Here is some practical advice and helpful information for good oral health.

Concerned about bad breath?

Bad breath (halitosis) can be unpleasant, and let’s face it, embarrassing. There are several causes behind bad breath: cavities, gum disease, various foods, tobacco and even certain medical conditions can be involved. In healthy people, the main cause is microbial deposits on the tongue. Studies have shown that halitosis can be reduced by up to 70% by simply brushing the back of your tongue!

If you have persistent bad breath, it’s a good idea to discuss the matter with your dentist. There are many reasons for this condition, so it’s important to make the right diagnosis.

Are dental x-rays really safe?

The fact is, all of us are exposed to trace amounts of radiation every day. Dental x-rays are quite safe and are used only when necessary. By aiming x-ray equipment precisely at the area to be examined and using high-sensitivity digital film, your overall exposure to radiation is greatly reduced.

Still, as an extra level of protection, dentists continue to use the lead apron.

Can fillings be dangerous?

Right now, Health Canada does not limit the use of dental amalgams containing mercury. However, they do not recommend the use of amalgam fillings for children and pregnant women.

Research has shown that dental amalgam does not cause any specific problems for the general population. That said, we have known for some time that amalgam does release minute amounts of mercury vapour, especially while chewing.

For these reasons, and because there are other materials of equal or superior quality, we prefer to minimize the use of dental amalgams.

Is grinding your teeth that bad?

Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, is a common condition that usually occurs during sleep. However, it should be taken seriously as it can cause dramatic tooth wear, leading to cracks and increased sensitivity. Furthermore, your ability to chew properly may deteriorate and acute problems with the temporomandibular joint and headaches may follow.

Grinding your teeth is something you most definitely want to discuss with your dentist. Left untreated, it can lead to root canals, crowns and even tooth loss. Bruxism can be controlled by stabilization, or by wearing an occlusal guard at night to protect your teeth. See your dentist if you’re a grinder!