Safety of fluoride in our water supply

Hi Everyone!

 

Dr.Christakos wrote a very informative blog this week on fluoride safety, we hope you find it informative!

 

Over the last few years, there has been a rising concern regarding the safety of fluoride in our water supply. Despite the mountain of evidence that shows the increased benefits of fluoridated water, there is a population who believe that fluoride has no effect on teeth and that in fact it is unsafe and is doing more harm than good.

 

Dental caries (tooth cavity or decay) is classified as a disease. It is an infection, bacterial in origin, that causes demineralization and destruction of the hard tissues of the teeth. It is a result of the production of acid by bacterial fermentation of food debris accumulated on the tooth surface. If demineralization exceeds saliva and other remineralization factors such as calcium and fluoridated toothpastes and water, these, once hard tissues progressively break down, producing dental caries (cavities or holes in the teeth). Did you know that, caries remain one of the most common diseases throughout the world!

 

One way to help slow down cavities/decay is by using fluoride. Fluoride helps because, when teeth are growing, it mixes with tooth enamel —creating that hard coating on your teeth. This prevents tooth decay. Other benefits of fluoride are that it can help even after your teeth are formed. It works with saliva to protect tooth enamel from plaque and sugars. By one using fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water, everyone can enjoy some cavity protection.

 

Adding fluoride in water has greatly reduced the amount of cavities in children. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has listed water fluoridation as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century!

 

I have seen first hand the effects of the lack of fluoride in water in a community. My sister lives in a community that does not have water fluoridation. Her eldest child developed many cavities and was at the dentist often. I mentioned to my sister that there was no fluoride in the water where she lived. I suggested that she add the fluoride herself (tablets easily available at pharmacies). As a result the cavities stopped, and the next two siblings are cavity free.

 

I may also mention I worked in a community where there was no fluoride in the water. It was astonishing to see the number of cavities in the children that are treated. There was a large number of cavities in children in this community, as compared to the children in Toronto. The discrepancy is attributed to the lack of fluoride in the water.

 

If there is no fluoride in your drinking water, you can safely add fluoride tablets, which are easily found at any pharmacy. Please feel free to visit our office to assist you if you have any questions!

To help you see if your community has fluoridated water in Ontario, please check this list: 

Please feel free to read about the various organizations and their positions on water fluoridation:

Ontario Dental Association

Canadian Dental Association

Health Canada

Center For Disease Control

World Health Organization

Have a great weekend!

Museum Dental

Michael Bulger

What is Xerostomia? Dry Mouth!

Many people suffer from a condition called xerostomia, commonly known as dry mouth. This unpleasant condition may be caused by:

  • Certain diseases and treatments,
  • Use of prescription drugs
  • Emotional stress.

Xerostomia results when a person has an inadequate flow of saliva. Saliva has many important functions in your mouth:

  • It coats and lubricates the oral tissues,
  • cleanses the mouth
  • neutralizes acidic and alkaline foods
  • helps start the process of food digestion

Insufficient saliva production, over a period of time, can lead to poor food digestion, tooth decay and gum disease.

Some at-home treatments include drinking more fluids and using sugarless lozenges and artificial saliva. It is also important to have regular dental checkups and to brush and floss daily. Other ways to ease dry mouth include:

  • Sugar-free gum or candy to stimulate saliva flow
  • Artificial saliva
  • Frequent sips of water
  • Alcohol-free oral rinses
  • Restricting intake of caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.

If you find dry mouth to be a problem, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with us. We can help to identify its source and develop a treatment plan. Feel free to contact our office at 416-922-6848.

We value you as a patient and want you to be as healthy as possible

Michael Bulger

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Hi Everyone!

We've got another great post from Dr.Philip Walton this week, we hope you enjoy it

 

Diagram of gum disease

Heart Disease

 

Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.
Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.

Stroke

 

Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

 

 

 

Michael Bulger

Do you suffer from sensitive teeth?

Does the thought of sinking your teeth into a spoonful of ice cream make you wince? Is sipping a cup of hot coffee a painful experience? You are not alone. One in seven adults experiences tooth hypersensitivity when they eat, drink or even take a breath of cold air. Fortunately, dentistry can offer simple and effective treatments for this uncomfortable condition.

The most common cause of tooth sensitivity is the exposure nerve endings on exposed root surfaces when gums recede. Acidic foods / beverages, gum infections and improper aggressive tooth-brushing technique are common causative factors. Here are some simple ways to reduce tooth sensitivity:

  • Normal tooth sensitivity doesn't linger more than a few seconds to a minute or so after a stimulus has been applied. If you have prolonged tooth pain, then a consultation appointment should be made to rule out other causes.
  • Desensitizing toothpaste works well over time. If the sensitivity is localized to only one area, then place a small amount of the toothpaste on your finger and apply it directly to the sensitive area. Full strength desensitizing toothpaste can relieve the sensitivity fairly quickly.
  • Watch your diet. Try not to finish with acidic foods or drinks. Even finishing a meal or snack with water will help dilute the acids.

If the “at home” remedies do not ease your discomfort, we may suggest in-office techniques: 

  • A fluoride gel, which strengthens tooth enamel or other barriers that reduce the transmission of painful sensations, may be applied to the sensitive areas of the teeth.

Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing gums from receding which is the most common cause of tooth sensitivity. If you brush your teeth incorrectly, or even over-brush, gum and root problems can result. Another, less common cause is the loss of enamel (the outer coating of your teeth). Ask us if you have any questions about how to keep your gums and teeth healthy.

If you have persistent sensitive teeth, please give our office a call at 416-922-6848 to discuss your options and put an end to this problem.

As always, we appreciate you choosing Museum Dental as your dental care provider.

Michael Bulger

Pictures of the office, donation to Philippines disaster.

Dear Patients and friends,

Picture of the Museum Dental before and after.

Over the last year we have received many comments on our Toronto “ Before and After pictures."For those of you that have not noticed these pictures, they were put on display by a Toronto photographer Alden Cudanin. Please follow this link to view the all the pictures in our office. 

Alden is from the Philippines and he has family and friends there. In the wake of the Super Typhoon in the Philippines, everyone is suffering and it is a disaster not only for his loved ones but everyone. Alden has decided he needs to help in some form. Alden and his family here have been doing a little fund raising. He has put together a “Then and Now” Mash-up Photo book of his earlier work and is now selling it to raise money for the folks in the Philippines. All proceeds are going to help out where it is needed

Here's a link to more information about the book sale: www.torontobefore.ca

As well as all the proceeds from the photo book, all proceeds from the sales of Alden’s photographs (from now to December 9) that are up at Museum Dental will also go to helping with the relief efforts.

So with that in mind, we are asking all our patients, friends, and loved ones if you could help spread the word. Forward this info to whom ever, post it on facebook, tweet about etc. Whatever you can do will be greatly appreciated.

Please contact Alden Cudanin at  acudanin@rogers.com You can also contact Maria at the Museum Dental maria@museumdental.ca.

Thank you for helping with a great cause.

Museum Dental

Michael Bulger

Importance of Mouth guards

Imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost one or two of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating—everything would suddenly be affected.

Mouth guards, also called mouth protectors, are soft plastic or laminate oral appliances that help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Knowing how to prevent injuries like these is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.

When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. In fact, studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard.  Other studies show that 75% of injuries of high school athletes occurred because mouth guards were not worn! While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.

Although you can purchase a pre-formed mouthguard or a “boil and bite” mouthguard, the best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist.

A properly fitted mouthguard may be especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouthguard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of soft tissue injuries.

Talk to our office about selecting a mouth guard that will provide the best protection for you. Although mouth guards typically only cover the upper teeth, we may suggest that you use a mouth guard on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth too.

Child or adult, a mouth guard is essential for all athletes. For more information about the right mouth guard for you, consult our office!

Museum Dental

Michael Bulger

Healthy Mouth...Healthy Body

Happy Halloween All!  

Hope you enjoy our blog for the week! 

 While you may not think the health of your teeth and gums affects your overall health, an increasing body of scientific evidence indicates that they may be associated. The bacteria and inflammation associated with severe periodontal disease, or gum disease, have been linked to a variety of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and low birth-weight and pre-term babies.

Given the potential link between periodontal disease and systemic health problems, prevention may be an important step in maintaining overall health. In order to avoid developing periodontal disease, make sure you follow these guidelines:

  •  Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and use a CDA accepted toothpaste with fluoride to help prevent decay.
  • Clean thoroughly between your teeth daily with floss or another inter-dental cleaner.
  • If you need extra help controlling plaque, we can discuss the use of a CDA accepted anti-microbial mouth rinse.
  • See me (your dentist) for regular preventive maintenance dental appointments.

Please call to make an appointment so I can check your teeth and gums. You can reach us at our office: 416-922-6848 or toll free at 1-877-868-5330. It is our pleasure to provide you with outstanding preventative dental care.

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael Bulger

Museum Dental

 

Michael Bulger

Halloween Advice for Children (of All Ages!)

Hi Everyone! 

We hope you all had a great week so far, Dr.B gives us some advice on Halloween candy, which to limit, avoid and the ones we can eat without feeling guilty!  

 Children love Halloween. From dressing up in costumes and “Trick-or-Treating” all the way to feasting on all that candy, there is no other day like it. However, eating too much candy for too long greatly increases the risk of tooth decay (cavities). Cavities can start when bacteria digest the sugars and produce acids that damage the teeth.

Here are some valuable tips to help prevent cavities:

Treats to hand out:

* Bad: Avoid sticky candies (toffees, caramels, gummy bears and even some dried fruits) as well as hard candies (lollipops and jawbreakers) that last a long time in the mouth.

* Better choices are candies and treats that don’t last long in the mouth such as plain chocolate.

* Best choices include sugarless or low sugar treats such as sugarless gum, sunflower seeds, nuts and sugarless lollipops.

Parent Strategies:

* Get your children to trade “Bad” treats for stickers or something they value. That doesn't mean that you, the parent, should eat all those bad treats!

* Allow eating of treats in moderation and pick a good time such as right after a meal when there is a better flow of saliva to buffer and wash away sugar.

* Brush and floss after snacking. If your children don’t have access to a toothbrush, such as at school or at a friend’s house, then give them some sugarless gum to keep the saliva flowing and suggest rinsing with water after treats.

Happy Halloween!

Dr. Michael Bulger

Michael Bulger

Do you have good or bad oral health?

 

Poor oral health is and epidemic shared globally. With the decline in the use of Fluoride both as a toothpaste and municipal water supplement, dentists are now seeing a rapid increase in the number and severity of dental cavities in adults and children.

Cavities are preventable and fluoride is the best way to keep our teeth healthy and strong.

Neither my brother or I have ever had a cavity. My Grandmother worked in a dental office when I was a child and insisted my mother give us  fluoride drops as infants and toddlers and it worked. We grew up in a city that to this day refuses to fluoridate their water. The friends I grew up with have several fillings and in some cases are now having root canals and crowns.

 

Michael Bulger

Dental Crowns

 

Dr.C shares with us some of his experiences with dental crowns and what the benefits are of getting them. Enjoy! 

As a child I was involved in an accident that left me with severely broken front teeth.  Fortunately, we live in a time where broken teeth can be fixed and not have to be extracted.  What was once severely broken down teeth are now beautiful crowns. These crowns are not only aesthetically pleasing but have also preserved what was left of my natural teeth underneath.

Michael Bulger

Snoring – More than Noise!

 

Hi Everyone, 

Dr.B gives us some information regarding Sleep Apnea, and how you can determine whether yours is moderate or if you need schedule a doctor's appointment.

My wife, who wakes up at the slightest noise, has been forever urging me to find a way to stop my snoring. This isn't a new phenomenon. I have been snoring all my life! She must like me because we've been happily married for over 37 years!

Michael Bulger

Insurance Tips - Dental Implant Coverage

We have another post for you this week, Maria explains how you actually might have dental implant coverage under your insurance and not even know it!  

How many of you have decided to change your dental treatment based on your dental coverage. For example; you need an implant but you have no coverage so you go with option B and get a bridge instead because you have some coverage for the bridge.

Michael Bulger

Replacement of Crowns and Bridges

Although crowns and bridges generally last longer than five years, in some cases, they may need to be replaced earlier. This can pose a problem as most dental coverage will not cover replacement of a crown or bridge if it is less than five years old. Generally speaking, most dental policies have guidelines or time frames as to when a replacement crown or bridge becomes eligible again. However, many insurance policies have left it open for interpretation, by putting nothing in writing or putting in as “reasonable and customary.”

Michael Bulger

Tooth Grinding

We hope you enjoyed Dr.Walton's post yesterday because Dr.Christakos took the time to write up this post about tooth grinding, enjoy!

It has been well stated that a smile is one’s greatest asset, yet it is not always safe guarded as such. Whether you have all your teeth, or have just invested in restoring or cosmetically enhancing your smile, a night guard may be the best way to look after your investment. A night guard, also known as an occlusal splint, is an appliance often recommended as the first line of treatment for bruxism (teeth grinding) and TMD (dysfunction to the TMJ). It is usually worn while you sleep to prevent damaging your teeth by the clenching or grinding associated with either the psychological aspects of stress, one’s abnormal bite, a sleep disorder, or a combination of the above...

Michael Bulger

Periodontal Disease and Systemic Health - are they connected?

This week Dr.Philip Walton writes us a very informative post about periodontal disease and systemic health.

Enjoy!

Research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several other diseases. For a long time it was thought that bacteria was the factor that linked periodontal disease to other disease in the body; however, more recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions including Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease among others...

Michael Bulger

Dental Insurance Tip Of The Week - Accidental Dental Coverage

This week Maria tells us how get the most out of our accidental dental coverage plan! Did you know that most health care benefits package have an accidental dental benefit? This is outside of your regular dental benefits and is usually covered under your health care package. Accidental dental, covers most dental treatment at 100% even if it falls under major treatment such as crowns and bridges...

Michael Bulger

Coordination of Benefits - Insurance Tips with Maria

It's been almost two weeks since we've put up an insurance tips post so here it is. There is a small description in this post but most of it is in the YouTube video.

Many patients are not aware of Coordination of benefits. This is when both husband and wife have dental and/or health coverage. You first submit claims to your own plan. Once you have received payment and it is anything less than 100% you then photocopy the explanation of benefits and send to your spouse’s benefit for reimbursement of the difference. This also applies to dependents. However, this becomes a little more complex, as you must submit for each child to the parent’s benefit plan, whose birthday comes first in the year...

Michael Bulger