Riverwalk Dental

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sleep Apnea and Floppy Eyelids

When people are aware that they suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), dentists such as our team at Riverwalk Dental in Calgary can make night guards for them that will help keep their airways open. But people often do not know why they are fatigued unless there is someone who can tell them whether they snore. Now, scientists have found a new indicator of sleep apnea: floppy eyelids.


The study was small in size, but it found that 53% of people with sleep apnea also had eyelids that were rubbery or misshapen. These people’s eyelids flipped inside-out more easily, putting them at greater risk for dryness and corneal abrasions.


Scientists are unsure of why OSA is linked to floppy eyelids, although they hypothesize that inflammation is damaging the proteins that allow skin to regain its shape after stretching. For people with lax eyelids, a night guard may be a better option than a CPAP machine, since the dry air it emits can further harm their eyes. People who suspect they have sleep apnea should get assessed in a sleep center so they can determine if it is the kind a dentist can assist with.


Dr. Jared Palmer and his team operate Riverwalk Dental at 540 6th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2G 1K5, Canada. To schedule an appointment, call 1-403-456-4994 or visit Riverwalk Dental.


 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Common Dental Instruments

We want patients to feel comfortable in our Riverwalk Dental office. The instruments used by dentists and hygienists can be pretty cool, but for some people, they are a source of anxiety. To help accustom patients to our tools, we decided to describe the ones we most often use.


The explorer, also known as a probe, is a metal hook at the end of a handle. We use it to test the depth and cleanliness of gum pockets, as well as the sturdiness of dental enamel, and to break off plaque and tartar. There are a number of slightly-differently shaped probes we use for testing and cleaning different parts of different teeth. A handheld mirror allows us to see places in a patient’s mouth that aren’t normally visible and can be used to lift the inside of the cheek away from the teeth.


If we find decay, we remove it with a drill that releases water, preventing the mouth form suffering heat damage. (Patients are always numbed, first.) When preparing white composite filling materials, we’ll mix them on a small spatula. We apply resin to the teeth using a blunt instrument called a burnisher, which we also use to contour the new filling. When whole teeth need to be removed, we use an elevator, which is a narrow spoon, to rock them back and forth at the root until they are loose enough to pull with reverse-action forceps.


Dr. Jared Palmer and his team operate Riverwalk Dental at 540 6th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2G 1K5, Canada. To schedule an appointment, call 1-403-456-4994 or visit Riverwalk Dental.


 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Chewing Gum with Xylitol

Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate, that looks and tastes like regular table sugar without all of the negative side effects. At drugstores, you’ve probably seen it on the label of a pack of “sugar-free” gum. Studies using xylitol as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in tooth decay, along with reversal of dental caries. With benefits such as these, our doctors at Riverwalk Dental encourage you to consume more of it.


Xylitol tastes sweet but, unlike sugar, it is not converted in the mouth to acids that cause tooth decay. In fact, it reduces levels of decay-causing bacteria in saliva and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and does not fall. After chewing gum with xylitol, the bacteria do not stick well on the surface of teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases.


If you have questions or concerns about dental services, please give us a call. Riverwalk Dental is located at 540 6th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2G 1K5, Canada. To schedule an appointment, call 1-403-456-4994 or visit riverwalkdental.ca.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Oral Care for Diabetic Patients

People who have poorly controlled diabetes are at a greater risk for developing dental problems such as bad breath, bleeding, and sore gums, as well as frequent infections. A patient with diabetes is more likely to have infections of the gums and bones that hold teeth together than those who don’t have the condition. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are overdue for a dental checkup, please schedule a consultation at Riverwalk Dental.


Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar level is critical. The higher your blood sugar level, the higher your risk of tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontitis. In addition, high blood sugar may cause dry mouth and make gum disease worse. The decrease in saliva can cause an increase in tooth-decaying bacteria and plaque buildup. Prevent these complications by brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, flossing at least once a day, and maintaining blood sugar levels with a healthy diet.


If you have questions or concerns about dental services, please give us a call. Riverwalk Dental is located at 540 6th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2G 1K5, Canada. To schedule an appointment, call 1-403-456-4994 or visit riverwalkdental.ca.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Replacing Fillings

When patients need to have cavities filled in, they can count on the high-quality work of Riverwalk Dental in Calgary. Properly-cared for fillings can last for a long time. But they do eventually wear out, which is why patients should know what to be on the look-out for.


Fillings are placed after decayed enamel has been drilled away. While patients may be a bit uncomfortable following the drilling, pain should not be intense or last for longer than two days. The patient should also be able to close their teeth together without resistance and there shouldn’t be saliva leaking from the filling location. If either of these things happens, it could be a sign that the filling is misshapen and needs to be redone.


Bonding has a lifespan of about ten years. After that, even a well-placed filling may come loose or start to develop cracks. Bacteria can find refuge in cracked bonding and cause another dental infection. By maintaining regular dental check-ups, patients can help us to remove and replace old fillings before they become problems. If a patient is experiencing pain or can tell a filling is loose, they should schedule an emergency appointment.


Dr. Jared Palmer and his team operate Riverwalk Dental at 540 6th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2G 1K5, Canada. To schedule an appointment, call 1-403-456-4994 or visit Riverwalk Dental.


 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease

There are a number of health conditions which can make it harder for patients to avoid gum disease. Among them is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but recent studies have found that it may not be for the reasons people have long assumed.


RA is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own synovium, which is the soft tissue that lines joints. This results in painful swelling. In a recent study by Johns Hopkins, 70% of people with RA were found to have gingivitis or periodontal disease, which is a much higher rate than in the general population.


It makes sense that people with arthritis wouldn’t be able to brush or floss as well, but gingivitis was also found in people whose RA had not yet progressed very far. Other new research indicates that gum tissue shares a lot of its genetic and protein structure with synovium. In that case, it is especially important for people with RA to integrate dental care into a regular part of their maintenance team. Home items such as water picks and electric toothbrushes can help them reduce gum inflammation.


Dr. Jared Palmer and his team operate Riverwalk Dental at 540 6th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2G 1K5, Canada. To schedule an appointment, call 1-403-456-4994 or visit Riverwalk Dental.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Risks Associated with Tooth Tartar

Maintaining good oral care habits is important for keeping teeth clean, plaque-free, and tartar-free. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth, food particles mix with saliva in the mouth to form dental plaque, a soft sticky gunk that coats your teeth and gets under the gum line. If plaque isn’t eliminated on a daily basis, it will turn into tartar which only our professionals at Riverwalk Dental are able to remove.


Tartar gives plaque more room to grow and a much stickier surface to adhere, which can lead to more serious conditions such as cavities and gum disease. Not only can tartar threaten the health of your teeth and gums, it can also leave your smile looking dull and lackluster. The most common sign of tartar is a yellow or brown color to teeth and gums. Proper brushing, especially with American Dental Association (ADA) approved tartar control toothpaste, and flossing is necessary to reduce plaque and tartar buildup.  


If you have questions or concerns regarding TMJ/TMD, please give us a call. Riverwalk Dental is located at 540 6th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2G 1K5, Canada. To schedule an appointment, call 1-403-456-4994 or visit riverwalkdental.ca.