General Dentistry FAQ

Here are some common questions that we can answer!

  • Why Should I Go To The Dentist Regularly?

    They say that seeing a dentist on a regular basis is critical for good oral health and hygiene. However, some people go when they have a problem, which is more crisis treatment then preventive treatment. The common reason for doing this is to save money, However, typically symptoms from dental problems don't show up until they reach advanced stages of a disease. By seeing a dentist regularly, this can be caught earlier reducing costs, pain and other health issues.

  • How Can I Get My Kids To Brush Their Teeth?

    We get asked by parents all the time. How can I get my child to brush their teeth? Making it fun is one way to do it. If you are enthusiastic about brushing your teeth, so to will your child be enthusiastic. Displaying good dental habits your self can motivate your child to brush their teeth. 
    Additionally getting your children to brush at an early age, starts with taking them to the dentist. The recommended age for a child's first dental appointment is by their first birthday or six months after the eruption of the first tooth.

  • Is It Necessary To See My Dentist If I Have Dentures?

    A common misconception is that if a person has dentures, there is no need to visit a dentist. However, dentist do more than just checking teeth. An annual visit to your dentist can ensure that an oral cancer screening is performed, that appliances are well fitted or replaced if need be and that mouth sores can be examined.

    Regular visits can help you to avoid more complicated problems down the road.

  • How Can I Prevent Cavities?

    Good oral hygiene is critical to reducing your chances of cavities. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day can significantly reduce your chances of cavities.

    Diet is also an important part of reducing the cavities. Avoiding sugars, you eat in candy, fruits, crackers and chips. Foods that stick to your teeth also cause issues such as raisin and peanut butter. Brushing and rinsing your teeth after eating sugars helps.

    Some suggest chewing sugarless gum after a meal can help. Chewing gum promotes the flow of saliva which acts as a plaque-fighting substance.  

  • What Is Periodontal Disease?

    Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting bone structure, which if left untreated, can cause permanent jaw bone destruction and possible tooth loss. Untreated periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies, pre-term delivery, respiratory disease, and prostate cancer. An advanced stage of periodontal disease exhibits inflamed gums pulling away from your bone and teeth. Other signs of periodontal disease include:

    Bad breath
    Red or swollen gums
    Loose teeth or teeth that have moved
    Sensitive teeth
    Pus coming from around the teeth
    Pain when chewing
    Tender Gums
    Bleeding gums

    Treatment of periodontal disease can be performed in-office. 

  • How Can I Tell If I Have Gingivitis Or Periodontitis (Gum Disease)?

    Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.

    Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colourless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone. Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.

    Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:

    Smoking or chewing tobacco – Tobacco users are more likely than nonusers to form plaque and tartar on their teeth.
    Certain tooth or appliance conditions – Bridges that no longer fit properly, crowded teeth, or defective fillings that may trap plaque and bacteria.
    Many medications – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure meds, oral contraceptives. Some medications have side affects that reduce saliva, making the mouth dry and plaque easier to adhere to the teeth and gums.
    Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty – Can cause changes in hormone levels, causing gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacteria toxins.
    Systemic diseases – Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc.
    Genetics may play role – Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis. Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums.
    Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

    Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
    Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
    Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
    New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
    Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
    Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
    Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
    Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
    Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

  • What Can I Do About Sensitive Teeth?

    Toothpaste that contains strontium chloride or potassium nitrate is effective in treating sensitive teeth. After several weeks of use, you should see a decrease in sensitivity.

    Avoid highly acidic foods such as lemons, grapefruits and oranges. As well, tea and soda can increase tooth sensitivity.

    If you are still suffering from sensitive teeth. Contact us. There are compounds that can be applied in-office to the roots of your tooth to reduce or even eliminate the sensitivity. 

  • Can Pregnancy Affect My Mouth?

    Over half of women experience pregnancy gingivitis. The condition can cause swelling, bleeding, redness and tenderness of gum tissue.

    Periodontal disease may affect the health of babies. Studies have shown a relationship between periodontal disease and preterm, low birth-weight babies. If fact, women that are pregnant with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby born too early and too small. This is believed to be caused by a labour-inducing chemical found in oral bacteria called prostaglandin.

  • What Should I Do If I Have Bad Breath?

    Halitosis or bad breath as it is commonly called can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Halitosis is primarily caused by microbial deposits on the tongue. 70% of halitosis can be reduced by simply brushing the tongue including the back of the tongue.

    What may cause Halitosis?

    Bad breath in the morning is a problem for most of us. It is caused by the fact that saliva flow is almost non-existent during the night allowing bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.

    Types of foods can cause bad breath the obvious being garlic or onions. These food compounds enter the blood stream and are exhaled through the lungs.

    Oral hygiene habits that are poor can create opportunities for bad breath.

    Gum disease can cause bacteria to accumulate under the gums results in bad breath.

    As we age, cavities improperly fitted dental appliances, and dry mouth from certain medications can result in bad breath.

    Dieting can results in chemicals called ketones being released into a person's breath as fat is burned off by the body.

    Medical Conditions and illness can contribute to bad breath.

    Smoking is also a cause a bad breath as it dehydrates the mouth and reduces saliva flow.

    Preventing Halitosis?

    There are a number of successful ways to avoid bad breath. Practicing good oral hygiene, specifically:

    Brush your teeth at least twice a day
    Floss daily
    Brush your tounge reaching the back areas
    Replace your toothbrush every two or three months
    Clean dentures every morning throughly.
    Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year.
    Stop smoking or chewing tobacco
    Drink water frequently
    Use mouthwash/rinses
    If bad breath continues to cause you problems book an appointment with our office. We will determine the cause and recommend a treatment plan.

  • How Often Should I Brush And Floss?

    Proper brushing of your teeth at least twice a day and proper flossing at least once a day is recommended for good oral hygiene.

    Proper brushing starts with utilizing an approved soft bristle brush and ADA approved toothpaste. Ensure that:

    Brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
    Use a gentle circular motion along the gums
    Brush the entirety of the tooth - outer, inner, and biting surface
    Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
    Brush the tongue including the back of the tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
    Electric toothbrushes are great to ensure that proper brushing is achieved.
    As for proper flossing. Utilizing 30-40 cm of dental floss, wrap it around your middle finger, leaving about 5cm of floss between the hands, insert the floss between the teeth using a sawing motion. Curve the floss into a "C: shape around each tooth and under the gum line, gently move the floss up and down cleaning the side of each tooth.

    And always ensure you rinse once you have flossed or brushed your teeth.

  • Why Is It Important To Use Dental Floss?

    Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces, except in between the teeth. Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach these areas that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

    Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

    Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums. Also, when plaque is not removed above and below the gumline, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar). This will further irritate and inflame the gums and also slowly destroy the bone. This is the beginning of periodontal disease.

  • What Causes Canker Sores?

    While the exact cause of canker sores is unknown, some factors are believed to contribute to them including genetics, allergies, stress and vitamin deficiencies. Mouth injuries can cause canker sores to form including trauma to the inside of the mouth, ill-fitting dentures or braces and toothbrush trauma from brushing too hard. Food can also be a contributor. Citrus or acidic fruits can trigger canker sores.

    There are over the counter mouthwashes and treatments available, however, if a canker sore is present for longer than two weeks, contact our office to set up an appointment for an examination.

  • I Am Undergoing Chemotherapy And/Or Radiation For Cancer Treatment, Can This Affect My Mouth?

    It is important to see Dr. Konotopetz before chemotherapy or radiation treatments begin. These therapies can cause a number of problems including:

    Dry mouth
    Bleeding gums and lining of the mouth
    Soreness and pain in the mouth
    Mouth sores

    There are treatments for these issues that can be recommended by Dr. Konotopetz.