Navigating Your Way Around Tonsil Stones

Tonsilloliths, commonly known as tonsil stones, are when accumulated debris of bacteria, cells or food particles are calcified on your palatine tonsils. Microorganisms, food and mucus can get trapped together in the nooks and crannies of your tonsils. If this becomes concentrated, it causes tonsil stones. Some people who suffer from tonsil stones report swelling of their palatine tonsils and a sore throat. Others notice nothing more than bad breath, possibly severe halitosis. In severe cases, tonsil stones become massive, causing the blockage of your airways.

Looking at pictures of patients with tonsil stones can be alarming. The treat and appropriate treatment required for tonsilloliths vary depending on their severity and size. When left untreated, these clumps become catalysts for tooth decay, gum problems, and other types of oral infections.

Who’s at risk?

People with terrible oral hygiene are the most vulnerable. Tonsil stones are more likely to appear when you neglect proper brushing habits. Individuals less likely to visit their dentists for cleaning and consultation are equally susceptible. 

Someone who is a heavy smoker will also have a high risk of getting this condition. When you smoke, you produce less saliva, and blood flow in your gums are hampered. To put it simply, your mouth is more prone to tonsil stones-causing bacteria when exposed to nicotine and other harmful substances found inside the cigarette.

Those prone to tonsillitis or have chronic inflammation of the tonsils as well as those with sinus issues are likely to get tonsilloliths as well.

Bad breath and difficulty in swallowing

Early signs of tonsil stones can be easily dismissed. When the stones start to appear, they produce a foul-smelling odor caused by sulfides. These formations become the headquarters of anaerobic bacteria. Since the tonsils are the first checkpoints, these microorganisms find the most hospitable environment where they can flourish. 

Aside from the most apparent bad-smelling breath, people afflicted with tonsil stones feel as though something’s lodged inside their throat. Some stones even remain deeply burrowed inside the crevices of your tonsils. When they get big enough, they interfere with your swallowing. You’ll feel a distinct discomfort whenever you try to gulp or swallow.

Other tell-tale symptoms

The first two mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg. You can also check out these following indications of tonsilloliths. Take note that these signs are not always present. Depending on how your tonsils are affected, you’ll experience some or a combination of the following symptoms:

  • White, gray or yellowish nodes
  • Rough-looking tonsils
  • Pain or pressure in the ears
  • Recurring or chronic tonsillitis
  • Sore throat

Evaluate your oral and dental hygiene

Whether you’re in the early or late stages of tonsil stones, incorporating proper brushing, flossing and mouthwash habits will go a long way. Remember, your mucous-coated tonsils are prone catching particles. These particles formed from a combination of food particles, dead cells, and bacteria can often be managed with good oral hygiene.

Flossing twice a day gets rid of bits and pieces of food and plaque while rinsing your mouth with a dentist-recommended mouthwash prevents plaque build-up. Also, bacteria and foreign pathogens are less likely to survive. Gargling can help rinse the buildup away.

Moving forward

Treatment for tonsillectomy ranges from coughing them up, gently loosening the stones from your tonsils using Q-tips to surgery. More often than not, adverse complications and problems arising from tonsil stones are relatively rare. They’re usually benign, and many have tried venturing natural and home remedies. The tricky part is when the tonsil stones become too big for you to handle. When you develop tonsil stones more frequently, ENT specialists might advise complete removal of your tonsils.

However, maintaining stellar dental hygiene is an efficient way to prevent tonsilloliths. Why suffer the costly inconvenience of tonsil stones if all your problems can be solved if you just stick with your good oral care habits?

Have more questions? Contact us at or call 587 805 3094 

Why Dental X-Rays Are Needed Before Getting Braces

Behind many otherwise brilliant smiles, there may be teeth that need straightening and repositioning. Luckily, technology is available to help those who suffer from teeth misalignment. X-rays can show the shape of how teeth are coming in and help guide orthodontists in how to help reshape for maximum effect.

The process of installing braces entails more than binding bands, sticking brackets, or connecting wires. Anyone who has braces on knows the thorough examination necessary to give any patient the perfect fit for their braces. Part of this procedure is examining one’s teeth via a dental x-ray.

Dental x-rays are tools for diagnosis

Not all oral ills are visible to the naked eye. Dental dilemmas can be present in the gums, beside tooth roots, and in between the narrow crevices of your teeth. Your dentist, no matter how experienced, can only see so much with the naked eye. This is where dental x-rays come in. Through x-rays, your dentist can get a clear picture of how your teeth look from the inside out. Through dental x-rays, many teeth troubles that go beyond cavities and decayed teeth are more easily weeded out.

A dental x-ray examination is a must before any orthodontic procedure. Through dental radiographs, your dentists get a clear visualization of any deformities. Dental deformities such as overcrowding, tumors, or the development of pathogens have to be treated first before installing braces. When overlooked, such defects may worsen your dental troubles.

Rest assured that at South Airdrie Smiles, we only use digital X-rays which produce the lowest possible dose of radiation

Dental X-Rays Help Track Progress

Installing braces isn’t a one-time big-time thing. The process does not end the moment you leave the clinic right after your braces have been successfully installed. It takes months or even years of thorough monitoring before the process comes to a close. To do this, your dentist will need the help of dental x-rays to aid in the examination.

Braces help reposition your teeth. Dental x-ray imagery from past consultations is compared to more recent ones to see how much your teeth have realigned. These records tell your dentist which way to go. Whether your braces have to be tightened, loosened or altered altogether depends on the records your dental x-ray images show.

In a nutshell

Braces not only serve the purpose of repositioning your teeth. They change the shape of your mouth and sketch an even more beautiful smile on your face. Dental x-rays are done to diagnose and monitor what goes on in the patient’s mouth. It pays to remember that doctors on their own can only do so much. Various instruments have to be used to give accurate diagnoses and execute changes for prescribed treatments. One of these instruments is the dental x-ray. It enables your dentist to see more than what the naked eye can see to paint a brighter smile on your face.

Please call us at 587 805 3094 or CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment or ask questions for South Airdrie Smiles.

Bad oral hygiene can damage your teeth and health

A large portion of the population ignore the fact that it’s a must to take care of your oral hygiene and health. Vices, improper hygiene and germs are some examples of causes that could lead to a very bad health condition. You should understand what the importance of your oral care is.

close up of a cold sore on upper lip

Cold Sores: also referred to as oral herpes. Oral herpes is a viral infection that could easily be passed on to another individual. Oral herpes is just one of the many kinds of herpes. It is a very visible type of infection that could easily be scattered around your face or in your mouth. Itching and blisters are some of the symptoms that are affiliated with the infection. Cold sores will take up to 2 to 4 weeks to heal. Pinching-like pain is one of the most common discomforts when you have cold sores. Depending on the severity, herpes would actively show itself, active and giving discomfort to the individual. Medicated creams are available in your nearby pharmacy in case of an outbreak. Be sure not to share utensils, drinks or toothbrushes when you have this. Try to keep your lips from drying out to avoid serious outbreaks.

Tooth decay: also called cavities. Think of it that your teeth are breaking down because of acids that bacteria buildup causes. If you are having pains while eating or drinking, or you notice pits on tooth surfaces, there is a good chance that you have tooth decay already. Don’t worry, it’s probably an easy fix. See your dentist. To prevent it in the first place, flossing and brushing your teeth are your first line of defense to prevent tooth decay from happening.

Gingivitis: a sibling of periodontitis, letting this one slide would make you regret your decision. Plaques that are attached from your tooth’s surface will produce gingivitis when not properly cleaned. Practice good oral hygiene and go to your dentist regularly to prevent plaques from building up.

Gum Disease: also known as periodontal disease, is more severe than gingivitis and the tissue around your teeth is going to be affected. Open pockets form around the tooth and pulls the tissue away. These can trap particles that could lead to major irritation and infection.

Good oral health is easy to achieve with proper oral hygiene. Flossing, brushing regularly, avoid vices that are bad for your teeth and health such as soda, smoking and drinking excessively.

We’d love to take care of you and your oral health, just visit our clinic for a checkup and we will start from there! Hope to see you as a part of our family!

Call us at 587 805 3094  or Click here to contact us for more information or an appointment.

Download our free report What You Need To Know About Gum Disease (Periodontitis) to learn more.

Your bright smile may need your help!

Do you have dull or discolored teeth?  Do they make you want to hide your smile, maybe talk with your hand in front of your mouth? Are you concerned it’s more than just being in need of a cleaning? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people are looking to find their bright smile.

Many people believe that all they need is an over-the-counter whitening kit if their teeth seem discoloured.  And often, that’s all that’s needed. However, the factors that had made your teeth “yellow” could indicate a sign of bad health or hygiene, or perhaps environmental influences.

Medicines or drugs :

can change the color of your teeth.  Minocycline (used in the long-term treatment of acne vulgaris, rosacea, rheumatoid arthritis, and periodontal disease) can turn them green-grey or blue-grey.  The antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline, antipsychotics, certain antihistamines, high blood pressure meds as well as mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can cause teeth discoloration.

candies can discolour your teeth

Foods :

like candies, popsicles, tomato sauce, beets, curries, soy sauce and many more, if not properly cleaned can also change the color of your teeth.


are also common culprits when it comes to staining the teeth, especially those with high sugar and caffeinated beverages. Examples include energy and sports drinks, colas, wines, coffees, teas, and alcohol beverages.


in its various forms; cigarettes, vape devices, and chewing tobacco can also discolor the teeth in a very short time as nicotine can aggressively damage the enamel. According to SAMHSA, tobacco chewing also causes gum disease, tooth loss, oral, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers.

Genes are also another factor in this case. Many people may have acquired brighter and thicker enamel from their DNA.


As odd as it seems, too much fluoride is another source of staining of the teeth. This can come from your tap water in municipalities that add it or products like toothpaste and mouthwash. It is important to choose the right toothpaste for your teeth.


Though not as common, certain therapies for diseases such as head or neck radiation and chemotherapy can affect tooth color. And, believe it or not, babies may have the enamel on his or her teeth affected in utero if their mother develops certain infections while carrying them! Amazing!


More typical though is the unfortunate issue of aging for some people. As the enamel in their teeth wears down, the natural yellow color of the dentin beneath the enamel begins to show. Unsurprisingly, trauma to teeth can also cause a change in color whether you are a child or an adult.

But, as you might have guessed, the most common factor or cause of this situation is having poor oral hygiene.

cartoon tooth flossing and showering

Brushing and flossing regularly can help keep your teeth clean, white and bright. Consistent brushing and flossing, done daily activity, it will bring the natural white color of the teeth back to life!

There are easy ways to help you with keeping (or returning) your confident smile:

Whatever the reason, if your smile isn’t what you’d like it to be, come in and see us. We’d love to give some ideas on how to make it better.

Call us at 587 805 3094 or click here to contact us.

Looking for a new dentist? Download THE SMART CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO: How to Make Sure You Choose the Right Dentist to help in making your decision.



You’re brushing your teeth and they start to bleed. You floss and they ache. Red, swollen and squishy. These are signs you could have gingivitis.

What is Gingivitis?

When it first starts, you may not even notice it. The gums become red and painfully swollen. Eventually, it causes bleeding when you floss or even brush your teeth. It can also cause sleepless nights with an aching mouth. Gingivitis is an inflammation of tissues around the teeth (also known as your gums or gingiva).

What causes gingivitis then?

Bacteria build up around your gum line, causing a sticky plaque to form on your teeth. When not removed, it hardens into tartar which in turn irritates the gums, causing them to inflame. This is why adequate brushing and flossing is required!

Regular smokers get gingivitis more often than non-smokers. Smokingintroduces harmful substances from cigarettes (or chewing tobacco), such as nicotine and tar. These can cause gum problems, halitosis, oral thrush, cancers, dental caries or tooth decay, teeth stains and etc. Nicotine also interferes how our body responds to bacteria as it impairs theleukocyte functions.

Medications may also lead to gingivitis. Drugs like anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, and immunosuppressants can cause gingival overgrowth. Make sure that the next time you visit your dentist, you mention ALL medications and supplements you are (or were) taking.

Pregnancy is another possible cause. As stated by, ovarian hormones such as estrogen and progesterone rise at this stage causing pregnant women to be more likely to experience gingivitis. It is said that gingivitis generally occurs to 60-75% of pregnant women, but if they practice good oral hygiene in the beginning of pregnancy, the rate will only be 0.3%.

Hormone changes during puberty, menopause and the menstrual cycle can also cause sensitivity in the gingiva.

Nutritional Deficiency is also included in the list of possible causes. Lack of good nutrition can affect one’s health causing various health problems including gingivitis. Vitamin C deficiency (in extreme cases it can progress to scurvy!!) is linked to gum disease.

Diabetics, because they have high levels of blood glucose, it can take significantly longer for gingivitis to heal. If you’re diabetic and you accidentally brushed your teeth hard, you could cause your gums to become inflamed or swollen. This is because decreased blood circulation makes it hard for the body to repair wounds. If you are diabetic and suspect gingivitis, you should seek medical assistance right away.

How to know if you have gingivitis?

These are the symptoms of gingivitis that will help you know if you have one:

  • Halitosis or Bad Breath
  • Swollen and Red Gums
  • Frequent Gum Bleeding
  • General feeling of being unwell
  • Pain
  • Bleeding when Brushing Teeth
  • Receding Gums
  • Fever (Early Stage)

How to treat gingivitis?

  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Always make to brush your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and at night. Be smart in choosing toothbrush as their textures could differ.
  • Using a soft bristled toothbrush is highly recommended. Use gentle circles so as to not irritate the swollen gums and cause bleeding.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
  • Flossing is also a good way to deep clean your teeth and gum line.
  • If you smoke, stop. This is a very important advice for all smokers, your oral health is not just in danger, you are prone to lung cancer and other health risks.

One of the easiest things to help ensure good health is to practice good oral hygiene

Visit your dentist every 6 – 9 months. If you are at risk of gingivitis, it may be recommended that you come more often.

If you have any of the symptoms listed above or feel like something is wrong, come in and see us. A check up and cleaning may be all it takes but we’ll be able to put you on the path to proper oral care.

Call us at 587 805 3094  or click here to contact us to book an appointment or download our report WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GUM DISEASE to answer any other questions.

Traditional Braces vs Invisalign; What’s the Right Choice for Me?

If you or someone you know has crooked or crowded teeth, you may be wondering what is the best method to fix them.

In 1728, French dentist Pierre Fauchard, who is often credited with inventing modern orthodontics, published a book entitled “The Surgeon Dentist” on methods of straightening teeth leading.

Orthodontics is the treatment of irregularities in the teeth (especially of alignment and occlusion) and jaws and includes the application of braces.

Modern braces come with different variation of materials like, metal (traditional braces), ceramic braces, lingual braces and self-ligating braces.

But you may have heard there’s another alternative to traditional braces called Invisalign…

And you might first wonder, “What’s an Invisalign? “

Also called “clear aligners”, Invisalign was invented in 1997 by two Harvard students, Zia Christi and Kelsey Wirth. These two brilliant people invented and founded the Align Technology®.

Invisalign is also classified as a brace, though they do not look like traditional braces as they are clear, and nearly invisible, thus the name.


A woman putting in her Invisalign
  1. The dentist takes a 3D image of your mouth and shows you using software what your smile will look like after the treatment
  2. Multiple aligners are made to take your teeth from where they are to where you want them to be over the course of the treatment, a little change at a time
  3. Invisalign are transparent and therefore most people won’t notice you’re wearing them
  4. They can be removed easily
  5. Easier to continue regular dental hygiene, brush and floss as normal (meaning do it daily)
  6. Custom trimmed to gum line for a more comfortable fit
  7. Often take less time than traditional braces

Traditional Braces

  1. Effective method to straighten even severely maligned teeth
  2. Made from high-grade stainless steel
  3. Tends to be more affordable than Invisalign
  4. Dentists usually recommend traditional braces for those who have overcrowded teeth
  5. Better choice for people who can’t or won’t remember to wear their Invisalign 22 hours a day.

Invisalign is an innovative class of braces but it is not a perfect tool. Though it is a high-tech tool for fixing your smile it still has its drawbacks. For example: it turns yellow when you casually smoke or drink soda, it is often more expensive than traditional braces, and you must remember to put them in and remove them while eating.

a smiling mouth with traditional metal wire braces
traditional braces

Traditional braces are the “go to” for many dentists especially for teenagers and children. Same as Invisalign, traditional braces are not perfect either. There are issues with eating; especially crunchy and sticky foods, wires tend to loosen, it usually takes 1 – 3 years depending on the patient’s case. These are just some examples of the cons of having traditional braces.

Whichever method you choose, don’t hesitate to gain the confidence and healthier life that a beautiful, straight smile can bring. We would love to help you achieve this.

CLICK HERE to visit our website at or call 587 805 3094 today to book your assessment and start on the path to a fabulous smile.

Why Baby Teeth are Important

As a parent, especially if you’re a new parent, you may wonder why baby teeth are important? You may also be wondering if it’s that vital to take care of them. Many, like yourself, might conclude, those baby teeth will eventually fall out anyway so what’s the big deal? Why is it so important to take care of them?

All good questions.

The answer is a simple Yes. You do need to take care of them for two very good reasons.

  1. They play a major role in your child’s dental development – Your child’s first set of teeth are very significant, so your child can chew and learn to talk.


  1. Baby teeth also play the role of keeping space in your child’s mouth until the permanent teeth are ready to grow in. Once the permanent teeth are ready to come in, the baby teeth begin to fall out. Yes, it’s time for tooth fairy visits.

Since these teeth play such a vital role in the development of your child’s mouth, it makes sense they need to be well cared for.   Without brushing and flossing of our adult teeth, we run the risk of devastating consequences.  Tooth decay, cavities, gum disease are all possibilities if you don’t take care of your teeth.

Unfortunately, your child’s first set of teeth are in equal danger without the same care. Without this care, your child’s first teeth could become damaged and fall out too early. This could lead to your child then having the permanent teeth come in crooked or crowded.

start them early
start them early

Also, by starting to brush and floss their teeth early, your child will become accustomed to this being a part of their routine. You’ll save yourself time and frustration down the road.

So, as you can see, those baby teeth, while they do fall out, play a vital role in a future bright smile and a time to establish good oral health habits.

In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to your child forming good dental habits. Why not get your copy now? Getting Started With Your Child’s Oral Health – The Parent’s Guide, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.


Also, for more information, to make an appointment, or have a question answered, you’re more than welcome to call us at South Airdrie Smiles at 587 805 3094  or click here to visit our website.

Dental Emergencies While You’re Away – What to do…

You decided to take a vacation and get away. You took all the precautions mentioned in the last blog. And yet, you still need more information to help you should you have dental emergencies while you’re away – What to do…


If you did arrange for additional insurance that covers you while you travel insurance; your first step should be to call your provider. Tell them the situation and ask for a referral to a nearby dentist who will accept your coverage.


Countries in Europe have similar dental standards and capabilities as the U.S. and Canada; so you should have no problem finding a dentist who should be able treat you.


If you’re out of your own country, you can call your country’s Embassy or Consulate for assistance. Or you can go online and research the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers for recommendations on the closest dentist who can treat your emergency.


Most hotels, regardless of where you are, have a hotel concierge and they may lend some assistance, as well.


Preparation is often the best form of prevention when it comes to emergencies for you or your family. While you hope you never need to use it, as the saying goes…it is better to be safe than sorry.


In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to your child forming good dental habits. Why not get your copy now? Getting Started With Your Child’s Oral Health – The Parent’s Guide, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.


Also, for more information, to make an appointment, or have a question answered, you’re more than welcome to call us at South Airdrie Smiles at 587 805 3094  or click here to visit our website.

How to Avoid Dental Emergencies when Travelling

When you first decide to take a trip or be away from your home, there are many things to think about. Travel arrangements, cost of the trip, where to stay are all at the top of the list. If you’re like most people, thinking about a dental emergency while away is not high on the list at all. In fact, many people don’t even give it a thought, until it’s too late. Here’s some tips on how to avoid dental emergencies when travelling.

To help eliminate the need to deal with a dental emergency is to be prepared. This is especially true if you’re dealing with some tooth pain before you leave, Take a pro-active approach and do this to put your mind at ease.


Here’s 4 must know tips before you depart:

get a checkup before extended trips
get a checkup before extended trips

Make an appointment for a checkup:

If you have a history of gum disease or cavities, come in for a cleaning and tell your dentist you’re leaving for a trip soon. They can look for signs of problems you’ll need to monitor while traveling and give you tips for how to care for your teeth and respond to an emergency. It’s recommended to undergo any necessary serious procedures, such as a root canal, well before you leave, particularly if you are planning on leaving the country.



Check your dental insurance:

Many insurance policies don’t provide coverage overseas. An additional temporary dental plan may be needed to protect you while traveling.


Be prepared:

Travel with all you need to practice good oral health. If you’ve been struggling with pain, in addition to seeing your dentist before you leave, travel with over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Also travel with toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, and mouthwash, to care for your mouth while you’re away.


Watch what you eat:

You can decrease your likelihood of an emergency by minding your oral habits while on vacation. For example, you should avoid chewing on hard candies and similar foods that could cause a crack or chip. If you’ve been dealing with sensitivity, abstain from coffee, tea, and other acidic beverages to avoid aggravating the problem and needing to visit a dentist while away. If you do have dental sensitivity while you’re away, look for ‘Sensodyne’ or similar brand of toothpaste at a pharmacy. Apply a pea sized amount to the sensitive area after you brush your teeth and leave it on overnight.


A dental emergency is a scary experience — especially while traveling. But with some planning and forethought, you can care for your teeth before you leave and lessen the risk something will happen.


Certainly, you’ll take the same precautions for your children if the trip includes the whole family.


In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to your child forming good dental habits. Why not get your copy now? THE SMART CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO: How to Make Sure You Choose the Right Dentist, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.


Also, for more information, to make an appointment, or have a question answered, you’re more than welcome to call us at South Airdrie Smiles at 587 805 3094  or click here to visit our website.

Think Periodontal Disease Can’t Kill You? Think Again…

Gum infection, also called periodontal disease, happens when the bacteria gets out of control underneath your gums and erodes your jaw bone. It’s usually relatively painless and unfortunately, it’s irreversible. Think Periodontal Disease Can’t Kill You? Think Again…

This is actually more common than you might think…

Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the 2 leading types of dental diseases.

These are all signs that you have bacteria raging under your gums and are at risk:

  • Loose teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Bad breath.

Sepsis Can Kill

You see, as the bacteria multiplies under your gums, it may then enter your bloodstream. The same bacteria that started in your mouth start to create problems for the rest of your body. It’s all connected.

When allowed to continue, the bacteria can turn into a major problem such as sepsis.  And sepsis can be deadly.

The fact is, many diseases are linked to your oral health, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.

The good news is…it’s treatable! You don’t have to worry about this any longer.

Simply by making an appointment with your dental hygienist, your situation can be assessed, and steps taken to remove the problem.  Hygienists have special skills and tools to win the fight. This is exactly why having a professional dental cleaning AT LEAST twice a year is recommended. If you do have periodontal disease, you may need to go a bit more often to keep things under control.

In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to your child forming good dental habits. Why not get your copy now? Getting Started With Your Child’s Oral Health – The Parent’s Guide, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.


Also, for more information, to make an appointment, or have a question answered, you’re more than welcome to call us at South Airdrie Smiles at 587 805 3094  or click here to visit our website.