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All You Need To Know About Canker Sores

All You Need To Know About Canker Sores

“Canker sore” is the layman’s term for an aphthous ulcer. They typically appear as small, flat, white or off-white lesions on the soft tissues of the mouth such as the inner lips, the base of the gums, under the tongue and on the cheeks. They do not appear on any keratinized tissues, such as that of the top of the tongue. Canker sores differ from cold sores in that they do not appear on the lips, and they are not contagious. 

What Causes Canker Sores?

There is not always an easy answer to this question. Some people are more prone to canker sores than others, and some people rarely get them. A combination of factors may cause an outbreak. Possible causes may include: 

  • Emotional or physical stress 
  • Lack of sleep or fatigue 
  • Sensitivity to certain foods such as acidic fruits and vegetables (tomato, lemons)
  • Minor trauma from an injury or dental work 
  • Tongue or cheek biting 
  • Low vitamin b12 levels 
  • Use of toothpaste or mouthwash that contains sodium lauryl sulphate 
  • Certain oral bacteria 
  • Certain medical conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, Behcet’s Disease and HIV/AIDS

Risk Factors For Canker Sores 

Canker sores most commonly affect young adults and youth and are more common in females than in males. In addition, there is also a family link for canker sores, whether this is from a genetic predisposition or from environmental factors such as a similar diet or allergens. 

How to Prevent Canker Sores 

Canker sores are sometimes inevitable, but there are ways to reduce the frequency and severity of them. 

  • Avoiding foods that are known irritants (such as spicy, acidic and tart foods)
  • Take a vitamin b12 supplement if you have a diet low in vitamin b12
  • Reduce your stress
  • Protect your mouth from irritants and injuries 
  • Find a toothpaste and mouthwash that works for you 
  • Maintain good oral hygiene 

Treatment of Canker Sores 

The most important factor is time. Canker sores will usually go away on their own in a week or less. If the canker sore is particularly large, it may take several weeks. Some ways to help speed up the healing or relief the symptoms are:

  • Off the shelf oral or topical medications for pain relief 
  • Dab magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesium) on the sore several times a day 
  • Rinsing with salt water morning and evening 
  • Apply ice to the area by sucking on ice chips 

If you get frequent canker sores or have any questions about preventing canker sores, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment. 

What is Toothbrush Abrasion & How to Prevent It

What is Toothbrush Abrasion & How to Prevent It

Toothbrush abrasion is tooth surface wear caused by overzealous tooth brushing over time. It usually appears as small indentations or notches along the gum line, mainly occurring on the front surface of the premolars and molars where it is easy to over brush. 

Signs and Symptoms of Toothbrush Abrasion 

  • Gum recession 
  • Notched enamel at the gum line 
  • Yellowing teeth at the gum line 
  • Tooth sensitivity  

Treatment Options for Toothbrush Abrasion 

  • Sensitivity toothpaste can be used to prevent sensitivity associated with the abrasion. It is recommended to use sensitivity toothpaste twice a day while brushing, and it can provide instantaneous and long-lasting relief.
  • Fillings at the gum line to fill in the abrasion notches are another treatment option. White filling material is used to fill in the abrasion and helps prevent sensitivity by blocking the vulnerable tooth structure underneath. Fillings also help prevent further abrasion by blocking the vulnerable tooth structure from abrasive brushing. 

How To Prevent Toothbrush Abrasion

fix toothbrush abrasion toronto dentist

It is essential to use the correct brushing technique to prevent toothbrush abrasion. Make sure to use either a super soft or soft manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush to brush your teeth. Never use a medium or a hard manual toothbrush as the bristles are too firm and contribute to damage to the gums and tooth structure. If you use an electric toothbrush, make sure not to apply too much pressure or to brush aggressively with it. Let the electric toothbrush do the work for you by holding it against a tooth for a few seconds and moving on to the next tooth. A helpful tool that some electric toothbrushes have is a pressure indicator that either activates a sound or a light when you are applying too much pressure. An electric toothbrush with a pressure indicator is recommended for patients who are prone to brushing aggressively. If brushing with a soft or super soft manual toothbrush, make sure to brush away from the gums in sweeping strokes and never scrub back and forth. If you notice the bristles of your toothbrush splaying, it is an indication that you are brushing too aggressively. 

If you have any questions about toothbrush abrasion or believe you may benefit from treatment options for toothbrush abrasion, we encourage you to contact us to schedule an appointment. 

 If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Everything You Need To Know About Wisdom Teeth

Everything You Need To Know About Wisdom Teeth

What Are “Wisdom Teeth?”

Wisdom teeth are your 3rd adult molars that typically erupt around 16-20 years ago when they erupt. Often people don’t have room for their wisdom teeth, and they need to be removed to prevent issues from occurring. Some patients may not have their wisdom teeth be present at all.

Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth 

Signs and symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are pain, swelling face and neck, bad taste in mouth and infection. If your wisdom teeth are impacted you may have any number of these symptoms or no symptoms at all. It is important to see a dentist at the first sign of any of these symptoms to address the problem. 

wisdom teeth xray toronto dentist

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure 

Wisdom teeth will be recommended for removal if they are under the gum and bone and have no room to erupt and may be in a vulnerable spot that could cause problems such as future infection or cavities on neighbouring teeth. To have the wisdom teeth extracted, you will see either your dentist or an oral surgeon and be either awake or asleep using intravenous sedation. Various tools will be used to take the wisdom teeth out of the gums and bone, and the extraction sites will be sutured up. The healing time is typically just a few days. 

Risks of Not Removing Wisdom Teeth 

There are several risks involved in not removing wisdom teeth when they are recommended for removal. Infection can occur around the site of any of the impacted wisdom teeth, cavities can occur on the neighbouring teeth, and even shifting can occur from the push of the wisdom teeth. 

Important Facts 

  • If you have any signs or symptoms of an infected wisdom tooth, see your dentist immediately
  • Make sure not to smoke or use straws after your wisdom tooth extraction as this could disrupt the healing process 
  • Usually, there will be four wisdom teeth, but sometimes people are congenitally missing 1,2,3 or even all of their wisdom teeth 
  • Wisdom teeth are usually taken out in pairs. This is due to the fact that once one wisdom tooth is gone, the opposing wisdom tooth would no longer have a tooth to bite down against, eliminating the need for that tooth 

Make sure to talk to your dentist about the state of your wisdom teeth. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Learn When Dental Crowns Are Used For Children

Learn When Dental Crowns Are Used For Children

When a child has tooth decay, because the baby tooth is smaller and the nerve and blood supply is quite large for the size of the tooth, the decay can often travel fast into the underlying structure of the tooth, including the nerve and blood supply. Once the decay enters the nerve of the tooth, there is no way to save the tooth without either extracting it or performing a form of root canal treatment and placing a crown on top. If one of these two options is not performed, the tooth will end up having an infection that can be painful to the child and potentially cause problems with the adult tooth underneath. 

Option 1: Extraction

When an extraction is performed, the baby tooth with the deep cavity is removed, and a space maintainer is placed. The space maintainer is used to hold the space for the adult tooth to have enough room to erupt when the time comes. Because adult teeth find their place by resorbing the roots of the baby teeth before them, sometimes the adult tooth may erupt slightly off course if the baby tooth is taken out premature. 

Option 2: Nerve treatment and stainless steel crown

Saving the baby tooth is the ideal solution to a large cavity. A filling is placed that removes all the decay, the nerve and blood supply is treated, and a stainless steel crown is placed on top. This gives the baby tooth more of a chance of staying in place until the adult tooth below is ready to erupt. Placing a crown instead of removing the tooth also allows for adequate function such as chewing and eating.

keep baby teeth healthy toronto

The first sign of a cavity is a stained or brown spot, usually between teeth or on the biting surface of a tooth, or a chip to a tooth. If you suspect your child may have a cavity, it is crucial to bring them into the dentist immediately, so it is not left to progress. If you have any questions about cavities, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

Learn How To Keep Teeth Clean If You Have Dental Braces

Learn How To Keep Teeth Clean If You Have Dental Braces

Orthodontics provides so many benefits for your teeth, gums and oral health. However, dental braces can make it more challenging to keep your teeth clean. It is vital to make sure to maintain the health of your teeth and gums with braces on, but you need to have the right tools at home to do so. Listed below are essential tools to use while you have braces on your teeth.

Electric Toothbrush 

It is essential to use an electric toothbrush while you have braces on. Electric toothbrushes can perform more brush strokes in 2 minutes to compared to manual brushing. Electric toothbrushes also do a great job of cleaning around orthodontic bands and brackets that are difficult to access. 

electric tooth dental braces

electric tooth dental braces

Water Flosser

A water flosser is a great idea to use to clean between teeth and around brackets and bands. You can use either water or mouth wash. A great idea is to use a mouth wash containing fluoride to reduce your cavity risk. The water flosser flushes out food particles and bacteria, reducing plaque accumulation. 


Fluoride is an essential component in keeping teeth healthy with braces. Because plaque accumulation can be more challenging to prevent, fluoride strengthens the enamel of the teeth, preventing tooth decay. Use fluoride in your toothpaste twice a day and as an added dose, use a mouthwash containing fluoride once a day. Remember not to eat, drink or rinse for 30 minutes after fluoride so it can work properly. 

Super Floss/ Floss Threader

Flossing is more difficult with braces on, so you will need to use floss specifically designed to help get under the archwire. Super floss is a pre-cut piece of floss with a rigid end that is easy to stick between the teeth near the gum line. Floss threaders are loops that are used to pull the floss between the teeth. Both super floss and floss threaders work well, so use whichever you prefer. 


A proxabrush is a tool designed to help clean between brackets. It looks like a small pipe cleaner with thin bristles that dislodge plaque on the sides of the brackets, accessing areas that are difficult with the toothbrush and floss. 

Lastly, it is vital to see your dental hygienist regularly for cleanings when you have braces on. Your dental hygienist can clean spots that are difficult to access at home and discuss areas that require more attention. Often, cleanings are recommended every 3-4 months when braces are on. If you have any questions about tools to use at home for cleaning around braces, contact us today to schedule an appointment.