One common misconception people have when they get implants is they no longer need to worry about bi-annual visits to their dentist. However, this is not true. Just because a person has an entire set of implants does not mean they could still experience dental problems. In addition, dental implants function much like natural teeth.

As a result, food particles can get stuck in between implants and along the gum line. Similar to natural teeth, it is difficult to remove plaque from hard to reach areas, like in between teeth, even when flossing on a daily basis. The plaque, which is a sticky substance, will eventually harden and become tartar. No amount of brushing or flossing at home will remove tartar from the artificial teeth.

Another problem, which can develop, is gum disease (gingivitis) and periodontal disease. Since the implants function like natural teeth, tartar deposits along the gum line can irritate the gums. The bacteria trapped under the tartar can lead to gum infections, as well as cause the gums to become swollen, sore, or even bleed.

Irritations to the gum tissue causes it to recede and pull away from the base of the dental implants. This will result in a loss of gum tissue mass and increase exposure of the underlying implant structure, namely the titanium post used to secure the implant tooth in place. Additionally, if an infection develops in the gums and is not properly treated, it can spread into the jaw and cause bone density loss, which could potentially cause the titanium post to become loose and the implant to fall out.

Staining on the implants tooth structure could also be a potential problems some people experience without regular dental visits. While there is a protective exterior layer on dental implants, stains from certain types of food and beverages, as well as tobacco products might form over time, causing the implants to become discoloured.

Regular dental visits are essential to keep your dental implants clean and looking great. Your dental hygienist is trained and qualified to clean your implants and remove plaque and tartar. Furthermore, your dentist will inspect the implants to ensure they are secure and not causing you any discomfort or other issues. In the event there are specific problems or issues discovered, your dentist and their team of dental professionals can address these before they become more serious.

As you can see, dental implants need to be cleaned at least twice a year, just like natural teeth, in order to ensure proper dental health. If you have dental implants and have not visited a dentist regularly, contact Dentistry in Waterloo dental clinic at (519) 885-5880 today to schedule a consultation and cleaning appointment.

Our teeth are exposed to a wide range of foods and beverages every single day. In addition, if you use tobacco product, this puts further “wear and tear” on your teeth. Over time, the teeth can start to discolour, become yellow, or even develop dark brown and black stains along the gum line, in between teeth, and in back of the teeth.

The reason for this is because the enamel on our teeth is porous, which makes it susceptible to stains from foods and beverages which contains chromogens or pigmented molecules which are attracted to the enamel on our teeth. Beverages, like tea, coffee, and wine, as well as foods which are notorious for staining, such as berries, tomatoes, and several types of sauces, are naturally attracted to the enamel on the exterior of the teeth.

In addition, another type of discolouration and staining that sometimes occurs in some people, is caused from fluorosis, traumatic injuries, and certain medications. This type of staining actually starts inside the tooth structure and slowly advances outward. Regular brushing and flossing will not help remove this type of staining.

How to Keep Your Teeth Clean and White

Today, people are ever more conscientious about their smiles and the colour of their teeth. There are several effective treatments and procedures available to help keep the teeth clean and the desired whiteness level.

  • Commercial “Over-the-Counter” Whitening Products

    From toothpastes to whitening strips, there is a wide range of commercial products on the market. However, these products are not always effective at whitening the teeth in general, let alone removing difficult stains. Even if you do see some changes, the changes don’t last very long.

    Furthermore, if you have artificial tooth restorations, including dentures, dental bridges, veneers, bonded teeth, tooth-coloured fillings, or crowns, they are resistant to the whitening and bleaching agents found in commercial “over-the-counter” whitening products.

  • Professional Dental Cleanings and Teeth Whitening

    Regular visits to your dentist do help remove some staining and discolourations. Depending upon the extent of staining and discolouration, there is a wide range of options available to help remove stains and restore the desired whiteness level of your teeth.

    For more serious staining and discolourations, your dentist offers professional teeth whitening treatments. The treatments available at your dentist, utilize more effective products and methods than over-the-counter commercial products do not. Plus, they are completely safe and will not damage your teeth. In the event of severe pitting, chipped teeth, or badly discoloured teeth that are not able to be effectively whitened, your dentist has other viable solutions to getting the white teeth you desire, like dental veneers. Veneers are tooth-coloured, thin layers of porcelain-made materials applied directly over the tooth surface to hide and cover up any imperfections, while further protecting the tooth from further staining and damage.

Before using any teeth whitening product, it is highly recommended to consult with your dentist to discuss your desired whiteness level and objectives. Your dentist can help you determine the most appropriate methods and treatments to use to give you the vibrant and beautiful smile you deserve.

For more information about teeth whitening treatments and other options, or to schedule a consultation appointment, feel free to contact us, here at Dentistry in Waterloo by calling (519) 885-5880 today.

Many teens and young adults think gum disease is something their parents and grandparents can get. Sadly, that is not the case and gum disease can affect teens and young adults. There are no age limits as to who has the potential to get gum disease. This disease can affect hundreds, even thousands of people of all ages, including teens and young adults.

There are several signs to indicate you might have gum disease, as well as ways you can help prevent it from developing.

1. When you brush your teeth do they bleed regularly? This is one of the easiest signs to spot that you may have gum disease. If your gums bleed regularly, you should see your dentist. Your dentist can help determine if you have gum disease and need further treatment. However, you could simply be using the wrong type of toothbrush or even just brushing too hard. Your dentist will provide more information and education, if this is the case.

2. Does the colour of your gums look irregular? Your gums should appear pinkish in colour and be firm when touched. Your gums should not look more reddish in colour. In addition, the gums should not be swollen, sore, or painful when touched. If you experience any of these symptoms, it could indicate gum disease.

3. Do your gums look like they are pulling away from your teeth? Your gums should be right up against your teeth with no spaces or gaps in between the gum line and teeth. If you notice gaps where more of the tooth surface is exposed than should be or are experiencing sensitivity in the tooth or gums, see you dentist right away to ensure you receive the proper treatment.

4. Bad morning breath seems like it never goes away, even though you brush your teeth. Having continuous bad breath is a sign that your gums are infected and need treatment soon. Even in cases where the bad breath subsides for short periods, but quickly returns indicates a potential dental problems. This could potentially be a major sign you have gum disease or some other dental problem. Additionally, chronic bad breath can have negative impacts on your life, like making it difficult to get through job interviews or finding someone to date.

5. Do you have loose teeth that are not baby teeth? By the time you are in your late teens to early twenties, you should no longer have any baby teeth left. If you notice you have teeth that feel loose, wiggle, or move, it means the gum is infected and the infection has spread into the tooth root. If left untreated, the infection will continue to spread and your teeth will eventually fall out.

If you notice any of the above symptoms and signs, you may have gum disease. It is highly recommended to contact Dentistry in Waterloo. Contact our Waterloo dental clinic today by calling 519-885-5880 for more information about gum disease and to schedule a consultation appointment.

Dental implants are a viable artificial tooth replacement option when you have missing teeth. You need to decide whether this option is the best one for you or if another option, like dentures, partial plates, or dental bridges. One of the biggest mistakes people make when evaluating the various artificial teeth replacement options is to base their decision entirely on the initial costs. This is never a good assessment method for several reasons.

The first consideration should be your age and overall health. Are you healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedures required to get implants? If not, then your dentist will discuss other options that do not put your health at risk. On the other hand, if you are healthy and qualify for implants, you need to be committed to practicing proper oral hygiene, as well as regular visits to your dentist. In addition, the younger you are, implants are highly recommended since the materials used to make implants are designed to last a lifetime. In most cases, you will never have to worry about ever needing to get an implant replaced.

The next consideration should be the total lifetime costs of each replacement product you are evaluating. Dentures, partial plates, and dental bridges have to be replaced about once every five to seven years. You need to take the replacement costs into consideration in order to accurately compare the costs of implants to these other products. Most people are surprised to learn the initial costs for implants actually comes out to be either comparable or much less than the lifetime costs for the other dental products, depending upon their age.

You should also take the time to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each dental product. Dental implants have numerous advantages over dentures, partial plates, and dental bridges, such as:

  • You are able to eat and enjoy all of your favourite foods. Since implants are permanently secured to your jaw bone and do not slip and shift while you eat, there is no pain or problems when eating.
  • There is no change in your speech patterns. Dental implants mimic actual teeth and do not slide, slip, or cause problems when speaking.
  • Implants prevent gum shrinkage and bone loss. Other teeth replacement products sit on top of the gums and results in gum shrinkage and bone loss over time, which also changes the appearance of your face.
  • No risks to adjacent teeth. The anchors used on other products, where they are secured to your existing teeth, rub and wear the teeth down. Eventually, these teeth also have to be replaced with artificial teeth.
  • Implants are more convenient. You never have to remove your teeth, use special cleaning products, or adhesives. You simply brush and floss implants just like your other teeth.

To learn more about dental implants and to find out whether they are the right tooth replacement product for you, please feel free to schedule a consultation appointment at Dentistry in Waterloo today by phoning 519-885-5880.

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection which can spread and destroy the structures around the teeth, like the alveolar bone, gums, and periodontal ligaments, as well as the jawbone. The bacteria are found within dental plaque that accumulates on the teeth and along the gum line. If left untreated, the disease spreads down in between the gums and eventually causes the structures around and under the tooth to deteriorate. In addition, periodontal disease has been linked to increased risks for other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis.

One of the earliest warning signs is sore, swollen, and bleeding gums. This indicates your gums have become infected with bacteria and need to be treated. In this first stage, periodontal disease is referred to as gum disease or gingivitis. It is possible to treat gum disease and eliminate the infection for a full recovery. However, if gum disease is ignored, in hopes it will go away on its own, which it will not, it advances into second stage periodontal disease.

The body’s natural immune response actually contributes to causing gum disease to worsen. In response to the bacterial infection, the body releases substances that actually cause the gums to swell, become sore, and bleed. Additionally, as the infection spreads, the body responds by causing the gums to slowly recede and pull away from the bacteria, contained within the dental plaque on the teeth. This allows dental plaque and the bacteria to spread further down the surface of the tooth and under the gum line.

The second stage of periodontal disease is call periodontitis. Once the disease has reached this stage, it has caused irreversible damage to certain structures. Treatment and care are essential and normally require more frequent visits to your dentist. It is possible to manage the current damage and prevent it from worsening with the proper dental treatments and modifications to your dental care habits at home.

Once the bacteria have spread down under the gum line, in between the gum and teeth, it makes it more difficult to remove the dental plaque and calculus buildup. Brushing and flossing at home does not reach this area. The only way to get plaque removed from underneath the gum line and teeth is by seeing your dentist. Most dentists attempt to remove the plaque using various methods and techniques. In more severe cases, they will recommend scaling and root planing. This is where the gums are numbed so that the hygienist can go underneath the gum line to remove the plaque and any calcified plaque, commonly known as tartar.

The final stage of periodontal disease is called advanced periodontitis. At this point, the structures supporting the teeth have been destroyed. Teeth become loose, start to shift and even fall out. Treatments are very aggressive at this stage in order to attempt to save the teeth. Otherwise, the teeth will have to be extracted.

Regular visits to your dentist, at least twice a year; helps prevent and detect periodontal disease. Schedule your dental appointment today by calling Dentistry in Waterloo at 519-885-5880.