Dr. Malisa Gambacorta

West Burlington Dentistry

192 Plains Rd E, Burlington, ON L7T 2C3

(905) 635-5555

Fax: (647) 492-4890

Dr. Malisa Gambacorta

About me

I earned my Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from the University of Toronto. As a general dentist I provide services such as fillings, root canals, extractions, crowns and bridges, implants, dentures, and minor surgeries.

I enjoy helping people get through a situation that they aren’t necessarily looking forward to. I am currently a member of: the Toronto Crown and Bridge Study Club, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and the International Affiliation of Tongue Tie Professionals.

I was a dentist before I was a mom. Then motherhood happened, and it changed the way I see dentistry. I looked at the way my kids were developing and the sleep, breathing and behavioural problems they were having, and I found ways that I could help them as a parent and as a dentist. I believe there is more to dentistry than just teeth. For me, dentistry is an integrative approach and a means by which we can achieve greater well-being.

Tongue Tie

A Tongue tie is a condition that is present at birth that restricts the tongue’s ability to move as it normally should. With a tongue-tie there is a tight band of tissue that tethers the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth; this tight band may be visible or not. The medical term is ankyloglossia and it is considered a hereditary condition.

All people are born with some of this tissue, but for approximately 5-12% of newborns, it is so tight that they cannot move their tongues freely. This can affect a baby’s ability to breastfeed and lead to poor latch, nipple pain and trauma, decreased milk intake and a decline in milk supply over time. In older children and adults a tongue tie can lead to eating difficulties, inability to clean the teeth with the tongue, forward head posture (which can cause neck and back discomfort/pain) and mouth breathing. Tongue tie revisions (called frenectomies) remove the tight tissue under the tongue or upper lip.

Airway Centric®️ Dentistry

When my son started suffering from fragmented sleep and stopped growing at 18 months I was motivated to learn about sleep related breathing issues and solutions that I could provide as a dentist. I learned about appliances that I could make for him and I made several appliances that supported his airway until we were able to get through the medical system and get him a sleep test (aka polysonograph or PSG) which was a process that took years. Throughout this process I learned a number of things that I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that a person’s tongue should rest on the roof of his or her mouth; a thing that is referred to as “proper oral resting posture”. I didn’t know that the presence of the tongue on the roof of the mouth from birth is what helps to form the roof of the mouth (aka palate). A low and broad palate is what gives the nose a good amount of air space and helps the upper jaw bone to grow round (to accomodate all the teeth) instead of v-shaped. I was already a dentist and I didn’t know how the face bones, head bones, and airway develop properly.

I didn’t know that breathing through the nose is a crucial part of this development. I didn’t know that there were so many things that I could have done to help his airway development starting from when I was pregnant and continuing after he was born. Now, it’s my passion and goal to inform my patients about proper airway development and what we can do as dentists to help guide this process.

So what exactly is Airway Centric Dentistry? It is a term that was coined by Dr. Michael Gelb and Howard Hindin and refers to the recognition and management of a compromised airway. Airway Centric Orthodontics refers to orthodontic therapy that does not hold back the bones of the face but rather encourage the forward growth of face bones around a large, unobstructed airway.

I'm so happy to have Dr. Chloe MacGowan join us at West Burlington Dentistry where we focus on idealizing craniofacial growth and development by implementing prevention and early awareness.

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