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All Posts in Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

It’s Not Too Late to Straighten Your Teeth

KANATA AND OTTAWA, ONTARIO – It’s common for adults to think of tooth alignment as a teen issue. You might think wearing braces as a 30-, 40- or even 50-year-old is undesirable, but traditional braces aren’t your only option for alignment. Straighter teeth will improve your self-esteem and your dental health, and it’s probably not too late to flash a picture perfect smile.

Kanata dentistry professionals Drs. David Bartos and Mark Northcott can straighten healthy teeth at almost any age with Invisalign. Invisalign can correct a variety of aesthetic and bite issues, and you can schedule an appointment with our Ottawa family dentistry office to see if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign treatment.

Invisalign v. Traditional Braces
Invisalign and traditional metal braces do a good job of aligning your teeth, but the treatment experiences can vary greatly. Invisalign aligners are made of clear, smooth plastic, similar to clear retainers used at some orthodontic offices. Treatment length is largely dependent on the severity of your case. Generally Invisalign patients finish treatment faster than traditional orthodontic patients, and Invisalign patients don’t need to come in for visits as often as those with metal braces.

The main and most obvious difference between Invisalign and traditional braces is the ability to remove aligners. Invisalign allows you to straighten your teeth while you live your life. You can take them out to enjoy a delicious meal or to wow a potential partner. You can also clean your teeth and gums easily. Traditional metal braces contain brackets, wires and sometimes even springs that can inhibit your brushing and flossing. These crevices created by braces can also trap pieces of the food you’ve eaten, and those food particles can harbor bacteria and decay.

Your Invisalign Treatment
The road to Kanata Invisalign treatment is simple and painless. First, you meet with a certified Invisalign provider such as Dr. Bartos or Dr. Northcott. You can begin treatment once you’ve been deemed a good Invisalign candidate. At that time your doctor will take impressions, photos and X-rays of your teeth to generate a 3-D replication of your smile. This specialized software will show you how your teeth will gradually move throughout your treatment.

You will receive your complete aligner set at the start of treatment, and you’ll be in charge of switching to a new set every few weeks. This control allows you to see your doctor less often, and you’ll be encouraged to see your teeth moved easily into place. Most Invisalign patients see their dentist about every six weeks to ensure the process is going smoothly.

Better Oral Health for Better Overall Health
Straight teeth are easier to keep clean, which means you’ll be less likely to develop cavities and gum disease in the future. Bacteria left in the mouth can lead to many health issues, including gum disease, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Our oral health affects the rest of our bodies; therefore a healthy mouth leads to a healthier body.

Ideally your bite, or the way your teeth fit together, will be harmonious. A disrupted bite can hurt your temporomandibular joint and cause unwanted stress in your jaw. These TMJ issues can cause pain, decreased jaw mobility, headaches, neck pain and earaches. Discordant bites, such as overbites and underbites, can wear down the enamel on your teeth. These problematic bites also put stress on your TMJ and disrupt normal jaw function. Your chewing and digestion could also be hindered by overbites, underbites and crossbites. Open bites, which occur when the top and bottom teeth don’t touch, can make it hard for you to eat, and they can also contribute to speech impediments. Many times Invisalign can correct these issues and improve your jaw function.

You no longer need to be embarrassed about crooked, crowded or overly spaced teeth. Contact our office today for an Invisalign consultation. Trillium Dental also offers Kanata cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening in Ottawa, dental veneers, bonding and gum contouring.

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5 Ways To Prepare For Your Next Dental Appointment

OTTAWA, ONTARIO- At Trillium Dental, we strive to make routine dental appointments as simple and convenient as possible. Our staff is friendly and our offices are designed with your comfort in mind. With this said, there are five easy things you can do to ensure your visit with us is as smooth and relaxing as possible.

Thoroughly brush your teeth and floss.
We are staffed with a skilled team of trained dental hygienists who use professional tools to remove stubborn plaque and tarter. However, a smile that’s freshly cleaned by you streamlines your appointment by reducing the hygiene portion of the visit. When there’s less food debris for hygienists to remove, they can quickly address issues you cannot, like stubborn plaque and tartar buildup and administering professional-strength fluoride treatments.

Of course, we encourage you to implement a diligent dental hygiene routine long before your appointment with us!

Have payment information prepared.
Our Ottawa area dentists want you to focus on your dental health during your visit, not stressing about insurance policies or what payment methods we accept. We encourage patients to get acquainted with our guidelines prior to their appointment. To learn more about our financial policies, visit our patient information page.

Arrive early.  
While we prefer our patients to keep things on schedule by arriving on time, our reason for this tip isn’t to avoid tardiness. Patients who are scurrying to make their appointment are often frustrated, frazzled and anxious. Arriving a few minutes early will help you relax and give you plenty of time to carefully complete important paperwork, if necessary. It’s our goal to maintain a calm and anxiety-free office environment for everyone to enjoy.

Explain dental problems.
Being open with our dentists about dental problems will help us better determine an optimal diagnosis and treatment. If there are any new developments in your teeth, gums or jaw since your last visit, it’s important to let us know. If alerted to a problem, your dentist will be able to resolve it before it becomes more problematic and requires further treatment.

It’s also beneficial to be honest about your overall health when filling out our medical history form at your first appointment. General and dental health are closely linked. Providing important details about your history will give us added insight about your dental health.

Be honest about anxieties.
At Trillium Dental, we desire for you to feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair. That’s why we incorporate advanced dental technologies and personalized treatments into daily practice. If you feel anxious about a treatment, let our dentists and hygienists know. We will consider your fears when determining the best course of treatment.

Industry advances have made dentistry more comfortable than ever before. There’s nothing to be scared of. However, we offer multiple sedation options for the comfort of our patients.

Trillium Dental is a provider of comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry services in the Ottawa area, including Invisalign, teeth whitening and dental implants. We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

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Spring Cleaning For Your Smile

KANATA, ONTARIO- Spring and its traditional cleaning rituals are just around the corner. When sprucing up your garage and kitchen, don’t forget about your teeth and gums! Attending routine dental appointments is the best way to ensure your smile is as fresh as the spring air. Here’s some important information regarding routine visits at Trillium Dental.

What can I expect at a routine dental appointment?

A regular visit with us at Trillium Dental is enjoyable and personalized to satisfy your unique dental health needs. These appointments are recommended two to four times each year and focus on achieving good oral hygiene and detecting developing problems. From the moment you enter our doors, our goal is to make your experience as beneficial as possible. We are staffed with a team of elite dentists in the Kanata area to provide you with unsurpassed care.

Your appointment will begin with our experienced team of dental hygienists. We’re equipped with the tools and expertise to thoroughly clean teeth above and below the gum line and in areas where you may not be able to. Plaque and tartar buildup often occurs in these tricky corners, but stubborn bacteria-harboring substances are removed by our skilled hygienists. A thorough cleaning will also remove some extrinsic stains, leaving you with a more brilliant and healthy smile. Our hygienists will instruct you on proper oral hygiene techniques. Good oral hygiene is vital to enjoying a lifetime of strong dental health.

An example of our modern approach to general dentistry, our Kanata and Ottawa area offices use DIAGNOdent laser technology to painlessly identify minuscule, developing areas of tooth decay not easily visible to the naked eye. Such early detection allows for extraordinarily quick and minimally invasive restorative treatment.

We may apply a professional strength fluoride treatment at your appointment. Although fluoride can be found in many over-the-counter oral care products, professional doses are highly concentrated and offer the best defense against tooth decay, sensitivity issues and enamel erosion. We use a pleasant tasting fluoride varnish that sets quickly for your convenience. Because fluoride levels vary with each patient, our team will determine if a professional treatment is needed at each appointment.

After your teeth are brushed, flossed and beautified, your dentist will evaluate every area of the mouth while taking into account your unique health issues and risk factors. There is a protocol we follow to ensure every patient’s smile is free of dangerous conditions, however. At each appointment, our dentists check for:

  • Oral cancer
  • Tooth decay and root decay
  • TMJ and bite problems
  • Gum disease and irritation
  • Tooth surface damage

If you have dentures or have undergone procedures such as dental implants, we’ll also check on the condition, comfort and fit of these appliances.

On occasion, your dentist may deem it necessary to take X-ray images of your smile. These images offer exceptional clarity about the condition of oral structures not visible to the eye, which is vital to maintaining excellent dental health. X-ray images are the ideal diagnostic tool. We use the latest in digital radiography to reduce radiation exposure and determine an optimal course of treatment.

What if it’s my first time?

No matter if it’s your initial routine appointment with us or your first professional cleaning ever, care from a dentist is always beneficial. Our friendly staff in each of our eight Ottawa area locations aims to make your experience with us as convenient and simple as possible. That’s why we provide important information regarding your first appointment on our website.

We require all patients to complete an medical history form that can be emailed to us prior to their initial visit. Oral health and dental health are closely linked, so the existence of certain medical conditions will affect our treatment approach. For example, patients with diabetes are at an increased risk for gum disease.  Once we are informed of your medical history, we will keep the information in mind for all future visits. At Trillium Dental, our methods are personalized to you.

Check out the “Patient Information” page of our website to learn more about our payment and insurance policies.

Here’s a quick tip: arrive at your appointment with a freshly-brushed teeth. Good oral hygiene is always important, but visiting us with a clean smile reduces hygienic work on our end and allows for your dentist to better spot developing problems.

Why are routine dental appointments so important?

Now you know what to expect at your routine dental appointment, but here’s why it’s important: regular professional care is essential to achieving truly healthy teeth and gums. Only professionally trained dentists and hygienists possess the insight, expertise and tools to detect developing dental health issues before they manifest in your smile. That’s why routine exams are often referred to as “preventive care”- they prevent dental conditions from developing or worsening.

Your wallet, not just your dental health, enjoys the advantages of early detection through regular preventive care. When tooth decay or gum disease strikes and progresses, it may require extensive treatment to remedy. In severe cases, tooth loss, tooth abscess and further infection can occur. Such situations call for restorative dentistry solutions like bridges or implants to repair. Do your smile and your bank account a favor- don’t skip routine dental appointments.

The wellbeing of your gums is just as significant as your teeth. In fact, the condition of gums is a window into your general health. There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that gum disease is strongly linked to conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, low birth weight and Alzheimer’s disease. The American Heart Association even found that one professional cleaning can lower the risk of heart attack by 24 percent!

The mouth is an ideal environment for bacteria growth and a gateway to the bloodstream. It is widely believed that inflamed and bleeding gums transfer oral bacteria to other areas of the body, contributing to or exacerbating existing conditions. A healthy smile supports a healthy body. The best way to prevent gum disease, tooth decay and other issues is through good dental hygiene, which can’t truly be achieved without the help of a dentist. At each routine appointment, our dentists and hygienists remove bacteria-harboring plaque and tartar to provide a healthy and clean oral environment.

At Trillium Dental, we encourage you to commit to your dental health not just in spring, but all year round. Adequate hygiene routines, smart food choices and regular visits with us will ensure your teeth and gums stay in prime health.

Do you have additional questions regarding what a routine dental appointment entails? Contact us. Our friendly staff is eager to address any concerns and make you feel at ease. For comprehensive preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry, trust Trillium Dental.

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Not Eating Your Veggies?

STITTSVILLE, ONTARIO- Not surprisingly, what you put in your mouth affects your oral health. What you don’t put in your mouth may have an even greater impact.

Have you been skimping on your vegetables lately? Vitamin deficiencies can manifest in your smile. It’s important to incorporate a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Adequate nutrition plays a major role in your dental health as well as your overall wellbeing. Because oral health is not isolated from the rest of the body, evidence of malnutrition can be found in many areas of the mouth, including the teeth, gums, tongue, lips and cheeks.

At Trillium Dental, a provider of family dentistry in Stittsville, we encourage patients to take note of changes in their mouth. It may be your body’s way of signaling it needs more of a particular vitamin or mineral. Check out how nutrient deficiencies may impact your smile:

Vitamin A or C- A weakened immune response, bleeding gums, poor sense of taste and oral yeast infections are signs of a vitamin A or C deficiency. Load up on broccoli, kale, spinach, leafy greens, carrots, strawberries, citrus, papaya, peaches and red peppers.

Vitamin B2- A lack of vitamin B2 in your diet may translate into lips of an unusually red hue, sores around the mouth and an achy tongue. Eat plenty of broccoli, spinach, lentils and almonds.

Vitamin B3- Overall mouth pain, mouth sores and a swollen tip of the tongue could be an indication you need more vitamin B3. Eat more shrimp, lean ground beef, liver, potatoes and avocados.

Vitamin B6- Is your mouth burning and sore, or is your tongue unusually smooth? Add more vitamin B3 into your diet by enjoying broccoli, spinach, tomato juice, watermelon, bananas, chicken breast and white rice.

Vitamin B12- A shortage of vitamin B12 can show in various ways. Foul breath, mouth sores, fissures on a bright red tongue, dry mouth, impaired taste, bleeding and numbness all point to a vitamin B12 deficiency. Consume foods like poultry, meats, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk.

Vitamin D- Sufficient vitamin D is vital to enjoying good oral health. Some research even suggests vitamin D is more effective at preventing cavities than fluoride. Eat eggs, fatty fish, fortified milk and liver to reduce your chances of experiencing oral yeast infections, tooth softening and increased bleeding in the gums.

Calcium- Calcium promotes strong bones, so it’s no surprise that a lack of it may cause loose teeth, softened teeth and bleeding gums. Try adding more cheese, milk, yogurt, salmon and spinach into your diet.

Magnesium- If your gum tissue is inflamed, eat more artichokes, halibut, green beans, cashews, sunflower seeds, spinach and broccoli for added magnesium.

Zinc- A zinc deficiency can equate to dry mouth, increased vulnerability to gum disease, a numb tongue and a weakened sense of taste. Stock up on spinach, lentils, peas, tomato juice, lean ground beef, lean sirloin steak, plain yogurt and Swiss cheese.

Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing. It’s important to follow the recommended servings of each food group to ensure you aren’t consuming too much of a particular nutrient. Taking a daily vitamin supplement may be more convenient and easier to measure your intake. Consult with your doctor if you have special dietary needs.

We encourage you to fuel with the right foods to nourish your smile and body. If you spot sudden and unusual changes in your mouth, contact us. Your smile is a window into your general health. Our team of talented dentists can detect and alert you of serious health issues that may extend outside of dentistry.

In addition to keeping tabs on your dental health and overall wellbeing, our Stittsville area cosmetic dentists provide a broad scope of dental solutions, including Invisalign, dental implants and teeth whitening, in the Ottawa, Nepean, Kanata and Orleans areas. Call us to learn more.

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“Combat Gum” To Battle Cavities in Soldiers

NEPEAN, ONTARIO- There’s a new weapon in the battle against tooth decay- and it’s minty fresh. The United States Army has unveiled its newest creation: “combat gum.”

After seven years of development, the Army is confident its specially formulated, anti-cavity gum will improve the dental health of soldiers stationed in regions where running water is scarce. Such environments make implementing a proper oral hygiene routine a challenge.

The United States spends more than $100 billion on dental services each year. That’s according to the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, which recognized the need for an on-the-go way to keep troops’ teeth and gums healthy. They hope their peppermint-flavored gum, designed to be chewed 20 minutes after meals, will save millions in military dental care expenses and boost the overall health of servicemen and women.

The military says dental emergencies are to blame for more than 10 percent of disease-related soldier evacuations.

So, what makes this gum so special? Combat gum contains an anti-microbial peptide that battles plaque, cavities and gum disease. Chewing gum also stimulates saliva production, which is essential to fighting dry mouth, rinsing away plaque and mineralizing the tooth’s protective enamel layer.

Clinical trials for combat gum start this month. If successful, the gum will be given to soldiers who are considered “high risk,” meaning they have three or more cavities or decaying teeth. Developers of combat gum hope it will, eventually, be available for over the counter purchase at a rate of $2 a piece.

Meanwhile, you don’t have to be in the U.S. Army to partake in the dental health benefits of gum. Keeping a few sticks of gum on hand is a great way to freshen up your breath and dental health after meals. Chewing any sort of gum produces saliva, but make sure you choose a sugar-free variety. Bathing teeth in sugar will increase your risk of decay.

Combat gum, or any gum, is not a replacement for proper brushing and flossing. Nothing beats an adequate oral hygiene routine. Stick with your toothbrush and save the gum for those on-the-go moments. Be sure to implement regular professional dental care, too.

When was the last time you had your teeth professionally cleaned and examined? If it’s been more than six months, contact us at Trillium Dental. Our Nepean area dentists provide helpful dental hygiene tips and care to ensure you leave with a truly healthy smile.

Trillium Dental is a trusted provider of comprehensive dental solutions, like Invisalign, restorations, dental implants and cosmetic dentistry in the Nepean area. Contact our friendly staff  to learn more.

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Three Health Reasons to Replace That Missing Tooth

STITTSVILLE, ONTARIO- Most can agree a smile void of a few teeth isn’t the best look, but the top reasons to seek tooth replacement aren’t strictly aesthetic. Did you know failing to replace a missing tooth endangers the health of your smile?

Many Canadians have lost one or more teeth due to a dental condition, mouth trauma or years of poor diet or hygiene habits. We at Trillium Dental, a trusted provider of family dentistry in the Stittsville area, urge you to swiftly replace teeth after they are lost. Here are three reasons why we suggest this:

Mesial Drift
Mesial drift refers to the tendency for teeth to shift naturally toward the front of the smile. This occurs because of the forces at play when we chew food. When a tooth is missing, mesial drift elicits the surrounding teeth to dramatically tilt into the space where the tooth once existed. As teeth continue to shift, they fall out of proper alignment. Trillium Dental does offer Invisalign to correct certain cases of malocclusion, but we’d prefer that you avoid the problem all together.

Should a missing tooth cause surrounding teeth to migrate and become misaligned, it affects more than your smile’s appearance. Overlapping, crooked teeth provide the perfect trap and hiding spot for food particles. If missed by the toothbrush and floss, lingering plaque increases your risk of cavities, gum irritation and bad breath.

Super Eruption
When there’s no opposing force for a tooth (oftentimes a molar) to press against, super eruption can take place. This occurs when a tooth rises out of its socket toward the space where its opposite once existed, leaving a portion of its root exposed and increases sensitivity to especially hot or cold temperatures.

The phenomenon of super eruption typically doesn’t occur unless a tooth has been missing for a few years, but you’ll know when it does. A super erupted tooth looks painful and negatively impacts the appearance of your smile.

Gum Disease
When a tooth goes missing, gum disease is more likely to strike in multiple ways. Once a tooth is lost, the portion of the gum which once supported the tooth is left exposed to dangerous bacteria from lingering food particles. Rapid shifts in teeth caused by mesial drift can irritate gums. The gums around the root of a super erupted tooth can also grow inflamed.

Signs of gum disease include swelling, redness around the gum line, sensitivity, bleeding and gum recession. Gum disease is a bacterial infection shown to elicit a variety general and oral health repercussions, so be sure to promptly seek help if you suspect your gums are infected.

How We Can Help
Our dentists can restore your smile using proven treatments, like dental implants and bridges. Our restorative services include the popular “Teeth in a Day” procedure, which grants you a healthy and beautiful smile that’s natural in appearance in literally one day. These solutions are permanent and require the same amount of maintenance as natural teeth.

All procedures are performed by skilled professionals in a relaxing setting. For your comfort, nitrous oxide and oral and IV sedation options are available. It’s our goal to return your smile back to complete health and appearance while you remain at ease.

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Ring in the New Year with a Dazzling New Smile

KANATA, ONTARIO- Have you spent much of 2013 being embarrassed about your smile? Trillium Dental’s cosmetic dentistry services can help you ring in the New Year with confidence.

Located in Ottawa, Stittsville, Nepean, Orleans and Kanata, our cosmetic dentists are just around the corner and capable of transforming your smile through advanced techniques and remarkable expertise. With such viable solutions available, achieving a dazzling smile is an easy New Year’s resolution to fulfill.

Here’s a quick overview of our cosmetic dentistry services:

Invisalign: Although not suitable for every patient, Invisalign straightens misaligned teeth through a series of clear plastic aligners. The average treatment time is only one year, and the aligners are virtually invisible.

Gum Contouring: For patients with “gummy” smiles or an uneven gum line, we use gentle lasers to painlessly reshape the gums. A small adjustment to the gum line can make an incredible improvement in your appearance. Better yet, gum contouring only requires one appointment.

Ceramic Restorations: It’s possible to have a mouthful of metal without braces. Many adults have silver restorations, known as amalgam. We remove outdated amalgam fillings and crowns and replace them with tooth colored, ceramic based restorations. They’re virtually indistinguishable from real tooth structure and more effective.

Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers drastically improve facial aesthetics. Thin sheets of porcelain are bonded to teeth to create a bright, beautiful and stain resistant smile. Your dentist will ensure the veneers fit your teeth perfectly and appear completely natural.

Teeth Whitening: Trillium Dental offers the popular Zoom whitening system. Powerful whitening gel and light from a specially designed lamp combine to brighten teeth up to eight shades.

Take steps toward becoming the best version of you possible. Our cosmetic solutions are proven to deliver life-changing smile transformations. All treatments are performed in a relaxing environment by skilled professionals. For your comfort, sedation options are available.

 

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Five Big Reasons to Quit Biting Your Nails

KANATA, ONTARIO- Nail biting is a common societal pet peeve, but your teeth are fed up with the habit, too. The frequent practice of nail biting can inflict serious health and aesthetic issues on teeth and gums, not to mention fingernail mutilation. Dr. Bartos and Dr. Northcott from Orleans family dentistry practice Trillium Dental explain five reasons why it’s best to kick the nail biting habit for good.

1. Nail biting can damage dental work and promote teeth movement. Your fingertip may appear to be harmless, but constant gnawing has been shown to shift teeth, cause gaps (known medically as Diastemas) and trigger root reabsorption. The curious phenomenon of root reabsorption occurs when a part of the tooth’s root becomes absorbed by the bone securing it. In short, refrain from nail biting if you’d like to avoid another round of braces.

2. Nail biting can crack and chip teeth. Few things are more painful than a pulsating toothache, but that’s exactly what might happen if your teeth incur a fracture from biting a tough fingernail. Front teeth usually bear the nail biting brunt, but they aren’t engineered to withstand the constant chewing like molars. Because of this, noticeable chips and painful cracks commonly occur.

3. Nail biting puts gum tissue at risk. The mouth and hands are easily the most germ-concentrated areas of the body. When these are combined, it can make for a few nasty consequences, including gum infections. Sharp edges from chipped or pointy fingernails can slash gums, providing a gateway for an army of potentially dangerous bacteria. Be good to your gums – keep fingernails out of the mouth.

4. Nail biting can spike dental bills. The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that nail biters pay $4,000 more in dental repairs than patients who don’t bite their nails. Enough said!

5. Nail biting can cause bad breath. Our hands are covered with germs, and nail biting ushers those germs inside the mouth. The assortment of oral bacteria, germs and residue from finger foods combine to brew an unpleasant taste. To ensure your breath stays fresh, brush the teeth and tongue twice daily, use an antibacterial mouthwash regularly and stop biting those nails.

Kicking any habit is tricky, but with a few simple tips and good old-fashioned determination, everyone can achieve their goals. For the ladies, try keeping finger nails polished and pretty. This will help by giving you a stylish reason to cease the destructive biting. Guys can pick up bitter tasting nail care products formulated for this purpose at many drug stores. If it’s the chewing sensation you crave, opt for a sugarless gum and keep it handy for when those urges set in.

Patients who have experienced damage to their teeth or gums as a result of habitual nail biting can rely on Kanata dentists Dr. Bartos and Dr. Northcott, who administer a range of general and cosmetic services at Trillium Dental’s five area locations. Popular services include Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, dental implants and porcelain veneers. Cracks and chips can also be corrected quickly and comfortably.

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Research Shows Possible Link to Cardiovascular Health And…Mouthwash?

KANATA, ONTARIO- Once simply known as a provider of tingly fresh breathe with a bacteria-killing bonus, mouthwash is now being associated with cardiovascular health benefits. Research conducted by the Biomedical Development Corporation wasn’t purposed to hunt for a mouthwash-heart health connection, but findings implied that those who use an oral mouth rinse once every day experienced lower levels of “LDL,” or bad, cholesterol.
The study suggested that mouthwash containing the active ingredient iodine might help to cleanse the arteries. Iodine’s positive effects on health have long sparked curiosity in the medical community, with evidence showing that the naturally-occurring chemical can remedy thyroid issues and bolster the immune system.

So, what do these findings mean to the average dental patient? Ongoing trials are necessary to solidify the claims made in the study, but the discovery reinforces the argument that oral health and cardiovascular health are strongly intertwined. In short, ridding the mouth of harmful bacteria through mouth-washing, brushing and flossing is key to enjoying good overall health.

There’s ample evidence to suggest that poor oral hygiene can induce Endocarditis, an infection of the heart’s inner lining triggered by a bacteria buildup manifested in another part of the body, like the mouth. Excessive plaque and periodontal disease is also believed to be a factor in cardiovascular disease, due to the infection and inflammation oral maladies can generate.

Consequences of bad dental health don’t end at the heart. Links to various illnesses and inadequate oral hygiene exist, such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Periodontal disease and jaw bone loss is widely considered a major risk factor for these health issues.

Knowing well that a healthy smile can indicate a healthy body, Kanata general and cosmetic dentists Drs. David Bartos and Mark Northcott at Trillium Dental are dedicated to administering outstanding teeth cleaning and comprehensive oral care to their patients in the greater Ottawa area. Ottawa dental implant providers also provide viable smile solutions such as porcelain veneers, invisible retainers and sedation options. To discover more about Ottawa dentistry and how to better your oral and general health, consult with the professionals at Trillium Dental.

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Screen for Oral Cancer as Part of Your Oral Hygiene Routine

KANATA AND OTTAWA, ONTARIO – There are many different types of cancer, and the Canadian Cancer Society reports 29 percent of all Canadian deaths in 2009 were due to cancer.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and in an effort to raise awareness about this disease our Ottawa family dentistry team encourages you to pay attention to any changes in your mouth, gums, lips and cheeks.

Our team provides general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry in Kanata. We can help restore missing teeth with dental implants, we thoroughly clean your teeth and gums at every regular appointment and we carefully screen each patient for oral cancer.

According to the Canadian Dental Association, in 2003 about 3,100 Canadians were diagnosed with oral cancer and the disease claimed 1,090 Canadian lives. The five-year survival rate for oral cancer is 63 percent, according to Health Canada. This means that 63 percent of patients diagnosed with oral cancer are still alive five years after their diagnosis. We don’t want you to be next. You are an important part of your oral health, and keeping a close watch over your lips, gums, teeth, cheeks and tongue may even save your life.

Learn the Most Common Oral Cancer Symptoms

If you know the common symptoms of oral cancer you can better protect yourself. When you go through your daily oral hygiene routine, check for the following warning signs: Use your finger to trace your lips, gums and cheeks to check for any swelled lumps. Sores are often signs that something is wrong in your mouth, especially those that last longer than two weeks. Note the color of the sores as well; are they white, red or a combination of the two colors?

You may also notice ear pain, numbness, tenderness in your face or mouth, frequent oral bleeding, a prolonged sore throat, trouble chewing or swallowing food, changes in the way foods taste, trouble talking or moving your jaw or even extreme weight loss. Has your bite changed? Do you notice a difference in the way your teeth fit together? All of these symptoms could be warning signs of oral cancer. Bring any of these symptoms up to your dentist at your next appointment.

Identify Your Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Tobacco use greatly increases your risk of developing oral cancer. If you smoke or use smokeless tobacco, consider how much healthier you’ll be if you quit. Quitting tobacco will improve your dental health, your skin, your heart health, your lungs and your circulation. You are also approximately six times more likely to develop oral cancer if you drink alcohol to excess.

Too much sun can increase your chances of developing oral cancer. Protect your lips with an SPF fortified lip balm or by wearing a hat that blocks sunlight from your face. If you’ve had oral cancer in the past, or if someone in your family has had oral cancer, you have higher risk of developing the disease. The presence of HPV has also been linked to increased oral cancer risk.

You can develop oral cancer at any age, though your risk increases dramatically after you hit 45. Your diet may also contribute to developing oral cancer, so be sure to eat a diet full of vegetables and fruits to help prevent cancerous cell growth. Men also get oral cancer more frequently than women.

Understand Prevention and the Importance of Routine Dental Care

There are ways for you to thwart the onset of oral cancer. Limit your consumption of alcohol and protect your face and lips in sunlight. Quit tobacco and eat a balanced diet. Learn the common symptoms of oral cancer and be aware of any changes to your oral health.

You have a better chance of surviving oral cancer the earlier you receive a diagnosis. Dentists are often very important in diagnosing oral cancers in patients, which is one reason why routine dental care is so essential to your total body health. You should visit the dentist at least twice a year to make sure he has adequate time to diagnose oral cancer. If you are at higher risk, your dentist may want to see you more often than twice a year. Regular screenings ensure that we catch any cancer faster, which gives you more time for treatment and increases your chances of survival.

 

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