Have a wonderful holiday weekend! We are closed from 2:00pm on Friday, June 30th and will reopen at 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 4th.
If you are experiencing pain in your jaw, particularly at the joints, this might be a result of an underlying medical or dental disease or an indication of a chronic disorder.
When you have pain or problems with your jaw and muscles in your face that control your jaw, this is known as Temporomandibular Disorder and more commonly referred to as TMD.
Your jaw bones, the maxilla and mandible, are facial bones that support your upper and lower teeth. The lower jaw moves with the help of a joint called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which is made up of a bone below the mouth (mandible) and a bone above the mouth (maxilla) and between them a disk is sandwiched and covered by a group of muscles and tendons. This joint complex allows normal movement of jaw during mastication (chewing) and speaking.
Symptoms of Chronic Jaw Pain
TMD affects the jaw joints, facial muscles and surrounding tissues. This disorder can affect one or both sides of your jaw and can cause extreme pain, discomfort and be quite disruptive to regular function. Some common symptoms that may indicate you suffer from TMD include:
- A popping or clicking sensation or sound when your jaw opens and closes with pain
- Tenderness and pain in your jaw joint area up to your ears and even down to your shoulders and neck
- Limited opening, or the jaw becoming stuck or locked in a position
- Tooth pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Generalized facial pain and headaches
Common Causes of Chronic Jaw Pain
If you are experiencing chronic jaw pain, it could be a result of several factors including other health related issues:
Poor Dental Health
This type of pain originates from an infection of one of multiple teeth, and the pain can be felt to radiate through the jaw.
If there is some pathology or inflammation in the TMJ joint or disc there may be pain in the jaws.
Coronary artery disease or a narrowing of the blood supply to the muscles of the heart can cause angina or pain the central chest, and this pain can also radiate towards the jaws. This is typically felt in the mandible and medical help should be sought out immediately.
Jaw Bone Disease
Chronic infections like osteomylitis, cysts, or tumors can cause chronic pain in the jaws.
Trigeminal Neuralgia is a nerve condition that can cause severe facial pain that can involve jaw area.
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease of joints resulting in symptoms of pain and swelling. This can affect the joints of the jaw.
During pregnancy, hormonal changes and imbalances induce many of the body joints to become soften and relaxed adding to the pain in some of the joints.
Treatment of Chronic Jaw Pain
If you are experiencing chronic jaw pain, it is best to have your Burnaby Dentist conduct an examination, diagnose your symptoms and provide a treatment plan. Depending on the results of the examination, your Dentist may refer you to an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.
Remedies and Treatments
There are many home remedies and exercises that can be done to help relieve jaw pain:
- Eat soft food and avoid foods that require a lot of chewing.
- Limit jaw movements and avoid opening your mouth wide. This includes not chewing gum or ice, avoid yawning, yelling and other movements that open your mouth wide.
- Invest in a mouth guard to avoid teeth grinding or clenching your teeth.
- Practice some jaw-stretching exercises as recommended by your Dentist
- Use relaxation techniques such as massage to help reduce tension around the TMJ joint.
- Take over the counter medication such as ibuprofen, to help relieve muscle pain and swelling.
If you are experiencing pain in your jaw or any of the above mentioned symptoms, be sure to mention them to your Burnaby Dentist at your next appointment. If you have any questions about TMD feel free to contact North Burnaby Dental Group and they will be happy to provide answers.
Thumb sucking is a completely normal activity that some babies develop even before they’re born. It is a natural anxiety-management habit for your child. Thumb sucking helps a child to feel relaxed and secure, as well as helps them fall asleep with ease and comfort. Though this habit is apparently safe and harmless for younger children, it can result in some serious dental and oral health issues when the habit cannot be stopped between the ages of 2 to 4 years.
Let’s explore some of the adverse effects of thumb sucking that can impact your child’s dental and oral development, and how you can help your child to stop the thumb sucking habit.
Misalignment between teeth
The mouth of your child should not be held half-open for a long period of time. The tendons can be exhausted and even causing the jaw joint to be pulled out of its’ position. Unfortunately, if the jaw joint is displaced at this age, it may fuse that way resulting in a permanent underbite or overbite.
Just as you use braces to move your teeth over time, thumb sucking can have a similar effect which can result in causing them to slant outwards. This can seriously affect the dental structure and beauty of your child’s teeth at this early age and cause long term effects.
Thumb sucking can also be the main reason for bringing changes in the roof of the mouth. As it grows, the roof of the mouth starts responding to certain pressures. When your child sucks his or her thumb, it creates pressure against the roof and causes the roof to develop a narrow groove. This is one possible cause of speech impediments.
Aggressive thumb sucking may irritate the mouth walls enough to cause sores and bacterial infection. Though aggressive sucking is a more critical problem than passive sucking, both of them can be considered as unhealthy.
Solving the Problem
There are a good number of ways to stop the habit of thumb sucking. However, like all other childhood practices, you will have to proceed with patience and effective parenting. Firstly, wait and see whether your child can stop sucking his or her thumb without the use of any appliances. Gentle and positive encouragement is always recommended by pediatricians and the Dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group. Since some children maintain the habit of thumb sucking due to anxiety and insecurity, positive reinforcement can be of great help to discourage this habit passively. You should keep in mind that children normally suck their thumb when they are stressed. Therefore, always try to eliminate the stressors. Negative reinforcement incites more stress, and encourages your child to start sucking his or her thumb. Being disappointed at your children for continuing thumb sucking will put you in a vicious circle.
If your child is a little bit older, try to explain the adverse effect of thumb sucking and appreciate them every time for not sucking. In addition to that, try different ways to deal with the anxiety such as expressing feelings, self-talking, developing self-esteem and physical activity. If all of these solutions are not working there is also the option of taking discouraging measures such as bandaging your child’s thumb or covering the thumbs in bitter medication
There are orthodontic appliances that can be used as a deterrent in cases where all passive methods have not worked.
The Dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group encourage you to contact them if you have any questions about thumb sucking and the effects it can have on your child’s teeth. The Burnaby Dentists are passionate and extremely familiar with working with children and parents to ensure a positive relationship and a lifetime of healthy teeth.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday!! We will be open on January 4th, 2017 at 7am.
Dr. McCaffrey and Dr. Houchmand share their passion about putting patients first, providing excellent service, using modern techniques, equipment and highly skilled staff and what the future holds for North Burnaby Dental Group. Read their full story in the Burnaby Profiles of Excellence.
Dental fillings are intended to restore or replace the tooth structure that has been lost to decay. These fillings may remain functional for many years. However, constant pounding from eating and drinking, particularly from clenching and grinding may be a fundamental reason for dental fillings to fail and need replacing at a later time.
When a dental filling is chipped, cracked, worn away or falls out, minor gaps are created between the tooth and filling. These gaps work as an entry point for bacteria and food particles to initiate tooth decay that may develop along the edge of the filling or underneath it. It is not easy to remove these decay-causing bacteria with a toothbrush or other means. If decay goes undiagnosed and untreated, infection may develop in the dental pulp which may eventually result in the need for root canal or, in severe case, loss of tooth.
In general, problems associated with existing dental fillings can be identified at the early stage. Therefore, regular dental examination is of paramount importance to forestall any undesirable consequence. You may not be able to sense that your dental filling starts wearing away, but your dentist can easily find out any flaws in it during your regular checkup. Dentists always examine the status of your dental fillings and determine if the existing fillings are in good condition or if they have lost their intact coherence and disintegrated in any possible way. An instrument called an explorer is used to detect worn away spots along the edge of the fillings. While determining the integrity of dental fillings, this instrument helps your dentist ascertain whether you need a replacement or not.
In order to detect decay underneath the fillings or between teeth, dental x-rays may help the dentist assess the level of decay that are not seen simply by visual examination. If evidence from dental x-rays depicts that a filling has failed or a tooth has started decaying underneath the filling, your dentist is most likely to recommend you a prompt replacement that can prevent the case from being worse. In brief, you should not wait until you feel a toothache, or a crack is blatantly visible. Early identification can significantly minimize the need for exhaustive and costly treatment procedures.
Dental fillings may also be replaced even if they are still intact and not failing. In the case of dental fillings that were done using amalgam, a patient may request it to be replaced with composite. Amalgam, commonly referred to as silver fillings, is a mixture of copper, silver, tin and mercury. This material is no longer used by our Burnaby Dentists as concerns have been raised about the use of amalgam because it contains mercury.
New techniques and advancement in material technology have enabled researchers to develop filling materials that perfectly imitate the appearance of a natural tooth making the filling much less visible. The dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group use composite for fillings. While giving a tooth-colored restoration, composite fillings are made from acrylic resins and finely ground glass-like bits. They are sufficiently durable and crack-resistant and can withstand moderate chewing load.
The ultimate decision on when a filling should be replaced is best determined by your dentist in a patient consultation. The dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group are happy to answer any questions you have about fillings and treatments. Please feel free to give us a call.
Choosing the right toothpaste can be confusing; with so many forms and flavours on the market, how does one know which one they should choose? Whether you are deciding on toothpaste for whitening, tartar control, enamel strengthening or sensitivity, there are a set of essential ingredients that must be present in right proportion in your toothpaste. Before making the purchase, take a minute to peruse the ingredient section to make sure they contain what you need and have certification or approval from a recognized professional body.
The fundamental ingredients should include:
- Abrasive agents like calcium carbonate and silica gels to scrub bacteria, food, and stains from the surface of your teeth and gums.
- Detergents or foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate to produce suds assisting the abrasive agents in the cleaning process.
- Humectants like glycerol to retain moisture.
- Thickeners like various gums and seaweed molecules to thicken the paste and give it a distinctive texture.
- Flavouring to make toothpaste better to taste.
Now that we know the staple ingredients of toothpaste, let’s familiarize with various types of toothpaste available in the market.
The single most important ingredient in a toothpaste is fluoride which helps prevents decay by strengthening your tooth enamel. Though most types of toothpaste contain some amount of fluoride, some people having a history of cavities usually require an additional amount to protect their teeth in a proper way. Fluoride helps prevent early cavities from growing and strengthens teeth to endure acid erosion. Fluoridated toothpastes are not recommended for children under the age of 6 as they cannot reliably spit out the toothpaste and swallowing a lot of fluoride is not recommended. Ingesting extra fluoride during tooth development may cause permanent discolouration commonly known as fluorosis.
These can help to remove stains from your teeth. Your teeth will achieve a whiter shade with the help from agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide present in whitening toothpaste. Abrasive particles present in the toothpaste lift stains by polishing the surface of your teeth. These toothpastes are milder, however than professionally applied whitening gels and can be more abrasive than regular toothpaste. So keep this in mind if you have a lot of glazed porcelain restorations or exposed roots. Baking soda toothpaste can also be used as the soda has an abrasive effect and can help to remove stains.
Tartar Control Toothpaste
Accumulation of plaque is a common scenario for many people. This accumulated plaque, if not removed, may eventually harden to form tartar which harbours bacteria and can contribute to periodontal disease. Many tartar control toothpastes contain an antibiotic called triclosan which helps prevent bacteria proliferation. These types of toothpaste also have zinc citrate and different forms of pyrophosphates that work in combination to control plaque accumulation. If you have a clinical history of plaque and tartar issues, tartar control toothpaste can be helpful to keep tartar from forming in the first place.
Tooth Sensitivity Toothpaste
If you experience tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking, a toothpaste for sensitive teeth might be ideal for helping relieve and lessen the sensitivity. These toothpastes contain less abrasive ingredients to cut down on sensitivity. The key ingredient in sensitivity toothpastes acts as a physical block that remains on your teeth to fill the tubules that contain the nerve endings that contribute to sensitivity. These sensitivity toothpastes work best when used regularly as the relief from this type of paste is felt most right after the application of the paste.
They come in variety of flavours that children actually love. Usually these types of toothpaste are made of milder ingredients – they contain less abrasive agents and low or no fluoride for safety if the paste is swallowed or eaten.
The next time you’re shopping for toothpaste, we hope that the information provided by our Burnaby Dentists will help you in making your selection. If you have any questions about what the best choice would be for your needs, please ask the dentists or hygienists at North Burnaby Dental.
Our office will be closed on Friday, September 2nd at 2pm until Monday, September 5th. We will re-open with regular business hours on Tuesday, September 6th at 7am. If you have a dental emergency during these times, please call our office phone at 604-291-6696 for contact information for the doctor on call.
Burnaby Dentist provides information about sedation dentistry and dental anxiety.
For some people, the thought alone of visiting a Burnaby Dentist can be overwhelming and fearful. The feelings that are experienced are real, cause a considerable amount of stress and produce physical symptoms. This is known as Dental Anxiety. If you experience dental anxiety, it results in the avoidance of dental visits which have a negative impact on oral health. While the fear of visiting a dentist can be overwhelming, our Burnaby Dentists explain what dental anxiety is and how the Dentists and staff of North Burnaby Dental Group ease anxiety and make visiting a dentist a positive and comfortable experience.
If you experience dental anxiety, there might be some relief in knowing that you do not suffer alone. There are many people who are highly anxious about visiting a dentist. It is estimated that about one in seven of the population experiences dental anxiety. The dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group work with patients on a daily basis that experience this.
What Causes Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is considered as a multidimensional complex scenario. Though fear of pain has a strong link to the development of dental anxiety and to the aversion of dental treatment, there are also a number of factors that have consistently been linked with contributing to dental anxiety. These include (but are not limited to) personality characteristics, past traumatic dental experiences, and blood injury fears. Several studies have shown that restorative dentistry procedures deliver the most powerful triggers for dental anxiety, namely the sight, sound and sensation of rotary dental drills, along with the sight and sensation of a dental anesthetic injection. The waiting time for dental treatment is also reported as anxiety-provoking, as it increases the time to think about what will happen, and to ponder about the worst-case scenario.
Anxiety and Visiting Your Burnaby Dentist
Nearly two thirds of dentists believe that treating an anxious patient presents a challenge to them in everyday practice. As a patient, it is important to feel confident in your dentist, their skills and experience of working with patients with dental anxiety. As a dentist, it is important to identify patients with anxiety and put appropriate measures in place to provide the upmost service and care for the patient.
Patients displaying behaviours such as frequent cancellation, delaying or rescheduling appointments may be doing so because of dental fear and anxiety. Upon identification of an anxious or fearful patient, a range of measures can be put into place, for example:
- Provision of friendly and supportive communication during the procedure. Friendly communication with patients plays an essential role in anxiety reduction. Verbal support and reassurance is a frequently used strategy. To be maximally effective, this technique is followed by all staff with whom the patient interacts.
- Using relaxation therapies. Relaxation therapies can restore trust and help patients to have control over their physical and psychological state. These methods can have a positive impact in motivated and cooperative patients, and can be taken before and during a treatment appointment. These techniques are safe, free from side effects, and give patients more control over their anxiety level.
- Using distraction techniques, for example music via headphones or virtual reality glasses (especially for adults). By using distraction and other anxiety reduction methods, with recurrent positive experiences, a patients’ level of anxiety should reduce.
- Sedation administered to help patients relax during a dental procedure. North Burnaby Dental Group has a dentist specially trained to perform intravenous sedation in house who will assess your needs to ensure that your dental appointment is comfortable.
Using a multifaceted approach versus relying on one single strategy ameliorates the likelihood of success of easing dental anxiety. The anxiety management will vary depending on various factors such as the patients’ age, anticipated degree of cooperation, and their medical and/or dental history. Dentist behaviours targeted to anxiety reduction, such as having a calm and friendly manner, giving moral support, being reassuring about pain, preventing pain, and working efficiently, have also been shown to reduce anxiety.
The dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group have been successful with helping patients to help reduce dental anxiety and restore patients’ confidence in dentistry. If you or someone you know is suffering from dental anxiety and requires a dental check or procedure, please give us a call to learn how we can help. Be assured that the Dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group will create a pleasant experience for you and help you be on the way to being comfortable with going to the dentist and having healthy teeth.
Our office will be closed on Friday, July 29th at 2pm until Monday, August 1st. We will re-open with regular business hours on Tuesday, August 2nd at 7am. If you have a dental emergency during these times, please call our office phone at 604-291-6696 for contact information for the doctor on call.