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12
Jun
2019

Flossing: How Important Is Flossing To You?

 

People hate flossing. Why? Well, for some people, taking out a piece of floss, wrapping it around their index and middle fingers, placing it between two teeth, and then moving it to remove food or dental plaque can be too much of a process. There are easier options to clean between the teeth like dental flossers, toothpicks, interdental brushes and even battery-powered or electrical flossing devices.

Regardless of the method, if you’re someone who just doesn’t like flossing or you don’t fully understand it, it’s crucial to remember why flossing is an important part of a healthy smile.

What Are the Facts?

Recently, the Associated Press has reported that “there’s little proof that flossing works.” This is a bold statement to make to the public, dental professionals and oral care companies who make dental floss. This report claims that there is no scientific research out there that proves flossing helps prevent gum disease and cavities. However, published research in the Journal of Dental Hygiene shows that flossing and tooth brushing will help reduce gingivitis at one, three and six months, but not reduce plaque at one or three months.

So what does this flossing news mean to you?

The Downfalls of Not Flossing

When you don’t floss, you’re at risk for two major dental issues in your mouth: Gingivitis, and cavities between your teeth. Without flossing, you are not able to remove dental plaque buildup. There are over 1,000 bacteria in dental plaque. These bacteria can irritate the gum tissue, causing it to become red and inflamed and bleed easily, which breeds more bacteria and causes gingivitis to occur.

Another risk of not flossing is that cavities are more likely to form between your teeth. The same dental plaque that causes gingivitis can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria that will destroy the enamel between your teeth, consequently forming a cavity.

Oral Health and Overall Health

Gingivitis, if left untreated, can progress to periodontal disease. The bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body like your heart and respiratory tract. Periodontal disease has also been linked to diabetes and can contribute to the risk of low birth weight in newborn babies. An easy way to reduce your risk of other serious side effects from periodontal disease, however, is by practicing optimal oral hygiene at home, which includes flossing and tooth brushing.

Conducting Great Oral Hygiene

You should floss at least once a day, the best time being right before you go to bed to remove any food and plaque from between the teeth and along the gumline. Flossing should be done with waxed floss, as it won’t shred between the teeth.

Use a soft-bristle toothbrush at least twice daily to remove plaque, reduce gingivitis, prevent cavities and provide your mouth with an overall clean healthy feeling.

So, when you see that container of dental floss at your bathroom sink, be motivated to start flossing and help prevent dental diseases from occurring in your mouth!

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5
Jun
2019

Receding Gums


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Receding Gums: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Gum recession is when the margin of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth’s root. When gums recede, gaps can form between the gum and tooth, allowing disease-causing bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the surrounding tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be damaged, sometimes resulting in tooth loss. Receding gums is a widespread dental condition. Most people aren’t aware that they have receding gums since it occurs gradually.

Receding Gums Symptoms

As receding gums progress over time, you may notice the following symptoms:

Long Teeth
One symptom is the visible lengthening of the teeth. When gums recede because of periodontal disease, the teeth have the appearance of being much longer than normal.

Exposed Roots
Exposed roots are another symptom, and can be extremely sensitive and uncomfortable. They are often a sign of periodontal disease or can be attributed to brushing overly aggressively with a toothbrush with hard bristles.

Loose teeth
When suffering from receding gums, you may notice loose teeth, attributed to the bacteria and periodontal disease under the gums around the teeth. As receding gums worsen, the gum pockets deepen due to loss of attachment structure.

Causes of Receding Gums

Numerous factors can cause your gums to recede, including:

Periodontal diseases

  • These are gum infections, caused by bacteria, that destroy gum tissue and the bone that holds your teeth in place. Periodontal disease is the main cause of gum recession. The early stage of periodontal disease is not often painful, therefore symptoms often go unnoticed. Left untreated though, early symptoms can develop into periodontitis.

Early stages of  gum disease can be seen with minor symptoms that include:

  • Red, swollen, or purple gums
  • Gums that feel tender to the touch
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chronic bad breath

Genetics
Some people are more susceptible to periodontal disease. Studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, even if they take good care of their teeth.

Brushing too hard
If you brush your teeth too aggressively or incorrectly, it can cause your tooth’s enamel to wear away and your gums to recede.

Poor dental care
Inadequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash, can make it easy for plaque to turn into tartar, a hard substance that forms on and between your teeth and can only be removed by a professional tooth cleaning.

Hormone levels
Changes in estrogen levels over a woman’s life, like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can make gums increasingly sensitive and vulnerable to gum recession.

Tobacco products
Smokers, and other tobacco users, are more likely to develop sticky plaque which can cause gum recession.

Grinding and clenching your teeth
Clenching or grinding your teeth can exert too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede.

Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite
When teeth don’t come together evenly, too much force can be exerted on the gums and surrounding bone, allowing gums to recede.

Receding Gums Treatment

Mild gum recession can be treated by a professional deep cleaning in the affected area. During the deep cleaning, plaque and tartar is removed and the exposed root area is smoothed over, making it more difficult for bacteria to attach itself. Antibiotics can also be used to kill any remaining bacteria.

If a deep cleaning is not sufficient to treat the condition, because of excess loss of bone and deep pockets, receding gums surgery may be required.

Questions About Receding Gums

Q: What causes your gums to recede?
A: There are a number of factors that can cause your gums to recede, including periodontal diseases. These are bacterial gum infections that destroy gum tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place, which is the main cause of gum recession.

Q: How Can I Prevent Gum Recession?
A: Taking good care of your mouth is the best way to prevent gum recession. Brush and floss daily and see your dentist at least twice a year. Your dentist may want to see you more often If you have gum recession.

  • Quitting smoking, if you smoke.
  • Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Monitoring possible changes to your mouth.

Q: How can I make my gums healthier? 

  1. Use an electric toothbrush.
  2. Brush your teeth correctly at least twice a day.
  3. Use a toothbrush with a tongue scraper.
  4. Floss daily.
  5. Massage your gums.
  6. Use a receding gums mouthwash and a receding gums toothpaste, with fluoride.

If you see signs that your gums may be receding, please call Dr. Appletons office to schedule an exam.  905-668-6301.

(Information provided by Oral-B)
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15
May
2019
Any part of a tooth can be cracked.
The crack may be visible, though this is not always the case.  If a person experiences pain when chewing food, or if teeth suddenly become sensitive to hot and cold, one tooth may be cracked.

Any pain associated with a cracked tooth tends to come and go. This can make it more challenging for a dentist to locate the crack, especially if it is very small.

Anyone who suspects that they have a cracked tooth should make an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible. Leaving a cracked tooth untreated may lead to more problems, pain, and discomfort over time.

What are the symptoms?

When left untreated, a cracked tooth can lead to further pain and discomfort.

A cracked tooth will not necessarily cause any symptoms. People often have cracked teeth without even realizing it.

Some types of cracks are harmless and do not require treatment.

However, if a person notices the following symptoms, they may have a more extensive type of crack that requires dental treatment:

  • pain when eating, particularly when chewing or biting
  • swollen gums around the cracked tooth
  • teeth that have suddenly become sensitive to sweetness
  • teeth that have suddenly become sensitive to hot or cold foods
  • pain that tends to come and go
  • discomfort around the teeth and gums that is hard to pinpoint

What might cause teeth to crack?

There are many different reasons why teeth can crack.

Causes of a cracked tooth include:

  • biting down too hard on a piece of food
  • excessive grinding of the teeth
  • physical injury
  • a large existing filling, which can weaken the remaining tooth structure

A  sudden temperature change can also crack a tooth. For example, this could happen if a person burns their mouth while drinking tea, then drinks a glass of cold water to soothe the pain.

How are cracked teeth diagnosed?

A dentist will examine a person’s tooth before making a diagnosis.

A cracked tooth is not always simple to diagnose.

If the crack is not visible, a dentist will try to make a diagnosis by asking the person about their dental history and symptoms they are having.

The dentist will then examine the teeth, possibly using a magnifying glass to help to identify cracks.

They may also use a pointed instrument called a dental explorer, which catches on any rough, cracked edges on the teeth’s surface.

A dental dye can also make cracks more visible.

During the examination, the dentist will check the gums for signs of swelling because cracks in teeth tend to irritate the gums. They may also ask the person to bite down on something, to try and pinpoint the source of the pain.

A dentist may take an X-ray of the teeth. X-rays do not always show where cracks have formed, but they can reveal problems in the pulp of the teeth. If the pulp of a tooth appears to be unhealthy, this can suggest a crack.

Anyone who suspects that they have a cracked tooth should make an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. It is especially important to do so when there are pain and discomfort.

In the meantime, the following home remedies can relieve uncomfortable symptoms:

  • rinsing the mouth with warm water, to keep it clean
  • taking over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen
  • using a cold compress against the cheek to help reduce swelling

The longer that a cracked tooth goes untreated, the more difficult it may be for a dentist to save the tooth. Complications may also occur, such as infection.

Tooth cracks are  more common in people over the age of 40, and women develop them more often than men.

Cracks can vary in length, depth, and the location on the tooth.

The smallest cracks are known as craze lines, and they develop within tooth enamel. A person is unlikely to notice a craze line, and no treatment is necessary unless it causes symptoms.

Treatment options

A dentist may use a crown to cover a cracked tooth.

The best treatment depends on the location of the crack and the extent of the damage.

If a crack is tiny and causes no discomfort, no treatment may be necessary.

Treatments for cracked teeth include:

  • repairing the crack with plastic resin, in a process called bonding
  • using a filling
  • using a crown, which is a cap that entirely covers the cracked tooth

In the most severe cases, when a crack has penetrated the pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment may be necessary. If a tooth is badly cracked, a dentist may remove the tooth altogether.

If a tooth with a filling becomes cracked, a dentist may need to remove the filling to examine the damage more thoroughly.

Cracked teeth can cause complications, particularly if they are left untreated. For example, an infection may occur. Signs of infection include:

  • increased pain
  • swelling of the gums
  • increased sensitivity to hot and cold
  • bad breathe
  • sore neck glands

How can cracked teeth be prevented?

Cracked teeth are not always preventable, but a few strategies can help. These include:

  • avoiding foods that are hard to chew, such as ice and unpopped popcorn kernels
  • putting an end to habits that may damage the teeth, such as grinding or biting on pens
  • trying not to clench the teeth
  • wearing a mouthguard to protect the teeth while playing sports

If a person grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw in their sleep, they may wish to talk to their dentist about wearing a niteguard at night.

Please call us at 905-668-6301 if you suspect your may have a cracked tooth.

 

 

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8
May
2019

Stained Teeth


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One of the most common questions I get asked is: How can I get whiter teeth?

There are many ways to enhance and freshen your smile. But there are also many ways to stop your teeth from becoming yellow in the first place. Sure, normal wear and tear can stain your teeth, but certain foods and bad habits speed up the process.

Certain foods can stain your teeth. It is widely known that coffee and tea (even green tea) can really darken your smile. Think about when you leave coffee in a mug for a period of time. It creates a brown stain in your cup that sometimes won’t come off with washing. Now, what if you rinse that cup immediately? It won’t stain. The same thing is true with your teeth. As long as you don’t let the staining food or drink sit on your teeth, you should be safe. Wash it out by drinking water immediately after you eat or drink a staining food.

Here are a few foods and habits that can easily cause staining of your teeth:

1. Coffee
2. Tea
3. Red wine
4. Dark sodas
5. Smoking and smokeless tobacco
6. Dark berries

Here are some easy, inexpensive home remedies:

1. Rinse your mouth with water immediately after having the staining food or drink.
2. Chew gum afterwards to let your saliva rinse your mouth out.
3. Use over-the-counter whitening rinses.
4. Try whitening strips.
5. Gently brush or rinse with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.
6. Floss regularly or use floss with whitening treatments.

You can always have your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist and then maintain your teeth by following the above steps. In addition, we highly recommend giving up smoking, smokeless tobacco and soda, which can lead to other dental problems as well as stains.

If you are concerned with the stains on your teeth please call us at 905-668-6301 to schedule a complimentary whitening consultation.

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2
May
2019

Bad Breath


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Diagnosis

Your dentist will likely smell both the breath from your mouth and the breath from your nose and rate the odor on a scale. Because the back of the tongue is most often the source of the smell, your dentist may also scrape it and rate its odor.

Treatment

To reduce bad breath, help avoid cavities and lower your risk of gum disease, consistently practice good oral hygiene. Further treatment for bad breath can vary, depending on the cause. If your bad breath is thought to be caused by an underlying health condition, your dentist will likely refer you to your primary care provider.

For causes related to oral health, your dentist will work with you to help you better control that condition. Dental measures may include:

  • Mouth rinses and toothpastes. If your bad breath is due to a buildup of bacteria (plaque) on your teeth, your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse that kills the bacteria. Your dentist may also recommend a toothpaste that contains an antibacterial agent to kill the bacteria that cause plaque buildup.
  • Treatment of dental disease. If you have gum disease, you may be referred to a gum specialist (periodontist). Gum disease can cause gums to pull away from your teeth, leaving deep pockets that fill with odor-causing bacteria. Sometimes only professional cleaning removes these bacteria. Your dentist might also recommend replacing faulty tooth restorations, a breeding ground for bacteria.

Lifestyle and home remedies

To reduce or prevent bad breath:

  • Brush your teeth after you eat. Keep a toothbrush at work to use after eating. Brush using a fluoride-containing toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after meals. Toothpaste with antibacterial properties has been shown to reduce bad breath odors.
  • Floss at least once a day. Proper flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth, helping to control bad breath.
  • Brush your tongue. Your tongue harbors bacteria, so carefully brushing it may reduce odors. People who have a coated tongue from a significant overgrowth of bacteria (from smoking or dry mouth, for example) may benefit from using a tongue scraper. Or use a toothbrush that has a built-in tongue cleaner.
  • Clean dentures or dental appliances. If you wear a bridge or a denture, clean it thoroughly at least once a day or as directed by your dentist. If you have a dental retainer or mouth guard, clean it each time before you put it in your mouth. Your dentist can recommend the best cleaning product.
  • Avoid dry mouth. To keep your mouth moist, avoid tobacco and drink plenty of water — not coffee, soft drinks or alcohol, which can lead to a drier mouth. Chew gum or suck on candy (preferably sugarless) to stimulate saliva. For chronic dry mouth, your dentist or physician may prescribe an artificial saliva preparation or an oral medication that stimulates the flow of saliva.
  • Adjust your diet. Avoid foods such as onions and garlic that can cause bad breath. Eating a lot of sugary foods is also linked with bad breath.
  • Regularly get a new toothbrush. Change your toothbrush when it becomes frayed, about every three to four months, and choose a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups. See your dentist on a regular basis — generally twice a year — to have your teeth or dentures examined and cleaned.

Preparing for your appointment

If you’re going to have your bad breath evaluated by your dentist, these tips can help:

  • Dentists generally prefer morning appointments for testing bad breath to reduce the chances that foods you eat during the day will hinder the exam.
  • Don’t wear perfume, scented lotions, or scented lipstick or lip gloss to your appointment, as these products could mask any odors.
  • If you’ve taken antibiotics within the last month, check with your dentist to see if your appointment needs to be rescheduled.

What to expect from your dentist

Your dentist will likely start with an evaluation of your medical history, asking questions such as:

  • When did you first begin to experience bad breath?
  • Is your bad breath occasional or continuous?
  • How often do you brush your teeth or clean your dentures?
  • How often do you floss?
  • What kinds of foods do you eat most often?
  • What medications and supplements do you take?
  • What health conditions do you have?
  • Do you breathe through your mouth?
  • Do you snore?
  • Do you have allergies or sinus problems?
  • What do you suspect might be causing your bad breath?
  • Have other people noticed and commented on your bad breath?

If you suspect that you might be suffering from bad breath please call us to schedule an assessment at 905-668-6301.

(Information provided by the Mayo clinic)
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24
Apr
2019

Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax.

Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is one option your dentist may offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures. It is not intended to put you to sleep.

You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. Your dentist will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide.

You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable.

The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.

 

Talk to Dr. Bana  about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for you.

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If one or more of your teeth are missing, there are a number of ways to replace them. An alternative to bridges, partials or complete dentures may be dental implants. Implants are used to replace missing roots and support artificial replacement teeth. They are comfortable and look like natural teeth.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal. It is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. An artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.
Who does this procedure?
If you are having an implant, your dentist may refer you to a dental specialist who has further training in this area. Specialists who place implants are periodontists or oral and maxillofacial surgeons, also called oral surgeons.

How dental implants are done

    • Your dentist or specialist will carefully examine your mouth and take x-rays of your head, jaw and teeth to find out if dental implants are right for you.
    • During the first stage of surgery, your dentist or specialist will put a dental implant into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue. The gum tissue is then stitched back into place. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum. It can take several months to heal.
    • During the second stage of surgery and once the tissue is healed, your dentist or specialist will attach an abutment to the implant. An abutment is a post that connects the replacement tooth to the implant. In some cases, the first and second stage of implant surgery may be done in one single stage.
    • An artificial replacement tooth is made and your dentist or specialist attaches it to the abutment. It may take several appointments to properly fit the replacement tooth to the abutment.
  • When replacing several teeth or all of your teeth, a fixed bridge is anchored to your dental implants. A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by spanning an area that has no teeth. The bridge is held firmly in place by dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.

A dental implant is inserted into the jawbone

A dental implant is inserted into the jawbone.

An abutment is attached to the implant. The abutment connects the artificial tooth to the implant

An abutment is attached to the implant.
The abutment connects the artificial tooth to the implant.

An artificial tooth is attached to the abutment. Properly fitting the artificial tooth may take several appointments

An artificial tooth is attached to the abutment.
Properly fitting the artificial tooth may take several appointments.

A fixed bridge is anchored to dental implants to replace one or more teeth

A fixed bridge is anchored to dental implants to replace one or more teeth.

A fixed bridge is anchored to dental implants to replace all teeth

A fixed bridge is anchored to dental implants to replace all teeth.

Caring for my dental implant(s)

Because dental implants are placed in the jawbone, artificial replacement teeth attached to implants look and act much like natural teeth. Like natural teeth, implants need to be kept clean using a toothbrush and floss. Your dentist will show you the proper cleaning procedure for implants. Regular dental checkups are important so your dentist can make sure that your bite is right and that your implants are not loose.

What else should I know?

    • Several visits to your dentist or dental specialist may be needed until the process is done.
    • Checkups will be scheduled during the following year so your dentist can be sure your implants are working properly.
    • You will need to take very good care of your implants.
    • Implants can cost more than other kinds of replacement teeth and might not be covered by your dental plan. But in most cases this is a one-time cost, unlike other kinds of tooth replacement procedures.
  • Although rare, possible complications due to dental implants include bleeding, infection, numbness or injury to nearby muscles or the sinus cavity. In some cases, the implant may not be successful because it didn’t bond to the bone.

If you would like more information on replacement of missing teeth please call our office for a no charge consultation with Dr. Appleton.

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When is a dental crown or cap needed?

There are a variety of situations that require a tooth to be restored with a dental crown.

The following are the most common:

Large filling: When a tooth has a cavity or fracture that involves half the width of the tooth or more, it needs to be covered with a crown. This is because the remaining tooth around the large filling is so weak that it is prone to fracture. Sometimes a large filling that has been in the mouth for a while will need to be replaced with a crown because the tooth shows signs of stress and cracks around the filling.

Root canal: Root canal treatment leaves the tooth hollowed out and predisposes the remaining tooth to cracking. So, a tooth that has had a root canal almost always needs to be restored with a crown immediately to prevent it from fracturing.

Cracked tooth syndrome: This is a condition whereby a patient has fractures inside a tooth that cause pain when it is chewed on a certain way. Chewing produces stress on fracture lines that make it feel like it is splitting apart. A crown will hold the tooth together and redistribute the stress evenly throughout the tooth, eliminating the pain in most instances. In these situations, it is best to leave a temporary crown on for a while to make sure the pain goes away and the tooth doesn’t require a root canal.

Broken cusps: Cusps frequently break off of teeth due to  trauma or large existing fillings. Since the cusps are the part of the tooth that take the most stress during chewing, they need to be completely covered or the tooth or filling will keep fracturing. Sometimes the tooth breaks all the way to the bone, and a crown-lengthening procedure is necessary. This means the bone and gums need to be trimmed down below the edge of the fractured part of the tooth so the margin of the crown can be placed on healthy, strong tooth structure.

Excessive wear of teeth: If a person has a habit of grinding their teeth, the teeth will become shorter over time. The teeth can also wear away due to acid erosion caused by gastrointestinal acid reflux (GERD), bulimia, or an acidic diet. Sometimes, the enamel will wear away completely, leaving small, soft teeth. Over time, the bite can collapse and the only way of restoring the teeth to normal size is by covering the teeth with crowns.

Undesirable appearance of teeth: Teeth that have an unacceptable appearance due to color, shape, or spaces between teeth can be made to look very natural and beautiful with crowns.

Other: Crowns are placed on dental implants to restore spaces left from missing teeth. Another way of filling these spaces is with dental bridge, which are made from crowns on the teeth next to the spaces attached to fake teeth in the middle. If teeth are loose, crowns can be placed on multiple teeth and splinted together to provide more stability.

What is the procedure for getting a dental crown?

The dental crown procedure first involves numbing the tooth with local anesthesia. If the tooth has been fractured or had a root canal treatment, it will first need to have a buildup — a filling that restores enough of the tooth for the crown to hold onto. Then the tooth is shaved down to make room for the crown, and an impression is made of the prepared tooth with a putty-like substance or a digital scanner. The dentist will then determine the shade of the patient’s teeth using a shade guide or take pictures of the teeth to help the lab technician make crowns that will match the rest of the patient’s teeth. A temporary crown is made from a resin or acrylic material using a molding of the original tooth. This temporary crown is cemented with temporary cement so that it can come off easily once the permanent crown is ready.

Usually a few weeks after a temporary crown, the patient returns for a second visit. During this visit, the tooth may or may not need to be numbed again and the temporary crown is removed. The permanent crown is placed on the tooth and inspected for acceptable fit, bite, and smooth margins. After any necessary adjustments have been performed, the crown is cemented with a permanent cement or dental glue.

Please call Dr. Appleton at 905-668-6301 if you would like more information about dental crowns.

(Information provided by medicinenet.com)

 

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  • What is Invisalign treatment?

    Invisalign treatment is the process of wearing a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. No brackets and wires, and none of the restrictions that come with metal braces.
  • What are Invisalign clear aligners made of and what do they look like?

    Invisalign clear aligners are made of flexible plastic — specifically, a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack® created exclusively for Invisalign treatment.

    Invisalign clear aligners are FDA-approved and contain no BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten. They are thin, clear, and fit snugly over your teeth, making them virtually invisible.

  • How will Invisalign treatment straighten my teeth?

    Your doctor will create a unique, digital treatment plan that maps out the exact movements of your teeth. Your Invisalign clear aligners are then designed to apply the right amount of force to the right place at the right time based on your plan. Your doctor will be with you every step of the way to monitor your progress and ensure your aligners fit correctly.
  • What are the primary benefits of Invisalign treatment?

    Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible — people may not even notice you’re wearing them. You can remove them to eat and drink, to brush and floss, or for special occasions. There are no metal brackets or wires that could irritate your mouth or break, sending you to your doctor for an emergency visit.

    Unlike other brands, Invisalign clear aligners are made from patented SmartTrack material, which is more comfortable and provides a better fit.1 Invisalign aligners are also trimmed based on your gum line for comfort and appearance. As the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, we have successfully improved over 5 million smiles, including 1 million teen smiles.

  • Am I guaranteed to have straight teeth with Invisalign treatment?

    Every smile is unique, which is why your Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation. During your consultation, your doctor will help you determine what Invisalign treatment can do for your smile. We cannot guarantee a particular treatment outcome, but encourage you to share your treatment goals with your doctor at your consultation.

 

 

Call Dr. Appleton at  905-668-6301 for your free Invisalign consultation.

 

Information and video provided by Invisalign.
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THE PAIN OF STRESS ON YOUR ORAL HEALTH

People may overlook the effect stress has on our oral health. However, our mouths can be just as affected by stress as the rest of our bodies are. Stress can have real consequences for our oral health as well as overall well-being.

The general effect of stress is that people tend to neglect their oral health-care routines: they may not brush or floss as often as they should or miss dental appointments; they alter their diet by consuming more sugar- and carbohydrate-laden foods; and they drink more coffee and other unhealthy liquids like energy drinks and soda pop. This not only greatly increases the risk of tooth decay, but the additional acid contributes to the erosion of tooth enamel.

The signs and symptoms of chronic stress can be subtle, and you may not be aware of its effects until it’s too late. Being able to detect the oral signs of stress means your dentist is the first line of defense against the toll stress can take on your health.

Stress can also manifest into various oral health conditions that, if left untreated, can have serious impacts to your overall health and well-being. Here are some of the more common ones.

Stress is a contributing factor to other serious oral-health conditions, including:

Bruxism, or teeth grinding. People under stress may clench or grind their teeth, especially during sleep, and may not even be aware of it. Over a long period of time, bruxism can wear down tooth surfaces. Teeth can also become painful or loose from severe grinding or prone to fractures.

The tell-tale signs and symptoms of bruxism are:

  • teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • worn tooth enamel
  • increased tooth sensitivity
  • damage from chewing on your tongue or the inside of your cheek
  • pain or soreness in the jaw or face, tired or tight jaw muscles
  • a dull headache originating in the temples, pain that feels like an earache

Over a long period of time, bruxism can cause a lot of irreparable damage. Bruxism is also a major cause of disorders that occur in the temporomandibular joints. Depending on the patient, a dentist will recommend an oral appliance or nightguard which may help in reducing the bruxism habit and helps protect the teeth from damage caused by grinding.

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD). TMD affects the jaws joints and groups of muscles that let us chew, swallow, speak and yawn. Symptoms include tender or sore jaw muscles, headaches and problems opening or closing your mouth. Bruxism is a major cause of TMD – clenching your jaw muscles can cause them to ache.

Periodontal (gum) disease. Research has shown that stress affects our immune systems, increasing our susceptibility to infections, including the bacteria that cause gum disease. At times gingival tissues can show signs of inflammation that could be stress-related as well as increased signs and symptoms of certain oral conditions like lichen planus.

Xerostomia (dry mouth). Dry mouth can be caused by stress and can also be a side-effect of medications taken to treat stress and depression. Saliva is vital to keep your mouth moist, wash away food and neutralize the acids that are produced by plaque. Without an adequate flow of saliva, your mouth’s first line of defense against plaque is compromised and this can lead to tooth decay. If dry mouth is left untreated, you can develop tooth decay, gum disease and be at a greater risk for fungal or viral infections in your mouth.

To combat the effects of dry mouth, your dentist may recommend that you chew sugarless gum, sip water regularly and use non-alcohol mouthwashes and over-the-counter saliva substitutes.

Time to De-stress

It may be impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, but you can take simple steps to reduce its impact on your health.

  • Find relaxation techniques or exercises to help you cope with stress. Counselling may also help.
  • Brush at least twice a day and floss daily.
  • Schedule and keep regular appointments with your dentist. Your dentist can detect the signs of stress during an examination, and therefore diagnose and treat stress-related oral-health problems before they worsen.
  • Talk to your dentist about getting a custom-fitted nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
  • Eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to moisten your mouth and stay hydrated.
  • Stay active. If you don’t have time to exercise, a 30-minute walk every day is a good start.
  • Get plenty of sleep.

If you or a family member suffer from jaw pain and headaches call Dr. Appleton and schedule an appointment.

(Information provided by the Ontario Dental Association)
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