July 17th, 2018
People who have diabetes are usually familiar with many of the other health risks they face, including damage to the nerves, eyes, heart, and kidneys. But did you know that if you have diabetes you also have a much greater chance of developing gum disease? It's true, and like other diseases related to diabetes, the risk potential severity of gum disease is directly related to how well blood sugar is controlled.
In diabetics, there are two primary mechanisms that increase the risk of developing gum disease, also called periodontal disease:
- Bacterial growth: Bacteria love sugar including the glucose found in blood and bodily fluids. Elevated levels of sugar in saliva can provide a very hospitable environment for bacterial growth. The risk may be elevated if your gums bleed.
- Circulatory changes: In diabetes, the blood vessels become thick, making it more difficult for blood to carry oxygen to the gums and to carry away harmful waste products. This decrease in circulation can weaken the mouth's natural resistance to decay. If you smoke, circulation can become even more compromised, significantly increasing your risk of periodontal disease.
Preventing Gum Disease
If you're diabetic, the number-one key to preventing gum disease is to make sure you do all you can to keep your blood sugar under control. In fact, studies show diabetics who have excellent control of their blood sugar levels have no more risk for gum disease than those who don't have diabetes. Here are some other tips to keep your gums healthy:
- Floss your teeth gently, curving the floss so it can gently reach just below your gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Rinse your mouth when you're done flossing.
- Use a soft-bristle brush to brush teeth twice daily, using small circular motions. Avoid pressing too hard on tooth surfaces.
- Brush your tongue gently to remove germs that can hide there.
- Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash to kill germs that are hard to reach.
- Keep track of how well your blood sugar is controlled and let Drs. Tom Holmes, Gordon Lansdown, Karen Nesbitt, Nick Cosman, Brett Empringham, and Patrick McDonough know at each visit.
- Be aware that having diabetes may mean it takes you longer to heal after undergoing oral surgery.
Most importantly, be sure to visit our Kingston, ON office for regular checkups and tell Drs. Tom Holmes, Gordon Lansdown, Karen Nesbitt, Nick Cosman, Brett Empringham, and Patrick McDonough about your diabetes so you can be sure to get the care you need. Follow these steps, and you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for years to come.
July 10th, 2018
Dental emergencies are bound to come up when you have young children. Drs. Tom Holmes, Gordon Lansdown, Karen Nesbitt, Nick Cosman, Brett Empringham, and Patrick McDonough and our team want to you to be prepared in case you run into a difficult situation. Problems can vary, from minor gum irritation to knocked-out teeth. Take a look at the different possibilities and how you can handle them.
Depending on the age of your child, there are common things to watch for when it comes to his or her teeth. Starting from a young age, your son or daughter may experience teething pain. This starts at about four months and can last up to three years.
Teething may cause your little one to become irritable and more prone to drooling due to tender gums. This is very common in young children who are teething, and can be alleviated by giving them a cold teething ring or by rubbing their gums with your finger.
Teething pain is as normal as your child’s first set of teeth falling out. On the other hand, if a baby tooth is knocked out in a forceful accident, make sure you bring him or her into our Kingston, ON office to check that other damage hasn’t occurred in the mouth. On occasion, permanent teeth may grow in before baby teeth have fallen out. This may not cause any discomfort, but Drs. Tom Holmes, Gordon Lansdown, Karen Nesbitt, Nick Cosman, Brett Empringham, and Patrick McDonough should make sure the teeth are growing in properly. Catching teeth that are coming in incorrectly can prevent issues from arising in adulthood.
If you’ve noticed your child’s gums bleeding often, this could result from a number of things. Bleeding gums may be an early sign of periodontal disease, which is caused by poor oral hygiene when it appears in children. Excessive gum bleeding can also occur when children brush their teeth too hard, or suffer an injury to their gum tissue.
If bleeding is continuous, rinse your child’s mouth with warm salt water and apply light pressure to the area. If you become concerned about the amount of blood, contact our Kingston, ON office and we will schedule an appointment for your youngster as soon as possible.
Depending on what type of dental issue your child is experiencing, you should make sure to treat it quickly and properly. If you have questions or concerns about what you can do to help your son or daughter develop better oral hygiene habits, ask Drs. Tom Holmes, Gordon Lansdown, Karen Nesbitt, Nick Cosman, Brett Empringham, and Patrick McDonough for tips during your next appointment.
Don’t forget: As a parent, you can provide the best education to your children on the importance of proper oral hygiene by setting a good example.
July 3rd, 2018
At Cataraqui Dental Centre, we see a lot of patients who are concerned about their bad breath, also known as halitosis. So today we thought we would educate our patients about what you can do to keep your pearly whites clean and your breath minty fresh!
Naturally, good oral hygiene on your part is the first step. With proper brushing and flossing you can keep halitosis in check. Even though you may have done an excellent job of brushing and flossing your teeth, if you fail to brush your tongue, you may still have bad breath. Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in your mouth. Certain foods, medications, smoking, sinus issues, or even gum disease can cause bad breath.
Besides proper brushing and flossing, bad breath can be prevented if you:
Stop smoking/chewing tobacco-based products: Ask Drs. Tom Holmes, Gordon Lansdown, Karen Nesbitt, Nick Cosman, Brett Empringham, and Patrick McDonough and our team for tips on kicking the habit.
Keep your mouth hydrated: Because a dry mouth typically leads to bad breath, drinking water or eating oranges or celery may help.
Visit our Kingston, ON office for regular dental checkups: By visiting Cataraqui Dental Centre at least twice a year, you will keep bad breath at bay. Drs. Tom Holmes, Gordon Lansdown, Karen Nesbitt, Nick Cosman, Brett Empringham, and Patrick McDonough will conduct an oral exam and will be able detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
June 26th, 2018
There are a few dental treatments that Drs. Tom Holmes, Gordon Lansdown, Karen Nesbitt, Nick Cosman, Brett Empringham, and Patrick McDonough and our team recommend for all patients to get if they wish to protect their oral health. Sometimes it’s hard for patients to decide which treatment plan would be best for their teeth. Learn about these three must-have treatments and how they can help protect your teeth in various ways.
First, get a professional dental cleaning every six months. Regular cleanings can protect you from potential gum disease because they enable us to catch it early.
Cleanings also will get rid of plaque and tartar that have collected on your teeth over time. Oral health has been linked to your body’s overall health. We recommend scheduling your appointments in advance: Feel free to contact our practice’s Kingston, ON location if you forget when you scheduled your next visit. Our staff will be happy to assist you.
We also recommend that all our patients at Cataraqui Dental Centre receive a complete periodontal exam each year. You can ask about this during your regular, scheduled cleanings.
It’s a quick and painless procedure in which our hygienist probes each tooth to make sure the bone and soft tissue are healthy. If there’s a sign of infection, we will be able to treat it effectively before painful symptoms kick in.
Many adult patients are unaware that they have periodontal disease, and they may suffer the loss of a tooth if it goes untreated. Make sure you schedule a periodontal exam each year and save yourself a lot of time and pain.
We also recommend dental sealants, particularly to protect your molars. Many people assume this treatment is just for kids to prevent cavities, but it can be used for adults too!
Sealants provide a protective barrier on your teeth that can help block against the buildup of plaque in those hard-to-reach areas in the back of your mouth. If you received sealants as a child, chances are they’ve worn off over time.
So if you want to save dental costs over the long haul, we recommend getting sealants again for cavity protection.
Drs. Tom Holmes, Gordon Lansdown, Karen Nesbitt, Nick Cosman, Brett Empringham, and Patrick McDonough and our team hope you take our advice when it comes to your oral hygiene and schedule regular appointments for your dental cleanings. We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!