Information is the first line of defense. At Woodcreek Dental Care, we want you to be knowledgeable about your options in dental care and what you need to do to preserve your oral health. Here are some of the topics we get asked about most often:
Accidents happen in the playground, on the hockey rink, at the skate park, in cars and on bikes. Mouthguards should be worn to protect teeth during contact sports. In your first aid kit, include the following items to help you in a dental emergency:
Saline solution or a packet of salt and a bottle of water
A small, lidded container (like a pillbox)
Ibuprofen (not aspirin which may cause excessive bleeding)
Your Woodcreek Dental Care phone number (403-238-2872)
If an accident loosens the tooth, push the tooth into position, bite down to keep it in place and either visit our office or the emergency room. We may be able to keep the tooth in place by fixing it to the adjoining teeth.
If the tooth is knocked out, do not touch the root – this may damage the part of the tooth we need to re-implant the tooth. Then,
Handling only the crown, to put the tooth back into its socket.
If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, don’t let the tooth dry out. Place it in a small container with saline solution, low-fat milk or saliva.
Get to our office as quickly as possible – the sooner we get the tooth back into the socket, the more likely it can be saved!
Reducing Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity stems from a variety of causes including TMD, acidic foods, tartar-controlling toothpastes and whitening treatments. Visit us at Woodcreek Dental Care to rule out any serious underlying issues. We can apply sealants or offer desensitizing ionization and filling materials to reduce sensitivity and recommend desensitizing toothpastes.
Treating Ulcers or Canker Sores
Canker sores in the mouth are painful and difficult to treat. We can recommend some medications which will offer pain relief, but a course of these medications must be started as soon as you begin to feel the symptoms. Left on their own, ulcers or canker sores usually subside and vanish within a couple of weeks.
Nourishing Healthy Teeth
Dieting, allergies and lifestyle choices cause many people to restrict their diets. Even if you choose to avoid animal proteins in your diet, you should still be able to maintain the levels of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12 and complete proteins to keep your teeth healthy.
You may want to discuss your diet and the impact of your diet on your teeth at your next dental exam. If we see signs of deterioration in your teeth and gums due to inadequate levels of Vitamin D and calcium, we will recommend the addition of cod liver oil, nutritional yeast, green leafy vegetables or vitamin and mineral supplements to support your oral health.
Protecting Your Mouth During Cancer Therapy
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are facing the prospect of radiation, chemotherapy or bone marrow transplants, visit us, if possible, before therapy begins. It is best to treat any pre-existing oral health issues since cancer therapy often causes oral complications. Nearly all patients receiving radiation for head and neck cancers, more than 75% of bone marrow recipients and nearly 40% of patients receiving chemotherapy experience side effects including severe tooth decay, dry mouth (due to dysfunction of the salivary glands) and mouth sores.
Promoting Healing After Tooth Extraction
Usually, people who’ve undergone a tooth extraction feel no more than a mild soreness in the area. In a very small percentage of cases, the blood clot that should form over the bone where the tooth was extracted does not form properly, dissolves too soon or is displaced, leaving the bone and the nerve exposed, and causing intense pain. This condition is called dry socket and it can be prevented.
Women taking oral contraceptives run a higher risk of dry socket after wisdom tooth extraction, so we recommend that you schedule extractions during the last “placebo” week of your menstrual cycle when estrogen levels are lower.
In addition, following tooth extraction, all patients should avoid:
Drinking through a straw – the suction can dislodge the forming clot
Rinsing the mouth too often – this can also dissolve or displace the clot
Protecting the Teeth of Competitive Swimmers and Divers
While swimmers and divers don’t run the same risks of oral trauma as soccer, hockey or football enthusiasts, they do face some unique challenges. Competitive swimmers may be shocked to find stubborn discolourations, called “swimmer’s calculus” on their front teeth due to the alkalinity and antimicrobial additives in pool water. Woodcreek Dental Care offers several whitening options, including stain-resistant porcelain veneers to keep you smiling on the winners’ podium.
It is especially important for scuba divers to keep up with their schedule of twice-yearly dental exams and maintain good oral health. Tooth squeeze is pain radiating from the centre of the tooth and occurs when large cavities, cracked fillings, gum disease and ongoing root canal therapy are subjected to the changes in pressure during a dive. Biting down on an ill-fitted mouthpiece can cause pain in the jaw joint and gum lacerations. If this pain lasts more than a few days, you should come in to Woodcreek Dental Care for a TMD assessment. Dr. Hartley is an experienced diver and can help you enjoy your sport again.
Treating Burning Mouth Syndrome
Occurring most commonly among middle-aged or older women, burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is characterized by a scalding sensation in the mouth or on the tongue and lips. The sensation may be constant or intermittent and may be accompanied by tingling, changes in taste and dry mouth; the pain may also cause anxiety, depression and a withdrawal from social contact.
The first step in diagnosing BMS is to rule out severe medical conditions such as anemia, leukemia, diabetes, candida or yeast infections or vitamin deficiencies. If your BMS is not from any of these causes, your Woodcreek Dental Care dentist may suggest sugarless gum or mints, avoidance of hot or spicy food and frequent drinks of water to relieve mild symptoms. In more severe cases, antifungal medications, antibacterials, pain relievers, vitamin and mineral supplements, antihistamines, benzodiazepines, anti-depressants and hormone replacement therapy have been found useful.
Need more information? The following websites are useful resources: