Start the Year Off with an Oral Cancer Screenings | Ottawa Dentist

While our health is on top of mind with resolutions, why not check if you have oral cancer? Below is a list of possible symptoms associated:

  • Swellings, lumps or rough spots in your mouth, neck or jaw. If they do not disappear after 3 weeks, you could be developing mouth cancer.
  • Ulcers or red or white patches. If they have a velvety texture, this is a telltale sign, especially if the patches do not heal in 3 weeks.
  • Difficulty in chewing and swallowing, moving the jaw or tongue. If this occurs, it is important to take prompt action and get it checked by a doctor.
  • Sores in the mouth, neck and face. If they have begun to bleed persistently, and do not heal within 2 weeks, they need to be checked as they are also symptoms of oral cancer. Another symptom of oral cancer is constant bleeding in your mouth that cannot be explained.
  • Loss of feeling or pain in areas. If you find that you notice this on your mouth, neck, face and ear, oral cancer could be developing.
  • Chronic sore throat. In the early stages, the sore throat can also be accompanied by a lump in your throat.

If you find you have any of these symptoms, our office has the VELscope® system to help us identify, evaluate, monitor and mark any abnormal or suspicious oral cell lesions.

So how does it work? A low intensity fluorescence light from the handheld light source will then bounce off the abnormal cells, giving them a “glowing” effect all the way down to the basement membrane where the nuclei have been rendered more prominent, making abnormal cells easier to see than with a traditional exam.

Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.urbandentalcentre.com.

Dr. Katia Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.

Tips for a Successful Recovery Process | Ottawa Dentist

When it’s time for dental surgery, there are lots of things your dental professional will do to ensure that your procedure not only goes off without a hitch but is as pain-free as possible. We’ve come a long way from those very painful surgeries with state-of-the-art technology and improved patient care.

But what happens after you leave the dental chair? You are essentially on your own to make yourself comfortable. Here are some tips for a successful recovery process:

  • Relax. Surgery is stressful. Take the time you need to heal properly to avoid complications.
  • Follow instructions. Whether it be to avoid brushing the sensitive area or using a saltwater rinse, listen to the advice given to prevent infection.
  • Add ice. You may have swelling or bruising after your procedure. If this is the case, apply an ice pack for 30 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours. If it continues, contact your dental professional.
  • Use gauze. Bleeding is likely after surgery. Biting on gauze will help.
  • You’re on clot patrol. Blood clots are healing your wounds. Avoid spitting, straws, alcoholic or carbonated beverages and smoking for at least 3 days afterwards.
  • Watch your diet. We know that soft foods are best when our mouth is tender, but cool foods are also quite soothing.
  • Pain meds. Pain management is important. Maintain this with over-the-counter meds like acetaminophen for the next couple days as the pain subsides.
  • Be aware. Take note of anything like infection, fever or swelling. If it lasts more than a couple of days, you may need to give a call to your dentist for advice.
  • Follow up. If a follow up appointment is necessary, don’t dodge it. As we said before, follow your dentist’s instructions to ensure a speedy recovery.

Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.urbandentalcentre.com.

Dr. Katia Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.

Do You Have Tooth Decay? | Ottawa Dentist

Let’s face it – it is easy to maintain a healthy smile if we follow a few basic rules regarding dental hygiene. If you treat your teeth well, they’ll repay you by shining bright and strong. Unfortunately, many don’t follow the rules and your smile is affected. Tooth decay is something that happens when you eat sugary foods and neglect the daily dental duties. And if neglected long enough, bacteria eventually cause cavities to develop.

A cavity can appear on your teeth with no signs or symptoms, so it’s essential to see your dentist regularly to check on your oral health and catch tooth decay in the earliest stages. Pay attention to these warning signs your teeth may be decaying:

  • Toothache or pain when biting
  • Sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods
  • Brown, black, yellow, or white spots on the tooth
  • Bad breath or unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Gum swelling

If you find that you do have rotting teeth, there are various ways to remedy the situation. A filling can fix a simple cavity. If it reaches the pulp, you will likely need a root canal. Things progress from there, from crowns to implants or even dentures if the situation calls for it.

When a situation is bad enough that an infection develops, schedule an emergency appointment with your dentist. It can develop into sepsis, which can damage tissues, fail organs or even kill you. The earlier you treat tooth decay, the better chances you can save your tooth.

Your smile is more important than making you look friendly. It also helps your entire body function. So, practice good dental hygiene, see your dentist regularly for checkups, maintain a healthy diet.

Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.urbandentalcentre.com.

Dr. Katia Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.

Halloween Tips to Avoid a Spooky Dental Checkup | Ottawa Dentist

We are days away from your smile’s scariest night of the year. Sure, it’s loads of fun to go door to door trick-or-treating in a fantastical costume – it’s the consumption of the night’s riches that causes the issue. Now, we aren’t here to tell you to refrain from celebrating this spooky night, just be more aware of what each type of candy does to your smile.

One of the candies most favored are the sour variety. Unfortunately, the acidity that makes them taste sour really damages tooth enamel, so keep this type of sweet to a minimum. If you are someone that has dental appliances, like braces or dentures, it is important to avoid sticky candy like caramels to chewing gum because the stickiness can cause damage and ensure a dental appointment in the future. When it comes to hard candy, the issue is the longevity it stays in your mouth. Cavity-causing bacteria love sugar as much as we do – the longer it stays in our mouth, the bigger their feast is. If there is a type of candy that is best, it’s chocolate. Not only is dark chocolate good for you, but chocolate melts easily and doesn’t stick to your teeth as much as hard or chewy candies.

After you celebrate the season with some scrumptious sweets, take the time to look after your smile. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, be sure to rinse the excess of sugar left on your teeth off with a bit of water. If you do have one, give your teeth a quick brushing. Having good oral hygiene habits will keep your smile healthy and bright, making future dental appointments a breeze.

Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.urbandentalcentre.com.

Dr. Katia Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.

The Effects of Autumn on Sensitive Teeth | Ottawa Dentist

Here we are – preparing ourselves for another autumn season. We swap out popsicles and lemonade for pumpkin bread and hot cocoa. For most of us, this is a welcomed treat as the weather begins to cool down. For others, this is a painful time of year for our mouths because of one reason – sensitive teeth. If you notice a painful zing in your mouth when you eat or drink anything cold or hot, you likely have sensitive teeth.

There are many reasons one could have teeth sensitivity, but it’s generally wear and tear that causes your gums to pull back, making your teeth sensitive. Tooth decay, gingivitis, and plaque buildup are various dental issues that make consuming hot or cold foods difficult. It isn’t what about the choice that you need to worry about – enjoy your favorite autumnal treats. It is the change of temperature in your choices that makes your teeth react.

Damaged teeth or worn teeth due to teeth grinding are also ways teeth can become sensitive. The sooner you fix these issues, the less likely there will be more damage caused because of the neglect. Use a mouth guard while you sleep to keep your teeth from wearing down. If you use teeth whitening products often, the chemicals can begin to wear down the tooth enamel. Acidic foods, like citrus fruit, can also contribute to wear and tear on tooth enamel. The key is to keep everything in moderation.

Wear and tear on your teeth are something not to be taken lightly. If you feel you have sensitive teeth, consult a dental professional for helpful tips so you can enjoy the warm and tasty treats this season has to offer.

Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.urbandentalcentre.com.

Dr. Katia Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.

Making Beautiful Faces with Braces | Ottawa Dentist

In order to achieve our best smile, some of us need orthodontic help to straighten things out. Because not only is a straight smile attractive but is necessary to maintain oral health. The good news is – correcting flaws with braces is not only common, but you now have a choice as to which treatment option you prefer.

Traditional braces were typically silver metal back in the day, but they can now come in a ceramic that makes them a whole lot less noticeable. There are also colors you can choose from to create a custom look. On the downside, you still have to get them tightened every month or so and broken pieces are pretty painful.

Since 1998, Invisalign are transparent tooth aligners that have taken the orthodontic world by storm. Straightening your teeth without wires and glued brackets, it’s clear, it’s removable and the treatment time is generally a third of what wearing traditional braces would be. The downside to this is that they are more expensive, and it takes a lot more discipline to maintain the strict regimen of wearing the aligners most of the day and the additional steps it takes to clean the system’s trays.

So, which do you choose? Well, it honestly depends on your personal situation. Because despite what you may hope, not all cases are the same. Patients with bridgework, certain bite issues or rotational needs are just out of luck. Alternatively, traditional braces are not ideal for those that lead a rough and tumble life or have a job that doesn’t allow regular braces. In that instance, you may want to consider the Invisalign system or lingual braces (braces attached to the insides of your teeth) to straighten things out.

Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.urbandentalcentre.com.

Dr. Katia Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.

When Bleaching Your Teeth Goes Too Far | Ottawa Dentist

A bright set of pearly whites is a goal for most of us. With the diet most of us keep, it is easy for our teeth to begin to tinge as time goes on. Dark foods and beverages all contribute to the dingy look our smiles have. Thankfully, there are many ways to regain those pearlies with just a bit of effort. From natural to in-office treatments, brightening your smile not only has options, but loads of them.

While in-office treatments have become commonplace in society today, the most widely used oral products today are whitening strips and tray-based over the counter whitening kits. And yes – tooth whitening can be a safe and effective technique, but some individuals are going above the recommendations of their dentists. Therein lies the problem…

Individuals who overdo whitening techniques have noticeably snow-white teeth that oftentimes look unnatural. Some individuals get to the point where their teeth begin to inhibit transparent figures. Overuse of whitening products will cause major tooth sensitivity and leave patients more prone to needing root canal treatments. You may be surprised to know that if you over-whiten your teeth, you are essentially wearing down your enamel and that enamel is naturally tinged in yellow, so you are making your teeth yellow by overdoing the whitening. Talk about a backfire!

But don’t worry – there is hope. If you are looking for a safer, more effective form of teeth whitening, consult your dentist. They will give you an overview of certain procedures and even offer some over the counter techniques that may be used, however only if used correctly.

Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.urbandentalcentre.com.

Dr. Katia Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.

Improve Your Smile with a Picnic | Ottawa Dentist

There is nothing better than a day in the sun. And now that it’s summertime, loads of us plan on getting together with friends and family to enjoy the warm weather. So, we pack up a lunch and head out into the sun with our loved ones. What you add to that picnic basket will not only dictate a fantastic time, but it can also have an effect on your dental health. So, before you pack up your afternoon nosh, let’s take a look at things you can add to look after your smile.

A common staple to a picnic is a sandwich, and there are loads of options you can go with. Cold cuts are a great source of proteins protects tooth enamel, calcium-rich cheeses strengthen your teeth and jawbones and veggies like leafy greens containing high water content and fiber stimulates saliva production to wash away bacteria.

When it comes to snacks, we tend to reach for the junk food items, but there are lots of snack options that pairs well with an outdoor meal. Fruit, trail mix, veggies to dip are just a few of the greatest ways to get our vitamins and minerals to improve our dental health. So, indulge in your favorite foods – after all, it is a picnic – but have healthier options on hand as well to balance things out.

Because the weather is warm, it is important to make sure that you are staying hydrated. The best way to do that is drinking plenty of water. Sure, sugary drinks are tasty, but the sugar intake is dehydrating your system, so having water will not only keep you cool, but will keep your saliva production going as well. Smile – and enjoy your boost of vitamin D.

Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.urbandentalcentre.com.

Dr. Katia Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.

Do You Take Milk in Your Tea? | Ottawa Dentist

There are loads of reasons to enjoy a cup of tea. To warm (or cool) your insides, to gather with friends, to even get a good night’s sleep. No matter your reason, tea has become a favorite for people around the world. The problem is one similar to other dark drinks – they can stain your teeth over time. But it still doesn’t matter – tea is going to be a staple in everyone’s lives. So, to celebrate International Tea Day, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of our beloved leafy beverages…

First, let’s take a look at the pros: Black and green tea contain fluoride, which we all know helps ward off tooth decay while preventing cavities by controlling bacteria and reducing acid in your mouth. After all, saliva production is key to washing bacteria from inside our mouths. In fact, when making tea, use tap water for an extra fluoride boost!

Tea also contains polyphenols, which are micronutrients from plant-based foods that reduce gum inflammation and disease. Polyphenols are killing bacteria, while combatting bad breath better than a mint. If that’s not enough, tea is great for our overall health as it’s antioxidant-rich option that can even help slow the growth of certain kinds of cancer, including oral cancer.

And while this healthy drink can tinge our teeth, it isn’t a permanent feature. After your cuppa, why not give your teeth a quick brush? Not only will a teeth-whitening session improve your smile, but daily dental hygiene is the best way to slow down the staining process.

Do keep in mind that sugar and acidic add-ins can erode your teeth and make you more prone to cavities. So, try to limit the lemon, sugar and honey.

Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.urbandentalcentre.com.

Dr. Katia Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.

Do Relaxing Dental Appointments Exist? | Ottawa Dentist

In order to protect our smiles from decay and other dental maladies, we need to follow a good dental hygiene routine each and every day. But in addition to that, we need to visit the dentist a couple times a year. Not only will you have a deep cleaning of your smile, but your dental professional is the only one who can truly tell if your smile is developing any issues.

Unfortunately, many patients do not like visiting the dentist. And while there are a number of reasons why dodging appointments is common, there are many ways that the dental industry has developed ways to ease a patient’s mind in order to maintain a healthy smile. Some provide creature comforts that liken a dental visit to going to a spa, while other techniques focus completely on any physical fears with sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients who fear the dentist, hate needles, have highly sensitive teeth, or are immune to the numbing effects of anesthesia relax during dental procedures. Patients are generally awake, with the exception of those who are under general anesthesia. Here is a breakdown of sedation options:

Minimal sedation. You are awake but relaxed.

Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”). This option will generally come in the form of laughing gas. You may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.

Deep sedation. Make sure you have a ride home afterwards, because you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.

General anesthesia. Similar to deep sedation, you are completely unconscious but won’t feel a thing. There are the levels you will likely need a ride home after your procedure.

Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.urbandentalcentre.com.

Dr. Katia Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.