Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Treating Bad Breath

One of the most common questions we get is “How can I make sure my breath is always pleasant?”
Many patients come to our office with the complaint of bad breath or a bad taste in their mouth. Fresh breath is something we all want, and is an expected part of our social graces. It’s just as big a part of making a great impression as any other aspect of your smile.
If your oral hygiene is good and you still have trouble with bad breath, you could have gum disease, which allows more bacteria to build up than you can clean away. Our hygienists can help by thoroughly cleaning around your teeth and gums.  Please make sure to talk to us if bad breath is a concern so we can evaluate your gums.
In certain cases you may be more prone to the bacteria which causes bad breath even if your oral hygiene is good and your gums are healthy. This means you could have a sub-clinical bacterial infection. This is where a large amount of bacteria is present but the inflammatory response within the gums is negligible. We typically investigate by sampling the bacteria in your mouth and having it analyzed at the lab. If the bacteria levels are high, we will treat you with antibiotic rinses to lower the bacteria and allow the healthy type of bacteria in your mouth to repopulate.
In cases where all of our tests are negative we will recommend that you consult your physician for stomach tests.  There are bacteria in the stomach which produce the same compounds as the oral bacteria that causes bad breath, and the cure may lay there.
As we all know certain foods that we eat contribute to bad breath, such and onions and garlic, to name few. These vanish in time and can be eliminated quickly by using sugar-free mints, chewing gum, by brushing your teeth and using a mouth rinse.
Bad breath can also be addressed by maintaining great oral hygiene which keeps the teeth and gums as clean and free of bacteria as possible. Remember to brush your tongue because the tongue has very deep pits and grooves where bacteria can escape lighter cleanings.
If you have any concerns about your breath call us today at (905) 303-9355 or click here  to request an appointment.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Dental X-Rays Demystified

Many patients have questions surrounding when they need to take x-rays and if they have a choice. Let’s look at Dental x-rays a little closer to answer these questions and more.
Dental x-rays allow us to see between your teeth and under the gums to the bone which is responsible for holding your teeth in place. These hidden areas can have a big impact on the maintenance of your teeth and gums. In short, dental x-rays allow us to catch and treat hidden problems as early as possible. X-rays also allow us to catch cysts and tumors that can occur in the jaw, but may not necessarily cause symptoms.
Here are a few questions I am frequently asked by patients:
How frequently should I have x-rays taken?
New patients will have x-rays taken when they enter the practice. After that, we will take a few x-rays every year or two for adults and a full set every five years as a part of the Complete Oral Exam. If you’ve had x-rays taken at another dentist within the last year, we can request that they be transferred to our office.
What if I don’t want to have x-rays?     
You’re always allowed to refuse x-rays for yourself or for your children. However, we don’t recommend avoiding x-rays as they greatly enhance our ability to find and treat problems. We may, in some cases require that you sign a release when other medical factors are present which may we increase risk, but you will be informed of such risks and you’ll always have the final say.
How much radiation can dental x-rays expose us to?
Exposure to radiation from dental x-rays is minimal. Forman Dental Care switched to digital intra-oral x-rays in January 2010 allowing us to cut your exposure by 50%. You will always be protected by a lead apron with a thyroid collar. In actuality, you’ll be exposed to about one fifth of the radiation as you would from living in a brick house for a year, which is very low.
If you have any questions or concerns about dental x-rays or any other dental issue, please don’t hesitate to contact Forman Dental Care. To make an appointment, you can use our appointment booking tool, or call us at (905) 303-9355.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

We see patients every day who ask us if there is anything we can do to help with their spouse or partner’s snoring. The answer is yes, we can. Oral appliances are extremely effective for reducing or eliminating snoring. There is however, a condition called sleep apnea that needs to be addressed first. Sleep Apnea often occurs in combination with snoring and can be a serious health concern.
Snoring is produced by vibration of the loose tissue at the back of the throat. It’s very common in adults for both men and women. Generally snoring doesn’t pose a problem for the person who is doing the snoring, rather for other people who hear it.
Sleep Apnea is a condition that occurs in people who snore, and is defined by the presence of several episodes per hour where breathing doesn’t occur and oxygen levels drop. Sleep Apnea contributes to high blood pressure because the heart has to work harder, which can ultimately lead to heart disease. Patients with Sleep Apnea often complain of daytime fatigue and drowsiness, which can be dangerous in a number of common daily activities like driving for example.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea can only be diagnosed by a proper sleep study at a qualified lab. No matter how bad the snoring may seem it may not necessarily be an indication of Sleep Apnea. The sleep study involves an over-night stay at the lab where the patient is hooked up to many electrodes that monitor muscle movements and oxygen levels.  You’ll need to be asleep for at least 4 hours for the test to be accurate.
For mild cases, your snoring and Sleep Apnea can be treated with a dental appliance which holds your jaw forward creating tension on the tissue at the back of your throat. This holds your airway open and prevents snoring. The appliance has an upper and lower component attached by vertical struts which allow adjustment of the lower jaw.
For moderate and severe Sleep Apnea you may require treatment with a CPAP machine which holds your airway open with continuous air pressure. Air is drawn into a tube that you wear on your nose. This treatment will be directed and administered by the sleep lab and is the only 100% effective treatment for Sleep Apnea. In addition to the CPAP or possibly in place of the CPAP machine, one of the most common recommendations is weight loss. Losing weight reduces the amount of tissue in the throat which can obstruct the airway and cause snoring. Once the sleep lab has controlled your Sleep Apnea you can try an oral appliance if the CPAP is cumbersome.
If snoring or Sleep Apnea are a potential problem in your family, call Forman Dental Care today. Click here to request an appointment or call (905) 303-9355.