The waiting room of the dental office at Dentistry on Sheppard, Toronto


Dentistry on Sheppard
100 Sheppard Ave E.
Suite 130
North York, ON
M2N 6N5

Dental Emergency: 416.899.5293
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June 2017 Update

The Mouth-Body Connection

photo of a man smilingYour mouth acts as both a mirror and a getaway to your body. There is a bidirectional relationship between the health of your mouth and your body. Traditional Chinese medicine has long understood this. Your mouth appears to have a profound impact on the rest of your body.

Chronic low grade disease in your mouth - primarily gum disease- is a major source of inflammation in your body. Thirty percent of North American adults have significant gum disease. This inflammation can contribute to serious systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, non insulin dependent diabetes, weight problems and premature labour in pregnant females.

Inside the average person's mouth are approximately 20 billion (!) micro organisms divided into about 600 different types of bacteria, protozoans, fungi, etc. It sounds unhealthy and disgusting, but the key to oral health, (and by extension oral health which promotes overall body health) is keeping these micro-organisms in balance. We do not want to sterilize the mouth. Once in balance, inflammation is minimized and health is promoted. The oral environment can be balanced by the correct diet, supplements, a good exercise program and minimizing stress.

In the last ten years, much new medical science research has focused on the microbial ecosystems in the human body, which includes the oral microbiome. Scientists are learning just how important the microbiome is to our health with disease causes and treatments being rethought.

For more details please read, "The Mouth-Body Connection" by Dr. G. Curatola

February 2017 Update

In our effort to stay at the forefront of dental care while respecting one's whole body, we have initiated the Perio Protect Program at Dentistry on Sheppard.

Perio Protect - Periodontal (gum) Pocket Reduction Tray System

photo of Perio Protect- Periodontal (gum) Pocket Reduction Tray System

Half of North Americans have a chronic, low grade, silent infection in their mouths - gum disease. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss but more importantly research has linked oral bacteria to diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and other chronic diseases.

Gum disease is caused when a biofilm (grouping) of bacteria developes in the pocket between the tooth and gums. Bleeding gums, bad breath, swollen gums, receding gums, and loose teeth develop as part of the body's response to the infection.

Professional dental scalings (cleanings) are an excellent way to control the biofilm. However, between dental appointments the Perio Protect method of delivering daily medication to the depth of the pocket is very effective. Perio Protect uses specially designed custom sealing trays into which a specially formulated hydrogen peroxide is placed. The peroxide dissociates into water and oxygen. The oxygen is toxic to the bacteria in the pocket helping reduce gum disease and inflammation in the body. Fifteen minutes a day of tray wear can translate into a noticeable decrease in inflammation within days. Even the side effects are positive- whiter teeth and fresher breath. "Research shows the Perio tray therapy and scalings deliver better results than professional cleanings alone."

By using the power of oxygen we can decrease inflammation in one's mouth and body helping control gum disease and possibly decreasing the incidence of other chronic disease.

November 2016 Update

New at Dentistry on Sheppard:

1. Opalescence GO Tooth Whitener

Opalescence Go is a faster, cheaper, more effective, more natural way to whiten your teeth. Go uses hydrogen peroxide to bleach your teeth in convenient ready made trays. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural powerful oxidant found in everything from rainwater to natural wound disinfectants.

photo of Opalescence GO Tooth Whitener

2. iTero tooth scanner.

Digital tooth scanning makes the crown, bridge, implant or onlay appointment much easier. The scanner is an electronic device that generates a digital representation (picture) of an object (your tooth) for data input into a computer. From the computer, we can then fabricate precise teeth. The scanner is a more biocompatible method (compared to using impression materials) and is virtually radiation free. No more biting into mushy pastes and materials.


photo of Opalescence GO Tooth Whitener


October 2016 Update

photo of toothpaste

One of the most common products we put in our bodies has a significant number of controversial ingredients. We use toothpaste twice a day. Even if we don't swallow it, the oral tissues are very absorbent giving toothpaste components a direct path into our blood stream.

One of the most controversial ingredients is Triclosan-a common ingredient in over the counter toothpaste (Colgate Total especially). Triclosan has been banned by the FDA in soaps, but not in toothpastes. The FDA and European Union are worried about it seeping into the groundwater, but not into our bodies! It is thought that triclosan causes cancer, possibly causes antibiotic resistance and can be an "endocrine disruptor" (hormone production interference).

It takes some skill to read a toothpaste label. Even "natural" pastes may contain questionable ingredients.

Check your toothpastes for:

Keep in mind the above components are often found in minute amounts, but why expose our bodies to these toxins? Buy a good natural toothpaste which lists all its components. Check for their report, "Behind the Dazzling Smile", to get some ideas on the best natural toothpastes.

Gum Disease and Anti Inflammatory Supplements and Medications

February 2016

Studies have shown that anti inflammatory medications and supplements help reduced gum disease. Gingivitis and periodontitis are chronic low grade inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of our teeth caused by the host's destructive response to bacterial plaque. Medications such as corticosteriods, aspirin, ibuprofen, statins (anti cholesterol medications) and even simple omega3 fatty acid supplements help decrease inflammation in our mouths.

For the past several years academics have shown prostaglandin and other arachidonic acid metabolites are important proinflamatory mediators in bone resorption and various forms of periodontal disease. Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs inhibit the synthesis of metabolites of the cyclooxygenase pathway, thereby blocking production of prostaglandins, thromboxane and prostacyclin. Inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis has been shown in animal and human studies to be beneficial in treating periodontal disease.

Most interesting of all are studies showing that intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA, are inversely associated with periodontitis. These fatty acids increase production of good factors and decrease production of pronflammatory cytokine and interleukin. Given that Omega-3, have a proven role in other chronic inflammatory conditions it is possible that treating periodontitis with Omega-3 could have added benefit of preventing other diseases, especially cardiovascular disease.

Medications (steriods, NSADS, statins) and Omega-3 supplements are a pharmacological intervention in the inflammatory pathways. Development is now focussing on development of daily, topical forms to be used as rinses, gels, and toothpastes.

Click on the dental video below to view more about Family Dentistry: Gum & Periodontal Disease

View more Dental Videos ››

Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing - February 2016

Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing

In modern society we come in contact with many substances every day. They exist in every facet of our lives, including the foods we eat, the products we use and the treatments we receive.

Because each of us possesses a unique biochemistry, these substances affect each of us differently and in varying degrees. For some, the effects of certain substance (and their corrosion byproducts) can be toxic and even hazardous. A substance which causes little or no reaction in one individual can prove harmful in another.

Because biochemical effects vary in each of us, it is vital that these factors be considered when choosing dental and other materials for use in the body. This is especially true with patients having special or unique health concerns. Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing provides dentists with extensive information about their patient's individual sensitivities. The Doctor can then select least offensive materials for use in individual treatment planning.

Holistic Dentistry Update – October 2015

New evidence and ideas have recently come to light showing an even stronger relationship between overall health and oral health than previously believed . Both of the two main oral disease - gum disease and cavities – have been shown to correlate to overall health.

photo of silver amalgam fillings

Periodontal disease has for many years been linked to systemic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes through the common factor of uncontrolled inflammation. Periodontal disease occurs when the body's normal controlled inflammatory response (gingivitis) progresses to an uncontrolled level of inflammation leading to destruction of the gums and bone by the body's own enzymes. Plaque and tartar (toxins) trigger this inflammatory process.

Cavities (decay, caries) now have been shown to follow a similar pattern. Traditionally, cavities have been viewed as specific oral bacteria taking sugars and producing acid which breaks down the tooth. Now it has been shown that in addition to the above localized events one usually needs a host tooth with uncontrolled inflammation in the dentine of the tooth to form a cavity.

New research shows the brain is involved. A tooth is designed to with stand the harsh oral environment with an outward flow of fluids to nourish it. However, a high carbohydrate diet increases blood sugar levels causing the hypothalamus (a part of the brain) to release chemicals causing a reversal of the protective fluids. A healthy tooth "sweats" and an unhealthy tooth acts like a "sponge". The signalling for this process starts in the brain and is sent to the parotid glands which control fluid flow through tooth dentine. A vulnerable sponge like tooth absorbs the acids produced by certain oral bacteria demineralizing the enamel and irritating the dentine. If there is enough irritation the enzymes in the tooth cause destruction and ultimately a hole (similar to the gum disease). This new systemic paradigm is enlightening and offers hope for a systemic solution to decay.

Here is the good news. The key signaling factor in the hypothalamus are free radicals. Antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, green tea, and in some vitamins mop up these free radicals thereby maintaining a tooth's "sweating" ability and decreasing the likelihood of decay.

Therefore by thinking systemically about decay, we can expand beyond prevention of demineralization (the symptom) and focus on treating the cause by eating a diet high on fruits, vegetables and antioxidants.

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