West Maitland Dentistry Blog

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July 21, 2022 blog



A common trend we’ve been seeing lately is the use of charcoal infused tooth products.  These products claim that they whiten your teeth.  They also promote bacteria removal from your mouth as well.  Let’s dive deep and see what are the risks and benefits of charcoal toothpaste.

First off what is charcoal toothpaste?

Charcoal is a form of carbon that is made by burning natural substances such as coconut shells and wood.  This becomes oxidized and formed into a fine powder which is placed into toothpaste.  These charcoal toothpastes generally don’t contain fluoride.  

Does it whiten teeth?

Yes and no.  Due to charcoal’s abrasive nature it may remove staining on the outside of the tooth called extrinsic staining.  But it cannot penetrate the tooth to remove the staining within, called intrinsic staining.  

Does it have an antibacterial effect?

No studies have shown that there is a significant antibacterial effect with charcoal toothpaste.

Can it do any damage?

Yes, it can damage teeth with its abrasiveness leading to loss of enamel.  The enamel is the hard, white outer surface layer of your tooth.  The more you strip it away the more yellow your teeth will look since the layer below it, the dentin, is a yellower color.  The dentin is also a sensitive layer so with more of your enamel gone you may notice increased sensitivity.  

The dark charcoal can get into small gaps you may have on your teeth.  This can range from existing dental work or micro cracks your teeth.  This type of staining is difficult to remove.  Finally without any fluoride in the toothpaste it leaves you susceptible to cavities.


The American Dental Association has not found any evidence that charcoal toothpaste is safe or effective for your teeth. We agree and do not recommend any charcoal based tooth product.  When considering whitening your teeth remember there are safer options to choose from such as in office or take home whitening trays.  For toothpaste recommendations refer to the ADA website to see if your toothpaste is accepted and recommended.


March 22, 2022 Uncategorized

Teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism, is a disorder that occurs commonly when people are sleeping.  Although people often clench or grind their teeth occasionally, done for a prolonged time it can lead to severe issues.  We’re answering the most common questions that patient have about clenching and grinding.

Why Do I Grind or Clench My Teeth?

Common reasons are:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Teeth that are improper aligned, also known as malocclusion
  • Sleep apnea


What are some signs that I’m Grinding or Clenching my Teeth?
  • Wear or chips on teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Feeling popping when you open or close your mouth
  • Hearing a clicking noise when you open or close your mouth
  • Your mandible (lower jaw) moving to the right or left when opening or closing
Can I do permanent damage if left untreated?

Yes! If left untreated expect teeth to start wearing down. After the protective, hard enamel is worn down, the bottom layer of the tooth, the dentin is exposed. This is the soft and yellow looking layer. As well as being not aesthetically pleasing, even worse it can lead to sensitivity and more cavities.

Not only can you get permanent damage to your teeth but permanent damage to your jaw joint, the TMJ, is possible. It is important to let your dentist know if you are experiencing any signs or symptoms so that we can discuss the appropriate treatment to help prevent any long term damage!


February 9, 2022 blog



It’s National Pizza Day and we know that ooey-gooey cheesiness sometimes has to be eaten while pipping hot!  Often times though the result is a burn on your tongue or roof of your mouth.  We’re sharing some tips and tricks to help soothe your mouth in case this happens so you can still enjoy your pizza today!

Cool it down

For some immediate relief eat or drink something cold.  Try first sipping on some cold water or sucking on a popsicle.  Yogurt or ice cream can also do the trick!


Pain reliever

Try an over the counter pain reliever to help alleviate some of the discomfort. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label or consult with your physician first if need be.


Salt rinses

Salt rinses can help prevent infection at the burn site and can also provide some relief for pain.  To make a salt water rinse dissolve 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt into 8 oz of water.  Gargle the salt water and then spit it out.


Keep your mouth clean!

Maintain your normal oral hygiene care to keep your mouth clean. This can help prevent the burn spot from becoming infected.


Watch what you eat and drink

Try to stick to non-spicy, softer foods.  Avoid hard, sharp, crunchy foods that might scratch or irritate the burn even more such as chips or granola.  Choosing foods that are cooler in temperature can soothe the burn spot as well. Try to avoid alcohol/alcohol based mouth rinses and acidic foods and drinks such as citrus which can often cause the burn to become more painful and irritated.

Consult your dentist

If the burn feels severe, isn’t going away or is becoming extremely painful consult your dentist to make sure there isn’t an infection.  We can prescribe ointments, rinses or gels that can help numb the area or take care of the infection.

Burns can take several days to heals so don’t get discouraged. But, if your burn lasts more than 1-2 weeks or the pain is getting worse that’s when you need to contact your dentist.


Free Take-Home Whitening Kit

After a new patient exam and x-rays are completed.
Offer Ends 9/30/2022.

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