Frequently Asked Oral Health Question

At Bellesmere Dental, we're here to engage with our patients, addressing any inquiries they may have about their oral health and its upkeep.

If you would like to discuss any of the below questions in more detail or if you have any other dental questions, contact us!

Are you accepting new patients?

Yes, Bellesmere Dental continues to grow and accept new patients. Walk-ins and emergencies are also welcome. Call us to schedule your appointment.

Are bleeding gums a sign of a problem?

Bleeding after brushing or flossing can be unsettling. It can also be a sign of an otherwise mostly silent disease - periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a leading cause of tooth loss. It is a build-up of bacteria from plaque and tartar that can inflame or infect gum and bone.

Periodontal disease causes deep pockets in the tissue between the gums and teeth. This sometimes gives the appearance of puffy or receding gums. During dental exams, we routinely examine your gums. There are a number of treatments for bleeding gums and periodontal disease, including removing plaque and tartar below the gum line. These treatments, performed in a dental office, are called scaling and root planing. They allow the gum to heal and become healthy again. Our Bellesmere dentists recommend daily brushing and flossing as well as regular checkups and cleanings to help prevent periodontal disease.

Fillings: Silver or white... What's the difference?

Many of us who grew up before the time of fluoridated water have a mouth full of silver fillings. These fillings known as amalgams, have proven to be extremely durable restorations, but they are not very pleasing to the eye.

Fortunately, recent advances in dental materials have made it possible to use tooth-coloured filling materials. These materials can be virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth and are used to achieve long-lasting and attractive restorations. At Bellesmere Dental, we use tooth-coloured materials for almost all of the fillings that we place. We even use these materials to replace old amalgam fillings that have started to deteriorate or that simply detract from the appearance of our patient's smiles.

Can I replace an old crown that looks unnatural?

Many of our patients have asked us about replacing very old crowns that have deteriorated or crowns that do not blend well with their natural teeth. Our Scarborough dentists will ensure that the shade is matched and the crown is shaped precisely for a very natural, indistinguishable appearance that is also functional.

What's today's potential of cosmetic dentistry?

You may have heard a lot about cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry holds the promise of a brighter, more attractive smile.

Restoring the beauty of your smile through cosmetic treatments can do wonders for your sense of confidence. At Bellesmere Dental, we offer a wide range of treatments that can improve the colour of your teeth, repair chips and cracks, and cover dark stains. We can also help with crowded and crooked teeth.

If you have any questions about the appearance of your smile and the possibilities offered by cosmetic dentistry, contact us today!

What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

Having a tooth knocked out is one of the most serious dental emergencies. It can be caused by accidental falls, sports-related trauma, fighting, car accidents and even by biting on hard food. However, the damage can be fixed. If you act quickly, there's a good chance the tooth can be saved.

Immediately contact and get to a dentist right away when a tooth is broken or knocked out. If your dentist can put the tooth back in place within an hour, there's a good chance that the supporting tissues will reattach and hold the tooth in place.

If you can find the tooth after the accident or injury, bring it with you when you seek medical help. Pick the tooth up by the crown - this is the part of the tooth that you see in the mouth - and avoid touching the root end. Do not wrap the tooth in tissue or gauze or scrub the tooth. This will damage the delicate cells on the root needed to attach the tooth back to the gum. Place the tooth in a cup of milk (or water, if milk is not available) to keep it moist.

Remember: get to a dentist as quickly as possible. The chances of saving the knocked-out tooth are much greater if the dentist is seen within an hour.

Is it important to have an oral infection treated?

Sometimes the body's immune system will fight and heal infections on its own, but often it needs some help. When it comes to oral infections such as tooth and gum infections, only your dentist can make that call. This is why it is so important to have infections and abscesses examined by a dentist.

Oral infections are a serious health matter. Symptoms include tooth, gum, and jaw pain, lumps or pus-filled abscesses, and weeping or bleeding gums. Left untreated, they can affect your overall health.

Your dentist can diagnose an infection during an oral examination. They will feel your gums, gently tap your teeth, and take X-rays to determine the extent of the infection and whether it has spread.

If your dentist feels the infection is harmful, or your body is not fighting it effectively, they may prescribe antibiotics. Your dentist will also want to treat the underlying cause of an oral infection to prevent it from reoccurring in the future. Causes may include tooth decay, periodontal, or gum disease, tooth cracks, and weakened fillings.

Don't ignore the signs of oral infection. Practice good oral hygiene on a daily basis, and have your mouth and teeth examined by a dentist.

Do I have to floss every day? Is it important?

You may not realize it, but even when your mouth is clean, it is full of bacteria. These naturally occurring microorganisms like to eat even the smallest bits of leftover food particles; after doing this, they deposit a sticky residue on the teeth called plaque or biofilm. Plaque accumulates during the day, especially in places where your toothbrush can't reach. Left to harden into tartar (calculus), plaque build-up irritates your gums and can trigger inflammation and gum disease.

Sound like a nasty situation? It doesn't have to be. In fact, you can eliminate much of this plaque by carefully brushing and properly flossing every day. It's really that simple. Your toothbrush reaches the tops and sides of the teeth, while the floss cleans between the teeth, polishing them, and controlling bad breath. So, in just an extra minute or two, you've taken a giant step in the war against those bacteria.

Think of it this way, brushing is like washing the top of your car, while flossing is like cleaning the wheel wells and undercarriage. Only the latter helps to avoid rust!

How do I know it's time to come for a checkup?

Since no two people are alike, there is no standard answer to this question. We take the time to get to know each of our patients, including their past dental history, present condition, future needs and goals at checkups. We then customize a treatment plan for that individual's particular needs and goals, and the patient sees our hygienist for a comprehensive cleaning.

Studies show that anywhere from 70-90% of adults have some form of gum disease, requiring more frequent visits to ensure dental health. With new information linking gum disease to systemic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, it is more important than ever to keep your gums healthy and happy. Gum disease is very difficult to find on your own since often it is not painful. While daily brushing and daily flossing go a long way towards maintaining a healthy mouth, it's wise to check for plaque that has hardened into tartar; this condition requires professional cleaning to avoid gingivitis.

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