Archive for November 2012

As dentists at Rideau Dental Centre, your oral health is our top priority. We are always interested in how we can help maintain or improve the health of your teeth and gums. Our primary focus is usually on brushing, flossing and regular dental visits.

However, we are also interested in other avenues that can help with your oral health. And that often includes lifestyle and nutrition.

The decisions we make in terms of what we eat or the lifestyle we live can have a profound impact upon our oral health. For instance, smoking and alcohol consumption greatly increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Foods that are sugary or particularly acidic contribute significantly to tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Eliminating or at least reducing our consumption of some of these products, which are detrimental to good oral health, is one of our goals. However, improving our oral health is not always about what we can eliminate from our lifestyles. What we can add is equally important.

To than end, the anti-oxidants found in green tea appear to be highly beneficial. Specifically, the anti-oxidant known as catechin is believed to be the primary reason behind the positive oral health effects of green tea.

Catechin is known for its anti-inflammatory impact upon the body. This makes it an ideal foil for periodontal disease.

Essentially, periodontal disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the gums, teeth, as well as the bone and connective tissue in the mouth. It is believed that catechin’s anti-inflammatory properties interfere with the inflammatory effects of periodontal disease.

The results from one study in particular are of great interest. This study involved 940 male subjects. Of particular interest were the group aged 49 to 59. They were studied for three primary indicators of periodontal disease: pocket depth, loss of gum tissue and bleeding on probing.

For every cup of green tea consumed, researchers observed a reduction in all three of the primary indicators. This suggests a potential link between consumption of green tea and periodontal health.

It is important to point out that this study is not conclusive. Nor does it negate the importance of the traditional methods of protecting your oral health, namely, brushing, flossing and visiting us at Rideau Dental Centre on a regular basis.

However, it is interesting to note that some of the decisions we make on a daily basis can potentially have such a positive impact upon our oral health. Because making the right nutritional decisions is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Peter Georgopoulos

Dental Surgeon

If you saw the movie “Date Night”, you can likely recall the scene when Steve Carrel and Tina Fey are preparing for bed. In the course of their preparations, each of them inserted a night guard into their mouths. The desired affect, of course, was the humour arising from an example of how un-sexy life had become for a typical married couple well past the honeymoon stage.

We cannot pretend that night guards or bite splints are sexy! But there is also nothing particularly sexy about teeth grinding, muscle tension or sleep interfering headaches that these may prevent! Night guards or bite splints are practical tools that prevent the above events from being problem for you. Putting them in may not look sexy…but they sure can make you feel a lot better!

The question is how do you know which appliance is right for you? At Rideau Dental Centre, we can help answer that question.

Both appliances look similar. They are each custom fitted pieces of plastic or resin that fit over your teeth. However, the functions they perform are quite distinct.

The primary purpose of a night guard is to prevent you from grinding your teeth. When you grind your teeth, you are wearing away at their protective, enamel surface. This can leave your teeth susceptible to tooth decay which could require fillings or other dental treatment.

A night guard will fit over top of your teeth thereby eliminating the possibility for you to grind your teeth together. It may not eliminate the actual grinding action. But now your teeth will grind against a softer acrylic rather than other teeth. This will reduce the wear and tear you would otherwise experience on your teeth.

Some people may find a night guard is not effective for them. Perhaps they have been grinding their teeth for so many years that the shape of their teeth has changed. This may result in a change to the natural bite alignment of the teeth and/or jaw.

Other factors can also cause this misalignment. For example, the problem may be genetic in that their jaw or teeth are poorly shaped. Accidents causing tooth loss can come into play as well.

Regardless as to the cause, problems with jaw alignment can prevent the muscles of the jaw from relaxing. The constant pressure this creates can cause tension headaches and may impact upon the quality of your sleep.

In such cases, a night guard will not be sufficient. You may actually require a bite splint. Like night guards, bite splints are also custom fitted. But they do not simply slip on top of your teeth. When properly fitted and inserted, they will actually change the alignment of your jaw. The ultimate goal in doing this is to reduce the tension on the jaw muscles, which can also reduce any tendency to grind your teeth as well.

It may take a few more trips to the dentist in order to ensure that the bite splint is functioning properly. And we know that neither a bite splint nor a night guard will look particularly sexy! But if they prevent you from grinding your teeth and allow you to have a good night sleep, that just may make you feel pretty sexy!

Because waking up feeling good (and sexy!) is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. David Lui

Dental Surgeon

We hope that all of you have managed to survive the ghosts and goblins that haunted our streets this Halloween! While we also hope that your children had a great time, it is, of course, imperative that they not be allowed too much time devouring those dangerously, sugary treats they worked so hard to collect!

Some candy in moderation is a guilty pleasure we should allow our children (and ourselves) to indulge in only I small quantities! Of course, they may just be finishing up those Halloween treats when the next barrage comes over the Holiday Season!

You can see how two such popular events so close together can wreak havoc on your oral health and that of your family. Sugar fix after sugar fix can lead to so much exposure for your teeth, they could experience a wearing of the enamel we refer to as acid erosion. Making sure you and your kids brush and floss regularly over the Holidays would be an investment in time well worthwhile!

Speaking of investing in time, if you have older children who have been away at college or university since the fall, this would be a great time to contact us and schedule an appointment for them.

Between studying, attending class, possibly working and, of course, socializing, young adults in college or university may not give much thought to their oral health. Many of them are unlikely to seek a dentist in their new location unless they are experiencing some degree of pain or discomfort.

That means your young student could be overdue for a check-up or a periodontal maintenance appointment. But they will be home for the Holidays and may have quite a bit of time on their hands. Depending upon their exam schedule, they may start arriving home in early to mid-December.

So now is the perfect time for you to help them look after their oral health. Next time you talk to them, find out what their exam schedule is. Once you know, call us at Rideau Dental Centre and book an appointment for them.

Believe it or not, they will start coming home in a month! The earlier you get them in to see us, the more time there will be to deal with any oral health issues that may need to be addressed. In fact, we could have all the time we need to complete their treatment then still allow them to enjoy the rest of their Holiday. Most importantly, we would know that we are sending them back to campus in good oral health!

So call us at Rideau Dental Centre today and schedule your student’s Holiday appointment. Because taking care of your oral health over the Holidays is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Wayne Perron

Dental Surgeon