Oral health – one of our New Year resolutions

Oral health – one of our New Year resolutions

Oral health contributes both to the general health of the body and maintaining an emotional balance. Poor oral hygiene can cause cavities, gum disease and has also been associated with heart diseases, cancer and diabetes.

Maintaining good oral health should be one of your constant new year resolutions and a commitment for a lifetime. If you conscientiously apply good oral hygiene practices (such as proper brushing of the mouth, flossing and limiting sugar), you will avoid costly dental procedures and long-term health problems.

What you need to know about oral health

Cavities and gum disease are very common. According to the World Health Organization:

  • between 60 and 90% of schoolchildren have at least one cavity;
  • almost 100% of adults have at least one cavity;
  • between 15 and 20% of adults aged between 35 and 44 years suffer from severe gum disease;
  • about 30% of people around the world, between the ages of 65 and 74, no longer have natural teeth;
  • in most countries, out of every 100,000 people, there are between 1 and 10 cases of oral cancer.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can maintain your oral health. For example, oral conditions can be prevented by:

  • brushing the oral cavity at least twice a day, using a fluoride paste;
  • flossing at least once a day;
  • limiting sugar;
  • eating fruits and vegetables;
  • avoiding tobacco;
  • fluoridated water consumption;
  • regular visits to the dentist.

Most frequent symptoms of dental problems

We recommend not to postpone the visit to the dentist until the onset of symptoms. Two consultations a year are enough to detect a problem in the oral cavity, before symptoms appear.

If you experience one or more of the following signs that may indicate oral health problems, make an appointment with your dentist in Victoria, as soon as possible:

  • ulcers or wounds of the oral cavity that do not heal in a week or two;
  • bleeding or swelling of the gums after brushing or flossing;
  • bad breath;
  • sudden sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures;
  • toothache;
  • moving teeth;
  • retracted gums;
  • pain in chewing;
  • swelling of the face;
  • noise when opening/closing the mouth (during the chewing process);
  • cracked or broken teeth;
  • dryness of the oral cavity.

If the symptoms you experience are accompanied by fever and swelling in the face or throat, we recommend that you immediately call a dentist.

Causes of the most common diseases of the oral cavity

The oral cavity collects all kinds of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Some of them are part of the flora of the oral cavity. In small quantities, they are generally harmless. But a high-sugar diet creates conditions in which acid-producing bacteria can multiply uncontrollably. This acid dissolves tooth enamel and causes cavities.

Bacteria near the gums grow into a sticky mass called plaque. If it is not removed by brushing and flossing, plaque builds up, hardens and migrates along the length of the teeth. This can lead to inflammation of the gums and can cause a condition known as gingivitis.

The inflammation causes the gums to begin to retract, gradually moving away from the teeth. This process creates pockets that can collect pus. Here we are talking about an advanced stage of gum disease, which is called periodontitis or periodontal disease.

There are a number of factors that contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis, such as:

  • smoking;
  • insufficient and/or incorrect tooth brushing;
  • a high-sugar diet;
  • diabetes;
  • use of drugs that reduce the amount of saliva in the oral cavity;
  • family history or genetic background;
  • certain infections, such as HIV or AIDS;
  • hormonal changes that take place in women’s bodies;
  • gastroesophageal reflux and heartburn;
  • frequent vomiting due to acid.

Most common dental conditions

Even if you take proper care of your oral cavity, you will experience, at least once in your life, an oral health problem.


They are areas of the tooth that have been permanently damaged. These occur when bacteria, food and acid cover the teeth and form plaque. The acid on the surface of the teeth will begin to degrade the enamel and dentin and may even reach the connective tissue.


Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums and usually occurs as a result of a large amount of plaque on the surface of the teeth. This is due to poor oral hygiene. Most often, people with gingivitis notice that their gums become inflamed and bleed during brushing and flossing. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious infection.


As periodontitis progresses, the infection can spread to the jaw and bones. The condition can also cause an inflammatory response throughout the body.

Teeth with cracks or fractures

A tooth can crack or break as a result of an accident, during chewing or when we grit our teeth. Cracked or broken teeth can be very painful and dangerous, so it is recommended to consult a dentist as soon as you notice such a problem.

Dental sensitivity

If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you will feel pain or discomfort when eating hot and cold food or drinks. This condition can be temporary, caused by a canal filling or the application of a filling, or caused by factors such as gum disease, cracked or broken teeth, withdrawn gums etc. Dental sensitivity can also be permanent, especially in people with thin enamel.

Oral cancer

The dentist is usually the first specialist to recognize oral cancer. The use of tobacco products poses the greatest risk of developing this type of cancer.

The link between oral health and general health

It seems that good oral health can help maintain optimal overall health. Inflammation and bacteria in the oral cavity can be associated with:

  • heart disease;
  • endocarditis or inflammation of the heart lining;
  • premature birth;
  • low birth weight.

Treatment of dental diseases

Impeccable oral hygiene includes two annual visits to the dentist, during which the doctor will perform a professional cleaning and, if there are dental problems, will recommend the right procedure. Therefore, the most common dental treatments include:

Maintaining optimal oral health

Oral health does not only affect the oral cavity. Poor oral hygiene can contribute to problems with self-esteem, pronunciation and nutrition. Comfort and quality of life will therefore be affected. It is good to know that many oral conditions develop without symptoms. Therefore, regular visits to the dentist are the best way to detect a problem before it gets worse.

A Tooth Extraction Primer – First In A 2-Part Series!

Women places fingers on lips due to pain from dental trauma

As a dentist in Victoria, BC, at Pacifica Dental, a tooth extraction is one of the most common procedures we do besides regular dental hygiene care and thorough oral health checkups. And while we’ll always do our best to treat your tooth to save it, there are many reasons why pulling one or more teeth may be necessary, depending on your individual needs.

But why do we extract teeth instead of saving them?

For children and young adults, a tooth extraction is most often done to make room for adult teeth, to prepare for orthodontics treatment, or to prevent crowding, tooth damage, or jaw issues. Because everyone is different, we also have different dental needs. Here is a quick primer on some of the reasons that a tooth extraction may be your best course of action. Of course, this is only a guideline. If you’re concerned you may need a tooth removed, give us a call for a consultation of your unique dental needs.

Early Orthodontics

When there isn’t enough room in your child’s jaw, we may recommend extracting a tooth or teeth to allow for orthodontics treatment to move the teeth into their desired positions. The result is a balanced, functional smile that may not be possible with a full mouth of teeth – one that allows your child to smile and speak with confidence. This missing tooth or teeth become unnoticeable after orthodontics care.

Wisdom Teeth

If they haven’t been removed already for early orthodontics, wisdom teeth are commonly extracted to prevent dental health issues. Often our jaws are too small to accommodate these teeth that erupt in young adulthood. If they become impacted (stuck below the gumline), come in on their side or some other unusual position, or threaten your child’s oral health in any other way, we will often recommend extracting these third molars. Interestingly, not all people have four wisdom teeth (one at the back of each quadrant of your mouth) – some have none at all, and others just one or two.

Dental Trauma

Rough play, sports, or accidents can damage a tooth beyond repair. We will always do everything we can to prevent this type of tooth loss – fabricating custom-made mouthguards, for example. Preventive techniques also include root canal treatment and a dental crown, which is often the preferred treatment, but sometimes a tooth extraction after dental trauma is unavoidable.

Extensive Decay

At Pacifica Dental our focus is on prevention and treating dental disease as soon as possible – when issues are smaller and easier to treat. But sometimes, dental decay is so extensive that it travels right through your tooth to the sensitive root below and causes a painful infection. If root canal therapy cannot clear the infection or the infection is too severe, a tooth extraction is your only option.

Damaged Restorations

Sometimes, if your bite is off or you clench or grind your teeth, your teeth can crack or break. If your bite is strong enough, and for many people it is, then old restorations could fail, while damaging your tooth so much that there is no way to bond a new restoration.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Your gums have an important job in protecting the ligaments and bones that keep your teeth firmly in their sockets. When gum disease progresses too far, your teeth loosen because your ligaments and bones are unable to hold them. A tooth extraction is sometimes the only solution when gum disease has progressed too far.

Tooth Extraction Aftercare

After your appointment, we’ll give you take-home instructions to help your extraction site heal. You can count on needing a few days to recover after having a tooth pulled. For the first 24 hours you’ll want to take it easy, avoid drinking through a straw, rinsing or spitting forcefully, and smoking. Take your painkillers as prescribed to help prevent pain and follow our aftercare instructions carefully. Enjoy a diet of soft foods such as soup, pudding, yogurt, and applesauce on the day of and after your extraction. Continue your oral homecare of brushing and flossing to prevent infection – but avoid the extraction site.

At Pacifica Dental, we have many services to help you prevent dental issues in Victoria, BC – and repair them if they do arise. Our kind and compassionate team is dedicated to creating an experience that puts you in control of your care and treatment options. If you’re in any kind of dental pain at all, let us help you get out of pain. And if you need a new dentist in Victoria, BC to help you stay healthy and prevent dental issues, or rejuvenate your smile with cosmetic options, we’re here to help you make your unique smile dreams come true. Call us today – and let us help you gain control of your oral health and love your smile.

SureSmile – Designed With Your Perfect Smile In Mind – Available From Your Dentist in Victoria

SureSmile – Designed With Your Perfect Smile In Mind

Remember the braces that looked like train tracks on teeth? The ones you couldn’t hide if you tried? SureSmile from our general dentists in Victoria can change how you feel about orthodontics.

At Pacifica Dental, we’re proud to provide removable, clear aligners by SureSmile®. This innovative treatment could be exactly what you’re looking for – and it’s been designed to give you the best results possible!

Some of the other benefits of SureSmile include:

  • Freedom. SureSmile won’t get in your way. Enjoy the foods you like, enjoy your active lifestyle, and keep your regular oral hygiene care routine.
  • Fast results. If aligners are changed weekly, it’s possible to achieve a straighter smile in much less time – as few as six months!
  • No surprises. Our general dentists in Victoria will get you set up, answer any questions you may have, and regularly check on your progress. Best of all, we will be able to show you what your new smile will look like before you even put on your first set of aligners!
  • Comfort. Each aligner is custom fabricated to fit snugly on your teeth and gums.

PLUS, we offer comfortable digital impressions using our directly connected scanner. Not only does it remove the need for goopy putty in your mouth, but it’s also a faster and more comfortable experience that results in a more precise fit for your SureSmile aligners.

Using the latest technology, SureSmile treatment has helped change millions of smiles around the world. Could yours be next? If you’re interested in learning about the success many patients have had with SureSmile, check out these patient testimonials. You’ll love them as much as we do!

Call today to learn if SureSmile is right for your smile. We will determine if it’s the choice for you during a no-obligation assessment. If you need help with financing, there are options available to make the journey easier and cost-effective!

Yours in excellent dental health,
Drs. Cristina and Bogdan Coca, dentists in Victoria, BC