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Dental Care for Seniors

August 7, 2022 / DENTISTRY

The aging process impacts every part of our bodies, including our teeth.

It’s very important to establish a consistent oral hygiene routine at a young age and maintain it throughout our lifetimes, right into our senior years.

While brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and making sure to visit your dentist in Caledon regularly, there are specific areas of dental care for seniors that are important to be aware of and watch out for.

These include:

Tooth discolouration

You’ve likely heard about how drinks like red wine and coffee can discolour your teeth, and it makes sense that the longer you consume these beverages, the more discolouration you will experience. However, even without heavy consumption of wine and coffee, you will likely experience tooth discolouration caused by the aging process alone. As we age, our tooth enamel thins, bringing the dentin (the soft tissue inside the tooth) closer to the surface, making the teeth appear darker in colour.

Gum disease

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis which can turn into periodontitis if not caught early. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. If you are experiencing puffy, bleeding gums, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist in Caledon right away, so the problem can be identified and treated before it progresses.

Tooth decay

As we age, our gums begin to recede which can leave the roots of the tooth exposed to the elements, which can result in sensitivity to extreme temperatures, infections, and tooth decay. If the decay progresses too severely you could need a tooth extraction, so be sure to reach out to your dentist immediately if you are experiencing any increased sensitivity or discomfort. Your Caledon dentist is specially trained to recognize the early signs of tooth decay, so it’s important to visit them regularly and give them a chance to catch a small problem that is easily treated before it develops into a major problem requiring invasive, expensive treatment.

Mouth dryness

As we age, we tend to take more medications, and some of the side effects of these medications lead to dryness of the mouth. Saliva plays an important role in rinsing the food debris, sugar and bacteria left on your teeth after eating and drinking, and a lack of saliva can lead to increased decay and cavities, so if you’re experiencing dry mouth, it’s even more important than normal to drink a lot of water and stay on top of your brushing and flossing routine.

If you’re a senior and it’s been a while since you visited your family dentist, call Caledon Dental Centre to schedule an appointment today. Our team of professionals will assess your current condition and work with you to keep your smile bright and healthy for years to come.

Everything You Need to Know About Tooth Extractions

June 14, 2022 / DENTISTRY

Learning you need to have a tooth extracted is never welcomed news. Here’s all the information you should know about tooth extractions and what to expect from the procedure.

What is a tooth extraction?

A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from the jawbone. There are many reasons why you may need an extraction, but the most common reason is that the tooth has experienced significant decay that cannot be fixed through non-surgical methods. This decay is often caused by periodontal disease, or a dental accident causing a crack or break in the tooth that cannot be repaired.

How is a tooth extraction performed?

There are surgical tooth extractions and non-surgical tooth extractions. Speak to your family dentist in Caledon to decide which option is best for you.

Before your tooth is extracted, your dentist will take a complete medical and dental history and discuss the length and severity of your pain. The tooth will be assessed, and x-rays will be taken.

When it’s time for the extraction, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to make sure you don’t feel a thing. This is delivered via injection into your gum right near the root of the tooth being extracted, and another into your nerve.

The dentist will use multiple instruments to remove the tooth from the bone where it sits.

How do I know I need a tooth extraction?

There are many different reasons you may need a tooth extraction, but here are the most common:

  • Pain in the tooth – now this doesn’t always mean that you need a tooth extraction, but it is definitely a sign that you need to see a dentist either way.
  • Crowding – if your teeth are crowded and misaligned, you might need to have one or more extracted. Your dentist can help you determine if this is the case.
  • Gum disease – if left unchecked, gum disease can become severe enough to require a tooth extraction.
  • Wisdom teeth that have become impacted.
  • Tooth decay that is too severe to be treated.
  • Breaks, cracks or chips in the tooth that are too severe to be fixed.

If you’ve been told you need a tooth extraction or are concerned that you might, call the team at Caledon Dental Centre today. We’ll schedule a time to examine your teeth, assess your situation, and discuss the best treatment options for you.

Everything You Need to Know About Cold Sores

May 12, 2022 / DENTISTRY

Do you experience cold sores? If so, you’re not alone. According to the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, studies estimate that nearly 90% of Canadians have been exposed to the virus that causes cold sores, and while this virus may never evolve into cold sores for many of these people, suffering from cold sores is a very common thing.

What is a cold sore?

Cold sores are small blisters that are filled with fluid, most commonly found on and around your mouth and lips. They can present as one single blister, or as a group of cold sores that appears like a patch on your skin. Like most blisters, cold sores will eventually break open, forming a scab that can last for several days.

I have a cold sore. Now what?

Cold sores can be very painful and avoiding certain foods can spare you a lot of discomfort.

These include:

  • Citrus fruits – Imagine having a cut on your finger and accidentally filling it with lemon juice. Ouch. Well, eating citrus fruits when you have a cold sore is a very similar feeling.
  • Pickled foods – Any pickled foods are highly acidic and will sting badly if they come in contact with a cold sore.
  • Spicy foods – Spicy foods like curry and peppers can irritate the area around your cold sore, so best to stick with milder options while you recover from this virus.
  • Large foods – The skin around your cold sores is delicate and sensitive, so avoid stretching it by opening your mouth wide to eat large foods like pizza slices or chips. Instead, opt for foods that come in small pieces or are easy to cut and bite.

Aside from avoiding certain foods, there are home remedies you can try to alleviate the discomfort caused by your cold sores.

These include:

  • Over the counter anti-viral ointments – these are most effective if you start using them in the early stages of your cold sore.
  • Pain relief gel – this is another over-the-counter option that can help numb the area and take away some of the sting.
  • Ice chips, ice cubes, or cold compresses – use these to numb the area but avoid placing them directly on the skin.
  • If your doctor recommends it, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Most cold sores heal on their own within 2-4 weeks.

If you are overdue for a dental visit or want to discuss your cold sores with an oral health professional, call the team at Caledon Dental Centre today. We’ll assess your condition and work together to find a treatment plan that best meets your needs.

The Importance of Straight Teeth

April 5, 2022 / DENTISTRY

When you flip through a magazine or watch a movie or TV show, it seems like every model or actor you see has a full set of straight, white teeth. Straight teeth may be aesthetically pleasing, but they do a lot more than just look good. Here are some benefits of straight teeth that you may not have known about.

  1. Crooked teeth often overlap, making the spaces between them more difficult to clean. This can lead to increased plaque and tarter build-up, cavities, or tooth decay that leads to gum disease. Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, reducing the risk of these preventable dental issues.
  2. Many people are self-conscious about the way their crooked teeth look, and this can impact their confidence and self-esteem. Having the teeth straightened can combat this, helping increase confidence which can lead to greater success in a person’s personal and professional lives.
  3. Teeth that are misaligned can cause lisps and other speech impediments that can impact a person’s confidence and self-esteem.
  4. When teeth are protruding from the regular bite, it’s much easier for them to become damaged or dislodged in an accident, and finding properly fitting mouth guards designed to protect the teeth in high-impact spots like football and hockey is more difficult.
  5. Crooked teeth can make eating and chewing more difficult, causing a person to chew less thoroughly and negatively impact digestion.

Tooth straightening also known as orthodontic treatment is beneficial to your health and well-being, but it can be expensive. However, it’s important to look at the costs associated with straightening the teeth as a short-term expense that could save money in the long run. Because crooked teeth can lead to a variety of dental problems down the road, having your teeth straightened can be more cost effective than continually treating the potential injuries, gum disease, cavities, and potentially even tooth loss that can occur as a result of misaligned teeth.

Advancements in dental technology have allowed your dental office in Caledon, ON to provide more alternatives to straighten the teeth than ever before. There are options available that minimize the discomfort and offer much more pleasing aesthetics than the traditional metal braces that many people think of when discussing straightening their teeth. Your Caledon family dentist offers treatment using Invisalign aligners, a custom-built, comfortable, effective tooth straightening system that is nearly invisible to others.

If you have crooked teeth and are ready to discuss the options available to have them straightened, call the team at Caledon Dental Centre today. We’ll schedule a time to meet with you, assess your situation, and work collaboratively to find a solution that addresses your unique needs.

Understanding Why You Need Dental X-Rays

March 10, 2022 / DENTISTRY

You already know about the importance of oral hygiene and keeping on top of your oral health. You also know that visits your family dentist in Caledon regularly is an important part of achieving and maintaining good oral health. If you’re seeing your dentist every 6-9 months as recommended, chances are you have spoken with them or their team about dental x-rays, and why they’re such an important part of your oral health plan.

Why do I need dental x-rays?

Dental x-rays help dentists see diseases and problems with teeth that cannot be recognized in a regular oral exam. They are an important tool used by dental professionals to help diagnose problems early on, before they develop into severe injuries or illnesses that require invasive treatment.

If you are experiencing dental pain, your dentist and hygienist will take x-rays to see what’s happening under the gumline and rule out any bone loss, cavities, cracks, fractures, abscesses, or other potential causes of discomfort. If you are not experiencing pain or discomfort and are not seen to be at risk of advanced decay, your oral healthcare team will still recommend having x-rays taken every 12-24 months to make sure that your tooth and bone structure are healthy. X-rays are also often taken as part of the planning process for restorative dental work, dental implants, or other cosmetic dentistry treatments.

What can I expect from a dental x-ray?

Dental x-rays are performed as part of your check-ups at your dental office in Caledon. There are multiple types of x-rays that your family dentist may perform. These include:

  • Periapical x-rays, which offer a view of the whole tooth from the crown to the roots that keep it attached to the jawbone
  • Bitewing x-rays, which show the upper and lower posterior teeth, and give a view of how the teeth touch one another
  • Panoramic x-rays, which provide images of the teeth, jaws, nasal passages, sinuses, and the joints of the jaw, usually used in preparation for orthodontic work
  • Occlusal x-rays, which provide images showing the floor of the mouth, often used to find extra teeth that are still hiding beneath the gumline

If it’s been a while since your last set of dental x-rays, call our team to set up an appointment. We’ll review your dental history and work with you to determine whether it’s time for you to have dental x-rays done.

Everything You Need to Know About Oral Healthcare for Seniors

February 9, 2022 / DENTISTRY

Health and wellness should be a priority at any age, and your oral health is a big part of your overall well-being. Healthy teeth are instrumental to all the eating, drinking, speaking, and smiling that you plan to do during your senior years, and caring for your mouth, teeth and gums is the best way to ensure that you can do all of these things for many years to come.

This type of routine can help prevent the most common oral healthcare problems that seniors experience as they age.

These problems include:

Tooth decay – this occurs when plaque bacteria spread and grow, creating acids that attack and eventually erode the enamel that protects your teeth from decay. Regular dental visits are key to making sure that early signs of decay are identified and treated, because if they’re not, that decay can continue and eventually cause cavities, or create problems that require dental procedures like crowns, root canals, or even dental extractions.

Gum disease – this occurs when the plaque and tarter on your teeth are left to build-up, causing redness, swelling, or even bleeding in your gums. This is another problem that, if caught by a dental professional early on, can be easily treated, reducing the likelihood that you’ll experience problems like teeth pulling away from the gums, or degradation of your bones, gums and tissues that support the root structure of your teeth. Severe gum disease can also lead to the need for tooth extractions.

Here's what you can do to care for your teeth as you age:

  • Brush twice a day, every day. This removes the food particles and other debris from your teeth, reducing the amount of plaque and bacteria that can build up and cause decay.
  • Floss every day. Flossing cleans those hard-to-reach places between your teeth that are easy to miss by brushing alone. These areas are prone to cavities because they are so often missed by the toothbrush.
  • Eat a nutritious diet. Avoid sugary foods and drinks and be sure to eat a lot of fresh vegetables and low-acid fruits. Stay away from candy and pop, and if you do indulge from time to time, be sure to brush or at least rinse afterwards, to remove as much sugar as possible.
  • Drink plenty of water. Many people experience dry mouth as they age, and dry mouth can increase the risk of infections and tooth decay. Drinking water flushes out a lot of the sugar that would otherwise be left on your teeth, plus it takes the place of sugary, acidic drinks like pop and juice.

If you’re due for a dental checkup, call the team at Caledon Dental Centre to schedule an appointment today. We’ll schedule an appointment to assess your current condition, and discuss the best course of care for your teeth moving forward.

The Importance of Oral Health to You Overall Wellness

January 17, 2022 / DENTISTRY

As society focuses more and more on health and wellness, we tend to hear a lot about the role that a nutritious, well-balanced diet and consistent fitness routine impact our mental and physical well-being. These are important parts of keeping our minds and bodies healthy, but when is the last time you heard about how oral health fits into your general health?

Visiting your dentist in Caledon regularly is key to building and maintaining good oral health. Your Caledon dentist and team will assess, clean, and monitor your teeth and gums, making sure that any small problems are identified and fixed before they become larger, more complicated problems that require advanced treatment. They will also advise you on developing a proper, consistent dental hygiene routine so you can do your part to maintain your oral health in between dental visits.

Maintaining good oral health will do more for you than just keep you smiling brighter, longer. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits are key to preventing periodontal disease, and there are many studies that link periodontal disease and negative impacts on a person’s overall health and well-being. Scientists have discovered that bacteria from the oral infections common with periodontal disease can infiltrate a person’s blood stream and spread to other areas of the body. These bacteria can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, and even cause respiratory disorders. Infections in the gums of pregnant women have also been linked to underweight, or prematurely delivered babies. People with Diabetes should also be extra diligent about their oral health because they are prone to infection, and the bacterial infections that are common with periodontal disease can make it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar.

Prioritizing your oral health can also prevent oral cancer, or help you catch it early so it can easily be treated. One element of your dental hygiene check-ups is to look for signs and symptoms of oral cancer. At your appointment, your dentist and team will examine your mouth and neck so they can identify this potentially life-threatening condition while it is still easy to treat.

If you are committed to making your overall health and wellness a priority this year, make sure your plans include your oral health. Call the team at Caledon Dental Centre today to set up and appointment to get on the right track. Our office provides a wide range of family and general dentistry services and would love to look after your smile.

Tooth Whitening at Home with Your Caledon Dentist

December 2021 / DENTISTRY

Are you unhappy with the look of your smile? It’s now easier than ever to brighten the look of your smile comfortably and affordably with custom-made, at-home tooth whitening kits available from your Caledon dentist.

These kits do use peroxide, so it’s important to consult with your dentist before whitening your teeth. Your team of dental healthcare professionals will look review the number and size of any fillings and crowns in your mouth, look for signs of gum shrinkage or nerve exposure and assess the degree and type of discoloration. They’ll review all this information before advising you on the potential for whitening success and risk of sensitivity you may experience through this treatment.

Here’s how the at-home tooth whitening systems available through your dentist in Caledon work:

  1. The team at Caledon Dental Centre will create whitening trays that are custom fit for your mouth. This will be done through taking impressions of the exact size and shape of your mouth, so the trays are easy and comfortable to use. Custom trays also give you the flexibility to choose which teeth get whitened (you can decide where to add the whitening serum) and prevent too much bleaching agent from connecting with the gums.
  2. Each night before bed, brush and floss your teeth, and rinse your mouth well.
  3. Take your custom whitening trays and the bleaching agent you purchased from Caledon Dental Centre and add one drop of gel into the trays at the location of each tooth. Remember, less is more – don’t use more solution than you need, or it will ooze over onto your gums when you insert the trays into your mouth.
  4. Open your mouth and insert the upper and lower trays containing the bleaching gel. Gently bite down into the trays so they fit snugly against your teeth. Wear the trays while you sleep and take them out and rinse them in the morning. For best results, the teeth should get at least 6 hours of exposure to the bleaching agent each treatment.
  5. Depending on how much whitening you feel is needed, continue wearing the trays while you sleep for one, two, or three weeks. If you find that your teeth are getting more and more sensitive as treatments continue, stop using the trays and contact the team at Caledon Dental right away.
  6. Each morning after removing and rinsing the trays, store them upside down to give them the chance to fully dry-out between uses.

If you’re ready to brighten your smile in a safe, comfortable, affordable way, call the dental team at Caledon Dental Centre to set up a consultation today. At our office we provide comprehensive dental services including family, cosmetic and implant dentistry.