Johns Family Dentistry

Deep Dental Cleaning vs Regular Cleaning – Did the Dentist Just Refuse to Clean Your Teeth?

When can your dentist refuse to clean your teeth? When they’re trying to protect your health.

Imagine this scenario: You’re at home, brushing your teeth, during your normal routine. Maybe you floss every day, maybe you don’t. When brushing, you notice your teeth seem to look a little longer. Maybe they seem farther apart, or have shifted a little. Maybe you’ve been chewing a lot of gum because your spouse tells you your breath is bad, even after brushing. Maybe you notice a little blood on your brush, on the floss, or in the sink. Maybe it’s more than a little. Maybe you feel some tenderness in your gums, or notice redness or swelling. You decide maybe it’s time to go in for a dental check-up.

Your dentist or hygienist completes an exam, and reviews your x-rays. They probe around your gums, and there’s a good chance you feel like jumping out of the chair. Then they tell you something maybe you’ve never heard before, or maybe you heard it mentioned in previous visits but didn’t think it mattered.

You have gum disease. Periodontitis, to be precise.

Your dentist shows you the x-rays that reveal the progression of bone loss, and the buildup of calculus. They show you the size of the pockets between your gums and teeth, where the bacteria collect and cause chronic and systemic infection and inflammation immune response. They explain a common treatment procedure, called scaling and root planing. They explain the difference between a deep dental cleaning vs a regular cleaning. A deep cleaning is a treatment procedure that requires anesthesia and several follow up visits to make sure the infection has been cleared and your gums are healing.

Okay, you say. I’ll come back and do that another day. Can you just clean my teeth so I can be on my way? Then your dentist says something you never thought you’d hear: I’m sorry, but no.

What is Periodontitis?

When will your dentist refuse to clean your teeth? When they are trying to preserve your health. This isn’t going to sound nice, but we’re going to explain periodontitis as clearly as possible.

Periodontitis is a chronic infection. Periodontitis is a disease. Bacteria have collected in the pockets and spaces below the gum line, around calculus (plaque) that has built up, usually due to infrequent flossing and inadequate oral hygiene. The bacteria secrete acids that dissolve the bone tissue that connect your teeth and jawbone.

Left untreated, this chronic infection can and will progress. You will lose your teeth, and your jaw bone will continue to suffer bone loss that can’t be recovered or restored. We aren’t trying to scare you, we’re just stating the facts. Periodontitis is, quite literally, a symptom of your body destroying itself in a desperate attempt to fight off a chronic infection. This is not an upsell, this is a diagnosis and a sign of serious oral health issues in the near future.

Like any healthcare professionals, dentistry has a standard of care, which regulates what kind of treatment we can provide based on the condition of a person’s oral health. Periodontitis is considered a big red flag when it comes to oral health. A chronic and systemic infection in any other area of the body should be treated and addressed immediately – the mouth is no different.

The Difference: Deep Dental Cleaning vs Regular Cleaning

A regular cleaning, which focuses at and above the gum line, may disturb the colonies of bacteria, releasing them into your bloodstream and into the rest of your body. A regular cleaning polishes your teeth, and a deep cleaning removes the bacteria colonies from your mouth. That’s why there’s really no comparison between a deep dental cleaning vs regular cleaning.

So no, we cannot clean your teeth when you have untreated periodontitis. It’s against our ethical and professional standards. It’s with your best interests at heart. Maybe this makes you angry – this is a very common response from patients who receive this diagnosis. Maybe we’ve frightened you. It’s not our intent to use scare tactics when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

But nearly half of all adults in the United States over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. Gum disease is a huge public health issue, with widespread impacts on health issues such as heart disease, COPD, other inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and pregnancy.

So what should you do? Get mad, get a second opinion, but whatever you do, take action. Gum disease is treatable, curable, and most importantly, preventable. If you have dental insurance, chances are deep cleaning treatment is covered. If you are pregnant, seek treatment right away – gum disease is linked to preterm birth and babies with low birthweight. If you are having trouble making ends meet, make a plan. Ask us how we can help you.

Patients who have had their periodontitis treated at our office have repeatedly told us how much better they feel overall after their treatment. Not just their mouth, but their whole body. It’s amazing how hard your body can work to fight off systemic infection, and what a toll it can take on your energy levels and overall health. Patients who have come back for follow up maintenance visits and regular cleanings post-treatment report that brushing and flossing is easier, and isn’t painful anymore. Their partners are happy to kiss them again because their chronic bad breath has gone away. Most importantly, our patients are able to keep their natural teeth for years to come.

Who knew the health of your mouth and indeed your whole body could rest on your dentist telling you “no?”

Correcting Teeth with Crowns or Bridges

No one ever expects that their teeth will become damaged or fall out completely, but these oral health problems still take place at an alarming rate. Tooth loss is such an extensive problem that almost everyone will lose at least one adult tooth before they turn 75. For these patients, crowns or bridges can restore the smile and protect the remaining teeth after chips, cracks, tooth decay and other forms of damage have taken place.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are false teeth that can be used to “cap” a damaged tooth or can be attached to an implant after losing a permanent tooth. If the dentist determines that a crown should be used, they will take impressions of the patient’s teeth. What makes crows so unique is the fact that they are custom-made for every patient. They will match the size, shape and color of the surrounding teeth.

Attaching a crown to an implant is a slightly more complicated process. Our dentist will need to anchor a rod into the socket that has been left by the missing tooth so that the bone can form a bond with the rod. On average, crowns will last for around 15 years, but some patients have been able to keep their crowns for 20 years or longer, depending on the situation.

What are Bridges?

A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Dr. Johns can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

Restoring Your Smile

Set up a time to talk to the team at Johns Family Dentistry to see if crowns or bridges are right for you. Getting a beautiful and healthy smile may be much less complicated than you once thought. Our office is located in the Sunrise Medical Campus of South Hill, WA. Contact us today to schedule a dental appointment to learn more.

Apples – Teacher Appreciation

Ask people which gift they are most likely to associate with teachers, and they’ll say, “an apple of course!”

That’s because since the 16th century, apples have come to represent what teachers experience and enable: variety, change, and growth.

And now, research has shown that apples give teachers another reason to smile. They are not only symbolic, healthy, and delicious, but have another benefit: they are great for our teeth!

So, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we thought we’d explain why apples are so great for teachers’ (and everyone else’s teeth), and provide a list of some other dental-healthy snacks. All of the foods and drinks below fight bacteria, remove plaque, strengthen enamel, and even freshen breath.

• Apples: Some dentists call apples “nature’s toothbrush.” They stimulate gums, increase salvia flow, and reduce plaque build-up, which can lead to cavities. All that chewing is also helpful because it serves as a cleansing mechanism, clearing bacteria away. Crunching celery and carrots is very effective, too.

• Cheese: Most people associate dairy foods with strong teeth and bones, but cheese—in moderation (it is very high in fat)– has been shown to be particularly dental-healthy. Unlike milk or yogurt (also good), eating cheese results in a coating of calcium on the teeth, which protects them from cavities.

• Unsweetened Green and Black Teas: The anti-oxidants that these teas are famous for kill those bacteria that turn sugar into plaque. Think of them as superheroes fighting dental crimes.

• Kiwi and Strawberries: Here’s a quick way to get Vitamin C. Kiwi and Strawberries have more of this essential for their size than any other fruits. Why is this important for your teeth? Without it, your gums risk deterioration, leaving you susceptible to periodontal disease.

• Water: Water, of course, is vital for your whole body, and it is also critical for your dental health. It keeps gums hydrated and stimulates saliva, which is your best weapon against tooth decay. And don’t forget regular rinsing, which washes away food particles that lead to bad breath.

• Sugar-free gum: Sugar substitutes taste sweet and keep breath fresh without exposing your teeth to their worst enemy: Sugar. It also stimulates healthy saliva flow

The adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” doesn’t apply to the dentist. It is imperative that you visit yours at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and a check-up to ensure dental health and maintenance.

Find going to the dentist too costly? Relax. We can help. Please feel free to contact Johns Family Dentistry at 253-848-3723.

Eat healthfully and keep smiling!

Spring! It calls for a fresh and crisp smile!

Can you smell the spring aroma? It’s that time of year to set our clocks one hour forward and prepare for our favorite spring-related activities. Whether you’re planning to graduate or participating in your favorite spring sport, we can always help you better your life with our exquisite dentistry options.

Here is how we can help:

Graduation is just around the corner – The day is almost here. You have been studying 4+ years to gain your degree to move on to the next step in your life. You want to capture the moment of your well-deserved degree landing in the palm of your hands.

Having a bright, dazzling smile is the best feature to truly capture the moment that changes your life, and thanks to our cosmetic dentistry, your dream smile can be achieved. We offer exquisite services to truly let your smile shine. Our cosmetic dentistry options include:

Porcelain veneers
Teeth whitening

Smile proudly during your graduation, and let your smile display your proud achievements!

Participating in sports – It’s time to kick-off the spring sports and maybe you’re the star on the baseball, golf, track, tennis, or soccer team. Either way, while it’s important to get your daily dose of exercise, it’s equally important to protect your pearly whites from traumatic damage.

Dr. David Johns can craft you a customized mouthguard to fully protect your teeth from direct impact. We will customize your mouthguard to match the unique contours of your mouth while it rests comfortably, allowing you to maximize your performance while protecting your teeth.

While you maintain healthy habits, make sure you keep up with your daily oral hygiene. Lack of exercise is not the only factor contributing to serious health risks. Multiple studies have indicated that forms periodontal disease can increase your chances of gaining heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and much more. Our customized hygiene plans can put you in the right step to prevent periodontal disease and let you live a healthy life.

We are passionate to providing quality dental services so you can be confident with your smile while participating in life’s events. Give us a call today to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Johns at Johns Family Dentistry.

Creating a Comfortable Dental Visit

Going to the dentist for any treatment, from a simple cleaning to an invasive extraction, can make people anxious. This is especially true for new patients who have never been to our dental office before and don’t know what to expect. At Johns Family Dentistry, we do our best to make all of our patients feel comfortable whether they have been coming to us for 15 years or for the first time.


Comfortable Dental Visits
Experience – When you go to a dentist, it is important that they have a lot of experience in the services you are needing. When a dentist has several years of experience, it is easier to trust that they will give you the best care. Dr. David Johns has over 15 years of experience providing those in the South Hill – Sunrise area superior dental care.
Knowledgeable staff – Many dental procedures can seem overwhelming when you are not sure what to expect, which is why our staff does their best to explain every step of the procedure to you before your appointment. If you have any questions, we will also make sure they are all answered and that you are completely informed before we do anything.
Modern equipment – Modern technology can make dental procedures easier and faster, allowing us to give you more efficient care. We offer several services; all of which have the most current and updated technology, including our teeth whitening treatments, laser therapy, crowns, and implant restorations.
Comfortable environment – From the moment you walk into our office we want you to feel at ease, which is why we have a comfortable waiting area, warm neutral tones throughout the office, and windows in our exam rooms.
Great reviews – When you are a new patient, it can be difficult to tell whether a dental office is good or not. Reviews are a great way to see how patients feel about the care they have received at a specific office and for you to get honest opinions. We have reviews on Yelp and Google as well as testimonials from our patients on our website.
The Best in Dental Care
At Johns Family Dentistry, Dr. David Johns and his team care about their patients and want to make sure each patient is comfortable and stress-free during every visit. If you would like to know more about our office or schedule an appointment, please contact us today!

The History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is best known as a celebration of love, in all of it’s forms. Pink hearts, red roses, and cute greeting cards adorn every surface you see. What many people don’t realize is that the modern Valentine’s Day celebration arose from a religious holiday.

St. Valentine’s Day was originally celebrated as a religious feast day in honor of early Christian martyrs. Three martyrs named Valentine were honored: a priest in Rome, the persecuted bishop of Interamna (a town in central Italy), and a saint martyred in Africa. This saint’s day was celebrated throughout Christendom, although it was removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1969.

The origin of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for lovers began with Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1382 poem “Parlement of Foules.” Chaucer wrote, “For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate,” and the modern romantic holiday was born. William Shakespeare and other writers mentioned Valentine’s Day as a day of love.

Valentine’s Day as we know it came about in the early 19th century. In Victorian England, printers began manufacturing small numbers of cards with romantic ses, lace, ribbons, and other frills. Anonymous Valentine’s Day card were a popular way for young lovers to exchange romantic sentiments in an otherwise prudish time. As the 19th century progressed, printers began mass manufacturing Valentine’s Day cards. People in the United States give an estimated 190 million valentines every year, and up to one billion if you count children exchanging cards at school! With the rise of the Internet, Valentine’s Day e-cards have become a popular mode of communication, with millions of e-cards sent each year.

The other items associated with Valentine’s Day include chocolate and flowers. The tradition of giving chocolates has been around for decades, and Richard Cadbury created the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates nearly 150 years ago. Today, purchases of chocolate total over $1 billion in the United States alone, with 35 million heart-shaped boxes sold each year. Loved ones also exchange flowers, with red roses being associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. On Valentine’s Day itself, florists sell nearly 200 stems of roses.

It doesn’t matter if you are giving your 5-year old, your spouse, or your significant other a Valentine’s Day kiss, no one wants to kiss or be kissed by anyone with bad oral hygiene. In fact, you should always keep your mouth healthy and attractive by brushing at least twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride and flossing at least once daily. Another tip is to reduce the amount of sugary and acidic food and drinks you consume like candy, sodas, and sports drinks. Instead, eat a well balanced diet of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and fiber. And if you feel the need for gum or a mint to freshen your breath, be sure to select products with xylitol, as studies have proven that it actually reduces your odds of getting cavities (tooth decay). Lastly, drink plenty of water (preferably fluoridated), as dry mouth is one of the key causes of halitosis (bad breath).

Although many people dismiss Valentine’s Day as a commercialized “Hallmark holiday,” it is beloved to couples and romantics across the United States and other countries. The team at Johns Family Dentistry wants to remind all patients that no matter what your celebratory plans, February 14th can be a wonderful day to celebrate the loved ones in your life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

New Year Resolutions

Your dental health is an important part of your overall wellness, and the New Year is a great time to create resolutions for improving your health. Many people have dental health resolutions that range from improving their toothbrushing habits to completing delayed dental treatment. Understanding the benefits of your particular resolutions can be motivating and rewarding. Whatever your goals might be, it is important to take small steps to achieve them. Consistency is key with any resolution that you make.


Improving Oral Health Habits

Perhaps you would like to improve your oral health. Daily toothbrushing and flossing is a sure and simple way to improve your oral health. For successful bacterial plaque removal, it is important to brush at least twice a day using an appropriately sized, soft-bristle, manual or electric toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, gently position the toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle toward the gumline and move the toothbrush across the teeth to effectively remove bacterial plaque. It is also important to floss or use a water pik at least once per day to remove bacterial plaque and food that has accumulated throughout the day. Your toothbrush should be replaced every 3 to 4 months, as well as after you have a cold or flu or if the bristles are frayed. Daily toothbrushing and flossing help to prevent gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). The daily use of antimicrobial and fluoride mouthrinses also helps to improve your oral health.

Healthier Food and Beverage Choices

An important part of achieving your dental health resolutions is making healthier food and beverage choices, especially for snacks. Frequent consumption of food and beverages containing carbohydrates and acids contributes to tooth decay, so it is important to brush after snacking. Using a Xylitol-containing gum or lozenge after a meal will also help to neutralize acids and reduce cavity-causing bacteria and plaque buildup.

Improving Your Smile

There are several smile-improving techniques that you can use while you brush and floss. In recent years, teeth whitening has acquired enormous popularity. It enhances the appearance of teeth by removing deep (intrinsic) or surface (extrinsic) stains. There are a number of tooth whitening products that can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) for at-home use, administered by Dr. Johns at our office. Tooth whitening products are typically categorized into two major groups: Whitening toothpastes (dentifrices) and peroxide-containing bleaching agents. The following are different types of tooth whitening methods:

Whitening toothpaste.
Professionally applied bleaching products.
Peroxide-containing bleaching agents.
Dentist-dispensed and OTC home-use products.


Your New Year’s resolution may be to finally correct an abnormal bite caused by an injury, thumb sucking, tooth crowding or crooked teeth. Correcting any of these problems with braces not only enhances the look of your smile but also, and most importantly, improves your oral health. There are several options for straightening your teeth. Which orthodontic method you choose depends upon your preference and the types of appliances offered by your orthodontist.

Restorative Dentistry

The New Year may be the right time to start or complete deferred restorative dental work, such as crowns, implants or fillings. Completing these types of procedures will help you to preserve the tooth structure and to maintain proper tooth alignment, which could ultimately improve your oral health.

Quit Using Tobacco Products

Quitting cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use is important for improving your oral and overall health. There is no better time than the present to make a resolution to stop tobacco use. Consider free online tools, smoking cessation groups, progress-tracking apps and support from friends and family to assist you with tobacco cessation.


A resolution to make routine visits to the dentist may help prevent oral disease or reveal an existing disease in its early stage. Dental visits should take place every 6 months to allow your dentist and dental hygienists to monitor the condition of your oral cavity and develop an appropriate treatment plan to meet your wants and needs.

Why We Give Back

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”  – Winston Churchill

1393618100758871The Mission
Our mission on philanthropy is the same as our mission as a dental practice. We want to create positive change by doing the following:
– Building trustworthy, lasting relationships
– Creating a bond in our neighborhood as someone the community can rely on
– Supporting children, as they are our future
– Working together and inspiring others, other practices and our patients
How We Are Helping Lately
It is not just one place and it is not just one program. Here are just a few ways Johns Family Dentistry has been making a positive impact on our community lately.
– We worked in conjunction with Red Canoe Credit Union and Puyallup Communities is Schools and hosted a successful school supply drive for children in need.
– We have donated generous amounts of tooth brushes and tooth paste, to local charities in need as well as to oversea’s missions.
– We collected over 20 turkey’s that were donated to the Graham-South Hill Food Bank in time for Thanksgiving.
– Our office has donated lunch to both the Puyallup Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff- South Hill Precinct.
– We delivered “Survival Bags” to the Pierce County Sheriff – South Hill Precinct.
– Currently we are hosting a Peanut Butter Drive.
– Currently we are working with the group, Puyallup Serves, and are collecting $5.00 Starbuck gift cards and thank you messages to deliver to the Puyallup Police Department.
– If we have available openings in our schedule, we will offer free dental care to a person in need.
It feels good to work for a company that cares. As a small business, our staff all come from the same community. Local causes effect us all and are always close to our hearts. This makes giving back to the community a strong team-building and morale-boosting experience for everyone involved. It is not just employees who benefit from giving. Our patients appreciate it too. It is truly a win-win and when we can inspire another office to give, our entire community benefits.

Veterans Are National Treasurers

Veterans are National Treasures: 3 Ways to Honor Them This Veterans Day
The word “National Treasure” usually conjures up images such as Mount Rushmore, the Lincoln Memorial, or Yellowstone National Park. This Veterans Day, let’s also remember that some of our most precious national treasures are also

To all Veterans who have served this wonderful country, we thank you, with all of our hearts.

Here are three ways to help you celebrate Veterans Day and help serve those who have served all of us in the United States.

Speak with a Veteran: Be a part of history by listening.

Chances are you either know a war Veteran personally, or know someone who does. Take the time today to speak with them. Learn about who they are as a person, and the experiences in their life that shaped who they are now. Seek to understand their struggles and their successes. These very important individuals have a lot to share that can and should help us to shape our own personal opinions, as well as our foreign and domestic local and national policies.

Do a Random Act of Kindness for a Veteran.

It could be something as simple as writing a letter to a veteran or an active-duty service member, or even just taking the time so personally thank a Veteran for their service, y
our time and care is invaluable. Doing kindness for others also feels wonderful! November 13th is World Kindness Day – wouldn’t you love to start early and have something extra to share with others to inspire them?

When WWII Veteran Harold “Tom” O’Brien came to our Chicago office and told us that the VA would not be covering the dentures that he needed, we knew that helping him would be the right thing to do, and we were happy that we could have a positive impact in Tom’s life, even if in a small way.

It is often our instinct to walk past a homeless person on the street, but according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 49,933 veterans are homeless on any given night. Taking the time to provide food, warm clothes, or other comfort to a homeless person could very well also be helping a Veteran in need.

Support our Veterans However You Can.

If you are able to donate money, goods, or services to help Veterans and their families, please consider doing so. Your time is also an invaluable resource, and many non-profits and programs geared towards helping Veterans rely on the time and effort of volunteers. Here are some active programs that are helping Veterans in our area:

Volunteers of America: Volunteers of America is a church without walls that answers God’s call to transform our communities through a ministry of service that demonstrates to all people that they are beloved.

The Wounded Warrior Project: To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.

Veterans Administration (VA) Volunteers: VAVS is committed to engaging American citizens in service during the summer months and provide lasting benefits to the veterans and communities in which they live through volunteer service.

DAV (Disabled American Veterans): DAV is dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. We accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.

Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to honor American Veterans as the national treasures they are. We are pleased to partner with the VA and proudly take care of many dental needs for our Veterans.

What is a canker sore?

If you have ever experienced a canker – or chancre – sore in your mouth, you know that they can be bothersome at the very least, and often quite painful. They seem to pop up out of the blue and immediately outstay their welcome. So, what are they exactly, and is there anything you can do to get rid of them? Read on to discover everything you need to know about canker sores.

Canker sore is the informal term used in North America for the medical condition referred to as Aphthous Stomatitis. Canker sores are generally small ulcers found only inside the mouth, usually along the cheeks, tongue, or lips. They can make it very uncomfortable to talk, eat, or drink and can be very painful when acidic foods come into contact with them. The flesh of the sore itself is usually white and very tender with red aggravated skin surrounding it, but they are not contagious.

Who do canker sores affect?

Women are twice as likely to get canker sores than men and usually occur between the ages of 10 and 20, although they can appear earlier in life. That being said, anyone can be affected by canker sores at any age. There have been cases of canker sores reported as early as two years old.

What causes canker sores?

Unfortunately, the true cause of canker sores is unknown. However, it has been proven that eating an excess of highly citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, pineapples, tomatoes, and strawberries, can trigger canker sores in many people.

Consuming a lot of sugary foods, such as candies, can also cause sores to pop up. Damage or irritation from dental appliances, accidental biting of the tongue or cheek, or ill-fitting dentures can also be a trigger for canker sores. There has also been evidence that suggests a diet lacking in vitamin B-12 can cause canker sores. This vitamin can be found in foods such as eggs, dairy products, and seafood.

What is the difference between a canker sore and a cold sore?

Canker sores occur exclusively inside the mouth and do not have any known cause. Cold sores, on the other hand, are caused by a viral infection and are highly contagious. Unlike canker sores, cold sores occur outside of the mouth and are filled with fluid, resembling blisters, and generally scab over before healing.

Are canker sores dangerous?

Generally, no, canker sores are not dangerous. They can be extremely uncomfortable, even very painful, but they usually disappear on their own after a week or two. However, canker sores should not occur more than four or five times in a year – so if you experience an excessive amount, it could point to a larger health issue. Consult your doctor if you believe this sounds like your experience.

How do you treat a canker sore?

Most of the time canker sores are best treated by leaving them alone until they disappear in a week or so. Canker sores can also be laser treated by your dentist which provides immediate relief and quicker healing time. If you are bothered by canker sores regularly, your dentist may recommend that you use a canker sore combating mouthwash.

Avoiding trigger foods, such as highly citrus fruits and extremely sugary treats, is essential when letting your canker sore heal as exposing it to these foods can further aggravate it. Being careful when using dental appliances such as retainers, dentures, and braces, is important to ensure further damage isn’t done to the affected area.

Be sure to thoroughly brush your teeth after meals to ensure that food particles or bacteria doesn’t get attached to the sore and possibly cause an infection. If your canker sore does not improve on it’s own after two weeks, consult your dentist or doctor for further diagnosis.

Can canker sores be prevented?

Because the exact causes of canker sores are not known, it is difficult to prevent them aside from avoiding foods and physical irritations that might trigger a canker sore. Ensuring that you don’t have an allergy that could trigger canker sores and including enough vitamin B-12 in your diet are great steps to take in preventing future a breakout.

Always be sure to clean your mouth properly at least twice each day and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and oral health monitoring.