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Minimally Invasive Diagnostic Tools in the Diagnosis of Periodontal Disease

August 16th, 2019

January 11, 2018
by Zahra Dorna Mojdami, HBSc, DDS; Michael Glogauer, DDS, Dip Perio, PhD; Amir Azarpazhooh, DDS, MSc, PhD, FRCD(C)


Introduction

The most common chronic inflammatory conditions worldwide and collectively the most common diseases known to mankind, are inflammatory periodontal diseases.1 Periodontal diseases include gingivitis, where the inflammation confined to the gingiva is reversible with good oral hygiene, and periodontitis, an extension of the inflammation that results in tissue destruction and alveolar bone resorption.1 Periodontitis is very common with 10-15% of adults being afflicted with severe periodontitis and 40-60% being affected by moderate periodontitis.2 Several forms of periodontitis have been recognized; however, the predominant category is chronic periodontitis (CP) which remains the number one cause of tooth loss in adults worldwide.3 The goal of periodontal diagnostic tools and procedures is to provide useful information to the clinician on the periodontal disease type, location, and severity. This information will serve as the basis for treatment planning and monitoring of disease.4 Traditional periodontal clinical diagnostic parameters include probing depths, bleeding on probing, clinical attachment levels, plaque index, and radiographs.5 The strengths associated with these traditional tools are that they are easy to use, cost-effective, and are relatively non-invasive.5 However, these traditional diagnostic procedures are limited in that only disease history, not current disease status and activity, can be assessed and identified.5,6 For example, clinical attachment loss readings by the periodontal probe and radiographic evaluation of alveolar bone loss measure damage from past episodes of destruction and require a 2 to 3 mm threshold change before a site can be identified as having experienced a significant anatomic event.5 Even in instances when patients’ treatments are monitored over time it can be difficult to use these clinical parameters to make a definitive periodontal diagnosis.5 As another example, does a patient who has been treated with non-surgical periodontal treatment and now has several sites with residual probing depths that bleed on probing still have periodontitis that requires further active therapy or surgical treatment, or is the condition stable and the disease in remission?7 Moreover, other limitations such as the difficulty in precisely duplicating the insertion force, probe placement and angulation exist.8 Radiographs, a key factor in determining the severity of periodontitis and bone-related damage, have limited sensitivity and only reveal change in bone after 30% to 50% of bone loss has occurred.8 Furthermore, radiographs cannot be taken at each visit due to excess radiation exposure to the patient.8 Advances in oral and periodontal disease diagnostic research are consequently moving forward toward methods whereby periodontal diagnosis and risk can be identified and quantified by measures that are objective7, minimally invasive, less technique sensitive, less time consuming and that are able to identify active and potential periodontal disease. New developments in periodontal diagnostic research will be discussed below.

https://www.oralhealthgroup.com/features/minimally-invasive-diagnostic-tools-diagnosis-periodontal-disease/

 

DENTISTRY PROF HONOURED WITH INAUGURAL CADR/ACFD NATIONAL DENTAL RESEARCH AWARD

August 8th, 2019

U of T Dentistry’s professor Chris McCulloch was honoured with the first-ever Canadian Association of Dental Research (CADR) /Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry (ACFD) National Dental Research Award at a special awards ceremony on June 18 held in Vancouver.

The award recognizes McCulloch’s remarkable contributions across the field of oral health, but also his mentorship, his research innovation, and his leadership.

At the ceremony, the awards committee outlined a number of McCulloch’s accomplishments, which include 295 peer-reviewed papers; over 9,500 citations, and a remarkable H-index score of 61. Over the course of his career, the committee noted, McCulloch has received over $55,000,000 in research funding.

“Chris has been one of the most productive researchers in the Canadian basic science landscape – far beyond dental research,” said Bernhard Ganss, vice dean of research, in a statement. “He has continuously held competitive funds through tri‐council agencies and other highly competitive agencies. And he has forged collaborations on a national, international and global scale,” Ganss added.

Lauded for his impact on research, specifically his work on cell-matrix communications, the award also captured McCulloch’s far-reaching impact on academia: he has graduated 25 PhD and 35 MSc students and currently has 10 trainees under his supervision.

The ceremony took place as a prelude to the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) conference, held in Vancouver on June 19-22.

www.dentistry.utoronto.ca

Photo: Courtesy Marna MacDonald

DENTISTRY’S PROFESSOR MICHAEL GLOGAUER AWARDED CAHS FELLOWSHIP

August 8th, 2019

Dentistry’s Professor Michael Glogauer, DDS 9T3, PhD 9T9, has been awarded a prestigious Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) Fellowship.

Induction into the CAHS as a Fellow is considered one of the highest honours within Canada’s academic community and focuses on bringing together Canada’s top-ranked health and biomedical scientists and scholars to make a positive impact on the urgent health concerns of Canadians.

“This is a real privilege,” says Dr. Glogauer. “Being a clinician-scientist is the best job in the world. There is creativity and problem solving involved and we get to work towards answering important questions.”

Within CAHS, there is a select group of dental clinicians. Dr. Glogauer joins University of Toronto’s Dr. Christopher McCulloch, as well as Dr. Chris Overall from University of British Columbia and Dr. Paul Allison from McGill University in the Dentistry stream of CAHS.

Dr. Glogauer says this will afford him the opportunity to demonstrate how important funding is to the work of dental clinician scientists – and to the lives of Canadians. “The oral cavity is connected to the rest of the body where health problems can be initially detected by dentists. For example, diabetes often presents with an infection in the mouth,” he says. “With improved communication between the dentist and the rest of the health care team, we can potentially carryout earlier detection of new cases of diabetes, improve patient health, and reduce costs to the healthcare system.”

Dr. Glogauer is a leader in oral innate immunity in health and disease. As a dental clinician scientist, he focuses on understanding how oral disease impacts on general health. The Glogauer lab has revealed novel concepts of distinct neutrophil (an immune cell that is one of the first cell types to travel to the site of an infection to help fight infection) activation states in oral health and periodontal disease and how shifts in neutrophil activation can be used as a diagnostic biomarker for early detection of periodontal diseases and furthermore, how oral disease can impact systemic health. He uses this knowledge to understand the impact of socio-economic status and lack of dental care access on overall health.

Dr. Glogauer is also an internationally-recognized leader in the fields of innate immunity, neutrophil function, and periodontal diseases. His research, which focuses on neutrophils, has resulted in important publications describing regulators of neutrophil function, immune regulation of periodontal disease, and alveolar bone loss. This work has led to two patents, one license, and two license disclosures.

It has also has led to the development of a novel non-invasive oral rinse test for periodontal disease, the leading inflammatory condition in humans. This test is based on 10 years of research in his lab (12 publications; 15 students) and has resulted in the creation of technology licensed to a Canadian company (Oral Sciences Inc.) for a diagnostic rinse test called PerioMonitorTM. It is in the final phase of clinical testing as required by the FDA and Health Canada for approved use in medical and dental offices. This rinse will be the first tool to allow for rapid screening for periodontitis in a non-dental setting.

This test builds on Dr. Glogauer’s goal of overcoming the “dental disease blind spot” in the Canadian health care system that impacts the overall health and quality of life of Canadians. Dr. Glogauer’s focus on connecting oral health to general well-being is also highlighted by his monthly speaking and teaching engagements to stakeholders in the healthcare community.

Dr. Glogauer is also the recent recipient of a grant from the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research (NCOHR): New Frontier Seed Grant Program (2018) for his work entitled: “Monetite biomaterial grafts loaded with a novel bone anabolic conjugate C3 conjugate drug to achieve more predictable and greater bone regeneration.

https://www.dentistry.utoronto.ca/news/professor-michael-glogauer-awarded-cahs-fellowship

 

Role of Fibroblast Populations in Periodontal Wound Healing and Tissue Remodeling

August 1st, 2019

Abstract

After injury to periodontal tissues, a sequentially phased healing response is initiated that enables wound closure and partial restoration of tissue structure and function. Wound closure in periodontal tissues involves the tightly regulated coordination of resident cells in epithelial and connective tissue compartments. Multiple cell populations in these compartments synergize their metabolic activities to reestablish a mucosal seal that involves the underlying periodontal connective tissues and the attachment of these tissues to the tooth surface. The formation of an impermeable seal around the circumference of the tooth is of particular significance in oral health since colonization of tooth surfaces by pathogenic biofilms promotes inflammation, which can contribute to periodontal tissue degradation and tooth loss. The reformation of periodontal tissue structures in the healing response centrally involves fibroblasts, which synthesize and organize the collagen fibers that link alveolar bone and gingiva to the cementum covering the tooth root. The synthesis and remodeling of nascent collagen matrices are of fundamental importance for the reestablishment of a functional periodontium and are mediated by diverse, multi-functional fibroblast populations that reside within the connective tissues of gingiva and periodontal ligament. Notably, after gingival wounding, a fibroblast sub-type (myofibroblast) arises, which is centrally involved in collagen synthesis and fibrillar remodeling. While myofibroblasts are not usually seen in healthy, mature connective tissues, their formation is enhanced by wound-healing cytokines. The formation of myofibroblasts is also modulated by the stiffness of the extracellular matrix, which is mechanosensed by resident precursor cells in the gingival connective tissue microenvironment. Here, we consider the cellular origins and the factors that control the differentiation and matrix remodeling functions of periodontal fibroblasts. An improved understanding of the regulation and function of periodontal fibroblasts will be critical for the development of new therapies to optimize the restoration of periodontal structure and function after wounding.

Author information

Smith PC1, Martínez C1, Martínez J2, McCulloch CA3.

Front Physiol. 2019 Apr 24;10:270. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00270. eCollection 2019.

An Overview of the Derivation and Function of Multinucleated Giant Cells and Their Role in Pathologic Processes

July 25th, 2019

Monocyte lineage cells play important roles in health and disease. Their differentiation into macrophages is crucial for a broad array of immunologic processes that regulate inflammation, neoplasia, and infection. In certain pathologic conditions, such as foreign body reactions and peripheral inflammatory lesions, monocytes fuse to form large, multinucleated giant cells (MGCs). Currently, our knowledge of the fusion mechanisms of monocytes and the regulation of MGC formation and function in discrete pathologies is limited. Herein, we consider the types and function of MGCs in disease and assess the mechanisms by which monocyte fusion contributes to the formation of MGCs. An improved understanding of the cellular origins and metabolic functions of MGCs will facilitate their identification and ultimately the treatment of diseases and disorders that involve MGCs.

Certain healthy tissues, including skeletal muscle, placenta, and bone, contain populations of multinucleated cells.1 In contrast, the presence of multinucleated cells in other tissues is considered pathologic. Multinucleated giant cells (MGCs), which are polykaryons of monocytic origin, are often spatially associated with foreign bodies (ie, introduced exogenous materials) or comprise part of a tissue response to infection. MGCs also appear in autoimmune, neoplastic, and genetic disorders. Histologically, MGCs are morphologically similar to one another, despite their appearance in various discrete pathologies. Currently, the characterization of the various types of MGCs by histology alone is of limited value as the molecular determinants that specify the formation and function of these cells are not defined.

For the rest of this journal article please find it here! 

LIFESTYLE

June 26th, 2019

The following information was taken from the Ontario Dental Association website https://www.oda.ca

Oral health is one factor that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you look after your oral health.

  • Schedule regular visits to your dentist.
  • Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Check your mouth regularly to become familiar with what is normal for you. This will help you recognize when something in your mouth looks or feels different or abnormal.
  • Avoid activities that might harm your mouth or teeth such as smokingoral piercings and recreational drugs.
  • Try to reduce the impact stress has on your oral and overall health.
  • Alert your dentist to any herbal remedies, over-the-counter or prescription drugs you are taking.
  • Wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth when you are playing sports. Read more about mouthguards.

What should my mouth look like on the inside?
Between dental visits check your mouth for warning signs of gum disease and oral cancer.

Warning signs of gum disease may include:

  • puffy, red, sore, shiny or sensitive gums
  • bleeding when you brush or floss
  • bad breath that won’t go away

Warning signs of oral cancer may include:

  • numbness and tingling
  • open sores that don’t go away within a week to 10 days
  • unexplained bleeding
  • lumps or thickening on the bottom or sides of your tongue, cheeks, or roof of your mouth.

If you notice any of these signs, or have any concerns, call your dentist immediately.

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Stress
People may overlook the effect stress has on our oral health. However, our mouths can be just as affected by stress as the rest of our bodies are. Stress can have real consequences for our oral health as well as overall well-being.

Stress can make people neglect their oral-health routines. They may not brush or floss as often as they should or miss dental appointments. People under stress sometimes make poor lifestyle choices – smoking, consuming too much alcohol and eating more sugary foods – which can lead to serious issues including oral cancer, gum disease or tooth decay.

Stress is a contributing factor to other serious oral-health conditions, including:

  • Bruxism, or teeth grinding. People under stress may clench or grind their teeth, especially during sleep. Over a long period of time, bruxism can wear down tooth surfaces. Teeth can also become painful or loose from severe grinding or prone to fractures.
  • Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) affects the jaws joints and groups of muscles that let us chew, swallow, speak and yawn. Symptoms include tender or sore jaw muscles, headaches and problems opening or closing your mouth. Bruxism is a major cause of TMD – clenching your jaw muscles can cause them to ache.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease. Research has shown that stress affects our immune systems, increasing our susceptibility to infections, including the bacteria that cause gum disease.
  • Xerostomia, or dry mouth, can also be caused by medications to treat stress. Saliva is vital to keep your mouth moist, wash away food and neutralize the acids that are produced by plaque. Left untreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth.

It may be impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, but you can take simple steps to reduce its impact on your health.

  • Find relaxation techniques or exercises to help you cope with stress.
  • Brush at least twice a day and floss daily.
  • Schedule and keep regular appointments with your dentist.
  • Talk to your dentist about getting a custom-fitted nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
  • Eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Stay active. If you don't have time to exercise, a 30-minute walk every day is a good start.
  • Get plenty of sleep.

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Smoking
It’s important to know that all types of tobacco including cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco are harmful for your oral health. In addition to containing nicotine — which is addictive — they have been all been known to cause:

  • gum disease
  • tooth loss
  • oral cancer (cancer of the lip, tongue)
  • cancer of the esophagus and voice box
  • pancreatic, esophagal, colon and bladder cancer
 iStock 000000758104Small

Almost 75% of gum disease in adults is caused by smoking. Also, your gums may recede as a result of smoking. This may lead to tooth decay and an increased sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks.

Find out more about tobacco cessation and how your dentist can help.

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Oral Piercings
If you are considering an oral piercing, it’s important to know the potential side-effects. Here are some of the complications that may occur:

  • Your mouth contains a lot of bacteria. Oral piercing may lead to infection
  • Your piercing may result in pain, swelling or gum tissue damage
  • Your piercing may cause chipped or cracked teeth
  • A pierced blood vessel may cause uncontrollable bleeding
  • In some cases, your swollen tongue can actually block your airway and inhibit your breathing

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Recreational Drugs
Did you know that there are consequences for your oral health when you decide to use recreational drugs? It’s true! Here are some examples:

  • Tooth loss: Using tobacco, ecstasy, amphetamines and methamphetamines, can lead to the constriction of the capillaries in your gums. This affects the attachment of the bone to the tissue of your teeth and may lead to tooth loss.
  • Dry mouth: Marijuana, ecstasy, amphetamines, methamphetamines, heroin and replacement therapies may decrease the saliva production that occurs in your mouth. This will in turn, increase your risk for gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Erosion and tooth decay: Ecstasy raises your body temperature and you will want to consume sugary liquids. Marijuana and heroin also cause sugar cravings. Frequent consumption of sugary drinks and sweets will weaken your tooth enamel. Vomiting after alcohol consumption may also erode your teeth.

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Prescription Drugs
It’s important to be aware of how prescriptions and over-the counter-drugs may affect your oral health. For example:

  • Asthma inhalers that are high in acid can dissolve tooth enamel when used frequently
  • Cough syrups that have a high sugar content may result in tooth decay
  • Antihistamines may cause dry mouth
  • Aspirins, blood thinners and some herbal remedies may affect the ability of the blood to clot normally

The following medications may cause damage to your gums:

  • oral contraceptives
  • immunosuppressive drugs
  • chemotherapy drugs
  • anti-hypertensives
  • antihistamines

Talk to your dentist about how the prescription drugs you are taking might affect your oral health.

Oral Health Research: Neutrophils Break Down Dentin and Cured Composite Resin

June 20th, 2019

Following decades of research indicating that bacteria are responsible for tooth decay, the need for fillings and restorations, a new study, conducted by a number of University of Toronto oral health researchers and titled Human neutrophils degrade methacrylate resin composites and tooth dentin, is now pointing to a long-ignored culprit: neutrophils.

A type of white blood cell, neutrophils have up until now been best known for fighting inflammation. However, the research team has shown that the body’s immune system itself may be causing tooth decay and failing composite and other restorations.

The Research

Building on a theory proposed 50-years ago by John Gabrovsek, in the Cleveland Clinic, and published in the Journal of Dental Research (1970), the research team used neutrophils isolated from blood to coat parts of extracted teeth and cured composite resin. Within the body, neutrophils reach the mouth via the gums and roots of the teeth. Then, they measured the level of teeth degradation at intervals of 2, 4, 24, and 48 hours and the degradation of cured composite resin degradation at intervals of 48 and 96 hours.

Within a few hours, researchers found dentin and the cured composite resin had sustained damage.

According to the study co-author, Dr. Michael Glogauer, “We can actually see them breaking down using electron microscopy.”

The team’s research also confirms the breakdown of by-products can only come from neutrophils. The reason? When bacteria is present in the mouth, neutrophils are activated and release “attack” enzymes. These enzymes attack mouth bacteria creating acids that degrade teeth and resins in the process.

Study co-author, Dr. Yoav Finer, explained that “On their own, neutrophils are incapable of causing damage to the teeth. They [neutrophils] don’t have acid, so they can’t do much to mineralized tooth structures.”

What’s Next?

Today, the team is setting their sights on isolating the type of enzymes that damage teeth and finding ways to control or limit the damage caused by neutrophils, for example using mouth rinse.

Read the article or learn more about this research.

Leave a comment about this post in the box below, send your feedback by email or call us at 1-855-716-2747.

Until next time!

CDA Oasis Team

Fibrosis research at the Faculty of Dentistry receives major funding boost

June 13th, 2019

The Faculty of Dentistry was awarded ~$10 million in research funds from the CFI Innovation Fund and Ontario Research Fund. The award – largest in the Faculty’s history – will create Canada’s first comprehensive state-of-the-art research hub: “The Fibrosis Network”. The Network is founded on the bedrock of pioneering multi-disciplinary research, long-standing multi-sector partnerships, and the innovative vision of Dentistry’s Chris McCulloch. McCulloch led the initiative along with Dentistry’s Michael Glogauer and Boris Hinz and involved seven additional top-notch scientists and clinicians at U of T’s Faculty of Arts and Science, Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, St. Michael’s Hospital, and Toronto Western Research Institute. Farah Thong, Dentistry’s Research and Business Development Manager was instrumental in the success of the application by coordinating this multi-centre application and by providing strategic writing of the proposal.

Fibrosis, simply put is a pathological “stiffening” of once agile vital organs such as heart and lung, affects more than 2 billion people, costs more than $2.5 billion in global health care resources annually and is a major burden on families and society. It is a major cause of organ failure and there is currently no cure and its early diagnosis that can circumvent organ transplantation is not possible. The CFI/ORF award will fund new cutting-edge research infrastructure that will be needed to conduct world-class human-centric fibrosis research across three major themes: Mechanisms of Fibrosis, Biomarker Discovery and Diagnostics, and Fibrosis Therapies that will lead to the discovery of new drug targets and biomarkers, non-invasive in vivo diagnostics to facilitate early diagnosis, and new treatment strategies. “By virtue of using this equipment, we’re able to conduct experiments we’d otherwise never be able to do,” says leader McCulloch, who holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Matrix Dynamics.

The Fibrosis Network dovetails nicely with the Global Fibrosis Network established through a recent $250,000 award from U of T’s Connaught Global Challenge Fund to IBBME and Dentistry’s cross-appointed Craig Simmons. The award, which included co-applicant Chris McCulloch and researchers at U of T’s affiliated hospitals, will fund international fibrosis research networking events to enhance local and global collaborations and establish a global community of trainees and provide them with multi-sectoral and global perspectives on fibrosis research and technology. Soror Sharifpoor, Research Program Manager at U of T’s Translational Biology and Engineering Program, Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, was key in writing the winning proposal.

Boris Hinz, a Distinguished Professor of Tissue Repair and Regeneration in Dentistry, received $3.17 million over seven years from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as one of few recipients of a highly competitive Foundation grant. Hinz will continue his research on myofibroblasts, which are cells involved in tissue repair. “The issue with these cells is that they keep on repairing the tissue. They don’t know when to stop,” says Hinz. When they go overboard, they leave disease-causing fibrosis behind.

These timely awards will provide significant resources to transform fibrosis research, build mutual capacity across sectors, and train the next generation of researchers. These initiatives will help the researchers achieve a level of basic and clinical research capacity unmatched in Canada that will have significant impact on patient care and establish Canada as a global leader in fibrosis research. “This remarkable combined success has now created a powerful hub to eventually make a real difference to fibrosis patients. Faculty of Dentistry researchers are playing a critical role in this multidisciplinary team effort. This is a big step in the right direction for us,” says the Faculty’s Vice-Dean Research, Bernhard Ganss.

www.dentistry.utoronto.ca

Healthy Snacks

June 6th, 2019

The following Information was taken from the Ontario Dental Association  website: https://www.oda.ca

If you want to maintain strong teeth for your lifetime, you need to ensure you are eating enough whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables and lean meats.

Some other healthy snack choices include:

  • nuts and seeds
  • peanut butter
  • cheese
  • plain yogurt
  • popcorn

Acid Erosion

There are some drinks and snacks that are bad for your teeth and may contribute to acid erosion. Acid erosion happens when food or drink with a low PH level (more acidic) are consumed. That acid can linger in your mouth, taking the minerals away and softening the surface of your teeth. This makes your teeth more susceptible to damage and often leads to increased sensitivity and may require treatment. The big offenders seem to be soft drinks, orange juice and lemonade.

Nutrition Tips

  • Try to avoid acidic food and drink between meals; there isn’t as much saliva in your mouth at these times to protect your teeth
  • Don’t clean your teeth right after eating. If you brush while the acid is still in your mouth you are removing some of your teeth’s surface. If you wait about an hour the saliva will help your teeth battle the acid so it is safe to brush
  • Try to finish your breakfast, lunch or dinner with a little cheese or milk as these products help cut down on the acid in your mouth.

A Note About Sweets

When it comes to your teeth, it’s not about the amount of sweets you eat, but the length of time that you leave your teeth exposed to sweets. So it’s better to eat sweets at mealtimes rather than between meals, as the amount of saliva produced at mealtimes will help protect your teeth.

If you cannot avoid sweets between meals, choose something with less sugar like those listed above. Sticky sweets like toffee or hard candy should be avoided as snacks.

Do you have more questions about these issues?
Contact OMG PERIO @ 905-526-6078

Immune system plays role in tooth and filling decay, Toronto researchers say

June 6th, 2019

Liam Casey: The Canadian Press

Published May 2, 2019 2:52 PM

Toronto researchers say they've shown for the first time that the body's own immune system likely plays a role in both the decay of teeth and the breakdown of fillings.

Bacteria remain the main culprit in tooth decay, but a recent study from a team at the University of Toronto shows in the laboratory that neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, contribute to the damage.

"What we found is neutrophils are capable of causing collateral damage while fighting the bacteria," said Yoav Finer, a professor in the faculty of dentistry and one of the authors of the paper published in the journal Acta Biomaterialia.

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Conventional wisdom based on decades of research held that bacteria alone caused both tooth decay and decay in the resin composites used in modern-day fillings and tooth restorations.

"The bacteria takes sugar and produces acid, and that acid dissolves the tooth structure," explained co-author Michael Glogauer, a professor in the same faculty and the team's immunology expert.

He said a maverick in the dental research field, John Gabrovsek of the Cleveland Clinic, first proposed the idea that immune cells also played a role in tooth decay, with a paper on the theory in the Journal of Dental Research in 1970.

"They thought he was crazy because it went against the dogma," Glogauer said, adding that Gabrovsek got in touch with him about 15 years ago to share his idea.

"Based on what I know about neutrophils and what he knows about neutrophils, I thought there was a lot of credibility in that," he said.

Glogauer then approached Finer and the two got to work.

Neutrophils are the only white blood cell that is routinely found in the mouth, Glogauer explained.

In the lab, the research team used neutrophils isolated from blood to coat either parts of extracted teeth or the resin used to restore teeth.

"We can actually see them breaking down using electron microscopy," Glogauer said. The team also detected the breakdown byproducts that can only come from neutrophils, he said.

The neutrophils become activated by the presence of bacteria in the mouth and release enzymes that attack the bacteria but also degrade the structure of the tooth and the resin, he said.

Finer compared the white blood cells to a sledgehammer.

"It's like trying to eliminate a fly on the wall by taking a sledgehammer," Finer said. "You may hit the bug, but the damage to the wall is quite significant."

Now the team is working on a variety of follow-ups, including isolating the type of enzymes that damage teeth and translating the work to make it clinically applicable. For example, they said, a rinse could be developed that controls neutrophils to limit the damage they do to teeth.

And new restoration materials can be designed for dental work to resist the damage from the immune cells.

For Gabrovsek, now 85, the research is an important validation of his earlier work.

"We just heard this morning," said his wife, Rita Gabrovsek, as her husband laughed in the background on a phone call from their home in Twinsburg, Ohio.

"He's smiling, just smiling, a huge smile," she said. "It bugged him all his life that his theory was totally brushed aside, so this is a big moment for us."

Gabrovsek said he never wavered in his belief.

"I couldn't believe for 50 years that scientists here in the United States didn't believe me," he said. "I thought, boy, they are very stupid scientists. Now others know I am right!"

The couple planned to celebrate the news with their grandchildren Thursday afternoon by telling them that their grandfather was right all along.

 

Patient Resources

It's a Wrap: Ending the year with a smile!

December 28th, 2016

People have been ushering in the New Year for centuries but it became an official holiday in 1582 when Pope George XIII declared January 1st to be the day on which everyone would celebrate the New Year. At midnight people would yell, holler, and blow horns to scare away the evil spirits of the previous year so the New Year would be joyous and filled with opportunity. Nearly 500 years later, we still greet the New Year by whooping and hollering, but in a celebratory manner instead. Whether you intend to ring in the New Year quietly at home in the Hamilton, Ontario area or have plans to join the countdown at a gala extravaganza, these tips can help you ring out the old and usher in the new with a smile.

Tips for a Happy New Year's Eve Celebration from OMG Perio

  • Be Safe. There's no way to predict the behavior of others on New Year's Eve, but you can be responsible for your own behavior to keep yourself safe. If adult beverages will be part of your celebration, plan on spending the night wherever you are or line up a designated driver to bring you home after the party is over.
  • Enjoy Family and Friends. Spending time with the important people in your life is what makes the holidays enjoyable. Coordinate your schedules and choose New Year's Eve activities that everyone in the group will enjoy. You don't have to go to a party to ring in the New Year; some people like to go bowling, see a movie, or have a great meal at home.
  • Accessorize with a Smile. Whether you dress up or have a quiet dinner with family and friends, one of the best accessories you can add to your attire is a beautiful smile.

New Year's Eve is a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on the year that's coming to an end, and look forward to the new one with anticipation. Enjoy this transitional holiday in a way that's safe, healthy, and fun. After all, counting down until the clock strikes 12 marks the beginning of a full year of opportunity ahead of you. From Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer, have a great new year!.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

December 21st, 2016

Gum disease is a common problem among adults, and one Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our periodontal team see all too often. Early stages of gum disease are known as gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. This can progress to more serious gum disease known as periodontitis.

If you notice signs and symptoms of gum disease, take early action to prevent progression of gingivitis to more serious periodontitis and the risk of losing your teeth due to gum loss.

Watch for These Signs and Symptoms

It’s important to watch for signs and symptoms of gum disease, especially if you have risk factors. Early detection at home can help you get treatment sooner so that you don’t risk losing your teeth. These are the classic signs and symptoms of gum disease:

  • Inflamed gums, or gums that are red or swollen
  • Pain when you chew
  • Teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold, sweets, or brushing
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath that you can’t get rid of by brushing or using mouthwash, even when you don’t eat particularly smelly food
  • Gums that are sore to the touch or bleed easily, including when you brush your teeth
  • Teeth that seem to be taller or longer due to receding gums
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the way your dentures fit in your mouth

Signs We Look For

When you visit our Hamilton, Ontario office, we will examine you to see how far your gum disease has progressed. We do this by:

  • Discussing your medical history with you to see which risk factors you have
  • Checking your gums to see if they are swollen or red, and how far the inflammation has progressed
  • Measuring the depth of any pockets around your teeth using a type of ruler called a probe.

Treatment for Gum Disease

Brushing and flossing go a long way toward preventing bacteria from forming acid on your teeth and allowing tartar to build up. However, once you have the beginnings of gum disease, your regular brushing and flossing routine aren’t enough. Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer can provide more extensive treatment, such as:

  • Deep cleaning through scaling and root planing
  • Medications to fight the infection
  • Surgical treatments, like bone or tissue grafting to replace lost tissue

If you think you may have gum disease, or are concerned about the state of your gum health, be sure to contact our Hamilton, Ontario office to schedule an appointment. Together, we can help you achieve a lifetime of good oral health.

The Most Common Causes of Gum Disease

December 14th, 2016

Unless you're aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease and how it's caused, it's possible that you may have unknowingly developed it. Often painless, gum disease -- or periodontal disease -- becomes progressively more serious when left untreated. As you learn more about the common causes of gum disease, you'll be better-equipped to maintain the best oral health possible.

Gingivitis & Periodontitis: Common Causes of Gum Disease

  • Bacteria & Plaque. Bacteria in the mouth creates a sticky film over the teeth. Good hygiene practices help remove the bacteria and the plaque they cause. When plaque is not removed, it develops into a rock-like substance called tartar. This can only be removed by a dental professional.
  • Smoking & Tobacco. If you're a smoker or use tobacco, you face a higher risk of developing gum disease. Additionally, tobacco use can lead to stained teeth, bad breath, and an increased risk of oral cancers.
  • Certain Medications. Some medications that are taken for other health conditions can increase a person's risk of developing gum disease. If you take steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, certain cancer therapy medications, or oral contraceptives, speak to Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer about how to maintain healthy gums.
  • Medical Conditions. Certain medical conditions can impact the health of your gums. For instance, diabetics face an increased risk of gum disease due to the inflammatory chemicals present in their bodies. Always talk to our team about other health conditions to ensure we take that into account when treating you.

Take a Proactive Stance

Good oral hygiene practices and regular visits to our Hamilton, Ontario office can help you eliminate or reduce the risks of developing gum disease. A thorough cleaning with your toothbrush and dental floss should take about three to five minutes. Brush your teeth a minimum of twice per day and floss at least once each day. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be ready to prevent gum disease.

Five Easy Ways to Prevent Gum Disease

December 7th, 2016

Gum disease can be painful and lead to missing teeth if you don’t treat it properly. However, there are plenty of things you can do to lower your risk of getting gingivitis and periodontitis. Here are five easy ways to prevent gum disease.

1. Brush your teeth.

Basic oral hygiene is the first line of defense against gum disease. The reason is due to the way gum disease progresses. There are bacteria in your mouth that produce a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque can build up and form tartar. Together, plaque and tartar lead to the painful symptoms of gum disease. You can remove plaque from your teeth with regular careful brushing, but you can’t remove the tartar with your regular toothbrush. So, it’s best to brush at least twice a day, or after each meal, to continuously remove plaque from your teeth. Also floss your teeth and use mouthwash to prevent the bacteria in your mouth from having anything to eat.

2. Stop smoking.

Smoking is a major risk factor for gum disease. Your risk of getting gum disease if you’re not a smoker is one-seventh the risk of someone who does use tobacco. It’s also worth quitting smoking even once you do get gum disease, since treatment is less effective when you’re using tobacco.

3. Eat right.

Gingivitis is a bacterial infection, and a strong immune system helps fight it. Many nutrients are essential for a well-functioning immune system. For example, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and strawberries, for their vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Vitamin E, which is another antioxidant, is in nuts, plant-based oils, and wheat germ.

4. Visit our Hamilton, Ontario office regularly.

You might not be able to detect that you have gum disease, even if you watch for symptoms. Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer can detect signs of gum disease before you do.

5. Catch it early.

Since only we can remove tartar once it forms, keep watching for signs of gum disease. They include sensitivity while brushing your teeth or when eating hot, cold, or sugary foods, painful or bleeding gums, and loose teeth. You might also notice that you have bad breath for no reason. Make an appointment with at our Hamilton, Ontario office if you think you may have gum disease.

Treating Gum Recession with Tissue Grafting

November 30th, 2016

One of the concerns we sometimes hear at OMG Perio is, “My gums just don’t look the same they once did. What is causing this?”

Our gums recede for a number of reasons. These include aggressive tooth brushing or the presence of periodontal disease, a bacteria-induced, inflammatory chronic condition that attacks gum tissue and the bone supporting the teeth. While you may not be able to control what is causing or has caused the recession, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team at OMG Perio can help detect the factors contributing to the problem.

One of the treatments we proudly offer to fight receding gums is gum grafting, which involves removing healthy tissue from other locations in your mouth (usually the roof of your mouth) and placing it next to the affected tooth or teeth. Gum grafting helps cover the exposed roots to protect them from decay, and reduces tooth sensitivity, improving the aesthetics of your smile along the way.

How do I know if I have gum recession?

Gum recession doesn’t just appear overnight. Rather, it is a very slow, gradual process that is brought on by advanced gum disease such as periodontitis. Symptoms of gum recession include:

  • Bleeding gums whenever your brush or floss
  • Tender gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Exposed teeth roots
  • Increased space (gaps) between teeth
  • Longer tooth line
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold, or even to sweet, spicy, or sour foods

Gum Tissue Grafting

When you visit OMG Perio for your procedure, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area involved. Depending on your specific condition, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer will perform one of three different types of gum tissue grafts:

  • Connective tissue graft: The most common procedure for covering exposed roots, connective tissue grafting involves cutting a flap of skin in other areas of your mouth (usually from the roof of your mouth) and stitching the tissue next to the affected tooth or teeth.
  • Free gingival graft: Similar to a connective tissue graft, a free gingival graft is an excellent method of treatment in cases where the goal is to increase the amount of gum tissue. Free gingival drafting also involves the use of tissue from the roof of the mouth. But rather than making a flap and removing tissue, a small amount of tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth and then attached to the gum area being treated.
  • Pedicle graft: In this procedure, instead of taking tissue from the palate, it is grafted from gum around or near the affected tooth. The flap is only partially cut away and the gum is then pulled over or down to cover the exposed root, then sewn into place.

The procedure you undergo will depend entirely on your condition. Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer will be happy to meet with you and discuss which method will work best for your unique situation. If you think you are suffering from gum recession, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer will be happy to discuss and figure out which procedure can help get your smile back. To learn more about gum grafting, or to schedule your appointment at our Hamilton, Ontario office, please give us a call today!

What is gum recession?

November 23rd, 2016

Gum (gingival) recession occurs when gums recede from the tops of the teeth enough to expose sensitive roots. People typically experience increased sensitivity to sugary or cold foods when gums no longer cover and protect teeth roots. In addition, untreated gum recession may lead to loosening of teeth and accelerated tooth decay, something Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer see all too often.

Causes of Gum Recession

  • Periodontal disease – a serious oral disease arising from poor oral habits
  • Gingivitis – gum disease characterized by bleeding and swollen gums
  • Aging
  • Overly aggressive brushing and/or flossing – brushing hard in a scrubbing fashion will erode gum tissue at the roots of teeth
  • Genetic predisposition to gingival recession – having inherited thin, insufficient gum tissue facilitates gum recession
  • Bruxism – a condition where someone regularly grinds their teeth, usually during sleep
  • Chewing tobacco/smoking – promotes chronically dry mouth and reduced gum health

Periodontal gingivitis may also cause causing drooping of the gums instead of gum recession. A gingivectomy removes excess gum tissue weakened by bacterial decay while a gingivoplasty can reshape gums around the teeth. If sagging or receding gums are left untreated, they may develop pockets (gaps) that provide hiding places for food particles, mucus and other mouth debris conducive to anaerobic bacteria growth. As the most destructive type of oral bacteria, anaerobic bacteria is responsible for tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and chronic halitosis.

Treatments for Gum Recession

Corrective actions need implemented as soon as possible to reverse gum recession by addressing the cause. For example, people who brush with hard-bristled toothbrushes should switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush more gently. If gum recession is the result of poor oral hygiene, improve oral hygiene habits by brushing after meals, flossing, rinsing with non-alcoholic mouthwash, and getting dental checkups and cleanings every six months. For severe cases of gum recession, soft tissue grafts can add gum tissue to exposed roots by removing tissue from the person's palate and attaching it to existing gums at the area of recession via laser surgery.

If you’re worried about gum recession, visit our Hamilton, Ontario office and talk to a member of our team.

What to do about Sensitive Teeth

November 16th, 2016

If you suffer from sensitive teeth, you already know the frustration of having a type of pain that is hard to deal with. Because tooth sensitivity is sometimes unpredictable, you can't necessarily take medication to ward off the pain like you could if you just felt a headache coming on.

However, there is still something you can do about sensitive teeth. Use the following tips to help put your sensitivity and pain problems with your teeth behind you!

Use the Right Toothbrush: Select a toothbrush made just for sensitive teeth, or the softest bristles possible. This helps you avoid putting any extra pressure on your teeth or gums.

Choose a Special Toothpaste: There are several good options for toothpastes made just for sensitive teeth today. Usually, toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth will be fluoridated and use a non-abrasive formula. The toothpaste will help with the pain usually associated with brushing and flossing if you use it regularly.

Avoid Trigger Foods: You may have noticed certain trigger foods that cause tooth sensitivity and pain for you. Avoid these foods whenever possible, and if you absolutely must eat them, try to consume them in very small quantities. Trigger foods may include:

  • Foods with high acid content for example citrus fruits
  • Very hot or very cold foods
  • Hard or crunchy foods

Visit Our Office

If your sensitive teeth problem is too serious to manage on your own, a visit to our Hamilton, Ontario office may be in order. There are a couple of ways Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer can help:

  • Fluoride Treatments: We can put a special fluoride formula on the most sensitive areas to help make your enamel stronger and to help lower pain levels.
  • Sealing Exposed Roots:In some cases, your roots become exposed due to a receding gumline, which in turn causes teeth sensitivity and pain. We can apply a dental sealant that protects the exposed roots and reduces your pain dramatically.

The Connection Between Your Mouth and Your Heart

November 9th, 2016

At OMG Perio, we know your dental health is closely connected to your overall health. We also know that the mouth can oftentimes be the first place to show signs of other bodily health issues.

Studies have shown possible links between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease, and researchers have found that people with gum disease have an elevated risk of suffering from a stroke or developing coronary artery disease. Believe it or not, an estimated 70 to 80 percent of North American adults currently have some form of gum disease.

Gum disease, which affects the tissues that surround and support the teeth, is an infection caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque that forms on the teeth, mainly along the gum line. In its early stages, called gingivitis, gum disease can be treated by Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and often reversed.

To help keep your mouth and heart healthy, we’ve provided following tips to help prevent problems before they arise:

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Make sure you brush gently beneath the gum line around each tooth.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Have a dental checkup and cleaning twice a year, or as recommended.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This includes avoiding foods with a high concentration of sugars or starches and consuming more fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid tobacco and copious levels of alcohol. If you smoke, quit. And remember, heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancer.

Don’t put off your next visit to OMG Perio any longer! If it has been a while since your last visit to our Hamilton, Ontario office, please give us a call!

Top Five Ways to Improve Heart Health

November 2nd, 2016

While there is no definite evidence that if your prevent gum diseases, like periodontitis, that you may be able to prevent a heart condition or heart disease. The only thing experts, like Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer, know for sure is that if you take care of your gums it can lessen atherosclerosis, (build-up of artery clogging plaque) that may result in a heart attack or stroke.

Could periodontal disease cause heart attacks?

Regardless of your oral health, if you're at a high risk for heart disease, you need to take action.

  • Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight.
  • Consume healthy foods and beverages.
  • Exercise several days the week. Walking is a powerful and lightweight exercise and will clear your head while helping your body get or stay healthy.
  • Control any medical conditions you may have such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
  • Reduce your stress. Have lunch with a friend, go for a walk in the park, take a bubble bath, mediate, or do whatever you find relaxing.
  • Get a social life. Laughing reduces stress and “feel good” hormones. Everyone needs to feel like they are a part of something: join a book club or any activity where you can interact with other people at least once or twice a week
  • Be sure to get enough sleep. The recommended amount is eight to nine hours a night. It has been proven that a lack of sleep increases your risk for angina, strokes, and heart attacks.
  • Practice good oral hygiene to keep bacteria in check and your mouth healthy.

Contact our Hamilton, Ontario office if you have questions about your heart and oral health. If you take practice good oral hygiene, both your mouth and your heart will thank you.

The Intriguing History of Halloween

October 26th, 2016

Halloween is fast approaching, and Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer wanted to be sure to wish our patients a happy day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the "old days" it wasn't even called Halloween!

Festival of the Dead

Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called "Samhain," as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season's crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this.

Modern Halloween

Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stemmed from Druidism, were perceived by the Christian church as being "devil worship" and dangerous.

When Pope Gregory the First instructed his missionaries to work at converting the Pagan people, he told them to try to incorporate some of the Pagan practices into Christian practices in a limited way. This meant that November 1st became "All Saints Day," which allowed Pagan people to still celebrate a beloved holiday without violating Christian beliefs.

Today, Halloween has evolved into a day devoted purely to fun, candy, and kids. What a change from its origins! We encourage all of our patients to have fun during the holiday, but be safe with the treats. Consider giving apples or fruit roll-ups to the kids instead of candy that is potentially damaging to the teeth and gums.

Remind kids to limit their candy and brush after eating it! Sweets can cause major tooth decay and aggrivate gum disease, so to avoid extra visits to our Hamilton, Ontario office, make your Halloween a safe one!

How do I care for my dental implant?

October 19th, 2016

Dental implants are designed to be strong and durable, able to withstand the everyday rigors of chewing and biting, but to keep them functioning the way they should and looking their best, you need to care for them properly. Luckily, dental implant care is fairly straightforward; in fact, your implants can be cared for the same way you care for your natural teeth, with regular brushing and flossing performed correctly, as well as regular visits with Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer to ensure your implants, the neighboring teeth, and your gums are as healthy as possible.

Before the actual replacement tooth is attached to the implant post, you may want to avoid harshly abrasive toothpastes, such as those with baking soda or those designed to get rid of significant staining. These abrasives may damage the threads of the posts or irritate the gum and soft tissue surrounding the posts, causing inflammation or bleeding.

As the implant heals and “settles in,” a special kind of protective tissue called “keratinized” tissue will form where the implant meet the gum. This natural development in healing helps ensure the implant post and the soft tissue beneath the gum line are protected from bacteria.

As you care for your implants, always look for signs of infection, like swollen, tender, or bleeding gums – just as you would with your normal teeth. If you're nervous about caring for your implants or you feel you may be reluctant to floss around them, ask our team to provide you with care tips and walk you through the process of flossing.

Your implants represent a considerable investment both in time and money, so it's only natural you'd want to be sure you're doing all you can to keep them in top shape. Remember: dental implants are designed to replace your natural teeth, and they're also designed to be cared for in much the same way as you care for your natural teeth. Although you may be a little nervous at first, you'll soon become as used to your new implants as you are to your natural teeth, and caring for them will become second nature.

More questions? Simply as at your next visit to our Hamilton, Ontario office!

How long do dental implants last?

October 12th, 2016

The average dental implant can last a lifetime if taken care of properly. In fact, studies have shown that the success rate of implants after ten years is about 90%! Of course, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team know that the better you care for your implant, the longer it will last.

There are a few factors that must be taken into consideration, when you are considering dental implants. These factors all play a role in how long your dental implants will last.

  • Bone Structure – You must have enough bone in your mouth for the implants to be inserted. Over time, the bone can wear down and become too thin or to short. In cases, where you may have just enough bone for the implants, over the years, the bone will continue to become smaller and thinner and the implants will not last nearly as long as the suggested minimum of ten years.
  • Healthy Gums – Diseased gums will not support dental implants for very long. It is important to maintain regular dental visits to maintain your healthy gums.
  • Good Oral Hygiene – Just because your implants are not your “real” teeth, doesn’t mean you have to take care of them. That means brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings.

Bone structure, healthy gums, and good oral hygiene all play a crucial role in the length of time your dental implants will last. Whether you have full dental implants, partial implants, or a single tooth implant. The bottom line is you have to take care of them if you want them to last as long as possible.

For more tips on how to maintain the health of your dental implant, visit our Hamilton, Ontario office!

Thanksgiving in North America

October 5th, 2016

Thanksgiving marks the start to the holidays; a season filled with feasting, indulging, and spending time with family and friends are always special. Thanksgiving is a holiday meant for giving thanks, and while this may seem like such a natural celebration, the United States is only one of a handful of countries to officially celebrate with a holiday.

Unlike many holidays, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, and it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. In Canada, it is celebrated on the second Monday of October, which is, oddly enough, much closer to a time when harvests were likely gathered. In addition to the different dates, the origins of the celebration also share different roots.

Canadian Thanksgiving

An explorer of early Canada named Martin Frobisher is accredited for the first Canadian Thanksgiving. He survived the arduous journey from England through harsh weather conditions and rough terrain, and after his last voyage from Europe to present-day Nunavut, he held a formal ceremony to give thanks for his survival and good fortune. As time passed and more settlers arrived, a feast was added to what quickly became a yearly tradition. Another explorer, Samuel de Champlain, is linked to the first actual Thanksgiving celebration in honor of a successful harvest; settlers who arrived with him in New France celebrated the harvest with a bountiful feast.

Thanksgiving in the United States

Giving thanks for a bountiful harvest are not new, but the modern day holiday in the US can be traced to a celebration at Plymouth in Massachusetts in 1621. This feast of thanksgiving was inspired by a good harvest, and the tradition was simply continued on. At first, the colony at Plymouth didn't have enough food to feed everyone present, but the Native Americans helped by providing seeds and teaching them how to fish, and they soon began to be able to hold a feast worthy of the name. The tradition spread, and by the 1660s, most of New England was hosting a Thanksgiving feast in honor of the harvest.

A Modern Thanksgiving

Today, Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with the best of Americana. From feasts and football games to getting ready for the start of the Christmas shopping season, Thanksgiving means roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole. No matter how you celebrate this momentous day, pause for a moment to give thanks for your friends, family, and all the bounties you’ve received. Happy Thanksgiving from OMG Perio!

What makes a periodontist different from a dentist?

September 28th, 2016

“Dentists, periodontists … what’s the difference, anyway?” We hear our patients asking this question as they wonder about the difference between the two specialties. Periodontists like Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer are more than just oral health professionals. Unlike dentists, who act more like general practitioners, periodontists focus on treating the soft tissue (gums) and bones supporting the teeth, as well gum disorders. Sure, dentists can prevent the onset of gum disease through regular cleanings and prescribing medications. But it is periodontists who are required for more complex and advanced cases of gum disease called periodontitis, a gum infection that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis is a condition that most dentists simply don’t treat. The most severe cases of periodontitis can even lead to serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancers of the head, neck, and pancreas.

To make things simpler, we’ve come up reasons for when you should visit the dentist and when you should give us a call to book an appointment with Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer:

Visit your general dentist for:

  • Checkups and cleanings
  • X-rays
  • Filling cavities
  • Root canals
  • Tooth extractions
  • Crowns or bridges
  • Select cosmetic procedures such as veneers, bonding, and teeth whitening
  • Pediatric (children’s) care

Visit Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer for:

  • Deep pocket cleanings (to remove debris and infection-causing bacteria)
  • Bone grafts
  • Soft tissue removal
  • Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)
  • Implant replacement
  • Crown lengthening
  • Osteoplasty (hard tissue recontouring)
  • Gingivoplasty (soft tissue recontouring)

To learn more about the differences between periodontists like Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and your general dentist, or to schedule your next visit, please give us a call today! We look forward to seeing and treating you!

Periodontal Disease Associated with Cardiovascular Risk

September 21st, 2016

We all know that brushing your teeth and flossing regularly keeps your smile sparkly and bright, but did you realize that cleaning your teeth can actually help your heart? Recent research suggests that people with periodontal disease also have a higher cardiovascular risk, which means they are more vulnerable to heart attacks or stroke. It’s probably not time to throw away those running shoes in favor of a new toothbrush, but this is an added incentive to maintain good oral hygiene.

Relationship between Periodontal Disease and Cardiovascular Health

In 2003, researchers from the University of Buffalo conducted analyses which suggested that patients with gum disease were also at elevated risk of cardiovascular problems. Furthermore, people with more severe cases of gum disease have even poorer heart health. Although the exact causes of this relationship remain unknown, scientists continue to explore the impact of oral hygiene on broader health.

One hypothesis is that poor oral hygiene leads to inflammation, which negatively affects the heart. Gum disease occurs when bacteria build up in the mouth, and feed off sugars found in food. These bacteria release compounds that contribute to inflammation and red, swollen gums. The same inflammatory compounds may affect the heart, increasing overall cardiovascular risk.

Protect Your Teeth, Protect Your Heart

Taking a few commonsense measures can go a long way to improving your oral health and your cardiovascular risk. Consider the following:

  • Brush twice daily, and floss at least once per day. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day cleans away the harmful bacteria that contribute to gum disease. Similarly, flossing your teeth ensures that dangerous bacteria that build up between each tooth get swept away. These simple steps are the easiest ways to reduce your risk of periodontal disease.
  • Eat healthy foods. Those sugary snacks that you love so much don’t help your teeth. Whenever possible, stick to a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. For example, grab an apple or a few celery sticks for a mid-afternoon snack, rather than indulging in that candy bar.
  • Drink water. Staying hydrated doesn’t just help your body – it also swishes bad bacteria away from your tooth and gum surface. Drinking plenty of water improves your overall oral health. It’s particularly helpful after eating a sugary or sticky snack, because water can reduce plaque buildup.
  • Visit OMG Perio. Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our staff will monitor your mouth for signs of periodontal disease and can make specific recommendations to keep your mouth – and your heart – safer.

What are dental implants?

September 14th, 2016

Do you have a space where a tooth used to be? Were you born with a missing tooth? Are you getting ready for dentures? You may be a good candidate for a dental implant. Metal dental implants were invented in 1965. Technology continues to advance with millions of implants placed in the United States and Canada. Placing implants has become mainstream and a common practice for offices like ours.

A dental implant is a small titanium post, which resembles a screw with threads. The post also has holes for bone to integrate. A dental implant is placed into the jawbone during a short dental procedure. It is relatively painless with very little post-operative pain. The threads on the implant post allow for the bone to fill in and integrate. To facilitate this process the implant is re-covered with gum tissue and allowed to heal and integrate for nearly three months. The implant acts as the root for the tooth to provide solid and stable support for the crown that’s yet to be placed.

The next step in the dental procedure is to uncover the implant and place a healing cap to allow the gum tissue to heal. After a short period of healing, an impression is taken to fabricate a crown to fully restore the missing tooth. The crown is then cemented on top of the post, at which point you can resume normal eating activities.

Dental implants do require some special care, but that is easily managed when you follow the directions outlined by Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer. During your regularly scheduled cleaning, special instruments are used to clean implants. While a dental implant cannot get a cavity, a condition known as peri-implantitis can occur. This is very similar to periodontal disease as the end result is dental implant loss and loss of bone structure. Be sure to floss the dental implant daily and run the floss under the implant crown as far as it can go to remove food and plaque. If you use any picks or small brushes to go in between your teeth, make sure they are plastic. Metal will scratch the implant making it more susceptible to infection. Be sure to keep your regular dental visits and cleanings to monitor the implant and help preserve your investment.

How often should I see my periodontist?

September 7th, 2016

Dental health is a reflection of and related to total health. Many people are surprised to learn this. Because tooth and gum decay can be related to many serious health concerns, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team suggest that you visit our Hamilton, Ontario office every three to six months to care for any periodontal issues you may be experiencing. If you have ever been diagnosed with even susceptibility to gum disease or periodontal concerns, we suggest you follow this guideline.

During Your Visit

At a periodontal exam, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer will evaluate any inflammation you may be experiencing along with any other tooth and gum abnormalities such as decay, holes, pockets, root exposure, bone loss, tooth loss, and more. If you have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, are pregnant, have had chronic respiratory issues, or have underwent/are undergoing cancer treatments, cardiovascular surgery, joint replacement surgery or organ transplant, you will want to discuss all of these concerns with us.

At your visit, be sure to mention all health concerns even if you do not think they may be related. We will help determine which of your health concerns may be contributing to your periodontal disease and if further evaluation is necessary. During your exam, you will have your gums, teeth, and neck evaluated to rule out disease and infection. Because plaque is related to the development of other health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, we can alert you to health issues you may not be aware of. We are trained to notice these subtle changes in dental health.

What's the best dental floss?

August 31st, 2016

Dental floss is similar to a lot of products that depend mainly on the consumer’s preference. Fact is, floss comes in a wide variety of flavors, coatings, and other variations, but all types of floss essentially do the same thing. After all, that is what is most important: that the dental floss you buy is functional—cleaning the areas in between your teeth. If you want to know what the best dental floss is, the answer is the kind that enables you to successfully and regularly clean those areas. So to help you find the right type of floss for you, here are some options.

Flavored Dental Floss

Many people that floss prefer a flavored dental floss because it freshens their breath even more than unscented floss. The latter can also take on the smells associated with bacteria in your mouth. And we all know how bad that can be. So, if flavored dental floss is what you prefer, and it allows you to floss your teeth regularly, then it is automatically best for your mouth.

Flossers

There are also products on the market called flossers, which usually consist of a plastic instrument with strung floss and a pick on the opposite end. This option can be both effective at cleaning the areas in between your teeth and scraping off plaque. These flossers also come flavored in mint and various other varieties.

Gentle Dental Floss

Some people find that typical dental floss is too harsh on their gums. For that reason some companies make floss with soft coatings that are less abrasive on the gums. For the most part these types of floss are just as effective as regular floss, and for those people that require a more sensitive approach to flossing, especially when just starting out, this is the best option.

Of the aforementioned options, it is difficult to name an absolute best type of floss. However, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team say that the type of floss that works best for you, giving you the greatest chance of succeeding at regular flossing, is the best. For more information on floss, contact our Hamilton, Ontario office.

Are dental implants painful? What You Need to Know

August 24th, 2016

Whether it is the result of tooth decay, gum disease, or injury, millions of people suffer tooth loss. Dental implants provide a strong replacement tooth root for fixed replacement teeth that are designed to match your natural teeth. Of course, there is one question all patients have about dental implants: are they painful?

Dental implant placement is performed under local or general anesthesia and is not considered a painful procedure. However, if the surgery is more complicated and involves bone or tissue grafts, there may be slightly more discomfort and swelling. At the same time, every patient has a different threshold for pain, so what may bother one person may not bother another. If you experience any pain from dental implants, there are several things can do to relive it.

Relieving Pain from Dental Implants

1. The initial healing phase can last up to seven to ten days. Over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Motrin work well to alleviate any pain or discomfort you may experience. However, only take these if instructed to by Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer.

2. Once you leave our Hamilton, Ontario office, you can reduce inflammation and any swelling to your cheek or lip by holding an ice-pack on your face over the implant area.

3. Your gum will be tender for the first few days. We often recommended that you bathe your gums with warm salt water.

4. Steer clear of crusty or hard foods for the first day or two. Ice cream, yogurt, and other soft foods are ideal as your gums will be tender.

5. Dental implants are a relatively straightforward oral procedure. Many people take time off from work to have dental implant surgery, and then return to regular activities. However, if you are feeling any pain or discomfort, there is nothing wrong with taking the day off, relaxing, and putting your feet up.

There is typically no severe post-operative pain with dental implants. When most people return for a follow-up appointment about two weeks later, they often say that getting a dental implant was one of the least painful procedures they’ve experienced.

Does getting a dental implant hurt?

August 17th, 2016

Getting a dental implant is a surgical procedure and everyone’s pain tolerance level is different. Therefore, what one person may perceive as pain is only a slight discomfort for another person. The general consensus about pain and dental implants is that the majority of people feel discomfort, not pain.

A dental implant is a complex procedure. Let’s take a look at what may cause discomfort:

  • Some people may find that having the IV put in is uncomfortable, especially if the healthcare worker has to try more than once. If you have a fear of needles or if you have anxiety about the procedure, we can prescribe a sedative, which you take before you arrive.
  • Of course, during the dental implant surgery, you will be asleep. Therefore, you will not feel any pain or discomfort at all.
  • When you awake from the surgery, your mouth should still be numb. In many cases, we can give you a “block” – it is basically a 24-hour pain medication, so you will not feel any pain or discomfort at all.
  • We will also provide you with a prescription for a strong pain killer, and you will most likely sleep while you are taking them. If you are still in pain, do not take more than is prescribed without calling us first. You will need someone to stay with you for 24 hours after the surgery, and they will be instructed on how to give you any prescription medication. The anesthesia tends to make people a bit loopy and forgetful the first 24 hours.
  • After the first 24 hours you may feel some discomfort. The most important thing you can do is take your pain medication regularly, whether you are taking the prescription medication or an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil.
  • You should not need pain medication for more than the first few days.

Most people do say there mouth is sore and they have to be careful what they eat, so it’s best to stick to soft foods. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Hamilton, Ontario office and speak with Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer.

Can I use mouthwash instead of flossing?

August 10th, 2016

While mouthwash goes a long way in improving your oral care, it is not a substitute for flossing. Mouthwashes and flossing provide different benefits that you should understand.

Mouthwash Benefits

Mouthwash comes in two categories. Some are considered cosmetic. This type of rinse provides temporary relief from bad breath and has a pleasant taste. These do not actually kill any bacteria.

Therapeutic mouthwashes provide the healthier benefits. These may contain different ingredients including fluoride or antimicrobial agents. This type is used to remove plaque buildup and reduce the potential for calculus formation. Therapeutic rinses can also help prevent cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. In addition, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer can prescribe special rinses to assist patients after periodontal surgery or other procedures.

Flossing Benefits

Flossing is what removes the plaque formation before it can harden and become calculus. While a rinse reduces buildup, only flossing will fully remove plaque, especially between teeth. The bristles on a toothbrush do not get between teeth completely. If plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar or calculus. When this builds below the gum line, gum disease can start.

Types of Floss

Floss is available in a thin string form or a tape. It can be waxed or unwaxed. If you find flossing difficult, you might want to try a different type of floss. You can buy bulk floss in containers or purchase the disposable type with a plastic handle attached. This style can be easier for many individuals to use. Interdental picks are available for bridgework or other situations where regular floss cannot be used.

If you have questions regarding the best mouthwash or floss, or need tips for easier flossing, please ask our Hamilton, Ontario team for advice. We will be glad to give you solutions to help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

What is gingivitis, and how can I treat it?

August 3rd, 2016

Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease that results when bacteria in your mouth cause inflammation in your gums. This is a common condition, and you can treat it effectively if you are aggressive. Otherwise, it could develop into more advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, and you could lose one or more teeth.

Watch for symptoms of gingivitis so you can ask Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer for help as soon as you need it. Strategies for treating gingivitis include thoroughly cleaning your teeth and assessing the scope of your gingivitis and how serious the problem is.

Gingivitis: Early Gum Disease

Your mouth contains many bacteria that form plaque, which is a sticky substance. You can get rid of plaque by brushing well, but if you don’t, it can build up on your teeth and form tartar. Bacteria can make your gums inflamed and cause pain and bleeding, or gingivitis. Other symptoms include loose teeth, bad breath, receding gums, and sensitive teeth. You’re at higher risk for gingivitis if you’re a smoker, if you have a weakened immune system, or if you have diabetes.

Assessment and Diagnosis

If you think you recognize the symptoms of gingivitis, contact our Hamilton, Ontario office to make an appointment. We will ask you about your risk factors for gingivitis and examine your teeth and mouth for signs of red and swollen gums. We may also measure the pockets around your teeth. If they are larger than usual, your gingivitis may be more advanced. Finally, will take some X-rays to get a picture of the bone structure of your jaw.

Deep Cleaning

You can’t get rid of the tartar on your teeth just by brushing at home. Instead, you need a deep cleaning consisting of scaling and root planing. Scaling involves scraping the plaque off of your teeth, both below and above the line of your gum. In root planing, the rough surfaces of your teeth where tartar is more likely to build up are smoothed. A laser may be used to make the procedure more effective, more accurate, and more comfortable.

Women's Hormones and Oral Health

July 27th, 2016

At OMG Perio, we know that hormones affect a woman's mood, but did you know they can also impact the health of a woman’s mouth? Women are susceptible to gum disease at different times in their lives, and research shows that hormonal highs and lows are part of the problem. According to studies, there are five situations in women’s lives during which hormone fluctuations make them more susceptible to oral health problems: puberty, their menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, and birth control pill usage. So just what happens and how can you help protect your oral health? Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team have outlined the five hormonal situations and provided a few tips and tricks to fending off potential issues.

Puberty - The surge of hormone production that occurs during puberty can increase the blood flow to the gums and change the way gum tissue reacts to irritants in plaque. As a result, a woman's gums may bleed during the act of brushing and flossing.

Monthly menstruation cycle - Hormonal changes (especially the increase in progesterone) occur during a woman’s menstrual cycle. These changes can lead to red swollen gums, swollen salivary glands, canker sores, or bleeding gums.

Pregnancy - Hormone levels tend to fluctuate during pregnancy. As a result, women are at greater risk to develop a condition called gingivitis, the early form of gum disease. Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer may recommend more frequent professional cleanings during your second or early third trimester to help reduce the chance of developing gingivitis. Please let us know if you are pregnant during your visit.

Menopause - Women are known to experience numerous oral changes as they age. These oral changes can include greater sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages, a burning sensation in your mouth, or dry mouth. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can result in the development of tooth decay and gum disease because saliva is not available to moisten and cleanse the mouth. It is important to know that dry mouth can also result from many prescription and over-the-counter medications. The gradual loss in estrogen that occurs with menopause also puts older women at risk for loss of bone density, which can lead to tooth loss. Receding gums, which expose more of the tooth surface to potential tooth decay, can be a sign of bone loss in the jawbone.

Birth control pills - Some birth control pills contain progesterone, which increases the level of that hormone in the body. Women who take pills with progesterone may develop inflamed gum tissue due to the toxins produced from plaque. Be sure to tell us if you are taking an oral contraceptive during your visit.

To prevent gum disease, we recommend:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Avoiding sugary or starchy snacks

Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team at OMG Perio encourage you to visit our Hamilton, Ontario office and practice good oral health habits at home.

Breaking Bad Oral Habits

July 20th, 2016

The effects of bad oral habits are something our team sees all too often. You might have bad oral habits that stem from childhood, possibly because your parents did not know about proper oral care or force you to follow it. Or, your bad habits could develop gradually, like slacking on your frequency of brushing.

Bad oral habits can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and consequences such as losing teeth and experiencing bad pain. They may be deeply ingrained and easy to continue, but you can break them with a little effort. Focus on developing good habits to replace your current ones, and eating a diet that is healthy for your teeth.

Replace Bad Habits with Good

Breaking your bad oral habits may not be as difficult as you expect when you focus instead on developing good habits. These new good habits can naturally replace your bad habits.

  • Brush your teeth after each meal or at least twice a day.
  • Visit a dentist every six months for an exam and a professional cleaning.
  • Floss your teeth every day.

These good habits may not seem natural, so you can take steps to make sure you follow these behaviors. For example, make a daily checklist with your scheduled sessions of brushing and flossing your teeth and using mouthwash. You can also set a timer to be sure you brush your teeth for the full recommended two minutes.

Eat Properly

Poor eating habits can be detrimental to your teeth. A common mistake is to let food, especially carbohydrates such as starch and sugar, stay on your teeth for a long time. You can stop doing this by rinsing your mouth with water after each meal or snack. Also, avoid candy and soft drinks between meals, since the sugar sits on your teeth.

A healthy diet provides the nutrients you need to maintain strong teeth. The mineral calcium is key for healthy teeth, so try to get your three daily servings of high-calcium foods, such as low-fat milk or yogurt, canned fish, or fortified soy or almond milk. Also include vegetables and fruits, which have a high water content.

If you need more tips about breaking your bad oral health habits, contact our Hamilton, Ontario office and speak with Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer or a member of our team.

Best Ways to Prevent Bad Breath

July 13th, 2016

Nobody likes bad breath, and although it can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have it, it is always better to practice good oral health than risk having a smelly mouth. There are many ways to reduce or eliminate bad breath, some are definitely more effective and longer lasting than others. Check out ways to do so below.

Floss Regularly

As difficult as it can be to remember to floss regularly, when it comes to bad breath, flossing is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to freshen your mouth. See, flossing reduces the plaque and bacteria found in areas of your mouth that a toothbrush simply can't reach, and in turn, it rids your mouth of the smell associated with that bacteria. While flossing may not eliminate bad breath on its own, if you do it along with other health oral hygiene habits like brushing, then you may just develop a fresher smelling mouth.

Use Mouthwash

Using some sort of mouthwash can really freshen up your breath, especially if you find it still smells after brushing and flossing. There is a wide variety of mouthwash products on the market, however, you can also create your own by simply using baking soda mixed with water.

Always Brush after You Sleep

Whether after taking a nap, or having a full night of sleep, you will want to brush your teeth in order to reduce bad breath. The truth is, bacteria accumulates in your mouth while you are sleeping (even during a short nap) and that is ultimately the source of bad breath. So next time you wake from a good slumber, give your mouth some brushing and you will find it makes a big difference in the freshness of your breath.

There are many ways to freshen your breath beyond just using gum or mints, the above mentioned are just a few for you to try. Test them out and you will likely find your bad breath problem is solved, or at least considerably reduced. Of course, you can always ask Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer at your next visit to our Hamilton, Ontario office.

Tell us about your summer!

July 6th, 2016

The dog days of summer are upon us, and what better time for Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team to ask our patients about their summer!

Whether you traveled to another country, went on a camping trip, or just stayed in Hamilton, Ontario and relaxed, we want to know how you’re all spending your summer! Please feel free to share your summer plans and experiences with us below or on our Facebook page as summer rolls on!

What is non-surgical periodontal treatment?

June 29th, 2016

Gum disease is about much more than pesky bleeding gums – it's a serious and progressive condition that, over time, can result in tooth loss, which in turn can have a significant bearing on your quality of life. Many people avoid being evaluated for gum disease because they worry that if they do have the condition, their only option will be to undergo surgery or let their teeth fall out. In fact, there are several non-surgical options to help treat gum disease (also called periodontal disease) and prevent eventual tooth loss. Wondering what they are? Here's a quick rundown of your options:

  • Regular dental cleaning: When your gum disease is in its earliest stages, regular cleanings at least twice a year may be enough to ward off further development, especially if you rigorously follow your dentist's recommendations for home care, including regular flossing. To get your periodontal disease under control, you may need to have cleanings more than twice a year, returning to twice-yearly cleanings once your gums are healthy again.
  • Scaling and root planing: These procedures involve deep cleaning above and below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar and to smooth rough spots on or near the root that can provide places for bacteria to lodge. Once the material below the gum line is removed, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer may apply an antibacterial gel to help kill any bacteria that remain. Because these procedures involve using special instruments to reach deep pockets of plaque and bacteria, most patients opt for a local anesthetic to help avoid discomfort. For more advanced cases of gum disease, you may need two sessions to complete the procedure. Afterward, you may experience some slight discomfort and bleeding from your gums which will resolve soon afterward. We can recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever to help relieve any discomfort.
  • Medication: Antibiotics can be used in some cases to help destroy bacteria beneath the gum line and help preserve the tooth's attachment and prevent loosening and eventual loss. Both over-the-counter and prescription mouthwashes are available, as well as oral antibiotics that can be used to destroy gum disease-causing bacteria. Toothpastes containing antibiotics are also available and are usually used in combination with other products or treatments.

If you're experiencing signs of periodontal disease – tender, bleeding or swollen gums, receding gums, gums that bleed after brushing, or loose teeth – delaying treatment is the worst thing you can do. Make an appointment at our Hamilton, Ontario office and learn about all the options that can help you keep your teeth and gums as healthy as can be.

Aging and Oral Health

June 22nd, 2016

As you age, it becomes even more important to take good care of your teeth and dental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one-fourth of adults age 65 and older have no remaining teeth. What's more, nearly one-third of older adults have untreated tooth decay.

Oral health, regardless of age, is crucial to overall good health. Ideally, we all want to keep your natural teeth, but whether you're caring for natural teeth or dentures, advancing age may put older adults at risk for a number of oral health problems, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diminished sense of taste
  • Root decay
  • Gum disease
  • Uneven jawbone caused by tooth loss
  • Denture-induced tissue inflammation
  • Overgrowth of fungus in the mouth
  • Attrition (loss of teeth structure by mechanical forces)
  • Oral cancer

These conditions may not be diagnosed until it is too late. If you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout life, you might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes.

Here are some tips for maintaining and improving your oral health as you become older:

  • Brush twice a day with a toothbrush with soft bristles. You may also benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
  • Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner.
  • If you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis. Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every day. It’s best to remove them at night.
  • Drink tap water. Since most contains fluoride, it helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are.
  • Quit smoking. Besides putting you at greater risk for lung and other cancers, smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
  • Visit OMG Perio regularly for a complete dental checkup.

If you have any questions about keeping up with your oral hygiene at home, please give us a call!

How do I pick the right toothpaste for my needs?

June 15th, 2016

With so many toothpastes available in so many price ranges, it can be difficult to be sure you are selecting the right one for your needs. You need a product that not only protects against tooth decay, but also addresses any special concerns that Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team have raised. Look for the Canadian Dental Association seal and do some research to find the toothpaste that best meets your needs.

Choose a Product Approved by the Canadian Dental Association

The Canadian Dental Association approves dental products such as toothbrushes, dentures, mouthwashes, dental floss, and toothpastes when they meet certain quality standards. Before products can display the seal, the Canadian Dental Association must verify that the product does what it claims to do. Look for the Canadian Dental Association seal on the toothpaste package before you buy it. Also, check to make sure that the toothpaste contains fluoride, which helps protect against decay.

Consider Special Needs

You may be depending on your toothpaste to perform extra tasks beyond cleaning your teeth. These are some common concerns that the right toothpaste can address.

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Plaque or gingivitis
  • Tartar
  • Yellowing teeth

The Canadian Dental Association’s website has a tool that lets users input their requirements and view a list of the toothpastes that carry the Canadian Dental Association’s seal and address those particular oral health needs.

Make Your Children’s Tooth-Brushing Experience Fun

If you select toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the Canadian Dental Association seal, most types of toothpaste will be fine for your children as long as they have no special needs. Allowing your kids to select fun toothpaste can encourage them to enjoy the brushing experience more, so that they brush more frequently and do a better job.

The following toothpaste characteristics can make brushing more fun for children.

  • Fun flavors, such as bubble gum, berry, and watermelon
  • Sparkles and swirls that make the toothpaste appear more attractive
  • Toothpaste that comes in a pump
  • Toothpaste with a container decorated with superheroes

What are the advantages of dental implants?

June 8th, 2016

Losing a tooth can affect a lot more than just the look of your smile. Missing teeth affect your ability to chew and can also cause problems for your other teeth. It is essential to replace missing teeth in order to maintain oral health as well as your overall well-being. Dental implants are an excellent option to replace your natural tooth and its root without affecting your neighboring teeth, and are available from Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer.

Why choose dental implants?

There are many reasons to choose dental implants to replace your lost or damaged teeth. According to the Canadian Society of Implant Dentistry, dental implants are often considered more predictable than other treatment options and are known to provide long-term successful outcomes.

Dental implants provide many benefits over other treatments such as bridgework and dentures:

  • Unlike other treatment options for missing teeth, dental implants allow Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer to replace your tooth without impacting the healthy teeth surrounding the space.
  • Dental implants also protect healthy bone by preventing potential bone loss and deterioration in the jaw.
  • This treatment option allows you to speak and eat normally without worrying about slippery or uncomfortable removable dentures.
  • The closest thing to natural teeth, dental implants allow you to maintain your smile and natural face shape.
  • These implants are built to last, providing you with a long-term solution to missing teeth.

Overall, dental implants are the next best thing to natural, healthy teeth. Choosing to undergo surgery to replace your lost or damaged teeth is an important decision. To avoid the issues caused by lost teeth, consult Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer or visit our Hamilton, Ontario office to see if you are a candidate for dental implants.

June is National Dairy Month!

June 1st, 2016

People have known for a long time that including dairy in their diets can help maintain healthy bones and even help promote weight loss. But what you may not know is that the routine intake of dairy products may also help promote periodontal health. Since June is National Dairy Month, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team at OMG Perio want you to know that patients who consume at least 55 grams of dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, may significantly reduce instances of gum disease.

Have questions about which foods to choose when trying to improve your oral health? Contact our Hamilton, Ontario office and ask our team!

What’s an intraoral camera?

May 25th, 2016

One of the greatest features our team at OMG Perio offers is the ability to see first-hand how we can help our patients. While X-rays help us detect any problems in your mouth and give us valuable information on what is bothering you, they often don’t give Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer a complete view of everything that is going on inside your mouth. With the use of an intraoral camera, we can see every aspect of your teeth and mouth with incredible detail, uncovering cracked or fractured teeth, excessive wear, carious lesions, cavities, or other issues that may be hidden. When we can discover oral problems early on, your treatment is much less invasive and often saves you money down the road.

An intraoral camera allows Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer to view clear, precise images of your mouth, teeth, and gums and allows us to make an accurate diagnosis.  With clear, defined, enlarged images, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team see details that standard mirror examinations may miss. It’s much easier to understand what is happening in your mouth if you can see the problem on a computer monitor, and it means faster diagnosis and less chair-time for our patients!

Intraoral cameras are small, about the size of a dental mirror, and emit a light onto the tooth. The tooth will emit a color that lets Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer determine if the tooth is healthy or diseased. Intraoral cameras also allow us to save your images on our office computer to provide a permanent record of treatments. These treatments can be printed for you, other specialists, and your lab or insurance companies.

For any questions about the intraoral camera, we encourage you to ask Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer or our team during your or your child’s next visit or by giving us a call at our convenient Hamilton, Ontario office.

Five Reasons for Your Bad Breath

May 18th, 2016

Bad breath, or halitosis, is probably not a matter of life or death. But it can make you feel self-conscious and have a negative impact on your life. The majority of people suffering from bad breath are dealing with oral bacterial. However, there are other causes of this embarrassing problem. Learning more can help you fight this solvable problem.

Five Causes of Embarrassingly Bad Breath

  1. Dry Mouth. A decrease in saliva flow can be caused by several things. Most often, medication or mouth breathing are the culprits. As saliva helps wash away food particles from your mouth, it prevents bad breath. Dry mouth can be dealt with by stimulating salivation.
  2. Gum Disease and Poor Oral Hygiene. Not brushing and flossing well enough or with enough frequency can lead to gum disease, which leads to bad breath. Halitosis can be a sign that plaque is present on your teeth.
  3. Food-Related Bad Breath. Food particles that aren't brushed or flossed away attract bacteria that leads to bad breath. It's especially important to brush after eating strong-smelling foods, such as garlic or onions.
  4. Smoking and Tobacco. Tobacco is bad for your health, and that includes your oral health. Smoking or chewing tobacco can contribute toward the development of gum disease, as well as oral cancer.
  5. Mouth Infections and Other Medical Problems. A mouth infection, sinus infection or even the common cold can cause you to temporarily have bad breath. Even conditions such as diabetes and reflux can cause halitosis. It's always wise to see Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer to help determine the cause.

We are Your Ally

Even if you maintain good oral hygiene, it's important to see Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer at our Hamilton, Ontario office to deal with or avoid problems with bad breath. We can help you uncover the cause of halitosis, while also providing solutions that allow you to enjoy fresh breath without relying on mints and breath fresheners. As is the case with all things related to oral health, we are your number-one ally when it comes to eliminating the problem of bad breath.

My gums are inflamed. What can I do?

May 11th, 2016

Inflamed gums are a fairly common dental issue, but unfortunately, many people don't take the problem seriously enough. If you ignore inflamed gums and continue your usual routine, you could be encouraging a much more severe inflammation problem, and the pain that goes along with that. Fortunately, it is quite easy to relieve inflamed gums if you use the tips below.

Use Soft Bristles

A soft-bristle toothbrush - the softest you can buy - is a must for anyone with inflamed gums. Anything that makes contact with your gums can cause you pain, so fine and soft bristles are always the best choice.

Use Sensitive Formula Toothpaste

The toothpaste marketed as “Sensitive Teeth Formula” contain special ingredients to help relieve sensitivity. When your gums are inflamed, even light brushing can cause some pain. Using a special toothpaste will help reduce that pain and make it easier to brush your teeth effectively. The effect becomes stronger as you use the toothpaste more, so use it for each brushing.

Visit Our Office

If your gums remain swollen for more than a few days or a week, set up an appointment with Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer. There is a long list of conditions that could be causing your swollen gums, everything from gum disease to pregnancy, so you need to find out where your issue is coming from. Most of the time, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer can easily treat the swollen gum issue at our Hamilton, Ontario office, or can give you an effective treatment to take home.

Summer is Almost Here: Tips for a bright, white smile!

May 4th, 2016

Summer is almost here, which means a season full of vacations, adventures, and great memories is just around the corner for our patients at OMG Perio.

Everyone wants a glowing and radiant white smile when the sun comes around and we have a few reminders to keep your pearly whites healthy and beautiful over the summer! Try to stay away from drinks that will stain your teeth like coffee, soft drinks, or dark colored juices. Not only will drinks like this weaken your enamel but they will also darken that fabulous smile you're working on! Another tip is to try and focus on brushing your teeth; everyone knows that when busy schedules start picking up, getting a good brushing session in tends to take the backseat! A good tip for keeping your mouth safe from staining and other possible pitfalls is to rinse your mouth with water after any meal you can’t fully brush your teeth after. Your teeth, inside and out, will benefit!

And remember, whether you are headed to a barbecue, a camping trip, or just having fun in the backyard this summer, we want to hear all about it! Make sure to let us know what you’re up to below or on our Facebook page! We also encourage you to post any photos from your adventures!

Can my body reject my dental implant?

April 27th, 2016

According to the International Congress of Oral Implantologists it is rare that your body will reject your dental implants. However, this does not mean that your dental implant will not fail. A successful dental implant is one that is placed in healthy bone and is properly cared for after the surgery takes place.

There is only one major reason why a dental implant would be rejected: a titanium allergy. The majority of dental implants are made with titanium because it has proven to be the most biologically compatible of all metals. On average, less than one percent of potential dental implant recipients reported an allergy to titanium.

Dental Implant Failure

The most common cause of dental implant failure in the upper and lower jaw is bacteria. Everyone has bacteria in their mouth. If you have bacteria in your jawbone at the time of your dental implant, it can spread from implant to implant, causing dental implant failure.

If you do not take proper care of your dental implants, that could also cause them to fail. You also have to take proper care of the implant and keep your mouth clean. The development of excessive bacteria around the implant and in surrounding tissues can lead to implant failure.

Teeth grinding is another reason dental implants fail. When you grind your teeth, it can move the implants out of position. Therefore, you should wear a mouthpiece when you go to sleep if you know you grind or clench.

If you take care of your implants by practicing good oral hygiene and visit our Hamilton, Ontario office, you should not have any problems with your new dental implants. As always, ask Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer about any questions or concerns you have about you dental implants.

Every Day is Earth Day

April 20th, 2016

During the early days of the environmental awareness movement, those who demonstrated against pollution, toxic chemicals, and the general public health were known as hippies. The early 1970s were a time of change, and assertions that we needed to pay more attention to the Earth's atmosphere were generally dismissed. But within a couple decades, it had become clear that the previous generation was right; the citizens of the world needed to become more environmentally conscious.

Many people feel that they can't make a difference if they don't do something big. But caring for the environment doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing concept. In fact, the little things you do can add up to make a great impact, especially in our community. Here are a few ways you can help the environment on Earth Day, April 22nd and all year around.

Four Small Ways to be Environmentally Friendly

  • Recycle Your Textiles. Nearly 21 million tons of textiles are added to American landfills each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Donating your unwanted clothing to a secondhand store or an organization that repurposes fabric helps cut down on solid waste and conserves natural resources.
  • Reduce Usage of Disposables. Plastic bottles and bags, disposable diapers and other things we can use and toss out are convenient, but they're not necessary. Simply choosing to replace one of type of disposable with a reusable product can help you cut down on waste that has a large negative impact on our environment.
  • Conserve Water. If everyone in the United States turned off the water while brushing their teeth, more than 1.5 million gallons of water could be conserved. Turn the water on long enough to wet your toothbrush for brushing and rinsing, and then immediately turn the water off again.
  • Turn Off the Lights. Flip the light switch to "Off" if you're going to leave a particular room for 15 minutes or more. This will conserve energy on incandescent light bulbs and cut down on cooling costs.

It's not necessary to be an activist or install solar panels all over your home to help the environment. Although you can do these things, the little everyday measures make a big difference in helping to conserve energy and the environment, while reducing your carbon footprint. Our team at OMG Perio wants to remind you to celebrate Earth Day and help the environment, knowing that it will benefit your and your children's generation.

Is there a correlation between my dental and cardiovascular health?

April 13th, 2016

YES!  Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in adult Canadian men and women, according to our friends at the Public Health Agency of Canada. Added to that, an estimated 70 percent of Canadian adults will have some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, during their life.

Studies suggest that people with gum disease are believed to have an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke. Since most patients are not regularly visiting a heart specialist, their regular visits to our Hamilton, Ontario office can help detect early warning signs of heart issues, prevent gum disease, or at the very least catch it at its early stage. We’d also like you to know your numbers: blood pressure (less than 120/80), cholesterol (less than 200) and BMI (less than 25).

There are many benefits to visiting OMG Perio in addition to maintaining your dental health. If it has been a while since your last visit, please give us a call!

Restore Your Gums to a Healthier State with Osseous Surgery

April 6th, 2016

Osseous surgery, or bone surgery, is a procedure that involves reshaping the bone that holds one or more teeth in place, as well as removing or reshaping deformities and irregularities under the gum. By performing osseous surgery, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer can look at the root of the affected tooth and clean the decayed area affected by periodontal (gum) disease.

It is common for patients suffering from periodontitis to experience defects such as holes in the bone around their teeth. Osseous surgery, also known as gingivectomy or flap surgery, removes those defects. This procedure can be recommended by Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer not because periodontal disease is present, but because most of the damage that has occurred is located in the underlying bone.

Depending on your unique situation and the extent of the defects, the bone in question is removed during the procedure, and the rest is reshaped. Once the bones are back to their original state, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer will stitch the gums back into place. We want to assure you that osseous surgery is a routine procedure, and one with a high success rate.

Typically used to treat advanced periodontal diseases such as periodontitis, osseous surgery is recommended for those patients whose periodontal pockets have not responded to more conservative methods of therapy such as regular cleanings and deep scaling and root planing.

After your procedure, Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer will monitor you closely, and will examine you often during the next few months. The procedure you undergo will depend entirely on your condition. Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer will be happy to meet with you and discuss whether or not you are a candidate for osseous surgery. To learn more about this procedure, or to schedule your appointment at OMG Perio, please give us a call today!

Can children be at risk for developing periodontal disease?

March 30th, 2016

Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team hear this question a lot. While many people believe periodontal disease is an adult problem, studies have indicated that periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, as well as other serious infections such as gingivitis and periodontitis, are prevalent among kids and adolescents. First, let’s identify the differences between gingivitis, periodontitis, and periodontal disease.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a type of periodontal disease in which only your child’s gums are affected. Characterized by swollen and red gums that bleed easily, gingivitis causes an inflammation of the gums, and is the first stage and mildest form of periodontal disease. The good news is that gingivitis is often reversible. Treatment for gingivitis includes having your child come in for a professional teeth cleaning. It also includes daily brushing, which will help eliminate plaque from the surfaces of your child’s teeth. Your child should also get in the habit of flossing daily to remove plaque and food particles wedged in the crevices between his or her teeth.

Periodontitis

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease that can not only damage your child’s gum tissue, but also destroy the underlying bone which supports the teeth. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed. In some cases, the bacteria from the ensuing infection may also be distributed to other areas of the body via the bloodstream.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums, periodontal ligament, and bone that surround and support your child’s teeth. Periodontal disease causes gums to become red, swollen, and tender, and can even cause the gums to recede (pull away) from the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.

Having persistent at-home oral care regimen is a critical step in your child’s fight against periodontal disease. But sometimes brushing and flossing are simply not enough. Having your child’s teeth cleaned twice a year, or as recommended, is crucial.

Early diagnosis of gingivitis, periodontitis, and periodontal disease can give you and your child peace of mind. If you are concerned your child is suffering from gum disease, we recommend that you give us a call at our Hamilton, Ontario office. We look forward to working with you and giving your child a smile to last a lifetime!

Gum Disease Prevention

March 23rd, 2016

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums, periodontal ligament, and bone that surround and support the teeth. Gum disease includes gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (a more advanced stage of the disease). The condition, which studies have indicated afflicts nearly 70 percent of Canadians at some point in their life, causes a chronic inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissue. You can prevent periodontal disease by brushing and flossing regularly, visiting your dentist twice a year for exams and cleaning, and sticking to a healthy, balanced diet.

Making sure that you practice good dental habits is one of the simplest things that you can do to avoid gum disease. These include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride. Make sure to brush all sides of your teeth, including brushing your tongue as plaque can cause bad breath, also known as halitosis. We recommend chewing sugar-free gum, especially one containing xylitol, a sugar substitute.
  • Using an electric toothbrush removes plaque more effectively than a regular toothbrush. Look for one that has the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) Seal of Acceptance or ask Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer during your next visit.
  • Using an antiseptic mouthwash such as Listerine. Fluoride or antiplaque mouthwash is also helpful at killing off bacteria in the mouth.
  • Flossing once a day helps get rid of particles of food wedged in the crevices between your teeth. Simply curve the floss around each tooth into a U-shape, and slide it gently under the gum line. Move the floss firmly up and down several times to scrape off the plaque. If you’re not sure which floss to buy or how to floss, ask Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer during your next visit.

To learn more about preventing gum disease, or to schedule your next visit with Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer, please give us a call today!

Go Green for St. Patrick's Day

March 16th, 2016

Millions of people, around Hamilton, Ontario and beyond, wear green on St. Patrick’s Day so they can show their spirit for the holiday and avoid getting pinched. While it may be easy for you to throw on a green shirt, sport a St. Patrick’s Day button, or wear a pair of emerald-hued shoes, if you’re an avid St. Patty’s Day enthusiast you may want to try something different this year. Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer thought of a few ideas that will help you take your holiday spirit to the next level:

Visit Montreal

One of the longest-running and largest Saint Patrick's Day parades in North America occurs each year in Montreal, whose city flag includes a shamrock in its lower-right quadrant. The annual celebration has been organized by the United Irish Societies of Montreal since 1929. The parade has been held annually without interruption since 1824, However, St. Patrick's Day itself has been celebrated in Montreal as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France.

Don Green Face Paint

Just like an avid sports fan on game day, you can use green face paints to showcase your enthusiasm for this holiday. Avoid breakouts or allergic reactions by only using paints that are specifically meant to be applied to the skin. A little bit of face paint can cover a large area, so feel free to get creative and decorate the whole family on St. Patrick’s Day.

Eat Green All Day

Not a fan of green eggs and ham? With the increasing popularity of green smoothies, there’s no better time to get in on this health craze. To create a green smoothie without the aid of food coloring, you can simply blend a generous amount of a leafy green vegetable, such as spinach or kale, with the ingredients that you would typically use to make a smoothie, like fruit, ice, milk, or juice. Keep the trend going throughout the day by using those same vegetables to create a green soup, egg salad, or a batch of bright green pastries. As an added bonus, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins without changing the taste of most of these foods.

If your old holiday routine has gotten stale, leave your green T-shirt in the drawer and try one or all of these tips. Don’t be surprised if you have so much fun that you decide to start a new, annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition! Have a happy St. Paddy’s day from OMG Perio!

Love your new smile? Tell us about it!

March 9th, 2016

At OMG Perio, we have been creating beautiful smiles for years. Whether you have visited Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team for a week or for your entire life, we would love to hear your thoughts about your experience! In fact, we encourage you to leave a few words for us below or on our Facebook page!

We look forward to reading your feedback!

What can I expect during my implant procedure?

March 8th, 2016

Dental implants are a surgical procedure done by Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer right here at our Hamilton, Ontario office. Screw-like parts made of titanium are inserted into your jaw bone and act as the root of your tooth. An artificial tooth will be placed on top of the screw, usually made out of ceramic or layered porcelain. The dental implant will look and feel just like the natural tooth you lost.

How much time will the dental implant surgery take?

There are numerous factors that determine the length of time for the dental implant procedure:

  • If you’re having one tooth replaced or several
  • The teeth that are being replaced
  • If you need a tooth or teeth extracted before the implant placement
  • The amount of time it takes for your IV to be placed
  • Any last minute questions or concerns you may need addressed

All of the above factors will also govern the amount of visits to our Hamilton, Ontario office you will need to make throughout your dental implant treatment period. For example, a single tooth dental implant surgery typically takes one to two hours from the time you arrive until you awaken from the anesthesia. This also includes the amount of time it takes to put on your gown, hair cap, and other surgical dressing preparations before you are able to enter the sterile surgical environment.

Does getting an implant hurt?

With nearly any surgical procedure, you will feel some sort of discomfort. Whether it is the insertion of the IV for the anesthesia, or discomfort you may feel after the surgery. However, most patients report that their pain was tolerable after their dental implant surgery. In fact, the majority of patients said the discomfort was a lot less than they expected. Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer will prescribe pain medications to help with any discomfort you may experience once you get home.

How will I feel after the dental implant treatment?

It is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the soft tissue and gum area. Usually the pain or discomfort does not require the use of anything more than an over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol or ibuprofen. In addition, you will have the prescription for a stronger pain medication if you need it. You should be able to work the following day.

The History of Dental Implants

February 17th, 2016

The earliest endeavors for dental implant tooth substitutes on record dates back to the Mayan civilization, to 600 AD. Archeologists recovered primeval skulls in which the teeth had been replaced with materials the ranged from wood, stones, and jewels to small pieces of seashells.

Like most scientific progresses, the finding of what makes todays dental implants so successful was unexpected. In 1952, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, named Dr. Branemark, placed a very small titanium cylinder into a bone to learn how the bone would heal. What he discovered was that the titanium cylinder had fused (melded to the bone.) Out of this experiment dental implants would be born within two decades.

In 1970s, modern dental implants made their first appearance. Of course, over the past four decades, the original dental implant has undergone several improvements in both structure and design, but has always been based on the original theme.

Dental implants were first made available to individuals who had lost all of their teeth and had difficulty wearing dentures, mainly because they had lost of much of their jawbone were dentures set. Today, most dental implants are used in place of dentures, for multiple teeth that are missing, or to replace a single tooth.

When dental implants were first designed, they were a one size fits all. The original dental implants were all the same circumference, while the length of each tooth varied depending on the type of tooth it was replacing. The dental implants were smoothed out and polished by a machine, but still did not produce the natural looking dental implants we have today.

Now, with the help of state-of-the-art equipment and advanced technology, implants come in a wide variety of sizes and shape to match the teeth that are missing. The surfaces of today’s dental implants give them a more natural look and feel. In addition, the surface of the dental implant also attaches to the bone much easier and for a longer period of time.

Dr. Branemark's discovery has left an impression on dental professionals, all over the world, including Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer. If you are considering dental implants to improve your smile’s health, beauty, and function, be sure to contact our Hamilton, Ontario office to schedule an appointment.

The Transformation of Valentine's Day

February 10th, 2016

Did you know the actions leading to the beginnings of Valentine's Day were actually centered on the avoidance of war? A Catholic priest named Valentine defied the orders of the Emperor Claudius II and secretly married young men and their brides after the emperor had declared it illegal because only single, young men could be sent to war. Rather than lose potential soldiers to fight his war, Claudius attempted to hoard them by proclaiming marriage illegal.

Valentine continued to marry young couples anyway and, eventually, was put to death for it in 270 AD. Before his death, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine”. Nearly 1,800 years later, people are still signing letters and cards in this manner. This year, carry on the tradition started long ago, while adding your own twist. Here are a few suggestions.

Simple and Creative Valentine's Day Ideas

  • Memorialize it with a Photo. Couples often have photos taken around Christmas, but Valentine's Day photos allow you to capitalize on romance. Famous couple Julia Child and her husband, Paul, had their picture taken together every Valentine's Day and included their sense of humor with silly props.
  • Return to Your First Date Location. Even if your first date together was at a local hotdog stand, its sentimental value can make it a fun part of your Valentine's Day agenda. Be creative and make a treasure hunt with clues that lead your partner to the original date location, where you can express your love with flowers or a gift.
  • “From Your Valentine” Messages. Deliver your message in a creative way to make this Valentine's Day stand out from the others. Bake your partner's favorite treat and write a message on it with a tube of icing, or draw a note on the steamed up mirror so it shows up when your partner takes a shower.

Although Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love, it doesn't have to be a special day only for couples. If you're single, use this special day to shower yourself with love, because you're worth it! After all, the priest Valentine believed so strongly in the sanctity of love that he was willing to risk his life for it. Whether you're in a relationship or single, young or old, romantic or not, Valentine's Day is for you. Happy Valentine’s Day from the periodontist office of Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer.

February is Heart Month

February 3rd, 2016

Our friends at the Canadian Academy of Periodontology stress the importance of good oral health since gum disease may be linked to heart disease and stroke. Thus far, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established, but there are multiple theories to explain the link between heart disease and periodontal disease. One theory suggests that oral bacteria may affect heart health when it enters the blood and attaches to the fatty plaque in the heart's blood vessels. This can cause the formation of blood clots. Another theory suggests the possibility that inflammation could be a contributing link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Gum disease increases plaque buildup, and inflamed gums may also contribute to the development of swollen or inflamed coronary arteries.

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease is caused in part by the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries. Blood clots cut off blood flow, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Both blood clots and the buildup of fatty proteins (also called plaque) on the walls of the coronary arteries may lead to a heart attack. Moreover, periodontal disease nearly doubles the likelihood that someone will suffer from coronary artery disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart conditions, so many patients who suffer from heart disease need to take antibiotics before any dental procedures. This is especially true of patients who are at greatest risk for contracting infective endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart). The fact that more than 2,400 people die from heart disease each day makes it a major public health issue. It is also the leading killer of both men and women in the United States today.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the bone and gum tissues around the teeth, reducing or potentially eradicating the system that supports your teeth. Eighty percent of Canadians will be affected with periodontal disease by age 45, and four out of five patients with the disease are unaware they have it. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. People who suffer from periodontal disease may notice that their gums swell and/or bleed when they brush their teeth.

Although there is no definitive proof to support the theory that oral bacteria affects the heart, it is widely acknowledged better oral health contributes to overall better health. When people take good care of their teeth, get thorough exams, and a professional cleaning twice a year, the buildup of plaque on the teeth is lessened. A healthy, well-balanced diet will also contribute to better oral and heart health. There is a lot of truth to the saying "you are what you eat." If you have any questions about you periodontal disease and your overall health, give our Hamilton, Ontario office a call!

Proper Brushing Techniques

January 27th, 2016

Brushing your teeth properly removes the food particles and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. However, you do not want to scrub your teeth or gums heavily. A heavy hand can lead to tooth and gum erosion, as Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our staff see all too often.

You should also use a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid damaging the surface of your teeth. Make sure the head of the brush fits in your mouth, because if it is too large you will not be able to reach all tooth surfaces. Follow these steps to ensure you are brushing properly.

  1. Use a small amount of toothpaste on your brush. The recommendation is a pea-sized amount or thin strip on the bristles.
  2. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the surface of your teeth, angling towards your gums. Use a circular motion on all exterior tooth surfaces, and avoid back-and-forth “scrub” brushing.
  3. Once you have cleaned the outer surfaces, hold the brush vertically and clean the inner teeth surfaces — the side of your teeth that face your tongue. Do not forget the inner surfaces of your front teeth.
  4. Finally, finish by cleaning all the chewing surfaces of your teeth. You need to maintain a gentle touch, but make sure you get into the full depth of your molars. The entire process should take about two minutes.

Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our staff recommend changing your toothbrush every three to four months for best results. Do not forget to clean your tongue, which helps remove excess bacteria from your mouth. Special brushes are available just for cleaning your tongue, and they are easy to use.

Proper care of your teeth also requires flossing on a regular basis. Flossing can be performed before or after you brush. Following up with a quality mouthwash will provide you with even more protection. Do not be afraid to ask the OMG Perio team for tips on proper brushing and flossing.

Help! My gums hurt when I floss!

January 20th, 2016

By no stretch is it rare for your gums to hurt during and after flossing. Even some bleeding is to be expected. This is especially true if you have not flossed in a long time. However, if your gums do indeed hurt when you floss, and unbearably so, there are some things you can do.

Be Gentle

Perhaps the most obvious way to combat gum soreness and bleeding is to be gentle. One of the most common occurrences of these gum problems is over-aggressive flossing. In other words, if you are too rough on your gums while flossing, either because you are out of practice or because you are in a hurry, soreness and hurting is to be expected. Instead, try taking your time and be gentle. Also, if you are just starting out, be patient and consistent, your gums will become more conditioned over time.

Use an Alternative Method

If being consistent and gentle does not work, there are other alternative methods of flossing that you can try. You can also try a water floss machine, or what is sometimes called a water pick. The device essentially shoots water into the crevasses between your teeth, and in other areas of your mouth, in order to dislodge food and plaque. These oral instruments also come with different attachments that allow you to reach many of the hard to see and reach areas of your mouth. And lastly, you can always buy floss that is not as abrasive to your gums. There is floss that comes with soft and gentle coatings that will do less harm to your gums while they are adjusting to the good oral hygiene habit you are creating.

Flossing is one of the easiest parts of oral hygiene to overlook. When you first start out, it is common that you may want to stop because of the pain it can initially cause. However, if you try one, or all, of the above mentioned methods, you will give yourself the best chance of being success with your flossing, and it won't hurt as much.

For more flossing tips, schedule an appointment at our Hamilton, Ontario office and askDrs. McCulloch and Glogauer or a member of our team!

The Link Between Dental Hygiene and Your Overall Health

January 13th, 2016

When patients of OMG Perio hear any mention of oral or dental hygiene, they probably think of brushing and flossing their teeth. Although these are extremely important, the term dental hygiene encompasses much more than that. Your mouth’s health, including your teeth, has an important impact on your overall physical health. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research published the surgeon general's first ever report on dental health. It is called A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health. In that report, the Surgeon General states that the 1948 World Health Organization expanded its earlier definition of health to "a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not just the absence of infirmity."

The Importance of Oral Health to Total Overall Health

One of the most important themes that the dental health report stressed is that you cannot be healthy without oral health. It went on to explain that oral health and general health are inextricably linked, and therefore can't be seen as two separate things. Because oral health is so critical to overall health, it should be included in all community health programs. For individuals, this means that it is just as important to take care of your mouth, your teeth, and your overall oral health as it is to take care of the rest of your body. The two most prevalent dental diseases are caries (cavities), also known as tooth decay, and periodontal (gum) disease.

Ways that Oral Health Impacts Overall Health

One important way in which good oral health contributes to better overall health is seen in the findings of several studies in which the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients were significantly lowered when their periodontal (or gum disease) was successfully treated. Your mouth has roughly 500 different species of bacteria. Many are harmless, and some are even good bacteria that help maintain the balance of your intestinal flora. Harmful bacteria can infect your gums, causing gingivitis. Your body's immune system may try to fight off the alien invaders, but they attack your gums, causing inflammation and bleeding when you brush.

Now that you know how important good dental hygiene is, be sure to see to get your teeth cleaned every six months, have regular dental checkups, brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily, and replace your toothbrush at least every couple of months. Call us to schedule your next appointment at our convenient Hamilton, Ontario location.

When should I see a periodontist?

January 6th, 2016

Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer and our team always tell our patients that if you value your overall health, not just your oral health, anytime is a good time to visit OMG Perio for a periodontal evaluation. Sometimes the only way to identify periodontal (gum) disease is through a comprehensive periodontal evaluation. If you notice any of the following periodontal disease symptoms outlined by the Canadian Dental Association, it may be time to give us a call to schedule an exam:

  • Gums that bleed easily or are swollen, red, or tender
  • Gums that bleed while brushing, flossing, or eating hard foods
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing teeth to look longer than before
  • Frequent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • A change in the way teeth align when you bite
  • A change in the way partial dentures fit

It is also important to note that it’s possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. While studies have indicated that older people have the highest rates of periodontal disease, we recommend being seen by Drs. McCulloch and Glogauer sooner rather than later when dealing with gum disease. An evaluation at our office can not only help catch gingivitis, the early form of gum disease in time, but can also give you peace of mind. Gingivitis, if detected early, can be treated and eventually reversed.

Not doing anything, however, can lead to periodontal disease, which can in turn lead to tooth loss. The best way to avoid gum disease is to visit our Hamilton, Ontario office for an evaluation. To schedule your visit, please give us a call today! We look forward to seeing you!

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