Mystery Solved: The Story on Canker Sores


Anyone who’s ever had mouth sores can attest to the fact that they are just as embarrassing as they are painful, but simply suffering through them does you no good. Get the facts on this common problem to take control of the situation before another outbreak. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team


Canker sores are quite literally a sensitive issue, but someone has to talk about it! What are canker sores (or “stomatitis”), why do they appear, and what can be done about them? Anyone who’s ever had mouth sores can attest to the fact that they are just as embarrassing as they are painful, but simply suffering through them does you no good. Get the facts on this common problem to take control of the situation before another outbreak.

How to Tell If It’s a Canker Sore

Because they are similar in name and can appear within fairly close proximity of each other, canker sores are often confused with cold sores. An easy way to tell the difference right off the bat is by checking to see if it’s on the inside or outside of your mouth. Cold sores, which are viral and highly contagious in nature, will appear outside of the mouth, on or close to the lip area. Canker sores, on the other hand, are not contagious and emerge along the insides of your cheeks, gums and the roof of your mouth. If you spot an inflammation with a white center and red border inside your mouth, and it causes sensitivity or soreness when talking or eating, it’s most likely a canker sore.

What Causes Canker Sores

Considering that stomatitis is often chronic, those who experience canker sores due to an injury, or eating something overly acidic, might actually consider themselves lucky. Otherwise, recurring flare-ups can be expected, especially if your case is connected to underlying conditions such as:

  • Stress
  • Menstruation
  • HIV & Other Blood Disorders
  • Food Allergies
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Lupus
  • Genetics
  • Immune Disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Orthodontic Treatment
  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Chemotherapy

It is also worth noting that canker sores tend to be more common in teens, young adults, and women.

Ways to Ease the Pain

On average, canker sores usually last between 7 and 10 days. While there is no way to rid yourself of a canker sore once it emerges, there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate the discomfort until it heals, such as:

  • Try an over-the-counter gel or painkiller for immediate relief
  • Steer clear of spicy, acidic and/or hot foods to avoid aggravating open sores
  • Rinse with water or mouthwash regularly to keep the sores free of food particles
  • Brush and floss with extra care to prevent unnecessary contact and/or added trauma

Understanding what caused the outbreak can also help you take preventative measures to minimize the chance of future flare-ups. If sores are food or allergy related, for example, simply steering clear of triggers can keep stomatitis at bay.

When Professional Care is Necessary

If painful sores persist past the ten-day period, are over a half-inch wide, and/or are accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, joint pain, rashes or fever, see a dentist as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of your situation, he or she may prescribe medication, surgery, or recommend diagnostic tests. Even if your symptoms are mild, a dental exam can help rule out serious health concerns that could be causing the problem, and give you peace of mind.



How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?


By: 123Dentist


🙂 As long as dental x-rays are used properly together with necessary safety precautions, its effect is extremely safe. Discuss the use of this device with your dentist so he can evaluate the factors if you need one. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team


Dental x-rays are a common diagnostic procedure that is considered extremely safe. Digital dental x-rays have very low doses of radiation, producing just a fraction of what you are exposed to in other imaging procedures. If you’re worried about whether you need dental x-rays, or wondering if you should forego this procedure due to other medical conditions, it’s helpful to dive a little deeper into what dental x-rays involve, why they’re performed, and how they’re best handled.

When these x-rays are performed properly with adequate safety precautions in place, there’s very little cause for concern. A routine examination with four bitewing x-rays exposes you to roughly the same amount of radiation you will experience during one to two hours on an airplane.

Who Needs Dental X-Rays

Dental x-rays are used diagnostically to help dentists see issues that are otherwise nearly invisible to the naked eye. Adults receive dental x-rays so dentists can better identify and treat various issues. Using these x-rays, your healthcare provider can see:

  • Areas of decay, including those in between teeth or under a filling
  • Bone loss associated with gum disease
  • Abscesses, which are infections at the root of the tooth or between the tooth and gum
  • Tumors
  • Changes in the root canal

Without an x-ray, many of these problems could go undiagnosed. With an x-ray as a reference, dentists are also better equipped to prepare tooth implants, dentures, braces, and other similar treatments.

Dental X-Rays and Children

Many parents are concerned about the impact of dental x-rays on children. Children are more sensitive to radiation. However, the amount of radiation in a dental x-ray is still considered safe for a child. As children’s jaws and teeth are continuously changing, it’s important to keep an eye on their development. These x-rays perform many important purposes for young patients. They help dentists to:

  • Make sure the mouth is large enough to accommodate incoming teeth
  • Monitor the development of wisdom teeth
  • Determine whether primary teeth are loosening properly to accommodate new permanent teeth
  • Identify decay and gum disease early

It’s important for children to visit the dentist regularly, and to get x-rays as recommended by the dentist. The exact schedule for these x-rays will vary depending on the child’s individual needs.

Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy

Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid dental x-rays. Though the radiation is minimal, it’s best to avoid all exposure when possible for the health of the developing fetus. For this reason, it’s important to tell your dentist if you are or may be pregnant.

However, there are some instances where pregnant women should still have dental x-rays performed. If you have a dental emergency or are in the middle of a dental treatment plan, you may still need x-rays during your pregnancy. Discuss the issue with your dentist to determine the best way to proceed. It’s crucial that you balance both your dental and prenatal health. Women with periodontal disease are at a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, so you shouldn’t neglect your teeth during pregnancy.

Your dentist can take greater precautions, such as using a leaded apron and thyroid collar, for all x-rays taken during your pregnancy if the procedure is deemed necessary. Keeping your dentist informed at all times is the best way to proceed.

Safety Precautions with Dental X-Rays

There are many things that your dentist can do to minimize the radiation from x-rays. Taking a single image rather than multiple images decreases exposure significantly. You can also speak to your dentist about using the lowest radiation setting possible, particularly for children. Leaded coverings can protect certain parts of your body from radiation.

Determining Whether X-Rays are Necessary

The best way to minimize radiation exposure from dental x-rays is to make sure these are only done when necessary. There is no set schedule for dental x-rays. Rather, it’s left to the healthcare provider to make an informed decision as to whether the patient needs x-rays with their examination. Factors that your dentist will consider include:

  • Age
  • Stage of dental development
  • History of oral health
  • Risk factors for various conditions
  • Presenting symptoms

One study revealed that performing a careful clinical evaluation of the patient can reduce the need for x-rays as much as 43 percent without any increase in the rate of undiagnosed diseases. So, if you’re concerned about exposure, ask your dentist to perform a visual examination before ordering x-rays. But keep in mind that there are several issues that there are many conditions that would likely only be diagnosed through x-rays.

To further minimize your need for x-rays, if you have x-rays from a previous dentist, make sure to transfer these to any new provider to eliminate the need for repeat procedures.

Dental x-rays are considered extremely safe. However, it’s important to understand the purpose of any procedure that will expose you to radiation. Don’t hesitate to discuss the need for dental x-rays with your dentist to better understand how he or she can help protect and improve your oral health.


How Stress Might Be Ruining Your Teeth


By: Kelsey Lindsey, Washingtonian


🙂 You may know that stress can cause upset stomachs and headaches, but did you know it can cause tooth decay? Here’s what to know and what you can do to protect your smile. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team


Backaches, sleepless nights, upset stomach. Just reading about the physical manifestations of stress can trigger a headache. Unchecked, stress can contribute to serious health conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

There’s another, less obvious part of our body both affected by stress and a sign of it: our pearly whites.

“Sometimes people end up with issues that they didn’t even know were dental, and they didn’t even know they were stressed,” says Danine Fresch Gray, a general dentist who owns Clarendon Dental Arts.

Clenching or grinding the teeth, a common dental problem that can be related to stress can cause headaches, chipped or flattened teeth, and tight jaw muscles. Improper bites and the breakdown of the temporomandibular joint connecting the skull to the jawbone may contribute to these dental woes, says Richard Rogers, a dentist in Frederick. Stress exacerbates grinding in those situations.

Rogers recently saw a college student home for a break who was experiencing jaw pain and clenching during his exams. “The analogy might be gas on the fire,” Rogers says. “There’s already a fire burning and they are doing some damage, but it’s not that dramatic. Then they go through a period of stress, and they start grinding harder and they wake up with a headache and say that it’s stress causing it.”

Certain drugs are taken for depression and anxiety, including Prozac and Zoloft, also may lead to jaw-clenching and teeth-grinding. “It’s just a side effect of the drug,” says Fresch Gray. “That’s a big one—lots of people don’t know that.”

Teeth-grinding and clenched jaws aren’t the only oral-health manifestations of stress. A 2007 review of scientific studies found that there’s a relationship between stress and periodontal disease, which includes gum and tissue infections such as gingivitis. Recent research from Canada also found that participants with more perceived stress reported poorer oral health and greater oral pain compared with participants who had less stress. Alex Vasiliou, the lead author of the study, explained in an e-mail that cortisol—a hormone involved in the body’s stress response—impairs the immune system, making a person more susceptible to gum disease.

Rogers says that someone stressed out or sick might be more apt to disregard proper oral hygiene, leading to inflamed gums or tooth decay: “They’ll just stop caring about things, and oral health falls into that.”

Fresch Gray has seen the number of patients with stress-related symptoms increase in the past year. Although it’s tempting to blame Twitter rants and turbulent politics, other factors no doubt contributed.

According to a recent “Stress in America” report from the American Psychological Association, Americans on average reported more physical symptoms of stress in 2017 compared with 2016, including anxiety, anger, and fatigue. The most common sources were the “future of our nation,” money, and work. It was the first significant increase in stress levels found by the APA since the inaugural survey in 2007.

While there are no Washington-specific numbers, a national survey in January 2017 found that 62 percent of urbanites were stressed by the election of Donald Trump, compared with 45 percent and 33 percent of people in suburban and rural areas, respectively.

Because of the connections between psychological stress and physical and oral health, a dentist must consider the whole person when a patient presents a stress-related dental issue. “One of the sayings is you never see a tooth walk through the door—it always has a human attached,” says Rogers. Teeth-grinding, for example, can be a sign of a sleep disorder. When someone has sleep apnea, the body’s effort to clear the airway may include grinding the teeth. “We monitor [patients’ sleep] and we say, ‘Here’s where you stopped breathing and gasped for air, and then you grind your teeth.’ ”

To treat a problem, Fresch Gray may look beyond dental fixes at such things as a patient’s diet and whether the person has diabetes, which can increase the risk of gum disease. “It’s not that you’re always stressed out,” she says. “It could be that you’re taking some drugs that you don’t know are making you clench, that you have diabetes or an autoimmune disease causing stress, or there are some extraneous external things like circadian rhythms and PTSD—all these things cause stress on your body that eventually show in your mouth.”

She recalls one patient who recently came into her office. A veteran who served in Afghanistan, the man was having trouble sleeping and was clenching his jaw. “I asked about PTSD, and he had it,” Fresch Gray says. “That stress is daily in his life, and we kind of got to the root of it, but I’m not necessarily the person to help with that.” She recommended he participate in a sleep study to diagnose any sleep disorders.

“I could have gotten him a mouth guard,” says Fresch Gray, “but that’s not going to solve the problem.”



Traumatic Dental Injuries


By: Oral and Facial Surgery Institute


😷 A traumatic dental injury is a serious condition which requires an immediate dental consultation. A mild pain does not mean you’re safe. There is a chance that the affected area may only be made visible through a thorough exam. The Woodview Oral Surgery DC


Most traumatic dental injuries occur among children and teenagers, but people of any age can be affected, typically as a result of sports mishaps, automobile accidents, or bad falls. Regardless of the cause, you may need to visit an oral surgeon if you’ve experienced a traumatic dental injury.

Any dental injury, even if apparently mild, requires immediate examination by a dentist or oral surgeon. Sometimes, neighboring teeth suffer an additional, unnoticed injury that will only be detected during a thorough exam.

Depending on the extent of your dental injury, the oral surgeon may work as a team with endodontists and restorative dentists to return your mouth, jaw, and teeth to proper form and function. It’s essential to take traumatic dental injuries seriously. If you suspect that your or a loved one’s jaw is broken, go to the emergency room immediately.

Soft-Tissue Trauma

Injuries that extend past the teeth and bones into the soft tissue (gums, cheeks, and lips) need to be corrected by an oral surgeon. Taking aesthetics into consideration, your oral surgeon will repair your gums with sutures, and will take special care not to disturb salivary ducts and glands.

Dislodged (Luxated) Teeth

During an injury, a tooth may be pushed sideways, out of, or into its socket. Your oral surgeon will reposition and stabilize your tooth. Root canal treatment with an endodontist is usually necessary for permanent teeth that have been dislodged, and should be done a few days following the injury.

Children between seven and 12 years old may not need root canal treatment, since their teeth are still developing. For those patients, your oral surgeon will monitor the healing carefully and intervene immediately if any unfavorable changes occur.

Knocked-Out (Avulsed) Teeth

If a tooth is knocked completely out of your mouth, time is of the essence. It should be handled very gently; avoid touching the root surface itself. If it is dirty, quickly and gently rinse it in water. Do not use soap or any other cleaning agent, and never scrape or brush the tooth.

If possible, the tooth should be placed back into its socket as soon as possible. The less time it’s out of its socket, the better the chances for saving it.

Once the tooth has been replaced in its socket, the oral surgeon will evaluate it and check for any other dental and facial injuries. If the tooth has not been placed back into its socket, your oral surgeon will clean it carefully and replace it. A stabilizing splint will be placed for a few weeks.

Depending on the stage of root development, we may recommend that an endodontist start root canal treatment a week or two after your surgical procedure.

Root Fractures

A traumatic injury to the tooth may also result in a horizontal root fracture. The location of the fracture determines the long-term health of the tooth. If the fracture is close to the root tip, the chances for success are much better. The closer the fracture is to the gum line, the poorer the long-term success rate. Sometimes, stabilization with a splint (wiring or bonding teeth together) is required for a period of time.

Bone Injuries

In theory, a fractured facial bone is treated just like any other bone in the body: The fracture together is held together for a period of time to enable it to heal. However, in practice, a cast can’t be applied to the face in the same way it can to an arm or a leg. For fractures of the upper and lower jaw, your oral surgeon may recommend wiring the jaws together or placing stabilizing plates to allow the bones to heal.

Traumatic Dental Injuries in Children

Chipped primary (baby) teeth can be aesthetically restored. Dislodged primary teeth can, in rare cases, be repositioned.

However, primary teeth that have been knocked out should not typically be replanted. The replantation of a knocked-out primary tooth may cause further (and potentially permanent) damage to the underlying permanent tooth that is growing inside the bone.

Children’s permanent teeth that are not fully developed at the time of an injury need special attention and careful follow-up, but not all of them will need root canal treatment. In an immature permanent tooth, the blood supply to the tooth and the presence of stem cells in the region may enable your oral surgeon to stimulate continued root growth.

With any traumatic dental injury, time is of the essence. Contact your oral surgeon immediately.


Five Tools Everyone In the Oral Surgery Industry Should Be Using

By: Dentaltown


💉 The dental industry is innovating, too! As a product of innovation, we’ve got 5 recommendable tools to perform oral surgery. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team


Dentists usually have their own clinics and private practices, and in these clinics, they have all the tools they need to treat their patients. Apart from general and cosmetic dentistry, one of the most often sought service of a dental professional is surgery. Procedures, such as root canal, tooth extraction, dental implantation and severe gum disease treatment are all considered surgeries. Good dentists are always prepared for emergency treatments, which means their clinics carry the complete set of oral surgery equipment.

If you want to be the top emergency dentist Chicago, here are the essentials that you must have in your clinic when performing oral surgery.

1. Root Canal Aspirators

These are the tools used for cleaning out the root canals during the root canal procedure. They are small handheld devices which are attached to a hose. Aspirators come in a range of sizes and curvatures to ensure that the tip is a perfect fit for the tooth being treated. Aspirators are inserted into the root canals to remove the infected areas and clean out the debris. Once emptied, the canals will be disinfected and filled with gutta-percha.

2. Surgical suctions

Suctions are used to remove water, saliva, blood and other debris on the surgical site. Suction tips also come in different sizes and designs to fit every patient’s needs. Removal of debris is necessary to avoid the spreading of infected matter, particularly blood.

3. Irrigation Instruments

These syringes are filled with a saline solution to clean and disinfect the surgical site during the actual operation. The needles used for these syringes also vary depending on the location and depth of the surgical site.

4. Hand tools (forceps, rongeurs, hemostats, burs, elevators, scissors, scalpels, and curettes)

Probably the most important tools of all, hand tools are what enable surgeons to perform the operation gracefully. All of these hand tools come in numerous varieties that depend on their purpose. Forceps are used to pull out or hold teeth, gums, and tongue. Rongeurs are like pliers that cut the teeth, instead of scrape them, making interior cleaning faster and easier. Hemostats are used to stop bleeding and have a similar appearance to forceps. Burs are small drills used to remove tooth mass, especially when cleaning out cavities. Elevators are used to pull up or elevate the tooth for extraction. Scissors are used to cut through tissue, whether on the gums, cheek, or tongue. Scalpels are used to make incisions when necessary, such as when removing an abscess. Curettes are used to scoop out tissue mass, often for biopsy or further examination.

5. Needles, needle holders and dressing

Needles and needle holders are used to close the surgical site. Needle holders look like small scissors with tight plier-like tips to hold the needles steadily. Surgical needles are curved to easily make sutures around the surgical site. Dressing is used after the site is sutured so that it will be kept clean. The dressing can be applied with a disinfectant-like betadine to prevent infection.

Oral surgeons use many other tools to perform their operations, such as:

  • ?Binocular loupes. Goggle-like lenses with lights to enable dentists to see the surgical site.
  • ?Bone files. Used to scrape rough edges on bones to smoothen them.
  • ?Retractors. Used to separate gums from tooth to enable easy cleaning. Other varieties separate the tongue from the other parts of the mouth.
  • ?Bite blocks. Used to keep the mouth open during surgery.
  • ?Anesthetics. Used to numb the surgical site to prevent the patient from feeling pain.
  • ?Sedation. Used to keep the patients calm and relaxed, specifically those who have fear of dentists or dental environments.
  • ?Antibiotics. Used before, during, or after the surgery to prevent infections.
  • ?Electrosurgical devices. Electronic substitutes for handheld devices.
  • ?Mouth mirrors. Used to see the interior angles of the patient’s mouth.

As a dentist, you need to have all of these tools in your clinic if you want to always be ready for emergency treatment. Do you have these tools in your clinic?