Your Smile Dental Care blog


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Bad Breath Buster

Ready for Fresh Breath?

So, you’ve just spent 5 minutes carefully and attentively brushing your teeth and flossing. They feel great and your mouth smell minty fresh – or does it?

What about that other place in your mouth full of strands of tissue that make the perfect hiding place for all of those nasty germs that you just brushed off your teeth?

Your TONGUE!

Look at your tongue right now. Does it look clean? Chances are there is some degree of coating on your tongue and removing this odour-causing buildup should become part of your home care routine every day.

It’s easy to forget the tongue while you’re busy focusing on your teeth and gums, but bacteria, plaque, viruses, food and dead cells love to accumulate amid all the nooks and crannies on your tongue and contribute to poor oral health and bad breath. In fact, studies show that up to 80% of bad breath originates on the tongue.

The tongue has the heaviest bacterial count of any part of your mouth!

I’m sure everyone is familiar with that sulphurous odour that smells like rotten eggs. Well, the reason why bad breath is such a common problem is that the germs on the tongue produce this smelly gas, yet it is an area of the mouth that is often overlooked during our home care.

And it’s not enough to just clean your tongue with a toothbrush after you have taken care of your teeth. The toothbrush id designed for the smooth, solid surfaces of your teeth and gums whereas your tongue has a rougher, hair-like landscape. Germs must be scraped out of these deep areas not just brushed around. Mouth rinses are not effective either in removing this coating and many brands contain alcohol which “dry out” the mouth allowing the breeding of even more bacteria.

Tongue Scraper

Tongue Scrapers

Although there are tons of products on the market to clean your tongue, we advise our patients to stick to the tongue scrapers such as the one in the photo above. Used once in the morning and again during the day, these scrapers are glided along the tongue’s surface in a back to front direction bringing the white coating forward and off the tongue. This will help eliminate the bacteria and their volatile odours.

Be careful not to scrape too harshly as you can irritate the tongue’s surface. It is also important to keep well hydrated during the day as a dry mouth also contributes to bad breath. Using sugar-free gums and mints during the day can assist your salvia in keeping your mouth moist. If dry mouth has been a problem for you, you may want to read our article, “Dry Mouth.” You can access it here:

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The Mouth-Body Connection

If you have persistent bad breath or you suspect that the coating on your tongue is more than just a collection of germs or food you should come in for a dental examination as soon as possible. There are other conditions/diseases of the tongue that cause discolouration, swelling or flaking of the tongue’s tissue that require more attention than just a simple cleaning. Most are easily treated with medication while others can be more serious or even life threatening.

Bad breath can result from gum disease, cavities or any number of health conditions. It is important to remember that your mouth is an area of the body where illnesses of the body often manifest themselves. We refer to this as the Mouth-Body connection and during dental examinations we see more than just your teeth and gums.

Please talk to us about your concerns. We’re here to help.

Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care  Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com


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Prolonging Your Teeth Whitening

How to Prevent Discolouration of Whitening

 

Tooth whitening is still a popular and effective way to brighten Your Smile without removing any of your natural tooth surface. With all the commercial and dental professional whitening solutions available, your choices are many.

 

Cost           Treatment time           Effectiveness

These are the top 3 things that most people will consider when choosing a whitening product. Very few of us have brilliantly white teeth and there are many things that can cause discolouration of the surface enamel including aging.

 

How light will it go and How long will it last???

These are the 2 most commonly asked questions about whitening: How light will the teeth become and how long can they expect the brighten to stay.

Not every person achieves the same results. Most people get great results, while others are not as satisfied. Some people have to try different products or methods until they find the one that works best for them. While still other, do not follow after-care recommendations that can prevent or slow down the re-staining of teeth.

How Light Can I Go?

How much your teeth will lighten depends on a number of factors. The effectiveness of whitening will vary from person to person and product to product.

 

In general:

1) Some kits come with a shade guide so you can determine your existing teeth colour before whitening then do an after-treatment comparison.

2) Teeth with grey undertones do not lighten as well as yellow teeth do

3) Depending on the product of choice, teeth should improve 3-6 shades lighter

4) If you are not happy with the whitening results after trying different products/methods then you may want to consider dental veneers.

5) How effective a commercial product is will depend on the amount of whitening agent (usually hydrogen peroxide) it contains.

 

 

How Long Will It Last?

Again, this varies from person to person. Some people whiten once/month, while others once/year. Some people say that anything that can stain a white shirt may stain teeth. So, basically, if you’re not whitening, your darkening.

 

You can keep your teeth whiter for longer by following these tips:

1) Avoid foods that stain teeth such as richly pigmented wines/juices/ fruit/vegetables/spices like turmeric/balsamic/condiments/soya sauce

2) Avoid or cut down on coffee/tea which contain tannins that stain.

3) Use a straw if you would like your richly coloured drink to bypass your teeth.

4) Rinse your mouth immediately after eating. Do not brush, however, for at least 20minutes. Your teeth may still be soft from bacterial acid attacks and you may scratch enamel surface. Food pigments can hide in these scratched areas.

5) Acidic foods and drinks can cause etching to your enamel surface increasing the likelihood of more staining

6) Avoid abrasive toothbrushes and toothpastes that can abrade teeth and ruin their protective coating.

7) Some foods can create a protective coating over your teeth – like cheese. You can eat then before eating foods you think may stain your teeth.

8) Good oral hygiene is a must to keep unsightly plaque from accumulating which also picks up stains from the food/drinks we consume.

9) Understand, the bacteria acids can erode and pit teeth which allows a place for food stains to accumulate.

10) Check food labels. Many foods have colourants you may not even be aware of.

11) Some whitening systems include a touch-up kit that allows you to do a quick lightening at intervals.

Other Considerations:

Sensitivity – We always recommend that our patient brush with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. This is because sometimes the whitening process can make teeth and even gums feel sensitive, even painful. Using a Sensitive Toothpaste will help reduce the likelihood of sensitivity or reduce it dramatically. This will allow you to perform the treatment for the recommended length of time without interruption or discomfort.

 

Clean Teeth – We also advise that you have your teeth professionally cleaned before whitening. By doing so, your dental professional will be able to remove some surface staining during the polishing procedure and tartar (calculus) that you already have on your tooth surface. You will ideally like to have the whitening solution contact enamel surface without having to penetrate through hard stone tartar.

 

Origin – Know where your whitening product comes from and it’s ingredients if your are purchasing your whitening from anywhere other than a dental office or reputable pharmacy. If you are having in-office bleaching anywhere other than a dental office then be aware of the place of manufacture and ingredients. If you are not able to review the product or care provider properly, then research or ask your dentist before starting treatment.

 

Existing Dental Work – Lastly, some people are disappointed to learn that whitening can only change the shade of existing, natural teeth. Dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, white fillings and the false teeth on dentures are unaffected by the whitening procedure. If this is the case, you’ll want to speak with your dentist about other treatment options to help brighten your smile.

 

Have more questions about Teeth Whitening?
Give us a call today at (905) 5 SMILES and our friendly team will be happy to help you!

 

 

The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 


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Kick the Thumb Sucking Habit!

 It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it!

Babies are born with a very strong instinct to suck, which is often evident even in the womb. Of course, this is necessary for successful feeding and there are distinctive actions that are associated with this need such as a rooting (search for breast) reflex, turning the head, sticking out their tongues, hand to mouth reflex, and fussing. This natural behaviour in babies can lead parents to think that their baby is hungry or not getting enough to eat.

 

These actions ensure a baby’s survival, and although the sucking action can be a complicated task at first, with practice, it usually becomes a skill that they master well. It’s actually the hand/finger to mouth instinct that, if it turns from a reflexive to a soothing action, should be monitored so that it doesn’t turn into a behavioural habit.

 

Depending on which “expert” you read, this type of self-soothing can be a calming strategy, a sign of a deeper rooted emotional issue or an early addiction. Addiction seems to be a rather harsh assessment of a natural, self-preservation action, but nonetheless, it is a habit that can be physically destructive to the developing mouth, jaws and teeth and this is what dentists are concerned with. What may start out as a good night sleep for both children and parents and the subject of many “cute” Kodak moments (over 14,000 public posts on Instagram) can turn into a habit-breaking nightmare.

 


“If thumb sucking persists, it can drastically change the developmental pattern of the teeth and jaws
causing open bite, protrusion and misalignment.”


 

We see the after affects of thumb sucking and finding the best suited, habit-correcting solution for your child requires patience and determination from everyone concerned. Many parents, who were initially told that this habit will correct itself naturally before their child enters kindergarten, will be the first to say that they wished they had taken measures to stop it earlier. Most agree that, if they could turn back time, they would have helped their child find another self-coping alternative rather than allow the thumb sucking to become a comfortable or entertaining habit.

 

There are a variety of habit-correcting appliances on the market that can be made by your dentist or, alternatively, there are products that are placed over the hand/fingers. All are designed to make it more difficult for your child to enjoy this habit and nip it in the bud before any orthodontic or speech problems develop.

 
All children are different and only you know your child best. Your dentist will help you explore the options available and help you choose one. Certainly, the more entrenched the habit is, the more difficult it may be to correct. Sometimes, it takes more than one method to find the one that works best for you and your child.

 

Tips to Help Your Child:

1. Begin the conversation – Help them to decide to quit by speaking with them about their habit and understand it’s harmful affects. Discuss germs, dental growth, speech problems, maturity, show them pictures and online videos, etc. Stay positive so that they can visualize the healthy outcome.

 

2. Plant the seeds of success – Words are your best ally. Use positive motivational phrases to inspire and empower them.

 

3. Reward – Rewards are incentives that help motivate and compliment their efforts. It could be smaller daily rewards as well as larger ones at key milestones that you have mutually agreed upon. It will not only add encouragement, but give them something to look forward to.

 

4. Progress Charts – Oftentimes, we have to break up our undertaking into a series of smaller goals. Have your child make up a chart with stickers to keep track of their progress and setbacks. Provide them with a reward every time they reach a pre-arranged goal. Understanding that this is a work in progress helps them top appreciate that anything that is worth having is worth working for.

 

5. Replace Habit – Help your child choose a healthy alternative to thumb sucking for self-soothing. It could be a soft, cuddly toy/blanket, an age-appropriate meditative exercise, or just some extra hugs and cuddles.

 

6. Identify – Knowing when and where your child enjoys the habit can help you be more effective in your approaches to curb the habit and help you substitute distractions or find creative solutions. Point out to your child when the habit is occurring so that they will learn to become self-aware and begin to recognise it on their own.

  

We understand. More often than not, the power struggle between parent and child becomes very real when the child is not a willing participant in breaking this habit. Finding the right balance of support and guidance without scolding can try even the most patient parent. 

If you are concerned about your child’s thumb sucking or any other dental issue, we are just a phone call away at (905) 5SMILES. We can help you find a solution even if it’s just having a caring conversation with your child to reinforce your efforts at home.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The Sudden Appearance of Cavities

The Tooth Sleuth…

 

20170123_122329Why does tooth decay suddenly begin in patients who have had no history of multiple cavities?

This is actually a common question that is not generally an age-specific misfortune as much as it tends to be a lifestyle occurrence. It is understandable why someone becomes frustrated and very concerned about the sudden appearance of tooth decay when they have had great teeth their whole lives with little or no decay.

Cavities can occur at any age and without warning. Some factors we can control, while others are a more complicated set of circumstances. The sudden appearance of cavities depends on someone’s individual situation, so it often becomes a fact-finding mission for both the dentist and the patient.

 

You may not think of dentists as detectives, but it is one of the many roles we assume as healthcare practitioners

 

Narrowing down the cause can be tricky, but here are a few of the most common culprits:

 

Cavities under fillings – Like anything that is man-made and designed to replace something that is natural, there are limitations. Fillings can wear down, chip or lose their marginal seal with the tooth allowing bacterial acids to seep in and cause cavities under fillings. Maintaining regular dental check-ups allow us to monitor the integrity and health of teeth and their existing restorations.

Orthodontic treatment – Wearing braces, especially the new Invisalign type of braces, give food and plaque more places to hide making it more difficult to see and remove them. Your food choices and attention to the detail when tooth brushing becomes very important to reduce your likelihood for tooth decay. Your orthodontist will warn you of the higher susceptibility for cavities when wearing braces and make recommendation that should be followed diligently.

Dietary change – A sudden change in what and how often you eat and drink can have a huge impact on the health of your teeth, Ideally, you should allow 4-5 hours in between food intake so that your saliva can repair (remineralize) the damage from the acid attacks that occur during meals. If you have acquired a new habit such as frequent snacking, sipping coffee all day, chewing sugar gums/candies, drinking more pop/juices/alcohol, or using throat lozenges you may be putting your teeth at risk for more tooth decay.

Nutritional Deficiencies – The quantity and quality of our saliva is impacted greatly by nutrition. The immunoglobulin, proteins and minerals in saliva help to protect and repair our teeth, so any deficiencies in our food intake or health can and will affect the efficiency of saliva.

Dry Mouth – Saliva plays an important reparative, cleansing, buffering and digestive role in our mouth. A disruption in the quantity and quality of saliva  can put you at risk for more cavities. Illness, medications, medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, stress, weather, alcohol-based mouth rinses, and even the addition of exercise can affect the character of your saliva and it’s ability to do it’s job efficiently. Never ignore dry mouth. Read all about dry mouth here.

Medication – Did you know that there are hundreds of medications that can affect the quality and quantity of your saliva and impact the health of your teeth? Even over-the-counter products such as anti acids, antihistamines, and cough syrups can be harmful to your teeth with prolonged use. Check with your pharmacist about your medications to help narrow down the ones that can cause dry mouth. Perhaps, they can then suggest an alternative and check with your physician about a change in prescription.

Vomiting – When stomach acids make frequent contact with your teeth it can lead to the eroding away of the enamel eventually resulting in a mouth full of cavities. Frequent acid refluxing, prolonged illnesses and eating disorders that use the elimination of meals just eaten, are serious matters that cause nutritional deficiencies and cause an increase in cavities.

Teeth Whitening – We believe that the frequent use of teeth whitening products can eventually cause the wearing away of protective enamel. Moderation is key here and your dentist will advise you as to what is considered a safe, but effective whitening regime for your specific-to-you situation.

Oral Hygiene – Have you changed your oral care routine? Changing toothbrushes, eliminating fluoride, slacking off with brushing and flossing, brushing too hard or excessively and even choosing a natural oral care product can all lead to more cavities. We had one patient who switched to an electric toothbrush but did not know that they were missing the entire gum line area resulting in cavities all along this area. And, as popular as some homemade and natural remedies are, care must be taken to choose a product that is both effective and gentle on teeth and gums.

Fluoride Intake – Fluoride is actually an element that is found in rocks, soil, fresh water and ocean water. Over 70 years ago, it was discovered that populations living and ingesting naturally occurring fluoride had significantly better teeth – in both health and appearance – than those who did not. Many municipalities decided to add 1 part/million fluoride to community drinking water. Today, we still see the evidence of better oral health in fluoridated areas.

Relocation – Sometimes, just moving from one geographical location to another can lead to significant lifestyle changes in terms of habits and access to health and healthy choices. Students who move away from home may find it difficult to maintain healthy habits and make wise nutritional choices. People who move to an underdeveloped area may struggle accessing good nutrition and healthcare. Even a lack of fluoridated water has been shown to impact oral health.

Receding Gums – When your gums recede, the soft root of the tooth is exposed, making it more susceptible to decay and the scrubbing action of your toothbrush. The tissue covering the root is half the hardness of protective enamel. Root exposure and the eventual cavities and abrasion crevices cavities is a common dental problem, especially in older persons and those who use a hard toothbrush or brush to harshly and in in those.

Medical treatments – As unavoidable as they are, some medical treatments affect your oral health and result in unexpected tooth decay. Medical treatments can cause altered taste, saliva changes, mouth irritations, damaged tissues, sensitivity, vomiting, difficulty eating and swallowing, delayed dental treatment, and can disrupt home oral hygiene. All can play a role in an increased likelihood of cavities. At Your Smile Dental Care, we suggest a pre-treatment examination to record baseline charting, identify and treat dental problems and provide oral hygiene education before your medical treatment begins.

Sharing Salvia – Dental disease is an infectious disease. You can be contaminated with the saliva from another person through kissing, sharing a toothbrush or eating utensil. Is cross-contamination capable of actually causing tooth decay ? Saliva is laced with germs and some people have more of the tooth damaging bacteria than others. It is thought that mother’s can pass on bacteria to their children and, in turn, increase the likelihood of decay in the child when they share spoons, so it stands to reason that this is not the only situation where one’s mouth germs can directly affect the quantity and types of germs in another’s mouth. Sometimes, sharing is not caring!

Work Routine – Even something as seemingly insignificant as a change in your work time hours, such as switching from days to nightshift, can affect the way you prioritize and approach your oral care and eating habits. Exhaustion, insomnia, stress, a hurried life can all impact your usual routine and put you at risk for additional tooth decay. Scour the internet to find some great practical tips on how to manage work shifts better.

Don’t make cavities part of your future…

These are all examples of some of the changes that can occur in your life that you may want to consider and review if you notice that you are suddenly being diagnosed with more cavities, more often than usual. A solid review of your nutritional, dental and medical history may reveal something that could account for the high incident of tooth decay. Hopefully, by process of elimination, you and your dentist will be able to narrow in on one or a few of your risk factors and implement some changes in your life now so that tooth decay will not become a recurrent problem.

 

 

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Yours In Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Cracked Tooth Syndrome

My Dentist said that my tooth is cracked and needs to be taken out. Can it not just be filled in?

Although enamel is the hardest substance in our body (way more harder than bone) and can withstand a great deal of wear and tear, certain stresses can still put our beautiful smiles at risk for fracturing.

There are many types of cracked teeth and your treatment options will depend on the location, type and severity of the fracture. Even a perfectly healthy tooth can develop a crack severe enough to end the life of that tooth.

Understand that a cracked tooth is different than a chipped tooth. Unlike bone, enamel cannot repair a crack by filling it in with more enamel. Most teeth that chip or fracture a cusp is repaired using filling material or the placement of a full coverage crown when the break occurs in the crown portion of the tooth. Even teeth that break off at the gum line can still be built back up again.

However, there are some breaks to the tooth that actually cause a fracture line to occur down into the root or split the tooth partially or entirely. Once the crack reaches below the gum line and into the root surface, the condition is untreatable and the tooth must be removed.

Signs & Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth:

– pain while biting or chewing
– sensitivity to hot or cold
– portion of the crown is mobile (loose)
– infected pulp
– a toothache that comes and goes
– no signs or symptoms

 

“Cracked tooth syndrome describes a tooth with an incomplete fracture but no part of the tooth has broken off yet.”

 

Although early detection and treatment is essential to minimize the risks associated with a compromised tooth, sometimes, a cracked tooth is hard to detect when the signs and symptoms are not always obvious and dental imaging does not show the fracture. Other times, it is evident to us, but the patient is completely unaware that they have a fractured tooth.

If your dentist has advised that your tooth needs to be removed, it is likely that the break is severe and deep enough that the tooth cannot be saved and must be removed and replaced. This is why regular dental checkups and exams are so important.

Hope as a Strategy…

We have patients who ask us how long they can wait until they have the time or finances to repair a cracked tooth. One can only hope that the situation will not worsen, but hope can be a poor strategy when dealing with a fracture line. Without the assistance of a crystal ball, we cannot determine with certainty how long someone can wait to delay treatment. Experience tells us that, in order to the disappointing loss of a tooth, fractures should be at least be examined to determine what type of crack you’re dealing with.

A simple cracked or chip in the enamel can be smoothed off until it can be repaired properly. However, deeper fractures that reach into the dentinal or nerve chamber must be treated quickly so that the problem does not worsen and cause an infection, crack the root or split the tooth.

Prevention: The Better Strategy

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As the saying goes, “Do something now that your future self will thank you for.” Taking some preventative steps now can reduce the likelihood of tooth fractures in the future.

1.  An unbelievable amount of force is exerted your teeth is you clench and grind at night. Your dentist can make you a custom-fitted night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.

2. Wear a protective mouth guard and/or mask during high risk activities such as sports.

3. If you chew on hard objects like pencils and ice or use your teeth to open/hold objects ~Stop! Be extra careful also when eating food with bones, kernels or seeds/pits.

4. Follow the recommendation of your dentist when they advise you to have a crown placed on teeth that are most vulnerable to fracturing such as those with large fillings or have been root canal treatment.

Your teeth can serve you well for a lifetime if they are not treated as an afterthought. Following these prevention tips, having regular dental check-ups and attending to any necessary restorative care when they are small issues does not rob you of your choice and focus as emergency situations often do.

And, if you experiencing any of the aforementioned signs and symptoms, see your dentist immediately!

Yours in Better Dental Health,

The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

 


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Gummy Smile

Treating the Gummy Smile…

gummy-smile-correctionDo you think you show too much gum when you smile?

When you smile, usually the lip sits just above the teeth and only a very small amount of gum tissue is visible. In some cases, however, a disproportionate amount of gum tissue is exposed when smiling, and, while this is not unattractive nor an issue for many people, others look to have this corrected.

The scale we use is:

Mild:  1-25%

Moderate: 25-50%

Advance: 50-100%

Severe: more than 100%

Rest assured, there are many solutions for correcting a gummy smile and your treatment options will depend on the nature of your particular condition which could involve the jaw, gums, teeth or a combination of these structures. Your dentist will discuss the diagnostic findings with you and an appropriate treatment recommendation will advised.

“A gummy smile can be mild to advanced and identifying the cause is the first step.”

 

Non Surgical

Botox – Botox injections is a simple and temporary correction that is non-invasive and allows you to see results before trying surgery. The injections will weaken/paralyze the muscles of the upper lip to control the amount of lip retraction so that more of your gums are covered when you speak and smile. The amount of injections depends on how strong the muscle is and sometimes, the muscle is just too strong or the gummy condition too extensive for any effective results. This treatment option is only temporary and must be repeated every 3-9 months to maintain your new smile.

 

Surgical

Some surgeries to correct gummy smiles are more invasive than others and treatment recommendations will depend on the severity and type of gummy smile. It is also common to combine treatments to help achieve the best result.

gummy-smile-before-and-after

Lip repositioning – This involves making a small incision along the gum tissue to separate the inside of the upper lip from where it meets the gum line and repositioning it. This will limit the retracting movement of the lip and allow it to assume a lower position over the gums and keep closer to the teeth when you smile. This is a permanent procedure with a quick healing time and minimal after-surgery discomfort.

Short lip length – If the length of your upper lip is too short then it may not adequately cover your gums. This is often successfully corrected with lip repositioning surgery.

11-7-2016-3-25-15-pmJaw Orientation – The position of your upper jaw and the amount of vertical length can be excessive and interfere with the lip’s coverage of your upper gums. Orthognathic surgery may be needed in order to reposition the entire upper jaw so that it is more proportionate for an aesthetically pleasing smile.

20161116_171230Frenulum Attachment– If you lift up your upper lip you will notice that there is an extension of tissue that attaches the inside of your upper lip to the gums. This is called a frenulum and a surgical procedure can be done using local anaesthetic to cut and release or elongate this tissue so that your upper lip can then cover your gums more.

Short teeth – Gum tissue is removed to reveal more tooth crown or to achieve a more proportionately amount of visible gum line. Using a laser or electro-surgical cauterizing tool, the gums are re-contoured to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing shape, symmetry, length of the gum line. This is often done when teeth are short due to insufficient eruption and sometimes, the underlying bone may also need to be re-shaped.

Strong levator muscles – If the lifting (levator) muscles in the upper lip are causing the lip to pull back too far when smiling, they can be surgically cut and weakened to reduce this pulling action. The incision is made on the inside of the lip so that the scar will not show.

Medical conditions/Medications – Some medical conditions and/or their therapies can cause an abnormal overgrowth of gum tissue which covers the crown portion of the tooth. The gum tissue can be trimmed back to reveal more tooth structure.

noelia

Looking at this image. You can see the upper lip is in a lower
position now that the levator muscles have been relaxed. This “mild”
gummy smile was easily corrected.

 

Not every person with a gummy smile considers it a hindrance nor an impact to their enjoyment of life, comfort, and well-being. However, if you are reluctant to smile and are looking for a solution, speak to your dentist and they will assess your smile. If, in their opinion, the correction should be evaluated by a dental specialist, they will make the appropriate referral for you.

Your Smile is a wonderful expression and we hope you have many reasons to use it!

The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416)783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 


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Online Dental Dangers

02-05-2016 11-01-53 AMThe Dangers of Self-diagnosing

Recently, a patient gave themselves a bit of a scare. Without going into too much detail, it was a case of cyberchondria due to online DIY dental diagnosing and they wanted us to share their story.

We are big on self-advocating and taking ownership of your medical and dental health or the lack there of, but we have had more than our share of patients misdiagnosing themselves or using home remedies as advised online.

Such is the paradox of access to information. Amid the online scholarly journals and other credible medical publications is a plethora of well-intentioned sites with inaccurate or misleading information. Bolstering the claims and lending credibility to these sites are testimonies and/or links to other web pages that may or may not contain other unreliable recommendations.

The Well-Connected Patient

02-05-2016 3-28-20 PMThe explosion of both credible and incredible online information can be both empowering and dangerous to the well-connected patient looking to enlighten themselves. We find ourselves spending more and more time dispelling incredible claims while warning of the hazards of others. We are also facing a growing number of skeptical people – people who are dubious of our advice rather than these online claims.

So, who’s judgment do you turn to for sound dental advice?
Well, nothing convinces like the truth. Eventually, patients who have tried home remedies, come into our office seeking redress while we attempt to mitigate the damage. The price people pay for DIY dentistry can range from the unnecessary scare that misdiagnosing can bring to the pain and infection that often results from delayed treatment.

Back to our patient…

We will use some licence here to change a bit of the facts about the aforementioned case to preserve patient anonymity, but it will still convey our message about being cautious about online information. This patient had mistakenly thought that their tooth was infected. When, after a week of oil pulling did not alleviate her symptoms, she made a quick trip to us. A quick examination revealed that a popcorn kernel stuck between her teeth was the source of her badly swollen gum. The offending food item was removed and we are glad to say that, equipped with some home care information, she was quickly on her way back to a healthy smile.

“When in doubt use greater scrutiny”

What to Consider:

Source –   Who is the source of the information? Is the site you are gathering information from using second hand information? Who is the person behind the information? Are they selling a product, viewpoint or belief? Being able to distinguish between a reliable consumer health website with trusted and timely content and one that is self promoting, has a hidden agenda or offering pseudoscientific claims is critical when evaluating credibility. A reliable website identifies the author or source of the information so you can follow up on their credentials and reputation to determine if they have the relevant education, training, or experience that gives them the authority to speak on the matters being presented and that facts are consistent with other authoritative websites.

Date – Content is continually being created and revised, but some websites do not update their information so it’s data may be outdated. Even information from a year ago can be expired. Are you skillful enough to evaluate the how timely the online medical information is? That is, when was it created and how much of the information is still relevant and of value today? FYI: Some websites pages automatically update to the present date, so be careful and ensure that there is a way to find out the correct creation date of the information.

Accuracy – What criteria do you use to determine the validity of a website and it’s contents? What evidence is being offered to support the claims of the website? Anyone can place a testimonial on the site or quote what seems like a reliable source. Many honest, well intentioned people mistaking offer false information. With so much information available, we must be prepared to apply a very high level of scrutiny when determining the legitimacy of a site.

Severity – How severe are your signs and symptoms? Oftentimes, it can be difficult to tell. We recommend that any dental issue that needs immediate attention to prevent tooth loss, relieve ongoing pain, stop bleeding or infection or is the result of trauma/injury should be considered a dental emergency. Many people do not realize that a dental infection can be life-threatening and should have immediate medical attention.

Intention –  Consider why you are turning to online sources of information. Do you want authoritative facts or a different viewpoint? Are you looking for another opinion? Perhaps you are exploring non-traditional medicine.  We encourage our patients to use the internet for general wellness to become better informed about their health. If something needs repair, is diseased, increasing in pain, swollen, infected or needs critical or emergency attention then you must let your healthcare provider evaluate the issue.  Be aware when you try to diagnosis and treat yourself. Understand that health care providers look at your overall signs and symptoms and apply their years of clinical experience and knowledge before making a judgment call and recommending treatment.

Self Advocacy – Part of self advocacy is learning how to get the information you need to become better informed. What will you do with the information? Once you feel you are equipped with some reliable, useful information you need to make a decision about your next move and take ownership of your decisions. It is your right to problem solve yourself, however, it is important to be objective and open enough to realize when you need the help of a professional. When it comes to teeth, all too often, choosing to opt out of professional dental care leads to further damage, more complicated and costly treatment or eventual loss of teeth. Take the case of healing one’s own cavities.  It may surprise you that you CAN heal a cavity, but there are several critical factors involved. Unfortunately, we have yet to see a case of self cavity healing that has not eventually progressed into very deep cavities, many with nerve damage requiring root canals or extraction.

Appearance – Anyone can put up a professional looking medical information site that quotes all kinds of seemingly reliable sources. Do not let appearances deceive you. If the information you want is important to you, dig deeper, think critically. If you dental health is at risk, call your dentist.

Reality Check – Use your logic. Does the information sound too good to be true? If it’s hard to believe, it likely is.  Are broad, generalizations being made while sweeping aside other important details?  Given your past experiences, how much of what is being presented is probable? Do you have a sense that perhaps facts are being distorted or are one-sided?

Remember: The internet is so accommodating that it let’s anyone
contribute material for public consumption.  If you are searching
for reliable and accurate information
then it’s up to you to determine
the validity and accuracy of the content or ask someone who can.

No DIY Denture GlueWhat concerns us is the people who use the Internet to identify their dental problems by matching their symptoms to a likely cause then using the home remedy suggested – whether it’s a coconut oil cure for their infected tooth, an online diet for their cavities or a homemade glue for their loose crown. Unfortunately, dentists have to then manage the patient’s disappointment when their well-intended misadventure causes further dental complications and treatment costs to arise.

It’s true that online self-diagnosis and medical research can be beneficial and even successful when approached responsibly and judiciously. Online searches have saved lives. If what you learn from your online searches can help make positive changes in your life, like eating healthier, exercising, getting more sleep or managing your stress, then that is a great step forward. If an online search about unusual pain makes you call us faster then you’re likely to save a tooth or prevent a condition from spreading.

Your Partner in Dental Health

Our entire team at  Your Smile Dental Care   is dedicated to keeping you and your mouth healthy and your participation is vital to this care. This is why we encourage our patients to take an active role in their dental care by becoming better educated and informed patients.  When it comes to the health of your teeth and gums, the best source of information is your dental team.  As an educated dental patient, you are better equipped to understand your role and responsibilities in supporting our efforts to provide you with up-to-date, quality oral health care. As an informed patient, you are better able to make wise decisions about your oral care and proceed confidently with treatment options.

The more you know – the easier our job is!

 

25-02-2016 11-26-10 AM

Yours in Better Dental Health,

The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com