A couple common oral health questions

As a dentist in Vancouver, I am asked similar questions from patients on an almost daily basis. Here are just a couple of these common questions and a brief answer.

“Should I be concerned about bleeding gums?”

In the even that you notice blood when brushing, either in the sink or on your toothbrush, it is strongly recommended that you schedule an appointment with your dentist. Even if this bleeding is not causing any noticeable pain, bleeding gums is in almost all cases a sign of gum disease. Additionally, this bleeding could be caused by a build-up of plaque beneath the gum-line and brushing alone may not be able to dislodge this built-up plaque.

Another possibility for why you’d be noticing blood when brushing is if you are brushing with too much force. Brushing too hard can not only cause bleeding, but can also damage enamel or force food particle deeper between your teeth. When brushing, always hold your toothbrush without gripping too hard, and brush in a small circular motion. Also, try not to bend the bristles of the toothbrush too much when brushing. Finally, select a soft bristled toothbrush, instead of a medium or firm one, as this will help to not cause bleeding and damage to your enamel.

“How long do fillings last?”

Generally, the classic amalgam fillings that were widely used in the past by most dentists last approximately 12 years and white composite fillings that are common today last about 10. These timeframes are of course approximate and presume proper dental care procedures and dental hygiene. In the event that your fillings are older than this, it is recommended that you visit your dentist to ensure there are no cracks in your fillings and that they have not shifted over the years. This check-up on the condition of your fillings will help you avoid any future tooth decay or tooth loss.

If you are concerned about bleeding gums, old fillings or any other general dentistry or emergency dental condition, please contact our dental clinic here or call us at 604-879-9999 to book an appointment with one of our experienced dentists.

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