Your medical health is important to the dental team!

At Maple Mews Dental we cater each dental appointment to our patients specific needs.  We begin each dental hygiene appointment with a medical history update. We are often questioned why we would need to know this information.

Many people are affected by Xerostomia or Dry mouth syndrome and aren’t even aware that they have this condition! Dry mouth is caused when the salivary glands in the mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Having proper saliva flow is important because without it you are more likely to develop tooth decay, gum disease, and mouth sores or thrush.

There are many causes of dry mouth most common being medications or a combination of medications. In fact: there are hundreds of medications including over the counter drugs that list dry mouth as a side effect. The most common type of medications with this side effect include drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, as well as some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and pain medications.

Along with medications, many health conditions can also cause dry mouth and directly effect your oral health. These health conditions include diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, or autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS.

Patients who are under going Cancer treatments can also expect to suffer from dry mouth. Chemotherapy and radiation can directly affect the salivary glands and cause temporary or permanent decreased saliva production.

Other causes of dry mouth can include the use of tobacco, cannabis, alcohol and recreational drugs. Methamphetamine use can cause severe dry mouth and damage to teeth, this is a condition also known as “meth mouth.”

As Dental Health professionals we have solutions and products that we can suggest that can greatly improve saliva flow and help with dry mouth syndrome.

Next time you are in the dental chair don’t be taken back by us questioning your medications or health history.  By knowing your whole health history, we can better manage your oral care and specialize your homecare to fit your personal needs.

Stephanie Bays, RDH , Maple Mews Dental

Your medical health is important to the dental team!

DO YOU HAVE DRY MOUTH?

The most common causes of main contributor of dry mouth, which is referred to as Xerostermia are:

  • Health conditions including diabetes and stroke
  • Alzhimier’s Disease
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Medications 
  • Smoking – tobacco, Vaping and cannabis use
  • Drug and /or Alcohol Use
  • Dehydration

At Maple Mews Dental our team regularly monitors each patients medical conditions, medications and daily habits.  Why ?  To best assess dental concerns and to assist with diagnosis or reason for the dental issues including dry mouth, periodontal or gum disease and dental decay.

Without a solution to assist with dry mouth,  gum disease or decay will reoccur. Finding a solution or aid that will help increase salivary flow is imperative!   

To address dry mouth temporary remedy’s may include:

  • Chewing sugar free gum to stimulate salivary flow
  • Avoid mouth rinses with alcohol
  • Mouthwash designed for dry mouth – best  containing Xylitol
  • Use of a fluoride rinse – to help prevent cavities
  • Use of saliva subtitutes including toothpaste, gums, mints, gel  .. such as Biotene

Long term solutions to battling dry mouth include medication changes, addressing medical issues and changing or quitting cetain habits.

If you experience dry mouth or are concerned if your medications , medical conditions or habits may be affecting your oral health , ask a dental professional at Maple Mews Dental.

Maple Mews Dental Team

DO YOU HAVE DRY MOUTH?

Should my teeth be loose?

        Loose teeth photo why

While a loose tooth can be an exciting time for a child as they anticipate a visit from the tooth fairy, for an adult a loose tooth is a concern.  In an adult a loose tooth does not occur without a cause.  You may notice the loose or mobile tooth while eating, brushing and flossing or it may initially be diagnosed during a dental visit.

The most common cause of a loose tooth, or teeth in an adult is advanced gum disease.  When bacteria is not removed, it can attack the gums and bone surrounding the teeth, leading to loss of support of the teeth.  Other symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, red or swollen gums, and bad breath.   Gum disease is the result of poor dental hygiene including home care.  If you don’t brush and floss regularly and don’t visit the dental hygienist regularly, tartar or calculus builds up causing damage to the tissues surrounding the teeth.  Gum disease IS treatable, however if left untreated the disease can lead to tooth loss.

At Maple Mews Dental our dental hygienists regularly perform a thorough procedure called a Periodontal Examination.  By examining and measuring the pocket depths (the space between the tooth and gum) around each tooth with a dental instrument, gum disease can be detected, diagnosed and treated.

Loose teeth - Perio disease (002)Other causes of loose teeth may include:

  • Teeth Grinding
  • Injury to the face and mouth
  • Broken tooth

Once a diagnosis is made and the cause of the loose tooth is identified, treatment can begin immediately.  Gum disease in early stages can be reversed. Scaling, frequently known as dental cleaning will remove the bacteria and tartar, allowing the tissues around the teeth to heal.  Treatment of gum disease is an ongoing process.  Gum disease at more advanced stages may require gum surgery.

If the cause of loose teeth is grinding or bruxism, it can be treated with tooth splinting, adjusting of the way the teeth close together and or a nightguard or appliance to wear to reduce the damage to the teeth.

Good oral hygiene practices can prevent loose teeth caused by gum disease. Brush 2-3 times daily, floss daily and visit the dental hygienist regularly – at least twice a year! At the first sign of a loose tooth or teeth, do not wait … call the dentist immediately !

Maple Mews Dental Team 

Should my teeth be loose?

Bad Breath & Your Tongue!

tongue

Do you brush and floss faithfully every day and still have bad breath? Are you cleaning your tongue?  Your tongue is the perfect place for bacteria to thrive! Your tongue is rough with grooves, great spots for bacteria to gather!  Bacteria on your tongue can often be the culprit of bad breath.

Your tongue can be simply cleaned by brushing your tongue as part of your regular oral health care routine .  Simply use your toothbrush to brush your tongue after you have brushed your teeth…. Be sure to get the sides and the back . Use reasonable pressure to ensure you are successful in removing the bacteria on the tongue.

Tongue scrapers are a great alternative to using a toothbrush to clean your tongue.  The tongue scraper can be dragged along your tongue from back to front, to pull any bacteria to the front of the tongue.

Cleaning your tongue should be a part of your daily oral care routine. When you brush and floss, clean your tongue too!   Bad breath stinks…. Brush your tongue to win the bad breath battle !! 

tongue brush

Maple Mews Dental Team 

Bad Breath & Your Tongue!

Do Children’s Teeth Matter ?

children smiling

YES! Children’s teeth , called baby or primary teeth absolutely matter !   Many people think that the “baby or primary” teeth are not important .. they fall out, so how could they be?  When the baby teeth fall out , they are replaced with  permanent or adult teeth … these are more important , or are they?

Let me set the record straight !  All teeth are important! Despite the shorter life span of baby or primary teeth, they serve an important role in each child’s oral health and development.

PROPER CHEWING

  • Just as the adult or permanent teeth , the baby teeth are important for chewing and biting. Children need to chew to be able to eat the proper foods to get the proper nutrients to grown

SPACE HOLDERS

  • Baby or primary teeth are space holders for the permanent teeth. If the primary teeth are missing, it can cause problems for the adult teeth to develop correctly and in the right place.

SELF-ESTEEM

  • Even children can feel self- conscious about missing teeth. It is important to keep the primary teeth healthy to ensure a beautiful smile. Self- esteem issues can start at a young age.

HEALTHY SMILES

  • Regular home dental care and regular dental visits are the key to a healthy smile at any age. Tooth problems and dental pain can lead to bigger issues in primary and permanent teeth.

It may be tempting to skip brushing or flossing the baby or primary teeth and to avoid visiting the dentist with small children  ..DON’T !  Remember that the care you give to your children’s smile at a young age, will affect your child’s oral health and development.

The Maple Mews Dental team loves smiles of all ages.  Our team starts seeing children’s smiles from the time teeth begin to erupt, as early as age 1 . If you have questions about your primary or baby teeth, please ask, we are more than happy to educate you about smiles of ages.

Maple Mews Dental Team 

 

 

Do Children’s Teeth Matter ?

Baby’s Teeth

babysmile2

The Canadian Dental Association and the Maple Mews Dental team agree that starting with a dental visit as early as Age 1, is a good start to developing a great oral care routine.  Educating our patients, even before a child is born about the development of an infants teeth and an infants oral care is routine practice for our team at Maple Mews Dental.

  • It is important to clean an infants gums … Use a cloth to wipe the baby’s mouth . Just like cleaning every other nook and cranny of the infant is important … so is the mouth.
  • Most infants will get their first tooth or teeth between age 6 – 12 months
  • During teething the gums may be inflamed or swollen and drooling is common
  • Plan an infants first dental visit at age 1( One)
  • Usually the lower front teeth are the first teeth to develop
  • Use a small toothbrush or “finger brush” to clean your infants teeth
  • Most primary or baby teeth are developed by age 3
  • Toothpaste is not needed at this early age – just water and the brush
  • If you have any concerns call the dental office for a dental visit

Oral care and teething for infants can be challenging .  The earlier an oral care routine is developed , the easier it is for the child and parent.  Ask our team at your next visit, or give us a call at 905-632-2442, the Maple Mews Dental team is happy to answer your questions .

baby teeth chart

 

Baby’s Teeth

You should be visiting the dentist IF…..

At Maple Mews Dental we encourage regular visits to the dentist for all ages…from infants to the elderly!  Good oral health is an important part of your overall  health.  Often, we take care of our mind and body and forget about our mouth and teeth!

If you are having any of the following you should plan a visit to the dentist for a dental examination.

  • Infection or abscess in your mouth
  • Broken teeth
  • Pain or swelling in your mouth, on the gums or around the teeth
  • Mobile or loose teeth
  • Tooth Sensitivity to hot, cold and / or sweets
  • Any unusual lumps of bumps or sore spots in your mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Missing teeth
  • Bad taste or odour from your mouth
  • TMJ or jaw pain
  • Bleeding gums
  • Blocked salivary gland
  • Loose or lost crowns or bridges
  • Tooth decay

Many dental conditions can negatively affect your overall health.   Research has linked Gum disease which can be indicated by bleeding gums to diabetes, kidney and heart disease.  Lumps, bumps, lesions in the mouth and blocked salivary glands can be a sign of oral cancer.

It’s very important to make oral health a priority.  At Maple Mews Dental a dental examination includes: examination of your teeth, all tissue in your mouth including lips, cheeks and tongue, and a head and neck examination.  A dental examination can detect gum disease, decay and oral cancer.

Visit Dr. Rzepka, Dr Parker or one of our dental hygienists at Maple Mews Dental for a dental examination.  Call 905-632-2442 today to schedule your dental appointment.

Be safe and be healthy!

Maple Mews Dental Team

You should be visiting the dentist IF…..

How do you wash your hands?

HANDWASHING

How well do you wash your hands?  You would think with all the handwashing and hand sanitizing that we are doing that we would be doing it perfectly , but are we?  Are we spending the the time and getting all areas of our hands or are we rushing to just do it !

Generally, in dentistry we are telling people “ Don’t rush your brush”.  Brushing your teeth takes time … each time you brush your teeth, you should be spending at least 2 minutes ! Two minutes 2-3 times a day will take care of your smile!

Handwashing takes time too… 20 seconds many times a day will wash away the germs on your hands.

The Maple Mews Dental Team loves this handwashing video ! Check it out here – handwashing.  … It’s a great visual reminder to not only take the time to wash your hands, but to do it thoroughly!

Happy Hand Washing!

Maple Mews Dental Team

How do you wash your hands?

Changes!Getting into the new Norm!

So many things have changed in the past few months … from children’s schooling to the way we grocery shop.  Gone are the days of just running to pick up something quickly .. I was never known for my patience.  I would certainly say I am much more patient now then I ever was !

I have been fortunate to continue working throughout this period and although I miss being with the Maple Mews Dental team and seeing patients, I am confident the day will come soon that we will be able to open the dental practice to see patients, and do what we do best, work alongside our patients to maintain oral health and create beautiful smiles. For the time being, I am in the office working closely with Dr Rzepka and Dr Parker to triage and take care of dental emergencies.  Like many other professionals, dentists including Dr Rzepka and Dr. Parker started offering phone and video services to take care of patients and clients with urgent needs.  “ Teledentistry” has become the norm during this time to address our patients dental concerns and emergencies, seeing in office patients only as necessary to reduce risks for both patients and our team.

Just like grocery shopping, the visit to the dentist looks very different.  We are social distancing, we are wearing masks, even me at the front desk, we are screening every patient and visitor to the office over the phone and upon arrival and taking the temperature of each person upon arrival to the office.  A glass front desk enclosure was installed last week … I am so pleased with it … I know I feel safer and know you will too when you visit Maple Mews Dental !  We are working diligently to be prepared to see patients for more than just emergency services, and when we get the green light from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons to do so, we will be ready!

Laura Mara, Office Manager, Maple Mews Dental

Changes!Getting into the new Norm!

Cannabis & Your Dental Health

cannabis

You may notice, when you visit Maple Mews Dental for your dental visit, that the dental hygienist or dentist will ask you about cannabis use when updating your current health information. WHY?

  • Cannabis use can affect your oral health by putting you at higher risk for cavities, gum disease and oral cancer. Like smoking, it decreases the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva is important in neutralizing acidity in the mouth. It is the acidity that weakens the tooth structure.
  • How cannabis is consumed is also important information. Ingestion of cannabis will have less effect on your oral health vs. inhalation which is associated with increased risk of oral cancer.
  • Cannabis can affect the medication or anesthetic used during a dental appointment. It is important to advise the dental hygienist or dentist if cannabis has recently been consumed.  Cannabis may possibly cause a drug interaction which may lead to a medical emergency.
  • Whether cannabis is being used for recreational or medicinal purposes is also good information to have. Frequent, long term use of cannabis can lead to higher risk of cavities, gum disease and oral cancer. By knowing how often cannabis is used, we can design an individualized program to help prevent potential oral health risks.

See also vaping and the effects on oral health ! VAPING

Christine, Dental Hygienist, Maple Mews Dental

 

Cannabis & Your Dental Health