What is Gingivitis and What to Do to Prevent It

Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? Is it sore or outright painful when you eat? Do you have bad breath that mouthwash doesn’t cover up? Are your gums red or purple and swollen? Do they feel squishy, like a gummy bear? Do your gums look like they are receding? It’s very possible you have gingivitis.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of tissues around the teeth (also known as your gums or gingiva). When it first starts, you may not even notice it. It is the very early development stage of “Periodontitis”. The gums become red and painfully swollen at this stage. Eventually it gets to the point where is causes bleeding when you floss or even brush your teeth. It can also cause sleepless nights with an aching mouth.

How to know if you have gingivitis?

These are the symptoms of gingivitis that will help you know if you have one:

  • Swollen and Red Gums
  • Pain
  • Frequent Gum Bleeding
  • Receding Gums
  • Halitosis or Bad Breath
  • Fever (Early Stage)
  • General Feeling of Being Unwell
  • Bleeding on Tooth Brushing

What are some causes of gingivitis?

Poor oral hygiene is a primary cause of gingivitis. Bacteria build up around your gum line, causing a sticky plaqueto form on your teeth. If you don’t remove it, it hardens into tartar which in turn irritates the gums, causing them to inflame. This is why adequate brushing and flossing is required!

Did you know that regular smokers get gingivitis more often than non-smokers? Harmful substances such as nicotine and tar from cigarettes (or chewing tobacco) get introduced into the body. It should be no surprise that these can cause stains on teeth, halitosis, gum problems, oral thrush, cancers, cavities or tooth decay, etc. Nicotine also interferes with how our body responds to bacteria as it impairs thebody’simmune functions.

Hormone changes during puberty, menopause and the menstrual cycle can also cause sensitivity in the gingiva.

Pregnancy is another possible cause. As stated by PubMed.gov, ovarian hormones such as estrogen and progesterone rise at this stage causing pregnant women to be more likely to experience gingivitis. It is said that gingivitis generally occurs to 60-75% of pregnant women, but if they practice good oral hygiene in the beginning of pregnancy, the rate will only be 0.3%.

Nutritional Deficiency is also a possible cause. Lack of good nutrition can affect one’s health causing various health problems including gingivitis. Vitamin C deficiency is linked to gum disease (think scurvy).

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) leads to a higher risk of gingivitis. Having HIV is a serious matter, it reduces the immune system’s effectiveness which affects all the body systems. The mouth will be a good indication if you have an immunodeficiency through observing it. At an early stage of HIV, several symptoms will show up especially in your mouth.

  • Dryness of Mouth & Cavities
  • Oral lesions
  • Thrush
  • Gum Disease/Gingivitis
  • Hairy Leukoplakia (A condition causing white lesions, or patches, on the tongue)
  • Periodontitis
  • Oral Cancer

These symptoms might give you a sign whether you have existing HIV or not. But, the most effective way in knowing such is to get tested and you’re off to go. Getting tested is far more reliable than doubting yourself.

Medications may also lead to gingivitis. Drugs like anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, and immunosuppressants can cause gingival overgrowth. Make sure that the next time you visit your dentist, you mention ALL medications and supplements you are (or were) taking.

Diabetics have to be even more careful. If you’re diabetic and you accidentally brushed your teeth hard, you could cause your gums to become inflamed or swollen. Because you have high levels of blood glucose, it can take significantly longer for your gingivitis to heal. This is because decreased blood circulation makes it hard for the body to repair wounds. If you are diabetic and suspect gingivitis, you should seek medical assistance right away.

Stress is linked to suppressing the immune system which will affect the general functions in the body which can lead to gum disease.

How do you treat gingivitis?

  • The cure starts within you. Always make to brush your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and at night. Be smart in choosing toothbrush as their textures could differ.
  • Soft bristled toothbrush is highly recommended. When brushing your teeth, don’t scrub too hard as it will irritate the swollen gums and may cause bleeding.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
  • Flossing is also a good way to deep clean your teeth and gum line.
  • Stop smoking. This is a very important advice for all smokers, your oral health is not just in danger, you are prone to lung cancer and other health risks.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is imperitive. It sounds like such a simple thing, but it can be one of the easiest things to help ensure good health.

As part of proper oral hygiene, visiting your dentist every 6 – 9 months is highly advisable. If you have multiple factors affecting your risk of gingivitis, it may be recommended that you come more often.

If you have pain or bleeding in your mouth or think you have gingivitis a check up and cleaning may be all it takes but we’ll be able to put you on the path to proper oral care.

Give us a call at 587 317 7713 Or CLICK HERE to contact us


4 Simple Practices For Healthy Tonsils

Tonsils don’t get enough credit that they deserve. Even as one of the body’s first barrier against bacterial and viral infections, they seldom get the spotlight. These low-profile clusters of tissues reside on both sides of your throat, at the back of your tongue, and behind your nose. They work 24/7 while staying behind the scenes to shield you from nasty germs.

Sure, your tonsils can do well on their own, but this organ also suffers a painful irony–they can still get infected when exposed to contagion or upon contact with Streptococcal bacteria. Want to take extra precautions and be proactive in your health? Read on to discover simple ways to safeguard your tonsils.

Stay hydrated

Water is, indeed, life. But in this case, drinking plenty of fluids keeps your mouth moist, thus preventing bacteria from living in your oral cavity. A dry mouth is a place where bacteria thrive. The lack of saliva allows microbes to take shelter in plaque build-up and decaying teeth. Drinking your prescribed water intake maintains salivary flow. With enough saliva, acids produced by bacteria become neutralized, and bacterial growth is effectively hampered.

Proper oral hygiene

Your tonsils will have a harder time keeping the germs and bacteria at bay if your mouth is the ground zero of bacterial formation. To improve your mouth’s defenses against filthy microorganisms, a combination of flossing, mouthwash, and thorough brushing is highly recommended.

When brushing, aim your toothbrush bristles at a 45 degree angle to your gum line and make gentle circular strokes. You might be wondering, “What does brushing have to do with my tonsils?” Remember the tasty snack you had a while ago? Some of its remnants are still in the crevices of your teeth. Without flossing and frequent brushing, the scrumptious sandwich you had an hour ago might be the new headquarters of bacteria. Also, choosing an excellent anti-bacterial mouthwash goes a long way to helping keep your entire mouth clean.

Say no to Nicotine

If the repercussions of smoking to your lungs are not enough, maybe knowing the effects of tobacco on your tonsils might sway you. Cinamon, Goldfarb, and Marom of the International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology concluded that heavy smokers are more prone to chronic or recurrent tonsillitis plus the added risks of developing Peritonsillar abscesses or pus-filled tonsils.

Aside from making your teeth prone to bacterial build-up, tooth loss and discoloration, smoking irritates your tonsils–not just the two Palatine tonsils at the side of your throat. Pharyngeal tonsils (adenoids), located behind your nose, and lingual tonsils, situated behind your tongue, are equally affected when smoking. Your body’s immune system weakens as your lymphoid tissues making you more susceptible to bacterial infection. Think about your precious tonsils. Don’t make their job harder than it already is.

Book dental cleanings at least 2 a year

 When was the last time you’ve booked a dental cleaning appointment? If you haven’t visited your family dentist for a thorough cleaning, your tonsils might be in grave danger. Brushing alone is not enough to shield your teeth from plaque build-up. Bacteria could be hiding in plain sight. In between your teeth, microbes could already be destroying your teeth while they take shelter in your cavities. As explained earlier, the more plaque and bacteria-riddled your teeth and mouth are, the greater risk you put your tonsils in.

Final thoughts

 Remember that while it’s simple to take care of your tonsils; brush, floss and gargle regularly, developing complications are equally easy. You’re not just doing this for your tonsils. The benefits of the habits mentioned let you have holistic oral health and a healthier life.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment or have questions for us please click here or call us at 587 317 7713

Common oral infections that can damage your teeth and health


Many people are just ignoring the fact that they need to take proper care of their oral health. Improper hygiene, vices and physical contact are just some of the causes of the infections that can occur within the mouth. Being aware of what’s going on with your mouth is one of the most important things to know.

very decayed teeth caused bacteria
bacteria cause massive tooth decay

    Massive Tooth Decay

This blog will empower you with knowledge and inform you about the common infections that may occur in your mouth

Tooth decay: also called dental carries or cavities. Imagine your teeth are breaking down due to acids that are caused by bacteria. If you are experiencing pain whilst eating, or are noticing pits in the tooth surface, the chances are you already have tooth decay. It may still be reversible if you catch it is time. Regular flossing and brushing along with dental cleanings and checkups can help prevent having to fill a cavity.

Gingivitis: this is the baby brother of periodontitis, and if you let this one slide, you’re probably going to regret it. Gingivitis is caused by plaque that becomes attached to your tooth surfaces. Regularly going to your dentist for teeth cleaning is important as they will remove the plaque for you. Better yet is practicing good oral hygiene, especially flossing to make sure the areas your brush can’t reach get properly cleaned. Don’t ignore gingivitis as it could cause your teeth may fall out in the future. Isn’t five minutes a day worth the investment?

Gingivitis can cause extreme pain and cause issues with your teeth
Gingivitis can cause extreme pain and cause issues with your teeth

Gum Disease: a.k.a. periodontal disease, this one makes your gums more inflamed than gingivitis and affects the tissue around your teeth. The tissue pulls away from the tooth leaving pockets where particles can get trapped, causing an infection. If you have ignored your gingivitis before, I suggest that you not let this one pass. If you are having troubles with your gums already, you should go visit your dentist immediately.

Cold Sores: a.k.a. oral herpes is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are names for every herpes infection that occur in your body. Oral herpes is a very visible infection that occurs on your face or in your mouth. If your lip starts itching or maybe you already have fever blisters, chances are good this is a cold sore. Cold sores may take two to four weeks to disappear. While the cold sore is present, you’ll probably feel pinching-like pain at the affected area. Herpes will usually let itself show for a period of time with some active cases, but it will also decrease depending on severity. There are medicated creams that can help speed the process of healing the outbreak. Herpes is not limited to cold sores so watch out for unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain, and headaches as the first symptoms to be concerned about.                                                                                          

Taking care of your oral health is simple and easy. Brush after meals and before bed and floss once or twice a day. There are many electric toothbrushes that can help make this a light task. There are also many aids to make flossing less of a bother as well. Having bad oral health is not something to be proud of and can cause far-reaching health issues. Start to change this pattern now, come in and see us for your checkup.


We’d be happy to help put you back on the road to a healthy, happy smile.

Give us a call at 587 317 7713 or Click Here to contact us.



How to Relieve the Pain from a Toothache

Barbers used to be how to relieve the pain of toothaches
Barbers used to be how to relieve the pain of toothaches

How do you relieve the pain from a toothache is an age old question. Many people know the excruciating pain a toothache can cause. Toothaches have been going on for centuries. And back then, the speediest remedy was simply to go to the barber (yes, the barber) and have it pulled. Some people have gone to extreme measures by trying to pull the tooth themselves to get the pain to stop.

Some people even believed tiny worms were the culprit for toothaches and removed them with wax and seeds. To relieve toothache pain It was told that one shaman, from a time long ago, used a nail and a wooden beam . The tale doesn’t say how the patient faired.

Keep in mind, those people back then didn’t have the modern technology or even the knowledge that’s available today. So, to their credit, they had to get…creative. Obviously, these are not the best approach to relieve toothache pain.

The good news is that none of those methods are a concern for you if you have a toothache today! Your dentist can now treat your aching tooth through a variety of dental innovations.

And they can also provide several types of dental sedation if visiting the dentist gives you anxiety.

If you’re suffering from a toothache, there’s no need to continue to be in pain! Until you can get in to see your dentist, there are a variety of tooth and gum numbing agents you can use for temporary relief. You can also take a pain reliever to calm the tooth until your appointment time.

Want to know more? West Airdrie Dental is pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to you and your child forming good dental habits. Why not get your copy now? The Smart Patient’s Guide to Wisdom Teeth, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.


Also, for additional information, make an appointment, or have a question answered, you’re more than welcome to call us at West Airdrie Dental at 587 317 7713 or click here to visit our website.

5 Fun Ways to Get Your Child to Brush Their Teeth

Ah, bedtime with young children. The time when some children would rather eat Brussels sprouts than brush their teeth. It can be frustrating for you, as a parent to get your kids to brush. In fact, some parents just bypass it altogether.

While it’s easy to dismiss baby teeth because they’ll fall out anyway, it’s important to remember baby teeth are placeholders for permanent teeth and are necessary. Should an infant develop cavities, they are both painful and potentially expensive to fix. And, you want to teach your child dental habits they’ll carry for a lifetime. Skipping the night-time brushing is not the example to set.

So, if you have to brush your teeth anyway, why not create a fun game out of it? Your child learns fun, lifelong habits for good dental hygiene and you don’t have to struggle to get them to brush twice a day. It’s win-win!

Here are 5 fun ways to get your child to brush their teeth:

When in Doubt, Ask Google:

There’s no doubt we live in a digital age. Consult the almighty internet for existing games that focus on good oral hygiene. With the popularity of kid-friendly television networks already devoting shows and storylines to brushing and flossing, it shouldn’t be hard to find an app or online game made by one of your child’s favorite shows that you can use at home!

Tap into Your Inner Mozart:

There’s a reason that most young children love watching TV. A lot of the songs are catchy (you may even find yourself humming one or two throughout the day). Are there any words or lyrics that you can modify to create the perfect tooth brushing tune? Keep in mind, you aren’t going for one of the Top 40 on the music charts. Just something you and your kiddos can use to make tooth brushing fun.

Superhero tooth
Superhero tooth

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night:

Kids love stories (most adults do, too). With all of the super-heroes being so popular now, why not create your own super villain or Cavity-Fighting Caped Crusader! Involve your child in the storytelling process. Who knows what a swashbuckling toothbrush wielding pirate can accomplish!

Grab Your Egg timer:

Everyone should brush for two full minutes (one minute up top, the other minute on the bottom teeth), regardless of whether you’re young or young at heart, . Set your kitchen egg timer (or stopwatch) for one minute (for each side) and make up a funny dance, keep a race-car style commentary on how the toothbrush is rounding the top of the gums, whatever you can do to entertain your child for that 60 seconds. There are even digital toothbrushes on the market that play music for the duration that your child needs to brush.

A Little Sibling Rivalry:

Don’t forget the power of the brother or sister! Turn your bathroom into a Battle Royal for Brushing. Are there “cavity creeps” lurking in the corners of your child’s mouth they need to find and destroy before their sibling finds theirs? A sticker or just a pat on the back goes a long way towards encouragement to get your child to brush their teeth.

Do you have your own special method for getting your kids to brush? Comment below and share it with us!

In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to you and your child forming good dental habits. Why not get your copy now? Getting Started With Your Child’s Oral Health, A Parent’s Guide, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.

For more information, make an appointment, or have a question answered, you’re more than welcome to call us at West Airdrie Dental at 587-317-7713  or click here to visit our website.

West Airdrie Dentists Talk About Where You Keep Your Toothbrush

You’ve probably heard the story about toothbrushes and toilets. The theory goes that even if it is several feet away, airborne germs from a toilet flush will infect your toothbrush with fecal bacteria. It sounds pretty scary, and many people now make sure to close the cover of their toilet before they flush.

The problem is that this attitude causes people to miss the real source of worrisome germs—the brush itself. Studies have found that your toilet is one of the cleaner parts of your house, but as your toothbrush spends a lot of time removing bacteria, it ends up coated with it. Now if you have a strong immune system you should be fine, but keeping your toothbrush away from the toilet is not an effective way to keep it hygienic. What the bacteria on your toothbrush really need in order to thrive is moisture.

So if you really want to avoid germs on your toothbrush, the best thing you can do is keep it dry.

If you’re curious about other ways to have a healthy mouth, that’s where West Airdrie is an expert! Click here or call 587-317-7713 (New Patients) or 403-980-0404 (Existing Patients) and let’s talk about what‘s on your mind. We’re always happy to help!