CAN GUM DISEASE BE REVERSED?

CAN GUM DISEASE BE REVERSED?

Periodontitis, or periodontal disease, develops when the bacteria on your teeth and gums is not removed with regular brushing, flossing, and professional teeth cleanings by your family dentist. The first signs of early-stage gum disease (or gingivitis) are swollen, tender gums that bleed easily, painful chewing, tooth sensitivity, and bad breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Trillium Dental to schedule an appointment in Ottawa, or continue reading to learn more.

GINGIVITIS TREATMENTS

We are fortunate to live in a time where dental technology is quite advanced and dental treatments are becoming more widely available. Thanks to these technological advancements, many patients with gingivitis can reverse their symptoms with thorough brushing and flossing in addition to thorough dental cleanings. Not only that, but today’s dentists are now able to offer the following gingivitis treatments for patients who are exhibiting mild gum disease:

  • Root planing. Root planing, or root scaling, is a dental technique that your dentist uses to scrape plaque and tartar away from the gum line during your teeth cleaning appointment. Over time, bacteria turns to plaque, which calcifies into hard, sticky tartar that can only be removed via root planing. If ignored, tartar eats away at the tooth enamel and causes inflammation of the surrounding gum tissue, which leads to gum disease. However, when tartar is professionally removed, it gives the teeth and gums a chance to heal.
  • Gum lasering. Gum lasering is the next step in treating gingivitis. This non-invasive dental treatment involves lasers killing the bacteria along the gum line as well as removing any dead or diseased tissue. By ridding the area of disease, this method encourages the gums to reattach to the surrounding teeth rather than continuing to recede. Gum lasering can also reduce your chances of having to undergo a more extensive gum disease procedure down the line, like periodontal surgery.
  • Crown lengthening. Crown lengthening procedures are performed if the surrounding teeth do not have enough surface space for the gums to attach to (as is often the case for patients with a “gummy smile”). Sometimes, this happens when teeth are broken or if a dental filling comes undone, leaving a damaged or decayed tooth exposed. If this is the case, your dentist will use a laser to contour the gums in order to expose more of the tooth surface so that the gums can reattach themselves to a clean, bacteria-free surface.

It is important to note that these gingivitis treatments are not meant to recover bone loss and may not fully restore the gum tissue that holds the teeth in place. This is where more involved periodontal treatments come into play, which aim to remove dead tissue, prevent further damage, and help the mouth tissue start to heal.

ERIODONTAL TREATMENTS

Periodontal treatments are for patients who have moderate to severe cases of gum disease that require more extensive procedures. Often, these treatments involve oral surgery with local anesthesia, so patients typically have a longer recovery time. One of the main periodontal treatments used today is called a gingivectomy, which is a surgical procedure that involves the complete removal of dead gum tissue. Periodontal disease is harder to reverse in severe cases, but this is a good option for patients who are willing to commit to establishing a better oral health care routine with frequent trips to the dentist for professional teeth cleanings.

BOOK A GUM DISEASE TREATMENT IN OTTAWA

The longer your gum disease symptoms persist, the harder they will be to treat and reverse. If you think you are developing any of the symptoms listed in the beginning of this post, we highly recommend that you visit our family dental clinic right away. Contact us by phone, or book an appointment online at one of our eight dental offices in Ottawa.

THE RIGHT WAY TO FLOSS

THE RIGHT WAY TO FLOSS

Lots of people think that flossing once per day is enough to prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease. However, how you floss matters just as much as how often you floss. At Trillium Dental, our dentists and dental hygienists want to make sure that our patients are prioritizing their gum health, and we’re here to teach you how to floss correctly.

FLOSS BEFORE YOU BRUSH

As family dentists, we often get asked whether it’s better to floss before or after you brush your teeth. While there is no set rule, our dentists recommend flossing before you brush your teeth. This allows you to remove any food particles that have gotten lodged between your teeth before you brush, in addition to any plaque buildup between the teeth and along the gum line. Then, when you brush your teeth, the toothpaste can find its way into these crevices more easily, helping to remove any remaining plaque and bacteria.

FLOSS FROM SIDE TO SIDE, NOT UP AND DOWN

Often, people think of flossing as a quick up-and-down movement, when in reality, they should be flossing with a side-to-side motion as they slide the floss between their teeth. In order to effectively get rid of the food particles and bacteria wedged between your teeth, you’ll need to work the floss around the base of each tooth. To start, gently move the floss back and forth to slide it between two teeth, then use a side-to-side motion to work the floss around the gumline. Then, move the floss back up using the same side-to-side motion, leaving the space clear of food and plaque.

USE CLEAN SECTIONS OF FLOSS

It’s important to start with a fresh section of floss when you move between the teeth so you aren’t shoving more food and plaque in each crevice. An easy way to do this is by wrapping the floss around one finger on each hand, then unraveling new sections as you floss. You’ll likely end up using a foot or more of floss to do a thorough job, so there’s no need to skimp!

CHOOSE THE RIGHT TYPE OF FLOSS

There are many types of floss to choose from these days, including unwaxed floss, woven floss, shred-resistant floss, and electric flossers. All of these options work just fine; however, they all come with pros and cons. Unwaxed and woven floss are great at removing plaque, but they are more prone to tearing than shred-resistant floss. Electric flossers are by far the most effective at removing plaque, and they’re more fun to use, making it easier for you to make flossing part of your daily oral hygiene routine. If you’re the type of person that always forgets to floss, or your gums bleed when you do, you might want to consider an electric flosser (like a water flosser) so flossing isn’t as much of a chore.

BOOK YOUR NEXT TEETH CLEANING WITH TRILLIUM DENTAL

At Trillium Dental, we believe that proper flossing is one of the best ways to avoid developing symptoms of gum disease. If you have swollen gums, or your gums bleed when you floss, this may be a sign of gingivitis. But don’t worry — we can help! Schedule an appointment at one of our Ottawa dental clinics today to have your teeth professionally cleaned. Our dentists would be happy to discuss our gum disease treatments with you.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR GUMS HEALTHY

HOW TO KEEP YOUR GUMS HEALTHY

Gum disease can crop up at any time, bringing painful symptoms with it. As with many other health conditions, prevention is key when it comes to gingivitis and periodontal disease. At Trillium Dental, we encourage patients to maintain good oral hygiene habits and make regular trips to their family dentist for professional teeth cleanings. Contact us today to schedule a dental checkup, or continue reading for some tips to keep your gums healthy!

BRUSH YOUR TEETH

Your gums hold your teeth in place, protecting the tooth roots from infection. When your teeth accumulate food particles and bacteria, it turns into plaque, attacking the tooth enamel and surrounding oral tissues. Therefore, one of the best ways to keep your gums healthy is by brushing your teeth twice per day, for at least two minutes each time. Make sure to reach all the nooks and crannies of your teeth, including the ridges in the molars and the backsides of your upper and lower teeth.

FLOSS YOUR TEETH

Another obvious way to keep your gums healthy is to floss your teeth at least once per day. Food loves to hide in the crevices between your teeth, especially pieces of meat, popcorn kernels, fruit seeds, and sticky candy. To ensure that your teeth and gums are free of food particles and plaque, floss between each tooth in a side-to-side motion. If your gums bleed easily, this may be a sign of a gum infection or poor gum health, which can be improved with regular flossing and brushing.

DON’T SMOKE

Tobacco use is one of the main causes of gum disease, as well as coronary heart disease, oral cancer, and lots of other life-threatening health conditions. Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco is a sure-fire way to inflict damage on your gums, so refrain from smoking if you haven’t taken up the habit. If you do smoke, now you have one more reason to quit!

USE FLUORIDE TOOTHPASTE & THERAPEUTIC MOUTHWASH

If you are prone to developing periodontitis due to genetic factors or lifestyle habits, you can never be too cautious when it comes to oral hygiene. Fluoride toothpastes are great at fighting bacteria and plaque, thus helping to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Therapeutic mouthwashes also make a great addition to your oral hygiene routine, as they reduce plaque and flush out food particles.

VISIT THE DENTIST

Once plaque turns into tartar, it really starts to eat away at the tooth enamel and irritate the gums. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional with the right equipment, such as a dental scaler or gum lasering tool. To prevent plaque from hardening and turning into tartar, make sure to visit your local dental clinic twice per year for a professional dental cleaning. Our family dentists have years of experience providing dental exams and periodontal treatments, and we’d love to see you at our dental office! If you are due for a routine teeth cleaning, contact Trillium Dental in Ottawa today to set up an appointment or make an appointment online!

GOT GINGIVITIS? HERE’S WHAT TO DO

GOT GINGIVITIS? HERE’S WHAT TO DO

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, which can progress into periodontitis (periodontal disease) if it goes untreated by your family dentist. However, it’s not all bad news if you start to notice the signs and symptoms of gingivitis — in fact, many patients are able to reverse gingivitis if they take the right precautions and maintain good oral hygiene habits at home. At Trillium Dental in Ottawa, we provide gum disease treatments for patients who are suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have symptoms. That being said, here are some steps to take if you have early-stage gum disease.

VISIT YOUR LOCAL DENTIST

We are fortunate to live in a time where we have access to all kinds of information at the touch of a finger, but this often leads people to self-diagnose when it comes to dental problems like gingivitis. However, if your gums start to cause you pain, looking up your symptoms is a good place to start. The most prominent symptoms of gum disease in its onset are gum recession (revealing more of your teeth, making them look longer), inflamed gums that are red, tender, and bleed easily, loose teeth, painful chewing, heightened tooth sensitivity, and bad breath that doesn’t go away with normal brushing and flossing. If you have one or more of these symptoms, it’s time to visit your family dentist for a professional teeth cleaning and full dental exam.

ADJUST BRUSHING & FLOSSING HABITS

If your dentist concludes that you are developing gingivitis, they will discuss treatment options with you in order to help reverse the damage it has done to your teeth and gums. Most often, gingivitis is a result of poor oral health, whether that be neglecting to brush and floss, not visiting the dentist, smoking cigarettes, binge drinking, or a combination of these factors. When plaque builds up on your teeth and gumline due to negligence, it turns into tartar, a calcified deposit that eats away at the tooth enamel and can only be removed with specialized dental tools via tooth scaling. Then, it’s up to you to maintain good brushing and flossing habits to keep the plaque at bay. Ideally, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice per day (for a duration of two minutes), as well as flossing daily.

INVEST IN ANTIBACTERIAL TOOTHPASTE & MOUTHWASH

When you visit our Ottawa dental clinic, our dentists may recommend an antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash if you have gingivitis. These oral health products help to fight bacteria and plaque throughout the day and night for long-lasting protection. Bacteria can hide in spaces that are hard to reach, like along the gumline and between crowding teeth, and an anti-gingivitis toothpaste and mouthwash can help eliminate it. If you are interested in learning more about gingivitis treatments and over-the-counter oral care products, our dentists and dental hygienists would be happy to discuss this with you at your next Emergency Dentist appointment.

BOOK YOUR NEXT DENTAL EXAM IN OTTAWA AT TRILLIUM DENTAL

Of course, prevention is key when it comes to gingivitis, tooth cavities, and other painful dental problems. So, make sure to prioritize your oral health with regular visits to the dentist and thorough brushing and flossing, as well as limiting the sugary foods that feed harmful mouth bacteria and turn into plaque. At Trillium Dental, we care about your oral health, and our dentists are here to aid in gingivitis prevention and provide gum disease treatments for our patients. Contact us today for more information, check out our eight locations in Ottawa, or book an appointment online!

CAUSES, SYMPTOMS & RISKS OF GUM DISEASE: PART 2

CAUSES, SYMPTOMS & RISKS OF GUM DISEASE: PART 2

In part one of this blog series, we discussed some of the main causes of gum disease (also referred to as periodontitis or periodontal disease), including poor oral hygiene, a sugar-filled diet, alcohol consumption, and smoking cigarettes. At Trillium Dental in Ottawa, we regularly treat patients who are suffering from gingivitis and periodontal disease, which is why we are dedicating this post to helping you recognize the symptoms and risks of gum disease so you can catch it before it progresses into a life-threatening illness. That being said, here are some of the main signs of gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease.

SYMPTOMS OF GUM DISEASE

While there are many painful symptoms of gum disease, not all of them are apparent during its onset, otherwise known as gingivitis. During the routine teeth cleanings at your local dental clinic, the dental hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar buildup in what we call a “tooth scaling” or “root planing” procedure. This painless dental treatment helps us identify whether you are experiencing any tooth decay or gum inflammation due to early-stage gum disease, whether you’ve noticed it yet or not. Oftentimes, patients don’t even know they have tartar buildup along the gumline until they visit us for a general dentistry appointment, while others will notice beforehand due to these common signs and symptoms of gingivitis:

  • Gum recession
  • Gum inflammation
  • Red, tender gums
  • Bleeding gums (especially when you floss and brush your teeth)
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Perpetual bad breath

Aside from maintaining good oral hygiene habits and making regular trips to your family dental clinic, being aware of the signs and symptoms of gingivitis is the first step in gum disease prevention. There are a number of serious health risks associated with periodontitis, and many of these are preventable with early periodontal treatments, such as root planing, gum lasering, gingival grafts, gingivectomies, and crown lengthening procedures. However, the effectiveness of these gum disease treatments depends on how early you catch the disease before it progresses and becomes less treatable.

HEALTH RISKS OF GUM DISEASE

If you have a gum infection or disease like periodontitis and the gum tissue is punctured or bleeds spontaneously (as is often the case in patients with gingivitis), the bacteria gains direct access to the rest of your vascular system via the bloodstream. This greatly increases your risk of having a stroke, in addition to the following health conditions:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Pancreatic cancer

Victims of periodontal disease are also at a greater risk of having preterm or low-birthweight babies, as the bacteria can cause an increase in inflammation throughout the body. This is because the inflammation caused by gum disease puts excessive stress on your body’s vital organs, in addition to spreading the disease through the vascular system, which can wreak havoc on your body.

CONTACT TRILLIUM DENTAL IN OTTAWA TO BOOK A PERIODONTAL TREATMENT

Our dentists and dental hygienists at Trillium Dental firmly believe that the key to gum disease prevention is practicing good oral hygiene habits and making regular trips to the dentist for professional dental cleanings. Contact us today to learn about our gum disease treatments and general dentistry procedures, or book your appointment with us online.

CAUSES, SYMPTOMS & RISKS OF GUM DISEASE: PART 1

CAUSES, SYMPTOMS & RISKS OF GUM DISEASE: PART 1

Periodontal disease is a common dental health condition that affects billions of people around the world, and Ottawa is no exception. However, the good news is that gum disease is almost always preventable if you maintain proper oral hygiene habits and make regular trips to your local dental clinic for professional teeth cleanings. Even patients that develop mild gum disease, known as gingivitis, may seek periodontal treatment in order to remedy or even reverse the situation during the early stages. That being said, periodontitis comes with a host of additional health risks if left untreated, which is why it’s so important to become educated about the causes, symptoms, and risks of gum disease. Only then can gum disease truly be prevented through proactive oral health care.

CAUSES OF GUM DISEASE

Much like other common health conditions, gum disease can be caused by a number of things that lead to plaque and tartar building up on the teeth and along the gumline. This bacteria then binds with sugar from the foods and drinks we consume, creating acids that eat away at the teeth and surrounding tissues if it is not thoroughly removed via regular brushing and flossing. In other words, a lack of good oral hygiene habits is the main culprit of gingivitis and, consequently, gum disease, which is its more advanced, destructive, and irreversible form.

GUM DISEASE PREVENTION

At this point, you might be wondering what you can do to avoid developing this plaque and tartar buildup, so here are a few things to keep in mind during your daily oral health care routine.

  • Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice per day. Once in the morning and once at night — and floss your teeth daily. This is the only sure-fire way to prevent gum disease and its onset symptoms, which can be incredibly unpleasant. Brushing and flossing your teeth every night ensures that any stubborn food and sugar lingering in your mouth from candy, soda, and meals you consumed throughout the day are eliminated. Otherwise, these acidic particles have between six and 10 hours to thrive as you sleep, eating away at your teeth and surrounding gum tissue. Don’t be fooled though — the symptoms of gingivitis can be subtle at first, so you might not even notice the damage that was done until much later if you start to slack on your oral hygiene.
  • Watch what you eat. Given the accessibility of fast food, candy, soda, and other sugary sweets these days, it is now more important than ever to watch what you eat for a number of reasons. Aside from obesity and diabetes, one of the main reasons to eat healthy foods is that what you eat has a direct impact on your oral health. Certain foods, such as leafy greens, apples, cheese, and yogurt, are good for your teeth, as they help balance out your mouth’s pH level and can even help prevent tooth decay. On the other hand, sugary or acidic foods, like candy, chips, coffee, soda, citrus fruits, sports drinks, and alcohol, can be incredibly detrimental to your overall oral health.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. This brings us to one of the main causes of gum disease: alcohol consumption. Studies show that heavy drinking is often linked to tooth decay and gum disease, given that alcohol contains particularly aggressive acids that feed on your teeth, not to mention that many types of alcohol are also loaded with sugar. On top of that, binge-drinkers often forget to brush their teeth after a night out and end up going to bed with all that sugar, acid, and bad mouth bacteria festering on their teeth overnight. To avoid this, try to cut down on alcohol consumption and, when you do decide to grab a few cocktails with friends, be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly before you hit the hay.
  • Quit smoking. This goes without saying, or does it? Aside from a lack of oral hygiene, the number-one cause of gum disease is smoking cigarettes and/or chewing tobacco. Both of these addictive substances contain loads of harmful chemicals that should under no circumstances come anywhere near your teeth, and to make matters worse, they are incredibly addictive. When combined with the sugars and acids from the foods you eat, these chemicals only make matters worse as they eat away at your teeth, very likely escalating the onset symptoms of gingivitis and moderate to late-stage gum disease.

BOOK A PERIODONTAL TREATMENT AT OUR OTTAWA DENTAL CLINIC

Now that you know some of the main causes of gum disease, it’s time to book an appointment at our family dental clinic in Ottawa. Our dentists and dental hygienists have years of education and experience preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontitis, which is why we are able to offer so many effective gum disease treatments at Trillium Dental.

Looking for more information about gum disease and how to prevent it with proactive oral hygiene and professional teeth cleaning appointments? Contact us today to learn more, and continue to part two of this blog series to find out the main symptoms and risks of gum disease when it is left untreated by a dental professional. Here at Trillium Dental, we firmly believe that the key to gum disease prevention is taking care of your teeth and becoming aware of the risks associated with this all-too-common disease, so you can do everything in your power to avoid it.