Fluoride is a topic you probably only hear of when you go to the dentist or visit your more conspiratorial friends. You may have heard of the benefits of fluoride use – and the concerns for its safety. But is there any truth to the claims that fluoride is a dangerous dental hygiene product? Should you be worried about the effect of fluoride?

Many of us already have anxiety about going to the dentist, and when we hear about unsafe products, we worry. Misinformation does nothing to help ease this anxiety. For now, relax and take a look at the most common concerns about fluoride with Dawson Dental, and make sure to contact a dentist before making any changes to your hygiene regimen.

FAQ About the Use and Effects of Fluoride

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil, water, and foods. You’ll also see it added to things like toothpaste, mouthwashes, and other chemical products. It’s one of the many tools that dentists use to protect your teeth.

How Does Fluoride Work?

Fluoride prevents tooth decay and helps remineralization. It helps fortify the structure of children’s developing teeth, which makes them more resistant to acidity. By reducing the amount of dangerous oral bacteria, fluoride use also creates a healthier mouth by preventing future problems. Fewer bacteria equal less acid produced, which means stronger teeth! Essentially, fluoride is a mineral that coats your teeth and acts as a shield from acid attacks.

What are the Effects of Fluoride on Teeth?

Fluoride is beneficial for teeth in several ways. If you have recurring cavities or lack access to a dentist, fluoride is especially useful. Studies have shown that fluoride use can rebuild weakened tooth enamel. It also slows down mineral loss and reverses early signs of tooth decay. Best yet, it can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, which is the source of the problem! Basically, by using fluoride, you can expect stronger, healthier teeth with fewer cavities.

Is Fluoride Safe for Kids?

Early use of fluoride in children’s dental products and dentistry has been shown to have life-long positive effects. Children who start using fluoride early in life have less decay than those who do not. With proper use, fluoride is a safe, natural mineral that helps keep your teeth healthy at any age. Look for toothpaste that’s approved by the Canadian Dental Association and brush twice a day! 

Who Benefits from the Effects of Flouride?

It’s a fact that everyone has unique medical and health needs, which is why it’s important to talk to your dentist first about the products and treatments you want to use. In general, however, the people who most benefit from fluoride use are people who:

  • Have limited access to a dentist
  • Snack often
  • Enjoy foods high in sugar or carbohydrates
  • Have had previous dental work
  • Have a history of decay or cavities

If you have one or more of these qualities, perhaps a fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash is right for you.

What are the Effects of Fluoride in the Drinking Water?

Here is the main source of the fluoride controversy. Research- that has since been reviewed and criticized- made concerning claims about fluoride use. Some municipal authorities add fluoride to the water supply because studies have shown that it reduces tooth decay. This process is called fluoridation. While there have been hundreds of international studies conducted on this subject, no evidence suggests any harmful side effects, aside from the occasional case of mild fluorosis. Fluorosis is a rare syndrome that occurs only upon excess fluoride consumption, so if it causes you concern, just monitor your use carefully. Remember that fluoride use is heavily regulated to keep levels in products and the water supply safe.

So Is Fluoride Bad for You?

The controversy of adding fluoride to drinking water is a very old practice to reduce cavities, but it remains controversial. Some people believe that dental health should be handled at an individual level, and not community-wide. Arguments for this include evidence that fluoride is more effective when applied directly to teeth, rather than through water. Water fluoridation is a common practice in North America, but is rare in Europe and Asia. While initial research was limited in its scope and received criticism, recent research is revealing the need for further research. If you’re worried about your fluoride intake, talk to one of our dentists.

Here are the main takeaways. Fluoride is carefully regulated, both in products and in the water. Many studies suggest that fluoride in water decreases rates of tooth decay. They also suggest that limited use of supplemented fluoride is useful and safe. However, excess fluoride use, especially in children, can have negative consequences.

With all the information out there about fluoride, it’s fair to have questions about dental fluoride. Here’s the main takeaway about the effects of fluoride. Just like any substance, excess use or exposure to fluoride can be harmful. It’s important to not use any fluoride supplements without first speaking to a dentist. That being said, dental fluoride is carefully monitored for safety. And the benefits, like preventing tooth decay and remineralization can be worth it in many cases.

Have more questions? The power of a beautiful smile is in your hands. Dawson Dental offers premiere dental clinics in Toronto and throughout the GTA. For more information, call us at 1-855-406-2742. If your tooth is still throbbing like it’s trying to escape your mouth, give us a call and book your appointment or virtual consultation. And check us out on social media!

Looking for more information about your dental health? Check out our blog on the common causes of toothaches here. Dawson Dental has all your questions and concerns covered.


Are you looking for an easy and quick fix-it-all cosmetic dental solution? Then you’re in luck! There is a cosmetic dentistry option available for you that fits the bill. Although it’s not restorative or permanent, it does offer a more affordable method to achieve a smile that gives you more confidence. We’re talking about the Snap-on Smile, also known as removable veneers.

Although snap-on smiles aren’t the perfect treatment option for everyone, they offer patients a more accessible way to get that perfect Hollywood smile. And good news! They’re available for both your upper and lower teeth. That makes them great for special events like weddings, graduations, or other celebrations.

Fast, simple, and affordable. Can snap-on smiles be so good? Keep reading to find out more!


What is a Snap-On Smile?

A snap-on smile fits over your teeth, giving you a natural-looking smile. They’re removable veneers that cover up stains, chips, and gaps. This product is thin, durable, and made of advanced dental resin. Even better, they’re normally quite comfortable, and the process to get them is painless and simple.

You can find more information about our services with snap-on smiles here. Or, keep reading to see if they’re the right option for you!

Snap-On Smile Process

The snap-on smile process takes place at a dental office and usually takes two visits. During these consultations, you will choose the shape and colour of your new smile. There are three steps:

  1. Your dentist takes an impression of your teeth and sends it to a lab
  2. Lab technicians make a custom set of inserts and mail them back
  3. At your second appointment, the dentist ensures a proper fit

Can something so simple be so perfect? Well, in short, there are a few things to consider. We’ll cover those now!

Daily & Longterm Use With Removable Veneers

Snap-on Smiles are easy to care for, and eating and drinking do not cause problems. Depending on the patient and how they use it, removable veneers can be a short-term or long-term solution. Especially if you get a cheaper option from a less-reputable source, removable veneers don’t last as long as the porcelain version. Reminder, beware of online deals that look too good to be true!

Pros and Cons of a Snap-On Smile

veneersAlthough snap-on smiles are a fantastic cosmetic dentistry innovation, they aren’t the right option for everyone. Check out this list to see if you should consider another option such as porcelain veneers.


  • More affordable than veneers
  • Painless fitting
  • Removable and easy to clean
  • Fast improvement to the appearance of your smile


  • Can be uncomfortable
  • More prone to damage
  • Increases risk for oral health issues

Keep in mind that inserts should never be used as a replacement for dental work and orthodontics.

Alternatives to False Teeth Inserts

Snap-on Smiles are a specific brand of removable veneers. Meaning, other brands operate a little differently. Most of these other brands are take-home kits. And while they have some effectiveness, you won’t get the assuredness of a professional installation.

Aside from removable veneers, there are also more permanent treatment options. If your problem is alignment, there are treatments like Invisalign, which we’ve covered in our article here. Or if it’s a hygiene issue, a cleaning and proper at-home oral health routine might be the correct answer.

Here’s a quick list of more permanent solutions than removable veneers:

  • Porcelain veneers
  • Dental bonding
  • Clear aligners like Invisalign
  • Braces
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental implants

As you can see, there are many options to choose from! That’s why you should book your free consultation with Dawson Dental now.

Are Snap-On Smiles Right For Me?

Because snap-on smiles are an affordable alternative to more expensive dental cosmetic dentistry, they appeal to many people. That being said, they certainly are not the right treatment for everyone.

Who Should Get a Snap-On Smile?

If you’re looking to correct any of the following, then you should give us a call and plan out your snap-on smile!

  • Stained teeth
  • Slightly crooked teeth
  • Missing teeth or gaps
  • Those who want to replace partial dentures with a more comfortable solution

This is a general list, but remember that fake teeth inserts are not a viable replacement for dentures and permanent dental work.

Who Should Not Get a Snap-On Smile?

If you have any of the following dental health concerns, then there are probably better treatment options for you.

  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Severely crooked teeth
  • Jaw alignment issues
  • Damaged teeth

In most cases, the above dental health concerns require professional restoration or orthodontic treatment. Whether it’s a filling, braces, or gum treatment, Dawson Dental has you covered. Check out the full list of our services here.

Risks of Snap-On Smiles

clear-alignersYou might be wondering if a product so simple and affordable works. The short answer is ‘yes’, but the long answer is more complicated. Snap-On smiles are an effective ‘cover-up’ treatment. However, they do not address the root problems of your oral health concerns.

There are a few concerns to watch out for when using removable veneers. Because there’s a small gap between the insert and your teeth, a few things can happen:

  • Increased risk of plaque
  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Discomfort

So do you think a snap-on smile is the right choice for you? Don’t wait for your perfect smile any longer– give us a call now!

The Best Cosmetic Dentistry in Ontario is Dawson Dental

Snap-on smiles are a modern invention that is storming the scene! Finally, there is a very accessible and affordable option for those looking for a short-term solution. Perfect for events and special occasions, removable veneers have lots of applications. Whether you’re looking to look good in a specific photo, or just want to add more confidence to your daily smile, they might be the perfect treatment option for you.

All the positives aside, though, removable veneers aren’t the perfect fix-it-all solution. They’re more effective in the short term, and there are some minor issues to consider. The good news is that most of these concerns can be addressed through proper hygiene and consultation with your dentist.

If you’re looking to take your smile to the next level, contact us at Dawson Dental. With locations all over Ontario, we are sure to have an office near you fully equipped to treat your oral health concerns. And if you’ve got dental anxiety, don’t worry! We are experts at ensuring the process is comfortable and accessible.

At the very back of your mouth are a set of molars known as wisdom teeth. As one of the most common surgeries, you’re probably wondering what you can expect from the wisdom teeth removal recovery process. 

Most people develop wisdom teeth between the ages of 17-21, though some people never develop them at all. As these teeth emerge, many people don’t have room in their mouths for them. This can lead to a list of issues from pain to misalignment.

If this occurs, your dentist will probably recommend surgery to remove them. Don’t worry though! It’s a very manageable process with recovery usually lasting a week. Although if your wisdom teeth are impacted, recovery will take longer.

Dawson Dental are experts in making wisdom teeth removal recovery easy. Keep reading to find out more!

What to Expect for Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery

Wisdom teeth extraction is an outpatient surgery. That means that you arrive and leave on the same day of your surgery. Even in the worst scenarios, wisdom teeth extraction is considered minor surgery. If you get local anesthesia or sedation during your surgery, you’ll wake up in the dental chair not remembering the process. Or if you’re given general anesthesia, you’ll wake up in a recovery room.

As you slowly wake up and recover your senses, you will be groggy and sore. You’ll notice that you have some swelling as well. Once you have been given instructions and medication, and are feeling well enough, you’ll be sent home as a passenger for aftercare. If you have any questions about what to expect from your surgery, contact us here.

So what can you expect from your wisdom teeth removal recovery?

Day One of Recovery

As the anesthesia or sedation wears off and your swelling increases, you will feel weak, sore, and groggy. It’s a good idea to have someone to look after you for 24 hours after your surgery, if not longer. You can start using an ice pack immediately for pain relief, but follow your dentist’s instructions for medication.

It will probably take some time for you to get hungry, but make sure to stick to soft foods. And avoid alcohol, caffeine, and smoking. Oh, and even though you might be eating smoothies and milkshakes, don’t use a straw! The pressure in your mouth from suction is not good for healing and can cause pain.

Long Term Recovery

Most people recover from surgery within 3 to 4 days, with a week being the longest expected recovery time. However, it could take a bit longer if your teeth are impacted or come at an awkward angle. Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the teeth do not breach the gum line. The surgery to remove these teeth is a bit more invasive and takes a bit longer to heal.

Although the wound won’t completely heal for months, you can resume normal activities the day after surgery. You should avoid anything that can dislodge your stitches or disrupt the blood clot over your wound. During this initial healing period, you can develop an infection. To avoid this, your dentist may send you home with antibiotics, though not always. At least for a couple of days, stay away from:

  • strenuous exercise
  • smoking
  • spitting
  • using a straw

Once you get past a few days, you’ll notice that the pain and swelling have gone down a fair amount. After a week, there shouldn’t be any pain or bleeding. If you notice excessive pain or bleeding, make sure to call your dentist. There are a couple of complications you should look for:

  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • fever
  • ineffective pain mediation
  • worsening swelling
  • numbness
  • blood or pus in the nose
  • heavy bleeding

Don’t worry though, as these complications are rare. It’s always important to keep vigilant though!

Wisdom Teeth Removal Pain Relief

After your surgery, your dentist will send you home with specific medications and instructions. The best advice anyone can give you is to follow those carefully! With that said, you should follow a few general home care tips to improve the wisdom teeth removal recovery process.

  1. Rinse with salt water to keep the wound clean. Don’t spit out when you’re done! Just let the water flow out of your mouth.
  2. Gently dab your wound with gauze to absorb excess blood

When it comes to managing pain, you’ll either receive a prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. Make sure to follow these instructions carefully and contact your dentist if they aren’t working. Don’t forget, using an icepack greatly helps reduce initial swelling and pain. Also, if you are given antibiotics by your dentist, make sure to complete the entire round.

Post-Surgery FAQ

Are you looking for some quick info on what to expect after your surgery? Don’t worry– Dawson Dental has you covered.

When can I start eating after wisdom teeth removal?

Once the bleeding stops enough for you to swallow comfortably, you can start eating. Go easy on it to start!

What to eat after wisdom teeth removal?

Start with soft food at first. You should avoid chewing and sucking. Things like pudding, fruit sauce, smoothies, and cottage cheese are good starting points! And make sure to avoid spice, nuts, and straws!

Can I drink alcohol after wisdom teeth removal?

No! You definitely should not drink alcohol after your surgery. Especially while you are taking pain medication!

Does wisdom teeth removal hurt?

There’s no way around the pain and discomfort of this surgery. That being said, the surgery is minor and the pain is manageable with Tylenol.

Do wisdom teeth have to be removed?

Not always! If you’re one of the lucky few, you may have room in your mouth for your teeth. Better yet, you may not even grow any in!


TLDR: Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery with Dawson Dental

When it comes down to it, getting your wisdom teeth removed is a part of normal life. It’s a good idea to get them removed when you can because they can cause a lot of problems down the line. Remember when you get them removed, you can expect at least a few days of recovery. You have a couple of sedation and medication options to choose from, and a lot of soft food to eat!

Don’t be nervous about getting your wisdom teeth out. With the right dentist and info, you’ll have nothing to worry about. Make sure you rest and recover properly, prepare soft food beforehand, and have an ice pack ready. And remember to take a funny video of you waking up from surgery!

For the best dentists in Rosedale, downtown Toronto and the GTA, contact Dawson Dental at 1-855-406-2742. You can also contact us here. We are a full-service dental practice offering a broad spectrum of care. We have over 25 locations across Ontario to serve you best.




Everybody knows that smoking is bad for your health. You’ve seen the horrific pictures on the cartons and the tragic commercials for quitting. The worst of these was the image of a young woman smiling through blackened and yellowed teeth. Are ‘smoker’s teeth’ really that bad?

When you smoke, your teeth are exposed to tobacco and nicotine. Over time, this causes yellow, stained teeth and bad breath. It also affects your sense of taste, so if you’re a foodie, add flavour to your list of reasons to quit! But the worst thing about smoking and your teeth is this: with a lower immune system, you are at greater risk for things like gum disease and oral cancer.

Signs of Smoker’s Teeth

Having unhealthy teeth can make you feel nervous and self-conscious. Fortunately, if you catch the problem early, there are many things you can do to prevent smoker’s breath and teeth. Keep a look out for these early signs:

  • Tooth discolouration (grey, black, yellow)
  • Plaque and tartar buildup
  • Loss of bone within the jaw
  • Weakening enamel or chipping
  • Tooth loss

Your teeth aren’t the only thing about your mouth that smoking impacts. Keep reading to answer all your smoking dental concerns.

Signs of Smoker’s Gums

There are many health consequences to smoking. In general, you can expect an increased risk of oral cancer and a decreased success rate of implant procedures. Take a look at this list for the early signs of smoker’s gums:

  • Bad Breath
  • Inflammation of the salivary gland openings
  • Increased risk of leukoplakia (white patches in the mouth)
  • Increased risk of gum disease

Are you worried about oral cancer? Check out our article on how you can book your screening appointment here.

How to Whiten Smoker’s Teeth

The nicotine and tar in tobacco smoke cause teeth stains with repeated use. Brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the best ways to improve your teeth’s appearance, but what else can you do? Make sure to book regular dentist appointments and discuss how quitting can benefit your smile. In the meantime, consider a toothpaste with ingredients that fight discolouration. These include:

  • Baking soda
  • Coconut oil
  • Turmeric
  • Activated charcoal
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products can also be very helpful in eliminating troublesome teeth-smoking stains. Whitening strips or gels contain bleaching ingredients that do a serviceable job at eliminating stains. However, for tough cases, professional office cleaning is the best option.

Nobody likes to have stained teeth! Check out this article for tips on getting a whiter, brighter smile.

Smoker’s Teeth vs Non-Smoker’s Teeth

For some people, an image is worth a thousand words. By now you know that smoking rots both your teeth and gums, causing bad breath, discolouration, and bad health. To learn this lesson, check out this comparison of smokers’ teeth vs non-smokers’ teeth. It goes to show you just how damaging smoking can be!

And it’s not just for cigarette smokers either! According to the results of a 23-year-long study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, cigar and pipe smokers experience an equivalent amount of discolouration, bad breath, and risk of disease. But don’t worry, here’s an example of how professional whitening can help restore your smile.

Stop smoking to protect your teeth!

Ready to brighten those pearly whites? Contact us now!

FAQ About Smoking and Your Teeth

Looking for quick information about the effects of smoking on your teeth and gums? Look no further.

Do teeth whiteners work for smoker’s teeth and gums?

Depending on the amount of time that you’ve been smoking, over-the-counter teeth whitening products may be enough. Sure, they’ll definitely help a bit, but a perfect smile is often only obtainable through a professional whitening service.

Check out this blog on different whitening options, or contact us at 1-855-465-4752.

Is vaping better for dental health?

While there isn’t any tobacco in e-cigarettes and they don’t produce smoke, these products still contain other chemicals and heavy metals that are bad for the teeth. Although amounts are often less than cigarettes and cigars, they’re still not good for you. The nicotine in these products can cause all sorts of problems like damaged gum tissue, bad breath, and dry mouth.

Does smoking damage your teeth and gums?

Yes, yes, absolutely and irrefutably yes. Smokers are more prone to gum disease, which is an infection of bacteria and tartar beneath the gum line. This results in inflammation and a long list of dental problems. If you are currently a smoker, the best thing you can do for your dental health is to quit. The best news yet is that there are so many programs and techniques like this one to help you in your journey.

If I quit smoking, will my teeth improve?

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve smoked, quitting improves your oral health. It also reduces the chances of gum disease, tooth loss, and bad breath. Multiple studies have been completed that demonstrate these results. It’s never too late to quit, even if you’ve been smoking for decades! You’ll see benefits in as little as three days, and in three years, it will be like having a new mouth!

How can I fix smoker’s breath?

The best way is to quit! Smoker’s breath is caused by the early stages of gum disease or dry mouth from inactive salivary glands. But if you’re looking for quick solutions, you can try a few things out:

  • sugarless gum
  • frequent brushing
  • antibacterial mouthwash
  • increased hydration

The best way for a permanent fix, though, is a professional cleaning service. Contact Dawson Dental to find out more about our cleaning services. If you’re not ready to quit yet, there are still ways for you to take care of your teeth. Make sure you have good dental habits and consider fluoride toothpaste. Check out our article on dental fluoride here!

Conclusion: Smoking Causes Bad Breath and Bad Dental Health

With all the information out there, you are right to have smoking dental concerns. Countless scientific reviews show that smokers have an approximately 80 percent increased risk for bone loss and periodontal disease than non-smokers. Smoking majorly affects the immune system. An unhealthy immune system causes all sorts of problems, like gum disease. Without a healthy and robust immune system, your oral health is jeopardized. If having a healthy white smile is important to you, then quitting smoking is the number one thing you can do to improve your smile! So what are you waiting for? Contact us now to talk about how quitting smoking and professional whitening services can save your smile!


Have more questions? The power of a beautiful smile is in your hands. Dawson Dental offers premiere dental clinics in Toronto and throughout the GTA. For more information, call us at 1-855-406-2742. If your tooth is still throbbing like it’s trying to escape your mouth, give us a call and book your appointment or virtual consultation. And check us out on social media!

Looking for more information about your dental health? Check out our blog on the common causes of toothaches here. Dawson Dental has all your questions and concerns covered.








It’s impolite to crack your knuckles and chew on your hair. Slouching and dragging your feet are practically punishable by law. And in some social circles, coughing and sneezing without covering up your mouth might as well be capital crimes.

Now, your dentist might not mind if you mumble or use verbal ticks more frequently than adjectives, but they’ll definitely get upset if you don’t stop biting your nails. And, at least as long as you’re in the dentist’s chair, please do cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

Habits that are bad for your teeth also happen to be really bad for your dentist’s mental health. So, before you go and do something crazy like open a bag of chips with your incisors, think of your dentist—and your brilliant smile.

Nail Biting

Unless you’re watching a horror movie or a shootout in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup playoffs then there’s no excuse for biting your nails. Unless, of course, you simply couldn’t find the nail clippers.

Over time, nail biting erodes tooth enamel and increases your chances of developing tooth decay. And even though nails are soft compared to teeth, overzealous biters run the risk of damaging their teeth. Ask your dentist the next time you see them how many times they’ve treated chips and cracks from nail biting… their answer might shock you.

Lastly, nail biting increases your chances of developing gum disease. Unless you have a habit of washing your hands every hour on the hour, chances are your hands are dirtier than they look. If you’re biting your nails, bacteria on your hands can find their way into your mouth and burrow beneath your gumline. Ew.


Of all the bad habits for your teeth, smoking might be the hardest one to kick—but, unless your goal is to have your dentist committed, kick it you must.

Tobacco products such as cigarettes are notoriously detrimental to your oral health. They decrease blood flow to your gums—and, thusly, your teeth—and increase your chances of developing gum disease. Similarly, tobacco products reduce your production of saliva which further reduces your body’s ability to fight off smile-ruining infections.

Unfortunately, there are no two ways about it. If you want to keep your teeth healthy and your dentist out of a strait jacket, you’ll have to put that cigarette out once and for all.

Brushing Too Hard

We all want a whiter, brighter smile but scrubbing your teeth like you’re trying to remove red wine stains from the carpet won’t help.

Brushing extra hard might seem like a good way to whiten your teeth—after all, it works on your dishes—but it’s actually bad for your teeth and gums. While soft-bristled toothbrushes won’t do too much damage to your teeth, if you brush too hard you might as well drag an emery board across your gums.

Applying too much pressure when you brush your teeth will erode soft tissues like your gums. Raw, irritated and exposed gums can lead to infection, abscess and gum disease. However, if you absolutely must apply elbow grease, we have some grout that you can work on.

The Munchies

We get it. There isn’t a pantry large enough that could fit all of your favourite snacks. There also isn’t a toothpaste powerful enough to protect your teeth from all of those sugary goodies.

Binge eating the contents of your fridge is, surprisingly, not only bad for your waistline but your gumline as well. The bad bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay feed on the scraps of food that don’t quite make it down the hatch. So, in effect, a snacking habit acts like a 24/7, all-you-can-eat buffet for cavity-causing bacteria.

Oftentimes, snacking is a side effect of boredom or an oral fixation. Instead of reaching for that licorice, try chewing on some sugar-free gum—your teeth will thank you and your dentist will stop pulling out their hair.


We’re Going Dental

Forget about pearly white smiles. Break those bad habits to protect your dentist’s mental, we mean, dental health. If you need some help putting out that cigarette or brushing your teeth with an artist’s touch then book your next appointment with Dawson Dental today. We’re “crazy” about healthy smiles.

Toothaches are more than minor inconveniences. They prevent us from eating peanut brittle, biting into jawbreakers and chewing on gravel—though you shouldn’t do either of those last two things anyway.

Much like headaches and stomach aches, however, toothaches have a way of sneaking up on us when we least expect them and finding out what caused them can be a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes.

Fortunately, we’ve narrowed down the field of suspects to only the most common causes of toothache pain.

Tooth Decay

Among the most common causes of painful—and painfully annoying—toothaches are also one of the most preventable oral health problems… tooth decay. According to the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), 96% of adults have or have had a cavity at some point in their life.

Dental cavities don’t cause tooth pain right out of the gate—or the mouth, as it were—but, as they worsen, they can expose nerve endings and soft tissue. More so than other dental care problems, cavities make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.

That’s why regular dental checkups are so important. Your dentist will keep an eye out for tooth decay and treat it before it becomes a problem so that you can sip your coffee and smoothie at the same time without wincing—if you can stomach that odd combination.

Maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth and flossing twice daily is the surest way to reduce your chances of developing dental caries and a toothache bad enough to make you want to go on a hunger strike.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding—or bruxism, as most dentists and dental care professionals would call it—is a common culprit for toothaches and a bad night’s sleep.

According to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), most children and adults who have bruxism don’t know that they have it as it occurs at night during the sleep cycle. Additionally, for most people, bruxism is a transient condition with unknown triggers, meaning that you can be sleeping peacefully one night and grinding your teeth into nubs the next and no one can tell you why.

But we do know one thing: teeth grinding causes toothaches, headaches and jaw pain. Bruxism erodes the protective enamel coating on your teeth and exposes the sensitive soft tissue layers beneath. Severe or prolonged bruxism can even lead to chipped, cracked or broken teeth and cause malformations of the facial musculature.


There’s a reason that babies cry when they begin to teethe—it hurts, it hurts a lot. Though adults won’t experience as much teething as babies and children, wisdom teeth—the last set of teeth to erupt—don’t come in until adulthood.

Though most people won’t need a wisdom tooth extraction, some people may experience an impacted wisdom tooth if there isn’t sufficient space at the back of their mouth for it grow.

Toothaches caused by teething are usually accompanied by red and swollen gums, itchy gums, irritability and unusual chewing habits.

Tooth Extraction or Dental Treatment

People usually want to leave their dentist’s office with a bigger, brighter and better smile—and maybe a lollipop or two—but that isn’t always possible.

Certain oral and dental treatments and procedures such as root canals and tooth extractions can leave patients with a grimace instead of a grin. Before any procedure, your dentist should inform you about any potential side effects, including pain, that you may experience during your recovery period.

Toothaches and pain from dental treatments should only last a short while during your recovery. Depending on the severity, your dentist may prescribe a pain medication for a limited time. However, if symptoms persist, call your dentist.

Abscessed Tooth

A dental abscess refers to a localized bacterial infection inside the tooth—and it is every bit as painful as it sounds. Abscesses can have any number of causes, from tooth decay and gum disease to chipped, cracked or damaged teeth that later became infected.

Unfortunately, there are no dentist-approved home remedies for dental abscesses—a rigorous warm salt water rinse may provide some temporary pain relief but it’s not a cure. More often than not, your dentist will have to treat the abscess with a root canal or tooth extraction, depending on the extent of the infection.

Damaged or Broken Tooth

Trauma to the face, mouth, teeth or gums can cause a dull aching sensation. For minor oral injuries, home remedies such as over-the-counter pain medications and ice packs can provide much-needed pain relief but more serious injuries require the attention of a dentist.

As we mentioned, chipped, cracked or damaged teeth can lead to dental abscesses and other serious threats to your oral health. Small fissures in the teeth following trauma aren’t always visible to the naked eye so it’s important to visit your dentist following an incident.

Make sure that your dentist offers emergency care services in the event that your perfectly pearlescent smile suffers an unexpected injury.

Other Causes

Not all causes of toothache pain originate in the mouth. Sinus infections, headaches, migraines, jaw, head and skull injuries, tension in the neck and even heart attacks can cause tooth pain.

Contact Dawson Dental

Solving the mystery of The Tender Toothache needn’t require the detective skills of Sherlock Holmes—just the dentistry skills of our team at Dawson Dental. If your tooth is still throbbing like it’s trying to escape your mouth, give us a call and book your appointment or virtual consultation.