Monday, February 29, 2016

Acid Reflux and Your Oral Health

  newmarket dentist dr. gray
Acid reflux occurs when acids from the stomach flows up into the esophagus. The acid irritates and inflames the lining of the esophagus.

People who have chronic heart burn (GERD) are at risk for serious damage to the esophagus, which can lead to developing esophageal cancer. They are also at an increased risk for tooth erosion and oral health problems.

Oral Effects from Acid Reflux
  • Constant exposure of stomach acid can erode the tooth's enamel.
  • Often patients are unaware of the damage that reflux-induced erosion has caused to their teeth until the destruction is at an advanced stage.
  • Tooth/enamel erosion leads to increased: wear, tooth decay, chipping, sensitivity, and discolouration.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux:
  newmarket dentist dr. gray
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Dry Cough
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Burning mouth
Treating Acid Reflux:

If symptoms persist over two weeks, or over-the-counter antacids do not bring lasting relief you should contact your physician.

Lifestyle changes can be made to help treat acid reflux:
  • Avoid alcohol and nicotine.
  • Eat smaller more frequent meals.
  • Do not eat for 2 to 3 hours before bed.
  • Elevate your head when lying down to relieve symptoms.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing/belts around the waist.
  • Some medications can trigger heartburn/acid reflux; ask your physician if any of your medications may have this side effect.
Maintaining Good Oral Health:
  • Visit a dental hygienist for regular professional cleaning and evaluation/treatment for tooth erosion.
  • Brush twice a day using toothpaste for dentin sensitivity. Use a low abrasive fluoridated toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. (Toothpastes containing baking soda are low in abrasion and will aid in neutralizing acids.)
  • Do not brush after being exposed to acid, whether from acid reflux or food and beverages. Because acid softens the tooth's surface, brushing will cause more enamel loss. Wait 30 minutes until the natural flow of saliva washes away and neutralizes the acids.
  • After reflux episodes, rinse with water or use a sugar-free antacid and let it dissolve in the mouth.
(*Maintaining Good Oral Health Adapted from "Acid Reflux and Oral Health" - by The Ontario Dental Hygienist Association)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Greek Zoodle Salad

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1/4 English cucumber, chopped
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved, or more to taste
  • 10 pitted kalamata olives, halved, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 ounces crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Cut zucchini into noodle-shaped strands using a spiralizing tool. Place "zoodles" in a large bowl and top with cucumber, tomatoes, olives, red onion, and feta cheese.
  2. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper together in a bowl until dressing is smooth; pour over "zoodle" mixture and toss to coat. Marinate salad in refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
Dental Assistant

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pros and Cons of Teeth Whitening


People typically have their teeth whitened to improve their appearance. Whiter teeth are associated with beauty and a healthier lifestyle. When people have a brighter smile, they tend to smile more often and are less self-conscious.

Tooth discolorations can be caused by many factors. From smoking to not brushing to certain medications.

There are two types of tooth discolorations:
  1. Intrinsic - Tooth discoloration caused by trauma or medications. (inside the tooth stain)
  2. Extrinsic- caused by smoking, wine and other foods and beverages such as coffee that can easily stain the teeth over time. (surface tooth stains)
Based on the type of stain you have will determine the outcome and type of whitening you will need. Here at Dr. Grays we offer two types of whitening:
  1. Kor whitening system
  2. Day/ Night white system
Both systems are a take home method with trays, the difference between the two is the composition of the gel and Kor offers a one hour in office whitening visit after the at home is completed to boost and blend the shade.

If you are considering whitening! Ask your dental hygienist which option is the best for you and your type of stain. Bleaching should be done only under a dentist's care. Tooth bleaching under controlled dental office conditions present better end and long term results as well as techniques to help minimize sensitivity and tissue irritation.

  • Whiter smile
  • More esthetically pleasing
  • Youthful appearance
  • Confidence
  • Easy maintenance
  • Short term tooth sensitivity to cold
  • Short term soreness of gum and tissue surfaces that come in contact with the gel
Yet the effects of long term tooth bleaching are unknown, studies so far have shown no permanent long term effects or damage to enamel structure.

-Terri Dean, RDH

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why Have Your Teeth Cleaned?

Proper oral hygiene is important not only for your appearance, but also for your overall health. Improper oral hygiene may lead to infection, gum disease, bone and tooth loss, circulation and cardiovascular disease, and even strokes.

Why is cleaning part of good oral hygiene?

Oral Cancer
As part of the cleaning, you are also screened for oral cancer, which is curable if diagnosed and treated early.

Gum Disease
If gum disease is diagnosed early, it can be reversed through treatment. Gum disease is caused by infection in the gum tissue and bone, eventually leading to tooth loss. Regular dental cleanings – and check ups – help to prevent gum disease.

Your Teeth
Regular dental cleanings, along with check ups, brushing, and flossing, are important to let you keep your own teeth for as long as possible, and therefore maintain your normal chewing function and overall good health.

Good Physical Health
Heart attacks and strokes have recently been linked to gum disease, which in turn is often a result of poor oral hygiene. Periodic dental cleanings help to maintain healthy gums and teeth, and may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Good Oral Health
During dental cleanings, the hygienist can let you know if you're maintaining good oral health, and make appropriate suggestions if you're not.

Early Detection of Dental Problems
Any possible problems can be detected during dental cleanings, allowing for proper and timely treatment. Minor problems such as cavities or early gum disease can be treated and do not have to become major problems.

Most tobacco, coffee, and tea stains can be removed during cleanings. Your teeth are also polished and shined. The end result is a whiter, brighter smile – and a brighter you!

As you can see, having your teeth examined and cleaned on a regular schedule is important for both your health and your appearance. If we haven't seen your smile in while, give us a call. We'd be happy to have you in our office to ensure that your smile is healthy and living up to its full potential!