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481 North Service Rd. W. Unit A-19,
L6M 2V6; Oakville, ON

Questions & Answers


Q: What is Dental Plaque?

A: Plaque is a soft, sticky builds up on your teeth, contains millions of bacteria. The bacteria in plaque cause tooth decay and gum disease if they are not removed regularly through brushing and flossing. When you eat, the bacteria in plaque use the sugars in your food to produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. Repeated attacks cause the enamel to break down, eventually resulting in a cavity (or hole) in the tooth surface.

Plaque that is not removed daily by brushing and flossing between teeth can eventually harden into tartar.
Unchecked plaque on your teeth results in gingivitis, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. Dental plaque is now recognized as a risk factor for diabetes, lung and heart disease. Dental hygienists at Glen Abbey Smiles Dental Hygiene (formerly JW Dental Hygiene) will work with you to develop a good oral hygiene plan to facilitate early detection of these issues.


Q: What Causes Gum Disease?

A: Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease.
These include:

  • Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation, make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Illnesses may affect the condition of your gums. This includes diseases such as cancer or HIV that interfere with the immune system. Because diabetes affects the body's ability to use blood sugar, patients with this disease are at higher risk of developing infections, including periodontal disease and cavities.
  • Medications can affect oral health, because some lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums. Some drugs, such as the anticonvulsant medication Dilantin and the anti-angina drug Procardiaand Adalat, can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.
  • Bad habits such as smoking make it harder for gum tissue to repair itself.
  • Poor oral hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing on a daily basis, make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Family history of dental disease can be a contributing factor for the development of gingivitis.

    Q: What are the stages of periodontal disease?

    A: In the early stage of gingivitis, bacteria in plaque buildup, causing the gums to become inflamed and to easily bleed during tooth brushing. Although the gums may be irritated, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. No irreversible bone or other tissue damage has occurred at this stage.

    stages of periodontal disease

    Q: What are some of the early warning signs of periodontal disease?

    A: Warning signs of gum disease include the following:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth.
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before.
  • Loose or separating teeth.

    Q: Is periodontal disease reversible?

    A: The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing. Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis.


    Q: Do gums grow back?

    A: Receding gums are gums that have pulled away from a tooth, leaving its delicate root exposed. This also creates small spaces where plaque, a sticky film of bacteria can collect. As a result, receding gums don't grow back. Gum recession can be treated, even if they won't grow back.


    Q: Can you reverse gum recession?

    A: Gum recession can't be reversed. Gum disease can develop more quickly where other gum disease exists. However, mild gum recession doesn't necessarily put your mouth at increased risk of gum disease. You may need to have occasional deep cleaning treatments called “scaling and root planing” to treat gum recession.


    Q: Is Listerine Good for periodontal disease?

    A: The FDA reports that the combination of ingredients in LISTERINE® mouthwash is “generally recognized as safe and effective” and that LISTERINE® mouthwash is extremely effective in killing bacteria above the line as well as reducing sticky plaque film and early gum disease (gingivitis).


    Q: What Causes Bad Breath?

    A: 70% of bad breath is caused within the mouth and tongue.

  • Smoking
  • Coffee
  • Food
  • Oral Diseases - gingivitis or periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Dentures
  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Respiratory Tract Infections - throat, sinus or lung infections
  • Dry Mouth - caused by medications, such as, anti-depressants, antihistamines, decongestants, medications for blood pressure and asthma.

    Concerned about bad breath? Speak to us at your next dental hygiene visit!

    Q: What are your office hours?

    A: Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Friday: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
    After hours appointments available. To find out more, call 905.465.1199

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