Bleeding Gums – Dental Tips From Your Family Dentist

Bleeding gums are a common occurrence when you first start flossing between your teeth, as long as the bleeding stops relatively quickly, it is usually not a problem. If you do find this occurring more frequently when flossing, it is a good idea for your dentist or hygienist to check your mouth for periodontal diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis, both being common and treatable.

Some reasons why you may experience bleeding gums may be because you need to be flossing more often. Don’t stop flossing because your gums bleed, despite sounding wrong, continue to floss daily and the bleeding should lessen each time. If you have been a notoriously consistent flosser for a long time and you find that your gums are bleeding, it is best that you get our dentist in St. Jacobs to assess the issue for gum or periodontal diseases. Your family dentist is the expert and they will know exactly the treatment plan to give you to fix any current or potential dental problems.

Here are some causes of bleeding gums:

  1. Rough flossing or improper flossing technique. At your next appointment with your dentist in St. Jacobs, ask them to show you the proper technique.
  2. If you are new to flossing it is normal to see some bleeding, which should clear up within a week. Consult your family dentist if that does not happen.
  3. Poor nutrition, a vitamin C deficiency are both contributing factors to bleeding gums.
  4. Blood thinning medication can sometimes make bleeding gums more of an issue, consult your physician if you are finding that an issue.
  5. Inflamed gums can be a sign of gingivitis or more severe gum diseases. Curious about periodontal diseases, consult your dentist in St. Jacobs, they are more than happy to explain the cause and treatment to you.

Treatment

Bleeding gum treatment includes regular dental checkups and cleanings from your family dentist as well as good daily oral hygiene habits. Plaque buildup is one of the main causes of gingivitis and you can prevent this by brushing properly, twice daily and continuing to floss daily. This periodontal disease is common, very treatable and reversible as long as you follow the oral hygiene instructions from your dentist in St. Jacobs. Your family dentist may suggest that you come in more frequently for professional cleanings if you are unable to keep up with it at home.

St. Jacobs Dental is always welcoming new patients. If it’s been a while since your last dental visit, give us a call today.

 

The Importance of Preventative Dental Care

You’ve probably been hearing about the importance of brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly your whole life. Well, it’s time to listen.

While accidents happen and teeth can get cracked, broken or otherwise damage, many severe dental problems could likely have been avoided through consistent preventative dental care.

What is Preventative Dental Care?

Preventative dental care means exactly what it sounds like – taking care of your teeth and keeping them clean and healthy to prevent the need for invasive, uncomfortable, expensive treatments down the road.

There are two main types of preventative dental care. These are a home-based oral hygiene routine, and regular visits to your family dentist.

A home-based oral hygiene routine should be taught early. It’s very important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. This type of simple, routine dental care will keep the teeth, gums, and tongue clean, removing bacteria that can lead to plaque buildup and eventually tooth decay, and washing away stains that can leave the teeth discoloured. It’s never too early to start.

Children can begin to learn how to care for their mouth and gums before their teeth even break through the surface. For infants, ‘brushing their teeth’ is often introduced by rubbing the gums to help loosen and remove any sugars or bacteria left by their diet or anything interesting that they pick up and put in their mouths. As children grow, making brushing, and eventually flossing, a consistent part of their daily routine is an excellent way to get them into the habit of caring for their teeth in a preventative manner.

While a proper routine of brushing and flossing is extremely important and goes a long way to prevent serious dental problems from occurring, the fact is that dental problems still occur, and the easiest way to identify areas of concern and prevent small problems from becoming big problems is to visit your St. Jacobs Dentist regularly.

Regular dental visits (every 6-9 months is recommended) allows your dentist, hygienist, and dental assistant to examine your mouth, tongue, gums, and teeth to look for signs of decay, inflammation, infection, and even check for symptoms of oral cancer. Things like tooth decay, gum disease, and any lumps and bumps that could be an early sign of something more nefarious, are often easy to treat when they’re identified early by a dental professional.

Are you confident that your preventative dental routine is up to par? Has it been a while since you visited your dentist in St. Jacobs? Call the team to set up an appointment today. We’ll assess your current situation and get you back on track to optimal oral health.

 

Everything You Need To Know About Teeth Grinding

It’s extremely common to grind your teeth once in a while, but tooth grinding is a real problem if it becomes a regular, everyday (or every night) occurrence. For many, tooth grinding is triggered by intense stress and anxiety, but for most, tooth grinding occurs when they are asleep and completely unable to control the muscles in their neck and jaw.

If you are often feeling pain or tightness in your neck and jaw, have begun experiencing more frequent headaches, and are having a tough time speaking and chewing, there’s a good chance that you’re grinding your teeth, and it’s time to make an appointment to see your family dentist in St. Jacobs. If caught early before any serious damage has been done, your condition can be treated to minimize your pain and the damage to your teeth.

Tooth grinding (or clenching, which is also very common) is also called bruxism – a legitimate disorder that dental professionals diagnose and treat nearly ever day. Bruxism can cause more than just discomfort in your mouth, head, neck, and jaw ¬– it can cause cracks in your teeth and wear down the enamel making you more likely to develop periodontal disease down the road, and in some extreme cases, it can actually cause you to wear the entire tooth down to a stump. These results can require intensive treatment including bridges, crowns, root canals and implants.

Because bruxism is a chronic problem and patients are typically unaware that they are clenching or grinding, the condition can very rarely be cured. However, like many dental problems, if you visit your family dentist regularly, they can usually spot the early signs of a problem before it becomes extremely difficult to treat. If your family dentist agrees that you suffer from bruxism, they will usually begin discussions with you about getting a mouth guard to wear when you sleep. These are small, non-invasive trays that are custom-made to fit your mouth, that prevent your jaw from locking or your teeth from touching and make it impossible for you to clench or grind your teeth.

Has your partner mentioned that you’re grinding your teeth at night? Are you feeling more soreness and tightness in your neck and jaw than normal? Call the team at St. Jacobs Dental Care today. We’ll schedule some time to assess your condition and work with you to find a treatment plan that fits your unique situation.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Root Canals

If you’ve been advised to consider a root canal to save your natural teeth, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Root canals can be performed by a general dentist or an endodontist. They are common, routine procedures that fit under the special dentistry area known as endodontics and are usually performed while the patient is under local anesthesia.

Inside your tooth, beneath the white enamel and a hard layer called dentin, is a soft tissue called pulp. Root canals involve the removal of the tooth’s pulp, which is comprised of blood vessels, nerves and lymph vessels that deliver nutrients to the tooth and help it grow. These treatments can restore your teeth to a comfortable state by removing the damaged tissue and replacing it with a substance that will help preserve the function of the tooth.

There are many reasons why you may need a root canal therapy, but the most common is advanced tooth decay. In this case, the root canal is often the only way to save your natural tooth. When a tooth begins to decay, the outer layer of tooth enamel is compromised and a cavity forms. If that process is not interrupted by early intervention, the decay will continue to develop, eventually impacting the nerve of the tooth.

Here’s what you can expect from a root canal:

First step - clean the area

First, your dentist in St. Jacobs will create an opening in your tooth and remove any remaining filling and areas affected by decay. Next, they will use tiny, flexible files to remove the tooth pulp.

Next step – fill the root canal

Once your root canals are free of pulp and the area has been filed and smoothed, your dentist may fill the canals with small, cone-shaped pieces of material. Next, they’ll use a type of sealer-cement to lock that material into place.

Last step – tooth restoration

The final step of your root canal therapy is restoring the tooth. Once treatment is complete on the tooth’s interior, it’s important to restore the outside to ensure the underlying structures of the tooth are protected and the tooth looks bright and healthy.

If you’d like to learn more about root canal therapy, call the team of experts at St. Jacobs Dental today. We’ll set up a consultation to assess the condition of your teeth and help determine whether root canal therapy is the right treatment plan for you.

The Importance of Dental Care During Pregnancy

Are you expecting a little one? If so, congratulations! You likely have a thousand things on your mind as you prepare for this wonderful, life-changing event, so we’re going to make this easy for you by giving you all the information you need about how to maintain your oral health throughout your pregnancy.

First, it’s important to know that poor oral hygiene during pregnancy has been linked to premature deliveries, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. With that on the table, the first piece of advice we can give is to keep up to date with your regular oral hygiene routine that should include flossing daily and brushing twice per day. If you’re currently not flossing daily and brushing every morning and evening, it’s not too late to start!

The second piece of advice we can give is to keep up with your regular visits to your dentist in St. Jacobs so we can monitor you for dental issues that can arise during pregnancy. Most issues are easy to treat if they’re caught early, so continuing to visit the dentist is crucial to maintaining your oral health at this delicate time.

In some cases, the hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy can create conditions like ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ which is an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness.

Pregnant women can also be more prone to cavities due to morning sickness and consuming more carbohydrates that usual. Both are situations that can cause tooth decay and eventually lead to the development of cavities.

Some women also develop ‘pregnancy tumours’ in the gums, most often in the third trimester. These tumours are not cancer, but they present as swelling in between the teeth and may be related to excess plaque. They will usually disappear after the baby is born.

These are a few changes you may experience during your pregnancy, and our team is here to help identify and manage these issues as well as any other dental situations that come up.

If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant and want an assessment of your oral health, call our team today. St. Jacobs Dental Care is always welcoming new patients and emergencies.

Everything You Need To Know About Dry Mouth

Have you ever woken up and felt like your mouth was so dry that you could barely speak or swallow? Does this sensation come about during the day, making you feel uncomfortable and desperate for a mint or a glass of water? If so, you’re probably experiencing chronic dry mouth and you’re not alone. This is a chronic condition that negatively affects many people’s quality of life, and potentially even their long-term health.

There are many possible causes for Dry Mouth Syndrome, which is also known as xerostomia. It can be a side effect of certain medications, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, or it could be the result of more day-to-day problems like stress, depression or nutritional deficiencies. People who suffer from Dry Mouth Syndrome can struggle with speaking, swallowing, chewing and even tasting their foods. Plus, this lack of saliva can make it difficult for the mouth’s natural cleaning processes to occur, leading to increased chances of tooth decay and oral infections.

Fortunately, your physician and dentist can treat most cases of dry mouth. When dry mouth is a side effect of a medication you’re taking, your doctor may be able to adjust your dosage to a level that relieves the problem. In other cases, additional medications can be prescribed that will increase the amount of saliva produced by your salivary glands.

There is a lot you can do in your day-to-day life to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth. Drink plenty of water, avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks, don’t smoke and limit your alcohol consumption, and limit the amount of spicy and salty foods you consume.

People with dry mouth have less saliva flow, and this can cause serious problems. Saliva limits the growth of oral bacteria and washes away food debris and plaque, making saliva an important component in your body’s ability to fight tooth decay.

To increase the flow of saliva in your mouth, suck on sugar-free candies and chew sugar free gum.

Everyone knows they’re supposed to brush and floss at least twice each day, but this is especially important for dry mouth sufferers – it will remove the food particles that aren’t be washed away by saliva as much as they should, which will minimize the risk of tooth decay.

Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions about Dry Mouth Syndrome. We’ll schedule an appointment to discuss your situation and develop a treatment plan that meets your unique needs.

The Healthy Sweet Tooth

If you’re like most people, you love to indulge in sweets now and then, but you probably also care about your teeth and know it’s important to take care of them to maintain a bright, healthy smile. Sweet, sugary foods are bad for your teeth, contributing to tooth decay and gum disease. When sugar comes into contact with any plaque that may be present in your mouth, it forms an acid, and erodes the enamel on the surface of your teeth. This will eventually cause tooth decay.

Being your family dentist is important to us, and we know that it’s important to indulge that sweet tooth once in a while. Here are some recommendations from your dentist in St. Jacobs that can satisfy your cravings without compromising your oral health.

Fruit

Fruit is a natural source of sugar. Yes, the sugar is still there, but it’s healthier sugar than the kind you find in ice cream or candy. When possible, opt for low-acid fruit like bananas and peaches.

Yogurt

We know, yogurt sure doesn’t sound sweet, but when you buy plain yogurt (avoid the flavoured stuff – it’s full of sugar), and add yummy things like fruit, nuts and a touch of natural honey, you’ve built yourself a tasty, healthy version of a sundae!

Homemade Ice Cream

We know, we just told you to avoid ice cream! But it’s easy to make a healthy, low sugar version of ice cream, and you can do it from home! Just peel, chop and freeze two bananas, take them out of the freezer and put them in a blender with about ¼ cup of natural nut butter (we like peanut or almond the best), and blend until it creates a smooth, creamy texture. It’s the easiest, healthiest ice cream you’ll ever find.

Popsicles

While we’re talking about frozen treats, let’s talk about popsicles. Forget the high-sugar version that you find in the grocery store. Just blend up some plain Greek yogurt with the fruit of your choice, pour the mixture into a popsicle mold, and freeze!

Banana bites

This one couldn’t be any easier. Chop up a banana, dip it in melted dark chocolate, stick it on a piece of parchment paper and freeze. There is actually very little chocolate on these, but that little bit you get is enough to satisfy the sweet tooth without doing much damage to your teeth.

Your family dentist in St. Jacobs does not expect you to avoid sweets altogether, but when you do reach for the sweets, keep these options in mind for a healthy alternative. Want to have your teeth checked out to make sure you’re starting from a place of good health? Call the team of experts at St. Jacobs dental care today.

Everything You Need to Know about Dentures

Options for Replacing Your Missing Teeth in St. Jacobs, ON

Your smile is one of the first things others see when they meet you. Your teeth were designed to work together to help you eat, drink, speak and smile, so if you are missing one or more teeth, these activities become much more difficult. And it’s not just the teeth in the front that are important – a missing back tooth can also cause your other teeth to shift, potentially causing more serious dental problems developing down the road.

At St. Jacobs Dental Care, our team of experts is highly experienced at helping patients find the best treatment option to replace their missing teeth.

There are three main treatment options that we recommend to our patients with missing teeth:

Dental implants

This is an extremely popular tooth replacement option because it offers a very similar look, feel, and function of natural teeth. To get dental implants, your St. Jacob’s dentist will surgically implant a post into your jawbone to create a stable foundation for your replacement tooth, and make sure it is just as durable as your natural teeth. Think of this post like the roots to your tooth. Once that post (or root) is in place, a dental crown that looks like a natural tooth is placed on top. A dental crown is a hollow, artificial tooth that fits on top of a natural tooth or dental implant. At this point, the dental implant and crown look and feel like you were born with them. They blend right in with your smile, giving you back the confidence that comes with a bright, full set of teeth.

Bridges

A bridge is a tooth replacement option that fills in the gap left by one or more missing teeth. It is often also referred to as a fixed bridge or fixed dental prosthesis. A bridge is typically composed of an artificial tooth that is fused between two crowns. Since the bridge is attached to the natural teeth or dental implants that are in place on either side of the gap, they are held firmly in place to allow your teeth to function as normal.

Partial dentures

Partial dentures are the fastest and least expensive option for tooth replacement, but they’re also the shortest-term solution. They usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a plastic base that is pink or gum-coloured to blend in with the natural appearance of your mouth. They are custom made to fit your unique anatomy. Some partial dentures have a metal frame and clasps that connect to your teeth, but there are also other connectors that are made to look more natural, like precision attachments.

There are pros and cons to each of these tooth replacement options. If you are missing teeth and are ready to have them replaced, call our team at St. Jacobs Dental Care today. We’ll be happy to work with you to assess all of your options and build the best treatment plan for you and your unique situation.

 

Options for Replacing Your Missing Teeth in St. Jacobs, ON

Options for Replacing Your Missing Teeth in St. Jacobs, ON

Your smile is one of the first things others see when they meet you. Your teeth were designed to work together to help you eat, drink, speak and smile, so if you are missing one or more teeth, these activities become much more difficult. And it’s not just the teeth in the front that are important – a missing back tooth can also cause your other teeth to shift, potentially causing more serious dental problems developing down the road.

At St. Jacobs Dental Care, our team of experts is highly experienced at helping patients find the best treatment option to replace their missing teeth.

There are three main treatment options that we recommend to our patients with missing teeth:

Dental implants

This is an extremely popular tooth replacement option because it offers a very similar look, feel, and function of natural teeth. To get dental implants, your St. Jacob’s dentist will surgically implant a post into your jawbone to create a stable foundation for your replacement tooth, and make sure it is just as durable as your natural teeth. Think of this post like the roots to your tooth. Once that post (or root) is in place, a dental crown that looks like a natural tooth is placed on top. A dental crown is a hollow, artificial tooth that fits on top of a natural tooth or dental implant. At this point, the dental implant and crown look and feel like you were born with them. They blend right in with your smile, giving you back the confidence that comes with a bright, full set of teeth.

Bridges

A bridge is a tooth replacement option that fills in the gap left by one or more missing teeth. It is often also referred to as a fixed bridge or fixed dental prosthesis. A bridge is typically composed of an artificial tooth that is fused between two crowns. Since the bridge is attached to the natural teeth or dental implants that are in place on either side of the gap, they are held firmly in place to allow your teeth to function as normal.

Partial dentures

Partial dentures are the fastest and least expensive option for tooth replacement, but they’re also the shortest-term solution. They usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a plastic base that is pink or gum-coloured to blend in with the natural appearance of your mouth. They are custom made to fit your unique anatomy. Some partial dentures have a metal frame and clasps that connect to your teeth, but there are also other connectors that are made to look more natural, like precision attachments.

There are pros and cons to each of these tooth replacement options. If you are missing teeth and are ready to have them replaced, call our team at St. Jacobs Dental Care today. We’ll be happy to work with you to assess all of your options and build the best treatment plan for you and your unique situation.

 

Flossing Properly

flossing-properly-st-jacobs-dentistHow to Properly Floss Your Teeth and Why it is Important

Dental hygiene is just as important, if not more, as physical hygiene. However, unfortunately, it’s pretty widely neglected owing to a lack of awareness and a generally busy lifestyle.

Do you remember when you last flossed? In fact, many people don’t even know how to floss or even why it’s so important for dental hygiene. Keep reading to find out more about Flossing Properly!

Flossing Properly - Why is it Important?

Throughout the day, whenever you eat, tiny food particles get stuck in the gaps between your teeth. These food particles are used as a source of energy by the bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria convert these foods into acids and other products that accumulate in the form of yellowish plaques on your teeth.

When this bacterial growth crosses a certain limit, a cavity appears in your teeth, which can eventually erode or eat away your teeth. Therefore, it’s important to floss so that you can get rid of the tiny food particles between your teeth that cannot be removed by a normal brush.flossing-properly-st-jacobs-dentist

Flossing Properly: How It’s Done

Flossing your teeth doesn’t just involve moving the flossing string back and forth with no proper direction. If done improperly, it can lead to gum irritation. Therefore, it’s important that you know how to properly floss your teeth. The instructions below will guide you.

  • First, make sure that the piece of floss you have is about 15-20 inches long.
  • Next, wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of your dominant hand. Leave some floss behind and hold it between the thumb of your dominant hand and the index finger of the other.
  • Next, rub the floss back and forth in the gap between your teeth. When you approach the gum, slide the floss sideways so that you rub it against the teeth and not the gums.
  • Wrap the used floss around the middle finger of your non-dominant hand.
  • Continue until you’ve flossed your entire teeth.

If you don’t already, follow the steps above and start flossing today! Remember to book your dental cleaning with St. Jacobs Dental Care. Our hygienist will review the proper flossing techniques with you during your dental appointment. St. Jacobs Dental Care office is located in St. Jacobs, and welcomes new patients.

St. Jacobs Dental Care services the following areas:

  • St. Jacobs
  • Elmira
  • Northern Waterloo
  • Woolwich Township
  • Conestogo
  • Hawkesville
  • West Montrose
  • Heidelberg
CONTACT INFORMATION
St. Jacobs Dental Care

10 Parkside Dr,
St Jacobs, ON N0B 2N0

Tel: (519) 664-2434
Fax: (519) 664-3824
Email: info@stjacobsdentalcare.ca

Book Appointment
OFFICE HOURS
Monday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m..
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

© St. Jacobs Dental Care    
St Jacobs Dental Care