With the rise of COVID-19 and the closing of businesses across the globe, getting to the dentist isn’t always an option. So, until you can visit your dentist, what can you do when an unexpected toothache hits? Turns out, you can help ease your pain with items you can find in your house already. Here are a few of them.

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide: Swishing a hydrogen peroxide rince around in your mouth can relieve pain and inflammation. Hydrogen peroxide is also helpful in healing bleeding gums and can even reduce plaque and kill harmful bacteria. Do not swallow.
  2. Salt water: This is often the first one that people go to for a quick fix as salt water is a natural disinfectant. Like hydrogen peroxide, it’s also helpful in reducing inflammation and wounds. Do not swallow.
  3. Peppermint Tea Bags: You can use these when they’re either cooled down or when they’re removed from the fridge. Either method can be used to soothe gums and numb any pain you may be having.
  4. Cold Compress: Especially if there has been trauma to the mouth that is causing the toothache, a cold compress can be especially helpful. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and apply it to the outside of the affected area for no more than 20 minutes. This will reduce inflammation and pain by making the blood vessels in the area constrict.
  5. Clove Oil: Once again used to treat pain and inflammation. Apply a very small amount of clove oil to a cotton ball or pad and apply it to the tooth. You can also add a single drop of clove oil to a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash. Again, do not swallow the mixture.
  6. Thyme: Similar to the clove oil, thyme essential oil can be diluted with water, applied to a cotton ball and pressed on the affected area to effectively treat a toothache. Thyme has been known to have antibacterial properties and is also a powerful antioxidant.
  7. Garlic: To use garlic as a pain reliever, crush a garlic clove and make it into a paste before applying it to the tooth. If you like the taste of garlic, you can also chew on the clove directly.

All of these can be found at your local pharmacy and grocery store if you do not already have them in your pantry. For dental emergencies, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

They may not be that common, both to find and in their use, but silicone toothbrushes are quickly becoming the preferred tool for oral hygiene. Silicone toothbrushes replace the traditional nylon bristles with silicone which is softer and gentler on both the gums and teeth, but are still expected to perform the same as any traditional toothbrush. They also come in an electric form for those that prefer it.

Because of their recent emergence on the market, it’s difficult to truly say whether these silicone toothbrushes outperform their traditional counterparts, but preliminary testing shows that they do provide benefits that traditional toothbrushes do not, such as being softer on the gums.

In fact, silicone toothbrushes started out by being used by new parents for their infants and children as their gums are more sensitive compared to adults, and the soft massaging of the silicone also helps to lessen the discomfort of teething.

No matter what toothbrush you use, though, always follow the recommended guideline of brushing your teeth twice a day. For more information on what toothbrush best suits your oral hygiene needs, schedule a consultation with us.

Have you ever noticed that you’re seeing more of your teeth than usual, or that your gums appear higher than they normally are? If you said yes to either of those two questions, you may have gum disease and what you’re experiencing is gum recession as a result.

Before gum disease happens, there needs to be bacteria present. This bacteria forms plaque on the teeth which inflames the gums and begins to erode the tissue away, exposing more of the tooth and giving the gums a recessed look. All of this happens quite slowly and overtime, but if it is not addressed in the early stages, it can have serious consequences in the long run. The best thing that you can do to prevent gum recession is to stick to a daily oral hygiene routine to remove bacteria and food particles so that the formation of plaque is stopped before it even begins.

If you already have a receding gum line, there are treatment options available to you. Most of the treatments will focus on treating the gum diseases as that will fix the gumline as well. For more advanced cases, cosmetic options such as a tissue graft may be necessary in order to get the gums back to their original appearance.

For more information on gum recession or to set up a consultation, give us a call or visit our website to book an appointment.

Coffee should really be a food group of its own with how prevalent it is in our daily life. While the delicious drink might give you a kick start to your day and positively affect your daily function, it also affects your teeth in the following ways.

STAINING:

If you’re wondering why you have yellow teeth but have never touched a cigarette in your life, it’s from your coffee. The molecule in coffee which gives it it’s dark, rich color can bind to the crevices in your teeth and stain them. However, with limiting your intake or simply by rinsing your mouth out with water or mouthwash after each cup, you can reduce the amount of staining that is caused.

DRY MOUTH:

The caffeine in coffee and other beverages can cause dry mouth as it reduces the amount of saliva present in the mouth. Without saliva present, bad breath and cavities become much more common. So, if you can’t give up the coffee, at least have some water during the day as well to balance everything out and keep yourself hydrated.

EROSION:

Coffee is fairly low when it comes to acid content when compared to sodas or lemonades, but there is still enough present that someone who drinks coffee daily or multiple times a day, can overtime be susceptible to acid erosion, or the breaking down and thinning of the enamel. Again, rinsing your mouth out with water can help prevent this.

If you suffer from any of the following, please give us a call and set up a consultation and we’ll help you get to the root of the problem.

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.