3/1/2018 8:16:00 AM | Robyn Blatt

Your gums are the foundation of your smile; it is essential that you keep them as healthy as possible. To keep gums in their best condition, one must utilize effective dental care techniques, though flossing is one of the most underused steps in a person’s oral hygiene routine. Drs. Robyn and Ralph Blatt of Sunnyside Dental Centre educate patients on the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease. Our Toronto dentists give patients professional at-home tips and the information they need to monitor their oral health.

What causes gum disease?

You are recommended to brush and floss your teeth twice a day to remove leftover food particles from the foods and beverages consumed throughout the day. Food debris contributes to the build-up of plaque, which becomes tartar if it remains in the mouth for a long period of time. These two dental issues can affect a person’s dental anatomy and develop into serious oral concerns. The longer a patient goes without treatment to reverse gum disease, the more impact and severe the infection gets.

What are the stages of periodontal disease?

There are three stages of gum disease:

Gingivitis is the most basic form, roughly over 50 percent of US citizens experience this stage of periodontal disease. At this point, the infection may be treated with an effective dental care routine and requires the least professional intervention. Symptoms of gingivitis include swollen, red, and bleeding gums, especially when brushing and flossing.

Periodontitis is the stage where the disease begins to become irreversible without surgical or invasive treatments. At this point of the infection, patients may start to notice their gums detaching from the roots of their teeth, which causes periodontal pockets and allows bacteria to harbor.

Advanced periodontitis is when patients are in need of extensive professional intervention to reduce the damage it has on your dental anatomy. Teeth may start to feel loose or become dislodged due to the gingival tissues separating from their roots. Treating patients with advanced periodontitis requires complex care and invasive procedures.

How do my dentist or I treat gum disease?

For the sake of your oral health, it is necessary for you to attend your routine examinations to ensure that your teeth and gums are at their best. These appointments allow your dentist to continuously monitor your smile and ensure your teeth’s supporting structure are in optimal condition. Depending on the finding of your dentist’s analysis of your teeth and gums, they may recommend or schedule future visits to take care of any impending oral concerns.

Dentists usually care for gum disease by performing a root scaling and planing. This treatment removes the harmful bacteria from below the gum line and smooths the roots of your teeth, so you are less susceptible to build-up in the future.

While patients are in the comfort of their own home, they can continue fighting gum disease by consistently maintaining their oral health with an effective dental care routine. By brushing and flossing twice a day, you stop plaque from hardening into tartar and halt the development of periodontal disease.

For more information regarding gum disease, contact Sunnyside Dental Centre in Toronto!

8/10/2017 8:00:00 AM | Robyn Blatt

It’s been widely researched and accepted that the health of your teeth and gums directly relate to your overall health. In fact, many professionals agree that oral health and general wellness are not separate aspects to consider. Oral health concerns, including periodontal disease and tooth decay, have been directly connected to such systemic complications as heart disease and diabetes. In the field of dentistry, in particular, proactive-minded practitioners have taken the data regarding this relationship to develop wellness models for their practice.

Part of what dental professionals have realized is that proper treatment for oral complications, particularly periodontal disease, lowers the patient’s risk for developing health concerns elsewhere in the body. This discovery puts a sharper focus on the need for treatment options that promote the enduring well-being of the gums.

Connection to Heart Disease

Understanding the development and progression of oral bacteria goes a long way in explaining how problems that begin in the gums contribute to heart disease and other cardiovascular complications. While some bacteria live naturally in the mouth, diets rich in sugary foods and a lack of effective, routine hygiene habits allow these to form a layer on the teeth, known as plaque. If left untreated, this film hardens into tartar on the surface and the bacteria below begin to spread into and beyond the gums. Over time, inflammation and infection in periodontal tissues permit the bacteria to travel into the bloodstream. Should bacteria form arterial plaque or otherwise build-up in the blood vessels, it can lead to coronary heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, and more.

Seeing your dentist for regular examinations and maintenance of your gums not only allows them to preserve your existing periodontal health, they can also detect and provide treatment that greatly reduces your chances of developing more serious conditions.

Connection to Diabetes

Links between periodontal disease and diabetes are quite common due to the lowered immune system function of diabetics.  Additionally, this works in reverse as periodontal disease can influence blood sugar control, which can contribute to diabetes.  Periodontal treatment in diabetics has been shown to improve metabolic control.

Other Systemic Connections

Other connections between oral and systemic health exist, for example, respiratory infections caused by inhaled oral pathogens.  If the bacteria in the mouth is not treated, it stands to reason that the bacteria can travel to the lungs and wreak havoc there as well.

Additionally, there is research that shows treating oral health issues, particularly periodontal disease, lowers the occurrence of pre-term and underweight baby births. The connection works both ways, as many pregnant women have an increased chance of developing gingivitis. Dietary counseling and proper treatment during pregnancy often result in a baby born with significantly better health than a child born when little or no action is taken to address periodontal concerns.

Plan of Action

Quite simply, regular brushing, flossing, and keeping informed on preventative techniques go a long way in improving your overall health.  Proper preventative care and treatment also contribute to the lowering of healthcare costs, since prevention tends to be far less expensive than a cure.

The best thing that a patient can do for good overall health is to stay proactive with their care, beginning with their dental and doctor visits. Regular checkups will allow both your dentist and doctor to work with you on the best preventive treatment plans to keep oral and systemic concerns at bay.

If you are in Parkdale or any of the surrounding communities and have been looking for a way to take control of your oral and overall health and set a path toward a healthier future, call and schedule an appointment with Blatt Family Dental & Associates today!

7/14/2017 12:00:00 PM | Robyn Blatt

In some situations, taking your young child to the dentist can prove to be challenging. This can be due to a variety of reasons, from trying to find time in a busy schedule to anxiety about dental care as a whole. More and more, practices are taking a kinder, practical approach by supplementing their paediatric services with sedation options. This is particularly true for lengthier procedures, such as root canal therapy or treatment for cavities. When used in the right cases, sedation allows for quality care, as it helps both children and parents feel at ease.

Improving Your Child’s Dental Experience

Studies show that adult dental anxiety, which keeps them away from treatment, often develops in childhood. Professionals across the dental field have implemented different techniques into their care approach to make children’s experiences as positive as possible, as there is evidence linking early treatment of issues like cavities to long term dental and general wellness. Sedation is one of the ways dentists help younger patients relax so they are less likely to avoid visits as they grow older.

The following are some of the benefits provided by this method:
  • Less time is required to perform procedures, as your child feels calm and remains still in the dental chair.
  • More involved dental issues are addressed in fewer appointments, as the volume and quality of services the dentist can provide is improved. 
  • Enables children with special needs to receive necessary, comprehensive treatment with the consideration they deserve

Options for Your Child

When hearing the word sedation, nitrous oxide is often the first thing that comes to mind. Though this medication may be used, it represents only one of the options for your child’s treatment. Due to age, tolerance, and health history, there is rarely a single method that works best for all children. With the availability of several solutions, dentists are able to adjust their care to the individual comfort level of their patients. Some of these include:

  • Chloral Hydrate –This form of oral conscious sedation is primarily effective for children up to three years old and is provided as a drink. While there are relatively few side effects associated with this method, it can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes for your child to feel relaxed and ready for dental care. It is less useful for older children. 
  • Nitrous Oxide – Also known as laughing gas. This is one of the most common options offered by dentists. An inhaled type of conscious sedation, nitrous oxide is used to induce a state of ease prior to treatment. Children who receive this can still respond to instructions, but feel much more relaxed during the procedure.
  • General Anesthesia – In more complex cases, a certified anesthetist can provide heavier sedation for your child. Along with training on proper administration techniques, the anesthetist is experienced in making sure this process is safe by monitoring the patient's vital signs and adjusting the level of sedation as needed.

When developing a treatment plan, your dentist will assess which form is best suited for your child and discuss any appropriate alternatives with you.

Want to Know More? Contact Us Today!

Whether your child is anxious about an upcoming visit or the essential procedure they need will be lengthy, dental sedation can make their experience more pleasant. We offer sedation services, for children and adults at Blatt Family Dental & Associates, to make dental care comfortable and accessible for families throughout Parkdale and the neighbouring communities. For more information, call and schedule an appointment with our office today!

5/5/2017 12:00:00 PM | Robyn Blatt

The most important question your dentist should consider when deciding between root canal therapy and dental implant placement is whether or not the tooth in question can be saved. If there is any possibility of preserving the original tooth, root canal therapy is often the preferred method. However, should decay be too far advanced, replacing a compromised tooth with an implant may serve as a more suitable solution. In either case, the goal is ultimately to maintain proper structure and health, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a restored smile.  

If you are experiencing prolonged discomfort and suspect dental issues to be the culprit, it is definitely worth your time to review your options. At Blatt Family Dental & Associates, we encourage our patients to understand their treatment before undergoing any procedure. Before consulting with our dentists, take a moment to look at the following details about root canal therapy and implant placement:

Endodontics: Preserving your Natural Teeth

Root canal therapy falls under the category of endodontic treatment – care designed to address issues within the tooth. When decay and infection are present in the root canal, not only do you experience discomfort, there may be a larger impact on your oral health at large. Over time, it is possible for harmful bacteria to spread to your gums and, in more advanced instances, throughout your body. Fortunately, this is far from an untreatable condition and root canal therapy eliminates sites of infection without the need for extraction.

After this procedure, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene to assist in the healing process and encourage the long-term success of treatment.

In the following instances, root canal therapy may not be successful and alternative procedures, such as dental implant placement, should be considered instead:
  • Inaccessible root canals
  • Cracks in the root of your tooth


Dental Implants: Restoring Dental Function

In situations where the tooth is beyond saving, a dental implant offers an enduring replacement solution. When careful consideration is taken both in planning and placing your implant, there is little cause to worry about it having the resiliency to withstand normal activities. This includes daily habits like brushing and flossing, which, along with routine follow-up visits, are essential parts of preventing future tooth loss. Additionally, by replacing the root as well as the visible surface of a tooth, dental implants maintain jaw strength and density by protecting against bone resorption.

The Case for Restorative Care

For all the differences between these two procedures, both in when they are indicated and how they are performed, there are also similarities in the results you can receive from either treatment. Regaining the ability to chew properly and without discomfort is a benefit following root canal therapy and implant placement. This is in large part due to the restored biting force achieved through these options, which also contributes to better digestion and improved overall wellness. Due to the porcelain restorations used in the final stages of both procedures, your smile will have a natural appearance to go along with renewed function.  

In the end, the best choice between root canal therapy and receiving a dental implant depends on your individual situation. For more information on your options for restorative care, contact Blatt Family Dental and schedule an appointment. Our practice serves patients in Parkdale and the surrounding Toronto communities and we’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

1/10/2017 6:26:00 PM | Robyn Blatt

• The Department of Finance has confirmed that they are considering taxing the premiums employers pay on health and benefit plans, possibly as soon as this year. 
• This essentially means those benefits become taxable income. This means hundreds or thousands of dollars added to your tax bill annually. 
• It also means many Canadians may cancel their coverage, or your employer may not be able to keep you insured. 
• The federal government needs to hear from Canadians that taxing these essential health benefits is a bad idea, and the negative affect this could have on middle class Canadians and their families. 
• These plans provide preventive care, prescription drugs, mental health services, dental care, and musculoskeletal care. This is important health care that has been removed for, or is not covered by provincial plans. 
• Without proper health care benefits, more Canadians will enter the public system with greater health needs, driving up costs. 
• When a similar tax was introduced in Quebec, 20% of employers dropped health benefits for employees. Studies suggest the removal of this tax benefit across the board could result in a decrease of 50% of small firms who will be able to offer health benefits. 
• Taxing these plans will make them costlier and more of an administrative burden to employers, and less of a benefit to employees. 
• If benefits were to be taxed, fewer employers of all sizes would offer benefit plans, and many would reduce coverage. 
• Taking needed care away from millions of Canadians is not the way to address fairness and equity. 
• Write to/call your Member of Parliament. Tell them that you don’t think this is right. 
• Send your concerns to the Minister of Finance. 
• Visit 
KEVIN DESJARDINS, Director of Public Affairs 
Canadian Dental Association | or 613 520-5035 

For more information, refer to our Facebook Post or go to

1/3/2017 5:00:00 PM | Robyn Blatt

We're excited to announce the official launch of the Blatt Family Dental & Associates blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Blatt Family Dental, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!