Commonly Asked Questions about the Teeth

a cartoon tooth holding a red question mark and giving a "thumbs up" gesture

Commonly Asked Questions about the Teeth

Most Frequent Questions at St. Lawrence Dentistry

For a month we kept track of the most frequent dental questions our valued patients asked us. Like any part of the body, there are some issues or facts about teeth that are frequently inquired about. Here are the most recurring questions at our Mississauga Dental Office:×747.jpeg
What Causes Decay?

Decay occurs when a tooth is exposed to bacteria, sugars, and acidity. Bacteria combine with foods to form a mat on teeth called ‘plaque’ which slowly dissolves teeth. The softening of teeth can be further accelerated when the mouth is exposed to acidic conditions from drinks such as orange juice or colas. Brushing, flossing, avoidance of acidic beverages and regular hygiene maintenance are all critical to prevent decay.

To learn more about dental decay and how Dr. Hawryluk fixes it please visit us here:

Caries/Cavities Dental Treatment

What is an Abscessed tooth?

An abscessed tooth is an infection inside a tooth and in the soft tissues surrounding a tooth. In may often manifest itself as swelling in the inside of the mouth. Sometimes you will see a little bump in on the gum where pus is draining out from. This is called a ‘fistula’ and is a result of the infection burrowing its way through the bone and the gum. Sometimes a fistula does not form and instead the infection rapidly spreads along the muscle plains of the face. This is a dental emergency and if you are experiencing this you should contact St Lawrence Dentistry right away for emergency treatment. If it is past business hours you can still call our emergency answering service and they will relay your message to Dr. Hawryluk. Abscessed teeth are always ‘necrotic’ meaning there is no immune cell containing tissue left in the tooth to keep it healthy.

To learn more about tooth abscesses please visit us here:

Signs of A Dead (Non Vital) Tooth
What is Tooth Sensitivity?

This is a common issue seen at our Mississauga office. This is pain or discomfort in teeth from exposure to sweets, hot drinks, cold air, ice cream or cold drinks. Some people naturally have sensitive teeth due to larger than normal tooth nerves or having teeth which are more porous. However, majority of sensitivity is caused by gum recession which exposes the thin root tissue (cementum). This tissue is not as strong as the enamel and can easily erode inward which creates less and less of a buffer between the tooth nerve and an outside stimulus.

To learn how Dr. Hawryluk treats tooth sensitivity please visit us here:

Treatment of Tooth Sensitivity

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an umbrella term which encompasses both gum inflammation (gingivitis) and bone loss around teeth (periodontitis). Gingivitis is the earlier stage which can be reversed and easily treated. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is the more serious and advanced stage of gum disease. Poor oral hygiene, genetic predisposition, and smoking are the most is the common causes of periodontitis.

To learn more about gingivitis please visit us here:

Types of Gingivitis

What are the symptoms Bone Loss (Periodontitis) around teeth?

Some symptoms of bone loss include:

  • Frequent bad breath
  • Bite problems
  • Gums that are red and swollen and bleed easily
  • Teeth starts to loosen up
  • Gums separating from the teeth
  • Dentures that won’t fit

To learn more about the treatment of bone loss and gum disease in general please visit us here:

Gum Disease

What are Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Oral Cancer is a serious condition which Dr. Hawryluk is always on the lookout for. This is most prevalent (but not exclusive to) smokers. Early detection is of paramount importance and Dr. Hawryluk will send any possible cases of this for a biopsy.

Symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Persistent mouth sores or ulcers that do not heal within 3 weeks
  • Tissue overgrowth or a lump in the mouth
  • Gums, tongue or lining of the mouth with white or red patches
  • Chewing and swallowing problems
  • Difficulty in moving the jaw or tongue
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Hoarseness or chronic sore throat occurring more than 6 weeks
  • Swelling of the neck for more than 3 weeks
  • Unexplained tooth mobility that persists for more than 3 weeks
  • Tongue numbness including other areas of the mouth
  • Swollen jaw causing problems in fitting dentures

Never smoking or quitting smoking is the best way to help prevent oral cancer. If you smoke you may want to consider visiting our article on smoking cessation:

Smoking Cessation

Cannabis use is an even higher risk factor than smoking in is link with cancer. To learn about the harmful effects of Cannabis please visit us here:

Cannabis and your Oral Health

Do you have any other questions you would like answered by Dr. Hawryluk? If you live in Mississauga or the surrounding area please give us a call!

Dr. Allan Hawryluk
Follow Us

Dr. Allan Hawryluk

Allan Hawryluk Jr. is a Mississauga-based dentist who has built a reputation for comprehensive dental care. Born and raised in Port Credit, he returned after completing his dental residency in 2003 at the University of Colorado, Denver Health Sciences Center. He feels privileged to serve the community and is committed to maintaining our clinic standards set by his late father - Dr. Allan R. Hawryluk (Sr).