Posts for: August, 2017
They seemingly pop up out of the blue inside your mouth: tiny sores that are sometimes painful — and always annoying. Then, in about a week to ten days these small, irritating lesions are gone.
They're known as canker sores: the most common break out in the linings of the mouth, including the cheeks, lips, under the tongue or even the back of the throat. Medically known as aphthous ulcers, you'll recognize these round lesions by their yellow-gray center surrounded by a red “halo.”
You might feel a tingling sensation a couple of days before an outbreak. Once they appear they usually last a week to ten days; during that time they can cause discomfort especially while eating or drinking.
We don't know fully what causes canker sores, but it's believed they're related to abnormalities in the immune system, the processes in the body that fight infection and disease. High stress or anxiety and certain acidic or spicy foods like citrus fruit or tomato sauce also seem to trigger them.
Most people experience canker sores that range in intensity from slight discomfort to sometimes severe pain. But about 20-25% of people, mostly women, have an acute form known as recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS). Thought to be hereditary, RAS produces clusters of ulcers that are almost always painful, and which come and go on a regular basis.
Our main treatment goal with canker sores is to decrease discomfort while the outbreak runs its course and promote rapid healing. There are over-the-counter ointments that often prove effective. For more resistant symptoms we can also prescribe topical or injectable steroids or other medications.
Canker sores are rarely concerning as a significant health issue. You should, however, take an outbreak seriously if it hasn't healed within two weeks, if the outbreaks seem to be increasing in frequency or severity, or you're never without a sore in your mouth. In these cases, we may need to take a tissue sample of the lesion to biopsy for signs of cancer, pre-cancer or some other skin disease.
More than likely, though, the canker sore will be benign albeit annoying. With effective treatment, though, you can get through the outbreak with only a minimal amount of discomfort.
If you would like more information on treating canker sores, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Mouth Sores.”
If you have been living with dental stains, you are not alone. According to studies, a whiter, more cosmetically attractive smile is usually at the top of the wish list for most adults. Even if you make an effort to take care of your smile, there are a number of factors that contribute to dental stains and discoloration (some of which are beyond your control). But that doesn't mean that you have to settle for a less than perfect smile. In fact, it has never been easier, more convenient and affordable to turn back the clock on stained teeth. Your dentists Dr. John Murphy and Dr. Patrick Murphy at Murphy Dental Group in Milton, MA, offer professional teeth whitening treatments to help make your teeth look better than ever.
Professional Teeth Whitening in Milton, MA
While over the counter products like whitening toothpastes, strips and gels can help a little, a professional treatment is necessary to remove stains and significantly whiten your teeth. The most common type of dental stains develop gradually and intensify over time, from consuming food and drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, tomato and soy sauce, and dark berries. If you smoke, not only will it stain your tooth, but it can also lead to other oral health complications by increasing the risk of periodontal disease, and making dental problems for difficult to treat.
Murphy Dental Group offers both in office and take home professional teeth whitening treatments to accommodate your personal needs and schedule. An in office procedure is the fastest and most effective method to whiten your teeth, with a typical appointment lasting about an hour and producing immediate results. The take home treatment option allows you to apply the whitening gel at home on your own schedule with custom molds of your teeth. The results will be more gradual as you apply the treatment over the course of a few weeks, but will also provide professional results.
Find a Dentist in Milton, MA
Are you ready to improve your smile (and your whole appearance) with a whiter, brighter smile? For more information, contact Drs. John and Patrick Murphy of Murphy Dental Group in Milton, MA by calling (617) 696-3900 to schedule an appointment today.
What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.
"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."
But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.
"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."
What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.
Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.
To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.
Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?
"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.