Cold Sores… Everything you need to know

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As you likely know, cold sores are a group of tiny, painful blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This virus is highly contagious, making cold sores extremely easy to spread through touch.
Cold sores usually appear on the outside of the mouth and lips, but they can also develop on the nose and cheeks.
When cold sores do develop, they can be treated through medications and professional treatments.
At Maple Mews Dental, we offer a laser treatment that helps speed up the cold sore healing process. Many patients call the office to schedule a treatment at the first sign of a bump or tingling.
There are certain things that have been known to trigger an outbreak. These include:
Fever, colds, allergies, fatigue, stress.
Cold sores aren’t only contagious when they are visible – they are most contagious immediately before the blister forms. Many people who suffer from cold sores report that they can feel the blister coming in before it arrives.
If you have a cold sore or feel one coming on, it is very important to avoid the dentist unless you are seeking an appointment to have your cold sore treated with our laser.
Keeping this in mind will prevent you from spreading the virus to the dentist and hygienist, and help you avoid any pain or discomfort that can occur when you open your mouth wide for treatment.
If you have a cold sore and have a regular dental appointment scheduled, please contact the office and we will find an alternative time to see you.

How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth?

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Sugar is one of the most common ingredients in our modern diets. We all know that sugar is bad for our health, but did you know that it can also damage our teeth? In fact, sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and cavities, which can lead to a range of oral health problems.
Here’s how sugar affects the health of your teeth:
1. Sugar feeds bacteria
The bacteria present in your mouth feeds on sugar, which produces acid as a byproduct. This acid then attacks the enamel of your teeth, leading to tooth decay and cavities. The more sugar you consume, the more bacteria will grow in your mouth, and the more it will produce acid that damages your teeth.
2. Sugar increases plaque formation
Plaque is the buildup of bacteria, food particles, and other substances in your mouth. When you eat sugar, it sticks to your teeth and combines with bacteria to form plaque. Plaque accumulates on the surface of your teeth, and if left untreated, it can harden into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist, and it can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.
3. Sugar decreases saliva production
Saliva is essential for keeping your mouth healthy because it helps to neutralize acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. But when you consume sugar, it decreases the production of saliva, which means that the acids are not neutralized. This results in tooth decay and cavities.
4. Sugar causes inflammation
Consuming too much sugar can cause inflammation throughout your body, including your gums. Inflammation leads to gum disease, which can cause bleeding gums, bad breath, and ultimately tooth loss. Additionally, individuals with diabetes who consume sugar are at a higher risk of developing gum disease.
5. Sugar damages tooth enamel
The enamel on your teeth is the protective outer layer that keeps your teeth healthy. But when you consume too much sugar, the enamel on your teeth weakens, making them more susceptible to damage. This damage can lead to tooth sensitivity and pain.
So, what can you do to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of sugar? The best thing you can do is to limit your sugar intake. Avoid sugary drinks, candy, and processed foods that contain added sugar. Instead, opt for healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Additionally, brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

Excessive consumption of sugar can have detrimental effects on your oral health. From feeding bacteria to decreasing saliva production, sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth. However, with proper care and limiting sugar intake, you can keep your teeth healthy and strong. Our team at Maple Mews Dental in Burlington has been committed to giving our patients all the tools to have healthy smiles they can be proud of.