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Gum Contouring

There’s more to a beautiful smile than sparkling, white teeth. An attractive smile also has healthy gum tissue symmetrically draped around each tooth. The edge of the gum should be the same height for the two front teeth and for the canines (the long, pointed teeth near the front of the mouth). The gum tissue surrounding the incisors (located next to the front teeth) should be 1 to 1 ½ millimetres lower than the other teeth. This gum line is important to the overall appearance of your smile. Just as you can shape a fingernail, you can shape your gums to create a balanced, beautiful smile. Gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure for reshaping your gums and is easily performed at a dental clinic. 

How do you know if you need gum contouring?

You are a candidate for gum contouring if:

  • Your gum tissue is not symmetrical.
  • One or more teeth look longer than the others.
  • Your teeth appear to be too short.
  • Too much gum tissue shows when you smile.
  • You have a condition called altered passive eruption, your permanent teeth never fully protrude leaving teeth tiny looking and partially hidden by your gum tissue.
  • You wish to improve the appearance of your smile.

What causes an undesirable gum line? 

An uneven gum line can be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Particular health problems
  • The use of certain prescription drugs
  • A condition called altered passive eruption, when permanent teeth never fully erupt

How is gum contouring done? 

 Gum contouring is a simple, quick and safe dental procedure and can usually be done in one office visit. The only known risks are a rare allergic reaction to the anesthetic and the recurrence of gum growth. The dentist will take care to expose more enamel without exposing the roots of your teeth. The results of gum contouring are immediate and can be very dramatic! 

  • You receive a local anesthetic to numb the gums.
  • Over the next 5 minutes, you begin to lose feeling in the area though you’ll feel pressure and movement. 
  • A soft tissue laser is used to trim the excess gum tissue and shape the gum line.
  • The laser is then used to seal the tissue and prevent bleeding.
  • After your treatment is complete, your mouth slowly regains feeling. This usually takes several hours.

Recovering from gum contouring surgery:

It will take 1 to 2 weeks for your mouth to heal fully after having your gums reshaped. In the meantime:

  • Rest and limit your activities for a day or two after your surgery.
  • Ease pain with an over-the-counter pain medication.
  • For a few days, eat soft, cool foods such as eggs, pasta, yogurt, cottage cheese, and soft vegetables. 
  • Avoid spicy foods and food with seeds until your gums are completely healed.
  • Floss and brush daily, very gently.
  • Use an alcohol free mouthwash.
  • For a few days, avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and using a straw.
  • If you notice excessive swelling or bleeding, call your dentist. 

An attractive smile raises self-esteem, improves confidence and benefits mental health. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, there is no need to “just live with it.” Modern dental science offers a wide range of possible treatments to improve the appearance and health of your teeth and gums. You can achieve beautiful, white teeth and pink, well-contoured gum tissue. Your dentist can help you decide if gum reshaping is right for you. 

For all your dental needs, questions, and concerns call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959.

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

Copyright © 2019 Centennial Smiles Dental

New Patients (587) 317-7959

Existing Patients (587) 353-5060



How to Brush Your Teeth, the Right Way!

Brushing your teeth properly will help prevent inflammation of the gums, tooth decay and tooth sensitivity. It‘s the most effective way to rid teeth of food residue and disrupts the bacteria that grow on your teeth preventing them from eating away at your enamel. You probably already brush your teeth but even the most experienced of us can use tips to improve our technique! Follow these steps to brush your teeth, the right way.

Wet your toothbrush and apply a pea sized dollop of toothpaste.

  • Start in the back of your mouth on the outside of the upper molars and work in a clockwise direction. Move to the outside of your lower molars (working clockwise), followed by the inside surfaces of your teeth and then the chewing surfaces. Always following the same routine will help you remember what portion of your mouth you have completed and what is left to brush.
  • Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums.
  • Gently move the brush in small circular motions. Brush each area for at least 20 seconds and brush a minimum of 2 minutes for your whole mouth.
  • After 20 seconds of brushing, roll the brush head away from the gum line so the bristles sweep the surface of the tooth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the lower front and upper front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up and down strokes.
  • Brush your tongue, the insides of your cheeks and the roof of your mouth with a gentle, circular motion.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly. 

Important information and tips:

  • Fluoride is a natural cavity fighter that strengthens tooth enamel and fights tooth decay. Brushing with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day can reduce tooth decay by up to 40%!
  • Choose a soft bristled brush with a size and shape that fits your mouth. 
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months or when the bristles show wear. A worn brush is too abrasive and causes damage to the surface of your teeth.
  • Brush twice a day; in the morning when you wake and every night before bed. Make one of these brushings thorough by including flossing and mouthwash.
  • After eating sugary, acidic or processed foods, wait 30 to 45 minutes before brushing. This gives your saliva time to do its work on the acid before you brush.
  • Gentle brushing is more effective and less destructive than hard brushing. Think of it as “massaging” your teeth and gums.
  • Rinse your mouth with water when you finish eating.
  • The motion of brushing is more important than the toothpaste you use.
  • A healthy diet helps maintain healthy teeth.
  • An electric toothbrush will make the correct motion for you when brushing. 

Brushing is the most important weapon in your fight against tooth decay. Your dentist is your most important ally. See your dentist regularly!

For all your dental needs, questions, and concerns call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

Copyright © 2019 Centennial Smiles Dental

New Patients (587) 317-7959

Existing Patients (587) 353-5060



Tooth Remineralization

Every day your body works diligently to rebuild the enamel of your teeth. This natural process is called remineralization. The surface of each tooth is covered in tiny holes that make it easy for minerals to enter the enamel. Teeth rebuilding compounds contained in your saliva (phosphorus, vitamin D, Vitamin K2, magnesium and calcium) attach to the enamel and harden it. At the same time, acids are being developed in your mouth, attacking your teeth and wearing away at your enamel in a process called demineralization. The trick is to support the process of remineralization and decrease demineralization. If you can do this, no more cavities! So, let’s get busy and help that remineralization process!

There are three main strategies for increasing remineralization and decreasing demineralization.

Optimize your diet: 

  • To assist your teeth in remineralization, eat whole foods and healthy fats. Reduce the consumption of refined sugar, simple carbohydrates and highly acidic foods. Make sure your diet includes mushrooms, eggs, grass-fed beef, salmon, broccoli, dairy, and leafy greens as these foods are particularly good at supporting remineralization. Sip on black or green tea as they inhibit bacteria and slow plaque growth.
  • Most people do not get enough sun exposure and are therefore low in Vitamin D, a compound that assists in the absorption of calcium. Adding a Vitamin D supplement to your diet can increase remineralization.
  • Consider the use of probiotics (good bacteria that are either the same as or very similar to the bacteria that are already in your body). Probiotics reduce plaque growth, fight bad breath, help prevent oral cancer, assist in managing the symptoms of gingivitis, and decrease inflammation from gum disease.

Practice good oral hygiene:

  • Use the right toothbrush: Select a soft-bristle brush with varying bristle heights. Replace your brush every 3 to 4 months.
  • Pay attention to your brushing technique: Brush twice a day by placing your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums and moving it in small, gentle, circular motions. Turn your brush vertically to clean the insides of the front teeth, brush the chewing surfaces with short back and forth strokes and lightly brush your tongue.
  • Use the right toothpaste:  Brush with fluoride toothpaste. You may consider “all-in-one toothpastes” for ingredients that help care for your teeth and gums.
  • Floss daily: If you find flossing difficult, try a dental pick (a small plastic pick that removes large food particles caught along the gum line or between the teeth) or flossers (a small plastic tool with a curved end that holds a piece of dental floss).
  • Use fluoridated mouthwash daily.
  • Rinse your mouth after eating: This helps rid the mouth of food and bacteria that can lead to plaque and tartar build-up thus reducing demineralization.
  • Use a gum stimulator: Available in drug stores, a gum stimulator is a device with a rubber tip used to gently massage the gums stimulating blood flow. 
  • Stop Smoking: Smoking makes a person more susceptible to gum disease by weakening the immune system.
  • See your dentist: Book regular visits with your dentist who can spot the signs of early gum disease and tooth deterioration.

Use remineralization promoters: Remineralization promoters are a new and intersecting addition to the dental health scene. Ask your dentist about these cutting edge products. 

  • CPP-ACP (an acronym for casein phosphopeptides and amorphous calcium phosphate) is made from a milk protein called casein and will raise the amount of remineralization minerals in your mouth. This compound is new to the dental market and is trademarked Recaldent. It is found in Trident Xtra Care Gum and GC’s MI paste. 
  • There are new tooth varnishes that make tooth enamel more resistant to acid attack and speed up remineralization. Vanish 5% Sodium Fluoride White Varnish with TCP and 3M ESPE Vanish 5% Sodium Fluoride White Varnish are two examples.

Our bodies are amazing! Give your mouth what it needs and it will work hard at the process of remineralization; repairing enamel, strengthening your teeth and reducing cavities. Talk to your dentist about how she can help you in your quest for healthy teeth. 

For all your dental needs, questions, and concerns call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

Copyright © 2019 Centennial Smiles Dental

New Patients (587) 317-7959

Existing Patients (587) 353-5060



The Jobs your Teeth Do

Your teeth do more than give you a pretty smile! They have an important role in your ability to eat, speak clearly, express your feelings and maintain health. 

Eating: Our teeth cut, tear, and grind food into small pieces allowing digestive enzymes greater access. This makes it easier to digest and absorb nutrients thus assisting in maintaining good health.

Speaking: Your tongue and lips interact with your teeth to control airflow and allow you to make sounds. Teeth are especially involved in making the sounds of “t,” “f,” “v,”  “s,” “z,” and “ch.”

Expressing feelings:

Facial expressions are a large part of how we discern what a person is feeling. Our mouths and teeth help create smiles, frowns, leers, grins, scowls and grimaces; all signals regarding our emotions.

The specific job of each kind of tooth: 

Your mouth contains several kinds of teeth, each a slightly different shape and each performing a different job.

  • Incisors: Sometimes called the front teeth, your incisors are the 8 teeth at the front of your mouth, four on top and four on the bottom. These square shaped teeth make up most of your smile. Flat bottomed and sharp, they are suited for biting or cutting into your food. They have a scissor like action and only one root. You use your incisors when you sink your teeth into an apple! Incisors are the first teeth a baby grows and show up at approximately 6 months of age. 
  • Canines: Sometimes called eye teeth or fangs, your canines appear between 16 and 20 months of age. These four teeth are your sharpest and are shaped to grip and tear food. They also help guide your teeth into place when closing your jaw. Similar to a predatory animal’s teeth, canines are the longest teeth in your mouth and have the longest root.
  • Molars: Your biggest and strongest teeth, the large surface of your molars makes them perfect for chewing and grinding. They are the last teeth to break down your food before you swallow. Your molars begin to appear between 12 and 28 months of age and are replaced by premolars (bicuspids) when your adult teeth arrive.                                                                                                                                                           
  • Bicuspids: Sometimes called premolars, bicuspids are located between the canines and molars and appear around the age of ten. Baby molar teeth are replaced by adult bicuspids. These teeth are larger than canines and incisors and have flat biting surfaces perfect for crushing, chewing and grinding. 
  • Wisdom teeth: Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop and usually arrive between 18 and 20 years of age. Some people never develop wisdom teeth and others need them removed as they can cause overcrowding. If wisdom teeth are impacted (don’t fully emerge) they require removal. 

Every time we talk, eat or use our mouth to express our emotions our teeth are doing their jobs! Your job is to look after your teeth by brushing, flossing, eating healthy foods and visiting your dentist regularly. If you have any dental concerns or want help keeping your mouth and teeth healthy, call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959.

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

Copyright © 2019 Centennial Smiles Dental

New Patients (587) 317-7959

Existing Patients (587) 353-5060



Confronting Enamel Erosion

Enamel is the thin outer layer that covers the crown of each tooth and protects it from chewing, biting and grinding. It insulates your teeth from hot and cold temperatures and from chemicals. Enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body! That doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged. Enamel can erode.

Why worry about enamel erosion?

The loss of tooth enamel makes your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay, cavities, tooth loss, infection, gum disease and painful abscesses. Teeth deteriorate very quickly without their protective coating!

 What causes enamel erosion?

There are many factors that contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel.

  • Inadequate brushing: not brushing long, often and thoroughly enough or brushing too hard
  • Ingesting sugary, sticky foods and beverages: that become trapped between teeth (candy, dried fruit, cake, etc.)
  • Consuming acidic foods and beverages: that eat away at your tooth enamel (soda, coffee, citrus fruit, etc.)
  • Frequent snacking: provides more time and fuel for bacteria to create acid and attack your teeth
  • Lack of fluoride: a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen enamel and can reverse early tooth damage
  • Dry mouth: a lack of saliva to wash away food and plaque and counter the acid produced by bacteria
  • Worn dental devices: poorly fitting devices trap food allowing decay to begin beneath them
  • Heartburn: acid reflux can cause stomach acid to flow into your mouth eroding tooth enamel
  • Medications: such as aspirin and antihistamines
  • Eating disorders: frequent vomiting can cause erosion of the front teeth
  • Biting hard objects: such as bottle caps, pens, and fingernails
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth

How can I tell if my enamel is eroded?

The signs of enamel erosion vary. If you have several of the following indicators you may have damaged enamel.

  • Sensitivity: to hot, cold, and sweet foods and beverages
  • Transparency: teeth look transparent near the biting edges
  • Discolouration: teeth may appear yellow as enamel wears away and the dentin is exposed
  • Cracks, chips and cupping: the edges of the teeth become rough, irregular and jagged and small indentations appear on the surface
  • Severe pain: when enamel is deeply eroded even a breath can cause a painful jolt

How can I avoid enamel erosion?

It may sound bleak but there are many ways you can prevent or reduce enamel erosion. Brush twice a day with a soft bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. Change your brush every 3 to 4 months as new bristles remove plaque more efficiently. Floss daily and use a fluoride mouthwash. Use a straw to keep acidic and sweet beverages away from your teeth. Snack wisely; try an apple or sugar free gum. Sip on green or black teas as they inhibit bacteria and slow the growth of plaque. Reduce consumption of highly acidic foods or rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating them. Ask your dentist about sealants; a plastic material painted on vulnerable teeth as a barrier to protect against erosion. If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about a mouth guard. See your dentist regularly. She can detect erosion and assist before it becomes advanced.

What do I do if I already have enamel erosion?

If the damage is minor, your enamel will renew itself! Using the nutrients in saliva (phosphorus, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, magnesium, calcium) and fluoride from toothpaste, your teeth will regenerate a small amount of enamel through a process called remineralization. You can assist by eating foods that are high in these vitamins and minerals. If the erosion is more substantial, see your dentist. She will have advice on how to prevent further deterioration and repair damage. Sometimes tooth bonding is used to protect teeth with significant enamel loss. Your dentist may suggest crowns or veneers. 

Dental erosion affects everyone! Your dentist can recommend the right products and encourage good habits to help ensure your teeth remain strong and healthy. If you need advice about enamel erosion and dental health call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959.

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

Copyright © 2019 Centennial Smiles Dental

New Patients (587) 317-7959

Existing Patients (587) 353-5060



What you need to Know about Dental Numbness

Why does the dentist stick a needle in my gums? Why does my mouth feel numb? The answer to these questions involves dental anesthetic.

Some dental work (filling, crown, a root canal) requires a local anesthetic; a medication that is injected to numb the area being treated. The anesthetic stops your nerves from sending pain signals to your brain allowing you to be awake during the procedure without discomfort. 

Two kinds of dental injections:

A block injection numbs a large region such as one side of your mouth or your upper jaw. An infiltration injection numbs a small area, the location where the needle is inserted. That’s why sometimes your whole mouth feels “frozen” and sometimes only a small spot is numb. 

The steps of a dental injection:

Having a needle inserted in your mouth can be scary! Knowing what is happening can help reduce anxiety. The procedure for receiving dental anesthetic includes the following steps: 

  1. The dentist dries part of your mouth with air or cotton.
  2. A numbing gel is applied to the area where the needle will be inserted.
  3. The anesthetic is slowly injected causing a slight stinging sensation.
  4. Over the next 5 minutes, you begin to lose feeling in the area though you’ll feel pressure and movement. 
  5. After your treatment is complete, you slowly regain feeling – usually takes several hours.

Possible side effects of dental anesthetic:

Though dental anesthetic is very safe, there are mild side effects that may be experienced while the drug is wearing off. Watch for:

  • Tingling and minor pain at the injection site
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Twitching muscles
  • In rare instances, an allergic reaction that involve hives, tightness in the throat and swelling

Speeding up recovery:

Though dental anesthetic is meant to affect a small area of your mouth, occasionally it also numbs your lips, cheeks, and tongue making it difficult to smile, speak clearly or drink for a while after the procedure. There are a few simple ways to speed up the return of normal sensation.

  • Eat something soft and cold: gentle chewing increases blood flow reducing the duration of numbness – try ice cream!
  • Massage the area: increase blood flow by gently rubbing in small circles around the gums, jaw and mouth
  • Get active: movement raises your metabolism and speeds the return to normal sensation
  • Sleep it off: take a nap to take your mind off the numbness
  • Ask your dentist to give you OraVerse: a substance that reverses the effects of anesthetic – not recommended for children who are under 3 years old or weigh less than 33 lbs.  

Anesthetic can remain in your system for up to 24 hours. For a few hours after receiving dental anesthetic, refrain from operating heavy machinery, driving a car, watching children and making important decisions. It’s also wise to avoid alcohol for a least a day. These simple precautions reduce the possibility of experiencing difficulties due to the after effects of the anesthetic.

Dental anesthetics are a safe and effective way to provide comfort during dental procedures. However, receiving an injection can be scary and overwhelming. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the injection of anesthetics, talk to your dentist. 

For all your dental needs, questions, and concerns call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959.

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

Copyright © 2019 Centennial Smiles Dental

New Patients (587) 317-7959

Existing Patients (587) 353-5060



All About Dental Abscesses

A dental abscess is an accumulation of pus inside a tooth, in the gums, and/or in the bone that holds the teeth in place. Ugg! How unpleasant and yet anyone can have an abscess, from children to the elderly. 

Types of abscesses: 

There are two main types of dental abscesses: 

  • Periapical abscess: the most common type, occurs at the root of a tooth and is caused by an infection that has spread from a decaying tooth
  • Periodontal abscess: occurs in the gums and happens when gum pockets trap food and bacteria leading to infection

How does an abscess begin?

There are many factors that contribute to the formation of a dental abscess:

  • Poor oral hygiene: insufficient brushing leads to erosion of tooth enamel resulting in a cavity allowing bacteria to penetrate and cause infection
  • Trauma to a tooth: causing damage and allowing bacteria to enter
  • Unchecked gum disease: leading to bacterial infection
  • Consuming sugary and starchy foods and drinks: encourages formation of plaque leading to tooth decay
  • Previous dental surgery: bacteria can penetrate a tooth through a crown or a filling that is too close to the dentin
  • A weakened immune system: renders your body less able to counteract infection
  • Dry mouth: increases the risk of tooth decay

What are the symptoms of an abscess?

There are many signs and symptoms that point to the possibility that you may have an abscess.

  • Pain – when touching the area or when biting – can be intense, throbbing and/or radiate to the ear, jaw and neck. 
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes under the jaw
  • Sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks
  • A bad taste in the mouth or persistent bad breath
  • A discoloured or loose tooth
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Fever
  • Redness and swelling of the face
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Disruption of sleep – the pain intensifies when lying down
  • No symptoms at all! In rare occasions an abscess is found only when dental x-rays are taken

How do you treat an abscess? 

There are several options for treatment depending on the type of abscess you have and the severity of the bacterial infection.

  • Incision and drainage: a temporary treatment in which a small cut is made in the gum for drainage
  • Root canal: a hole is drilled in the tooth for drainage, damaged tissue is removed, and a root filling is inserted
  • Extraction: tooth is removed, usually when a root canal is not possible
  • Antibiotics: if the infection has spread to the jaw or into the body
  • Surgery: usually for a periodontal abscess – involves drainage, scaling and planning below the gum line, removal of the gum pocket and/or reshaping of the gum tissue

How to handle the pain of an abscess:

While you wait for dental treatment for your abscess, try the following tips for pain control:

  • Avoid hot and cold foods and drinks
  • Take over the counter pain medication
  • Eat soft, cool foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth
  • Avoid flossing around the affected area
  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush
  • Rinse your mouth 2 or 3 times a day with a salt solution made with ½ tsp salt in 8 oz. of water

How to prevent an abscess:

No need to worry! There are many things you can do to reduce the possibility of developing an abscess.

  • Brush twice a day with a soft bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.  Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months as new bristles remove plaque more efficiently. 
  • Floss daily 
  • Use a fluoride mouthwash
  • Use a straw to keep acidic and sweet beverages away from your teeth
  • Snack wisely: Try an apple or sugar free gum (the sweetener, xylitol, fights bacteria). Sip on green or black tea as they inhibit bacteria and slow plaque growth. 
  • Act after you snack: Drink water, brush your teeth or chew sugarless gum after snacking 
  • Ask your dentist about sealants: a plastic material painted on vulnerable teeth as a barrier to protect against bacteria and acid
  • See your dentist regularly: She can detect and assist with decay before it becomes an abscess.

A dental abscess doesn’t go away on its own! If left unchecked, the infection can spread to other parts of your body. If you have any symptoms of an abscess, see your dentist. She can stop the infection, repair the damage, and help you avoid severe complications. 

If you think you have a dental abscess or you want advice on how to prevent tooth decay, call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959.

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

Copyright © 2019 Centennial Smiles Dental

New Patients (587) 317-7959

Existing Patients (587) 353-5060



What Health Problems is Your Dentist Able to Detect?

A dentist isn’t just checking for cleanliness and decay. The can see signs of problems with your bones, heart and digestion! Your dentist may be the first to diagnose a health problem. So, what can your dentist detect?

  • Dementia: The confusion, loss of memory and disorganization of early stage dementia can lead to a lapse in your oral health routine. Your dentist can observe these changes, inquire regarding causes, inform your family, and refer you for assessment.
  • Heart Problems: Gum disease can cause inflammation throughout the body contributing to the development of plaque in the arteries and increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke. Your dentist can see the early signs of gingivitis and help you diminish these risks.
  • Diabetes: Loose teeth, a dry mouth and bleeding or receding gums can be warning signs of diabetes. Your dentist is able to detect these symptoms, instruct you on oral care and recommend testing.
  • Osteoporosis: a medical condition in which your bones become fragile as a result of hormonal changes or deficiency of calcium and vitamin D. Your dentist may observe the early signs of osteoporosis (receding gums and loose teeth) and refer you to your physician for a bone density test.  
  • Digestive Problems: Twenty percent of patients with inflammatory bowel disorder develop lesions/ulcers in their mouth before experiencing cramps and diarrhea. Noting these early signs, your dentist can inquire about your medical history, ask about medications and take X-rays. If they finds no dental reason for these symptoms, they’ll refer you to your doctor.
  • Eating Disorders: Bleeding gums, dry mouth and erosion of the front teeth may be signs of frequent vomiting and cue your dentist to the possibility of an eating disorder. After discussion, your dentist may refer you to a professional who can assist with this condition.
  • GERD a condition in which the stomach’s contents flow back into the esophagus. You may be unaware of the problem and the damage it’s causing until your dentist detects erosion of the upper back molars. They may refer you to your regular doctor for assistance.
  • Oral Cancer: The signs of oral cancer (sores, lumps or rough areas in the mouth, difficulty chewing and change in your bite) are often only detected during regular dental exams. If these symptoms are present, your dentist will refer you for an oral cancer screening.  
  • Kidney Disease: If your dentist notes dry mouth and a sweet or sour odor, they may suspect kidney difficulties and refer you to your doctor.
  • HIV:  If your dentist observes oral warts, lesions, or colored spots on your tongue and mouth, they may recommend seeing your primary care physician for a blood test to determine if you have the aids virus.
  • Stress: Seeing the symptoms of grinding, your dentist may recommend a night guard and suggest you seek counselling to reduce your stress.
  • Anemia: a condition in which the body has too few red blood cells. If the lining of your mouth is pale and your tongue is too smooth, your dentist may suspect anemia and refer you for a blood test.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: a progressive and disabling autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, swelling and pain in and around the joints and organs. If your dentist notices jaw swelling, an achy jaw, or inability to open your mouth widely, they may suspect rheumatoid arthritis and suggest you seek medical assistance.
  • Celiac Disease: an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine causing chronic diarrhea, abdominal distention, malabsorption and loss of appetite. If you complain of dry mouth and burning on your tongue, your dentist will look for enamel erosion. If all these symptoms are present, they may refer you for testing for celiac disease.

Your dentist sees much more than your teeth! They watch for changes in your mouth which indicate health problems allowing you to seek treatment quickly and ensure a successful outcome. Have regular dental exams!

If you are seeking a dental health professional to assist you in maintaining optimal overall health, call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959.

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

Copyright © 2019 Centennial Smiles Dental

New Patients (587) 317-7959

Existing Patients (587) 353-5060



How to Soothe Painful Mouth Burns

You know you should let it cool, but you just can’t wait! You take a gulp of your steamy coffee/tea/hot chocolate/soup or you take a huge bite of that gooey, cheesy hot pocket. Ouch! You’ve burned your mouth, your tongue, your gums, or all three! If you wish to ease the pain and speed the healing, you need to act quickly.

Simple steps to soothe the pain of a mouth burn:

  • Cool it: Get something cool in your mouth to relieve the pain and cool the burn. An ice cube, cold water, or a frozen Popsicle will work.
  • Coat it: Provide a temporary barrier to reduce irritation and soothe itching by gently coating the burn with honey, milk, yogurt or a mouth rinse containing aloe-vera.
  • Relieve the pain: Use over-the-counter pain medication to relieve discomfort.
  • Avoid irritation: For a few days, steer clear of foods that are sharp, crunchy, spicy, acidic, or salty (hot peppers, chips, raw carrots, tomatoes, citrus fruit, coffee, etc.). Avoid alcohol and tobacco products. Eat soft foods such as eggs, yogurt and warm (not hot!) soup.
  • Keep it clean: Brush your teeth gently. Use a salt water rinse 2 to 3 times a day. Make the rinse by dissolving ½ tsp. of salt in 8 oz. of lukewarm water.
  • Speed the healing: Help regenerate healthy skin and tissue by gently dabbing Vitamin E oil on the burn. Drink lots of fluids to keep the body hydrated. Support healing with a diet consisting of dairy products, quality protein, whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Talk to your dentist/doctor: If the pain persists for more than a week, the burn has not healed in 2 weeks or you are not able to eat or drink, talk to your dentist or doctor. Consult a medical professional if you have clear blisters, weeping skin, a dark brown area, fever, swelling, redness or pockets of pus.

Your mouth contains delicate tissues that are easily burned by hot foods and drinks. To avoid burns; give your meals time to cool, take small sips and bites, and blow on your forkful of hot food. If you still burn your mouth, it’s good to know there are some simple remedies to reduce your pain and speed your healing.

If you need advice regarding a painful mouth burn or you have need of a dentist’s counsel, call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959.  

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

Copyright © 2019 Centennial Smiles Dental

New Patients (587) 317-7959

Existing Patients (587) 353-5060



What You Should Know About Cavities

Your teeth are the hardest substance in your body but that doesn’t mean they can’t be damaged! When deterioration happens, your dentist utters those dreaded words, “You’ve got a cavity.”

What is a cavity?

A cavity is the most common oral disease. It’s a small hole in your tooth caused by the buildup of plaque (a sticky substance that grows on the surface of your tooth).  Plaque contains acid producing bacteria that eat away the enamel (the hard outer coating of your tooth). Eventually, the plaque penetrates the enamel and reaches the dentin (the second and more porous layer of your tooth). This is when you start to feel pain or sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks. If left unchecked, the bacteria will turn your dentin into a brown mush!

What caused my cavity?

There are many factors that can contribute to the formation of your cavity.

  1. Inadequate brushing – not brushing long, often and thoroughly enough
  2. Eating sugary, sticky foods and beverages that become trapped between your teeth (candy, dried fruit, cake, etc.)
  3. Eating acidic foods and beverages that eat away at your tooth enamel (soda, coffee, citrus fruit, etc.)
  4. Frequent snacking – provides more time and fuel for the bacteria to create acid and attack your teeth
  5. Lack of fluoride – a naturally occurring mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse early tooth damage
  6. Dry Mouth – a lack of saliva to wash away food and plaque and counter the acid produced by bacteria
  7. Heartburn – acid reflux can cause stomach acid to flow into your mouth wearing away tooth enamel
  8. Worn dental devices – poorly fitting devices trap food allowing decay to begin beneath them

How do I know I have a cavity?

When a cavity is just beginning, you may not have any symptoms. As decay progresses the symptoms become obvious. Sensitivity, discoloration, pain, a chipped tooth, swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath,  a bad taste in your mouth and a visible hole are all signs of a cavity.

How can I avoid getting a cavity?

No need to worry! There are many things you can do to reduce the possibility of developing a cavity.

  • Brush twice a day with a soft bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.  Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months as new bristles remove plaque more efficiently.
  • Floss daily
  • Use a fluoride mouthwash
  • Use a straw to keep acidic and sweet beverages away from your teeth
  • Snack wisely: Try an apple or sugar free gum (the sweetener, xylitol, fights bacteria). Sip on green or black tea as they inhibit bacteria and slow plaque growth.
  • Act after you snack: Drink water, brush your teeth or chew sugarless gum after snacking
  • Ask your dentist about sealants: a plastic material painted on vulnerable teeth as a barrier to protect against bacteria and acid
  • See your dentist regularly: They can detect and assist with decay before it becomes a cavity.

How do I repair a cavity?

Enamel can repair itself! If the damage is minor, enamel renews itself by using minerals from saliva (phosphorus, vitamin D, Vitamin K2, magnesium and calcium) and fluoride from toothpaste.  You can assist this remineralization by eating foods such as mushrooms, eggs, grass fed beef, salmon, broccoli, dairy and eggs and by brushing daily. If the damage has already penetrated the enamel, a filling is needed to seal and disinfect the cavity. You will need to see a dentist for this procedure which involves drilling away the decayed portion of the tooth and replacing it with a filling made of porcelain silver, gold or amalgam.

If you think you have a cavity or you want advice on how to prevent tooth decay, call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959.

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

Copyright © 2019 Centennial Smiles Dental