November 12, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged



Canker sores are painful shallow ulcers in the mouth that are covered by a whitish gray membrane. The ulcers are surrounded by a halo of very red tissue. Canker sores can be found on the tongue, soft palate (the back portion of the roof of the mouth), gums, inner cheeks, throat, and sometimes the lips. Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not contagious.


Anyone can develop canker sores. It is believed that simple or sporadic canker sores affect about 20% of Americans at some point in their lives. The first occurrence is usually between the ages of 10 and 20, but younger children can develop them as well. As a person ages, the frequency of canker sores decreases. Women tend to develop them more often than men, and there does seem to be some genetic predisposition.

A fewer number of people develop complex canker sores. Instead of having episodes 3-4 times a year that last 7-10 days, these people may have sores 50% of the time and develop new sores just as the old ones are healing.


Simple or sporadic canker sores:

Currently, it is believed that tissue injury, stress, and viral illnesses may result in the formation of simple sores. Some researchers believe that certain foods such as citrus fruits, pineapples, tomatoes, nuts, and cinnamon can trigger the problem. Menstrual periods can also act as a trigger.

Complex canker sores:

In about 20% of complex cases, certain causes such as vitamin B12 deficiency, folic acid deficiency, iron deficiency, an impaired immune system, and diseases of the intestinal tract have been found to be the cause. In the remaining 80% of cases, no cause has been isolated.


In addition to the formation of painful ulcers, a period of tingling and burning may precede the appearance of a lesion. In extensive cases, fever, listlessness, and swollen lymph nodes may occur.


• Brush your teeth at least twice a day in addition to flossing regularly (and gently!). Avoid toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which has been linked to the presence of recurrent oral ulcers. Find an SLS free toothpaste you like and use it exclusively.

• Avoid foods that appear to trigger symptoms. Keep a food diary to identify triggers if symptoms are recurrent.

• Maintain a healthy immune system. Eat regularly, get plenty of sleep, and attempt to manage stress effectively.

• Visit your dentist if you have tooth surfaces that irritate the inside of your mouth.


• Rinse your mouth 3 times a day with a salt-water solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water).

• Make a mixture of half hydrogen peroxide and half water. Use a cotton swab to apply the mixture directly to the sore, and then dab a small amount of Milk of Magnesia on top of it. Do this 3-4 times a day.

• Dabbing diluted baking soda on the sore can also help.

• You can also mix Milk of Magnesia and liquid Benadryl Allergy medication in equal amounts. Every 4-6 hours, swish it in your mouth for a minute and spit it out.

• Over-the-counter treatments, such as Ambusol, Orabase, or Orajel, can help ease the discomfort. Colgate’s Orabase is easy to use, effective, and provides a protective barrier. Apply directly to canker sore for immediate relief.

• Avoid irritating foods and drinks (such as citrus, tomatoes, vinegar, pickles, salted nuts, and potato chips).

• Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) for discomfort.

• In some cases, a prescription ointment containing a steroid or a numbing medication can be helpful.


• Frequent outbreaks (>8 times/year).

• Ulcers that take more than 7-10 days to heal.

• Spreading or unusually large sores.

• High fever with the development of sores.

• Sores that are accompanied by arthritis or diarrhea.

• Pain that is not controlled with the self-treatment measures mentioned above.


• Tom's of Maine

• Clo-sys


• Orabase



What 10 Common Mouth Issues Really Look Like


You know good dental habits can help prevent things like cavities and gingivitis, but you may not know what conditions like these really look like or how they can affect your mouth. Use this visual guide to learn more about some of the most common dental health issues, symptoms to watch for and the potential treatments that are available. Please note: This content is for informational purposes only. Only a dentist, physician or other qualified health care professional can make a diagnosis.

Cold Sores (Fever Blisters)

Cold Sore

Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that erupt on your lips, under your nose or around your chin caused by a virus known as herpes simplex virus type 1. Once you have them, you’re likely to get them again. Extremely contagious, they can be passed to others from the time you feel the first symptoms (like itching or tingling by your mouth) to the time they heal completely. Cold sores are often red, yellow or gray and usually heal within a week or two on their own. Your dentist can prescribe antiviral drugs within the first few days of an outbreak to help it heal more quickly. Over the counter drugs are available to help with pain, itching and burning they might cause.



Severe cavities 

One in four adults has an untreated cavity, and according to the CDC, nearly every adult will have tooth decay at some point. You might have a cavity if you experience pain, food gets caught in your tooth, your tooth feels rough to your tongue or it hurts to eat something cold or sweet. Depending on their severity, cavities can be treated with fillingscrowns or root canals. If the damage is too extensive or involves nerve damage, the tooth may need to be removed. To reduce your chance of developing cavities, brush twice a dayfloss once a day,drink water with fluoride, use a fluoride toothpastestay away from sugary food and drinks and see your dentist regularly


Chipped Tooth

Chipped tooth 

If you regularly chomp on hard foods like nuts or ice cubesgrind your teeth or have a mouth piercing, you’re at a higher risk for a chipped tooth. You might feel pain, depending on how much tooth has been lost. You may also feel a rough edge when you run your tongue along it.

If this happens, see your dentist. A small chip might be able to be smoothed down. Your dentist can use a tooth-colored filling, a veneer or crown to shape up your smile after a larger chip.


Teeth Grinding

Tooth grinding 

Grinding your teeth (bruxism) is most likely to happen when you’re sleeping, though it can occur anytime during the day if you’re stressed, have a new fillingor crown that’s higher than the rest of your teeth or have an abnormal bite. Over a long period of time, the surface of your teeth will become worn. You could experience toothaches, dull headaches or earaches, and jaw pain (TMJ). Your teeth may also appear more yellow because the white outer covering is worn away.

A custom mouthguard from your dentist can protect your teeth during sleep and correct bite issues. If stress is the cause, find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling and exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety (and the likelihood that you will grind your teeth).



Bleeding gums, gingivitis

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, an infection of the tissues around your teeth caused by plaque. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. You may also experience bad breath. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. 

You are more likely to develop gum disease if you skip brushing and flossing, use tobacco, have crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean, are pregnant, havediabetes or take certain medications. When in its early stages, the disease is still reversible and your gums can be returned to good health with a professional cleaning from your dentist, along with daily brushing and flossing.




Periodontitis is the more advanced form of gum disease, a major cause of tooth loss in adults. According to the CDC, nearly half of U.S. adults suffer from it. The disease can be reversed in early stages, but damage may be permanent the longer it goes untreated. Although you may not be aware of the gum disease in your mouth, abscesses can develop which usually painful. Symptoms include bleeding, swollen gums, persistent bad breath or bad taste, loose permanent teeth and a change in bite. Your teeth may appear to become longer as gums and bone recede. There are many treatments available, including deep cleanings known as scaling and root planing. Talk to your dentist to find out what’s best for you. 




Thrush is a yeast infection that looks like white film in your mouth. You’re more likely to get thrush if you have an illness that affects your immune system. This includes people with HIV/AIDS or cancer, as well as people using steroids to manage their asthma. People with untreated or uncontrolled diabetes are also susceptible because sugar in saliva encourages yeast to grow. Thrush is also common in people who wear dentures. If you have symptoms, see your dentist. After a scraping to confirm you have thrush, your dentist can prescribe medicine to clear it up.


Darkened Tooth

Darkened tooth 

There are two reasons your tooth may change color after trauma: It’s either trying to protect the nerve or it’s dying. If it’s protecting the nerve, your tooth may look a little darker than the ones next to it. If it changes colors like a bruise (from pink to gray), this means your tooth is most likely dead. You may need aroot canal, usually followed by a crown. In some cases it may be necessary toremove the tooth. If it is a baby tooth, you may be able to leave it alone until it falls out.


Canker Sores

Canker sore

Canker sores are small white or gray sores with a red border that appear your lips, the back of your throat or under your tongue. Their exact cause is uncertain but some suggest that immune system problems, bacteria or viruses may be play a role. They are also more common in women. 

Canker sores aren’t contagious and usually heal on their own after one or two weeks. Over-the-counter creams and mouthwashes may give you temporary relief. Until it heals, stay away from hot, spicy or acidic foods because these can irritate the sore.



Oral cancer 

Each year, approximately 40,000 new cases of oral cancer and cancers of the throat, tonsils and back of the tongue are diagnosed. Tobacco use, alcohol abuse and HPV all increase your chance of developing these cancers. Men are twice more likely to get oral cancer than women. During regular checkups, your dentist will check your mouth for symptoms like red or white patches, sores that won’t heal and rough, crusty spots. If anything suspicious is found, your dentist will order more testing or refer you to a specialist. The image above is only one example of how oral cancer might appear.

*Content provided by the American Dental Association:*


Step One

Surgical visit--implant is placed together with "healing abutment".


Step Two

Appearance of healing abutment in mouth.


Step Three

First restorative visit--final impression taken with special implant "impression post".


Step Four

Second restorative visit--placement of custom abutment (connects crown to implant).


Step Five

Second restorative visit--placement of implant crown.


Step Six

Appearance of implant crown in mouth.

How Much for an Extraction?

The time and difficulty involved in extracting a tooth can vary from A to Z. Teeth that can be removed with minimal time and instrumentation are called  "simple extractions". Extractions that are more complex, requiring more time, expertise, instrumentation, and post-op care are called "surgical extractions". Wisdom teeth can be simple or surgical, but often they are "impacted", that is, submerged below the gum and embedded in bone.  The cost of extracting an impacted wisdom tooth depends on the degree of difficulty. 

The cost range (2015) for extractions

Simple Extraction:$136

Surgical Extraction:$270

Impacted Wisdom Tooth: $320--$425

Unfortunately, we cannot determine which type of extraction you might need over the phone.  It requires a dental exam and X-ray.  This allows us to assess when (today or another day) and where (here or other DDS/oral surgeon) the tooth may be extracted.

September 15, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

How Much for a Filling?

Not all cavities or broken teeth can be fixed by only a filling.  Many require crowns and sometimes even root canals.  The cost of a filling depends on its size and location.  We use tooth colored composite resin (not silver amalgam) for all our fillings.  

The cost range (2015) for our most common dental restorations

Fillings: $128--$260

Crowns: $800--$1200

Root Canals: $640--$800

Unfortunately, we cannot determine which type of restoration you might need to fix your tooth over the phone.  It requires a dental exam and X-ray.

This allows us to assess what is needed to get your tooth back into good condition.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.