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What is Gingivitis? What is Periodontitis?

What is Gingivitis? What is Periodontitis?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums that has a variety of causes but is most often a response to plaque accumulation on the teeth at the gum line. The inflammation occurs because the body sends blood (which contains white blood cells) to the gums to fight off the bacteria. If the bacteria are not removed with brushing and flossing, the inflammation will not subside. Gingivitis can range from mild to severe, localized to a certain spot, or generalized throughout the mouth. It can also be chronic (meaning long-lasting) or acute (meaning short-term.)

Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis 

  • Red gums 
  • Sore, irritated gums 
  • Gums that bleed while brushing or flossing 
  • Bad breath 
  • Puffy gums 

Risk Factors for Inflamed Gums 

  • Not enough brushing and flossing 
  • Infrequent visits to the dentist for cleanings 
  • Braces or retainers 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Certain medical conditions 
  • Certain medications 
  • Hormonal changes 

Ways to Help Improve Gingivitis 

  • Regular brushing and flossing 
  • Regular visits to the dentist for cleanings 
  • Daily mouthwash 

If gingivitis is left untreated, it may escalate into periodontitis. Periodontitis occurs from plaque and tartar left on the teeth causing damage over time. Periodontitis affects the health of the surrounding bone and connective tissue. Periodontitis eventually leads to tooth loss when left untreated for a long time. Gingivitis is reversible, but periodontitis is sometimes not, depending on the severity. 

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontitis 

  • Bone loss surrounding the teeth 
  • Pockets between the teeth and the gums 
  • Gum recession 
  • Tooth mobility 
  • Red, puffy gums 
  • Bad breath 

Be sure to see your dentist and dental hygienist at least every six months to assess the health of your teeth and gums, and thoroughly clean your teeth to remove plaque, tartar and staining. At your regular dental visits, your oral hygiene will be assessed, and tips can be given for ways to improve your home care. 

If you believe you may have gingivitis, have any questions about it, or are due for a dental cleaning, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Dental Cleaning

Dental Cleaning

Dental Cleaning In Toronto, ON

During your dental hygiene appointment or at the end of your appointment, you probably remember the dental hygienist telling you to remember to brush and floss at least twice daily. This is great advice because proper oral care at home is the important part of maintaining your oral health. However, even with the best brushing and flossing technique, we still miss some areas of plaque build-up.

What Is A Dental Cleaning?

A dental cleaning is an essential part of good overall oral hygiene. It involves the removal of plaque build-up and tartar build-up from teeth and other hard to access areas, such as under the gums. Dental cleanings performed by a dental hygienist, but sometimes the dentist will perform the cleaning. Cleaning is achieved using an assortment of specialized dental tools. Your dental professional will perform an assessment of your oral health, and create a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique oral health needs.

Why are dental cleanings needed?

Dental cleanings are recommended at least two to three times a year. However, these requirements vary depending on your oral health. Regular dental hygiene visits help maintain oral health, and overall health to a smaller extent. Plaque build-up is sticky and causes dental decay if it is not removed regularly. Plaque that stays on the tooth for extended periods of time,hardens and is difficult to remove with floss and a toothbrush. Only a dental cleaning will remove hardened plaque effectively. Hardened plaque or tartar eventually causes bone loss if it is left untreated.

Dental hygiene visits contribute towards maintaining overall health also. Poor oral health is linked to heart disease, diabetes complications, and premature births. Bacteria found in the plaque may enter the bloodstream and become lodged in the arteries. Another reason why regular dental cleanings are vital to oral and overall health.

In addition to preventing dental decay and gum disease, dental cleanings reduce inflammation and swelling of the gums. Bleeding gums are also treated with dental hygiene cleanings and regular oral care at home.

Stain removal is another area where a dental cleaning helps. Patients with staining of the teeth due to external causes such as smoking, coffee, tea, or wine consumption will have surface stains removed during their dental visits. For patients with heavy staining, more than one dental hygiene visits will be necessary to remove all of the stains. Regular dental cleanings will prevent heavy accumulation of staining in the future.

dental cleaning in toronto on west village

What to expect during a dental cleaning?

Your hygienist often starts the cleaning with an ultrasonic instrument to remove the bulk of the plaque and tartar build-up. The ultrasonic tool uses vibrations to break apart the buildup and uses water to wash away bacteria and build-up. Most of the stain is removed with this tool as well. The hygienist also uses manual instruments to access harder to reach areas and to remove stubborn build-up. Every surface of the tooth is cleaning in this way until all the teeth are cleaned. The final steps including polishing the teeth with a fine paste to remove any leftover stain and to give your teeth a smooth and clean feel. For some patients, fluoride treatment may be necessary if there is a history of dental decay or if the patient is at a higher risk of developing cavities.

What Is A Food Trap And How Do You Fix It?

What Is A Food Trap And How Do You Fix It?

What is a Food Trap?

A food trap is any area in your mouth that you may or may not realize contains trapped food after having a meal or snack. The leftover foods turn into plaque, which causes issues to the teeth and gums in the area. Issues such as cavities, gum disease, and even infections can occur. Often, a food trap will be between two teeth or behind the last molar, but it can also occur around the front or back side of teeth. You may or may not notice the food trap is there, so it is essential to visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly so this type of concern can be addressed before it causes problems with your teeth and gums.

Treatment Options

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings can be placed to fill the space being affected by trapped food. This treatment option will be recommended if the food trap is between two teeth. A dental filling would be placed on either one or both of the teeth that the food trap affects, closing the space that exists between the two teeth, so food no longer gets stuck in the area. Cleaning teeth is easier when the food trap is eliminated.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a more invasive and proactive way of fixing a food trap. Either one or both of the teeth the food trap affects will be thinned down, and a dental crown(s) will be placed on top, closing the food trap. This option may be recommended if there is already a large filling on the tooth or if the food trap cannot be fixed with dental fillings.

Leaving It & Monitoring It

If the food trap is small and is relatively easy to clean out daily, it may be okay to leave it and monitor it. If left untreated, it is vital to use the best tools available to you to make sure the food trap is clean. Make sure to talk with your dentist or dental hygienist about what tools you can use to clean the food trap at home. Regular dental visits will be recommended to monitor the food trap for changes and assess the health of the teeth and gums.

If you think you have a food trap or have any question about food traps, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What You Should Know About Gum Inflammation

What You Should Know About Gum Inflammation

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis refers to gums that are inflamed. When the gums become swollen due to inflammation, bleed easily, take on a dark red or reddish appearance, those are common symptoms of gum disease. Inflamed gums often bleed easily when the teeth are brushed, flossed or in severe cases, even touched.

How Does Gum Inflammation Start?

Dental plaque in the mouth that resides on the teeth or under the gums cause the gums to become swollen and inflamed. It forms through-out the day at different levels for different people. Dental plaque build-up is due to food particles that have not been removed from the mouth in a timely manner. Plaque build-up causes irritation to the gums which lead to gum inflammation, soft gums, and red gums that bleed easily. Eating certain foods may also cause the gums to bleed easily if they are harder in consistency. Patients who smoke regularly may not notice the symptoms of gum disease easily because smoking constricts blood flow to the gums.

How To Prevent Gum Disease

woman brushing teeth to prevent gum inflammation

Even though gum disease can progress to a more serious dental issue known as periodontitis; it is easily manageable with proper and regular oral care.

While going to the dental office is essential to maintain your oral health, the effort you put in at home is what makes the most difference. Preventive care at home makes the most significant difference when it comes to oral health.

Flossing and brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended to clean your teeth and gums properly thoroughly. Brushing and flossing in the morning and before you go to bed is ideal. If you can only manage to floss once a day, ensure that you floss after your final meal, and before going to bed. In addition to regular oral home care, it is vital that flossing and brushing be done with the correct technique.

If you think you have gingivitis or inflamed gums, it is a good idea to see your dentist. Contact us to today to schedule your visit.

How To Stay Healthy Between Dental Visits

How To Stay Healthy Between Dental Visits

We all love having that fresh mouth feeling after leaving the dental office. Why not keep that fresh mouth feel between your dental visits? Follow these tips to keep your smile healthy until your next dental visit.

Floss Regularly

flossing teeth toronto dentist west village dental

Regular flossing keeps your gums healthy and firm. Without adequate flossing, inflammation and gum disease occurs. Gums that are swollen, red, swollen and bleed easily when brushing and flossing are signs of gum disease. Many patients experience some bleeding during teeth cleaning if they do not floss enough or properly. Flossing and brushing at least once daily reduces the chances of gum disease. While it is recommended to floss after every meal, it is not always possible. However, flossing before sleeping is most beneficial if you can only floss once a day.

Use The Proper Brushing Technique

toothbrushing teeth toronto dentist west village dental

Brushing is only effective when the right technique is used. The rolling stroke brushing technique is easy to follow. Ask your dental professional to show you how to use the rolling stroke technique.

The technique differs when using an electric toothbrush. Your goal is to guide the electric toothbrush along the gumline since the brush is performing the brushing action. Be sure to apply pressure that is not too light or heavy.

Brushing for at least two minutes is recommended. However, you may need to brush longer depending on the health of your mouth.

Avoid Tooth-Staining Foods

During your teeth cleaning, some external stains from teeth are being removed. Avoid foods that easily stain teeth to reduce the frequency of dental cleanings needed. Foods that stain include coffee, tea, red wine, etc. Rinsing your mouth after having these foods. Habits such as smoking require more frequent cleanings as well.

Use Special Cleaning Tools

A regular flossing and brushing oral care routine works for most patients. However, sometimes special cleaning aids must be used for better reach or access. Your dental professional will recommend cleaning aids suited for your oral health.

Keep these tips in mind when it comes to your oral care routine for a healthy mouth between dental visits. Contact us to schedule your dental visit if it has been a while.