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  1. A Summer of Fun And Fundraising!

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    As you may have noticed, we LOVE getting involved in our community, and this spring and summer was no exception!

    YMCA Move to Give on April 25 marked the kick off of fun community events. Our team The Plaque Peddlers raised $5,000 and Collingwood Dental was a headline sponsor. The event was a good workout and a great success.

    This was followed up in early August with Dr. Zain and team Spokes & Folks raising over $10,000 for MS! The team rode from Grand Bend to London (150 km) over two days. Overall, the 1500 riders raised over 1.3 Million Dollars for MS. Well done Spokes & Folks!


    Collingwood Dental rounded out the summer by spending a day helping build for Habitat for Humanity! Collingwood Dental Doc’s and staff (Tanya, Maria & Terri) spent the day working on the house site on Leslie St in Collingwood, and as you can see they combined hard work with a lot of fun! Special thanks goes out to Iona Tough and photographer Bryan Davies.

    Thank you! We couldn’t have had such a successful summer of fun and fundraising without the support of our incredible family, friends, patients and community. We are so lucky to work in a wonderful clinic and live in an awesome town! For more photos check out our facebook page.

  2. The Daily Grind

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    Chances are you’ve unknowingly done it at one time or another in your life. And for a small percentage of the population, bruxism (grinding one’s teeth) is a chronic problem — but one with solutions.

    By Jennifer D. Foster

    Bruxism, the medical term for the subconscious, habitual, nonfunctional grinding and gnashing of teeth, is a condition that many adults experience at some point in their lives. However, according to the Canadian Sleep Society, it’s only chronic in about eight percent of adults and teens, three percent of seniors and 14 percent of children. And, according to Dr. Victor Kutcher, ODA President-Elect and a periodontist practising in Burlington, while “grinding is common in children and is viewed as normal, in adults it’s pathological, meaning it may be indicative of a more serious disease.”

    Some people grind their teeth during the day, but the majority of bruxers grind while sleeping, which is known as nocturnal or sleep bruxism. And, adds Dr. Jerry Smith, ODA President and a dentist in Thunder Bay, “the great majority of people don’t know they’re grinding their teeth at night or even when they’re grinding.”

    What happens during bruxism

    “The forces that occur during bruxism are not vertical in nature, they are horizontal; the jaw shifts and slides from side to side,” explains Dr. Smith. “And it’s these horizontal forces, mixed with the amount of time the teeth are together, that increase the likelihood of significant damage to the teeth and the supportive structures.” For example, with normal chewing and swallowing, teeth come together for up to 20 minutes per day, with natural teeth exerting up to 44 pounds of pressure per square inch (psi). But during bruxing, that pressure can soar to nearly 1,000 psi, and teeth can be together for hours, sometimes up to 40 minutes for every hour of sleep. Talk about the power for potential destruction!

    Signs and Symptoms

    Because so many people grind while sleeping, it’s not uncommon for someone in the same room or bed to be the one who often hears the other person grinding and alerts the bruxer, states Dr. Smith. Other tell-tale signs of a grinder?

    • Frequent headaches (especially in the morning) or earaches
    • Sore jaws
    • Jaw-clicking
    • Frequent toothaches
    • Sensitive teeth
    • Facial pain
    • Worn, broken or cracked teeth and/or fillings
    • (Accelerated) gum recession
    • Loose teeth
    • Indentations on the lateral borders of the tongue

    And, adds Dr. Kutcher, the damage from bruxism he sees in his clinic is “cumulative; it’s a time-dependent process, so if there is more wear on the teeth than one would expect for someone at a particular age, then assessing the issue may be necessary.” What’s interesting to note, however, he says, is “many people seem to grind happily away and have no issues, while others will experience pain in teeth or muscles or joints.”

    Causes and Complications

    The exact cause of bruxism is still a medical mystery. But, “it’s thought that physical or psychological issues are involved, and some of the suggested causes include: anxiety and stress, frustration or anger, type A personality, dental malocclusion [abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth], response to pain and sleep issues,” says Dr. Kutcher.

    Dr. Smith says some studies suggest there might be a genetic link to bruxism. As well, “some drugs may be associated with bruxism or thought to increase bruxism, including dopamine-related drugs, antidepressant drugs, sedative and anxiolytic drugs and drugs of abuse,” says Dr. Smith, though he cautions that “the literature is still controversial on this and is based mostly on anecdotal case reports.”

    The world-renowned Mayo Clinic adds that “smoking tobacco, drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol and taking illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine or ecstasy, can increase the risk of bruxism.” The clinic cites other potential physical and psychological causes may include stomach acid reflux into the esophagus, uncommon side-effects of some psychiatric medications, such as phenothiazines, and complications resulting from disorders such as Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.


    Nocturnal bruxism is thought to be a “central nervous system function,” says Dr. Kutcher. And while many of us grind away and have no issues, so far there is no known cure “because we just don’t have a good handle on the exact triggers for bruxing in each person,” he says, adding, “so from a dentist’s perspective, the most effective method of dealing with bruxism is to interfere with the damage that is occurring to the teeth, and facial and mouth structures.” If you do show evidence of bruxism and are experiencing signs or symptoms associated with bruxing, there are several treatment options you may want to discuss with your dentist. “The best treatment is usually conservative in nature,” says Dr. Smith. “In addition to repairing any damaged teeth and/or correcting obvious occlusion [bite] irregularities, a night guard (or splint) is fabricated for the patient, which may reduce bruxism, but will certainly prevent further tooth wear and damage,” he stresses.

    grind gaurd 2

    The custom-made appliance is fabricated out of acrylic and must be worn every night, fitting over the upper or lower teeth. “In some cases, medications for pain and muscle spasm are prescribed for the short term,” clarifies Dr. Smith. As well, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Botox injections may help some people with severe bruxism who don’t respond to other treatments.” The Canadian Sleep Society recommends physiotherapy, avoiding noise (TV or computers) in the bedroom and avoiding sleeping on your back (supine position) to help manage bruxism. Self-care techniques may also be effective for coping with bruxism. The Mayo Clinic suggests reducing stress and anxiety [yoga or meditation, for example], avoiding stimulating substances in the evening (caffeinated coffee or tea, alcohol and smoking) as they may worsen bruxism, practising good sleep habits (which may include treatment for sleep problems) and scheduling regular dental exams. Bottom line? Don’t ignore bruxism. It can cause significant damage if left untreated, warns Dr. Smith. And, he adds, remember that “only your dentist can diagnose bruxism, repair the damage and provide treatment that can aid in preventing further damage.”

    Reprinted with permission of the Ontario Dental Association and Your Oral Health, 2015.

  3. What is a Smile Makeover?

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    Here at Collingwood Dental Centre we take care of your overall oral health, but we can also help you feel confident about your smile!

    If you have stained, broken or uneven teeth, we can help. Cosmetic dentistry is different from orthodontic treatment, which can straighten your teeth with braces or invisalign.

    Cosmetic dental procedures include:

    • Whitening/Bleaching to make teeth whiter &brighter
    • Repairing chips or rough spots with fillings that match your teeth
    • Filling cavities with tooth-colored materials
    • Reshaping teeth that don’t match the others
    • Closing gaps between teeth
    • Covering broken teeth with porcelain crowns

    If you’re ready for a smile makeover and want to learn more, we’d love to hear from you 705-444-1500.

  4. Power Points – Are Sports Drinks Giving Your Teeth A Workout?

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    Too many sports drinks and energy bars can give your teeth a workout – and not in a good way

    By Julia Aitken

    Sports and energy drinks and energy bars are big business. In 2009, the last year for which stats are available, Canadians spent more than $500 million on them. But do we need to?

    For Ottawa pediatric dentist Dr. Ian McConnachie, the answer is no. “They generally have high levels of sugar, and the drinks are acidic. They also tend to be consumed between meals and will linger in the mouth for hours, so they’re particularly damaging to the teeth.”

    Sports drinks are formulated to replace water and electrolytes (minerals like salt, potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium) that we can lose through sweating and are sweetened to replace the carbohydrate we use during activity. Caffeine is the main ingredient in energy drinks, which can also contain guarana extract (similar to caffeine).

    “People think they need sports drinks when exercising to adequately replace essential nutrients, but this is nonsense,” says Dr. McConnachie, an ODA Past President. “For anyone who is not an elite athlete, performance is best enhanced by drinking lots of water — with a further bonus if it’s fluoridated — and a balanced diet will provide all the nutrients and electrolytes needed.”

    Post-workout Prescription

    If you have a favourite sports drink or enjoy snacking on an energy bar now and then, treat them as you would any sugary snack. Dr. Jerry Smith has this advice to lessen their damaging effects:

    • drink the sports drink through a straw
    • rinse your mouth well with water afterward
    • chew sugarless or xylitol-containing gum afterward.

    Tip-Top Top-Ups

    If you feel the need to refuel after exercise, skip that sugarloaded energy bar and fill the tank with one of these tooth-friendly snacks:

    • hard-cooked egg, split and spread with hummus
    • unsweetened banana-yogurt smoothie
    • peeled, pitted and sliced avocado spritzed with lime juice
    • drained and lemon-dressed, canned chickpeas
    • apple or pear with cheese
    • bowl of oatmeal
    • regular milk or soy milk
    • multigrain bread and cheese.

    Caffeine Caution

    The main ingredient in energy drinks is caffeine and too much of it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, interrupt your sleep and cause nervousness and irritability. In 2013, Health Canada capped the allowable level of caffeine in energy drinks at 180 mg per serving, about the same as a 237 ml cup of coffee. Nonetheless, Health Canada recommends that children and teens not consume energy drinks.

    Bar Hopping

    Anything you eat or drink that contains calories provides your body with energy. While some energy bars contain extra protein, fibre, minerals and vitamins, check out their calories, fat and sugar content carefully — the differences between an energy bar and a candy bar can be negligible. To comparison shop, use the calculator app on your cell phone to divide each of the figures in the nutrient panel on the packaging by the weight in grams of the energy bar. Do the same with your favourite candy bar; the results may surprise you.

    Adds Dr. Jerry Smith, President of the ODA (2014-15), who practises in Thunder Bay, Ont.: “Many of these drinks are high in sugar and are very acidic, with pH levels between 2.3 and 4.5, which is similar to that of a soft drink. Damage to tooth enamel starts to occur at pH levels below 5.5.” Energy bars are fortified snack bars containing mostly carbohydrates, plus protein, fat, fibre, vitamins and minerals. But, whatever the label might say, many energy bars are no more nutritious than a candy bar. (See “Bar Hopping.”) Whether you’re working out or not, snacking and rehydrating, says Dr. McConnachie, comes down to common sense: “Limit the amount of carbohydrate at snack time, choose snacks that aren’t sticky or processed and limit their frequency. And, drink lots and lots of water.”

    Reprinted with permission of the Ontario Dental Association and Magazine, 2014.

  5. Why do I Grind my Teeth?

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    Teeth grinding can be caused by; stress and anxiety, by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. It can also be caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or even tight shoulder, neck, and jaw muscles.

    Are you one of millions who grinds and clenches during the night (or day?) If so, you may need to wear a bite guard at night to reduce damage to teeth.

    But are all ‘grind guards’ created equal? Studies suggest they may not be.

    I am a serious night grinder; we’re talking chipped teeth, stiff jaw, and painful chewing. I have been wearing my ‘flat occlusal splint’ (looks similar to mouth guards hockey players wear) for the last 4 years. Some nights I felt like having it in my mouth triggered more grinding? Is that possible? I eventually wore right through it… yup our jaws are very strong; I bit a hole right through my custom grind guard.

    The morning of the final fitting for my new bite guard at Collingwood Dental Centre; I was expecting my old hockey mouth guard minus the holes, but what I got was a grape sized little piece that fit over my lower front teeth!

    Boy was I fascinated and excited. How was this guard going to work differently than my last?

    The fancy term for it is ‘nociceptive trigeminal inhibitory splint’ and it is exciting, because not only does it prevent me from grinding my teeth to dust, but studies show it may actually reduce grinding activity all together!

    It works by slightly spacing your front teeth apart so when you start clenching/grinding, pressure is applied to your two front teeth first which sends a strong signal to the brain to decrease the activity of jaw closing muscles.

    Additional treatment options that may be helpful to reduce grinding include: muscle massage, avoid gum chewing, and reducing stress.

    See your Dentist to have your bite assessed and find out the best treatment option for you.

    ~Kendra Smith


    Effect of a nociceptive trigeminal inhibitory splint on electromyographic activity in jaw closing muscles during sleep.

    This short-term study indicated a strong inhibitory effect on EMG-activity in jaw closing muscles during sleep of the NTI