History of Dental Implants

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While some may consider dental implants “modern day dentistry”, you may be surprised to learn that it dates back to ancient Egyptian times.

In 1952, orthopaedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Brånemark, the father of modern day implantology, was researching bone healing and regeneration at Lund University. During this time, he adopted the rabbit ear chamber (a study that was conducted at the University of Cambridge in which a chamber of titanium was embedded into the soft tissue of the ears of rabbits to study blood flow in vivo) to use in a rabbit’s femur. When he had completed the study, he attempted to remove the titanium chambers from the femur, and noticed that the bone had grown back so close to the titanium that the bone and the chambers were almost fused together.

Although Brånemark had originally planned on using this discovery for hip and knee surgery, he decided that because of the high rate of edentulism (missing teeth) in the general population, he would use this discovery towards the replacement of missing teeth. Today, many dental offices still use Brånemark’s dental implant system.

But hold on a second… implants go further back than that!

There is evidence that dates back to 4000 years ago in China. Archaeologists found carved bamboo pegs tapped into jaw bone to replace lost teeth. Evidence from 2000 years ago in ancient Egypt shows similar pegs made out of metal, as well as transplanted human teeth and some teeth made of ivory.

The most remarkable discovery of all was back in 1931 in Hondouras. Archaeolosist  Wilson Popenoe and his wife found the lower jaw bone of a Mayan woman dating back to 600AD. The jaw showed 3 missing teeth that had been replaced with shell carved into the shapes of teeth. Bone growth and calculus around these implants proves that this method was not only esthetic but functional as well.

What does your tongue reveal about your health?

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Your tongue can help diagnose general health issues just by looking at it. It’s shape, colour, texture, bumps, and indents can tell you more about your health than you would expect, let’s just say… your tongue is kind of a road map to what is going on in your body.

Tongue Colour

A healthy tongue: pink in colour with a light white coat on it, medium thickness with no cracks, ulcers or teeth marks.

A bright red tongue: A red tongue normally indicates a lack of nutrients in the body, normally Vitamin B and Iron. In children, a strawberry/raspberry coloured tongue can be the early signs of Scarlett fever or Kawasaki disease.

A pale tongue:  You are probabley lacking Haemoglobin, the iron-containing protein found in red blood cells.  A pale tongue can also suggest bacteria, dead cells, and debris are wedged into your papillae. In some cases, a white tongue may be a sign of anemia or oral thrush (yeast infection).

Purple or bluish tongue: This can mean that fluid and blood are not circulating properly.  A purple tongue is common in people who suffer from high cholesterol, heart problems, and chronic bronchitis.

Black and hairy tongues: This is caused by an overgrowth of papillae trapping bacteria and other debris. While this is normally harmless and short lived, it is normally found in individuals with poor oral hygiene, or who excessively use tobacco, antibiotics or stomach medications (Pepto-Bismol).

A bright red tongue tip can indicate psychological stress.

Tongue Texture

When you run your finger on your tongue, it should feel a bit hairy.

A smooth tongue: Could be a nutritional deficiency. Map like patches can be a sign of a vitamin B deficiency or an irritation brought on by alcohol or some foods.

A wrinkled tongue:  While harmless, grooves in your tongue may cause irritation when eating spicy foods, and can prevent your tongue from steering clear of bacteria.

Sores and bumps on your tongue:  Bumps on your tongue can be an apthous ulcer (canker sore), or even an allergic reaction to food or medication. However, lesions that appear thick with a hard surface (often found on the side of the tongue) could be a sign of Leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is common in people with weakened immune systems caused by HIV or the Epstein- Barr virus. Sores and bumps can also be a sign of cancer. These kinds of sores should be examined by a doctor right away!

Dry tongue:  This could be caused by the swelling of your salivary glands which in turn result in a lack of saliva production.  A dry, furry tongue indicates too much mucous in your system. Keep an eye out for a constant dry tongue; this can be a sign of Sjorgren’s syndrome, a debilitating immunological disorder.

Tongue Coating

A tongue’s coating can reveal a healthy or unhealthy digestive system. A healthy digestive system would reveal a thin whitish tongue coating, yet an overburdened system would result in a thicker coating of the tongue.

Dehydration will cause a shiny, red, wet tongue, and when there is no coating of the tongue, this could be a sign of exhaustion in the body.

Root Canal or Love?

root canal

Fear of x-rays? Fear not!










Expectant Mothers’ Periodontal Health Vital to Health of Her Baby



In the October 2013 issue of Dental Teamwork, an article was written about how a mother’s overall oral health can also affect the health of her baby.

When a woman becomes pregnant, she knows how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure the health of her baby; it is now highly recommended that expectant mothers maintain their periodontal health as well.

Periodontal disease is a chronic, bacteria-induced inflammatory condition that attacked the gum tissue, and in worse cases, the bone supporting the teeth. Tenderness, redness, swollen/bleeding gums are all signs of periodontal disease. These signs, especially during pregnancy, should not be ignored and may require treatment from a dental professional.

Research has indicated that women with periodontal disease may be at risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes like low-birth weight and pre-term babies. Babies with a birth weight of less than 5.5lbs may be at risk of long-term health problems such as delayed motor skills, social growth and learning disabilities.  Similar complications are true for babies born 3 weeks before their due date. Because of this, we encourage pregnant women to take care of their oral health with regular dental cleanings during their pregnancy.

Chewing gum and migraines


Chewing gum. Your child’s favourite addiction. Did you know that gum-chewing may be the culprit of your child’s headache/migraine? Dr. Nathan Watemberg of Tel Aviv university-affiliated Meir Medical center published his findings in Pediatric neurology.

While typical triggers of headaches in adolescents are stress, tiredness, heat, video games, noise, sunlight, smoking, missed meals and menstruation, Dr. Watemberg noticed that many patients who reported headaches were daily gum chewers.

For this study, Dr. Watemberg observed 30 patients who had chronic headaches/migraines and chewed gum daily (for at least an hour and up to 6 hours a day). He asked them to stop chewing gum for a month and recorded the results. After a month of not chewing gum, patients reported that their headaches/migraines went away completely or that they experienced a decrease in the frequency and severity of their headaches. To test the results, the participants started chewing gum daily again for 2 weeks. Each of them reported the return of their symptoms within days.

Dr. Watemberg concluded that chewing gum puts stress on the TMJ (the joint where the jaw meets the scull) causing migraines and headaches. He says his findings can be put to use immediately.  Doctor’s can advise their patients, teenagers with chronic headaches, to simply stop chewing gum. This can provide them with a quick and effective treatment and prevent the need for expensive tests and medications.

The Save 90 A Day Campaign-Take the Pledge!

The Save 90 A Day Campaign!

Did you know the average person wastes at least 90 glasses of water every day by leaving the tap running while they brush their teeth?
That means in the United States alone, we’re pouring 27 billion glasses of clean, drinkable water every day, just brushing our teeth.

Add your voice to the growing chorus of people around the world who believe that every drop counts, and are pledging to turn off the tap when they brush.

It’s easy to “Save 90 A Day!”
Sign the Dental Patient Pledge Below

I am committed to my oral health and to the health of our planet.

I agree to follow the advice of my dental professionals to brush my teeth twice a day and conserve ninety glasses of water every day by:

(1) Wetting my toothbrush under the water
(2) Turning off the tap
(3) Applying toothpaste
(4) Brushing my teeth for 2 minutes
(5) Filling a small glass with water
(6) Rinsing and swishing with water from the glass.
(7) Smiling!


I’m proud to “Save 90 A Day!”

Funny Dental Skit

Cute dental video from the Carol Burnett Show!





Bad Breath-Halitosis

Bad breath (also known as halitosis), we’ve all had it on occasion, but did you know that it is a common condition found in at least 50% of the adult population, with 25% of that group having chronic bad breath?

Here are the most common causes of Halitosis:

1)      Sinuses and Tonsils: materials trapped in tonsils are part of our normal defence system. If you have overall healthy gums and teeth, the cause of bad breath could be a sign of a medical disorder such as sinusitis or a respiratory tract infection. You dentist can evaluate the situation and refer you to a medical doctor if needed.

2)      Gastric Issues: Although not the most common of bad breath causes, people with gastric issues (gastric reflux and gastrointestinal issue) may experience halitosis. Semi digested food forced back through the sphincter, difficulty digesting certain foods like lactose and corn products, and people infected with Helicobacter pylori (bacteria that thrive on the stomach walls) create more bad breath issues.

3)      Food and tongue: Alcohol, cigarettes and specific foods (onion, garlic, etc.) are all contributors to bad breath.

4)      Dental causes: Poor oral hygiene, plaque build-up, dental decay, periodontal disease and gingivitis.

5)      Health conditions and medications: Medications that cause xerostomia (dry mouth) are all sources of bad breath. Saliva helps cleanse our mouth by removing bacteria. When we lack saliva flow, bad breath can occur. People with uncontrolled diabetes may have “fruity” breath, kidney disease may cause a fishy smell, while liver and lung disease can also produce bad breath as a result of the chemicals produced.

How do I get rid of bad breath?

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Regular dental cleanings and thorough daily home care
  • If the smell is coming from teeth with decay, have your teeth restored properly
  • For those with xerostomia (dry mouth), chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow may be helpful