Posts for: January, 2015

By Newmarket Dentistry
January 28, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Sure, it’s big news when celebs tweet selfies from the dental office… if you’re still living in the 20th century. But in Hollywood today, it’s harder to say who hasn’t posted snaps of themselves in the dentist’s chair than who has. Yet the pictures recently uploaded to Twitter by Mark Salling, the actor and singer who regularly appears as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the popular TV series Glee, made us sit up and take notice.

“Getting my chipped tooth fixed. Also, apparently, I’m a big grinder,” read the caption. The photo showed a set of upper front teeth with visible chips on the biting surface. What’s so special about this seemingly mundane tweet? It’s a great way of bringing attention to a relatively common, but often overlooked problem: teeth clenching and grinding, also called bruxism.

Although bruxism is a habit that affects scores of people, many don’t even realize they have it. That’s because the condition may only become active at night. When the teeth are unconsciously ground together, the forces they produce can wear down the enamel, cause chipping or damage to teeth or dental work (such as veneers or fillings), or even loosen a tooth! While it’s common in children under 11 years old, in adults it can be a cause for concern.

Sometimes, mouth pain, soreness and visible damage alert individuals to their grinding habits; other times, a dental professional will notice the evidence of bruxism during an exam or cleaning: tooth sensitivity and telltale wear and tear on the chewing surfaces. Either way, it’s time to act.

Bruxism is most often caused by stress, which can negatively impact the body in many ways. It may also result from bite problems, the overuse of stimulating substances (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs), and as a side effect of certain medications. Sometimes, simply becoming aware of the habit can help a person get it under control. Common methods of stress reduction include exercise, meditation, a warm bath or a quiet period before bedtime; these can be tried while we monitor the situation to see if the problem is going away.

If stress reduction alone doesn’t do the trick, several other methods can be effective. When bruxism is caused by a minor bite problem, we can sometimes do a minor “bite adjustment” in the office. This involves removing a tiny bit of enamel from an individual tooth that is out of position, bringing it in line with the others. If it’s a more serious malocclusion, orthodontic appliances or other procedures may be recommended.

When grinding is severe enough to damage teeth or dental work, we may also recommend a custom-made night guard (occlusal guard), which you put in your mouth at bedtime. Comfortable and secure, this appliance prevents your teeth from being damaged by contacting each other, and protects your jaw joints from stresses due to excessive grinding forces.

Whether or not you have to smile for a living, teeth grinding can be a big problem. If you would like more information about this condition, call our office to schedule a consultation for a consultation.

By Newmarket Dentistry
January 27, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Women Dental CareIt’s important for a woman who is pregnant to prioritize good, healthy dental care for the benefit of herself and her unborn children. At the same time, a woman who is with child may have to take extra precautions when she goes to the dentist. Learn more about these concerns from Newmarket family dentist Dr. Richard Lee-Shanok.

Your Initial Appointment

At your first dentist appointment one of the first questions will be asked on your health questionnaire is if you are pregnant or may be pregnant. This is because there are a number of concerns that both you and your dentist must be aware of when coming up with a treatment plan for your teeth. You must make decisions that protect both your health and the health of your baby. If you feel that you may be pregnant, it’s a good idea to visit your primary care doctor to take a test to find out for sure before going to your Newmarket dentist for treatment

Clearing Up Dental Problems During Pregnancy

Having preventative and corrective dental work is important for pregnant patients. During pregnancy, hormones can exasperate existing problems in the mouth, causing pain and swelling. If good oral health isn’t maintained, the teeth and gums can become infected, and these infections have been linked to complications during pregnancy according to the American Pregnancy Association.


One concern that may come up when you visit the dentist is whether it’s safe to order X-rays. Many mothers-to-be to be have concerns about the effects of the radiation emitted by X-ray machines. In most cases, your Newmarket dentist will recommend that annual X-rays are delayed until after the child is born.


Another reason why it's important to tell your dentist if you may be pregnant is that some medications could harm an unborn child. For instance, sedation medication like lidocaine can enter the placenta, so if administered it must be in small amounts. Deep anesthesia and oral sedatives aren’t normally recommended for the safety of the baby. Your dentist will consult you on the best option if you require numbing of pain for a dental procedure during pregnancy.

Dental Care When Pregnant

Remember that it's important that you disclose every detail of your medical history including whether you are pregnant to your doctor when you visit the dentist's office. If you have any lingering concerns about your teeth and how dental work might affect your baby, discuss them with Newmarket dentist Dr. Richard Lee-Shanok. You can reach his office at (905) 830-1010.

Are you a patient of Newmarket Dentistry? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences below!

By Newmarket Dentistry
January 13, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sleep apnea   snoring  

Sleep apnea, a form of sleep-related breathing disorders that is estimated to affect some 22 million Americans, is sometimes thought of as the “quiet culprit” lurking behind many other maladies. But ask anyone who sleeps alongside a sufferer, and you'll get a different response: It isn't quiet at all! Instead, it's often marked by loud snoring and scary episodes where breathing seems to stop. If you've ever worried that you or someone you care about may have this condition, here are five facts you should know.

1) Sleep apnea is a potentially deadly disease

For one thing, it leads to chronic fatigue that can make accidents far more likely — a special concern in potentially dangerous situations, like operating machinery or driving a vehicle. It also appears to be related to heart conditions such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, coronary artery disease, and even stroke. Plus, it can lead to weight gain, depression and mood disorders.

2) People with sleep apnea may wake hundreds of times every night

These “micro-arousals” may occur 50 or more times per hour, and may keep a person from getting any relaxing sleep — even though they retain no memory of the episodes. That's why people who suffer from sleep apnea often go through their days on the verge of exhaustion. And they aren't the only ones who suffer: Their bed partners may also be kept up throughout the night, becoming anxious and irritable.

3) Persistent snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea

Snoring is caused when breath being drawn into the lungs is obstructed by soft tissue structures in the upper airway. Most everyone snores sometimes… but chronic loud snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) — and the louder and more frequent the snoring, the greater the likelihood of OSA. To confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea, a sleep study using special monitors may be conducted in a clinical setting, or an at-home test may be used.

4) Your dentist may be able to help diagnose and treat sleep apnea

What does dentistry have to do with sleep apnea? For one thing, sleep apnea is a disease that involves structures in the oral cavity — an area dentists are quite familiar with. Sometimes, fatigued folks who suffer from OSA begin snoring when they recline in the dental chair, showing their symptoms firsthand. But even if their patients don't fall asleep, dentists with proper training are recognized by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) as being able to provide first line therapy for mild to moderate sleep disorders.

5) An oral appliance is a good step to try before more invasive treatments

If it's appropriate in your situation, your dentist can custom-fabricate an oral appliance that may alleviate sleep-related breathing disorders. This device, worn while you're sleeping, helps to maintain an open airway in the throat and to reduce breathing problems. With a success rate of around 80%, in many cases it's comparable to the more complex CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machines, but people often find it easier to wear. Plus, it's a non-invasive treatment that can be explored before deciding on a more involved treatment, such as surgery.

If you would like more information about dentistry and sleep problems, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Sleep Disorders and Dentistry” and “Sleep Apnea FAQs.”

By Newmarket Dentistry
January 12, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Teeth WhiteningCertain habits will cause your tooth discoloration, but even if you've never smoked, avoided red wine and cleaned your teeth religiously, you'll probably notice your teeth aren't as bright as they were a few years ago. It's a natural occurrence, and, let's face it, no one does everything right! You're bound to have caused some tooth stains along the way.

At-home whitening kits can help you get a smile a few shades brighter, but professional whitening in a dentist's office is the most effective way to dramatically improve the whiteness of your smile. No matter how you choose to whiten your teeth, you're certain to see positive results.

Make a Great First Impression

Nearly all American adults put great importance on white teeth. According to a survey from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7% consider a white smile a social asset, 96% believe it makes someone more attractive, and 74% think an unsightly smile can hurt your career. There are many ways to improve your smile, but teeth whitening is generally the most affordable, fastest way to do so.

Look Younger

Much as there are many ways to enhance your smile, there are a variety of options for making you appear younger, and teeth whitening is a relatively cheap, simple solution in the grand scheme of things. Teeth discolor as you age, so a white smile drops years from your appearance!

Improve Your Appearance for Special Occasions

There are only so many things you can quickly change about the way you look, like the clothes you wear or your hairstyle. With in-office teeth whitening, you can brighten your smile just as quickly. If you have a job interview or formal occasion to attend, one of the ways to look your best is to schedule a whitening session with your dentist. Newmarket Dentistry in Newmarket, ON, offers professional whitening services that can improve even some of the most stubbornly stained teeth.

Embrace a Higher Self-Esteem

Think of how often you expose your teeth — it's practically impossible to go through a day without talking, laughing, or smiling in front of someone else. Imagine not needing to worry about concealing discolored, stained teeth that make you self-conscious. Wouldn't it be liberating? If the freedom to smile is something you desire, professional teeth whitening is worth your consideration. To learn more about the procedure or schedule a visit at Newmarket Dentistry, call (905) 830-1010.



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