Top 5 Signs You May Have a Cavity

Did you know that almost 100 percent of the adults in the world suffer from some form of tooth decay every year? Additionally, somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of kids suffer from tooth decay as well.

Tooth decay can, unfortunately, lead to cavities. And if cavities are left untreated for a long period of time, they can lead to even more serious oral health issues.

No matter how old you are, it’s important for you to keep a close eye out for cavity symptoms. It’ll allow you to avoid the potentially dangerous consequences that can come along with cavities.

Here are 5 signs that’ll let you know you may have a cavity.

1. Unexplained Toothaches

Do you have a toothache that just popped up out of nowhere? This is one of the most common cavity symptoms.

In some cases, you might have a dull, throbbing toothache that just won’t seem to go away. In others, you might have a toothache that comes and goes and seems to affect you most when you’re eating and drinking.

Either way, a toothache is an obvious sign of a cavity and should be investigated further.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

There are some people who have more sensitive teeth than others. Food and drinks that are hot, cold, sweet, acidic, and sticky may bother them almost all the time.

But if you notice that your teeth are suddenly sensitive to any of these things without warning, it could be because of a cavity. A dentist can check out your teeth to see what is causing your tooth sensitivity.

3. Noticeable Holes in Teeth

If you think you might have a cavity, use a flashlight to shine some light into your mouth and look at the area that’s giving you trouble.

Can you see any small holes in any of your teeth? If so, those holes are cavities that need to be filled.

You can’t always spot a cavity in your mouth, even if it’s a bad one. But many times, it’ll be possible to see cavities as they develop.

4. Tooth Discoloration

It’s not uncommon to see someone who drinks a lot of coffee or wine to experience discoloration in their teeth. But in these instances, all of their teeth will be a shade darker than they used to be.

Tooth discoloration tied to a cavity will usually only affect a small portion of a single tooth. You may see a spot that is slightly whiter than the rest of your teeth or a spot that has turned brown or black.

5. Pain When Biting Down

Do you feel pain when you bite down, even when you don’t have anything in your mouth?

You could very well have a cavity that is affecting the root of one of your teeth. It’s essential for you to get to a dentist as soon as possible for this type of cavity as it could start to take a toll on the bone underneath your teeth.

Seek Treatment If You Experience Any of These Cavity Symptoms

By learning how to tell if you have a cavity and picking up on cavity symptoms, you can prevent cavities from wreaking havoc on your oral health.

The key is catching decay and cavities at the early and preventative stages. This may save you from having to go through extensive dental procedures to fix your teeth and keep your teeth and health in better shape overall.

Contact us to schedule an appointment with a dentist if you suspect you might have a cavity.


5 Surprising Benefits of Dental X-Rays

Regular dental care is an invaluable asset to your quality of life. Dentists do more than clean your teeth and fix your smile. They play a crucial role in the overall well-being of every single patient they see.

One way dentists do this is by using x-rays to help them identify issues, plan a course of action, and follow-up on treatment. If you don’t mind going to the dentist, but you’re not a fan of taking x-rays, keep reading to discover 5 awesome benefits of dental x-rays.

1. To Track Tooth Growth and Development

Have you ever broken a bone then watched the progress of its healing with regular x-rays? It’s pretty cool to see, isn’t it?

In a similar way, dentists use x-rays to track healthy tooth growth and development. They can do this with their own eyes too, but only to a certain extent. Advanced medical equipment helps them assess the situation from all angles.

With just one set of x-rays, a dentist can see if your teeth are prone to crowding or tooth gaping. From there, they may consult with you to receive some sort of orthodontic treatment.

2. To Identify Dental Decay

The next benefit of dental x-rays worth mentioning is to identify decay. This is a serious matter worth treating as soon as possible. The growth of decay in your mouth can lead to gum disease, rotten teeth, or other health issues in the body.

If you want to keep bacteria from spreading, you need to catch it in action right away. You need to allow the dentist to take the necessary x-rays.

3. To Check for Gum Disease

Maybe it’s too late for you to identify the presence of dental decay early on. Maybe you’re already suffering from bleeding or inflamed gums and wondering what to do about it.

The best thing you can do is call your dentist who will likely require x-rays to aid in determining the severity of your potential Gum Disease. Most dentists can identify gum disease from a mile away. But, it’s only with an up-close look and support of x-rays that they can see the root of the problem and start planning a cure.

4. To Assure Treatment Success

It’s one thing to plan a course of action for dental treatment and another to see it through. As such, dentists often take follow-up x-rays to assure their work is complete. Some will even take x-rays at each stage of treatment to track progress.

This may mean you have two or three sets of x-rays done or maybe even four or five. However many times you’re asked to take them, always comply. The more x-rays a dentist has to compare, the better they can do their job and bring you back to good health.

5. To Act Quickly on Dental Issues

Speaking of bringing you to good health, at the end of the day, a dentist can’t do this if you don’t let them. It’s not enough to go in for cleanings and keep up with flossing at home.

You’re going to have to take x-rays from time to time to make sure your dental health is as good as you think it is. Not to mention, if something is wrong, you’ll be glad you took the x-rays sooner rather than later.

Discover the Benefits of Dental X-Rays for Yourself

Dental x-rays are nothing to fear or cause a fuss over. They’re incredibly safe, and although a little uncomfortable, quick to do when you follow directions.

The most important rule of going to the dentist, though, is to actually go! If it’s been a while since you sat in the dentist’s chair and you need to make an appointment, click here to set one up with us right away.

What Does Your Lifestyle Do to Your Teeth?

picture of beautiful woman pointing to teeth

Poor oral health can affect your entire body. Yes, it’s true. It just won’t affect your teeth and gums but it may even lead to issues like diabetes, heart disease, and more. Alarming, eh? The good thing here is that there are actually things that you can do to reduce your risk and improve your oral health.

A healthy lifestyle can make a huge difference! You might not know it, but most of your habits affect your oral health in various ways.

Diet High in Sugar

Having a diet that is high in sugar affects your teeth no matter how diligently you brush them. The more sugar you eat, the more you are feeding the bacteria that contribute to tooth decay. Aside from tooth decay, sugary foods can also cause gum issues.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Drinking alcohol can dehydrate the mouth. When this happens, saliva can’t flush away bacteria that enter the mouth. Excessive drinking may also keep a person from maintaining a really good oral hygiene routine.


Everybody knows that smoking can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and sometimes even oral cancer. If you stop smoking, you’re minimizing your risk of getting throat and tongue cancers.


There are some medications that contain ingredients that can affect oral health. Some of them can cause dry mouth. Others result in staining. If you are taking new medications, make sure you let your dentist know so you can be offered solutions to any possible side effects that are related to your oral health.

A healthy body results in a healthy mouth, just as a healthy mouth contributes to your overall health. So if you want to enjoy both, make sure that you try your very best to have a healthy lifestyle and never neglect your teeth and gums! Eat a healthy diet and avoid harmful habits like drinking and smoking. Lastly, establish a good oral hygiene routine and visit Pickering Square Dental so we can check your oral health and help you prevent problems in the future!

Is Your Pregnancy Affecting Your Oral Health?

Pretty young Hispanic pregnant woman holding a toothbrush and taking care of her teeth during pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you worry about everything – your child’s health, your health, your weight, your skin, and many other things. The last thing you probably think of is your oral health. Well, you should know that you should never neglect your gums and teeth during your pregnancy.

There are special oral health concerns that pregnant women should watch out for. Read on to find out about them and what you can do to avoid or address them.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Many pregnant women changes in their gums – they look redder, swollen, tender, and sometimes they even bleed. They can start at around the second month and peak at the eighth month. Pregnancy gingivitis usually tapers off after the child is born.

While thy symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis are similar to those of gingivitis, the causes are different. Some of the factors include increased levels of hormones and your immune system working differently. To minimize or avoid pregnancy gingivitis, you should always practice good oral hygiene. You should also have professional cleaning done by your dentist.

Tooth Erosion

Pregnant women, especially those who suffer from severe morning sickness, are more prone to tooth erosion. If you frequently vomit, you should contact Pickering Square Dental at once to get more information on how you can prevent enamel erosion.

If there’s one thing you should remember, it is to not brush right away after you vomit because the acid in your mouth will only erode your teeth further while you’re brushing. It’s better to swish with a mixture of baking soda and water to reduce the acid level in your mouth.

Pregnancy Granuloma

It is a growth on the gums that 2% to 10% of pregnant women get usually around the second trimester. Pregnancy granulomas are red nodules that are usually found near the upper gum line. They may cause discomfort but they are not really dangerous.

The cause of pregnancy granulomas is still unknown, but poor oral hygiene is a suspected factor, as well as hormones, malformed blood vessels, trauma, and viruses. Women who get these growths often have pregnancy gingivitis, too.

Eating a well-balanced diet rich in calcium, protein, and vitamins A, C, and D is important if you want to achieve good oral health while you’re pregnant. Of course, you should not neglect your oral hygiene routine and make sure that you go to your dental appointments!

For any dental emergencies, or if you want to know which dental procedures are safe for you during your pregnancy, reach out to Pickering Square Dental! We’ll be more than happy to answer your questions!

Why You Shouldn’t Miss an Appointment with Your Dentist

Image of smiling patient looking at camera at the dentist?s

It is highly recommended for everyone to make dental appointments at least every six months. However, some people go as long as three years or more without visiting their dentist!

This is alarming. Why do Canadians skip their dental appointments? There may be a number of reasons, including busy schedules, forgetfulness, dental anxiety, and more. However, the more important question that you should be asking is “Why shouldn’t I miss my dental appointment?”  Well, let us enumerate the reasons.

Missing an Appointment Turns Minor Issues into Major Problems

When you visit your dentist on a regular basis, any potential problem will be caught in the early stages and they will be treated easily. For instance, let’s take gum disease which has three stages – gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. If caught early, gingivitis can be addressed by a thorough dental cleaning. However, if you skip your appointment, it could progress to periodontitis and may require your teeth to be extracted or a surgery to be performed. You can avoid the hassle and costly treatment if you go to your dentist when you are supposed to go.

Thorough Cleaning

Daily brushing and flossing is important, but that’s not all you need to achieve the best oral health possible. After all, oral care that you do at home may be really good, but it is still limited. For instance, there are hard to reach areas in your mouth and there may be hardened plaque that has turned into tartar. As you know, tartar cannot be removed by simply brushing or flossing. A visit to Pickering Square Dental at least once every six months can ensure that all plaque and tartar is removed from your teeth.

Regular Screening for Oral Cancer

Just like you would go to a doctor to have general check-ups and make sure that everything is well, you should visit your dentist so you can be screened for potential problems. Among the many health concerns that can be detected during a dental check-up is oral cancer. At its later stages, this type of cancer is nearly impossible to treat and highly deadly. The key, therefore, is early detection. Oral cancer screening is undeniably one good reason to keep your dental appointments.

The best way to be sure that you have the best oral health possible is to do your part in keeping it that way. That means building an efficient oral care routine at home and making it to your dental appointments. Prioritize your oral health and you’ll have a greater chance of preventing any dental problems and keeping a truly beautiful smile. Contact Pickering Square Dental now and schedule your next appointment with us!

Battling Aggressive Oral Cancer

oral cancer colorful word with stethoscope on wooden background

Diagnosis of cancer or even just a suspicion of cancer can be quite scary. Instantly, you think of people you know who lost their battles to cancer. You may even reflect on how most TV shows or movies that feature a character with cancer almost always has that person dying. You may be the one suffering or it could be someone dear to you – either way, cancer is something that can easily change the way you live your life.

Instead of living in fear, one of the things that you can do is to learn what you can about it. In this particular post, we aim to share with you some information on one of the most aggressive types of cancer which affects thousands of people every year – oral cancer.

Risk Factors

Knowing the causative factors of cancer can contribute to the prevention of the disease. For oral cancer, age is often named as a risk factor (it often occurs in those past the age of 40).  In the recent years, the anterior of the mouth, alcohol, and tobacco-associated cancers have declined in number along with a corresponding decline in smoking. Posterior of the oral cavity sites that are associated with the HPV16 viral cause, on the other hand, are increasing.

It is also likely that the accumulative damage caused by factors like excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and viral infections like HPV are the real culprits. It should also be noted that those who drink and smoke are at 15 times higher risk of developing oral cancer.

There are also physical factors like ultraviolet radiation exposure. This is often the cause of cancers of the lip, whose numbers have declined in the last few decades most likely because of increased awareness. People now understand the damaging effects of prolonged exposure to the sun and the benefits of wearing sunscreen. Biological factors associated with oral cancers include viruses and fungi. HPV16 in particular has been implicated in oral cancers.


Once a definitive diagnosis is made and the cancer is staged, treatment may start. Treatment of oral cancers is often a multidisciplinary approach that involves the collaborative effort of dental practitioners, surgeons, chemotherapy oncologists, radiation oncologists, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and restorative specialists.

The actual treatment modalities are often chemotherapy with concurrent radiation, and sometimes, surgery.

Chemotherapy is currently not used as a lone approach for oral cancers but instead added to decrease the possibility of metastasis, to reduce the size of malignancy before the surgery, and to sensitize the malignant cells to radiation. It is also a powerful component of treatment for patients with confirmed distant metastasis of the disease.


Before the curative treatment starts, other oral health needs have to be taken care of. It is necessary so the likelihood of getting post-therapeutic complications would be lessened. Teeth that have poor prognosis from caries or periodontal problems may be extracted. Avoiding post-radiotherapy surgery is important because it can sometimes induce osteonecrosis which happens when tissue damaged by radiation exposes the underlying bone and does not heal. A thorough prophylaxis or cleaning will probably be done before treatments start.

Every cancer phase potentially paves an avenue to discovering a new therapy for treatment. And with all the research being conducted, there is always a possibility that we will see cures for oral cancer in our lifetime.


Implant Key Terms You Need to Understand

woman take tooth implant false tooth on green background

If you have been told that you should consider dental implants and you are not exactly sure what they are, the best thing for you to do is discuss it with your dentist. But like with other dental procedures, there might be some terms that could sound “alien” to you. That could get in the way of you fully understanding what you need to know about dental implants.

To help you decode dental lingo, here are some terms that you should know:


It is a connector that the dentist will attach to the top of your dental implant. This will serve as the attachment for the replacement tooth, bridge, or crown, keeping it securely in place.

Abutment Teeth

This refers to the teeth that support the partial denture or bridge. The bridge is attached during a crown prep or inlay/onlay prep. If for a partial denture, clasps or rests are necessary to support the denture on the abutment tooth.


A crown or a cap, as it is also called, replaces the top portion and layer of a tooth. If you have broken or lost a tooth because of injury, infection, or decay, your dentist can fit you with a crown to replace the damaged or missing one. Crowns fit over the top of existing teeth but they must be ground down to fit or attached to the abutment of an implant.


This is a material used to make dental implants. It is made of clay that is hardened by heat. Some people like the aesthetic appeal of ceramic better than titanium because it gives a more natural look. It is available in ivory, which looks similar to existing roots and teeth. Ceramic implants are an option for patients with allergy to metal.

Endosteal Implant

This is the most commonly used implant type in modern dentistry. To fit this particular style of implant, small screws, plates, blades, or cylinders are placed directly into the jawbone surgically. Every implant can hold at least one prosthetic tooth.

Eposteal Implant

This type of implant receives support by directly resting on the jawbone. This is not used often today in dentistry as it is often seen as an outdated method.


Implant or Fixture

This is a medical device that interfaces with the jawbone to support a bridge, crown, or denture. Most dental implants last for patients’ entire lives so they are deemed better than bridges which would need replacement and dentures which can be uncomfortable for the wearer.

Titanium and Zirconia

Most dental implants these days are made of titanium. This is the preferred material of most patients because very few people are allergic to titanium. It is also very durable and lightweight. There is a small percentage of people who are allergic to titanium, and for them Zirconia is a good option. Zirconia implants have no prosthetic connections, lowering the risk of bacteria growth. Patients may also find that they have better gum health with this type of implant. Its white colour makes it look more like a natural tooth.

If you want to know more about dental implants or you’re wondering if it’s an option for you, do call Pickering Square Dental and we will set an appointment for you!


Dental Care Resolutions You Really Need To Stick To

Beautiful young parents and their cute little daughter are looking at camera and smiling while brushing teeth, against gray wall

Did you know that only about 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution? This can be attributed to a lot of factors, including unrealistic expectations regarding the ease, the speed, and the consequences of their resolutions.

What can you do then? Make more reasonable goals, of course! Because we want you to enjoy healthy and beautiful smile all year, here are some dental resolutions that you can easily stick to:

Brush and Floss Twice a Day

Well, you should already be doing this and you probably are. But there are probably a few times last year when you skipped brushing and flossing because you were a little too busy, sleepy, lazy, or distracted. Make sure that this year, nothing comes between you and your brush and floss!

Lessen Your Sugar Intake

Let us not kid ourselves. It is really hard to completely stop eating and drinking sugar. But it will greatly help if you at least aim to reduce your intake of sweets. It may also be time for you to discover healthier alternatives! While you lessen your sugar intake, increase your intake of water and make sure you rinse your mouth after eating sweets.

Break Your Bad Habits

Unfortunately, some of the things you like doing, like drinking coffee every so often and smoking can be really bad for your teeth. Not only do these habits stain your teeth, but they can even damage your gums and cause oral cancer! For these reasons alone, you should be working really hard to drop these habits. It can be really challenging, but your dentist and your physician can surely provide you with helpful suggestions on what you can do to beat your chemical dependency.

Get Checked for Oral Cancer

So, this is not really a resolution that you have to repeatedly do but one that you just have to do at least once this 2018. Then you can have it done next year again! Thousands of Canadians suffer from oral cancer. Most oral cancer cases are treatable as long as they are detected and treated early. Advanced tools can now be used to check your mouth for signs of inflammation and bumps that could be an early sign of oral cancer. Ask for a screening on your next dental appointment!

Set a Schedule and Stick to It

One of the best things you can do for your oral health this year is not just making an appointment with your dentist, but actually sticking to it. Your dentist is the one person who understands your needs when it comes to your oral health – even more than you do. Regular visits can help ensure that you won’t suffer from any problems in the near future.

These are pretty simple things that you can do for your oral health. And trust us – what you’ll get in return is all worth it.

Want to make 2018 the year where you got your best smile ever? Give Pickering Square Dental a call and set an appointment. We’ll be your partner in this very achievable goal!

Keep a Healthy Heart with Better Dental Care

Portrait of beautiful young woman with perfect smile. Isolated on white.

Heart disease is among the top causes of death for both men and women worldwide. Countless studies have been dedicated to finding out the causes of this fatal disease. But did you know that research has also found that there is a link between heart disease and your gum health?

According to a 2016 study conducted in Sweden, having gum disease increases the risk of getting a first heart attack by 28%.Heart disease and gum disease have some common risk factors that include poor nutrition, diabetes, and smoking, among others. Many researchers also believe that inflammation that is caused by periodontal disease may be attributed for the connection.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Yet again, this old cliché proves to be true. Maintaining healthy habits can significantly lower your risk of both gum disease and heart disease. These strategies can help:


* Start (and stick to) a healthy diet. Make sure that your meals are rich in nutrients. Always include foods that contain vitamins A and E. Eliminate, or at least reduce sugar and starches, which are not only bad for your oral health but your overall health as well.


*Stop smoking! You know that this terrible habit can compromise your oral health, as well as your heart and lungs. Every time you light a cigarette, you are deliberately harming yourself and sometimes even those around you. Quit smoking before it destroys your gums and put you at a higher risk of heart disease.


*Brush and floss daily. Proper brushing is as important as doing it regularly. To make sure plaque and bacteria are removed, brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Do it in the morning and in the evening before bedtime. Don’t forget to floss! You should also pay extra attention to your oral hygiene if you are taking medicine because there are some that can increase the risk of gum disease. You can ask your doctor about it if you believe your medications are causing gum problems.


* Visit your physician and your dentist regularly. One way to avoid health problems is to have regular check-ups. Your doctor can perform tests to determine your health. Of course, regularly visiting Pickering Square Dental can help ensure that you don’t just have an amazingly white teeth but a healthy gum, too! Both your doctor and your dentist can tell you how often you should visit to help make sure you maintain optimal health.

Hello! How are Your Gums Doing?

Young female sitting in dentist office and looking at her doctor with smile

Have you ever noticed blood in the sink when you brush your teeth? Do you feel embarrassed at times because you believe you have bad breath? This could mean you have gum disease or gingivitis.

If gingivitis isn’t treated at once, it can progress to an even worse dental health problem which is periodontitis.

Most people brush their teeth twice a day, but is that enough?

To help reduce your risk of getting gum disease, here are some tips:

Brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time. Ideally, you should brush your teeth before you go to bed and at least once more in the day. At times, people feel like they don’t have time to brush for the entirety for two minutes, but you should really make it a point to brush your teeth for at least that long. If it helps, you can set a timer on your phone so you’d know when you’re done.  Lastly, proper brushing technique is critical to your overall success too.  Ask us to tweak your technique or routine at your next visit.

Change your toothpaste. If you constantly have bleeding gums, you might have to switch to a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for this condition. There are clinically proven products that are available commercially, but of course, you can always ask your dentist at Pickering Square Dental for recommendations.

Don’t skip the floss! You want to be sure that you are cleaning the space between your teeth thoroughly. Often, bacteria hide in places where your toothbrush cannot reach. Regularly cleaning between your teeth prevents both gum disease and tooth decay. Some people find flossing a little tricky, so you might want to check out interdental brushes to reach the gap in between your teeth.  Ask us to tweak your tweak your technique. 

Swish some mouthwash. You want to protect your mouth in those hours between brushing. Mouthwash can help you with that by lowering the levels of bacteria in your mouth. Remember, though, that mouthwash should be used in addition to regular brushing and flossing and not instead of. Mouthwash can help in rinsing out food particles from your mouth and of course, it can deter bad breath with its fresh and minty smell.

Stop smoking. People who smoke are more susceptible to gum infection because tobacco causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. This results in reduced flow of nutrients and blood to the gum tissues.

Don’t wait for things to get worse. If you notice any sign of change at all in your gums, including redness, tenderness, and bleeding, contact your dentist. That can be an early sign of gum disease.

Because gum disease is a progressive condition, you should not leave it untreated. If you’re concerned, you can call Pickering Square Dental and book an appointment as soon as possible.