Posts for: May, 2019

By Newmarket Dentistry
May 29, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: teeth grinding   bruxism  

Chronic stress is like a tea kettle on the boil—all that “steam” has to go somewhere. We often do this through behaviors like biting our nails, binging on comfort food—or grinding our teeth. That latter habit, however, could have a detrimental effect on teeth, including excessive enamel wear or even fractures.

Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is the forceful and often involuntary contacting of teeth that often generates abnormally high chewing forces. While not considered a relatively big problem with young children, it can be if you’re an adult. While there could be other causes, chronic stress is often a  prime factor for adults with bruxism.

While teeth grinding can occur during the day when you’re awake, it often occurs at night during sleep and may be associated with other sleep disorders like snoring. Although you might not be consciously aware of a grinding episode as it happens, you may notice its effects the next morning, including sore jaws or headaches. Over time, your dentist may begin noticing its effects on your teeth.

So, how can you lessen teeth grinding? For starters, if you’re a tobacco user, quit the habit. Many studies indicate tobacco users report twice the incidence of teeth grinding as non-users. Excessive caffeine, alcohol or drug use can also contribute.

People have also found it helpful to address chronic stress through a number of relaxation techniques like meditation, more relaxing bedtime preparation, bio-feedback or therapy to “de-stress.” Although there’s not a lot of empirical evidence for these techniques’ effectiveness, there’s much anecdotal data from people who’ve found stress relief from them.

There’s also a dental treatment using an occlusal guard that, while not stopping bruxism, can help prevent dental damage. Usually worn during sleep, the custom-made guard fits over the teeth of one jaw, usually the upper. Its high impact plastic prevents the teeth from making solid contact, thus reducing the biting force. You may also be able to reduce bruxism effects through dental work and orthodontics,

You and your dentist can explore the options to find the right treatment strategy for you. By taking action now, you may avoid much more extensive—and expensive—problems with your teeth down the road.

If you would like more information on teeth grinding and what to do about it, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Grinding: Causes and Therapies for a Potentially Troubling Behavior.”

By Newmarket Dentistry
May 19, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implant   bone loss  

Losing teeth continues to be an all too common experience for people, especially those in their senior years. Fortunately, there are several ways to replace them, ranging from partial or full dentures to implants.

Some, though, postpone or simply choose not to replace a lost tooth, often because of the cost. But putting off a dental restoration could have a long-term impact on your health, and not in a good way. Continuing bone deterioration is one of the top consequences of delayed restoration.

Like other bones in the body, the jawbone is living tissue with cells that form, grow and eventually wear out. At the end of their life, these older cells give way to new cells. Eating and chewing play an important role in maintaining this growth cycle: the forces we generate as we chew travel up through the tooth roots to stimulate bone growth in the jaw.

When a tooth goes missing, though, the stimulus ends. Over time the bone cell replacement rate can fall off and the bone slowly loses volume. To make matters worse, bone loss can continue beyond the immediate bone underlying the tooth and affect the rest of the jawbone. The jaw can shrink in height and width, and in time become weaker overall and more susceptible to fracture.

But dental implant restorations in particular could help stop or even reverse bone deterioration at the site of the missing teeth. The titanium post implanted in the jaw attracts bone cells, which grow and adhere to its surface. Over time the bone fills in and becomes stronger.

You don't want to wait too long, though, because implants depend on a minimum amount of bone present for secure placement. You should therefore undergo an implant restoration as soon as it's practical after tooth loss. Otherwise, although we may be able to restore some of the lost bone with bone grafting, you may need to consider another restorative option.

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, time isn't on your side. But the right kind of dental restoration undertaken promptly can make for a brighter, healthier future.

If you would like more information on restoring lost teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”


If you have a few missing teeth but can't afford dental implants or fixed bridgework, consider a removal partial denture (RPD). Although implants may be the superior choice aesthetically and functionally, an RPD can still effectively give you back your teeth.

RPDs are designed to replace one or more missing teeth but not a full arch like a full denture. Considered a permanent restoration, RPDs are also more durable than transitional "flippers," denture appliances that are flexible and light enough to be flipped out of the mouth with a flick of the tongue.

The key to both their affordability and durability is vitallium, a strong but lightweight metal alloy most often used in their frame construction. To it we attach artificial teeth usually made of porcelain or glass-filled resins that occupy the precise location of the missing teeth on the gum ridge. The artificial teeth and frame are surrounded by gum-colored plastic for a more natural look.

Each RPD is custom-made depending on the number and location of the missing teeth. Its construction will focus on minimizing any rocking movement of the RPD during chewing or biting. Too much of this movement could damage the adjacent teeth it's attaching to and cause the appliance to be uncomfortable to wear. We can stabilize the frame by precisely fitting it between teeth to buttress it. We also insert small rests or clasps made of vitallium at strategic points to grip teeth and minimize movement.

RPDs do have some downsides: their unique attachment with teeth encourages the accumulation of dental plaque, the thin bacterial film that's the leading cause of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. These diseases can affect your remaining teeth's health and stability, which could in turn disrupt the fit of the RPD. Also, too much movement of the appliance can make the teeth to which it's attached become more mobile. It's important, then, if you wear a RPD to remove it daily for cleaning (and to thoroughly brush and floss your natural teeth), and to remove it at night to give the attaching teeth a rest.

A RPD can give you back the teeth you've lost for many years to come—if you take care of it. Maintaining both your RPD and the rest of your teeth and gums will help extend the life and use of this effective and affordable replacement restoration.

If you would like more information on teeth replacement options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures: Still a Viable Tooth-Replacement Alternative.”

By Newmarket Dentistry
May 06, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Are you doing everything you can to maintain a healthy smile? Preventative dentistry is the practice of caring for your gums and teeth to Dentistkeep them healthy. Preventive dentistry helps keep your smile healthy- through daily flossing and brushing, and regular dental exams and cleanings. Led by Richard Lee-Shanok, Newmarket Dentistry (located in Newmarket, ON) offers a complete range of dental services. Here's everything you need to know about preventative dentistry.

What is Preventative Dentistry?

Preventive dentistry a philosophy of oral health care that embraces all phases of dentistry. It includes not only the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease through the use of home care, proper diet, and regular dental exams, but it also includes proper restoration and replacement of teeth, orthodontic braces, root canal treatment, and surgical removal of impacted teeth. Also of great importance in preventative dentistry is the discovery of other oral diseases, such as cancer, through oral cancer screenings.

The Benefits of Preventative Dentistry

The time you take to care for your teeth and gums is worth it. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and seeing your dentist regularly, you can keep your smile healthy for a lifetime. Preventative dentistry can greatly reduce your risk of tooth loss, dental cavities, periodontal disease, tooth infections, and other dental problems. This, in turn, can reduce your risk of health problems caused by poor oral health such as stroke, heart disease, heart attack, and premature labor.

Adopting a Preventive Dental Diet

Your diet can help or hurt your dental health. To keep your mouth healthy, avoid sugary drinks and snacks. Sugar fuels the bacteria that cause cavities. Steer clear of hard foods that can crack or chip your teeth. You also need calcium for healthy teeth. Low-fat dairy products, fortified rice and soy beverages, and leafy greens are excellent sources of calcium. Don't drink too much alcohol. Alcohol can lead to dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease. And heavy drinking increases your risk of mouth cancer.

The Ideal Daily Oral Hygiene Routine

Floss your teeth once a day. Flossing allows you to reach between your teeth where the bristles cannot reach. By flossing every day, you lower your odds of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Brush your teeth at least two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Don't brush more than three times a day. Brushing your teeth too much can wear down your enamel. Using mouth rinses can also make a positive impact on oral health. There are mouth rinses that treat bad breath and help prevent plaque buildup, tooth decay and gum disease.

How Often to See Your Dentist

Regular dental visits are important at any age. If seeing a dentist regularly hasn't been one of your top priorities for the last few years, it should be. In order to maintain good oral health, you should visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and dental cleanings. Some people may need more frequent dental visits. Your dentist can advise you on how often you need to visit based on your general and oral health and your risk factors for tooth decay and gum disease.

It’s time to take charge of your oral health. Call Newmarket Dentistry at (905) 830-1010 today to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup in Newmarket, ON. Regular dental visits will get you on the road to good oral health. You will experience exemplary service and state-of-the-art care at Newmarket Dentistry!



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