10 Facts about Saliva….Tidbits about Spit

Spit may be disgusting but it is one of the most interesting bodily fluids we have.

  1. Humans produce 1-2 litres of saliva per day.
  2. Saliva is 98% water, but it contains many important substances, including electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds and various enzymes. One of the enzyme found in saliva is amylase that breaks some starches down into maltose and dextrin and starts the digestive process.
  3. The water in your saliva comes from your blood.
  4. Saliva production becomes increased while eating or preparing to eat , or even watching or smelling food being cooked. Saliva production is reduced when you are stressed, nervous or frightened. Chewing sugar free gum with xylitol increases saliva production which is actually good for your teeth. Certain diseases and medicines can affect how much saliva you make. If you do not make enough saliva, your mouth can become quite dry. This condition is called dry mouth (xerostomia).Dry mouth causes the gums, tongue, and other tissues in the mouth to become swollen and uncomfortable. Germs thrive in this type of setting. A germy, dry mouth leads to bad breath
  5. Your spit contains your entire genetic blueprint.
  6. Humans have 3 major pairs of salivary gland in the mouth that produce all your saliva. Parotid (in the cheeks), Submandibular( near the lower jaw) and Sublingual ( under the tongue).
  7. The antibacterial compounds found in saliva, and enzyme called Lysozyme, can provide a constant protective shield against various pathogens and bacteria that attack the gums, teeth and throat. Unfortunately, saliva production drops dramatically at night, which is why most bacterial growth in the mouth occurs while we sleep, leading to the dreaded “morning breath” and the morning plaque film on teeth.
  8. Optimal pH for saliva is about 7.4. The lower your pH value below 7.0, the greater your degree of acid stress. Food and drink change the pH of saliva. Age may be a factor also, as children have an average saliva pH of 7.5, while adults tend to be more acidic, with a saliva pH as low as 6.5. The pH level in the mouth affects the health of our teeth and gums and is a good indicator for our general health. Regulating the pH in the mouth will also help reduce the bacteria in our mouths, thereby reducing our risk for cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. Bacteria feed off sugars that are commonly found in sucrose (table sugar), glucose, fructose, lactose, and cooked starches. Foods such as candies, sodas, pastas, animal proteins and breads, and even natural fruits, give bacteria in the mouth more fuel to produce lactic acid which is the acid that causes tooth decay.
  9. There are many diseases or illnesses that can be passed on through “swapping spit”…aka kissing. Aside from the common cold or flu, one can contract Herpes (HSV 1), Syphilis, bacterial Meningitis, Infectious Mononucleosis, Gingivitis and cavities.
  10. Saliva helps wounds in the mouth heal faster than wounds elsewhere on the body.

How do Jaws become Misaligned?

Various factors can cause jaws to shift, putting strain on the surrounding muscles in our mouths.  Some of the causes of jaw misalignment are tooth loss, mouth breathing, whiplash, genetics, arthritis or even a slight blow to the head.

People are not aware that unconscious habits such as jutting their chins forward, clenching their teeth when they are angry or even biting down on a pencil or pen can put additional strain on the teeth and jaws.  This can cause premature wear and tear on the teeth as they are not designed for this destructive habit.

Jaw problems can also occur in children due to poor oral habits. The most common cause is thumb sucking in children beyond four years of age.  Thumb sucking can push their growing teeth out of position by molding their upper palate with their thumb or fingers.  This creates narrow arches and cross bites. Fortunately, this is a habit that many children leave behind when their permanent teeth come in.

With a narrow upper arch in both children and adults the tongue positions itself on the floor of the mouth so when they swallow they push their tongue against the teeth that do not meet in order to create a closed space.  The tongue is one our most powerful muscles and the sheer strength of its thrusts when swallowing can prevent children/adult from developing or having a normal bite.

Be mindful and develop good habits by:

  • Be more conscious of your mouth position
  • Your tongue should rest lightly at the junction of the upper teeth and gum tissue and the lips should rest lightly together
  • The head should also be in a upright, balanced and in a relaxed position

“Remember, lips together, teeth apart, tongue in place”.

To help you be more aware of the tension in your jaws or face your can do a “facial scan”.

Close your eyes and ask yourself these questions:

  • Are my face muscles tense or relaxed?
  • Are my teeth touching together lightly or tightly?
  • Are my jaws hanging loosely with lips together and teeth apart?
  • Where is my tongue sitting? Is it sitting at the floor of my mouth?
  • Are my cheeks pulled into the sides where my teeth connect? Or, do I chew my cheeks as an unconscious habit?  (often this will create a white horizontal line on the inside of the cheek)

By understanding and being more aware of your oral habits you can take ownership of your mouth and your dental health.

Nutritional Deficiencies Your Dentist Can Detect

The average person visits their dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and check-up, and these are appointments you don’t want to miss as we not know there is a connection between your oral health and your overall health.  Inflammation in the mouth and inflammation in the body are correlated.  When this goes unchecked, this inflammation can show up in the form as heart disease, stroke, and other chronic inflammatory diseases.

Your mouth is a window to your overall health. Nutrition plays a critical role. Very often, when something flares up, loosens, or looks different in your mouth, it is your body’s way of asking for some type of nutrient it doesn’t have enough of.

  • Calcium: loose teeth, premature tooth loss, softening of teeth, bleeding gums.
  • Magnesium: inflamed gum tissue.
  • Vitamin B2:  Shiny red lips, sore tongue.
  • Vitamin B3: Red and/or swollen tip of tongue with dry smooth edges, general mouth pain.
  • Vitamin B6: Sore burning mouth, smooth tongue.
  • Vitamin B12: Bad breath, bright red tongue with fissures, loss of taste, dry mouth, numbness and bleeding.
  • ***Sores at the edge of the mouth may mean you are lacking in Vitamin B2, B3, B6 and B12***
  • Lack of Vitamin C or A: Bleeding gums, lowered immune response, infections in the mouth (ie. Yeast), impaired taste.
  • Vitamin D: Softening of teeth, increased bleeding, and yeast infections
  • Zinc: Loss of sensation in the tongue, loss of taste, dry mouth and susceptibility to gum disease.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet will make you feel better, increase your energy level, is good for your dental health and will make you smile more often!

Contact our office at 905-264-0333 to schedule you appointment in the New Year! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Google Investing in Spoon That Can Steady Tremors by 76%-Breakthrough

Shirin Vala, 65, who is an essential tremor patient, uses a Liftware Spoon to eat without spilling at her home in Oakland. Google is throwing its support behind the spoon, which senses a shaking hand and make instant adjustments to stay balanced.

Google is throwing its money, brain power and technology at the humble spoon.

Of course these spoons (don’t call them spoogles) are a bit more than your basic utensil: Using hundreds of algorithms, they allow people with essential tremors and Parkinson’s Disease to eat without spilling.

The technology senses how a hand is shaking and makes instant adjustments to stay balanced. In clinical trials, the Liftware spoons reduced shaking of the spoon bowl by an average of 76 per cent.

“We want to help people in their daily lives today and hopefully increase understanding of disease in the long run,” said Google spokesperson Katelin Jabbari.

Other adaptive devices have been developed to help people with tremors — rocker knives, weighted utensils, pen grips. But until now, experts say, technology has not been used in this way.

“It’s totally novel,” said UC San Francisco Medical Center neurologist Dr. Jill Ostrem, who specializes in movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease and essential tremors.

She helped advise the inventors, and says the device has been a remarkable asset for some of her patients.

“I have some patients who couldn’t eat independently, they had to be fed, and now they can eat on their own,” she said. “It doesn’t cure the disease, they still have tremor, but it’s a very positive change.”

Google got into the no-shake utensil business in September, acquiring a small, National Institutes of Health-funded startup called Lift Labs for an undisclosed sum.

Google co-founder’s mother has Parkinson’s

More than 10 million people worldwide, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s mother, have essential tremors or Parkinson’s disease. Brin has said he also has a mutation associated with higher rates of the Parkinson’s and has donated more than $50 million US to research for a cure, although Jabbari said the Lift Labs acquisition was not related.

Lift Lab founder Anupam Pathak said moving from a small, four-person startup in San Francisco to the vast Google campus in Mountain View has freed him up to be more creative as he explores how to apply the technology even more broadly.

His team works at the search giant’s division called Google(x) Life Sciences, which is also developing a smart contact lens that measures glucose levels in tears for diabetics and is researching how nanoparticles in blood might help detect diseases.

‘If you build something with your hands and it has that sort of an impact, it’s the greatest feeling ever.’– Anupam Pathak, Lift Lab founder

Joining Google has been motivating, said Pathak, but his focus remains on people who are now able to eat independently with his device. “If you build something with your hands and it has that sort of an impact, it’s the greatest feeling ever,” he said. “As an engineer who likes to build things, that’s the most validating thing that can happen.”

Pathak said they also hope to add sensors to the spoons to help medical researchers and providers better understand, measure and alleviate tremors.

Shirin Vala, 65,, has had an essential tremor for about a decade. She was at her monthly Essential Tremor group at a San Ramon medical clinic earlier this year when researchers developing the device introduced the idea and asked if anyone was interested in helping them.

As it was refined, she tried it out and gave them feedback. And when they hit the market at $295 apiece, she bought one.

Without the spoon, Vala said eating was really a challenge because her hands trembled so hard food fell off the utensils before she could eat it.

“I was shaking and I had a hard time to keep the food on a spoon, especially soup or something like an olive or tomatoes or something. It is very embarrassing. It’s very frustrating,” she said.

The spoon definitely improved her situation. “I was surprised that I held the food in there so much better. It makes eating much easier, especially if I’m out at a restaurant,” she said.

Our Spooky Halloween Giveaway Winners


Happy Halloween! Halloween Giveaway Spooktacular, Woodbridge Dentist, Dentist in Woodbridge,

Happy Halloween! Halloween Giveaway Spooktacular, Woodbridge Dentist, Dentist in Woodbridge

Attention Swimmers

Have you noticed staining on your children’s teeth? Some children who swim in a chlorinated pool up to 14 hours a week may have a hard brown to black in colour stain on their teeth. This staining is often observed along the gum line of the upper and lower front teeth. The good news is that this staining can be removed by your friendly hygienist/dentist and using a special remineralizing toothpaste may prevent it from developing

Good Luck and Good Bye Stacey!



Today we say farewell to our amazing hygienist Stacey as she embarks on her journey into motherhood! We wish you all the best! We can’t wait to find out if it’s going to be a boy or a girl! We have our guesses!


The One Who Invented Trick or Treat by Shel Silverstein

“Yes, I invented “Trick or treat”
So you could fill your mouth with sweets-
Candy bars and lemon drops,
Marshmallow and Tootsie Pops,
Butterscotch and bubble gum.
Hold out your hand – they’ll give you some
Chocolate kisses, Jujubes,
Sourballs and jelly beans.
Have a cake – some cookies too.
Take a couple – grab a few
Peppermint Sticks and Mary Janes, 
Licorice whips, and candy canes,
Slurp some soda, munch a pie,
Don’t let those M&M’s go by,
Chew that toffee, munch those treats,
Get that caramel in you teeth.
Then come see me, I’ll be here- 
I’m your friendly dentist, dear. “




Halloween is just around the corner and we want to see YOUR spooktacular Halloween costumes! The winner of our Halloween contest will win not one, but TWO Sonicare Kids Electric toothbrushes

1) ” Like” our Facebook page: Innovation Drive Dental

2) Share our contest page on your Facebook wall

3) Upload a picture of you in your Halloween costume for one additional entry (optional)

This contest ends Friday November 7th @ 12:00pm (e.s.t). 


Just click on the link https://apps.facebook.com/my-contests/qmfoln

Welcome Dr. Jaclyn Altman, Periodontist

We are happy to announce to you, that we are now offering the services of Dr. Jaclyn Altman , Periodontal Specialist to all of our existing patients. Our goal has always been and continues to be your comfort and convenience.

Therefore, Dr. Altman has agreed to be our onsite Specialist and she will be available to all of our patients for consultations and the treatment of:

•Periodontal disease

•Surgical placement of Implants

•Periodontal Surgery

We have reserved one Thursday a month for Dr. Altman from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm for your convenience.

If you are in need of any of the above mentioned treatment or are currently seeing someone for any of these conditions, Dr. Altman can see you in the comfort of our office where all of your records are easily accessible.

Should you need more information, please, don’t hesitate to call our office, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.