Recognizing Tooth Infection Symptoms Before They Worsen

It might start with a bit of sensitivity in your teeth or gums… Then it becomes a bit of an annoying ache or throbbing sensation in your mouth. 

Yep, it’s a toothache! And it’s one of the most common signs that you probably have a bacterial infection somewhere in your teeth or gums.  

Now, don’t stress too much yet. Most dental infections, like cavities, are easily treatable with common dental procedures. 

However, if left untreated, infections could cause more severe problems in the future like pulpitis or dental abscesses, or potentially even spread to other parts of your body. That’s why it’s very important to seek out a dentist, like Dr. Li and her team at Ellerslie 66, as soon as you start experiencing any symptoms of a potential issue. Only then can they treat your oral health issues before they become a major problem.

To help you identify tooth infection symptoms and understand what to do if you’re experiencing them, we’ve put together this handy guide with all you need to know.

What is a tooth infection?

A dental infection is generally caused by bacteria in your mouth getting where it should not be.  While we all have bacteria throughout the surfaces of our mouth, problems begin to occur when the bacteria gets to the insides of your teeth, gums, or other mouth tissue. This is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, but can also happen when there are chips, cracks, or other injuries to your teeth as well.

Essentially, what happens over time is an excess of bacteria in your mouth will combine with acids, sugary and starchy foods, and saliva to create plaque and tartar buildup. Too much plaque can lead to issues such as tooth decay, and gum disease which allow the bacteria inside your teeth and gums. 

Once bacteria has gotten inside your tooth or gum tissue it can cause three main types of tooth infections. These are:

  • Cavities: Small holes in your teeth created where plaque has dissolved your tooth enamel. 
  • Pulpitis: A condition where bacteria has gotten into the pulp of your tooth and can cause nerve damage or dead teeth.
  • Abscess: An infection where bacteria in your mouth forms a pocket of pus that causes moderate to severe pain, and can turn into a serious, life-threatening condition if left untreated. Depending on where the condition is located there are different types of abscess, including: periapical abscess, or tooth abscess at the root of your tooth; periodontal abscess, in the gums or tissue next to the root or bone; and gingival abscess in your gums.

While regularly brushing your teeth and flossing can help prevent plaque buildup, and ultimately dental infections, having routine dental exams twice a year is also very important. Plaque itself cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone so your dentist should regularly remove any that has built up and take other necessary steps to protect your teeth.

Tooth Infection Symptoms

Now that you know what a tooth infection is and how it is caused, it’s time to learn what signs to look out for.  The following are some of the most common symptoms that might suggest that you have a tooth infection, or another problem that may lead to one:

  • Consistent or throbbing tooth pain
  • Throbbing pain in the jaw, ear or neck
  • Increased pain when lying down
  • Sensitivity to pressure in the mouth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold food & drink
  • Swelling of your cheeks, jaw, mouth, or face
  • Tender or swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Unpleasant taste in mouth

If you’re experiencing the above symptoms, especially a combination of any, you should seek out emergency dental services from a dental provider near you. While there’s potential that it could be nothing serious, you’ll have solace in knowing that if you do have an infection that it can be caught and treated before the infection has spread to other parts of your body.

Symptoms An Infection Has Spread

While it’s best to take care of a tooth infection before it spreads, it’s also important to know when it has. It’s easy to let tooth infection carry on, especially if nervous about a dentist appointment. If you have any of these symptoms though, it’s best to seek dental care as soon as possible:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • sweating
  • chills
  • skin flushed
  • swelling to the point of difficulty opening your mouth
  • swelling that impedes swallowing and breathing
  • darker urine
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

Of course, these symptoms extend from many different kinds of ailments, but if they’re following symptoms of tooth infection and you’re experiencing several of the symptoms at once then you know it’s likely that the infection has spread.

How Are Tooth Infections Treated?

Depending on the severity of the tooth infection, there is a range of treatment options to quell the problem in your teeth or gums and restore your oral health. Some common treatments for a tooth infection include:

  • Root canal
  • draining abscess
  • Administering antibiotics
  • anti-inflammatory drugs
  • removal of tooth

The path your dentist takes to restore good oral health very much depends on if the tooth infection has spread as well as the severity. Keep in mind that the longer you wait after experiencing any symptoms listed above, the more involved the treatment is likely to be. 

Preventing Tooth Infections

The best way to catch tooth infections before they spread is by regular visits to your dentist and scheduling an appointment when you notice tooth infection symptoms appearing. Teeth that see the dentist often are healthy teeth. 

If you are in need of a dental check-up or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, Dr. Li is available to help you regain your oral health. We have numerous payment options available and if you have dental benefits, we will submit your claims on your behalf. We also welcome cash, Visa, MasterCard, and e-Transfer payment methods to help make the dentist visit as pain-free as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns about our dental services or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call us at 587-801-1939 or contact us here.

What Is Included In A Dental Check-Up?

Has it been a while since you’ve visited the dentist? 

It’s okay to be honest… we know there are a lot of patients out there who haven’t had a regular dental check up in a while for one reason or another. Whether it be because of anxiety, financial reasons, or just generally being busy, unfortunately a lot of people don’t come see the dentist as often as they should.

However, it’s not only very important for your oral health, but your overall health care to have routine dental care completed at least twice a year by a dentist like Dr. Li and the team at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic

Plus, visiting the dentist isn’t as scary or as costly as you might think. That’s why we’re here to give you a quick overview of what you should expect from your next dental check up, and why you shouldn’t put off your next visit.

Say Hello to Our Receptionist!

When you arrive at your appointment you will be greeted by our receptionist who will check you in for your appointment and have you fill out some routine paperwork before your exam. The paperwork you’ll be asked to fill out will include information about your medical history, current medications and conditions, and any symptoms of oral problems you might be experiencing. 

It’s important to be honest and comprehensive in your responses. As previously mentioned, your oral health is closely connected to your overall health, and some medical conditions and medications may increase your risk of dental issues or require us to take a different approach to your oral care. In addition, letting us know about any symptoms you are experiencing can help us diagnose and catch problems early, and ultimately help prevent more extensive dental treatments. 

When it’s time for your check up to begin one of our experienced and caring dental hygienists will greet you and take you back to get comfortable in the examination chair.

Your Dental Check Up

Once you are brought to the back room the dental hygienist will take the time to review your medical history and ask you more information about any symptoms you might be experiencing. This information can help us get a better idea of any potential problems to look out for, and help Dr. Li make a more informed diagnosis.

Your dental hygienist will then ask you about any fears or anxieties you might have about coming to the dentist. We want to make sure that your experience is as comfortable as possible, so don’t try to be brave, be honest! 

Having anxiety about coming to the dentist is very common so there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Dental treatments and technology have improved quite a bit over the decades to be much less painful and invasive. Therefore, if we know about your fears, we’ll be able to better explain the procedures to you and help alleviate your anxiety. 

After we’ve taken the time to get to know a bit more about you and your background, the dental hygienist will begin your preventative dental check up. Your check up will include the following procedures:

  • Teeth Cleaning And Polishing: Using various tools the dental hygienist will take the time to thoroughly clean and polish your teeth. This process will remove the hardened plaque and tartar on the surface of your teeth that can potentially cause cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. 
  • Digital Dental X-Rays:  Digital x-rays of your mouth may be taken to look for any potential issues below the gum line or in the interior of your teeth. Dental x-rays may not be required at every dental check up. We will consider the time elapsed since your last visit, your dental history, and any possible symptoms you might be experiencing. 
  • Home Prevention Recommendations: Your dental hygienist will give you some tips and instructions for home preventative oral care including recommendations for good brushing and flossing habits, and possibly other preventative measures you can do at home to maintain your teeth and gums.

Your Dental Exam With Dr. Li

After your cleaning and x-rays are complete, Dr. Li will come greet you and give you your dental examination. She will review your dental history, your x-rays, and any findings reported by the hygienist while cleaning your teeth to help her identify any potential problems to look out for. 

Some of the things Dr. Li will look at during her examination may include:

  • Head & Neck: We do this to look for any swelling or tenderness in your head and neck area, which could be signs of disease or infection.  Dr. Li will also check the movement of the joints in your jawbone to make sure they are functioning properly.
  • Bite: Dr. Li will take a look at how your upper and lower sets of teeth align to determine if there are any issues with your bite that could lead to future problems.
  • Teeth: Dr. Li will conduct a more thorough examination of your teeth, looking for signs of tooth decay, enamel erosion, and potential cavities. She will also examine any existing fillings, bridges, crowns, or other restorations for any potential problems.
  • Gum Tissue: Dr. Li will take the time to examine your gums for signs of gingivitis and gum disease that may need to be treated.
  • Soft Tissue:  Dr. Li will look for any signs of spots, swelling, lesions, cuts or growths that could indicate a potential problem with your oral health.
  • X-Rays: Finally, Dr. Li will review your x-rays for any signs of problems that may not be visible on the surface of your teeth or mouth. 

Once her examination is complete, Dr. Li will let you know if there are any concerns and what the next steps for treatment are. In many cases there are no additional steps that need to be taken aside from scheduling your next regular check up. Simple and easy!

However, if any problems are found that require additional treatment, Dr. Li will carefully and thoroughly explain your treatment options and work with you to find the right solution for your personal comfort, health, and finances. We want to make sure that you not only walk away with a healthy, confident smile, but that you do so in a way that is as gentle, caring, and tailored to your needs as possible.

Before You Leave

Before you leave we’ll remind you about any home preventative measures you can take to care for your oral health. We also recommend scheduling any future appointments you may need, whether it be your next dental check up, or a treatment procedure. 

We have numerous payment options available to make the cost of your visit affordable and carefree. If you have dental benefits, we will submit your claims on your behalf and accept payment from your insurance company. Otherwise, we welcome cash, Visa, MasterCard, and e-Transfer payment methods to make things as easy as we can for you.
If you have any additional questions about our preventative dental check-up services, or would like to schedule an appointment, feel free to call us at (780) 705-9866 or contact us and we’ll be happy to help however we can!

Tips: How to Make Kids Brush Teeth and Floss

Taking care of your child’s oral care is important from a very early age. Starting good oral hygiene practices with your child as soon as their baby teeth come in will help prevent dental problems like gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities later in life.

However, as all parents know, trying to teach a young child good habits of any kind and getting them to pay attention for more than 30 seconds at a time is much easier said than done. That’s why the pediatric dental experts at Ellerslie 66 Dental are here to give you some tips that can help make tooth brushing and flossing fun and easy for you and your child.

 

Show Them How

Before letting your child be involved in the process of brushing and flossing, take the time to show them how you do it yourself.  Since you should be brushing your own teeth twice a day for two minutes anyway, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to show your children how you take care of your own pearly whites

Sit together in front of the mirror and let them get a good look in your mouth to see how you reach every surface of your teeth, gums, and tongue. Make sure to emphasize that it’s important to spit the excess toothpaste out and rinse afterward. Then take the time to show them how you wrap the floss around your fingers and get into the spaces between all of your teeth.  

Showing your child how you do this on yourself can not only give them a visual aid for what they should be doing, but it can also help relieve anxiety by showing them that if mommy or daddy can do it there’s nothing to be worried about. 

 

Let Them Practice on You

One you’ve shown them how you brush and floss on yourself, give your child the chance to practice on you.  Let them brush and even practice flossing on a few of your teeth. Even if they don’t get it right the first time, you have the ability to go back and do it yourself again later!

Giving them the chance to practice on you lets your child feel like you are their equal in the process, rather than just the person telling them what they have to do.  If it’s important for you to take care of your teeth, it must be important for them as well!

 

Let Them Try On Their Own (Supervised)

Once your child has had an opportunity to watch and practice on you, give them some independence and let them try brushing and flossing their own teeth. Give them the freedom to put their own pea size amount of children’s fluoride toothpaste on their brush, wrap the floss around their fingers, and do the work themselves.  

Allowing them to brush and floss on their own while you guide them can give them a feeling of responsibility and being in control.

 

Let Them Choose

One of the easiest ways to help your child feel in control of their own oral health is to simply let them pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste flavor. 

Next time you’re at the store, let them make the choice.  Since they won’t necessarily know the difference between a child’s brush or toothpaste and a grownup’s, you can narrow it down for them, and give them some options to choose from. 

If they don’t end up liking the flavors they choose, try something else the next time, or have a couple different options in the house to give them variety.

 

Brush to music

From Raffi, to Sesame Street and the Wiggles, there are several children’s musicians who have written songs about brushing teeth.  Putting on one of these songs from their favorite characters can make brushing teeth a fun game, rather than a tedious activity.  In addition, most of these songs are conveniently about 2 minutes long, so your child will get in the habit of knowing the proper amount of brushing time.

 

Give Them Rewards

Incentivising your children to brush and floss regularly by giving them rewards is another way to make oral care fun and help your child feel like they are doing something important.  This could be something as simple as giving them a sticker or putting coins in a jar to save for a fun prize. 

To reward different levels of completion you could give a gold star or a quarter if they brush for the whole two minutes and floss, and maybe a silver star or a dime if they brush and floss, but don’t fully complete the process.

 

Be Patient!

Last but not least, be patient!  The process of getting your children to practice good brushing and flossing habits will take time and there will be bumps along the way.  However, if your children see you get frustrated, they’ll get frustrated and lose interest as well. 

Be there to answer their questions, and help them when they need it.  

And if you ever have questions yourself, or would like to schedule your child for their regular dental checkup and teeth cleaning, the team at Ellerslie 66 Dental is here for you.  Feel free to contact us or call us at (780) 705-9866 and we’ll be happy to help!

Children’s Dental Care Made Easy

Your child’s oral health is just as important as your own.  From the time they are babies, all the way until they get their permanent teeth, it’s important to make sure that your child practices good dental home care to help ensure that they grow up with healthy, happy smiles. 

However, at Ellerslie 66 Dental, we know it can be difficult for your child to learn how to practice good dental hygiene habits, especially at an early age.  If your child is too young to take care of their own teeth, or if they need some help acquiring some good habits, we’re here to offer a few suggestions to help make your children’s dental care easy. 

 

Advice for Your Children’s Dental Care:

To help ensure your child’s dental health, they should begin to brush and floss on their own as soon as they are old enough to do so. In most cases children should be able to do this with supervision around the age of 4 or 5.  However, each child is different, so make sure to consult with your dentist to make sure they think your child is able to practice good oral hygiene on their own.

Helping your child practice good dental hygiene early on can help them engage in good hygiene habits after their adult teeth come in. 

 

Brushing:

Engaging in good brushing habits removes plaque from your child’s teeth, and helps prevent cavities and tooth decay.  Children should start brushing using toothbrushes with soft bristles. 

You can help your child learn proper brushing technique by first showing them how to place their toothbrush against their front teeth at a 45 degree angle.  Have them start brushing in a circular motion along their gums. After they have brushed all of their front teeth have them move to the top and inside surfaces as well. Finally, help your child get in the habit of brushing their gums to remove bacteria and help keep their breath fresh.   

Many cities, like Edmonton, have fluoride in the water to help strengthen and repair tooth enamel.  However, using a small amount of  fluoride toothpaste is recommended to help maintain the health of your child’s teeth 

 

Flossing: 

Your child should start flossing as soon as they have teeth that touch together. Often this will occur before your child is old enough to floss on their own so you should help them until they are capable of flossing themselves.  

To practice proper flossing technique, you or your child should wrap a string of floss between the thumb and forefinger. Place the floss between each set of teeth in a C shape and gently move the floss back and forth. You don’t have to floss too hard, stop when you feel resistance on the gums or teeth.  And don’t forget to get all of your child’s teeth, including the four in the back.

Tips To Help Teach Your Children Good Brushing & Flossing Habits.

Visiting the Dentist:

An important part of your child’s dental care, is to make sure that they receive regular dental services from a pediatric dentist.

Visiting a dentist within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth is recommended in Canada by the The Canadian Dental Association (CDA). As we emphasize in Preventative Dentistry, the purpose is to take preventative measures before problems occur or get more serious. 

Regular dental appointments for kids can teach them good oral habits and learn the importance of oral health from their childhood. Dentists can also offer other preventative measures, like dental sealants, that you can’t get at home. They can also help identify and mitigate possible dental health issues before they happen. A dental exam every six months is recommended if a child has had cavities before, otherwise every twelve months.

Dr. Li and the care team at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic know the importance of children’s dental health. We will provide your child with compassionate and comfortable care, and help them to understand the benefits of good dental health. 

If you have questions about our pediatric dentistry services, or would like to make an appointment for your child, contact our team of dental professionals or give us a call at (780) 705-9866.

How to Whiten Teeth with the Help of Your Dentist

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures because it can help restore confidence in your smile. Some patients might feel embarrassed about wanting to undergo a teeth whitening procedure, and we hope we can help you understand that teeth whitening is very common, and many people do it!

We assure you that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Teeth whitening is a great way to remove stubborn stains that most people will encounter over the course of their lives.

Discoloration in your teeth may be caused by:

  • Tobacco use
  • Aging
  • Side effects from certain medication
  • Consumption of coffee, tea, wine and other deeply pigmented food and drink
  • Poor dental hygiene due to lack of preventative dental care
  • Many other reasons that may be beyond your control

It’s important to understand that not all teeth can be whitened, and there are many health factors that will determine if tooth whitening is right for you. In cases where teeth whitening will not be effective, dental veneers might be a suitable alternative for brightening your smile.

 

How to Whiten Teeth

Teeth whitening can be performed in several ways, and a qualified teeth whitening dentist can help you make a decision based on your health history and whitening goals. The three most common ways to whiten teeth are:

In-Office with the help of Dr. Li and our friendly team

Teeth whitening can be performed in the office and is the fastest method of whitening teeth. In-office teeth whitening is performed through the use of high concentrations of bleaching gel in precise applications. This form of teeth whitening is not permanent, and patients may need to book follow up appointments to keep their teeth white over time.

Custom made trays that contain teeth whitening gel

Teeth whitening trays work by gradually whitening teeth over time through the use of teeth whitening gel applied to a tray that is custom-fit to a patient’s mouth. The whitening gel used in our take home trays is professional strength and more powerful than teeth whitening products you find at a store.

Over the counter teeth whitening kits

There are many teeth whitening kits and strips available over the counter at pharmacies and other retail outlets. Because there are so many brands available, it can be difficult to know which teeth whitening kit is best for you. We suggest that you speak with Dr. Li and our care team to understand your options and which teeth whitening method will be most effective for you.

 

Find Out the Best Way to Whiten Your Teeth

When you meet with Dr. Li and our friendly care team, we will review your dental health history and fully examine your teeth to determine if you are a candidate for teeth whitening. Dr. Li will explain which teeth whitening method might be most effective for you, and will take the time to answer all of your questions.

We understand that going to the dentist can sometimes be stressful, and we’re committed to making you feel comfortable and relaxed. 

To book a teeth whitening consultation, fill out our convenient online form, or call us at 780-705-9866.  

Everything You Wanted to Know About Dental Veneers

Your smile is important! From instant selfies, to showing confidence at the big business meeting, or looking your best on that first date, your smile says a lot about you.

However, dental issues such stains and discoloration, broken and chipped teeth, abnormally shaped teeth, and gaps can cause millions of people hide their smile from the rest of the world.

If you’re one of the many Canadians who are stressed or embarrassed by their smile then dental veneers might be a good fit for you.

We know that you might have a lot of questions before choosing veneers, so we’re here to help provide you with the information that you need to make the right decision for your dental health.

 

What Are Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin shells that are attached to the front surface of the tooth. They are arguably one of the most versatile tools at a dentist’s disposal, and can be used to help encourage tooth repair and hide a number of cosmetic dental issues.

The most traditional veneers are porcelain veneers, but other types of materials may be used in some situations. Most dentists prefer porcelain because it is not only a strong and highly durable material, but it’s coloring and sheen closely mimic the look of your natural tooth enamel. This means the veneer more closely resembles your natural teeth, giving you a clean, beautiful smile you can be proud of.

What Are Veneers Used For?

Veneers are a truly multifaceted cosmetic dental tool and can be used to help resolve a variety of dental issues.

One of the most common uses of veneers is to help cover up stains and discolorations that do not respond to other teeth whitening or bleaching procedures. However, they can also be used to repair issues with your tooth structure including covering up chips and broken teeth, filling gaps between teeth, and helping make crooked teeth look straight.

  • Veneers Can Help With:
  • Permanent stains and discoloration
  • Gaps in teeth
  • Broken and chipped teeth
  • Abnormally shaped teeth

Are Veneers Permanent?

Porcelain veneers are not a permanent fix for your dental issues, but they do provide you with a long lasting, natural looking solution that can improve your smile for many years. While the procedure itself is irreversible, your veneers will eventually break down and need to be replaced. However, porcelain veneers can last for an average of 10 years, and can last for even longer if well maintained.

There are also some cases where temporary, clip-on composite veneers might be suggested. Composite resin veneers can be a less expensive alternative to permanent veneers, are removable and replaceable, and don’t require invasive dental procedures to place. Therefore they may be a better option for patients in some circumstances.

However, they do come with a number of disadvantages that porcelain veneers don’t have.

Because they are not as durable as porcelain, there are a number of foods that should be avoided when wearing temporary veneers such as hard foods, tough meats, sticky foods, and foods that have staining agents. Brushing and flossing with temporary veneers also requires some additional caution as flossing, and electric toothbrushes may loosen the bonds between your teeth and the veneer. Finally, although composite veneers can help resolve several dental conditions, just like porcelain, they don’t have , so they may be more noticeable.

 

How Are Veneers Applied?

The process of installing veneers can take several weeks to complete and is done in multiple phases.

First, in order to prepare your teeth for your veneers, your dentist may need to reshape the surface of your tooth by trimming off some of your existing tooth enamel. In some cases your dentist may suggest a local anesthetic for this part of the procedure to help a patient feel more comfortable.

After your teeth have been shaped and prepared, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth. This mold will be sent off to a laboratory that will create your porcelain veneers. In the meantime, this is one of the instances where temporary veneers come in handy, as they can be inserted until the time your new veneers are ready.

After two to four weeks you’ll return to your dentist for the veneer placement. After your dentist ensures that they fit on your teeth well, they will clean, polish, and etch your teeth to prepare them to be set. To place the veneer, a special cement will be applied to bond with the etching made in your teeth. Once the veneers are placed a special light will be applied to encourage a chemical bond between your veneer and the cement. Your dentist will then clean any excess cement, check your bite, and make any last minute adjustments before sending you off with your new smile.

 

Are Veneers Worth It?

In many cases dental veneers can be the best solution to help resolve some of your cosmetic dental issues. As previously mentioned, they are highly versatile and can be used to help with anything from covering discolored teeth, to hiding broken and chipped teeth, filling gaps, and fixing abnormally shaped teeth.
That being said, they are not the answer to every dental problem.

We recommend a consultation with our team of compassionate dental professionals to determine if you are a good candidate for dental veneers. At the time of your consultation a dentist will examine your teeth to determine if a veneer will help resolve your issues.

If you’re a good candidate, we’ll move forward with the procedure from there. If not, we’ll recommend another procedure that may be right for you, whether that may be dental implants, dental restorations, or something else.

 

How Much Do Veneers Cost?

The price of dental veneers varies from patient to patient depending on their needs. During your initial consultation with Dr. Li, she will examine your health history and current oral health, and outline a treatment plan that is customized to your exact needs.

Dr. Li and the care team at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic strive to make dental care affordable and accessible to all of our patients. We will work with you to find a treatment plan for your dental veneers that works for your financial situation.

If you have questions about dental veneers, our team of compassionate professionals can help you understand all of your options. Contact us now or give us a call at (780) 705-9866.