Your Smile Dental Care

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What is a Dental Specialist?


Why is my dentist is referring me to a dental specialist?


Although a general practitioners may recommend various treatment options for the care of your teeth and supporting structures and perform many different types of treatment, sometimes they may refer your care to a dentist who has received extensive training in a particular area of dentistry that is specific to your circumstance.

“Your general dentist is your primary care provider who sees you on a regular basis to ensure your overall health care is monitored on a regular basis.”

There are many branches of dental specialization and becoming a dental specialist requires a additional formal education after graduating and receiving their initial dental degree. From performing complicated oral surgery to realigning crooked teeth, dental specialists each have a particular area of expertise and are a vital source of care when diagnosis or treatment becomes more involved or complicated.

Dental Specialties

Pediatric Dentistry – treatment and management of children

Endodontics – Endo mean inside and this is a specialty cares for the inside, vital part of the tooth called the pulp chamber or commonly referred to as root canal. They also work in and around the root area as these canals branch out and open along the root surface.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology – Dental x-rays/images of the head, neck and mouth area,

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – is a huge branch of dentistry dealing with issues of the head, neck, jaws, and teeth. Care can range from complicated tooth extraction to surgical improvements to major reconstruction.

Dental Public Health – Promotes oral health and deals with the community at large, especially the marginalized or disadvantaged, through awareness, policy, programs, research, and screening of dental health issues.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology – concerns itself with the study and diagnosis of the causes and effects of diseases associated with the oral cavity and surrounding areas.

Prosthodontics – creates and fits artificial replacements for the teeth, mouth, and other parts of the face and head that are missing naturally or due to trauma or disease.

Orthodontics – deals with the diagnosing, prevention and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws.

Periodontics – cares for the diseased supporting structures of the teeth such as gums and bones through prevention, diagnosing, and treatment.


General Dentist

Your general dentist is your primary care provider who sees you on a regular basis to ensure your overall health care is monitored on a regular basis. There are many general dentists who are also capable of treating many complicated conditions and may even have further training or significant experience in providing treatment that may be considered a specialty services. There are times, however, when they may determine that your oral issue bears extenuating risks or involves a degree of complication that obligate them to transition your care to a specialist.



Under most circumstances, a patient can not seek the care of a specialists on their own. Referral is only provided after a general dentist has made a preliminary diagnosis and then decides that consultation with a specialist is necessary.


At Your Smile Dental Care, we recommend that everyone should see their general dentist regularly for examinations. How often depends on the state of your personal oral health. Twice a year is advised for most healthy mouths, whereas, if you are at risk or have a history of decay and disease, more frequents exams and cleaning will be recommended. Patients who make oral care a priority, are more likely to enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.


Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533


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Choosing Dental Floss


So you’ve decided to make flossing an addition to you home oral care routine. Great idea!

Your local pharmacy is be stocked with all kinds of different types of floss and the choices can be confusing.


How do you know which one is right for you?


Floss comes in different flavours, coatings, sizes, thicknesses, textures and specialized uses. Finding the one that will do the job right and fits your oral health care needs is a conversation that you can have with your dental care provider via telephone or during your next visit.


Let’s look at some of the possibilities that may suit your “specific to you situation:

Sensitivity – Understandably, people who suffer with sensitive teeth or bleeding, swollen gums are are reluctant to begin flossing. Finding soft floss or one coated in wax that will slip easily and comfortably between teeth will make the task more manageable. A daily routine of proper brushing and flossing will soon have gums looking pinker and the bleeding will subside. You should arrange to see your dentist, however, if your gums bleed consistently and your teeth are always sensitive. Don’t ignore theses symptoms as they may be signs that something more serious is going on with your dental health.


Tight teeth – Oftentimes, people who have teeth that are very tight or close together find that traditional floss will shred when sliding it between teeth or that they have to force it through. This can cause the floss to snap through the contact area too forcibly and possibly injure gum tissue. They can use:

Waxed floss that is coated and more resistant to breaking. The way coating allows it to fit easier between tight spaces.

Glide floss is specially woven with a light wax coating making it strong, shred-resistant and easy to slide between teeth.


Wide spaces –  Some people have teeth with gaps or they are spaced further apart that normally. Superfloss with it’s unique design can be used for wide areas between teeth, braces, and bridgework. It is made up of 3 parts:

1. A stiff string to help thread the floss through or into an area (floss threader)

2. A softer, spongy to gather food particles and plaque more efficiently

3.  A traditional flossed end




Braces: If you wear braces or have dentures, that doesn’t mean that you can’t floss. Try a specialized floss threaders or Superfloss that has a stiff end that you can thread beneath the main wire of your braces and a spongy component that slides easily between the teeth. Your orthodontist will also recommend other dental cleaning tools that will help you clean the particular type of braces that you have.



Children – It’s harder for children to use floss, so start them off with floss wands. Once their dexterity develops and their teeth become closer together,  you can teach them to use traditional floss. Some creative people have introduced the concept using mega blocks as pictured below:




*Mobility issues – Finding practical dental hygiene solutions for people who have physical or mobility issues can be challenging. They may be caring for their own teeth or may have a caregiver that provides this task. When it comes to flossing, there are electric flossers on the market that help clean in between teeth. A  floss holder/wand, like the one pictured above, or tying floss into a circle for easier handling can also help simplify oral care.


Is your floss always shedding or catching on something in between your teeth?

Sometimes, floss can become stuck on something in between teeth making it difficult to remove the floss without breaking or shredding it. Many things can make floss snag including, a broken tooth/filling, a cavity, tartar buildup or an overhanging margins of a filling. Seeing your dental healthcare provider will help identify the problem, and after remedy, they will ensure that the area in question is snag-free so you can resume flossing at home.


When to Floss…

Brushing your teeth and using mouth rinse does not replace flossing. Floss goes when your toothbrush can’t reach and mouth rinses are not as effective either. Most people find that flossing once a day, usually before bedtime, is ideal for the. Others, however, get food stuck in between their teeth and under their gums often and need to floss after meals immediately to feel comfort. Finding any time during the day that works best for you is the best time! Once you get the hang of flossing, it only takes a few minutes to include this in your daily hygiene routine, but the benefits last a lifetime!



Yours in Better Dental Health
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533


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Gum Chewers Unite!

 To chew or nor to chew

Remember when we used to get in trouble for chewing gum in the classroom? Remember when it was considered to be a bad habit and fell under the category of “candy?”

Fast forward to 2018 and chewing gum has come a long way. In fact, it’s been around for a very long time!



People have been chewing “gum” since ancient times in the form of resins, grasses, bark, waxes and grains. It wasn’t until the mid 1800s that a modern form of chewing gum was made from spruce tree sap, wax and flavouring then sold commercially to people.


One problem with the earlier modern version of gum was that it was difficult to get it to hold its flavor. All kinds of flavouring agents were tried, but it wasn’t until someone combined sugar, corn syrup and peppermint to his formula that gum evolved into the sugary, minty flavours that have lasted for so many years.

It wasn’t until recently, that we found a healthier , natural alternative to sugar – in the form of xylitol – and we have been able to keep the sweetness in gum without having to use aspartame or cavity-causing sugar. Bacterial live and thrive and populate in a high ph-level acidic environment. Sugar rises ph so bacteria can actively damage (demineralize) tooth enamel, whereas, xylitol lowers ph to reduce bacterial levels and encourage slaiva production which repairs (remineralizes) tooth surfaces.

In fact, chewing gum containing Xylitol helps your fight against cavities by helping:

1. to neutralize the acids in our mouth.
2. to prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth
3. to lower bacterial levels
4. to stimulate the production of cavity fighting saliva

Read more about the role of Xylitol here.



Gum as a Cavity Fighter?

Surprisingly, using gum as a cavity fighter was an idea that was first introduced back in 1869 when William Semple, a dentist from Ohio, began using his own variety of chewing gum to help people keep their teeth clean. He declared that since his product had scouring-properties it could be used suitably to clean teeth. It is commonly thought that he was the first person to patent chewing gum, however, another man from Ohio had patented his chewing gum earlier in the year.


How do we, at Your Smile Dental Care, feel about chewing gum?

Chewing gum, even those that are sugarless like the xylitol varieties, do not replace good nutrition, lifestyle and diligent oral hygiene. Along with choosing a well-balanced, whole food diet and keeping your teeth, gums and tongue clean during the day, we are firm believers in the science behind meal frequency. Your body’s own saliva is also an excellent cavity fighter, but it’s important to space out your meals out so that saliva can have the 4-5 hours it needs to repair bacterial damage to your teeth.

And if you can’t get to a toothbrush? Rinsing with water and chewing gums after a meal is a suitable alternative until you can clean your teeth properly.


Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533

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Flossing: Why You Should Make Make it Your New Year’s Resolution


Flossing 2018

With all the New Year, New You choices this time of year, how can we possible complete with all the great suggestions out there? Every year flossing makes our list and every working day we dental professionals remind our patients how very important this ritual is.

Over and over again!

If the following reasons aren’t enough to motivate you then you prove it to yourself using the 100% convincing smell test.


Clean Teeth

If your aim is to clean your teeth to prevent the destructive forces of germs that can cause dental cavities, bad breath and gum disease, then what you must know is that your toothbrush does not reach all the surfaces of your tooth crown. The hardest to reach places for your toothbrush bristles are in between teeth and below the gum line. Floss is able to really get into these areas to remove remaining plaque and food debris. Left over plaque will eventually harden into tartar and can only be scraped off with special dental tools.



Bad Breath

This is a no-brainer. No one wants to have bad breath and that is exactly what will happen if you leave left-over food in between your teeth and below your gums where your tooth brush can’t reach. What does a kitchen compost smell like after a day? The rotting food sticks. Your new hairdo, buffed body,  better food choices – all your other self-improvement efforts will be moot if, at the end of the day, you smell bad because of mouth odour.


Tooth Loss

It simply is not enough to just brush your teeth to keep them healthy. Your tooth has 5 surfaces and your toothbrush only reaches 3 of them. You will not realize how important it is to remove impacted food and plaque until the gums and bone that support your teeth  become irreversibly damaged. Seven out of ten Canadian will develop gum disease at some point in their lives. It is a preventable disease, but you have to want to keep your teeth badly enough to take the time to care for your teeth properly.



Unhealthy Looking Gums

Ever wonder why your gums bleed or look all red and puffy. It is the look of inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s healing response to injury, germs, and diseased tissue. Even when you begin flossing, initially your gums will still bleed, but they will start to heal and start to look health and pink again. You may have straight, white teeth, but the look of unhealthy gums do little to show off them off. It’s like getting all dressed up in a new outfit, without showering. People will notice!

Save Your $$$

There is a saying we have in dentistry, “Dental care is not expensive, Neglect is!”  No truer words were ever spoken about dental care. Your yearly expenses for buying a toothbrush, toothpaste and flossing are far less costly in terms of money than it is to repair diseased teeth and gums. Floss is cheap to buy and we give it to our patients for free! Surprisingly, we still see a lot of people who have had their fair share of dental costs and toothaches who still neglect their teeth. If you include one resolution this year – please choose flossing!


Easier Dental Cleanings

Plaque accumulates above and below your gum line. Any plaque that is not removed during brushing eventually hardens onto the tooth. We call this hardened plaque tartar (calculus) and it can only be remove with professional tools that scrape it off your teeth in such a manner that does not cause damage tooth and gum health. If you tend to get a lot of this tartar buildup, flossing gets where your toothbrush can’t reach and can remove this plaque before it has a chance to harden. Although, it’s virtually impossible to remove all plaque, flossing


Protect Your Overall Wellbeing

Certain microorganisms are normally found only in the mouth. A number of epidemiological research studies are helping us recognize that there may be a cause-effect relationship between certain oral bacteria/infections and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial pneumonia and autoimmune diseases. If germs and infections can enter into the body system, multiply in other body sites and further complicate other health conditions, then maintaining oral health is crucial – not only to prevent oral disease but also to maintain good general health.


Help Your Teeth Have a Great Year

At Your Smile Dental Care, we can help you take care of your teeth year-round so that Your Smile will not only look great, but remain healthy for many years to come! For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit us on the web or call (905) 5SMILES


Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533


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How to Manage Your Dental Emergency

Be Prepared for the Holidays

We all look forward to the holidays when we can relax with family and friends and enjoy all the great festive foods that the season has to offer. What we don’t expect, however, is a dental emergency! So what are you to do if you find yourself needing a safe home remedy to tie you over until you can get to your dental office?


Break a tooth?

Many things can cause your tooth to break including injury, biting down too hard, cavities and large fillings. If you break or chip a tooth your should see your dentist right away. Even a small chip in your tooth can progress into a much more complicated matter and can cause further damage to your tooth, so it is best to have a broken tooth attended to as quickly as possible. Fixing your broken tooth will depend on the extent of damage and how quickly you are able to arrange treatment so that the tooth doesn’t continue to break. Very small chips can sometimes be smoothed off, but fractures extending into the root area may, in some cases, have to be removed

Your at home steps:

1. Rinse your mouth immediately with warm water to remove any small bits and pieces of tooth and other debris.
2. If you are bleeding form the tooth or mouth area, you can use a moistened gauze or clean fabric to stop any bleeding.
3. If you begin to swell, apply a cold compress along the facial side of the injury in a 10 minute on, 10 minute off fashion.
4. You may also want to take an anti-inflammatory to help control any swelling and relieve pain.
5. Call your dentist


Lost a filling?

You may not think of a lost filling as an emergency, but it can be a traumatic and even painful experience for many people. Sometimes both the filling and a piece of tooth breaks off, while other times it’s actually just the tooth and not a filling. Fillings do not last forever and may fall out for a number of reasons. Your dentist will examine the area to determine why it fell out and discuss the repair options with you. Do not delay treatment as the tooth may continue to breakdown and could fracture into the root. There are many occasions when teeth that have broken into the root have to be removed. If you know already that you have a weak tooth that could break, have it attended to before it worsens. The sooner you get to the dentist, the better the chance of  saving the tooth.

Your at home steps:

1. Try to locate the piece that fell out and place it in a small baggie for safe keeping. Bring it with you to your appointment.
2. Rinse your mouth immediately with warm water to remove any small bits and pieces of tooth and other debris.
3. If you are bleeding form the tooth or mouth area, you can use a moistened gauze or clean fabric to stop any bleeding.
4. If you begin to swell, apply a cold compress along the facial side of the injury in a 10 minute on, 10 minute off fashion. An anti-inflammatory may also control swelling and relieve pain.
5. You can still eat, but should chew on the opposite side of the mouth from where your filling fell out. Choose softer foods and avoid those that are sharp or extreme in temperature.
6. As for brushing your teeth, you should try to keep the tooth as clean as possible to avoid added irritation, food impaction and plaque/debris buildup. You will want to brush gently with a very soft toothbrush and rinse with warm temperature water.
7. Do not attempt to sand off any sharp edges as you may do further damage to the tooth. Sharp edges can be annoying and bother your curious tongue, so if you have any orthodontic wax or can borrow some, just soften it between your fingers and apply it over the area. Chewing gum may be used also, but may not stick as well.
8. Do not attempt to glue any tooth or filling piece back into place. It will likely not stick and will cause additional work for your dentist.
9. Call your dentist

Crown fall out or becoming loose?

There are a few reasons why a dental crown may become loose and/or fall out such as underlying cavities, old and disintegrating cement, underlying broken tooth, injury/trauma, or the constant habit of grinding/clenching.

Your at home steps:

1. Wrap the crown in a piece of tissue or gauze then place it into a plastic container.

2. Do not attempt to clean off the crown or it may drop onto the floor or down the drain!

3. Rinse your mouth with warm water and spit out into a cup or bowl. This is done to ensure that there isn’t more pieces of tooth of crown in your mouth that you could swallow or aspirate. Retrieve any pieces you think may be a piece of tooth or crown and place in the plastic container.

4. Sometimes, your tooth is left with a sharp edge  when a crown falls off. Do not try to file it down yourself! If you happen to have any orthodontic wax that is used for braces, you can place it over the sharp edge until you get to the dentist.

5. Never, ever “glue” your crown back onto your tooth. Not only is glue not safe in the mouth, but you make our job more difficult when we have to try to remove the “glued” crown without causing further damage to the tooth or to surrounding teeth. Some patients have also been known to use sticky gums or foods to “glue” a crown in place. Not only do you run the risk of the crown being lost or swallowed, you are providing food for cavity-causing bacteria to further damage your tooth.

6. Same goes for any temporary cements that can sometimes be found in pharmacies. Our concern is that any re-cementation would be very temporary at best and could still leave you at risk for swallowing, choking, aspirating or the crown falling out and being lost. Additionally, self-cementing could cause your bite to be off, which in turn, may cause complications and harm to other teeth. Use these drug store cements or denture adhesive at your own risk!

7. You can still eat, but should chew on the opposite side of the mouth from where your crown fell out. Choose softer foods and avoid those that are sharp or extreme in temperature.

8. As for brushing your teeth, you should try to keep the tooth that was crowned as clean as possible to avoid added irritation, food impaction and plaque/debris buildup. You will want to brush gently with a very soft toothbrush and rinse with warm temperature water.

9. See your dentist as soon as possible. Teeth move when they are not supported by adjacent teeth or biting against opposing teeth. Delaying treatment will cause your existing tooth to shift and your crown will likely no longer fit the new tooth position.

Severe toothache?

Toothaches are considered one of the worst pains you can experience! Cavities, infections, sinusitis, fractures and even getting something caught between your teeth can cause a lot of discomfort. It is very important to understand that pain caused by an infection should be attended to right away as infection can spread to other parts of your body. Obviously, getting to the dentist as soon as possible is recommended, but how can you find some comfort before your appointment?


Your at home steps:

1. If you suspect that something is stuck under your gums or between your teeth, try flossing the area gently to remove the offending item, but still see your dentist to examine the area and ensure that there isn’t a more serious issue developing.
2. You may also find relief rinsing your mouth with warm salt water
3. Applying a cold compress along the facial side of the injury in a 10 minute on, 10 minute off fashion may give you additional relief.
4. DO NOT place aspirin directly on your tooth as it contains an acid that is strong enough to burn your gums and other soft tissues in your mouth.
5. Call your dentist

Tooth knocked out?

A whole tooth (crown and root) that has been knocked out (avulsed) can begin to die within 30 minutes so it is essential that you get to a dentist immediately. The chances of successful re-implantation decreases the longer you wait for treatment. If any other injuries sustained during injury are minor and do not require immediate medical attention, then get to a dentist as soon as possible. Have someone call them to explain what has happened and that you are on your way. If you have any doubt as to whether or not any other injuries sustained are serious, go to the nearest emergency department immediately. You should bring the tooth with you in a cup of cow’s milk just in case there is dental personnel on staff that can treat you while your other injuries are being attended to.

Your at home steps:

1. Only handle the tooth by the crown portion NOT the root so that you do not further damage the root’s attachment fibres. If the root has debris on it try to find a cup and fill it with some cow’s milk or water. Holding the crown, place the root portion of the tooth into the cup of liquid and wiggle the tooth back and forth to try to loosen and slough away the debris from the root surface. Do this ONLY if the root is dirty and do not scrub or use soup.
2. After cleaning, try to put the tooth back into the socket and hold it in place. If it is a child, adult supervision is critical so that they do not swallow the tooth. With a crying, flailing child, this can be near impossible, so use your discretion.
3. If you can’t place it back into the socket, then place it into a glass of cow’s milk or even the injured person’s saliva. Milk contains proteins, antibacterial substances and sugars to help the cells of the tooth and it’s surrounding tissues
4. Keep the tooth moist at all times.
5. There is also a kit available online called  Save-A-Tooth. Find it here through Amazon
6. If there is bleeding, use a moistened gauze or clean fabric to stop any bleeding. No need to clean up around the face; you want to disturb the area as little as possible.
7. If you can not get to your dentist, go to the nearest dental office that is open.




Loose tooth?

If you have sustained an injury that causes your tooth to loosen but NOT fall out you should:

Your at home steps:

1. Leave the tooth alone and do not put pressure on it.
2. If you begin to swell, apply a cold compress along the facial side of the injury in a 10 minute on, 10 minute off fashion.
3. You may also want to take an anti-inflammatory to help control any swelling and relieve pain.
4. Call your dentist.


Jaw injury?

If you suspect that you have sustained an injury to your jaw, you will need to proceed to your nearest ER or urgent care with an x-ray department.

Your “on-the-way” steps:

1. Apply a cold compress to the injured area.
2. Keep your jaw as still as possible
3. You may also want to take an anti-inflammatory to help control any swelling and relieve pain.
4. Many ERs do not have any dental personnel on staff, so you will need to see your dentist after you are discharged so that they can evaluate the area further for any dental damage such as broken teeth/roots, severed nerves, tooth socket widening, bone fragments, etc.


Suspect an abscess?

Dental abscesses can be life-threatening! Because abscesses are serious infections that can damage your oral health and spread to other parts of the body, you need to seek medical attention immediately! Even if the pain or swelling subsides, you still need to see your dentist right away as this type of infection does not go away without treatment. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with a gum or tooth infection include:

  • swelling
  • sever and/or radiating pain
  • foul odour
  • fever
  • tender or swollen lymph nodes
  • earache, headache, sinus pain
  • white pimple on gum
  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • fatigue

Your at home care steps:

1. Do not try to break open or pop any pimple on your gum
2. Rinse with warn salt water
3. Take an anti-inflammatory to help control any swelling and relieve pain.
4. Call your dentist.



It has been our experience that most dental emergencies tend to be problems that had been growing for a while and have decided to show up just in time to ruin your good night sleep, weekend, holiday or vacation! This is why we always recommend preventative dental care every 6 months as the best way to detect and treat dental problems while they are usually small and simple to repair. Every year, we include a few days over the holidays to remain open in case you or family and friends need our help or need to complete any outstanding dental treatment before the end of the year.


Rather than researching home remedies online or taking advice from friends or friends, call your dentist first.
Only they can offer you the safest, “specific to you” advice on what you can do at home.




Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533

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What’s Brewing in your Mouth?




You can’t see them, but you can sure feel, taste and even smell the hundreds of different types of germs that make their home in your mouth.

While many of these bacteria are harmless, others wreak havoc in the mouth causing tooth decay, inflammation of the gums and bad breath.

Let’s talk about bad breath. No one wants it, but everyone has it from time to time. Even though bad breath is a common condition and is oftentimes very embarrassing, it can also be an indicator of health problems in the mouth and/or rest of the body.

So what can you do to help fight bad breath as well as keep your mouth healthy?



Aside from ensuring that you are in the habit of brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day and flossing daily, you will also benefit from following these other 13 tips:


1. Clean your tongue! Bacteria love to hide in the hair-like filaments that make up tbe upper side of the tongue, so don’t forget to also clean your tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scraper

2. Use an antiseptic mouth rinse once a day to help kill germs and fight bad breath

3. Reduce snacking in between meals. When you cut off the sugary food source that germs eat you also cut down on the number of acid attacks that occur in the mouth

4. Drink water often throughout the day to help wash away food particles and germs from the mouth and also prevent dry mouth

5. Eating a piece of sugarless candy or chewing sugarless gum will help stimulate saliva flow to wash away food debris and bacteria

6. Do not sip on sugary drinks or coffee/tea with milk, cream and/or sugar frequently or all day long

7. Consume alcohol and coffee in moderation as they also tend to dry out the mouth

8. Speak to your doctor if you suspect that you have a dry mouth condition as it can be an indicator of a health issue or be a side effect of medication

9. Ensure that other medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease is monitored by your physician regularly and is under control

10. Quit smoking or using other tobacco products

11. Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet that helps to control inflammation

12. Eating crispy, fresh fruits and vegetables also increases your saliva flow to help wash away other food debris and bacteria

13. Be aware that during illness and prolonged periods of hunger or fasting from meals, acids in the stomach can build up and cause foul breath also



Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533


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Medications and YOUR SMILE

Are Medications Ruining YOUR SMILE?

We are seeing a growing number of patients that are experiencing dryness of their mouths and a number of dental issues associated with this dryness.

In fact, some dryness of the mouth can be so severe that it is not just uncomfortable, it becomes very painful. Additionally, there are times when the throat is so parched, that a person can’t even swallow.

The Importance of Saliva

You may not have given much thought about saliva, other than the fact that the mouth is moistened by it, but the production of saliva is an important process in the mouth. It not only moistens, but it helps control the levels of  bacteria and fungi in our mouths, aids in chewing, tasting and digestion, cleans, protects and remineralizes teeth, and neutralizes our mouth after acid attacks.

Naturally, when a patient complains about a decrease in the quality and quantity of their saliva, we become concerned.

The condition of persistent dry mouth is called Xerostomia and it is a common side effect of many of the prescription and non-prescription medications we may be taking as well as a manifestation of certain diseases such as Aids, anemia, stroke, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, diabetes and a condition called Sjogren’s syndrome.

Your saliva output can also be damaged by medical treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy, smoking/tobacco products, menopause and dehydration from illnesses, bulimia, excessive sweating, diarrhea, blood loss and burns.

Because our bodies are about 60% water, even a small drop in hydration can affect us immediately, let alone long term. There are over 500 medications that list dry mouth as a possible side effect.

Check out the Colgate Oral Care webpage where the classes of prescription drugs that affect the salivary glands are listed.




If you suspect that you are experiencing dry mouth, speak to your family physician and even your pharmacist as soon as possible. They can, hopefully, find a solution that is right for you.

As dentists, we can recommend that you:

  • Restore any dental issues that have arisen due to dry mouth.
  • Ensure that you are brushing at least 3 times/day and flossing before bed.
  • Limiting your meals to 3-4/day and spacing them out 4-5 hours apart
  • Reduce the amount of sugar you intake
  • Ask your doctor to suggest the vitamins supplements that are right just for you
  • Choose a product from your local pharmacy for help with dry mouth. This includes, sprays, rinses and special toothpastes. You may have to try a few until you find one that works best for you.
  • Chew sugar-less gum or suck on sugar-free lozenges
  • Drink more water
  • Using a humidifier in your bedroom at night
  • Use a fluoride rinse at bedtime
  • If you use a mouth rinse choose an alcohol/peroxide-free product
  • Avoid weather and activity that causes excessive sweating
  • Use a nasal spray if you are experiencing sinusitis
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages and highly acidic juices
  • Avoid dry food such as crackers and toast
  • Avoid very salty foods

Unfortunately, if dryness of the mouth persists and is left unchecked, it can lead to tooth decay, mouth sores and gum problems. If you would like more information about dry mouth, please follow the link below:




Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533