Are Your Teeth Sensitive?


Many people experience sensitive teeth overtime. Tooth sensitivity is a frequent dental concern, caused by exposed dentin, which is the inner layer of tooth structure. Dentin Hypersensitivity is most commonly associated with root exposure and areas where enamel is worn. Most people notice this sensitivity when enjoying cold drinks. Other triggers include; breathing in cold air, brushing teeth, and some foods. When the dentin is exposed, the outside trigger stimulates the nerves inside the tooth, resulting in a short, sharp pain.

What can you do about this? I would start by changing your daily toothpaste to Sensodyne toothpaste.  Sensodyne is OTC toothpaste that can be used at home in place of your daily toothpaste. In simple words, sensodyne works by filling in the exposed dentin tubules and desensitizes them. It usually takes about two weeks to notice results. There are two different sensodyne products I recommend depending on your symptoms; Sensodyne and Sensodyne Pro-enamel.

Sensodyne: * Relieves sensitivity

  • Short, Sharp Pain in response to tactile or thermal stimulants
  • Gingival Recession leading to exposed dentin
  • Changes in behavior to avoid discomfort – example includes: avoiding eating hot, cold or sweet items

When you are at the store or online you will notice there are many different Senodyne formulas on the market. I have included the descriptions to help you purchase the right one for you.

  • Sensodyne with Potassium nitrate works to soothe the nerve inside the tooth
  • Sensodyne Repair & Protect and Complete Protection has stannous fluoride which helps build a reparative layer over the exposed dentin to create a barrier against the outside triggers.

Pro-Enamel: * Strengthen & Protect enamel

  • Changes in tooth structure (rounded edges, dullness, yellowing or translucency)
  • An increased intake of dietary acids (including: some fruits, fruit juices, carbonated drinks, black coffee, tea, red wine and anything else that tastes sharp, like ketchup & salad dressing)
  • If you get cold sores or mouthsores – this toothpaste is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free
  • Strengthens weakened enamel
  • Limits enamel erosion during tooth brushing, due to its low abrasiveness

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity I would always encourage you to discuss with your dentist to make sure no other specific treatment needs are necessary. It’s important to also know that tooth whitening can also cause sensitivity which is different from Dentin Hypersensitivity. If you are having sensitivity from bleaching your teeth or from using whitening toothpaste discusses this with your dentist for more specific recommendations.

Does Your Smile Make You Happy?

#1 Smile photo

Many people are unhappy with their smile but are unsure what they can do about it. I have made a list of six possible treatment options that could be used to help improve your smile, all of which we do here at Parker River Dental.

  • Whitening- most people simply want whiter teeth! There are many ways of whitening your teeth from over the counter to In-office whitening. The results may vary depending on the current color/shade of your teeth. I would discuss options with your dentist and always be looking for the ADA seal of acceptance on any over the counter products.
  • Bonding- This is a simple treatment option where the dentist can restore the natural look of your tooth by attaching or “bonding” resin directly to it. This can change the shape and shade of your teeth.
  • Veneers- These are thin shells that are made of tooth-colored porcelain. They are designed to cover the front and sides of your teeth. Veneers do require you to remove some tooth enamel to accommodate the shell, and make them appear as natural teeth.
  • Crowns – As mentioned in my blog “Crowned in a day” (posted May 16, 2018), crowns are an excellent way to make teeth stronger, as well as cover discolored or miss shaped teeth. They can be used as a single tooth or connected with other crowns to create a bridge to help fill spaces of missing teeth.
  • Implants- Have become a common treatment to help replace missing teeth. They are made out of titanium and are surgically placed within the bone of the upper or lower jaw. They become a sturdy anchor to hold restorations, such as single unit crowns or multi-unit bridges to help restore your smile and proper occlusion for chewing.
  • Orthodontic Treatment- Braces are commonly seen on children, but also helpful for adults who suffer from malocclusion- crooked, crowded, misaligned teeth. (Refer to my blog: Wishing you could have straighter teeth?, posted February 21, 2018) Due to technology; traditional metal braces are no longer the only option for orthodontic treatment. Invisalign has become a popular way for many adults to help straighten out their smile.

If you’re unhappy with your smile, be sure to discuss treatment options with your dentist. You deserve to let those pearly whites shine! Remember; it has been stated that the act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.

~Happy July 4th~


We hope everyone is having a safe, an awesome holiday and wearing their Red, White and Blue! We are closed this week, but wanted to share some fun historical facts about July 4th and its traditions as the birth of American Independence.

  • July 4th is also known as Independence Day.
  • On July 2, 1776 the continental congress voted in favor of independence, 2 days later on July 4th 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, the historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.
  • It’s been a Federal Holiday Since 1941
  • Independence Day traditions date back to the 18th Century and the American Revolution. These traditions include Festivals, Fireworks, Parades, Concerts and Barbecues which most of us all still carry on today.
  • New York City has the largest Fireworks Display
  • 3 presidents have died on July 4th ( John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe)


Enjoy your day and family traditions!

Our office will re-open on Tuesday July 10th @ 8am

How fast a year goes!

It’s been one year since I created my blog “Your Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile”. It’s amazing how fast a year goes by when you’re having fun! I have written 53 blogs over the last year, I would call that an accomplishment. When we decided to start this blog one year ago I was excited and nervous as I had no idea what to expect. How was I going to come up with so many different topics and keep people interested? At that point I did my research on blogs and different ways to organize a blog. I decided to create an outline of what I wanted to share with all of you over the course of the year from health related topics, dental products, kid focused topics and everyday fun. I have enjoyed and look forward to writing my posts, sharing my thoughts, findings, and experiences with you all. Some of the topics you can look forward over the next year are;

  • 6 ways to improve a smile
  • GERD/Acid reflex
  • Stages of teething
  • Bridges
  • Summer Fun
  • Implants
  • Effects of Oral Piercings
  • Sports Drinks
  • Bad Breath in Children

I hope you continue reading my posts and please comment if there is a specific topic you would love me to write about over the next year.

Thank You, Jackie

Want Red Sox Vs. Yankees Tickets for Friday August 3rd?

Our office is raffling a pair of tickets to the above game! As a thank you for following my blog over the last year I wanted to share this with you and give you a chance to win them. If you would like to get in our raffle follow the below steps:

1️⃣Like us!👍🏻Make sure you’ve pressed the like button on our Parker River Dental page.   (Click the Facebook button at the top of this post for a direct connection)

2️⃣Comment! 👩🏽‍💻Tell us what your favorite non-Boston baseball team is.

3️⃣Tag a bunch of people! 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦  Each person you tag in the comments adds another entry under your name!

4️⃣Spread the word!🗣 Share the Red Sox/ Yankee post (see below photo), call your family, email your coworkers, text the neighbors! Tell everyone!

If you win, you’ll receive TWO tickets to game #55 on Friday, August 3rd at 7:10pm. Red Sox vs Yankees! Arguably the greatest rivalry in sports history! 🤩🎉  This is so exciting!!!
And these aren’t just any old seats up in the bleachers; these are in the right field box!

The drawing will be held on Tuesday, July 17th! 🙋🏼‍♀️We hope you’re as excited as we are!

Want to know an easier way to floss?

In many of my blog posts I have discussed the importance of daily homecare, including flossing. I know the reality is that most people don’t floss as often as they should, if at all. We have all created a great habit of brushing, but most people cannot get into the habit of flossing. If you are someone that struggles with flossing, I have a product for you to try.  The Aquarius WaterPik Water flosser!  It is a hand held device that sprays a stream of water around, and between your teeth in steady pulses. This Water flosser is the 1st of its kind to be awarded the ADA seal of Acceptance based on its efficiency in removing plaque along the gumline & between teeth, as well as preventing & reducing gingivitis. It has been clinically proven to remove up to 99.9% of plaque. It has also been clinically proven to be 50% more effective than flossing when cleaning the teeth & gums.

The Aquarius waterflosser has 10 pressure settings, 5 different tips to choose from, on/off switch on the handle, 1- minute and 30 second pacer, and in-unit storage. The five different tips have been created to focus on each individuals needs; the classic jet tip– which is used for general flossing, the plaque seeker tip- gets into those tough- to- reach areas, this tip is excellent for people who have implants, crowns and fixed retainers, the Orthodontic Tip– designed to be used with braces getting around brackets and wires, and finally the Pik Pocket Tip– designed to clean out periodontal pocketing.   The on/off switch on the handle makes it much easier to control as you are moving it around your mouth and the in- unit storage makes it easy to keep everything together without taking up a lot of space.

After learning about this product and knowing how many of my patients would benefit from it, I purchased one. If I was going to be recommending this product to my patients, I wanted to know how it worked and if it was as good as they say. I am a flosser, but I LOVE my Waterflosser in addition.  I have been recommending it to my patients regularly now for 6 months and those who have purchased one, have noticed a difference in how much cleaner their mouth feels and love their new investment in keeping a cleaner oral cavity.

I will be honest, there is a minor learning curve to using the Waterflosser, but there are lots of great YouTube videos on how to use it. I have also included a how to use a WaterPik photo series below. It’s important when using the jet tip to hold the tip at a 90 degree angle toward the gumline and not down at or into the gum tissues. The only tip that goes below the gumline it the Pik Pocket tip, at a pressure setting no higher than 2.

How to Use a Waterpik® Water Flosser in 6 Simple Steps (from WaterPik Website)

  1. Fill the reservoir with warm water and place firmly on the base.
  2. Select a tip and click into the handle.
    Note: If this is the first use, set the pressure control dial to high. Point the tip into the sink and turn on until water flows. Turn unit off.
  3. Start with the lowest pressure setting, lean over the sink, place tip in your mouth.
  4. Turn unit on. Close lips enough to prevent splashing, let water flow from your mouth into sink.
  5. Aim the tip at the gumline.
  6. When finished, turn unit off and use the tip eject button to remove the tip.


~Free Boston Fridays~

With summer fast approaching are you looking for fun FREE things to do with your kids or even yourself this summer? The Highland Street Foundation puts together a list of 10 Fridays, and 10 Venues that are open to the public for FREE. That’s over 100 things to do for FREE this summer.  I found out about this list a few years ago from one of my patients. The venues include museums, parks, theaters, zoos and other historical sites that you can visit for FREE on that Friday! If you’re a big sports fan, the list includes: The Sports Museum at Boston Garden and The Hall at Patriot Place. My husband and I went to The Hall at Patriot Place on Superbowl Sunday this year and I was impressed with how fun it was. The museum is full of history, memorabilia and many interactive activities. This is a MUST see for any football fan! A few other venues include Boston Children’s Museum, Franklin Park Zoo, Museum of Fine Arts- Boston, Peabody Essex Museum, Plimoth Plantation, and Old Sturbridge Village. Be sure to take a look at the list and get ready for some summer fun! This is the 10th anniversary of this fun, 100% free event!


Do your gums bleed?


Gums play a major role in your dental health but also in your overall health. Chronic gum inflammation has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke. The biggest cause of bleeding gums is plaque buildup along the gumline that is not removed in a timely manner. As the plaque sits along the gumline it calcifies causing calculus, “tartar”, which irritates the tissues causing bleeding and harbors more bacteria and bacterial toxins. Bleeding gums most often occur with gum disease, chemotherapy treatment, use of tobacco products, change in hormones, brushing too hard, just started flossing, diet and certain medications.

The most common reason for bleeding gums is Gum Disease, which more than three-quarters of American adults have. Gum Disease is triggered by the presence of marginal plaque and bacteria that are not removed properly during daily homecare routines. It’s important to make sure you have proper brushing & flossing techniques to reduce plaque & bacteria from causing inflammation & bleeding. When brushing, make sure you brush gently along the margins to remove plaque but not scrub. It’s best to brush twice daily for two minutes with either an electric toothbrush or a soft bristle manual brush. Part of a good homecare routine is flossing daily. If you floss daily using a gentle “c- motion” you will remove bacteria below the gumline, decreasing inflammation & stop bleeding. It takes about two weeks to get into a good habit and see results from your new flossing routine.

Chemotherapy is a common cancer treatment which can have many side effects in your oral cavity. A few of these side effects include; bleeding gums, dry mouth and mouth sores. I would encourage all cancer patients to keep up with their daily flossing to keep inflammation of the tissues down. I would also encourage gentle rinses and toothpastes, examples include Act Dry Mouth, Pro-Enamel toothpaste, Closys Rinse and Closys toothpaste. If you are getting a lot of mouth sores, Peroyxl is a great soothing rinse.

Tobacco use is a large problem and affects your gums and oral tissues. Its long term use effects are extremely damaging and people who use these products are much more likely to develop gum disease and oral cancer. Short term effects of tobacco use are gum sensitivity which can cause bleeding and painful mouth sores. If you use tobacco products, I encourage you to quit not only for the health of your teeth and gums, but your complete overall health.

It’s mostly women who see bleeding gums with hormone changes. Some women find they have problems during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Puberty can cause a heighten blood flow; making them red, swollen, and increase gum sensitivity, especially if a good flossing habit is not already in place. Most women do not have any trouble with bleeding gums during menstruation especially if they have a good homecare routine and have cleanings every 6 months, but there are a few women who do usually right before it starts, and stops shortly into the cycle. Pregnancy gingivitis typically starts in the 2nd or 3rd month and continues through the 8th month, this causes the gums to be sore, swollen, and bleed. Pregnancy gingivitis is of special concern because it can lead to pre-term, low birth weight babies, again most women who have a good homecare routine do not have any trouble. Menopause can cause the gums to become dry, causing soreness, and bleeding. Act dry mouth is a great rinse to help with decreasing dry mouth and soothes the tissues.

What you eat also plays a huge role in keeping your gums from bleeding. It’s important to have a well balanced diet that’s low in sugar and high in nutrients. Sugars or simple carbohydrates increase your risk for tooth and gum problems, as sugar creates an ideal environment for plaque to form. I’m not saying you can’t eat sweets but it’s important to keep them within moderation, and even brush after you eat them to keep the sugars from sticking to your teeth. Drinking lots of water, especially after eating can help wash off the food, and decreases the bacteria that causes the irritating plaque along the gumline.

Medication can also affect your gums; this is why it’s important to update them on your medical history yearly. Certain over the counter medications and prescription medication increase your risk of bleeding. Over the counter pain relievers, like aspirin and prescription blood thinners can cause thinning of the blood, causing an increase in bleeding. If you are diligent with your flossing while taking blood thinners you should not notice and increase in bleeding. It’s important to know what medications you’re taking, and all possible side effects.

All of the above concerns all start with irritated tissues from plaque along the gumline. If you can control the plaque with daily flossing, brushing & rinses then you should be able to control inflammation and bleeding. If you are working hard on your daily homecare routine, but your gums are still bleeding make sure you discuss with your dentist or hygienist to rule out any other possible serious conditions or determine if a deeper cleaning is needed.