Canker sores (also called apthous ulcers) usually occur inside your mouth and make eating and talking uncomfortable. Their root cause is unknown, but we do know several factors that can contribute to their formation.
- Stress or injury to the mouth tissue: Injury can be caused by something sharp cutting or abrading the gums, braces, or ill fitting appliances like dentures.
- Acidic foods (citrus, tomatoes etc.)
- A toothpaste or mouthwash ingredient, especially Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which is a foaming agent.
- Hormonal changes
- A diet that does not have enough Vitamin B12
Most canker sores will heal on their own within two weeks even if you don’t do anything. Some people will use pain-relieving products like Ora-Gel to reduce the discomfort. Large or persistent canker sores might require a prescription from your dentist or doctor.
If you are prone to canker sores, here are some things you can do to try to prevent outbreaks:
- Get more sleep! Stress weakens the immune system so it can’t fight off problems in your body, including your mouth.
- Avoid foods that trigger them . If you can’t avoid them, brush with a soft bristle tooth brush after having them to minimize their effect.
- Switch to oral care products that don’t contain SLS.
Other ways to reduce the pain of canker sores while you have them are:
- Some people have reported relief from alum powder purchased from drug store or styptic pencils (also used to stop bleeding from shaving cuts). A note of trivia: alum is also the compound added to mouth puckering gum found at joke shops.
- Others recommend Propolis extract—place a drop directly on the canker sore and allow to dry. It’s very sticky and messy; tar-like and unsightly; and hard to remove. It seems to work best if placed when the canker sore is first forming.
- Others recommend a mouthwash made from deglycyrrhinzinated licorice (DGL). Find the DGL and mix 200mg DGL with 200 ml water. Rinse 4x/day and don’t drink after rinsing for several minutes.
- Still others recommend CankerMelts—an oral patch that you place over the sore that stops pain without numbing the area. It takes about 10 minutes to start working once placed. The disk you place dissolves. Relief lasts 2-6 hours. One study showed that this patch also stopped the sore from growing larger. Another study showed that the sore healed in 3 days vs. 10-14 for untreated ones. CankerMelts are made by Orahealth Corp.
- There is some evidence that treatment with the Waterlase MD laser (and perhaps other lasers) forms a "bandage" area over the canker sore site and that sites treated with the laser do not have canker sores recur in that same area.
We hope you never get canker sores, but if you do, hopefully these tips will help you! Find out more in the patient education section at www.drjrobb.com
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees both adults and children at her office located at 1320 Cooper Foster Park Rd. Lorain, OH 44053. Call 440-960-1940.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb
Miley Cyrus's rise to fame began when she was cast in the Disney series Hannah Montana. She played the title character, Hannah Montana, a famous singing star hiding her true identity, ordinary girl, Miley Stewart. In her real life at the time, Miley Cyrus had her own little secret—she was undergoing orthodontic treatment to straighten her smile.
Like many teenagers (as well as many adults), Cyrus's dental bite wasn't in proper alignment. She could have gone the traditional way by straightening her smile with braces fixed to the front of her teeth. It's an effective treatment, but the metallic hardware can overwhelm a person's appearance.
With her various roles in the public spotlight, Cyrus and her family wanted an effective but out-of-sight method for moving her teeth. They chose a relatively new one called lingual braces. Unlike traditional braces, the hardware for lingual braces is fixed on the back of the teeth (or the tongue side, hence the term “lingual”).
Lingual braces can correct any bite problem labial (“lip”) braces can, just through different mechanics of movement. Its main appeal is that the hardware is hidden behind the teeth, so only you and your orthodontist need know you're wearing braces.
There is also less risk of damage to the mouth or the braces themselves if you're in a sport or profession where you're at high risk for facial blows. And unlike patients with traditional braces, you'll have an unobstructed view of your progress over the course of treatment.
Lingual braces do tend to cost more than traditional braces. Some patients also have difficulty at first with speaking and tongue comfort, though most grow accustomed to the braces within a couple of weeks. Because lingual braces are relatively new, there's been a limited number of orthodontists offering it.
But lingual braces are just one of the ways to straighten teeth. Modern dentistry offers several ways to give you your dream smile. If you have dental problems or would like to improve the look of your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation, and we can discuss your options. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Lingual Braces” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Autism Spectrum Disorder covers a wide range of disorders, but the people who have them still need dental care. Various tendencies associated with autism spectrum disorder may complicate dental visits. Ideally, we would like to individualize each person’s visits with input from the patient and caregiver so that the dental visit can go as smoothly as possible.
If you have or you are a caregiver for someone with autism spectrum disorder, here are a few discussion points you may be asked or may want to ask.
1.What is the developmental status of the patient?
2.What behavioral issues and other diagnoses does this patient have that may affect a dental visit?
3.What methods have proven effective in the past for making similar experiences easier?
4.What previous experiences have occurred in a dental office or at home during oral care? Are there any barriers to the current oral care regimen? What helps or facilitates the oral care regimen?
5.What are your concerns and goals for the dental visit?
6.Will preparation with picture social stories or other strategies, done at home before the appointment, be helpful?
7.What is the best time for an appointment? (What time of day are the behavioral issues least problematic? Etc. Realize that what is best for you might not be the best time for the patient.)
8.How does the patient deal with waiting? How will the patient deal with the waiting room? Are there alternatives, such as waiting in the car until the office is ready to seat the patient in a treatment room?
9.What factors could worsen or help behavioral problems in the dental office? For example, would explaining each step of the process in advance be helpful?
10.Specific preferences of the patient and/or caregiver. For example, how much involvement the caregiver should have during the appointment..
Involving those who know the patient individual needs best can make a huge difference in the outcome of a dental visit. For some people and procedures, a general dentist’s office might be sufficient, but please realize that for other people or procedures additional procedures such as sedation, general anesthesia, or restraints might be necessary. Most general dentists may not provide these in their office and may need to refer you to a specialist or dentist who does.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees patients of all ages in her practice located at 1320 Cooper Foster Park Rd. Lorain, OH 44053. She is taking new patients. Call 440-960-1940 to inquire. www.drjrobb.com www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb
Keeping your gums healthy doesn’t have to be difficult.
When was the last time you considered the health of your gums? Most people really don’t think twice about whether their gums are healthy or not. After all, if they aren’t causing you problems then they must be fine, right? Unfortunately, gum disease doesn’t typically show symptoms until the more advanced stages, which means it’s even more important that you are practicing good oral hygiene to protect your smile against gum disease. Along with visiting our Lorain, OH, family dentist Dr. Jennifer Robb for routine cleanings twice a year, here are some other ways to reduce your risk for periodontitis,
Brush After Eating
While everyone should be brushing at least twice a day, if you really want to protect your gums from gum disease then you may want to brush your teeth after eating. This can prevent plaque from building up on teeth and along the gum line, which can lead to cavities and periodontal disease. Make sure that when you brush that you are brushing all surfaces of your teeth (front, back and chewing surfaces).
While brushing is a crucial component to any good oral care routine it isn’t the only habit that you should be practicing without fail. You should also be flossing every day. While brushing can remove plaque and food particles from many surfaces of your teeth and gums it won’t be able to get between teeth.
Replace Your Toothbrush Every Three Months
Check your toothbrush and see if the bristles are starting to fray. If they are then this is a telltale sign that it’s time to replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head, if you have an electric toothbrush). An old toothbrush head won’t be able to properly clean your teeth, plus the frayed bristles can actually scratch and wear down tooth enamel.
While mouthwash should never be used in place of brushing or flossing, adding mouthwash to your daily oral care routine can provide some benefits. Our Lorain, OH, dentist can recommend different types of mouthwashes depending on your specific oral needs; however, look for an antimicrobial mouthwash that is low in alcohol and has the ADA seal of approval. An antimicrobial mouthwash will help to reduce plaque buildup and also rinse away bacteria responsible for decay and gum disease.
Are you looking for a dentist in Lorain, OH, that can provide you with routine checkups, gum disease therapy and other dental care? If so, call our office today at (440) 960-1940 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about the full-spectrum dental care we offer.
Half of all children will injure at least one tooth before adulthood. That's why we're joining with other health professionals this June to promote National Safety Month. As dentists, we want to call particular attention to potential dental injuries and what parents and caregivers can do to help their child avoid them.
The source for a dental injury usually depends on a child's age and development level. Younger children learning to walk and run are more apt to fall, and may hit their mouth on hard or sharp surfaces. Later on, most dental injuries tend to come from contact during sports play or other physical activities.
Your prevention strategy should therefore adjust to your child's age and activity level. If you have an infant starting to walk, for example, don't allow them to move around carrying a bottle, cup or other hard object that could be a source of injury if they fall. Also, keep an eye out for hard furniture or sharp-edged surfaces as they toddle around.
If you have a highly mobile toddler, discourage them from climbing and jumping on furniture, tables or other hard surfaces. If feasible, pad these surfaces and sharp edges to minimize the force of impact from a collision.
To prevent sports-related mouth injuries in older children and teens, your primary defense is an athletic mouthguard. Mouthguards cushion and absorb much of the force generated during hard sports contact. They should be worn for any physical activity with a potential risk for mouth injury, including practice sessions and informal play like a pick-up basketball game.
A type of athletic mouthguard known as “boil and bite” is readily available in retail sporting goods stores. After purchase, it is softened in very hot water; the wearer then places it in their mouth and bites down to form a permanent impression. Boil and bite mouthguards offer protection, but they can be bulky and uncomfortable to wear.
For a higher level of protection along with a more accurate and comfortable fit, a custom mouthguard created by a dentist is a more desirable option. These are based on a detailed impression of the wearer's bite, so the fit can't be beat. Both types of mouthguard need upgrading periodically in young wearers to accommodate dental development as they age.
Accidents can happen, but there's much you can do to reduce the likelihood of injury to your child's teeth. Protective measures and equipment—as well as a watchful eye—can go far to help them emerge from these active, early years dentally unscathed.
If you would like more information about dental safety, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”
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.