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All Posts Tagged: dentist Peterborough

jaw pain

Why Do I Have Jaw Pain?

Every day we use our jaw in multiple ways without even thinking about it. That is until we experience jaw pain and may require a nigth guard. Our jawbone connects to our skull at a pair of joints close to the ear canals known as the temporomandibular joints or TMJ. What might be some of the reasons for our jaw pain? Besides chewing food, our teeth should not be in contact with each other. If that takes place, it is called parafunctional contact. These are some examples of it:

jaw pain

Not wearing My Sports Guard

A sports guard keeps your teeth safe during contact sports and is often mandatory equipment in many team sports. The guard material of the sports guard helps absorb impacts and spreads the force of such impact over a larger area, often preventing concussion. If you or your child is a keen sports player, investing in a custom-fabricated mouth guard is a necessary and highly recommended expense.

Grinding or Clenching My Teeth at Night

If you unconsciously grind, gnash or clench your teeth at night, you have a condition called Bruxism. This condition is generally stress-related, besides possibly causing damage to your teeth it can, in addition, be the cause of jaw pain. Wearing a night guard, therefore, becomes a must. A night guard is worn at night, and not only protects your teeth but also separates the upper and lower jaw, promoting relief of muscle spasm, TMJ pain and reducing wear and breakage of teeth. 

Having Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder

Pain at our temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) is one of the most common reasons for jaw pain. It is more common among women and is often felt after an illness, jaw injury or an episode of acute stress. It can also be due to arthritis or other conditions that attack the cartilage that projects the joints. Of all these causes, stress may be the largest contributor. Some TMJ disorder symptoms include:

  • A popping or clicking sound when you open or close your mouth,
  • Headaches, and/or
  • Soreness and stiffness in your jaw or neck area.
  • Restricted jaw opening
  • Difficulty chewing

jaw pain

If you need a sports or night guard or require temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment for whatever reason, it is best to contact your local Peterborough dentist, Dr. Ralph Bastian. For more information on how we can relieve your jaw pain with a teeth guard, do not hesitate to get in touch

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How to Deal with a Dental Emergency and Where to Go for Help

Nobody wants to have to deal with a dental emergency, but there is no changing the fact that sometimes they are unavoidable. In the event that you or a loved one damages a tooth and is in severe pain, you will probably be wondering what course of action to take and how to find an emergency dentist in the Peterborough area. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow.

Contact us at Dr. Ralph Bastian Dentistry

Finding an emergency dentist can be challenging. We are available for you from Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm. Most emergencies can be seen the same day. Outside office hours, you can call the on-call pager number 745-748-8500. Within one hour your call should be returned and arrangements will be made for your attention. The dentist on call will only see emergencies from 8 am to 8 pm (7 days per week). After 8 pm, contact Emergency at PRHC as described below.

dental emergency

Contact the Emergency Department at PRHC

You can call 705-743-2121 to get in touch with the emergency department at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. The local on-call system will put you through to the various lines, and they will be able to advise you in terms of which emergency dentist is available at which emergency dental clinic. After 8 pm, for genuine emergencies, the Hospital may prescribe antibiotics and analgesics. For obvious reasons no fillings or extractions are done at the Hospital. 

Visit to the Emergency Dentist 

Once you have arrived at the emergency dentist’s practice, he or she will investigate the extent of the dental emergency and do a thorough medical history. If the tooth is not salvable he or she will usually choos to do an extraction. Sometimes a root canal can save the tooth and a referral to the endodontist can be made. In many cases the tooth can be restored and the emergency dentist can do this procedure. 

In many sports injuries a tooth can be knock-out or loosen. In this case, please rinse the tooth and place the tooth in milk and try to get to the on-call dentist within 1 hour. In this case, it may be possible to re-implant the tooth. 

In cases were a large portion of the tooth is broken away (as in a hockey accident) it may be possible to save the nerve and therefore the tooth if the exposure is small. It is also ideal to have the tooth treated and repair within 1 hour.

In the case of a large exposure or the tooth is not treated in a timely fashion, a root canal will be necessary.

Although chipped, cracked and/or abscessed teeth are probably the most common dental emergencies, most emergency dentists will be equipped to handle practically any dental emergency. 

Follow-Up Visit 

When the emergency dentist has sorted out your dental problem, you will usually be able to go home immediately afterward. The patient usually returns to his/her own dentist for follow up care. If they do not have any existing dentist, Dr. Ralph Bastian and his staff will be pleased to help you. 

In search of a reputable dentist? Peterborough’s residents trust Dr. Ralph Bastian! Contact us today to book an appointment. 

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How To Care For Your Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are usually done after a root canal treatment. When a dentist recommends a dental crown, it is because the tooth has undergone many restorations and is at risk of a fracture because of its weakened state.

A dental crown is often used on anterior teeth to improve their aesthetics.

At Dr. Ralph Bastian’s dental practice, we use porcelain fused to metal crowns as they provide more durability and are less prone to fractures. After this type of dental crown has been installed, it is important to care for it in the right way. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Avoid Chewing Immediately After The Procedure

If a dentist uses anaesthetic during the dental crown procedure, avoid chewing until the numbness in your mouth has completely worn off and the cement is completely set. You should also avoid chewing on hard food types such as ice or hard candy.

If your gums are sensitive or sore following the procedure, don’t be too concerned as this is normal for the first week or so. And also remember that Dr. Bastian will schedule a follow up appointment on the next day to re-check the bite after the anaesthetics effects are totally gone.

Post-Procedure Medication

A dental crown procedure will not usually require any medication. If needed, only take antibiotics or other medication as directed by your dentist.

Daily Dental Care

Brush and floss normally each day.

When To Contact Your Dentist

If you have sensitivity that increases or continues beyond the first week, or if your bite feels uneven, contact your dentist.

Foods To Avoid

Most foods can be consumed after one week the dental crowns are placed. Food that could break or chip natural teeth (crunch candies, hard frozen foods) can also damage your crown, so should be avoided. 

Interested in finding out more about dental crowns? Then contact Dr. Ralph Bastian’s dental practice today.

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Signs That Your Dentures Need Adjusting or Replacing

If you have a denture that is giving you problems, the first question to ask is why doesn’t it fit well? Generally speaking, the denture itself doesn’t change over time. Dentures are made of very hard plastic that doesn’t warp. What has probably changed is your mouth.

The denture is fitted on the gums that cover your jaw bone. And, over time, our jaw bone shrinks, causing the denture to become loose. If this is the case and your denture is still in good condition, the dentist at your denture clinic can do what is known as a ‘relign’, where more plastic is added inside the denture. This will allow the denture to grip your shrunken jaw bone a bit tighter and this will give you a better fit. This often works very well for patients. However, if the denture is rundown or there is a lot of shrinkage of your jaw bone, then a new denture may be required.

Other Signs That Your Denture Needs Adjusting or Replacing

  • Visible wear and tear on the denture
  • Dentures that are hard to keep clean
  • Chips or cracks in the teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Discomfort
  • Pressure sores
  • Changes in the fit
  • Oral sores
  • Gum irritation
  • Change in speech patterns
  • Stains on the denture
  • Persistent bad odour
  • Neck pain
  • Earaches
  • Headaches
  • Facial nerve pain
  • Difficulty eating
  • Wobbly or loose dentures
  • Discoloration of dentures

Most dentures, even when they are made from high-quality and long-lasting dental materials, have an average lifespan of five to ten years. If you want your dentures adjusted or replaced, contact Dr. Ralph Bastian’s denture clinic in Peterborough today. We focus on partial dentures and denture repair.

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jaw pain

Waking Up With Headaches And Jaw Pain? Here Is What To Do:

If you suffer from painful jaw muscles and headaches, the problem might be that you grind your teeth. This is a problem that many Canadians experience.

For a lot of people, stress is one of the biggest causes of teeth grinding. Other underlying issues can be sleep apnea, which is a condition where one stops breathing at night. For other people, it can simply be a habit. Dentists often recommend splits and teeth guards to help patients protect their teeth and to alleviate jaw pain and headaches which results from teeth grinding.

From a dental point of view, signs of teeth grinding include the following:

  • Cracks in the teeth,
  • The shortening of the teeth,
  • Points where the teeth are getting worn down,
  • Muscle pain,
  • TMJ pain

We also see hypertrophy of the muscle, where the muscles around the jaw get bigger as a result of the grinding. If you wake up with jaw pain, headaches or a feeling of tightness, then you should book a consultation with a dentist.

jaw pain

Some people use injectables such as Botox, but this is a symptomatic treatment of the muscles only. If you are one of the many people who clench their teeth, then you can avoid a long list of symptoms (such as wearing of the teeth, fractures of the teeth, headaches, neck pain, back pain and jaw pains) by getting a tooth guard (night guard) that has been fitted by an experienced dentist.

teeth guard

Most over-the-counter mouth guards are clunky and bulky, making them uncomfortable to wear at night. Dr. Ralph Bastian, a dentist in Peterborough, uses high-quality tooth guards that have a hard surface for durability and a wedge design that relieves symptoms of teeth grinding and teeth clenching. Book an appointment with Dr. Ralph Bastian today.


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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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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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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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Dental clinic

Don’t suffer with denture discomfort – Visit your dental clinic

Many people wait until they need new dentures or require denture repair before they book an appointment with a dentist. If, however, you are experiencing any type of denture discomfort, then you should visit a dentist that enjoys senior dental care.

Ageing can lead to dental problems that you may not have experienced in the past. Keeping dentures clean and having the necessary adjustments made to your dentures on an ongoing basis is important to ensure optimal dental health as you get older.

Did you know? Long-term medication use can negatively affect your dental health. Conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, arthritis and diabetes can also lead to physiological changes that can affect your teeth and gums. Regular visits to your dentist can make sure that you are on top of your dental health and intercepts problems when they are minor.

Denture discomfort solutions – visit a dentist in Peterborough 

Senior dental care is a service that is offered by Dr Ralph Bastian, an established dentist in Peterborough. Dental care is important at any age, but it becomes increasingly difficult to manage by yourself as you get older.

Even if you no longer have any natural teeth, it’s still vital that you visit a dentist at least once a year for oral cancer screening and a general check-up. During this check-up, your dentist can assess your mouth and teeth for possible oral yeast infections as well as assess the fit of existing dentures and make adjustments or perform a reline if required. If your dentures have any fractures or missing teeth, they can usually be repaired the same day.

If you want to visit a dentist that can repair your dentures the same day and give you the care, support, advice and medical expertise that you need, then book an appointment with Dr Ralph Bastian today.

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