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What Your Tongue Says About Your Oral Health

Did you know that your body has its own ways of revealing how well healthy you are? It’s true! If you want an idea of how your oral health is, look no further than your tongue. Generally, if you notice any sudden change in your tongue, it’s best to seek the advice of a professional. But some problems are more common than others. Here’s what your tongue says about your oral health if you look closely enough!

Hairy Tongue

Although there’s no actual hair involved with a hairy tongue, this does mean that you have long bumps on your tongue that somewhat resembles hair. Usually, these bumps will be dark brown or black, but they can also be white. This is often a telltale sign that you need to up your oral hygiene game. Revisit the basics on how to effectively brush, floss, gargle, and clean your tongue to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

That being said, a hairy tongue can also be no fault of your own. Sometimes people develop a hairy tongue if they’re having an adverse reaction to a medication. Your tongue may also be coated in hair-like bumps if you’re a tobacco user.

Black Tongue

Maybe you don’t see anything on your tongue that resembles hair, but the appearance is darker than normal. Often, the best remedy for this, once again, is to simply improve your oral hygiene habits. If you don’t already have one, invest in a tongue scraper and start using it or at least make sure you brush your tongue with your toothbrush as well. Sometimes, your tongue may also darken if you’ve been drinking a lot of coffee.

Webbed or Striped Pattern

It’s not normal for your tongue to have any kind of pattern such as webs or stripes. If you’ve noticed this and you’re also experiencing a burning or painful sensation or you even have open sores in your mouth, it could be because you have an inflammatory disease called oral lichen planus. While this condition sometimes goes away without treatment, it can also be a sign of something more serious like mouth cancer.

Bumpy Tongue

Another sign of an oral cancer is if you have bumps under your tongue. This can be tricky because sometimes these bumps could merely be canker sores or papillitis which aren’t usually big causes for concern. Usually, these will also resolve on their own in time. But if you’ve had these bumps for a while or you have any other reason you’re concerned about your oral health, you should get screened for cancer.

Whiteout in the Mouth

If you’ve noticed white spots emerging on any part of your mouth (including your cheeks and your tongue), this could be another early sign of cancer. It’s especially common among smokers and other types of tobacco users. If you’ve noticed white spots, don’t panic as cancer is not the only explanation. Often, the cause is something much more minor like a yeast infection called oral thrush. If you’re diabetic, you are even more likely to have oral thrush. Children and the elderly are also at an increased risk for the condition.

There may also be one other explanation for a white and patchy tongue: COVID. One study in Spain revealed that about one-fourth of hospitalized COVID patients experienced changes to their tongues, most notably white patches. That being said, it’s not clear if COVID actually causes this change or if it’s just a side-effect of fighting illness.

Grooves in Your Tongue

It’s important to remember to brush not just your teeth but your tongue too, especially if you have grooves in your tongue. Otherwise, you could end up with food particles and bacteria trapped in these ridges. While sometimes this is the extent of the problem, grooves can also be a telltale sign of oral psoriasis. A fissured tongue has also been linked to Sjogren’s syndrome, which is a condition where your body’s immune system attacks your healthy cells that are responsible for producing saliva and tears. This syndrome often occurs with other autoimmune disorders like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Excessive Dryness

Your tongue should stay hydrated. If it’s feeling dry, you might want to increase your water intake. After all, if your tongue is dry, it may be because your mouth is not producing the proper amount of saliva to protect your teeth. This can lead to cavities. A dry tongue may also be a sign of an autoimmune disease.

Bruised Appearance

If your tongue almost looks bruised due to blueish purple spots, this could also be a cause for concern. It may be caused by bacteria buildup and motivate you to do a little more scraping during your nighttime routine. If the color does not clear up in about 14 days, you should go to the doctor as, just like with many changes to your tongue, it could be a sign of oral cancer.

Enlarged Tongue

If your tongue looks larger and more inflamed than usual, it could be a sign of a condition called glossitis. If your glossitis is really bad, it could lead to pain while you eat or even speak. Sometimes glossitis may arise if you’ve cut or burned your mouth or if you have braces. It may also be a sign of an iron deficiency or an allergy. No matter the cause, there are treatment options such as medications and avoiding certain foods.

Get to the Bottom of What Your Tongue Says About Your Oral Health with Swedish Dental

Make sure you’re examining your tongue regularly so you notice quickly if any of these issues develop. While what your tongue says about your oral health is important, it can only reveal so much. That’s why it’s so important to stay current on your dental exams. If you’ve noticed any of these issues with your own tongue or you just know it’s time to get checked out, book an appointment with Swedish Dental today!

9 Signs You Need to Visit Your Dentist

While you hopefully know how important it is, going to the dentist isn’t the most pleasant experience in the world. Because of that, a lot of people delay going to a dentist for as long as possible. While generally, you should go to the dentist twice a year, there are definitely some signs that your teeth could use professional help. Here are some reasons why you should visit the dentist:

  1. Your jaw hurts
  2. Your gums are bleeding
  3. You see white spots
  4. Your teeth have become more sensitive
  5. Your mouth is always dry
  6. You’re pregnant
  7. Your teeth look like they’re shrinking
  8. You’re self-conscious about the way your smile looks
  9. You can’t remember your last appointment

1. Your Jaw Hurts

There’s nothing worse than jaw pain. It can cause headaches and can make chewing difficult. You may even notice clicks and cracks. 

Whether you’re only experiencing the pain when you eat or you wake up and already feel the pain, you shouldn’t have to live like that. There can be different causes of jaw pain and you’ll have a variety of treatment options. But only an experienced dentist can help you get to the bottom of the problem.

2. Your Gums are Bleeding

If your toothbrush turns red when you brush your teeth or your gums are bleeding when you floss, you definitely need to get your teeth checked out. This is not normal. It can be a sign of gum disease which, if left untreated, can actually cause you to lose teeth. Sometimes this happens after a prolonged period of poor oral hygiene. In some cases of gum disease, your gums may not be bleeding but they could be inflamed or sore. 

3. You See White Spots

When you notice that something has changed in the appearance of your mouth, it’s often the time to get your teeth checked out by the pros. White spots are one example. You may notice them appearing on your teeth, warning you that you may have some tooth decay. The earlier you schedule an appointment with your dentist to address this problem, the better your chances of resolution are.

4. Your Teeth Have Become More Sensitive

Drinking your morning hot coffee or taking a bite of ice cream should be pleasant experiences, not painful ones. But sometimes they can trigger sensitivity—so can certain sugary foods. While there are different kinds of toothpaste on the market to help treat sensitivity, they don’t solve all kinds of sensitivity. You may have an infected dental pulp or a damaged tooth. This is why you should visit the dentist if your teeth have suddenly become more sensitive.

5. Your Mouth is Always Dry

Dry mouth is a common side-effect of a variety of antibiotics and medications. Sometimes dry mouth is temporary and will resolve on its own, but other times, it’s persistent. Why is it important to visit the dentist if this is just a minor inconvenience? The truth is, if left unchecked, it can also cause some pretty serious damage including gum disease.

Your saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralizes the acid caused by plaque. Thus, if you have chronic dry mouth, you’re at greater risk of developing gum disease. A dentist can assess the problem and, if necessary, prescribe something like a mouthwash that will help resolve it.

6. You’re Pregnant

One effect of pregnancy you may not have heard of before is the way it impacts your teeth. Hormonal changes can make your gums more irritated, sore, and tender. Pregnant women commonly suffer from gingivitis, which is a milder form of gum disease. It is highly recommended to see the dentist for extra cleanings in your second and third trimesters to combat these issues. 

There’s no need to worry about the impact of going to the dentist while pregnant. While you should wait until after you’ve given birth to get your teeth whitened or to undergo a cosmetic dental procedure, you should still take care of any fillings or crowns while you’re pregnant. If you put these treatments off until after you’ve given birth, your risk of infection goes up significantly. You can even get dental x-rays without any issues.

7. Your Teeth Look Like They’re Shrinking

Maybe you haven’t noticed that you’re grinding your teeth—but they don’t quite look like they once did in the mirror. This could be because you’ve been grinding your teeth so hard that you’ve broken down the enamel and shortened your teeth. This puts you at a greater risk for cavities and exposed nerves, which is why you should visit the dentist to get your teeth grinding checked out ASAP.

8. You’re Self-Conscious About the Way Your Smile Looks

If you’re unhappy with the way your smile looks, you should also head to the dentist. No one should have to go through life feeling self-conscious. We should all be free to smile! This is why you should schedule an appointment and have an honest conversation with your dentist. Whether you’re worried about stains, gaps, or crooked teeth, there’s almost always something that can be done. You never know what your options might be until you open up about your concerns!

9. You Can’t Remember Your Last Appointment

If you can’t tell by all of these reasons already, seeing your dentist regularly is absolutely crucial to your wellbeing. By going every six months, you’re maximizing your chances of identifying any problems early rather than waiting until a serious issue arises to get help. If you can’t remember the last time you went to a dentist, it’s definitely time to get on the phone and book an appointment—for the sake of your teeth, your mouth, and your overall quality of life!

Trust the Signs—Schedule an Appointment with Swedish Dental

Have we convinced you why it’s important to visit the dentist? If you’re experiencing any of these tooth problems, it’s time to book a dental appointment! Swedish Dental would love to take you on as a new patient or pick up where we left off if it’s just been a while since you’ve dropped by. We totally understand going to the dentist can be intimidating—but we’ll do our best to make it easy!

Routine Dental Cleaning: Everything You Need to Know

Your dental health is a crucial part of your overall health. But with how busy our lives are, it’s easy to forget to schedule that routine dental cleaning and checkup. Nevertheless, it’s important to visit your dentist and hygienist every six months, even if nothing bothers you. 

A visit to a dentist’s office might not be the most exciting event in your calendar, yet professional dental cleaning is nothing you should be afraid of. It helps maintain good oral health, prevent periodontal diseases, gingivitis, and save you money in the long run. Plus, visiting your dentist regularly can help identify any potential oral problems and stop them from worsening. 

Wondering whether you need to book an appointment for a dental checkup? Here’s what an experienced team of dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants at Swedish Dental would like you to know about routine dental cleaning and its importance.

What Exactly Is Dental Cleaning?

The main goal of dental cleaning is to remove plaque and tartar deposits that can contribute to gum disease and other unpleasant oral issues. Here are two types of dental cleaning you should know about:

Routine Dental Cleaning

Usually, you’ll get this type of cleaning during your regular 6-months checkup. Your hygienist will use a variety of special tools to get rid of hard tartar deposits and plaque from your teeth and above the gums. This procedure will help prevent gum disease and its lighter form, gingivitis. And it’s also a great way to keep bad breath away. 

During your routine dental cleaning, feel free to ask questions about oral health and how you can improve your at-home oral care habits. Your dentist and hygienist will be more than happy to provide some tips and tricks to help you maintain your teeth and mouth in top shape. 

Deep Dental Cleaning

Unlike regular dental cleaning, deep cleaning is usually recommended for people with moderate to advanced gum disease. This type of cleaning includes removing bacteria, plaque, and tartar below the gum level and around the roots. 

When you get older, your gums are more prone to pulling away from your teeth, which results in little pockets that enable bacteria to grow and travel all the way to your roots. This makes your roots weaker and can make them fall out. After examining your teeth and gums, your dentist will let you know whether you require regular or deep dental cleaning.

What to Expect From a Routine Checkup and Dental Cleaning?

There’s nothing to be terrified of when it comes to your routine dental checkup. Your dentist will make everything possible to make you feel comfortable and safe while taking care of your whites. 

Here’s how it usually goes:

  1. Dental Checkup
    Once you’re nicely seated in a chair, your dentist will examine your overall oral health. This may include checking for cavities, evaluating your gums, taking X-rays, assessing the amount of plaque and tartar, etc.
    After that, you’ll get your tongue, mouth, face, and neck for any signs of inflammation,  an incorrect bite, or other issues. Finally, they’ll provide you with the next steps regarding your oral health and the actions you might need to take.
  2. Dental Cleaning
    This is the time when the hygienist removes plaque, tartar, and bacteria from your teeth and gum line with the help of either a manual or ultrasonic scaler. Then they’ll use a special electric tool with gritty toothpaste to professionally polish teeth. Finally, a dental hygienist will floss your teeth to get rid of the remaining paste and plaque.
  3. Fluoride Treatment
    While a dental cleaning procedure may vary from place to place, you’ll usually get fluoride treatment during your dental cleaning procedure. You’ll need to wear a mouthpiece filled with fluoride gel for a few minutes. You might even be able to pick your favourite flavour of fluoride gel.

Dental cleaning is usually not painful. However, if you have very sensitive teeth or haven’t had a cleaning done in a while, it might feel a little bit uncomfortable. Your hygienist will make sure to make this treatment a positive experience for you and apply local anaesthesia if needed. 

Benefits of Dental Cleaning

The next time you consider postponing your routine dental checkup and cleaning, you might want to remind yourself of the benefits that visit can bring you:

  • You’ll be able to enjoy a fresh breath as the bacteria that was happily living in your mouth and causing bad breath will be gone.
  • You’ll save money on repairing your teeth as it’s cheaper to prevent your teeth and gums from going bad rather than to fix an already existing oral problem.
  • You’ll get to appreciate healthier teeth, gums, and a beautiful smile. With no bacteria around to cause diseases, your teeth and gums will remain stronger and healthier for longer.

If you get into the habit of scheduling regular checkups and dental cleanings, you’ll find it much easier to maintain good oral health and prevent all the bad teeth and gum problems. 

At-Home Oral Care Tips

While it’s great to visit your dentist’s office for a routine cleaning, it doesn’t mean you should stop caring about your teeth in between those visits. Here are some tips to help you maintain good oral health at home:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes at least two times per day and if possible, after every meal.
  • Floss regularly to prevent food from getting stuck between the teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash to prevent plaque and stop bacteria from growing and spreading.
  • Gently brush your tongue.
  • Use high-quality toothpaste.
  • Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  • If you start feeling discomfort or tooth pain, don’t wait and schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the dental cleaning procedures or want to book an appointment with one of our dentists and hygienists for a routine checkup.

5 Important Reasons to Correct Your Bite

While having aesthetically pleasing teeth can improve your appearance and boost confidence, there’s more to it than just a straight smile. Many people believe that orthodontic treatments are only necessary if you’re worried about how your teeth look. But have you considered your bite? 

Misalignment of teeth, also known as malocclusion, is a common condition that can affect not only your smile but also the quality of your life. Correcting your bite can help improve your sleep, decrease headaches, prevent jaw pain, make eating easier, change the way you look, and more.

Our experienced aesthetic dentists at Swedish Dental can identify bite problems and help you deal with them most effectively. And here’s what they want you to know about maintaining your teeth straight and healthy.

What Are the Types of Bite Problems?

Orthodontic care is not only about the way your teeth appear but also about how your mouth functions. Having both straight whites and a correct bite can help you take your oral health to the next level. And if you’re wondering what bite problems are out there, here are some of the most common ones:

  • Overbite is when the upper jaw sticks out more than your lower jaw. This can lead to biting into your gums and wearing out the front teeth.
  • Underbite happens when your lower jaw sticks out more than the upper one. This can make it more difficult for you to chew and bite.
  • Crossbite occurs when your teeth don’t align properly; some are in the front, and some are in the back. This can increase the risk of chipping your teeth.
  • Openbite means that your teeth don’t overlap the bottom ones and there may be a gap between the two jaws. This can cause your back molars to wear out quickly.
  • Crowded teeth occur when there’s not enough room in your jaw for the teeth to fit, which causes them to overlap, twist, and rub up against each other.

If you’re not sure what bite problem you have or whether you have any at all, it’s always a good idea to consult a cosmetic dentist before jumping to conclusions. 

Why Fixing a Bad Bite Is So Crucial?

While an incorrect bite might not bother you at this particular moment, postponing teeth straightening can create more problems later on. And here are a few good reasons why you should consider scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist sooner than later.

You’ll Find Eating Much Easier

Misaligned teeth and uneven jaws can make eating a painful experience contribute to digestive problems because of not chewing the food properly. An incorrect bite can also cause headaches and other types of pain.

You’ll Prevent Teeth From Damaging

There are quite a few different bite problems, but they all lead to tooth damage. From making it too hard to clean them, wearing out prematurely, causing cavities, and fracturing them. So even if you don’t feel discomfort right now, your teeth will thank you for correcting your bite in time.

You’ll Sleep Better

You probably think that there’s no way your bite can be somehow connected to the quality of your sleep. Well, it is indeed. Incorrectly aligned jaws can cause neck pain and severe headaches. So if you don’t want to wake up and feel like you haven’t slept at all, it’s worth checking in with your dentist.

You Can Change the Way You Look

While you should always embrace the way you look, for some people, an incorrect bite or crooked teeth can be reasons for lower self-esteem or other problems connected to their self-image. Correcting the malocclusion can not only make your smile look straight but also help change your expressions. For example, an underbite can sometimes make you look angry when you aren’t. That’s how strong the connection between your teeth, face, and head is. 

By solving your bite problem, you can keep your teeth healthier and make a few improvements to your appearance at the same time. 

You’ll Keep Your Teeth Cleaner

Correcting your bite and strengthening your teeth will help you clean them easier and more efficiently. Ultimately, this will also help you prevent periodontal disease and cavities. Plus, it’ll make it much harder for food to get stuck in between your teeth and cause bad breath.

Why Should I Not Wait to Correct My Bite?

As with many other things in life, the earlier you take care of them, the better the outcome. This concerns your bite and teeth as well. Certain orthodontic procedures are easier and faster when your jaw isn’t fully developed (up to 16-18 years), and some jaw surgeries can be done after the jaw is fully formed.

Since misaligned teeth can cause discomfort and pain, it’s essential to talk to an orthodontist as soon as possible to better understand how to approach your particular problem. Everyone is different, so there’s no one-fits-all solution or timeline. However, there are many different orthodontic treatments, and your aesthetic dentist will choose the best option for your needs and budget. 

While fixing your bite and aligning your teeth might take some time and require frequent visits to the dentist’s office, at the end of the day, you’re doing it for your health, and it’s all worth it. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to book an appointment with one of our cosmetic dentists.

Closed for holiday

We are on holiday from Monday the 19th of July and will reopen on Monday 9th of August at 9am. 

In the event of an emergency call Tandakuten City on 010-6010201

We wish all our dear patients a nice summer!

Oral Care Tips For The Elderly

Taking care of your teeth and gums as you get older can have a good impact on overall health; oral health can prevent problems like toothaches, tooth decay, and tooth loss. A healthy mouth also makes it easier for you to continue eating well and enjoying the foods you love as you age. It’s imperative to take care of your teeth and gums if you have a health condition like diabetes or heart disease or take medicines that can cause oral health problems. 

Our team at Swedish Dental has developed several steps to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy as you get older.

Oral Hygiene Tips for Seniors

Daily brushing and flossing of natural teeth are essential to keeping them in good oral health. Plaque can build up quickly on the teeth of seniors, especially if oral hygiene is neglected, and lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day

Brushing and flossing help remove dental plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that builds on your teeth after eating; this build-up on your teeth can cause tooth decay or gum disease. After brushing, it is essential to remember to floss between your teeth; flossing allows tiny bits of plaque to be removed from between your teeth. If you have trouble flossing, ask your dentist about using a special brush or pick instead.

Look out for changes in your mouth

Your risk of getting oral cancer increases as you get older, so consult your dentist if you notice any changes or have any significant pain or if you experience any of these symptoms for more than two weeks:

  • A spot in your mouth, lip, or throat that feels uncomfortable or sore
  • A lump or thick area in your mouth, lip, or throat
  • A white or red patch in your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or moving your jaw or tongue
  • Numbness in your tongue or mouth
  • Swelling in your jaw
  • Pain in one ear without hearing loss
  • See your dentist regularly for a checkup and cleaning.

There’s no single rule for how often people need to see the dentist – it varies from person to person. So the next time you get a checkup and cleaning, ask your dentist how often you need to come in.

Talk to your doctor about dry mouth

Dry mouth means not having enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Dry mouth can make it hard to eat, swallow, or talk; it can also lead to tooth decay or infection. In addition, dry mouth is a side effect of some medicines. It can also happen if you have specific health problems – like diabetes or receiving chemotherapy or radiation. If you have a dry mouth, talk with your doctor or dentist and ask what you can do.

Practice healthy habits

Eat healthily and cut down on sugary foods and drinks. This can help prevent tooth decay – and it’s good for your overall health.

Don’t smoke or use other tobacco products. Smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or using snuff puts you at higher risk for oral cancer. Smoking also increases your risk for gum disease. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. This means no more than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men. Heavy drinking increases your risk of oral cancer.

What Seniors Can Expect During a Dental Exam

If you’re a senior headed for a checkup, your dentist should conduct a thorough history and dental exam. Questions asked during a dental history should include:

  • The approximate date of your last dental visit and the reason for the visit
  • Recent changes in your mouth
  • Any loose or sensitive teeth
  • Difficulty tasting, chewing or swallowing
  • Any pain, discomfort, sores, or bleeding in your mouth
  • Lumps, bumps, or swellings in your mouth

Your dentist will check the following during an oral exam: your face and neck (for skin discoloration, moles, sores).

  • Bite (for any problems in how the teeth come together while opening and closing your mouth).
  • Jaw (for signs of clicking and popping in the temporomandibular joint); your lymph nodes and salivary glands (for any indication of swelling or lumps)
  • Inner cheeks (for infections, ulcers, traumatic injuries)
  • Tongue and other interior surfaces – floor of the mouth, soft and hard palate, gum tissue (for signs of disease or oral cancer)
  • Teeth (for decay, condition of fillings, and cracks)

If you wear dentures or other appliances, your dentist will ask a few questions about when you wear your dentures and when you take them out (if removable). They will also look for any irritation or problems in the areas in the mouth that the appliance touches and examine the denture or appliance itself (looking for any worn or broken areas).

Conclusion

Food and drinks that contain a high level of sugar can damage the teeth and cause poor dental health. However, many older people cannot taste foods, and they used to, and sometimes develop a taste for sweet foods. You can help minimize the damage that sugars can cause by requesting sugar-free medication and, where possible, using sweeteners instead of sugar. In addition, encouraging your loved one to chew sugar-free gum can be helpful because it creates an increased flow of saliva. This helps to cleanse the mouth and repair the teeth.

If your loved one has a dry mouth, ensure that they drink plenty of clear fluids and avoid smoking, caffeine, and alcohol that can all make symptoms worse. Get in touch with Swedish Dental if you’re concerned about your or a loved one’s oral health.

How To Beat Gum Disease

Most people can easily recognize the two most common signs of gum disease: tender gums and blood when brushing or flossing. However, much fewer people can spot the signs of advanced gum disease – the latter stages of gum disease that even quality care and world-class dental technicians cannot reverse.

While your local dentist will be the best place to get definitive answers about the stage of your teeth and gums, it can be helpful for you to learn how to spot some of the most obvious warning signs indicating that advanced gum disease is ahead.

So What Are The Different Types Of Gum Disease?

Two types of diseases can affect the gums: gingivitis and periodontitis. Together, gingivitis and periodontitis are referred to as gum disease or periodontal disease.

The National Institute of Health defines periodontal (gum) disease as “inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets (alveolar bone).” Both gum diseases are relatively common among adults and can be stopped, or their symptoms are significantly lessened with adequate care.

Gingivitis: Early Stages of Gum Disease

Many of the symptoms of early gum disease, known as gingivitis, look like mild versions of those of periodontitis (advanced gum disease). 

Take a look at some of the symptoms of gingivitis: 

  • Mild or moderation discoloration of the gums
  • Swollen gums that are tender to the touch
  • Chronically bad breath
  • Mild bleeding of the gums when brushing or flossing your teeth

Periodontitis: Advanced Gum Disease

The most significant distinction between the early and latter stages of gum disease is permanence. For the most part, the damage done by periodontitis is irreversible. In addition, the inflammation of the gums, bleeding, gum discoloration, and other symptoms are more evident with periodontitis.

In addition to the symptoms shared with gingivitis, here are some that are more specific to periodontitis:

•Gum recession – the gums line begins to recede, and it starts to appear like the teeth are getting long

•Pain – there’s significant pain when chewing

•Loose teeth – teeth no longer feel firmly planted and move when pushed. They may also shift and may no longer align with the teeth opposite them.

•Tooth loss – teeth fall out

So what can you do to beat gum disease?

Believe it or not, reversing gingivitis is entirely possible—and doing so is crucial in preventing gingivitis from progressing into severe gum disease (which could lead to gum recession and tooth loss).

Red, sore, swollen gums and bad breath caused by bacteria are nobody’s cup of tea, so knowing how to kick gingivitis to the curb is a must for a healthier smile. Here are seven tips for reversing the early signs of the disease.

1. Get Professional Cleanings Regularly

Seeing a hygienist or dentist for regular professional cleanings is one of the best ways to get rid of gingivitis long-term. Dentists thoroughly clean your teeth to eliminate the bacteria causing gingivitis using dental instruments, an ultrasonic device. How often should you head to the dentist for professional cleanings? Your dentist may recommend you get there more often than every six months if you have gum disease or even some symptoms.

2. Maintain Dental Hygiene By Brushing & Flossing

In addition to regular professional cleanings, simply brushing and flossing well at home is another way to reverse gingivitis. If you notice your toothbrush bristles are becoming frayed often, you may be applying too much pressure when brushing.

3. Use Antibacterial Mouthwash

It’s crucial to use an antibacterial mouthwash to help get rid of gingivitis-causing bacteria and reverse gum disease. Look for a mouthwash specifically designed for treating gingivitis, and rinse as directed on package instructions. Typically, rinsing for 30 seconds twice a day, after brushing and flossing, is recommended to help kill bacteria, keep breath fresh and get rid of gingivitis.

4. Try Oil Massage or Oil Pulling

Believe it or not, using oil is an all-natural way to help reverse gingivitis. Researchers have found that people who massaged their gums with sesame oil, coconut oil, or olive oil every day for three weeks had significant gingivitis-causing bacteria and plaque reductions.

Oil pulling is another natural way to combat gum disease. A 2017 review published in the International Journal of Health Sciences notes that the practice of swishing oil around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes appears to reduce oral bacteria and gingivitis-causing plaque.

5. Stop Smoking

Smoking is a risk factor for gingivitis and more advanced gum disease, so kick smoking to the curb to keep your mouth healthy and boost your chance of reversing gingivitis. Researchers have found that smoking weakens your body’s immune system, making it harder to fight gum infections. Smoking also doubles your risk for gum disease compared to nonsmokers.

6. Chew Sugarless Gum

The American Dental Association suggests chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals to help reduce tooth decay and neutralize acids produced by mouth bacteria. Be sure to look for sugarless chewing gum with the ADA seal, which contains non-cavity-causing sweeteners like Xylitol instead of sugar.

7. Reduce Sugar and Refined Carb Intake

Steer clear of sugary foods and drinks, refined carbohydrates, and sticky foods like candies and dried fruit. Such foods can stick to your teeth, and the sugar in them leads to plaque buildup. Instead of soda, choose water as your drink of choice, and consume high-fiber foods (like fruits, veggies, dried beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds) for your source of carbohydrates.

Conclusion

Severe gum disease can result in painful gums, gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. In addition, treatment for severe gum disease may require surgery and be quite costly. That’s why reversing gingivitis before it becomes problematic is crucial for a healthier, pain-free smile.

Contact our team at Swedish Dental if you think you could be suffering from any of the gum disease symptoms.

How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Most of us know that toothbrushes are not designed to last forever, yet it can be hard to figure out when the bristles on our toothbrushes are nearing the end of their lifespan. How long you should keep your toothbrushes is dependent on many factors that we will discuss in this article.

Most of us know that toothbrushes are not designed to last forever, yet it can be hard to figure out when the bristles on our toothbrushes are nearing the end of their lifespan. How long you should keep your toothbrushes is dependent on many factors that we will discuss in this article. However, according to manufacturer guidelines and dentist recommendations, you should replace your toothbrush every 12 to 16 weeks. If you don’t replace a toothbrush or electric toothbrush head when it needs to be, it can have an adverse effect on your dental health and increase the risk of infection.

Risk factors for using a toothbrush beyond its recommended lifespan

Every time you use your toothbrush, the nylon bristles are exposed to water and chemicals from your toothpaste. This makes the bristles a little weaker with each use. As a result, the bristles bend and twist into a new shape known as “bristle flaring.”

A 2013 study by a trusted Source showed that after 40 days of consistent use, bristle flaring starts to make your toothbrush less effective. In addition, study participants who didn’t replace their toothbrushes on the 40th day of use experienced considerably more plaque buildup.

At least two earlier studies on worn toothbrush heads confirmed that older toothbrushes are much less efficient at removing plaque, which is the cause of gum disease and tooth decay.

Why do you need to change your toothbrush?

If you brush for two minutes, twice a day, as dental professionals recommend, then you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. One of the reasons you should throw out your toothbrush after this length of time is that the bristles lose their cleaning ability, the bristles may fall out or change shape. Once the bristles become splayed, they won’t maintain their performance, and frayed bristles don’t reach the spots between the teeth and along the gum line correctly.

Infections

Viral and bacterial infections such as strep throat are of particular concern and are an excellent reason to switch your old toothbrush for a new one. Unfortunately, germs can also congregate on a toothbrush. While viruses are less likely to make you sick a second time, bacteria can stay on the bristles. Those germs can then transfer to the toothpaste tube when you load up, making other people in the household sick if you share toothpaste.

Change your child’s toothbrush

Children are less likely to properly take care of their toothbrushes, which means you might want to change toothbrushes for children more often than every three months, as they may mash on a toothbrush head or gnaw on the handle. Children are also more likely to expose their brush head to other surfaces besides their teeth.

Sharing toothbrushes

It’s important to remember that If anyone else uses your toothbrush by mistake, you must get rid of it. This is because everyone’s mouth harbours different bacteria, and sharing toothbrushes can make you very sick.

Germs

Another consideration that we don’t usually think about is that germs can build up in toothbrush bristles. This means it’s essential to replace your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold or risk possible reinfection.

Fungus and bacteria can develop in the bristles if you don’t take care of your brush correctly. After use, make sure you rinse off and dry your toothbrush thoroughly, storing it uncovered in an upright position and keeping it away from other used toothbrushes. When travelling, be sure to cover your toothbrush head to protect it and reduce the spread of germs.

If you can’t remember exactly how long it’s been, pay particular attention to the condition your toothbrush head is in – whether the bristles are worn out, fan-out, or frayed, or especially if you see dark colour changes, which is a sign of mould.

How often should you change an electric toothbrush head?

Electric toothbrush heads clean the surface area of your teeth by quickly rotating or vibrating. However, these toothbrush heads still have nylon bristles that can be worn down after regular use. What’s more, those bristles are shorter, which means that they may fray more quickly.

Plan to change out the toothbrush head on your electric toothbrush every 12 weeks or even earlier. Watch for signs of wear and tear on the bristles to know when it’s time to say goodbye to a brush head.

Conclusion

Your toothbrush is an essential oral hygiene tool. To maintain your toothbrush and make the most of its lifespan, use only your toothbrush, store it upright, and let it air dry.

Plan to replace the toothbrushes of every person in your family every 3 to 4 months, and mark your calendar on the date of the purchase, so you remember when it’s time to replace them again.

Some common suggestions among dental professionals are to look for toothbrushes with soft bristles, as stiff bristles damage your teeth and gums, choose a toothbrush head size that touches one or two teeth at a time, use a toothpaste containing fluoride approved by the ADA, consider using mouthwash to fight plaque and gingivitis further, and don’t forget to floss!

Consider investing in an electric toothbrush, as these have been proven to improve oral health beyond what a manual toothbrush can do by removing plaque, reducing gingivitis and eliminating teeth staining. They’ve also been shown to minimize the amount of plaque on the teeth of people with periodontal disease.

Do your research on what products fit your needs best, and don’t forget to ask your dentist for recommendations.

Most of us know that toothbrushes are not designed to last forever, yet it can be hard to figure out when the bristles on our toothbrushes are nearing the end of their lifespan. How long you should keep your toothbrushes is dependent on many factors that we will discuss in this article.

A visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be something to dread. Our esteemed team of dental professionals and oral hygienists aim to ensure that your routine visit to Swedish Dental is as welcoming and comfortable as possible.

For some, a visit to the dentist can be an anxiety-inducing, nerve-wracking experience. But just by making it to the chair, you are closer to better overall health, and you’ll be smiling with more confidence. This article will provide a guide on what to expect from your twice-annual dental visit to make you more comfortable and know what to expect.

Why do you need a dental check-up?

A dental check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps you keep your mouth healthy. Leaving issues untreated could make them more challenging to treat in the future, so it’s best to deal with problems early or, if possible, prevent them altogether.

Generally, the lower your risk of dental problems, the longer you can wait before your next check-up. So people with good oral health will probably need to attend only once every 12 to 24 months, but those with more problems will require regular check-ups.

What to expect from a dental check-up?

A dental check-up and a dental exam are often used interchangeably. However, some people distinguish that a hygienist handles the dental check-up while a dentist is responsible for the dental exam. The exam is more technical and requires the expertise of a dentist.

A hygienist or a certified dental assistant will begin your dental check-up with a teeth cleaning that includes the following:

  • Take X-rays if needed
  • Diagnose decayed teeth, inflammation in the gum or periodontitis
  • Using various tools and instruments, they will remove or scrape tartar and plaque from around your gum line and the surface of your teeth.
  • Polish your teeth
  • Report their findings to the dentist if needed.

X-rays

It is routine for your dentist and dental hygienist to carry out x-rays if it´s indicated, on occasion, during your dental check-up. X-rays allow your dentist/hygienist not only to identify existing problems that might not be visible during a routine dental examination yet but to be aware of any problems that may present in the future.

In adults, x-rays can identify dental decay, impacted teeth, jawbone damage, cysts, tumours and abscesses. X-rays taken of children’s mouths will allow the dentist to see where the adult teeth will grow in.

Your dentist will decide which type of x-ray you need and explain why you are receiving an x-ray and how the x-ray works. Your dentist or dental assistant will set the machine up and leave the room before taking the x-ray to ensure your dentist doesn’t get too much exposure to the machine. Your dentist will only take x-rays when they believe it to be necessary.

After your teeth have been cleaned, your dentist will perform an exam if needed:

  • Examine your gums, soft palate, throat and neck, checking for any abnormalities
  • Examine jaw muscles
  • Review any X-rays that may have been taken
  • Recommend any additional dental work you might need to maintain oral health
  • Discuss your overall oral health and habits

How much does a dental check-up cost?

The cost of a dental check-up depends on your dental plan and how much work is done during your visit. For example, routine teeth cleaning may be covered, depending on your dental plan. If a dentist recommends additional dental work, they will provide you with an estimate of the cost ahead of time.

A First or Non-Routine Visit

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist, you can expect the same care as a routine visit. Patient appointments and visits after more than a couple of years have passed usually require X-rays. The dentist wants a complete look at what’s going on inside your teeth, gums, and supporting bone structures.

Plan to hang in there for a deep cleaning session with the hygienist. The longer you wait between visits, the more hard tartar buildup on teeth and around the gumline. (If your teeth are sensitive, talk to the hygienist or dentist about numbing options to lessen pain before the work starts.) Having tartar removed can be uncomfortable, but the clean, smooth feel of your teeth after and the fact you’ll walk out with fresher breath is very much worth it.

What if something is wrong with my teeth?

Your dentist will tell you right away if your dental exam reveals anything unusual. Then, they may recommend additional procedures or refer you to a specialist. For example, if you would like your teeth straightened, a dentist may refer you to an orthodontist specialising in that kind of dentistry.

How often do I need a dental check-up?

Getting a dental check-up at least once a year can help maintain the overall health of your teeth and mouth and help identify any problems early. A build-up of tartar can cause long-term issues. To avoid any dental issues that require expensive procedures, consider getting at least one dental check-up and dental exam each year.

If you have a dental plan, make sure you know what’s covered for dental care. Dental costs vary depending on what work you need to be done and the type of dental insurance you have. You can start taking control of the expenses by learning ahead of time what kind of dental procedures and treatments your plan covers.

Most of us know that toothbrushes are not designed to last forever, yet it can be hard to figure out when the bristles on our toothbrushes are nearing the end of their lifespan. How long you should keep your toothbrushes is dependent on many factors that we will discuss in this article.

However, according to manufacturer guidelines and dentist recommendations, you should replace your toothbrush every 12 to 16 weeks. If you don’t replace a toothbrush or electric toothbrush head when it needs to be, it can have an adverse effect on your dental health and increase the risk of infection.

Risk factors for using a toothbrush beyond its recommended lifespan

Every time you use your toothbrush, the nylon bristles are exposed to water and chemicals from your toothpaste. This makes the bristles a little weaker with each use. As a result, the bristles bend and twist into a new shape known as “bristle flaring.”

A 2013 study by a trusted source showed that after 40 days of consistent use, bristle flaring starts to make your toothbrush less effective. In addition, study participants who didn’t replace their toothbrushes on the 40th day of use experienced considerably more plaque buildup.

At least two earlier studies on worn toothbrush heads confirmed that older toothbrushes are much less efficient at removing plaque, which is the cause of gum disease and tooth decay.

Why do you need to change your toothbrush?

If you brush for two minutes, twice a day, as dental professionals recommend, then you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. One of the reasons you should throw out your toothbrush after this length of time is that the bristles lose their cleaning ability, the bristles may fall out or change shape. Once the bristles become splayed, they won’t maintain their performance, and frayed bristles don’t reach the spots between the teeth and along the gum line correctly.

Infections

Viral and bacterial infections such as strep throat are of particular concern and are an excellent reason to switch your old toothbrush for a new one. Unfortunately, germs can also congregate on a toothbrush. While viruses are less likely to make you sick a second time, bacteria can stay on the bristles. Those germs can then transfer to the toothpaste tube when you load up, making other people in the household sick if you share toothpaste.

Change your child’s toothbrush

Children are less likely to properly take care of their toothbrushes, which means you might want to change toothbrushes for children more often than every three months, as they may mash on a toothbrush head or gnaw on the handle. Children are also more likely to expose their brush head to other surfaces besides their teeth.

Sharing toothbrushes

It’s important to remember that If anyone else uses your toothbrush by mistake, you must get rid of it. This is because everyone’s mouth harbours different bacteria, and sharing toothbrushes can make you very sick.

Germs

Another consideration that we don’t usually think about is that germs can build up in toothbrush bristles. This means it’s essential to replace your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold or risk possible reinfection.

Fungus and bacteria can develop in the bristles if you don’t take care of your brush correctly. After use, make sure you rinse off and dry your toothbrush thoroughly, storing it uncovered in an upright position and keeping it away from other used toothbrushes. When travelling, be sure to cover your toothbrush head to protect it and reduce the spread of germs.

If you can’t remember exactly how long it’s been, pay particular attention to the condition your toothbrush head is in – whether the bristles are worn out, fan-out, or frayed, or especially if you see dark colour changes, which is a sign of mould.

How often should you change an electric toothbrush head?

Electric toothbrush heads clean the surface area of your teeth by quickly rotating or vibrating. However, these toothbrush heads still have nylon bristles that can be worn down after regular use. What’s more, those bristles are shorter, which means that they may fray more quickly.

Plan to change out the toothbrush head on your electric toothbrush every 12 weeks or even earlier. Watch for signs of wear and tear on the bristles to know when it’s time to say goodbye to a brush head.

Conclusion

Your toothbrush is an essential tool to maintain healthy oral hygiene. To maintain your toothbrush and make the most of its lifespan, use only your toothbrush, store it upright, and let it air dry.

Plan to replace the toothbrushes of every person in your family every 3 to 4 months, and mark your calendar on the date of the purchase, so you remember when it’s time to replace them again.

Some common suggestions among dental professionals are to look for toothbrushes with soft bristles, as stiff bristles damage your teeth and gums, choose a toothbrush head size that touches one or two teeth at a time, use a toothpaste containing fluoride, consider using mouthwash to fight plaque and gingivitis further, and don’t forget to floss!

Consider investing in an electric toothbrush, as these have been proven to improve oral health beyond what a manual toothbrush can do by removing plaque, reducing gingivitis and eliminating teeth staining. They’ve also been shown to minimize the amount of plaque on the teeth of people with periodontal disease.

Do your research on what products fit your needs best, and don’t forget to ask your dentist for recommendations.

What To Expect From A Dental Check-Up

A visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be something to dread. Our esteemed team of dental professionals and oral hygienists aim to ensure that your routine visit to Swedish Dental is as welcoming and comfortable as possible.

A visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be something to dread. Our esteemed team of dental professionals and oral hygienists aim to ensure that your routine visit to Swedish Dental is as welcoming and comfortable as possible.

For some, a visit to the dentist can be an anxiety-inducing, nerve-wracking experience. But just by making it to the chair, you are closer to better overall health, and you’ll be smiling with more confidence. This article will provide a guide on what to expect from your twice-annual dental visit to make you more comfortable and know what to expect.

Why do you need a dental check-up?

A dental check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps you keep your mouth healthy. Leaving issues untreated could make them more challenging to treat in the future, so it’s best to deal with problems early or, if possible, prevent them altogether.

Generally, the lower your risk of dental problems, the longer you can wait before your next check-up. So people with good oral health will probably need to attend only once every 12 to 24 months, but those with more problems will require regular check-ups.

What to expect from a dental check-up?

A dental check-up and a dental exam are often used interchangeably. However, some people distinguish that a hygienist handles the dental check-up while a dentist is responsible for the dental exam. The exam is more technical and requires the expertise of a dentist.

A hygienist or a certified dental assistant will begin your dental check-up with a teeth cleaning that includes the following:

  • Take X-rays if needed
  • Diagnose decayed teeth, inflammation in the gum or periodontitis
  • Using various tools and instruments, they will remove or scrape tartar and plaque from around your gum line and the surface of your teeth.
  • Polish your teeth
  • Report their findings to the dentist if needed.

X-rays

It is routine for your dentist and dental hygienist to carry out x-rays if it´s indicated, on occasion, during your dental check-up. X-rays allow your dentist/hygienist not only to identify existing problems that might not be visible during a routine dental examination yet but to be aware of any problems that may present in the future.

In adults, x-rays can identify dental decay, impacted teeth, jawbone damage, cysts, tumours and abscesses. X-rays taken of children’s mouths will allow the dentist to see where the adult teeth will grow in.

Your dentist will decide which type of x-ray you need and explain why you are receiving an x-ray and how the x-ray works. Your dentist or dental assistant will set the machine up and leave the room before taking the x-ray to ensure your dentist doesn’t get too much exposure to the machine. Your dentist will only take x-rays when they believe it to be necessary.

After your teeth have been cleaned, your dentist will perform an exam if needed:

  • Examine your gums, soft palate, throat and neck, checking for any abnormalities
  • Examine jaw muscles
  • Review any X-rays that may have been taken
  • Recommend any additional dental work you might need to maintain oral health
  • Discuss your overall oral health and habits

How much does a dental check-up cost?

The cost of a dental check-up depends on your dental plan and how much work is done during your visit. For example, routine teeth cleaning may be covered, depending on your dental plan. If a dentist recommends additional dental work, they will provide you with an estimate of the cost ahead of time.

A First or Non-Routine Visit

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist, you can expect the same care as a routine visit. Patient appointments and visits after more than a couple of years have passed usually require X-rays. The dentist wants a complete look at what’s going on inside your teeth, gums, and supporting bone structures.

Plan to hang in there for a deep cleaning session with the hygienist. The longer you wait between visits, the more hard tartar buildup on teeth and around the gumline. (If your teeth are sensitive, talk to the hygienist or dentist about numbing options to lessen pain before the work starts.) Having tartar removed can be uncomfortable, but the clean, smooth feel of your teeth after and the fact you’ll walk out with fresher breath is very much worth it.

What if something is wrong with my teeth?

Your dentist will tell you right away if your dental exam reveals anything unusual. Then, they may recommend additional procedures or refer you to a specialist. For example, if you would like your teeth straightened, a dentist may refer you to an orthodontist specialising in that kind of dentistry.

How often do I need a dental check-up?

Getting a dental check-up at least once a year can help maintain the overall health of your teeth and mouth and help identify any problems early. A build-up of tartar can cause long-term issues. To avoid any dental issues that require expensive procedures, consider getting at least one dental check-up and dental exam each year.

If you have a dental plan, make sure you know what’s covered for dental care. Dental costs vary depending on what work you need to be done and the type of dental insurance you have. You can start taking control of the expenses by learning ahead of time what kind of dental procedures and treatments your plan covers.

A visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be something to dread. Our esteemed team of dental professionals and oral hygienists aim to ensure that your routine visit to Swedish Dental is as welcoming and comfortable as possible.

For some, a visit to the dentist can be an anxiety-inducing, nerve-wracking experience. But just by making it to the chair, you are closer to better overall health, and you’ll be smiling with more confidence. This article will provide a guide on what to expect from your twice-annual dental visit to make you more comfortable and know what to expect.

Why do you need a dental check-up?

A dental check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps you keep your mouth healthy. Leaving issues untreated could make them more challenging to treat in the future, so it’s best to deal with problems early or, if possible, prevent them altogether.

Generally, the lower your risk of dental problems, the longer you can wait before your next check-up. So people with good oral health will probably need to attend only once every 12 to 24 months, but those with more problems will require regular check-ups.

What to expect from a dental check-up?

A dental check-up and a dental exam are often used interchangeably. However, some people distinguish that a hygienist handles the dental check-up while a dentist is responsible for the dental exam. The exam is more technical and requires the expertise of a dentist.

A hygienist or a certified dental assistant will begin your dental check-up with a teeth cleaning that includes the following:

  • Using various tools and instruments, they will remove or scrape tartar and plaque from around your gum line and the surface of your teeth.
  • Polish your teeth
  • Report their findings to the dentist
  • Take X-rays if ordered by the dentist.

X-rays

It is routine for your dentist to carry out x-rays, on occasion, during your dental check-up. X-rays allow your dentist not only to identify existing problems that might not be visible during a routine dental examination yet but to be aware of any problems that may present in the future.

In adults, x-rays can identify dental decay, impacted teeth, jawbone damage, cysts, tumours and abscesses. X-rays taken of children’s mouths will allow the dentist to see where the adult teeth will grow in.

Your dentist will decide which type of x-ray you need and explain why you are receiving an x-ray and how the x-ray works. Your dentist or dental assistant will set the machine up and leave the room before taking the x-ray to ensure your dentist doesn’t get too much exposure to the machine. Your dentist will only take x-rays when they believe it to be necessary.

After your teeth have been cleaned, your dentist will perform the dental exam:

  • Examine your gums, soft palate, throat and neck, checking for any abnormalities
  • Review any X-rays that may have been taken
  • Recommend any additional dental work you might need to maintain oral health
  • Discuss your overall oral health and habits

How much does a dental check-up cost?

The cost of a dental check-up depends on your dental plan and how much work is done during your visit. For example, routine teeth cleaning may be covered, depending on your dental plan. If a dentist recommends additional dental work, they will provide you with an estimate of the cost ahead of time.

A First or Non-Routine Visit

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist, you can expect the same care as a routine visit. Patient appointments and visits after more than a couple of years have passed usually require X-rays. The dentist wants a complete look at what’s going on inside your teeth, gums, and supporting bone structures.

Plan to hang in there for a deep cleaning session with the hygienist. The longer you wait between visits, the more hard tartar buildup on teeth and around the gumline. (If your teeth are sensitive, talk to the hygienist or dentist about numbing options to lessen pain before the work starts.) Having tartar removed can be uncomfortable, but the clean, smooth feel of your teeth after and the fact you’ll walk out with fresher breath is very much worth it.

What if something is wrong with my teeth?

Your dentist will tell you right away if your dental exam reveals anything unusual. Then, they may recommend additional procedures or refer you to a specialist. For example, if you would like your teeth straightened, a dentist may refer you to an orthodontist specialising in that kind of dentistry.

How often do I need a dental check-up?

Getting a dental check-up at least once a year can help maintain the overall health of your teeth and mouth and help identify any problems early. A build-up of tartar can cause long-term issues. To avoid any dental issues that require expensive procedures, consider getting at least one dental check-up and dental exam each year.

If you have a dental plan, make sure you know what’s covered for dental care. Dental costs vary depending on what work you need to be done and the type of dental insurance you have. You can start taking control of the expenses by learning ahead of time what kind of dental procedures and treatments your plan covers.

What To Expect From Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces the roots of your tooth with small metal screws. The screws replace damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function like real ones. 

There is not just one way of performing dental implant surgery. It all depends on the type of implant and the condition of your jawbone and may involve several procedures. The significant benefit of implants is to support your new teeth; this is a process that requires the bone to heal tightly around the implant.

Dental Implant Surgery Procedure

Dental implant surgery is performed in several steps and greatly depends on the kind of implant you’re getting and the health of your jawbone. The process requires the jawbone to heal tightly around the dental implant area absorbing it into the gumline as if it were a natural tooth. 

Dental implants are surgically placed within the jawbone and serve as the root of the artificial tooth. Dentists often use Titanium for this procedure because it fuses the implant with the jawbone, remains firmly in place, and won’t decay.

Initial Evaluation

Dental implants require several surgical procedures; your dentist or oral surgeon will conduct a complete and thorough evaluation, including X-rays and creating teeth models, to ensure the dental implants will closely match your natural teeth. 

Your dentist will then review the condition of your jawbone to decide how many teeth you plan on having replaced with implants. This planning process could involve several dental specialists, and they will then discuss your surgical anaesthesia options. Your dental team also might provide a list of dos and don’ts that you should adhere to leading up to the surgery.

If you haven’t already, arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from the surgery because you’ll be in no condition to drive yourself after the procedure. Expect to be in “full rest” mode for the rest of the day following the surgery.

During the Surgery

Dental implant surgery is often done in several stages, requiring the jawbone to heal entirely around the implant before proceeding. The first step is to remove the teeth if they haven’t already been removed. Next, the dentist will need to prep the area by bone grafting.

Dental Implant Surgery and Bone Grafting

An oral surgeon will prep the area where the implants will go by using bone grafting. This is where a tiny bit of bone or other material is transplanted to solidify the jawbone’s implant base. If bone grafting is needed, the healing process can take at least four to six months before installing an implant. While the implant heals, you’ll wear a temporary denture to keep the appearance of an entire tooth. The denture will be removable and should be kept clean at all times.

Placing the Abutment

When the healing and osseointegration processes are complete, your dentist will install the abutment. The oral surgeon will reopen your gums so that the dental implant is exposed. They will then screw the abutment into the dental implant. The gum tissue is then closed back around the abutment and left to heal for one to two weeks. Later, the artificial tooth will be attached to the abutment.

Choosing your new artificial teeth

Once your gums have healed, your dentist will make more impressions of your mouth and the remaining teeth. These impressions are used to make the artificial tooth or crown for your dental implant. There are two main types of artificial teeth you’ll be able to choose from — a removable implant prosthesis or a fixed implant prosthesis.

Going the removable route is similar to a removable denture. It’s mounted on a metal frame that snaps securely onto the implant abutment. This artificial tooth is an excellent choice because it can be removed for cleaning or replacement, especially when several teeth have been removed and required dental implant replacements. It’s also a more secure and affordable option.

If you choose to get a fixed implant, the artificial tooth is very challenging to remove. It’s either permanently screwed onto the abutment or cemented down. If you have several teeth that require implants and money isn’t a concern, you can have all of them replaced in this manner – with each crown attached to its separate dental implant.

After Surgery

Discomfort is natural and expected after dental implant surgery. Here are some common side effects of dental surgery:

  • Swelling of the face and gums
  • Bruising of the gums or skin
  • Pain at the site of your implant surgery
  • Minor bleeding

If any of these symptoms worsen soon after surgery, contact your dentist immediately as it could indicate implant issues that need to be addressed by a professional.

To help you heal post-surgery, your dentist might advise eating soft foods, applying ice packs to relieve the swelling, and patience while the surgical site heals. As with any medical surgery, there can be complications post-surgery. Help prevent these by practising proper oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and cleaning between your teeth with interdental brushes or water flossers at least once a day. Make sure to attend regular dental office visits and examinations to stay on top of your oral health, avoid using smoking, avoid bad oral habits, such as chewing on ice or hard sweets.

Conclusion

Our team at Swedish Dental is here to guide you through getting dental implants and answering any questions you may have. If you think you might be a candidate for dental implants, talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about dental implant surgery. Take care of your teeth, and you can take on anything.