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

Calculating Risks in Dental X-Rays

Dressed in white with a smile so bright, dentists are one of society’s modern-day heroes. Whether it’s a toothache getting on your nerves, swollen gums, or a sore jaw, your dentist is the one to call. One of the instruments dentists rely on to help solve your problems is the dental x-ray. These machines enable your dentist to see past the dense matter in your mouth and examine the deepest crevices of the teeth unseen by the naked eye. Simply put, dental x-rays are to dentists as x-ray vision is to Superman. Even the Man of Steel himself needs a little help from his superhuman abilities to catch crooks hiding in plain sight and beneath the walls.

However, the convenience brought by dental x-rays is accompanied by possible unintended consequences. Wherever there are x-rays, radiation inevitably follows. How safe are dental x-rays? What could possibly go wrong when having your pearly whites examined in dental x-rays? Whose mouths can be scanned by these machines? If you’re gritting your teeth to have these questions answered, read on.

The Perils of Radiation

While these handy dental machines can help sketch that radiant smile on your face, using them without prudence can cause unwanted consequences. Just like any other x-ray machine meant for examining different parts of the body, dental x-rays also emit x-radiation. This is a type of high-energy electromagnetic radiation known for its use in medical imaging. When taken in excessive amounts, x-rays can be detrimental to the body. Despite being set to emit low-level radiation, cumulative exposure to dental x-rays pose threats to one’s health.

If you’ve had countless visits to the dentist to get your teeth scanned, you don’t have to worry. Your dentist knows what they’re doing. Keep in mind how necessary it is to have a dental x-ray scan. If you’re having doubts, always ensure your x-ray only emits a low-level type of radiation and consult your dentists on the frequency of such examinations.

Rest assured that at West Airdrie Dental, we only use digital X-rays which produce the lowest possible dose of radiation

Who Needs to Take Extra Caution?

Make no mistake; everyone should be wary when it comes to dental x-ray examinations. There are those, however, who have to be more vigilant than others.

For pregnant women, x-rays are a big NO. Despite the low-level x-rays these machines emit, pregnant women should stay away from dental x-ray examinations whenever possible. This is why female dental patients must inform their doctors whenever they are expectant of a newborn. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Depending on the gravity of the pregnant woman’s dental condition, x-ray examinations can be permissible with utmost caution from her dentist. Extra care and diligence have to be observed as pregnant patients have their dental health and the health of their fetus hanging on the balance.

Children are also among those who need extra care when having their teeth x-rayed. As growing and developing individuals, excessive exposure to x-rays may alter the growth and formation of their facial bones and teeth.

In Conclusion

Biting off more than you can chew never ends well and the same can be said for dental x-rays. While these machines can come in handy for dentists who come to the rescue in our mouth’s excruciatingly painful moments, it always pays to avoid throwing caution to the wind.

Click here to contact us at West Airdrie Dental or call us at 587 317 7713

How Flossing Can Save Your Money… 

How Flossing Can Save Your Money…

It’s a known fact that about 35% of the tooth surface is missed being cleaned if you’re not flossing. As a direct result of that, you have a better chance of developing cavities.

Cavities, left untreated, can become even more dangerous to your mouth. They can eventually need more work done on them, such as a root canals, replacement crowns or worse, pulled!

Obviously, these extra trips to the dental office and the additional work that will need done takes money out of your pocket.

It just makes sense that if there is a way to prevent these higher costs from needing done, why would you not do it?

A report published in 2005, by the Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) showed that children who had their first dental checkup before the age of one, that by their fifth birthday, some of them had dental care costs 40% lower than their peers! It also showed that in areas where the emergency room is used instead of regular dentist visits; some dental care costs could be as much as ten times higher!

So how can you save money by flossing? Simple – teach your kids to brush and floss regularly and properly.  You can prevent substantial dental issues from arising in the future. In fact, a toothbrush and some dental floss are probably the cheapest tools you’ll find to preventing your kids from repeat emergency dental procedures in the future!

This is also great advice for the adults in your family too!

In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to 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.


Also, for further 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.

What’s the Big Deal About Flossing? 

If you’re like most dental patients, you might think brushing by itself does a good job when trying to ward off cavities. Certainly, brushing twice a day is extremely important when it comes to good oral hygiene. But, the problem is, you’re not reaching the cavity causing bacteria if all you do is brush. The fact is, you miss cleaning 35% of your tooth surfaces if you aren’t flossing.

Sure, you know a toothbrush gently removes the plaque from your teeth through the use of toothpaste and fluoride. But the toothbrush bristles can’t reach where most of the plaque likes to hide.  – in between your teeth and under the gums! This is exactly why flossing is such a big deal.

Dental Floss IS a Big Deal!

Flossing is necessary to maintain a healthy smile
Flossing is necessary to maintain a healthy smile

If you’re flossing properly then you’re reaching those tight cracks and spaces in between your teeth and under your gums. These are the areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Plus, with less between your teeth, the fluoride in your toothpaste can reach in there and do more to protect what was previously blocked by plaque.

If you’re not sure how to floss properly, any dental hygienist or dentist should be able to give you instructions on the proper way to floss. If they can’t…you should find a new dentist!


It just can’t be stressed enough how important flossing is to the overall health of your mouth.


In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to forming good dental habits. Why not get your copy now? THE SMART CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO: How to Make Sure You Choose the Right Dentist, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.


Also, for further 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.

Your Questions Answered About Teeth Whitening Done at Home…

“All the statistics in the world can’t measure the warmth of a smile.” – Author Unknown


Getting whitening has been an easy choice for so many people.


As hard as it may be to believe, most people are admiring their new brighter smile within days, not weeks or months of their treatment. Sometimes within hours, depending on the type of treatment you’re getting! What’s even better is, during treatment you’ll be able to go about your day to day activities without any major changes to your routine.


Here are the 3 most asked questions when it comes to whitening your teeth:


How Long Will Your Teeth Stay White?

The effects of whitening are thought to last up to three years.  However, this will vary from person to person.  The effect is less likely to last if you smoke or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth.

What Are the Side Effects?

Some people experience these more common side effects:

  • Their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment
  • They have discomfort in the gums
  • Their throat may feel sore a sore
  • White patches may appear on the gum line

These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing.  If any of these side effects continue or you determine there’s something else related to your whitening, ask your dentist even though you didn’t have it done at the office.

The Opalescence system
The Opalescence system


There are many home whitening kits available. The Opalescence system is one that is highly recommended and supported by West Airdrie Dental.  Feel free to ask one of our staff for more information on our take home kits.




In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to 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 further 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.

Your Mouth and Mountain Dew? Why This is a Problem…

Our friends to the south, way, across the border, south in the far most Southern region of the United States are surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains and have a long proud history. In fact, that’s where a lot of the bootlegged liquor came from during Prohibition. And it’s also home to the beginnings of NASCAR racing.


During that time of prohibition, many who made this moonshine home-brewed alcohol referred to is as “mountain dew” after that particular mountainous region.  A couple of brothers, Barney and Ally Hartman of Hartman Beverage first bottled a beverage called Mountain Dew and received a copyright for that name in 1948. After a sequence of events, it was eventually purchased by the PepsiCo Company in 1964.


Any sugary drink can lead to rotting teeth if not taken care of.
Any sugary drink can lead to rotting teeth if not taken care of.

If you’re not familiar or don’t live in that part of the United States; you may not realize how prevalent the beverage is in their everyday lives and culture. Some drink it instead of water. Daily.  The constant drinking of the sugary beverage has led to an outbreak of truly rotten teeth and the term “Mountain Dew Mouth”.


Some politicians have tried various methods to get people in that region of the US to drink more water and less Mountain Dew.


Over the years, drinking soda (or pop as it’s known in some places) has become increasingly popular. And “Mountain Dew Mouth” can be attributed to any soda. The high sugar content will take its toll is consumed on a regular basis.


If you’re “addicted to soda” or maybe just have a smile you aren’t happy with; the good news is there are ways to reverse the effects of previous bad oral hygiene habits. It is possible to restore your teeth from “Mountain Dew Mouth.”


In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to 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.


Also, for further 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.

Enter the Age of Dental Implants!

Ever known anyone who had a bad bicycle accident as a kid? Maybe got knocked in the mouth sliding into home plate or making the game-winning touchdown?


Whether an accident as a kid, an accident as an adult, improper hygiene, or because of any number of factors…people lose teeth. Sometimes the tooth was saved. Other times, the best method to fix the empty spot may have been a bridge or dentures.


Most people aren’t aware a single missing tooth can cause damage you can’t see or feel until it is too late. Yep.  Just one. That’s right, ONE.


A single missing tooth ultimately leads to shifting in each of your remaining teeth and can cause you to lose additional ones

needlessly. Most people with a missing side or back tooth say to themselves, “I can’t see it. It doesn’t hurt. I’ll leave it like that.”


The result? Your smile changes for the worse. This can cause headaches, jaw joint pain, broken teeth and teeth that wear too fast.


But THOSE DAYS ARE OVER! Enter the Age of Dental Implants!


Dental Implants allow denture wearers and those suffering from other severe dental problems to have new solid teeth implanted.  This step allows you to chew, laugh, and smile again like you did with your own teeth.

dental implant with crown
dental implant with crown


Imagine a return to the freedom to smile, laugh at will, and enjoy a quality of life that you felt was gone forever. Dental implants get you back to living life to the fullest in as little time as possible.


Finally, your jaw will not be shifting which can cause those other issues discussed above.


This means that your implants will look exactly like natural teeth. With good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing when you’re supposed to), the implant(s) can literally last a lifetime!


In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to 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 further 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.

Where You Keep Your Toothbrush Matters…Or Does It?

Recently, a story about toothbrushes and toilets have been making the rounds on the internet.  Maybe you’ve heard about it.

The theory is, when the toilet seat is opened, even if the commode is several feet away, airborne germs from a toilet flush will infect your toothbrush with fecal bacteria. It sounds pretty scary, not to mention gross! As a result, you, along with many other people, are now making sure to close the cover of the toilet before flushing.

Unfortunately, while this may have some credibility, it’s not the main problem when taking good care of your toothbrush.

The real source of troublesome germs is the brush itself.

Studies have found that your toilet is one of the cleaner parts of your house. However, the job of your toothbrush is to remove bacteria from your teeth. Much of that bacteria ends up coating your brush.

Now if you have a strong immune system you should be fine. And quite honestly, keeping your toothbrush away from the toilet is not an effective way to keep it hygienic and free from bacteria. Although it can’t hurt…

Bacteria thrives on moisture. If you happen to use a brush that comes with

two toothbrushes in toilet - but germs from the toilet are not the worst issue for bacterial growth
germs from the toilet are not the worst issue

one of those clear guards that snaps on over the bristles, don’t put it on after you brush and floss. If you want to see the ugly details of what can happen…go ahead and snap that guard on after each time you brush.

What the bacteria on your toothbrush really need in order to thrive is moisture. After about a week, you’ll begin to see black forming around the base of the bristles. This is bacteria. It would be safe to say, you probably don’t want THAT in your mouth!

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

That’s it. Once you’re done brushing (and flossing) make sure you shake the excess water from the bristles…pat it even with a clean cloth and place it where it can continue to dry until the next time you need it.

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

and let’s talk about what’s on your mind. We’re always happy to help!

Stem Cell Teeth Coming…But Implants are Here Now – Part 2  

As shared in Part 1, there are tests going on to develop replacement teeth using stem cells. This does look promising, however, it’s not here yet.


In the meantime, implants are here and available now. Let’s continue to look at the next 5 reasons you should consider this option if you’re facing having to replace missing teeth.


And, are you even sure you’re someone who can have implants as part of your dental treatment?


Q:  What are the next 5 benefits of choosing implants?


It goes without saying, in addition to the fear of having dentures fail or fall out on you, the security of the dental implants staying in place continues to be the most important benefit.

But just for good measure…here are 5 more!

  1. Your mouth will be restored as closely as possible to its natural state. By replacing the entire tooth, as well as the tooth root, it’s possible to replicate the function of natural teeth. The implant has a strong, stable foundation that allows comfortable biting and chewing. Also, nothing in the in the mouth looks or feels false or artificial!


  1. You will be able to taste foods more fully. Wearing an upper denture may prevent you from really tasting food, as the roof of the mouth is covered. With implants, it’s not necessary to cover the roof of the mouth, so it’s possible to enjoy tasting your food.


  1. Improves overall oral health and decreases the risk of oral cancer and heart disease. It’s much easier to care for implants versus dentures that are attached to remaining teeth. Your chances of bacteria build up, and gum disease decreases when you have implants lowering your risks for other issues. Keeping regular checkups will help with early detection for oral cancer.


  1. Implants hold in dentures
    Implants hold in dentures

    Eliminate Denture Adhesives FOREVER!

Since implant supported teeth are securely attached to the implant posts, there is no need for messy dentures adhesives.




  1. Your other teeth will not be affected because of missing teeth. Since replacing missing teeth with implants do not involve your natural teeth, the adjacent teeth are not compromised or damaged. For example, when you wear a partial denture, there are clamps that hook onto adjacent teeth. Those clamps put pressure on them and, over time, may cause them to loosen and come out. Bridges require grinding down of the adjacent teeth, so the bridge can be cemented on them.


Q: Am I a candidate for dental implant treatment?


A:  Almost everyone who is missing one or more teeth and is in general good health is a candidate for dental implant treatment. There are few medical conditions that can undermine the success of implant treatment. One such condition would be uncontrolled diabetes. But, in general, there are few conditions that would prevent your from having implant treatment.


Quality and quantity of available bone for implant placement is more often a factor in qualifying for dental implants than medical conditions. However, even people who have lost a significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment with additional procedures to add bone or create new bone. Advances in this type of treatment have made it possible for thousands of patients, who would not previously have been considered candidates, to have successful implant procedures.


The only way you’ll know for sure if you are one who can have implants, is to see your dentist and find out!


In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to 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 further 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.