Canker sore problems: a real pain in the mouth

Canker sore problems: a real pain in the mouth

A canker sore is a mouth ulcer or sore that is open. They are commonly found on the inside of lips or cheeks. They are also found on the gums and under the tongue. Canker sores are usually white or yellowish oval shaped sores and surrounded by red, irritated tissue. Canker sores are most common during adolescence and young adulthood and become less common as we age. About 1 in 5 children develop a canker sore. Though often confused for cold sores, they are not related. In addition, canker sores are not contagious.

Canker Sore Causes

Researchers are not sure what is the exact cause of a canker sore, however they believe a combination of factors may contribute.

Potential contributing factors include:

  • accidental cheek bite
  • anxiety
  • food sensitivities
  • vitamin deficiencies
  • allergic response to bacteria in your mouth
  • stress
  • hormone changes
  • toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulfate

Cankers sores may occur because of diseases such as:

    • celiac disease
    • Chrohn’s disease
    • ulcerative colitis
    • Behcet’s disease
    • HIV/AIDS
    • immune system issues
    • Treatment

Canker sores usually heal on their own within a few weeks, with pain diminishing in about a week. If your canker sore has not healed in three weeks, you may need to seek medical care. Several over the counter remedies exist, including pastes, gels, or mouth rinses with ingredients to minimize canker sore pain. A doctor may prescribe oral medication for severe canker sores.

To help healing at home you can use a salt-water rinse. In addition, it is advisable to avoid spicy or acidic foods, which can exacerbate the sore. You may also find relief in allowing ice chips to dissolve over the sore. Lastly, it’s important to brush your teeth gently (including with a gentle toothpaste) to avoid irritating the sore further.

If you can identify what triggers canker sores in your mouth, it is best to avoid it. Pay attention to potential food allergies.  Eat healthfully to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Always practice good oral health and brush daily and floss and use mouthwash regularly.

COVID-19 Dental FAQ

COVID-19 Dental FAQ

COVID-19 Dental FAQ

Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are designed to make you feel both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the directives of these agencies so that we are up to date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Our office will conduct a health screening and temperature check upon your arrival.
  • We have hand sanitizer available throughout the office.
  • You may see that our waiting room no longer offers magazines, books, children’s toys, etc. to reduce the spread of germs.
  • Our clinical staff will wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to better protect themselves and their patients.
  • Appointments will begin with an oral rinse to reduce bacteria in the mouth prior to treatment.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at (972) 964-3774 or contact us today.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Can I put off my dental appointment until after the COVID-19 pandemic is over?

Regular dental appointments are an important part of taking care of your overall health. While it can be tempting to put off your regular checkup until things feel more “normal” again, I advise against it. Routine appointments give me an opportunity to check for a number of health conditions and catch them early. Some conditions, like tooth decay, can be more difficult, painful and expensive to treat if they’re left undetected.

Your health and safety is, and has always been, my top priority. My staff and I are taking every precaution to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission at your visit.

What about teledentistry? Can / substitute a virtual visit for my regular appointment?

A phone or video appointment isn’t the same as your regular appointment. Teledentistry can be helpful in some situations, such as deciding if an oral health issue you’re experiencing is an emergency that requires immediate treatment or if it’s something that can wait a bit. If you think you may be experiencing a dental emergency, call my office and we’ll help you decide if you need to come in.

What are you doing differently because of COVID-19?

There are a number of science-backed steps my staff and I are taking to help limit the spread of COVID-19. These include:

  • Increased personal protective equipment including masks, face shields, goggles and surgical gowns or long-sleeved lab coats.
  • Increased cleaning protocols. This includes using disinfectants known to kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, removing high-touch items like magazines and toys from waiting rooms and frequently cleaning items like pens and clipboards.
I’ve heard it’s safer to schedule your appointment for first thing in the morning – the office will be cleaner because there haven’t been patients coming through before me. Is that true?

You should schedule your dental appointment for the time of day that works for you. The same enhanced cleaning protocols occur all day long, including leaving the room empty after a patient leaves to allow the appropriate time necessary as part of thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the space between patients.

How is your dental team monitoring themselves for COVID-19?

Staff at our practice are subject to daily health screenings. This includes taking their temperatures to make sure they don’t have a fever and asking them a series of health-related questions each day to make sure they’re not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

You said you cannot see me as a patient because of my COVID-19 risk. Can you do that?

Yes. The safety of our patients and the dental team is our highest priority. As Dentists, we use our professional judgment and guidance from the CDC and the American Dental Association (ADA) to determine risk levels for seeing patients. If it was determined that you were high risk, or had a high temperature on the day of your appointment, we can have a conversation about which factors determined delay of service, so that you can self-monitor and reschedule.

Frequently asked TMJ questions

Frequently asked TMJ questions

What is TMJ?

Dr. Wilhite has helped hundred of patients who suffer from TMJ Disorder, migraine headaches, and tooth grinding. Frequently asked TMJ questions include “what is TMJ?” TMJ disorders can cause pain in your jaw joint and the surrounding muscles. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. TMJ pain can look different for different patients. For example, some experience continuous pain, others have pain that comes and goes. Some who suffer from TMJ Disorder experience a locking, stiff jaw or experience a pop when they open and close their mouth.

Frequently asked TMJ questions: What are symptoms?

While different patients experience different symptoms, here is a list of symptoms that someone suffering from TMJ Disorder might experience:

Pain or tenderness in your jaw
Jaw clicking and popping
Pain in your jaw joints
Pain in or around your ears
Earaches or ear pain
Popping sounds in ears
Pain while chewing
Facial pain or aching
Locking of the jaw joint
Neck stiffness or aches

What are TMJ exercises for pain relief?

Because TMJ pain symptoms are different between patients, there is no universal exercise for TMJ pain relief. However, some people have found that TMJ exercises can help ease the pain. TMJ exercises work to achieve four basic goals: strengthening the jaw, stretching the temporomandibular joint, improving the mobility of the temporomandibular joint, and providing relaxation to treat stress-induced TMJ pain. Learn some of the exercises here.

Frequently asked TMJ questions: What is TMJ treatment?

Most TMJ treatment begins with the most conservative, least invasive procedures. After exercises, other options may include the NTI mouth guard device. It is used to treat appropriate cases of TMJ when the root cause is teeth grinding and clenching. Another option is using Botox injections to end TMJ pain. For those who cannot control their daytime clenching, Botox often produces good results by reducing the intensity of muscle contractions.

Plano Dentist David Wilhite (Video)

Plano Dentist David Wilhite, DDS, MAGD


Hello, I am Dr. David Wilhite. I am a family and cosmetic dentist in Plano, Texas.

We are a dental office that loves seeing patients of all ages. We specialize in family and cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, sleep disorders, oral cancer screening and Botox for TMJ.

We are known for providing honest, quality dentistry in the most comfortable setting. Our integrity and honest dentistry are what you can expect when you are a patient with Dr. Wilhite.

You can schedule a free no-obligation consultation with Dr. Wilhite, CALL: (972) 964-3774

Dr. Wilhite is one of the select number of dentists with an MAGD, Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry.

Patients tell the staff and Dr. Wilhite that they have never had a dentist call on the evening of their procedure and check on them.

For the comfort of our patients, we like to offer freshly washed throws and neck pillows for greater comfort. Following the procedure, we have warm, dry hand towels and hot washcloths to freshen up.

Finally, we offer a scoop of Baskin-Robbins ice cream for anyone wanting a little treat. All this is done for anyone being seen in our office to enhance the dental experience while receiving the highest quality of dental care.


Ready for your dental appointment in the Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your examination. Dr. Wilhite is a Plano dentist with over 30 years experience helping patients to keep their smiles healthy. We truly take our patients care and experience very seriously. We strive to ensure only the most comfortable and relaxing experience with every appointment.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

Tinnitus and TMJ

Tinnitus and TMJ

If you are suffering from tinnitus then it’s likely you’ve wondered what the root cause of this condition is. Can it be caused by TMJ? Learn more below.

If you would like to schedule a TMJ consultation in Plano, TX please call (972) 964-3774

Tinnitus is a physical condition, that causes people to feel a constant ringing in the ears, sometimes accompanied by pain, even when there is no external physical noise causing it. Tinnitus is usually caused by a fault in the hearing system; it is a symptom, not a disease in itself.

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that almost 15% of Americans suffer from some form of tinnitus.


Can Tinnitus Cause TMJ Symptoms?

If you are one of the many people suffering from tinnitus then it’s likely you’ve wondered what the root cause of this condition is.

Tinnitus can be caused by just about anything that can go wrong with your ears, from wax buildup against the eardrum to head injuries and exposure to excessive noise.

Tinnitus is known to be a common side-effect for those who suffer from TMJ Disorder (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction).

Related: TMJ Frequently Asked Questions


TMJ Disorder Symptoms

Relationship Between TMJ and Tinnitus

Tinnitus is often one of the common symptoms of TMJ. These two symptoms are commonly experienced by the same patients. The eardrum is located very close to the temporomandibular joint, which is the main joint at issue in cases of TMD. When the temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed, it can also affect the eardrum. The inflammation of the joint can affect the stabilization can cause the pain and noise associated with Tinnitus.

Very often by treating the physical ailment that is causing TMJ, the tinnitus will subside.

If a TMJ disorder is suspected, an appointment with a dentist or TMJ specialist is recommended.

Dental Anxiety

Tinnitus and TMJ Treatment

A variety of TMJ treatment options are available to treat TMJ disorder. If your tinnitus is related to your TMJ problem, the tinnitus may improve as the TMJ problems get resolved. Most treatments for TMJ are non-surgical.hea

Some options include medications, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy and mouth guards. Another effective option is therapeutic Botox injections. Some people have success with alternative medicine treatments. The best way to find out what options may work for you is to schedule an appointment with a dentist who specializes in TMJ treatments.


Seeking TMJ treatment in Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your free TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience and can test and diagnose your TMJ Disorder. He will be able to discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years of experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.


What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ Disorder Symptoms

Do you believe that you may be suffering from TMJ disorder? Continue reading to learn about the symptoms of TMJ disorder, what causes it and how you can treat it.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ symptoms can cause you pain and discomfort, making your everyday life more difficult because of constant or recurring pain. Sometimes the symptoms are mistaken for other issues. If you believe you are suffering from TMJ Disorder, you should schedule an examination with your dentist or doctor.

TMJ Disorder

TMJ Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Pain or tenderness in your jaw
  • Jaw clicking and popping
  • Pain in your jaw joints
  • Pain in or around your ears
  • Earaches or ear pain
  • Popping sounds in ears
  • Pain while chewing
  • Facial pain or aching
  • Locking of the jaw joint
  • Neck stiffness or aches

Related: TMJ Headaches and Migraines

TMJ Disorder Symptoms

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This joint connects your jaw to your skull. TMJ disorder is a recurring localized pain disorder that can headaches and pain in your jaw, jaw joint and surrounding muscles.

What causes TMJ Disorders?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the movable joint that interacts with other parts of your jaw. Its movement should be normal and smooth, but if the movement becomes hindered, it can cause pain and TMJ disorder.

TMJ Pain ReliefTMJ Causes

  • The TMJ joint moves out of its normal alignment
  • The TMJ joint has eroded
  • TMJ joint is affected by arthritis
  • TMJ joint suffers a serious blow or impact
  • Injuries to teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Injuries to jaw
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Gum chewing
  • Stress

What are Treatments for TMJ?

Depending on the cause, in some cases, the symptoms of TMJ disorders may go away without treatment. When symptoms persist and cause long term pain, there are a variety of treatment options your dentist or doctor can recommend.

Tooth ExtractionTMJ Treatments

  • Medications
  • Anti-Inflammatories
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Mouth guards
  • Physical therapy
  • Counseling
  • Surgical procedures
  • Therapeutic Botox injections
  • Arthroscopy
  • Modified condylotomy
  • Arthrotomy (open joint surgery)
  • Acupuncture

Related: TMJ Pain Relief

What are the Costs of TMJ Treatments?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your free TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite can test and diagnose your TMJ Disorder, and discuss possible headache treatments with you.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.

More TMJ Resources: Mayo Clinic – MedicineNet.comMedcenter TMJWebMDWikipedia