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jaw pain

Common Causes of Jaw Joint Pain – And How to Prevent It

The joints in the jaw are a delicate mechanism that can easily be injured or inflamed due to chronic stress. It can make chewing and talking uncomfortable. Looking after our teeth is important, so is taking care of your jaw also a top priority. The three most common causes of jaw discomfort are sports injuries, car accidents, and stress.

 

  • Sports Injury

 

Football balls and hockey pucks are great fun! But not so much when they cause heavy impacts to the jaw. Trauma to the jaw can lead to a variety of dental problems including:

  • A broken jaw,
  • A dislocated jaw, or
  • A temporomandibular joint disorder.

Temporomandibular joint disorder(TMD) occurs when there is damage in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is a set of paired joints on each side of the face in front of the ear canals. These joints are very complex and have a disc that can be damaged or dislocated.

TMD involves jaw pain that is often accompanied by a muscle spasm in one or more of the large muscles on either side of the jaw. Following stress or an injury, the body attempts to prevent further damage by causing muscle spasms that restrict the movement of the jaw .

The ideal solution to this problem is to use an athletic sports guard. Made from soft materials to absorb the force of a sudden impact; a sports guard will protect the jaw and teeth against trauma on the sports field. The guard functions by distributing the force of a frontal impact or absorbing the sudden upward force of the mandible. If the guard were not in place, an impact on the chin could fracture numerous teeth.

 

  • Car accident

 

A common side effect of a car accident is the accompanying jaw pain. Pain in the jaw or facial area, trouble opening and closing the mouth, or having a jaw that seems to click or get stuck can happen after an accident. You do not have to directly hit your jaw during the accident for this to happen. A car exposes you to many types of movement not normally experienced. These sudden jerks, twists, and falls that happen when you are involved in a car accident, can damage your joints. In today’s modern cars many TMJ injuries may be caused by the sudden deployment of air bags during a crash. And the temporomandibular joint is susceptible. The injury is similar to that of a whiplash.

Temporomandibular joint disorder after a car accident can be treated as follows:

  • The use of night guards,
  • Regular physical therapy and ultrasound treatment, and
  • Medications accompany by warm and cold compresses

Night guards, as the name indicates, are worn at night. They protect the teeth against wear-and-tear from grinding and clenching the jaw bone, which can agonize this condition. The night guards also encourages the jaw to move to a more relaxed position (centric relation)

A few simple jaw exercises and regular physiotherapy can make the joints in the jaw much more flexible after sustaining an injury and reduce muscle adhesions.

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are commonly prescribed, the compresses help to flush out the lactic acid build up from the muscles.

 

  • Stress

 

Stress is the most common cause of temporomandibular joint pain. When we are stressed, we tend to grind our teeth (bruxism) and clench our jaws. This is often subconscious . This is usually seen during episodes of acute stress. Conversely, chewing gum to release such stress can aggravate the condition. After doing this for a long time, the temporomandibular joints will become inflamed and swollen. In many cases the teeth may not even make contact on one side. This frozen jaw and pain will need to be treated.  

Thankfully, for most people, a night guard is the ideal solution, in conjunction with physiotherapy. Built to withstand repeated grinding and wear-and-tear, the hard shell of a night guard is used to distribute the biting force, reduce stress on the join and preserve opposing tooth structure.

If you are suffering from jaw pain, it probably is due to a sports injury, accident or stress. Dr. Ralph Bastian, at Bastian Dentistry, has over thirty-four years of dental experience. He is well-equipped to see to all your joint pain and to decide on the best course of action. For more information, contact us today.

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save your teeth

Save your teeth: oral surgery is a last resort

Our teeth are precious and can last for a lifetime if we take care of them properly. This often means seeking care when we need it. The dentist’s chair can be daunting but too often serious problems occur because we leave a trip to the dentist too late. At Bastian Dentistry- we will do all we can to save your teeth and hopefully prevent oral surgery.

save your teeth

Periodontal cleaning prevents disease

Gum disease or periodontitis is an inflammation of  the gums that can progress to bone loss. It starts off as gingivitis,  and can become periodontitis and can lead to advanced periodontitis if not treated. This is when the infection spreads  to the bone – leaving you in danger of losing your teeth and possibly needing periodontal surgery or extractions.

A study titled Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010 estimates that 47.2 percent of American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis. That is almost half the population. A periodontal cleaning can address this problem before it is too late.

If you notice you have swollen, tender, bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, receding gums, loose teeth and pus surrounding teeth  then contact Bastian Dentistry before the infection spreads. Dr Ralph Bastian will assess the situation and devise appropriate treatment accordingly- and you may find you get to keep your gorgeous smile intact.

Root canal is better than extraction

In most cases of  tooth infection we can prevent extracting the tooth. A root canal is used to save a badly damaged or infected tooth. It involves removing the diseased pulp, cleaning and disinfecting  the canal and then sealing it.

A cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment or trauma can cause damage to the nerve requiring a root canal or extraction. Paying attention to the symptoms and accessing quality dental care is the best way to avoid tooth extraction. Bastian Dentistry offers emergency dental care so do not delay a call to Dr Ralph. Most emergencies can be seen on the same day.

Tooth extractions

Sometimes there is no other answer other than to remove and perhaps, replace the tooth. Bastian Dentistry offers tooth extraction and tooth replacement options. We have excellent facilities to take care of you.

We also assist with the problem of arch crowding. This is when you have large teeth and small arches. Working with your orthodontist, we can help make room. When wisdom teeth, the third molars at the very back of the mouth, begin to erupt there can be pain and swelling.

At Bastian Dentistry we are happy to help with most dental surgeries you may require. Dr Ralph Bastian has been an active Dentist in Peterborough for over 34 years and will be please to take care of your teeth. Contact us for more information today.

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dental veneer

Getting Dental Veneers? Here Is What Happens:

Many people who have a chipped tooth, gaps between their teeth, irregularly shaped teeth or a discoloured tooth opt for veneers. Dentists can bond super thin pieces of porcelain to your teeth to improve your smile. If you have been self-conscious about certain aspects of your smile, then you should book a consultation with Dr. Ralph Bastian in Peterborough, so that he can evaluate your teeth, gums and jaw and recommend an appropriate solution.

Dental veneers, also called porcelain veneers, are made from porcelain or resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers are the more popular option because they are better at resisting stains and better at mimicking the light reflecting properties of natural teeth.

After your consultation, you will be able to book an appointment to get the veneer process started. During your first appointment, Dr. Ralph will take impressions of your teeth so that the veneers can be manufactured by skilled dental technologists who will carefully colour match the colour of the veneers to your teeth. Before the veneer can be bonded to your teeth, a thin layer of enamel will be removed so that the teeth with the veneers do not look larger or bulkier than your normal teeth.

When your veneers are ready and have been checked by Dr. Ralph Bastian, your teeth will be prepared for the bonding process and the veneers will be attached to the front of your teeth. After the procedure, he will check that your teeth and veneers are in alignment.

Dr. Ralph Bastian’s practice is devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile, using conservative, state-of-the-art cosmetic dentistry procedures that will result in beautiful, long-lasting smiles.

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Proudly Supporting our Community – Rotary Club of Peterborough-Kawartha Auction

One of the many activities we do in the community is to support worthy fundraising efforts for local groups

Please check this year Rotary Auction,  proceeds from this year’s auction going toward the purchase of Isaac the newest member of the Peterborough Lakefield Police K9 unit.

All items been donated by local businesses, Rotarian’s and friends in support of this project.

We invite you to learn more about the Auction here

 

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Bastian dentsry-05

Professional Teeth Whitening Vs. DIY Solutions

Everyone wants the perfect smile and for good reason! A bright smile is a sign of health and makes you more attractive. Moreover, investing in improving your smile can boost your confidence and self-esteem, as well as expand your job prospects.

The first thing that people do when they start to research tooth whitening options is browse the internet. There are many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) solutions available at pharmacists and from online stores. While these products may promise you the sun, the moon and the stars at a fraction of the cost compared to professional teeth whitening, the unfortunate truth is that the results are often disappointing.

There are a number of very short-term bleaching solutions on the market, but only the systems that require impressions of the upper and lower teeth to fabricate bleaching trays, provide the most effective and durable bleaching results. The appeal of a ‘quick fix’ leads many people to hand over their money, but if teeth that are brighter in the long run are what you are after, then a tray bleaching system from an experienced dentist is the way to go.

When you book a consultation with a dentist that offers tooth whitening services, moulds of your teeth will be taken to produce custom trays. You will be getting a custom teeth-whitening tray that has been designed for your teeth.  The tray only cover the teeth, not the gums and the fit is so precise that talking or having a drink of water is not an issue. The tray bleaching system can be worn for short periods during the day or during the night, so you do not have to worry about having to wear the trays to work or to social functions.

The store-bought teeth whitening strips provide only coverage for bleaching a portion of the six anterior teeth. A custom tray system can fully bleach the entire tooth of the upper and lower arch, giving you maximum coverage for a sustainable bright smile.

Dr. Ralph Bastian routinely provides teeth whitening solutions in Peterborough. Book an appointment at his dental office for a consultation today.

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mouth guard

Athletic Mouth Guards: How to Protect Your Teeth While Playing Contact Sports

Athletic mouth guards are designed to distribute the force of an impact of a puck, elbow or stick during contact sports. Damage can be devastating without a sports guard, especially in contact sports such as hockey, football, basketball and even soccer. Protect your precious pearly whites while playing these sports and avoid a trip to an emergency dentist by wearing a sports mouth guard.

  • What Are Athletic Mouth Guards? 

An athletic mouth guard or a sports mouth guard is made from a thermoplastic material that absorbs the impact and distributes the force of the hit over many teeth instead of the border of a single one in the upper jaw. The athletic mouth guard protects the maxilla (upper jaw) as most impacts take place there. If the mandibula is struck from below, the sports mouth guard absorbs the impact as the teeth impact the surface, reducing the trauma to the biting surfaces and the TMJ.

  • How To Protect Your Teeth During Contact Sports

Helmets are a good way to protect your teeth as they offer a layer of protection. Helmets are designed separately for each contact sport; however, helmets are not always guaranteed to help you. Playing certain sports puts you at risk of chipping or even losing a tooth. So, you should always wear a professionally fitted mouth guard so as to be properly prepared for emergencies. Not wearing a mouth guard can result in cracked, chipped or even teeth that are knocked out. An athletic mouth guard can help to reduce the injury and the severe pain as well as a lifetime of expensive treatment. If a tooth is lost, for a young person an implant is the logical solution. This typical cost in excess of a few thousand dollars. This is an expense that could be avoided easily.

  • Over The Counter vs. Custom-Made Sports Guards

Although sports guards can be purchased from a drugstore at a cheap price, these are not always effective and can still result in an injury. The most effective mouth guards are customized to fit into your mouth and it is also the most comfortable option. The dentist takes an impression of your teeth witch is used to create a guard that is an exact fit. These are custom-made and durable. You are fully protected, as the guard will not be knocked out of your mouth if it is hit hard during a game. In younger children, with a developing dentition, a new sports guard should be created every fall to ensure a proper fit. Once they reach the teen years, this may not longer be required, as the jaw changes very little.

Dr. Ralph Bastian can design a customized, high-quality athletic mouth guard for contact sports that will help you to avoid an injury. For more information on sports mouth guards or an emergency dentist, contact us for a dentist in Peterborough today.

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Good Dental Health Habits

How To Teach Children Good Dental Health Habits

Dr. Ralph Bastian is a family dentist who has worked with many children of all ages. Here are his tips on how to teach children good dental habits:

Lead by example

As most parents know, you won’t be able to teach your kids good habits if you don’t show that you are following the good habits yourself. Just as you have to eat your vegetables, stick to traffic rules and never litter, if you want your kids to brush their teeth in the morning and evening, then you need to show them that the adults in the house are doing this as well. A good idea is to brush your teeth together as a family so that it forms part of your morning and evening routine. This will also enable you to supervise the children’s teeth brushing technique and monitor the amount of time they spend brushing their teeth.

Help small kids with toothpaste

The memory may be too hazy, but if you think really hard then you may recall your parents putting toothpaste on your toothbrush for you. If you have small children, particularly those under two years old, then it is critical that parents place the toothpaste on children’s’ toothbrushes for them. The amount of toothpaste shouldn’t be larger than the size of a small pea.

If your child is still very small and they are not able to spit out the toothpaste, rather buy a non-fluoridated paste. If this isn’t an option, opt for no toothpaste instead. In this case, the child will brush their teeth with a toothbrush and water.

Visit a dentist

It is important for parents to take their children to a dentist at a young age if there is a suspected problem. Even if your child is only 1 years old, dental issues shouldn’t be left unchecked as it can lead to discomfort and bigger problems later on. A quick check-up that turns out to be a ride in a dentist’s chair can even be considered a success for parents of a busy youngster. Parents could also consider turning the visit to the dentist where younger children watch their older siblings having a dental check up and cleaning. This technique is called modelling and it is very helpful in a dental office and within family units.

Bastian Dentistry helps people who love to smile. Whether you need advice about your child’s oral health or would like to book a dental appointment with a family dentist in Peterborough, we can help you. Dr. Ralph focuses on family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Contact him today.

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dental bridge

Fixed Bridges: Who Needs Them And What Are The Benefits?

You do not have to live with an unsightly gap in your mouth when you lose a tooth (or two or more). Depending on your overall oral health, if you have lost a tooth, whether due to localized decay or to injury, there are many tooth replacement options to consider that will ensure you can face the world with a confident smile again. One of those options is a fixed bridge.

Dental Bridges – A Perfect Solution to Tooth Loss

Dental bridges, also called ‘fixed bridges’, are artificial teeth that are bonded together and fixed to caps on the two teeth on either side of the gap – whether the gap is as a result of a single missing tooth or because of two or three missing teeth.

Fixed bridges are the perfect aesthetic and practical solution to tooth loss. And, if it is performed by an experienced dental surgeon such as Dr. Ralph Bastian, people won’t even notice that you have a bridge at all. However, fixed bridges are not suitable for everyone.

Ideal Candidates for Fixed Bridges

You need to have healthy anchor teeth (also called abutment teeth) or implants to be a good candidate for a fixed bridge. Fixed bridges are not suitable for people who have:

  • Widespread tooth loss caused by bad oral health,
  • Impending tooth loss caused by bad oral health,
  • Severe gum recession, and/or
  • Extensive bone-loss due to periodontal disease.

Fixed bridges are particularly suitable for people with:

  • One or two missing teeth in an otherwise healthy mouth,
  • Missing front teeth in particular, and/or
  • Sudden traumatic tooth loss caused by injury.

Although dental implants are an option for such candidates, fixed bridges are advantageous in several ways.

Some Advantages of Fixed Bridges:

  • One of the foremost benefits is the dental bridge cost: up to half that of implants.
  • Fixed bridges take far less time to manufacture than implants. While implants can take anywhere from 9 months to a year to manufacture, a fixed bridge can be manufactured in less than 3 weeks.
  • Fixed bridges can help stabilize the abutment teeth (particularly advantageous in the case of a traumatic injury that may have loosened or damaged them).
  • If only one tooth is missing, a fixed bridge can ‘close the gap’, while strengthening the abutment teeth.
  • A fixed bridge can be fitted by a dentist, without invasive oral surgery, and under local anesthetic.
  • Aesthetically, fixed bridges can look better than implants and often better than the original teeth.

Do you need to book a dental procedure or do you want to find out more about fixed bridges? Visit a leading dentist in Peterborough to get the quality dental treatment plan you need. Contact Dr. Ralph Bastian for more information today.

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Bastian dentsry

Common reasons for denture discomfort and their solutions

Dr. Ralph Bastian is an experienced dentist operating in Peterborough. He has been offering clients reliable denture-related services for over 30 years now. Over the years, he has develop solutions to treat denture discomfort. Here’s a quick overview of the common sources of denture pain and their solutions:

One of the reasons why people experience discomfort from their dentures is due to the tissue under the denture shrinking. This tissue can shrink as a result of ageing or even changes in weight, which can loosen the denture. The solution to this is realigning the denture or replacing it completely.

Another common reason for denture discomfort is dry mouth (xerstomia). This condition leads to many oral problems. It is typically caused by the medications that most patients require. The side effect from many of these drugs is a reduced saliva flow. This in turn causes denture discomfort, irritation and redness. Dentists can recommend medications, rinses or creams to alleviate this condition.

Patients often present with cracking in the corner of the mouth and fire red tissues under their dentures. This typically indicates and oral yeast infection. A prescription and/or rinse are required to treat this. Left unchecked, the infection can cause an oral burning sensation and leave unsightly lesions at the corner of the mouth.

Another situation that can lead to denture discomfort is poorly made dentures. Over time, dentures deteriorate and become thinner. This leads to breakages in the acrylic and possible dislodging of the denture teeth. Regular visits to the dentist will ensure that your dentist picks up on small problems before they escalate to large, unsightly and uncomfortable situations.

Don’t put up with Denture Discomfort!

Not all denture discomfort is reason for serious concern. It is common to experience some pain after receiving new dentures. It is typical to have two or three adjustments after a new prosthesis is delivered. It is important that the bite is balanced in every direction of the chewing cycle. If left untreated, a serious bite imbalance will lead to premature bone loss and denture discomfort.

If you are unsure whether you should be worried about your denture discomfort, then book an appointment with an experienced dentist in Peterborough to have your denture repaired or treated. Contact Dr. Ralph Bastian for more information today.

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Cosmetic dentistry

Everything You Need To Know About Dental Crowns

Crowns and bridges are one of the best ways to give you back your pearly white smile and to give you a new sense of confidence. The difference between dentures, crowns and fixed bridges is that dentures can be removed from the mouth, while crowns and fixed bridges are fixed prosthetic devices that are custom-made and cemented into place by a dentist.

Crowns are ideal for the following scenarios:

  • When you want to cover a poorly shaped tooth, a discoloured tooth, or a tooth that has received root canal treatment;
  • When you have a weak tooth that is at risk of breaking or fracturing and your dentist has advised that a crown could be a possible solution;
  • When you want to restore a tooth that has already been broken or fractured;
  • When your dentist needs to attach a bridge two crowns are required that are attached to one or more pontic teeth.

Contrary to popular belief, a crown will typically not last a lifetime. Over time you may have recurrent decay or the porcelain on the biting surface may fracture. In those cases  a replacement crown will be required. To increase the longevity of your crown or bridge, proper home care is required. Bridges require the use of a floss-threader to clean under it.  Failing to do so commonly causes recurrent decay. Regular check-ups with your dentist can intercept and treat small problems before the crown or bridge fails.

Another misconception is the reason for choosing porcelain crowns over full gold crowns. Porcelain crowns are aesthetically very desirable and hence are used  for anterior teeth. Full gold crowns are desirable for the posterior teeth because they are very biocompatible and wear at a similar rate to a natural tooth’s structure, which means they will have fewer problems in the long term.

Dr. Ralph Bastian is a dentist in Peterborough with over 30 years of experience in the placement and general maintenance of crowns and fixed bridges. He is passionate about designing and creating intricate multi-unit prosthesis which can restore function and appearance.

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