normal and may be a sign that you have gingivitis, a very common dental condition that can be easily treated by your dentist if visited at the appropriate time. Failure to do so may make your gingivitis turn into something much more serious: a gum disease called periodontitis, which can then lead to infections and tooth loss.

50% of people have gingivitis and it’s because there are many risk factors for developing it. Such factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Dry mouth
  • Old age
  • Poor dental restorations
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Hormones
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • Immunodeficiency diseases
  • Medications

With so many risk factors, it’s important to do everything you can in order to prevent gingivitis from happening. Such methods include:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Visiting your dentist bi-yearly
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Cutting back on/quitting smoking

But say you already have gingivitis. What can you do to treat it? Well, there are a few methods, both at home and at the dentist’s that are available. Treatments for gingivitis include:

  • Antibacterial mouthwash and toothpaste
  • Using an electric toothbrush
  • Deep cleaning
  • Prescriptions

Should you suspect that you have gingivitis, book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to figure out the best treatment plan.

When your child reaches the age of one, or at least 6 months after their first tooth emerges, it’s time for them to visit the dentist for the first time. Why this early? Well, it’s to check for a couple of things: to see if you’re doing to proper cleaning care at home, and to diagnose any problems that may have already started occurring. It’s also good to get your child used to the dentist as this is something that they’ll have to continue doing for years to come. 


In the subsequent years, x-rays may be taken to see how the teeth are going to come in and if any intervention is needed, or will be needed in the future. In most cases, however, crooked teeth are not an issue and will more than likely sort themselves out as the child’s jaw grows and develops, making room for new teeth.


The one thing that is most common with children is cavities which mostly form on the molars. As the molars come in, your dentist may discuss the option of sealing the molars as this makes bacteria and germs less likely to develop.


In the event of a cavity, your dentist may recommend a filling. Some parents will frown at this suggestion as the baby teeth will eventually fall out, so why bother with a costly procedure? While it is true that baby teeth will all fall out, your child will most likely still have a few left by the age of 12 and if the cavity develops at 5 years old, it is a possibility that the affected tooth could still be in your child’s mouth for another 7 years.


Broken, chipped, or infected teeth should also be treated, even if they will fall out in the future. Your oral health has the potential to affect the rest of the body, and it is no different for your child. Taking care of their teeth ensures they stay as healthy as can be.


To schedule your child’s first appointment, visit our website at newburysmiles.com/contact.