705-748-2454
Dr. Cam Crawford BSc (Hons), DDS
Dr. Joel Davis BSc, DDS FRCD(C)

Maple Leaf Dentistry

Dental Care Questions

Dental Care Questions

Are dental X-rays Safe?

There have been numerous advancements in the dental industry over the years that have significantly helped to reduce the amount of radiation that is emitted by the x-rays currently utilized nowadays. Some of these improvements include: The use of film holders that keep the film in place within the mouth; New digital x-ray machines that limit the radiation beam; and a shorter exposure time required thanks to the higher speed x-ray films being used.

It is vital to keep in mind that not every dental office has the same equipment. For example, as a patient, it is a good idea to check with the latest information available on dental equipment and speak with your dentist to find out what kinds of equipment are being used in their office.

Do Whitening Toothpastes Work?

The majority of whitening toothpastes that can be found in the generic toothpaste aisle of your local stores may contain mild chemical agents or polishing agents that offer stain removal. Whitening toothpastes are only effective in helping to remove surface stains.

Professional whitening products and those only available over-the-counter contain hydrogen peroxide that helps to remove stains on the tooth surface as well as those stains located deep in the tooth. Please understand that none of these products can come close to producing the bleaching effect you get from your dentists office attained through power bleaching or chair-side bleaching.

Whitening toothpastes can typically lighten your tooth’s colour by approximately one shade. Light-activated whitening conducted in your dentists office can make your teeth appear anywhere from 3 to 8 shades lighter!

How common is it for children to Grind their Teeth?

Approximately 3 of every 10 kids clench and grind their teeth. The majority of children experience this while under the age of 5 and the condition typically disappears by the time they are teenagers.

Some of the common signs to watch out for include: Thumb-sucking, a grinding noise during sleep, Biting the nails, the child complains of a sore face or jaw when they wake up, or you see them gnawing on objects or on the inside of their cheek. In the majority of instances, kids generally outgrow these behaviors and treatment is not necessary. It is however; wise to get your dentists advice should you have any concerns.

How does Tooth Erosion Happen?

There are many different drinks and foods we consume that contain large amounts of acids. Some of the main culprits include pure fruit juices and soft drinks. Tooth erosion can additionally be caused by medical factors such as: acid reflux disease, various eating disorders, specific gastrointestinal conditions and a decrease in saliva.

What can Cause Tooth Erosion
There are many different drinks and foods we consume that contain large amounts of acids. Some of the main culprits include pure fruit juices and soft drinks. Tooth erosion can additionally be caused by medical factors such as: acid reflux disease, various eating disorders, specific gastrointestinal conditions and a decrease in saliva.

How to avoid bad breath?

The single most important thing you can do is brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis. The majority of the time, bad breath is the result of bacteria or left-over food particles in the mouth. Therefore, if your desire is to stop bad breath, the easiest thing you can do is to brush and floss your teeth at least two times a day. In a relatively short period of time, you should start feeling and noticing the difference.

Rinsing your mouth after brushing is another very effective way to curb bad breath. You can use plain old water, although, mouthwash works great. Depending on how serious your bad breath issue is, both methods should be quite helpful in reducing the frequency of bad breath and helping you feel much fresher in the mouth.

Is flossing your Teeth Important?

Since you are unable to reach all of the bacteria and plaque with your toothbrush alone, flossing is instrumental in a good dental routine. For instance, a toothbrush only covers approximately 2/3 of the surface area of your tooth; therefore, if you don’t floss, you are missing more than 1/3 of your tooth surface and it is easy for plaque buildup to start. The main cause of gum disease is plaque. Within 24 to 36 hours, plaque hardens and tartar is formed. Tartar is only able to be removed by professional cleaning. If you get into the wise habit of flossing at least once a day, the plaque will have less chance to harden into tartar or cause tooth decay.

Signs of needing endodontic treatment?

The following situations are the most common signs of someone in need of endodontic treatment. These include: Discoloration of the tooth; Discomfort or Pain with prolonged exposure to cold or hot foods; Tenderness, drainage, swelling in the lymph nodes as well as nearby gingival and bone tissues; and Tenderness during chewing or to the touch.

The above list is the most common indication that something is going on, although, in certain cases, none of these signs may be present until well after the problem has escalated to a point where major treatment or surgery may be necessary.

Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gum disease refers to infections caused by bacteria, along with mucus and other particles that form a sticky plaque on the teeth. Often, plaque that is left on the teeth will harden and turn into tartar.

Gingivitis is a mild kind of gum disease. It causes swollen, red gums and can additionally make the gums bleed extremely easily. Gingivitis may also be the result of plaque buildup and the longer the plaque and the tartar stay in contact on the teeth, the more harm can come of it.

The majority of gingivitis issues can be treated with daily flossing and brushing and regular cleanings every 6 months at the dentist’s office. This kind of gum disease does not lead to loss of tissue or bone around the teeth. If however, it is left untreated, gingivitis may advance to periodontitis. In this condition, the gums pull away from the teeth and infected pocketsĀ are created. You may also be losing supporting bone tissue at this stage. If you suffer from periodontitis, see your dentist for treatment as soon as possible. If left unchecked and untreated, your teeth may loosen over time and actually need to be taken out.

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a permanent metal device that is designed to replace missing teeth. Usually, the device is made out of titanium. It is placed into the jawbone in place of the missing tooth. A dental bridge is not permanent, whereas a dental implant is. The dental implant is designed to act as the root of the tooth and is capable of anchoring an artificial tooth or a group of teeth such as a denture, bridge or a crown.

What are the early Stages of Gingivitis?

The early stage of gum disease is known as Gingivitis. If this condition is diagnosed early, it is capable of being treated and reversed altogether. Some of the common symptoms and signs include: Gums which tend to bleed easily, puffy and swollen gums, red and irritated gums.

Gingivitis can eventually progress into periodontitis if left untreated. Periodontitis is a much more serious and advanced stage of gum disease. This stage is not reversible and is characterized by bone loss. Gum disease is not only the main cause of tooth loss in adults, but it has also been linked to strokes and heart attacks. The best way to prevent gingivitis is to visit a dentist regularly and take excellent care of your teeth.

What Can Cause a Cavity?

Tooth decay, often called a cavity, is the result of bacteria that resides in dental plaque. This bacteria eats the sugar from our diet and then produces acid. The acid eventually begins to demineralize the tooth enamel and severely weaken it. At some point, the acid breaks through the tooth enamel and the bacteria are free to multiply and expand deeper into the tooth.

Typically, individuals do not feel any pain until the decay has reached close to the nerve center of the tooth. Once this occurs, the tooth is unable to repair itself. Your dentist will search thoroughly during your check-ups and try to find cavities when they are small. At this stage, it is easy to remove the decay and repair the tooth. Flossing regularly and brushing your teeth, along with using fluoride to help strengthen the enamel will greatly help you reduce the occurrence of dental decay.

What Causes Tooth Loss?

Periodontal disease and tooth decay affect the gums and the bone structure that supports the teeth. These are the most common causes of tooth loss. For children, tooth decay is the most common cause of tooth loss. In adults, periodontal disease is the most common cause of adult tooth loss.

Will Tooth Enamel Heal?

There are many treatment options available since tooth enamel will not regenerate. Treatment options will be determined by the dentist who needs to evaluate the impact for trauma to the jawbone, tooth roots and to the dentin. Some of the recommended treatment options may include: Porcelain veneer, Bonding, Extraction or a Crown with replacement via Dental Implant and Crown, Maryland Bridge or a Standard Bridge.