Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This subject comes up a lot in my practice.  The precise cause of canker sores remains unclear, though researchers suspect that a combination of several factors contributes to outbreaks, even in the same person. Possible triggers for canker sores include:

  • A minor injury to your mouth from dental work, overzealous brushing, sports mishaps, spicy or acidic foods, or an accidental cheek bite.
  • Toothpastes and mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Food sensitivities, particularly to chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, nuts, cheese and highly acidic foods such as pineapple.
  • A diet lacking in vitamin B-12, zinc, folate (folic acid) or iron.
  • An allergic response to certain bacteria in your mouth.
  • Helicobacter pylori, the same bacteria that cause peptic ulcers.
  • Hormonal shifts during menstruation.
  • Emotional stress.
Treatment usually isn't necessary for minor canker sores, which tend to clear on their own in a week or two.  But large, persistent or unusually painful sores often need medical care.  This condition rarely occurs, but if it does, see your physician or dentist.  A number of treatment options exist, ranging from mouth rinses and topical ointments to systemic corticosteroids for the most severe cases.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I have many parents come to me with this concern.  Gritting or grinding teeth (the medical term for it is bruxism) is fairly common among young children, affecting three out of every ten.  It is seen most often among kids under age five.  No one knows exactly why they develop this tendency but it could be because their upper and lower teeth aren't properly aligned.

Other possible causes are pain; such as an earache or eruption of a tooth. Stress can even be the cause, perhaps due to frustration or tension at home or some change in routine.  I wouldn't worry too much about this.  In all likelihood, children will outgrow the grinding by the time their permanent teeth come in.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Everything from food and digestion to oral diseases and infections, dry mouth, infrequent brushing and flossing, and the list goes on and on.  In order to treat your bad breath, the root cause needs to be identified.

Visit your dentist if you experience chronic bad breath.  Unexplained or chronic bad breath may be an indication of an underlying medical condition or disease.  You don't have to live with bad breath!!!