Sometimes my gums will bleed when I floss my teeth.  Is this normal?

The accumulation of plaque (food and germs) will damage the gums and cause them to bleed when flossing or brushing.  This is an indication that you should increase the frequency and quality of your oral hygiene.  We recommend doing both after breakfast and before bedtime.

When I drink cold drinks I like to chew ice.  My girlfriend says this is bad for my teeth.  Is she right?

Chewing ice is very bad for your teeth.  It can lead to fracture and premature wear!

My teeth are really sensitive to hot and cold foods.  Is there anything that can be done about this?

Some teeth are very sensitive to temperature for short duration (seconds to minutes).  Sensitive teeth often have gum recession with exposed root which has nerves or a defective filling.  Careful brushing and the use of fluoride can help.  If the pain lasts a long time call your dentist.

My husband tells me that I grind my teeth in my sleep. Is this doing me any harm?

Bruxing (grinding your teeth) can wear your teeth prematurely and damage your joints and muscles. Your dentist can provide an appliance and other techniques to help your problem.

I have some white spots on my front teeth that my mom says are the result of taking some medication when I was a child. Can these spots be removed?

Yes, these spots can be removed by placing a bonded filling. Often the spots are small and will not harm the tooth so they can be left alone.

I have read that drinking coffee can give you bad breath. Is this true?

Many foods can effect your breath. This only lasts a few hours. Some of your breath smells come from the stomach, while others come through the skin and breath (garlic). Careful oral hygiene is the best cure for common bad breath.

Is it true that some mouthwashes can dry out and shrink your gums?

Many mouth washes contain alcohol and detergents. These are good for loosening plaque before you brush. They will not shrink your gums.

What causes canker sores and can they be prevented?

Canker sores inside the mouth are most often an autoimmune response to trauma during eating. They resolve by themselves in 10-14 days. Do not confuse these with sores on the lips (cold sores). They are most often caused by herpes with similar duration. There is a special prescription cream your dentist can prescribe to aid healing of cold sores.

Can chewing sugarfree gum after meals help reduce plaque?

We strongly discourage people from chewing any gum as it can lead to tooth, muscle, and joint damage (TMJ).