Canker Sores

What Is A Canker Sore?

In the dental industry, we like to call them mouth ulcers. They are white, crater-like sores on the inside of the mouth, sometimes accompanied by redness around the white area. They might be found on the inside of the lips, cheeks, on or under the tongue, or even near the throat. They are not to be confused with cold sores, which appear around the outside of the lips.

What Causes A Canker Sore?

Lots of things! Anything from certain acidic foods, spices, injury, or stress to hormone imbalances or immune disorders.

What Should I Do About A Canker Sore?

Most canker sores resolve on their own. They are very common and typically not anything to be concerned about. If a canker sore is unusually large or lasts for more than a couple of weeks, call us up to make an appointment. If a canker sore is accompanied by any other unusual symptoms not related to your mouth (like fever or difficulty swallowing), you should call a doctor right away.

If you have any concerns about a canker sore, don’t hesitate to call us up to schedule an appointment. It’s always best to get it examined if you have any questions or concerns.

A Word to the Wise – All About Wisdom Teeth

“Why do we have wisdom teeth if we always have to pull them out?” you might say. There’s a lot to understand about these fascinating late bloomers in our mouths.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

More commonly referred to as “third molars” by dentists, wisdom teeth are an extra set of teeth in the back of the upper and lower jaw that typically emerge in our late teens or early twenties. They are often removed due to lack of room in the jaw.

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

It’s likely that we developed wisdom teeth long ago when our diets were a lot tougher on our teeth. Without the regular daily dental care we have today, tooth decay and eventual tooth loss were commonplace. These teeth came in later in life after our ancestors had likely lost some of their teeth.

When Will I Get My Wisdom Teeth?

Maybe never! That’s right, some people never develop wisdom teeth. The jury is still out as to why. Most likely, though, if you’re going to get them, they’ll come in between the ages 17 and 25. It’s not unheard of to get them earlier or later, though.

Why Do I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Unlike our ancestors, our jaws are much smaller and we typically keep our teeth for much longer. As such, there’s not much room for our wisdom teeth. Because of this lack of room, the third molars come in at bad angles (called impacted teeth) or can press up against other teeth in undesirable or potentially harmful ways. To avoid these conditions, a third molar extraction (wisdom tooth removal) is often recommended. However, there are some individuals who have room enough and no procedure is needed. It’s best to consult with a dentist who can look at your individual case and advise you properly.

Is It Dangerous?

Third molar extraction is a very common oral surgery with a high success rate. As with any surgery, complications are always possible, many of which are very treatable and easily avoided (such as dry sockets). If you have questions about the risks, give us a call or schedule an appointment.

Always remember to stop in and visit us if you have any dental concerns, are experiencing any discomfort or unusual conditions. Happy brushing!


Let’s face it. Daily oral care is easy to overlook. Life is busy, and we’re usually in a hurry. But daily oral care is one of the most important parts of your overall dental health, and it’s the part you have the most control over.

The good news is, it doesn’t take that long and the order of things isn’t as important as just doing it. Don’t get hung up on the small details. Here is what we recommend:


    • Do it twice a day for 2 minutes at a time. Set a timer if it helps. Don’t cut this short.
    • Use a soft-bristled brush.
    • Don’t be too aggressive. Brush gently in circular motions.
    • Don’t brush too soon after eating or drinking, especially if you had something sugary. Wait an hour or so, and be sure to drink a glass of water.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.


    • Preferably do this before brushing, but don’t get too hung up on that. Just be sure to do it.
    • Once a day is just fine.
  • Be gentle.


  • It’s a supplement, not a replacement. Mouthwash can be a great addition to your daily routine, but it is, by no means, a substitute for brushing and flossing.

Remember, stop in and visit us if you have any dental concerns, are experiencing any discomfort or unusual conditions. Happy brushing!

What Causes a Cavity?

We all know the word “cavity” whether we’ve had one or not. No one likes them, but do we really understand why they happen and how to prevent them?

What is a cavity?
Simply put, a cavity is an area of the tooth that has eroded or broken down and decay is taking place. This creates a hole that can get bigger and bigger over time if left untreated.

Why do cavities appear?
Decaying of the tooth is caused by plaque build-up over time. Plaque is a sticky type of film that forms on top of a tooth. When left for long periods of time, the plaque can cause rotting and result in a cavity. Left untreated, a cavity can create a hole in the tooth and expose nerve endings which can cause pain. This is why cavities often get filled once they are discovered. A cavity can also lead to the need for a root canal or tooth loss if left untreated.


How can you prevent a cavity?

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Try to get in every crevice of the mouth by brushing in circular motions
  • Don’t forget to brush your gums lightly
  • Remember to floss once a day
  • Limit the number of sugary drinks and foods you consume
  • Show up to your annual dentist appointments

Top 10 Teeth-Shaped Things!

We love teeth so much that we decided to scour the internet to see if anyone else does too. It took no time at all to see that other fanatics exist! It’s proven by the vast amount of teeth-shaped items one can buy. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 teeth-shaped items here for all the tooth-lovers out there!

  1. Soap

When you’re washing your hands why not feel extra clean knowing that this tooth-shaped soap helped to make your hands as squeaky clean as your pearly whites.


  1. Earrings

These beauties pair delightfully with any occasion or season. Wear them out and make everyone around jealous of your immaculate style.


  1. Tongs

The perfect way to serve up a leafy green salad! Don’t forget your dental health is partially determined by your nutrition.


  1. Glasses

Use these as a definite conversation starter for any situation.


  1. Chairs

Welcome people into your home, office, etc. knowing that they will be comfortably sitting on molar-shaped chairs.


  1. Candles

Set a mood that says “Don’t forget to brush twice a day.”


  1. Plant Pots

Remind those around you that just like plants, your teeth are growing and need proper of TLC too.


  1. Push-pins

Post something inspirational on your bulletin board each day to stay on track with whatever goal you’re working towards.


  1. USB Flash Drive

Every time you plug in this beauty to your computer you’ll think of all the dental information you can look up on the web!


  1. Tissue Box Holder

After crying tears of joy over your great dental health status after your dental check up, you’ll be able to wipe those tears away in style.

Seasonal Allergies and Dental Health

While springtime may feel like it’s come a little late this year, seasonal allergies may have already begun. Often times, they can mock the symptoms of colds and other illnesses, and that’s not fun for anyone. Could allergies be wreaking havoc on your dental health as well?

While you may not be as concerned about your dental health when you’re feeling the effects of allergies, there is some reason to be. Sickness in any form can affect the teeth and gums in small and large ways.

Tooth pain that derives from seasonal allergies is often associated with sinus pain. Pollen and dust can trigger responses from the immune system, triggering mucus to fill in hollow spaces (often in the face). Often times, the maxillary sinuses on top of the mouth cause pressure to build up and can push down on the roots of the molars. This can be extremely painful, but if the cause is seasonal allergies, taking an antihistamine can make this go away.

Allergies can cause dry mouth you may experience during allergy season. People with stuffy noses tend to start breathing through their mouth more often, and antihistamines that relieve other symptoms of allergies can cause dry mouth as well. Dry mouth can increase your chances of developing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. One of salivas main functions is to get the bad bacteria out, but if you have dry mouth, saliva may be unable to do its job correctly.

Post-nasal drip coming from seasonal allergies can lead to a sore throat. A sore throat can cause bad breath and while brushing your teeth is a great thing, it doesn’t necessarily help much in stopping bad breath caused by a sore throat.

While tooth pain, dry mouth, and sore throats that derive from allergies can cause problems in the teeth and gums, there are some ways to combat their negative effects to better your dental health.

Tips to overcome seasonal allergies:

  • Drink more water. Hydrating your body can help flush excess mucus and counteract the effect of a dry mouth.
  • Gargle with salt water. Salt can help to flush out mucus and cut down on the harmful bacteria. Overall, reducing plaque and bad breath.
  • Brush and Floss regularly.
  • Talk to your doctor. It’s best to treat your allergies. Your doctor can help you choose the right over-the-counter drugs, prescription medication, or allergy shots.
  • Talk to your dentist. They can help you figure out if you’re experiencing allergies or something more.

What Makes a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

You might be thinking to yourself… “Why would I want a dental implant?” The answer to that question truly depends on who you are and if your teeth are rotting or missing due to accident or disease. If you have a missing tooth or teeth an implant could be a simple way to replace the gap left behind.

People that are missing a singular tooth or multiple teeth might want to consider talking to their dental team about implants if they try to hide their smile, wear uncomfortable dentures, are experiencing any dissatisfaction with removable dentures, etc. Dental implants may also be a good option if you want to keep other teeth intact.

Good Candidates for Dental implants:


  • Have good general health
  • Have a jaw that is strong enough to support an implant
  • Have enough bone in the jaw bone (bone grafts/ sinus lift surgery can help if this is a problem)

Should not:

  • Not have a chronic illness like leukemia or diabetes
  • Not use tobacco products

All things considered…

 It is imperative to talk to your dentist about all of the options possible. A dental implant can take longer or have a higher cost than other replacement options. They may also be a better value because they can, in some circumstances, last a lifetime. Your dental team is here to help you make the best decision for you. Each situation is different and you should always feel safe and heard.

If you’ve been thinking about your options to replace a missing tooth or teeth, why not schedule a consultation with our team today!

Call us at 612-338-557, send us an email or fill out this online form by clicking here!

When to Change Your Toothbrush

How long have you had your toothbrush for?

The American Dental Association recommends that you switch your toothbrush every three to four months. You can notice wear and tear on the bristles around this period of time. When the bristles fray they will be less effective in getting the job done. If you are getting your regular dental check ups, you will generally receive a new toothbrush when you go in for a visit too.

Are you sick?

If you have been feeling unwell for a while, you should change your toothbrush when you start to feel better. Bacteria from your mouth do not just go away when you brush your teeth. Remember that the bristles on your toothbrush cannot protect you from disease or kill the bad bacteria. They also can linger on the bristles of your toothbrush, which can restart the cycle of sickness all over again.

Do you use electric?

 If you’re using an electric brush the same rules still apply. Change your brush head every three to four months for maximum dental hygiene.

How can I make my toothbrush last longer?

 A rinsed off toothbrush is far better off than one that is not. It’s best to rinse it off after every time you brush so that any extra particles are fully removed and that no lingering toothpaste is present. When drying off your toothbrush leave it brush side up to air dry.

Remember, your dental health affects your overall health. Why not keep everything in check by changing your toothbrush regularly? It’s simple and the best option. Change your brush at the first sign of wear and tear.

Dental Myths Debunked

1. Dental health has nothing to do with overall health

Dental health relates directly to overall health. Brushing and flossing twice daily is an important component, but you still need to schedule routine check-ups with your dental team. While it may seem like you are perfectly healthy, your mouth can help detect larger problems in other parts of your body. Your mouth can shine a light on diseases and disorders like cancer, be part of the reason for various sleep disorders, etc. Monitoring your dental habits is important for your entire body to function properly.


2. Bleaching teeth will harm teeth

Bleaching your teeth does not weaken or harm your teeth. It simply changes tooth color. Sensitivity may occur for a brief period after bleaching occurs, but once again your teeth will not be harmed.


3. The more teeth are brushed, the healthier they will be

Brushing your teeth too often can wear them down faster. The toothbrush is abrasive and that coupled with toothpaste amplifies the effect on your teeth and gums. Too much brushing can lead to dental problems down the line. Rinsing your teeth after eating or drinking can help reduce plaque build-up. Stick with the recommended twice a day rule and you should be just fine!


4. There’s no need to take your baby to the dentist, their teeth will fall out in a few years

While babies do lose their baby teeth as the grow, they still require regular care. Neglecting your child’s baby teeth while they are young can lead to problems with the development of their adult teeth. When your baby’s teeth first grow, make sure to brush them right away (fingertip toothbrushes can be extremely helpful) and take them to the dentist. The first trip to the dentist should occur around the age of one.


5. If your gums are bleeding, you should not floss or brush them

The complete opposite is true; please brush and floss your teeth. If your gums are bleeding it may be caused by infrequent brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing more consistently removes more plaque from the teeth and mouth. Bleeding gums can be a sign of things like gingivitis or can even be a side effect of pregnancy. If the bleeding persists it is best to get a dental check-up or professional cleaning.

Why X-rays Are Important

Just like the rest of your body, your mouth also needs an x-ray every now and then. A smart dental plan will always include x-rays for diagnostic and preventative care reasons.

An x-ray is a type of energy that passes through soft tissues and is absorbed by dense tissue.

The dental x-ray can take place intra-orally or extra-orally. Intra-orally means from inside the mouth, while extra-orally takes place outside the mouth. Because teeth and bone are dense, they are more readily able to absorb x-rays to be viewed.

The main things that your dental team are looking at in the radiograph are the teeth, bones, and supporting tissues of the mouth. These x-rays allow dentists to:

  • Discover cavities
  • Look at the root of the tooth
  • See how healthy the bones of the teeth are
  • Determine your level of oral health
  • Keep an eye on developing teeth

X-rays have also come a long way since they were first used in dental care. The dose of radiation is extremely limited, faster film has been developed, digital radiography is being used to limit radiation exposure, safety inspections are required do to state and federal laws, lead shields/aprons exist, and they are only done when necessary.

With all of this in mind, x-rays are here to monitor the safety of all dental patients. We at Nicollet Station Dental, want you to know you’re receiving the best care from the moment you step into the office. Schedule a routine check-up with us today!