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Common Concerns

Common Concerns
Expert answers to everyday oral care concerns.

Plaque and Tartar

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars that constantly forms on our teeth.     Read "What is Plaque?" article

What is Tartar?

Tartar, sometimes called calculus, is plaque that has hardened on your teeth.    Read "What is Tartar?" article

Plaque: What is it and How do We Get Rid of It?

People used to think that as you got older you naturally lost your teeth. We now know that’s not true.     Read "Plaque: What is it and How do We Get Rid of It?" article

Gum Disease

What are the Stages of Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is caused by the bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Read "What are the Stages of Gum Disease?" article

What is Gingivitis? Signs and Symptoms

What is Gingivitis? Gingivitis — an inflammation of the gums — is the initial stage of gum disease and the easiest to treat. The direct cause of gingivitis is plaque - the soft, sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth and gums. Read "What is Gingivitis? Signs and Symptoms" article


Gingivitis — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of this gum disease. Read "Gingivitis" article

Canker Sores, Cold Sores and Infections

Oral thrush

Oral thrush — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of this fungal infection. Read "Oral thrush" article

Canker Sores (Aphthous Stomatitis or Recurrent Mouth Ulcers)

About 20 of every 100 people get canker sores. Smaller canker sores usually heal within a couple of weeks. They do not leave scars. Read "Canker Sores (Aphthous Stomatitis or Recurrent Mouth Ulcers)" article

Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

What Is It? Cold sores and fever blisters are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). This virus is passed from person to person by saliva (either directly, or by drinking from the same glass or cup) or by skin contact. Cold sores usually appear as clusters of tiny blisters on the lip. About 8 out of 10 people have the virus that causes cold sores. Most people are first infected before they are 10 years old. Read "Cold Sores and Fever Blisters" article

Tooth abscess

Tooth abscess — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of this painful tooth condition. Read "Tooth abscess" article

Canker sore

Canker sore — Comprehensive overview covers causes, treatment and prevention of these painful mouth sores. Read "Canker sore" article


What is Tooth Sensitvity?

Tooth sensitivity is a common name for dentin hypersensitivity or root sensitivity. If hot, cold, sweet or very acidic foods and drinks.    Read "What is Tooth Sensitvity?" article

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is something that affects a number of people. It is often caused by eating or drinking something hot, cold, sweet or acidic.    Read "What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?" article

Treatment Options for Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is due to the exposure of dentin, the part of the tooth which covers the nerve, either through loss of the enamel layer or recession of the gums.    Read "Treatment Options for Tooth Sensitivity" article

Bad Breath

Bad breath

Bad breath — Comprehensive overview covers causes, treatment and prevention of halitosis. Read "Bad breath" article

Bad breath? Brush your tongue!

Health tips from Mayo Clinic, featuring simple strategies for a healthy lifestyle. Read "Bad breath? Brush your tongue!" article


Bad breath is breath that has an unpleasant odor. It's also known as halitosis. This odor can occur from time to time, or it can be long lasting, depending on the cause. Read "Halitosis" article

TMJ/TMD: Temporomandibular Disorders

What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)?

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, means that the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn't working properly. This hinge is one of the most complex joints in the body, responsible for moving the lower jaw forward, backward and side-to-side    Read "What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)?" article

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs)

What Is It? Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are problems that affect your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or jaw joint. They also can affect the muscles of the face that help you to chew. Read "Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs)" article

Dislocation of the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located just in front of the lower part of the ear. This joint allows the lower jaw to move. It is a ball-and-socket joint, just like the hip or shoulder. When the mouth opens wide, the ball (called the condyle) comes out of the socket and moves forward. It goes back into place when the mouth closes. Read "Dislocation of the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)" article

Wisdom Teeth

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last molars on each side of the jaws. They are also the last teeth to emerge, Read "What are Wisdom Teeth?" article

Impacted wisdom teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, complications and treatment of impacted wisdom teeth. Read "Impacted wisdom teeth" article

Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Jennifer Flach was a college junior when her wisdom teeth started causing problems. Read "Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?" article

Dry Mouth

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth means you don't have enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth moist. Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while, especially if you're nervous, upset or under stress. But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to more serious health problems or indicate that a more serious medical condition may exist.    Read "What is Dry Mouth?" article

Dry Mouth

Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while — if they are nervous, upset or under stress.    Read "Dry Mouth" article

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