What Is TMJ Disorder?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ or TMD) is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, causing pain, discomfort, and difficulty in everyday activities like eating and speaking. However, TMJ disorder can often be confusing, and patients dealing with the symptoms may have trouble finding a diagnosis and relief. That’s where your dentist in Woodbridge comes into play.  

What is TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge-like structure that connects your jawbone to your skull. It plays a crucial role in basic activities like talking, chewing, and swallowing. TMJ disorder, also known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is a condition that affects this joint, leading to a range of uncomfortable and often painful symptoms. It’s essential to note that TMJ disorder can affect one or both sides of the jaw.

Causes of TMJ Disorder

The precise causes of TMJ disorder are not always clear, and it often results from a combination of factors. Here are some common contributing factors:

  • Teeth Grinding/Clenching: Grinding or clenching your teeth can exert excessive pressure on the TMJ, leading to wear and tear.
  • Stress & Anxiety: Emotional stress can lead to jaw clenching, further straining the TMJ.
  • Arthritis: Inflammatory joint conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can affect the TMJ.
  • Injury or Trauma: Physical injuries to the jaw area can disrupt the TMJ’s normal functioning.
  • Malocclusion: Poor teeth alignment or an improper bite can strain the TMJ over time.

Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder can manifest in various ways, and its symptoms may vary from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Pain: This can be in the jaw joint, around the ear, in the temple, or even radiating to the neck and shoulders.
  • Limited Jaw Movement: Difficulty opening the mouth wide or a sensation of the jaw “locking” in place.
  • Clicking or Popping Sounds: These sounds may occur when you open or close your mouth, often due to a displaced disc in the TMJ.
  • Muscle Tenderness: The jaw muscles may become sore, leading to headaches or facial pain.
  • Swelling: In some cases, swelling in the jaw area may be evident.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: TMJ disorder can cause tooth pain, as the strain on the jaw affects the alignment of teeth.

If you have any of these common symptoms, schedule a visit with your dentist in Woodbridge

Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder

The treatment of TMJ disorder depends on the severity of the condition, its underlying causes, and your symptoms. Some of the most common treatment options for TMJ Disorder include:


Give your jaw muscles a break by avoiding hard or chewy foods and limiting excessive talking or singing.

Heat or Ice

Applying a warm compress or an ice pack can help alleviate pain and reduce muscle tension.

Manage Stress

Stress management techniques like meditation and relaxation exercises can be helpful in reducing jaw clenching.


Over-the-counter pain medications prescribed for muscle relaxants can be beneficial in some cases to ease muscle tension and help reduce pain and inflammation.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy includes exercises to strengthen and stretch the jaw muscles, improving mobility and reducing pain.

Oral Appliances

A night guard or splint can be custom-fitted by a dentist in Woodbridge to reduce the effects of teeth grinding and clenching.

Botox Injections

In some cases, Botox injections can be used to temporarily relax the jaw muscles and reduce pain.

Orthodontic Treatment

Correcting teeth misalignment with braces or other orthodontic devices can alleviate TMJ disorder caused by malocclusion.

As you can see, treatment for TMJ Disorder varies greatly, so it’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect you have TMJ disorder. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Even though TMJ disorder can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, there are various treatment options available to manage the condition effectively. Understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and seeking appropriate treatment can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder. Whether through rest, physical therapy, oral appliance, medication, or other interventions, there are solutions that can bring relief and improve the overall well-being of those affected by this condition.

The Surprising Connection Between Breast Cancer and Oral Health

Breast cancer is a prevalent and life-altering disease that affects millions of women worldwide. While its causes are diverse and complex, researchers continue to uncover various risk factors and potential links to this devastating disease. One surprising connection that has gained attention in recent years is the relationship between breast cancer and oral health. During this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, your dentist in Woodbridge will explore this intriguing connection and the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene for overall health.

Understanding Breast Cancer

Before delving into the connection between breast cancer and oral health, it’s essential to grasp the basics of breast cancer. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that originates in the breast tissue, most commonly in the milk ducts or lobules (sections that branch out from the nipple). It can affect both women and men, although it is far more common in women. Breast cancer can have various risk factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Hormonal Influences
  • Lifestyle Choices
  • Environmental Factors

Maintaining overall health and wellness plays a significant role in reducing the risk of breast cancer.

The Oral-Systemic Connection

The oral-systemic connection is a concept that highlights the link between oral health and overall health. Your mouth is not an isolated system but rather an integral part of your body, and its health can affect other bodily systems. This connection has led researchers to explore the potential links between oral health and various systemic conditions, including breast cancer.

Oral Bacteria and Inflammation

One significant link between oral health and breast cancer is inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the body has been linked to the development and progression of many diseases, including cancer. In the oral cavity, conditions like gum disease (periodontitis) can lead to chronic inflammation due to the presence of harmful oral bacteria. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream and trigger a systemic inflammatory response, which may contribute to the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Oral bacteria, such as Porphyromonas gingivalis, have been found in breast cancer tumors, suggesting a potential connection between oral health and breast cancer. While more research is needed to establish a direct causal relationship, it underscores the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation.

Hormonal Influences

Hormonal factors play a significant role in breast cancer risk. One hormone that has been linked to both oral health and breast cancer is estrogen. Estrogen receptors are present in both breast tissue and in the mouth, particularly in the skin inside of the mouth. Fluctuations in estrogen levels can affect both areas.

During menopause, many women experience changes in their oral health, including dry mouth, gum disease, and an increased risk of cavities. These changes are attributed to hormonal fluctuations, and they can coincide with an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

Maintaining Oral Health to Reduce Risk

While more research is needed to establish a definitive link between oral health and breast cancer, there’s no denying the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene for overall well-being. Here are some steps you can take to promote oral health and potentially reduce your breast cancer risk:

  • Get Regular Dental Checkups

Visit your dentist in Woodbridge regularly for checkups and cleanings. Dental professionals can identify and treat oral health issues early, reducing the risk of complications.

  • Brush and Floss

Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria that can contribute to gum disease and inflammation.

  • Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is good for overall wellness as these foods provide essential nutrients for oral health and overall health.

  • Avoid Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are known risk factors for both oral health problems and breast cancer. Avoiding these habits can benefit your overall health.

  • Manage Stress

Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and contribute to oral health issues. Practice stress management techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and exercise.

The connection between breast cancer and oral health is an emerging area of research that highlights the oral-systemic link and the importance of taking care of your oral health. While more studies are needed to establish definitive causation, it’s clear that maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for overall health and may play a role in reducing breast cancer risk. By brushing and flossing regularly, eating a balanced diet, and seeing your dentist in Woodbridge at least twice a year, you can live a healthier, happier life. 

How to Make a Dental First Aid Kit

Dental emergencies can certainly cause concern. However, having a well-stocked dental first aid kit on hand can make a significant difference in managing discomfort and preventing further damage. Whether you’re at home or traveling, having a dental first aid kit in addition to your traditional first aid kit is an essential part of your overall healthcare preparedness. So how exactly do you make a dental first aid kit? Your dentist in Woodbridge is here to guide you through the process of assembling your own comprehensive dental first aid kit.

Steps to Making a Dental First Aid Kit

  1. Gather Essential Supplies

Before you start assembling your dental first aid kit, it’s important to understand the supplies you’ll need. Use this list to make sure you include all of the essentials. 

Pain Relief

Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide temporary relief from dental pain. Just make sure you follow package instructions, know what you’re able to take, and never apply the pain medication directly to the tooth or gums.

Oral Analgesic Gel

A soothing oral analgesic gel can provide immediate, yet temporary, relief from gum irritation, toothache, and mouth sores.

Temporary Filling Material

A temporary dental filling material can be used to seal a cavity and protect the exposed area until you can see a dentist. However, it’s crucial that you only use this for a short period of time and you schedule an appointment with your dentist in Woodbridge as soon as possible. 

Dental Wax

Dental wax is useful for covering sharp edges of orthodontic appliances or chipped teeth that may be causing irritation or discomfort.

Dental Floss

Dental floss can help dislodge food particles or debris that gets stuck between teeth, preventing potential infections and discomfort.

Cotton Balls and Swabs

Cotton balls can be used to help control bleeding from minor oral injuries, while swabs can help apply medication precisely.

Sterile Gauze

Sterile gauze pads are also helpful for controlling bleeding and keeping wounds clean.

Dental Mirror and Flashlight

A small mirror and flashlight can help you see the affected area, making it easier to identify problems.

  1. Select a Suitable Container

Choosing the right container for your dental first aid kit is crucial to ensure that all your supplies stay organized and easily accessible. A small, waterproof container with compartments is ideal for storing and protecting your dental first aid items. Consider using a pill organizer or a travel-sized toiletry bag to keep everything in order.

  1. Include Instructions

If you’re creating a dental first aid kit for your family, friends, or travel companions, it’s a good idea to include simple instructions on how to use the items in the kit. This can be particularly helpful for those who may not be familiar with dental first-aid techniques.

  1. Personalize Your Kit

Customize your dental first aid kit to meet your specific needs. If you or a family member wear braces, be sure to include orthodontic wax and tools for brace adjustments. If you’re an avid athlete, consider adding a mouthguard to protect your teeth during physical activities.

  1. Regularly Check and Restock

Your dental first aid kit isn’t a one-and-done project. It’s important to periodically check the contents of your kit and restock any items that have been used or have expired. This ensures that your kit is always ready for any dental emergency that may arise.

While a dental first aid kit is invaluable for managing minor dental issues, it’s essential to still see your dentist in Woodbridge, especially if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding, a knocked-out tooth, or any other significant dental emergency.

Top 10 Ways to Treat Dry Mouth

If you’ve ever experienced the uncomfortable feeling of dry mouth, you know just how eager someone could be to treat it quickly. While some people may experience occasional dryness, others could have a chronic case of dry mouth. Dry mouth isn’t just annoying, it can also lead to other problems such as difficulties speaking, chewing, or swallowing, and could put you at risk for other oral health conditions. Luckily, your dentist in Woodbridge has 10 ways to effectively treat dry mouth and restore comfort to your oral health.

  1. Stay Hydrated

The most basic yet essential step in combating dry mouth is to ensure you stay well-hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider carrying a water bottle to sip on regularly. Adequate hydration will help stimulate saliva production and keep your mouth moist.

  1. Eat Saliva-Stimulating Foods

Certain foods can act as natural saliva stimulants and give you relief from dry mouth. Incorporate crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery into your diet. Sugarless chewing gum can also be helpful in encouraging saliva flow while reducing the risk of cavities.

  1. Avoid Dehydrating Substances

Steer clear of substances that can worsen dry mouth symptoms. Reduce your intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they can dehydrate your body and exacerbate dryness in the mouth.

  1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is crucial for individuals with dry mouth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and don’t forget to floss daily in order to keep your gums healthy and prevent potential infections. Remember to see your dentist in Woodbridge twice a year for checkups. 

  1. Choose Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Replace alcohol-based mouthwashes with alcohol-free alternatives. Alcohol can contribute to dryness, so opt for products containing fluoride and xylitol, which can aid in saliva production and protect your teeth.

  1. Breathe Through Your Nose

Breathing through your mouth can worsen dryness, so make a conscious effort to breathe through your nose whenever possible. If you struggle with nasal congestion, consult a healthcare professional for suitable remedies.

  1. Use a Humidifier

Dry indoor air can aggravate your dry mouth symptoms, especially during the night. Consider using a humidifier in your bedroom to add moisture to the air and prevent your mouth from drying out while you sleep.

  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking not only dries out your mouth but also contributes to a host of other oral health issues. Quitting smoking can significantly improve your overall oral health and reduce the severity of dry mouth symptoms.

  1. Review Your Medication

If you’re taking medications that list dry mouth as a side effect, consult your healthcare provider. They might adjust your dosage or switch you to an alternative medication that doesn’t cause dry mouth. Never stop taking medications without consulting your doctor. 

  1. Seek Help From Your Dentist

If the remedies don’t provide sufficient relief, it’s time to seek help from your dentist in Woodbridge. They can identify the underlying cause of your dry mouth and recommend appropriate treatments, such as prescription saliva substitutes or medications that promote saliva production.

Dealing with dry mouth can be uncomfortable, but by following these top 10 tips to treat dry mouth, you can find relief and improve your oral health. Implementing these strategies can lead to a healthier and more comfortable oral environment, so you can smile and speak with confidence once again. Embrace these changes, and you’ll soon bid farewell to the desert in your mouth and welcome the refreshing oasis of moisture that you deserve.

Is It Normal To Have Some Discomfort After A Dental Procedure?

Needing to get a dental procedure can be a nerve-wracking experience, so is not knowing what to expect after treatment. It’s important to know that your dentist in Woodbridge will do everything they can to make every visit to their office comfortable. But what if you do experience discomfort after a procedure? The truth is, there are some typical sensations you may feel after dental procedures. Let’s explore what’s normal and how to manage any discomfort effectively.

Understanding Post-Treatment Discomfort

Dental procedures can vary widely, from routine cleanings to more complex treatments like root canals or tooth extractions. Regardless of the procedure’s complexity, it’s essential to remember that your mouth has undergone some form of intervention, and as with any medical procedure, discomfort can be a natural part of the healing process. When dental work is performed, the delicate tissues in your mouth experience trauma or manipulation. This can lead to inflammation, mild tissue damage, and nerve sensitivity. Consequently, you may encounter discomfort or pain as a result of your body’s natural response to the procedure.

Types of Discomfort 

The type and intensity of discomfort you experience can depend on various factors, such as the nature of the dental procedure, your pain tolerance, and your overall oral health. Some common post-treatment discomforts include:

  • Sensitivity 

After certain dental procedures, you may notice increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures or when biting down on food or applying pressure to the treated area.

  • Gum Soreness

If your gums were involved in a dental procedure, such as with gum disease treatment or deep cleanings, you might experience soreness or tenderness in the gum tissue.

  • Jaw Pain

Extended dental procedures or keeping your mouth open for an extended period during treatment can sometimes lead to temporary jaw pain or discomfort.

4 Tips for Managing Post-Treatment Discomfort

While some discomfort is normal, it’s essential to know how to manage it effectively to ensure a smoother recovery process. Here are some helpful tips from your dentist in Woodbridge you can try to alleviate post-treatment discomfort:

  1. Follow Post-Procedure Instructions

Your dentist will likely provide you with specific post-procedure instructions. These guidelines may include information about oral hygiene practices, dietary restrictions, and recommended over-the-counter pain relief.

  1. Over-The-Counter Pain Relief

For mild discomfort, over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide relief. However, always consult with your dentist or healthcare professional before taking any medication.

  1. Avoid Trigger Foods

If you experience sensitivity, try to avoid extremely hot, cold, or hard foods that can aggravate the treated area. Opt for soft, lukewarm foods until your discomfort subsides.

  1. Use a Desensitizing Toothpaste

For sensitivity issues, consider using a desensitizing toothpaste as it can help reduce sensitivity and discomfort.

When to Contact Your Dentist in Woodbridge

While some discomfort is normal and expected, there are instances when post-treatment sensations might indicate a problem. If you experience any of the following issues, it’s crucial to contact your dentist promptly:

  • Severe or Prolonged Pain
  • Swelling or Inflammation
  • Persistent Bleeding

Experiencing discomfort after a dental procedure is entirely normal, and it’s essential to remember that each person’s healing process is unique. Understanding the causes of post-treatment discomfort and how to manage it effectively can help ease your worries and make your recovery more comfortable. Remember to follow your dentist’s post-procedure instructions and don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you have any concerns. Embracing proper aftercare will not only aid in a speedy recovery but also contribute to a healthier, happier smile in the long run. Your dental health is worth every effort, so take care of your teeth and they’ll take care of you!

Signs of a Dental Problem

Nobody plans for a dental problem, but they do happen. When they do, they can be worrisome. Dental problems can appear to come on suddenly, and many can be painful. However, several types of oral health conditions can often be prevented, or at least treated before they cause trouble, by seeing your dentist in Woodbridge at least twice a year. If you’re in between dental visits, keep an eye out for some of the common signs of a dental problem. 

What Are Some Symptoms That Require a Visit to the Dentist? 

It’s important to know that any new discomfort or pain in the mouth is often a sign that something isn’t quite right. It’s also important to recognize that some symptoms could mean several different things. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below, you should see your dentist in Woodbridge as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.  

  • Toothaches

The term toothache is commonly used as a way to describe pain in or around a tooth. This discomfort can be constant or can come in waves, especially when we eat or drink something hot or cold. Toothaches can also cause pain in the jaw, ear, cheeks, or forehead. Many different things can cause a toothache. Some of them include: 

  • Cavities
  • Dental trauma such as a broken tooth
  • Failing fillings
  • Gum recession
  • Abscess
  • Jaw injury
  • Gum disease
  • Bad Breath

Bad breath, also called halitosis, can happen to anyone, especially after a particularly fragrant meal. But chronic bad breath can sometimes be a sign or result of something more serious than a dish of garlicky pasta. Additionally, besides oral health concerns, bad breath can affect self-confidence and even cause anxiety. Unfortunately, gum, mints, and mouthwashes may only temporarily mask bad breath. Bad breath can result from: 

  • Tobacco use
  • Dry mouth
  • Some medications
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
  • Certain cancers
  • Infections in the mouth, nose, or sinuses
  • Sensitive Teeth

If you’ve ever experienced that uncomfortable, sudden surge of shooting pain through your teeth, chances are you have sensitive teeth. This sensitivity may not always be present, but it can increase with certain things such as eating or drinking something hot, cold, or sweet, or brushing your teeth. Sensitive teeth are often the result of enamel erosion when the tooth roots are exposed. But other things can cause sensitive teeth. 

  • Cavities
  • Chipped or cracked tooth
  • Gum disease
  • Failing fillings
  • Brushing too hard
  • Teeth grinding
  • Gum recession
  • Bleeding Gums

A common misconception is that it’s normal for gums to bleed, especially during a dental checkup. After all, your hygienist is poking and prodding at your gums. How can they not bleed? The truth is, healthy gums don’t bleed, even during a professional dental cleaning. Bleeding gums are often a sign of gum disease. Gum disease can be reversed if caught early, but if it’s not, it could lead to tooth loss. Make sure to see your dentist in Woodbridge if you notice: 

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Pain when you chew
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

Some of the best ways to prevent a dental problem from suddenly popping up include brushing and flossing your teeth every single day, eating a well-balanced diet, quitting using any type of tobacco product, and seeing your dentist twice a year. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

Can You Have Too Many Teeth? 

Most people have 20 baby teeth, and 32 permanent adult teeth. However, a condition called hyperdontia can cause too many teeth to grow inside the mouth. This is usually more common in kids but can also occur into adulthood. Hyperdontia can be treated by your dentist in Woodbridge, but sometimes no treatment is needed. 

Signs of Hyperdontia

The obvious sign of hyperdontia is seeing or feeling extra teeth erupt behind your already established teeth. If extra teeth have already erupted, then it’s pretty easy to diagnose. Your dentist in Woodbridge may also be able to see additional teeth that haven’t yet shown themselves in dental x-rays images. While the condition isn’t typically painful, it can put a bit of pressure on the jaw and gums. Hyperdontia can also cause overcrowding and make teeth appear crooked.

Types of Additional Teeth

Additional teeth can vary in shape and can erupt in various places in your mouth.


  • Supplemental – an extra tooth that is similarly shaped to the neighboring tooth
  • Tuberculate – a tube-like shape
  • Compound odontoma – looks like the tooth is made from several growths
  • Complex odontoma – a growth of tooth-like tissue
  • Conical – wide at the bottom and narrows out the top


  • Paramolar – occurs in the back of the mouth by the molars
  • Distomolar – grows in line with the molars rather than behind them 
  • Mesiodens – appears behind front flat teeth (incisors) and is the most common

What Causes Extra Teeth to Develop? 

There is no known cause of hyperdontia, but there have been links between extra teeth and a few inherited conditions, such as: 

  • Cleft palate or lip
  • Gardner’s syndrome
  • Ehler-Danlos syndrome 
  • Fabry disease
  • Cleidocranial dysplasia

Make sure to talk with your dentist in Woodbridge about all your health conditions as well as your family medical history so they can cater your dental care to your specific needs. 

Treating Hyperdontia

Typical treatment for hyperdontia involves removing the extra teeth. If your dentist does recommend treating hyperdontia, it’s for a good reason. Some things that may require extra teeth to be removed include: 

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Pain
  • Cuts in your mouth
  • Inability to brush and floss your teeth
  • Feeling self-conscious 

Extra teeth can seem like a real burden, but oftentimes they don’t cause any issues. However, if you have extra teeth and you don’t like the way your smile looks, talk with your dentist in Woodbridge about the best way to treat your extra teeth and perhaps discuss some forms of cosmetic dentistry

How Does COVID-19 Affect Oral Health?

Masked Mona Lisa

By now, we’ve all heard of the term “COVID long-hauler,” which is used to describe patients who have recovered from COVID-19 but still experience some long-term side effects. However, did you know that your dentist in Woodbridge is also seeing a slew of oral health complications in both adults and children who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19?

Taste & Smell

Perhaps the most well-known symptom of a COVID-19 infection is the loss of taste or smell. While this doesn’t happen to everyone, it is a fairly common side effect. There is still some debate about why this happens. One of the potential explanations is that since COVID is a respiratory virus, and the respiratory system includes the nose and the mouth, the cells included in these areas can be infected and cause inflammation. In turn, this inflammation can change a person’s ability to smell and taste. More research is needed to conclusively determine the cause, but this is a current working theory. 


Medical researchers who continue to study COVID-19 suggest that the infection damages blood vessels in the body, including in the mouth. According to The Angiogenesis Foundation, when blood vessels are damaged, it prevents oxygen from being delivered throughout the body and can basically starve the tissue. If this happens in the gums, the result can be ulcers. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Dental Research found that over 80% of patients that were hospitalized with COVID-19 noticed lesions or ulcers in their mouths. While most ulcers should go away and heal on their own as you get better, if an ulcer lasts longer than two weeks (and you’re feeling better and testing negative), you should see your dentist in Woodbridge.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is one of those things that doesn’t just affect COVID-19 patients. In fact, dry mouth can be caused by numerous things such as medication, smoking, dehydration, and some diseases. However, COVID-19 patients and “long-haulers” tend to experience new or worsening dry mouths. The virus that causes COVID-19 can affect the salivary glands and reduce their ability to produce enough saliva. Without saliva, we’re left with the feeling of a dry, desert-like mouth as well as an increased risk for developing cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Your dentist in Woodbridge can often help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth, so make sure to mention this at your next appointment. 

Gum Inflammation

We previously mentioned how infection can cause inflammation in the blood vessels but inflammation can also occur in other areas throughout the body. Brought on by a surge of white-blood-cell-rich blood to the infected areas, inflammation in the mouth, particularly the gums, can result in red, painful, swollen, and oftentimes bleeding gums. These symptoms may resolve on their own, but you should monitor recovery at home and schedule an appointment with your dentist in Woodbridge if you notice changes or if it’s not getting better. Red, swollen gums that tend to bleed can also be a sign of gum disease, which can be serious. So it’s better to get checked out sooner rather than later. 

The prevalence of COVID-19 continues to be challenging. During these times, and all times, we encourage our patients to do everything they can to keep themselves and their teeth healthy, including brushing and flossing daily and maintaining routine dental checkups.

toothbrush with toothpaste

How Do I Choose a Toothbrush?

Buying a toothbrush can be a confusing process. Just consider how many rows and rows of brightly colored toothbrushes are at your local supermarket, each one claiming to give you the best clean or other promises of great oral health. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, choosing a toothbrush can quickly become overwhelming. However, before you simply pick up the first one you see, take some time to read this guide from your dentist in Woodbridge on how to choose the right toothbrush for you.

The 3 S’s

Choosing the right toothbrush can be as easy as considering the three S’s – size, shape, and softness. However, this is just the first step. There are other things to consider when buying your next toothbrush, and your dentist in Woodbridge is always here to help.


Both the size of the toothbrush handle and the toothbrush head are important factors to consider. The handle should be sturdy and comfortable enough to hold for a two-minute brushing cycle and manipulate to cover all areas of your mouth. The toothbrush head should be an appropriate size to comfortably fit in your mouth. You should be able to reach your molars without discomfort. A brush head that’s too large can actually keep you from getting a thorough clean.


Bristles come in two different shapes – straight and rounded. Straight bristles are usually not recommended as they can cause gum damage and even enamel damage. Instead, most dentists recommend choosing rounded bristles. Round bristles are more gentle than straight bristles and still provide an excellent clean.


The last S to consider is how soft the bristles are. Toothbrush packaging will usually depict the density of the bristles by listing them as soft, medium, or hard. While it may make sense that the harder the bristles the better the clean will be, the opposite is true. Your dentist in Woodbridge will most likely recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush for most patients. The medium and hard bristles are more likely to harm gums or tooth enamel.

Manual or Electric? 

There’s some debate about whether a manual toothbrush is better than an electric toothbrush, and truth is, it depends on a variety of factors. For example, if you travel a lot, a manual toothbrush may be better for you since it’s convenient. However, if you have trouble brushing your teeth with a manual toothbrush, an electric option may be more appropriate to make sure you’re brushing properly. Always consider your budget and lifestyle before choosing a manual or electric toothbrush.

The most important thing to remember when choosing a toothbrush is to make sure you select one that you will use regularly. You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and it’s important that your toothbrush is able to reach all areas of your mouth comfortably. Of course, your dentist in Woodbridge will be able to help you pick out the best toothbrush for you. Just ask!

woman brushing in mirror

Do Dentists Recommend Using An Electric Toothbrush?

Do you use an electric toothbrush or do you stick with the manual kind? If you haven’t tried an electric toothbrush, you may be wondering whether the extra expense is worth it in the long run. Truthfully, there can be some pros and cons to each type of toothbrush, and the experts agree. So what does your dentist in Woodbridge recommend? Let’s find out.

Examining the Experts’ Opinions

Truth be told, it appears that the official word on whether an electric toothbrush is better than a manual toothbrush is still in debate. There have been numerous studies on the matter, and the results can vary. The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that both electric and manual toothbrushes remove plaque and bacteria from teeth, as long as you use a proper brushing technique. In fact, they’ve said that the technique is more important than the tool. Now, another survey published by the Journal of the American Dental Association found that 13,000 out 16,000 patients who used an electric toothbrush for the duration of the study reported better oral health.

Electric May Be Better For Some

Since we mentioned that technique is more important than the tool, we want to talk about those who may benefit from an electric toothbrush over a manual toothbrush. Those who have trouble holding onto a toothbrush and manipulating it to scrub all parts of the mouth and teeth can absolutely see improvement in oral health by switching to an electric toothbrush. Some of these patients can include kids, those with arthritis, or people who have braces.

A Look at The Pros & Cons

As with most things, there are some pros and cons to using an electric toothbrush over a manual brush.


  • Easy to use
  • Most have timers to make sure you brush long enough
  • Some may feel that their teeth are cleaner


  • More expensive
  • Requires charging
  • Difficult to travel with

So, after all of that, does your dentist in Woodbridge recommend an electric toothbrush? Truthfully, your dental team will recommend any toothbrush that you will use every day and use properly. If you find that you’re in more control with a manual toothbrush and your lifestyle isn’t conducive to an electric toothbrush, make sure you select a manual toothbrush with soft bristles, hold it at a 45-degree angle, gently scrub each tooth in circles, and brush for two minutes. If you prefer an electric toothbrush, the same guidance applies.

Your dentist in Woodbridge and your dental hygienist can help you pick the best toothbrush for you. Ask them about it at your next appointment.

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