Ezra H. Kantor, DDS

Leading Causes of Tooth Pain

There’s nothing worse than a toothache. Tooth pain doesn’t just distract you from the activities of your busy life; it actively makes getting anything done a major challenge. In fact, tooth pain is considered one of the worst pains you can experience right alongside childbirth and femoral fracture! That’s why dentists dedicate themselves to relieving the leading causes of tooth pain and preventing them altogether.

There are three main causes of tooth pain. We call these the three D’s of toothaches. They are deep decay, damage, and disease. Each of these can cause serious discomfort due to different reasons.

  • Deep Decay: Tooth decay remains the most common reason for a toothache. Deep decay that reaches down to the root canal causes immense pain that should be treated right away. When you have a cavity, a tiny hole penetrates the enamel and dentin, causing sensitivities and pain as the decay eventually reaches the nerve. In these cases, tooth decay causes abscesses that infect the nerve and pulp inside the tooth, causing severe tooth pain.
  • Damage: A chip or fracture can cause severe tooth pain, especially the more serious the damage. Similarly, a damaged or broken filling, crown, or dental implant can cause tooth pain.
  • Disease: Gum infections, such as gingivitis, commonly contribute to tooth pain. Of course, other oral diseases can also cause toothaches. In fact, serious conditions like oral cancer can contribute to tooth pain.


Other Reasons You May Be Experiencing Tooth Pain

Of course, not all tooth pain results from decay, damage, and disease. Other factors that have nothing to do with the three D’s could be causing your toothache. Other medical conditions and diseases outside the mouth can cause tooth pain, including sinus infections, viruses, cluster headaches, and diabetes. In fact, heart attacks can even present as severe tooth pain in the lower jaw. Other issues can also contribute to tooth pain, such as methamphetamine abuse and vitamin deficiency.

Still, tooth pain almost always has an oral or dental cause, which is why you should see a dentist right away for severe tooth pain. Mild tooth pain or sensitivity that lasts over multiple days also merits a trip to the dentist. The leading causes of tooth pain generally are not so serious if attended to quickly, but ignoring the problem makes the situation much worse. If you are experiencing tooth pain, come see us at Kantor Dental right away to see how we can help your mouth feel better.

What Causes Tooth Pain?

Hi. I’m Dr. Grey Kantor with Kantor Dental Group here in San Rafael, California, aesthetic dentistry and implantology.

Today, I want to talk about tooth pain. Tooth pain can be really, really terrible. They actually consider it one of the worst pains. That and child labor, and a femoral break, breaking your femur. These are the top three pains that a human can feel. So, it’s no joke. And if you’re feeling tooth pain, obviously, at least, I think it’s obvious, you should see a dentist right away.

What causes tooth pain? There’s kind of three things that can cause tooth pain, all of which have to do with the nerve inside the tooth. The first can be a really deep cavity, deep decay can reach the nerve, causing it to become inflamed and very, very sensitive. On that same note, if you let that go and it becomes infected, then a tooth abscess can cause that same severe pain.

And then finally, breaking a tooth, breaking it to where the nerve is involved, you break it far enough down or up the tooth, that the nerve’s exposed, that can also be very painful.

If you are feeling tooth pain, again, come see a dentist. We’re always available even to answer some questions, we have an emergency line. We’re here at Kantor Dental Group in San Rafael, California. If you’re watching this on YouTube, please subscribe. Thank you.



If you suffer from periodontitis (a serious type of gum disease), you need to treat the disease right away. After all, periodontitis doesn’t just destroy the soft tissue in your gums. It actually destroys the bones the support the teeth, which can lead to tooth loss, as well as more serious conditions like heart disease and stroke. The most common first treatment step for periodontitis today is a scaling and root planing procedure followed by an ARESTIN treatment.

This may sound scary for the average dental patient, but both scaling and root planing (SRP) and ARESTIN are simple treatments that can go a long way in helping you heal. An SRP procedure essentially consists of a much more thorough cleaning than you would usually get on a routine visit to the dentist. In addition to scaling, where the dentist removes plaque from the teeth, the dentist performs a root planing, where they will smooth the roots of your teeth, removing embedded bacteria and making a surface where microorganisms will be unlikely to settle in the future. Your mouth will be numbed, so you won’t feel a thing.

The second step is ARESTIN. ARESTIN is an antibiotic powder that kills the bacteria that causes periodontitis. Your dentist will apply ARESTIN directly to infected pockets of gum tissue discovered during the procedure. ARESTIN ensures that harmful bacteria die and that the infection doesn’t recur as you heal.

How Does ARESTIN Work?

ARESTIN works much like any other antibiotic. It kills harmful microorganisms and embedded diseases. Specifically, ARESTIN powder contains tiny bead-like microspheres of minocycline, a powerful tetracycline antibiotic. The microspheres deliver the treatment slowly over time, which means that a single ARESTIN treatment can protect you for up to 21 days after your SRP. By the time ARESTIN wears off, you should be fully recovered and able to avoid a recurrence of periodontitis with proper oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing.

If you have periodontitis, talk to your dentist about whether or not ARESTIN may be able to help you recover. While SRP provides a great way to prevent periodontitis from recurring, ARESTIN makes your full recovery much more likely, providing you better health outcomes and peace of mind.

Don’t have a dentist experienced in treating periodontitis? Periodontitis is difficult to treat and requires special care. You may be in better hands with an expert. Come talk to us at Kantor Dental today to see if we may be able to use ARESTIN, SRP, and other creative treatments to cure your periodontitis completely. As experienced prosthodontists, our team not only has extensive experience treating periodontitis, but also specialized training in painless anesthesia, so your treatment goes smoothly.

What is Fluoride Varnish?

Hello. I’m Dr. Grey Kantor here at Kantor Dental Group in San Rafael, California.

Today I want to talk about fluoride varnish. Fluoride varnish can be really helpful to your teeth, especially if you’ve noticed you’ve been getting more cavities lately, or you just suspect some sensitivity in your teeth. It’s important to put on some varnish, because the fluoride will protect your teeth and also make them less sensitive. The way it does that is it replaces the hydroxy ion in the hydroxyapatite, making it fluoroapatite. This is a very hard structure and becomes even harder with fluoride.

This topical application of fluoride really strengthens the teeth and will defend against both cavities and sensitivity. So the next time your hygienist says, “Hey, I think fluoride would be good today because we have those cavities, or because of the tooth sensitivity,” please consider it, because it would be very helpful for your teeth.

If you have any more questions about that, definitely come to our office here in San Rafael, California, at Kantor Dental Group, aesthetic dentistry and implantology.

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How to Treat Oral Ulcers

Oral ulcers remain one of the most annoying conditions regularly suffered by our dental patients. No matter how well you brush and maintain your oral health, everyone develops mouth ulcers at some point, whether they are tiny but painful canker sores or a more serious condition.

So how should you treat oral ulcers? There are many simple things you can do to care for mouth ulcers, so you feel better faster. Follow these seven tips on how to treat oral ulcers and your mouth will be back to normal much faster.

1. Avoid foods and drinks that irritate oral ulcers. Certain foods can irritate ulcers and make them worse. Until your mouth ulcer has healed, avoid hard, crunchy, scratchy, abrasive, hot, very cold, spicy, and acidic foods.
2. Keep your mouth clean. Keep up with your oral hygiene, even if your mouth is more tender than usual. A great way to keep the ulcer clean is to rinse your mouth out regularly with warm, slightly salted water.
3. Drink through a straw. Both hot and cold drinks can make an oral ulcer feel worse. Using a straw minimizes irritation while ensuring you stay hydrated– a key part of recovery.
4. Brush your teeth gently with a soft manual toothbrush. Even though your mouth needs to be kept clean, don’t over-brush your teeth, especially in the area surrounding the ulcer. Take your time, carefully brushing the area with light, gentle strokes.
5. Treat the ulcer over-the-counter with antimicrobial mouthwash, medicated lozenges, and antiseptic gels. Most mouth ulcers don’t require prescription medication to heal completely. Time and care is generally enough. Still, if your ulcer is bothering you or causing pain, over-the-counter oral ulcer treatments can generally minimize the pain and help you heal faster.
6. Visit your dentist. If your ulcer isn’t going away on its own or seems to be getting worse, you may be suffering from a more serious condition. Your dentist can see what’s wrong and provide you with the proper treatment to get rid of the ulcer for good. Come in to see your dentist right away if an ulcer persists for more than three weeks, your ulcers seem to be multiplying or recurrent, or the ulcer turns red and especially painful.
7. Laser the ulcer. If an oral ulcer is too painful to wait for relief over the 7-10 days it typically takes for an ulcer to heal on its own, you can get laser treatments from a qualified dentist to heal them entirely within 24 hours. Laser treatments for canker sores are completely painless and take only about 15 minutes from start to finish. Your pain will go away immediately, and you will heal within about a day. For many patients, the total and immediate relief is well worth a trip to the dentist.

An ulcer in your mouth may be annoying, but it usually is nothing to be too concerned about. Still, for many people, oral ulcers can seem scary, and canker sores can be frustratingly painful. That’s why at Kantor Dental Group our staff is always available to talk to you about how to treat oral ulcers or any other oral condition. If your ulcer is too painful, we can even laser the ulcer

How To Prevent Bad Breath AKA Halitosis

Hello. I’m Dr. Grey Kantor here in San Rafael, California, with Kantor Dental Group. Today, I want to talk about bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis. How do you keep yourself from getting bad breath? Well, the best way is brushing and flossing. That takes away the bacteria in your mouth, which is the biggest contributor to bad breath.

Another is brushing your tongue. If you look at your tongue in the mirror, you stick your tongue out, I’m not going to do it here, but if you stick your tongue out, and you see a yellow, orange, black, green hue to your tongue, what that can be is bacteria colonies growing in between your taste buds, and if unchecked can cause bad breath. Brushing your tongue daily is really helpful. If it’s a more severe case where it’s not coming off, a tongue scraper might be really helpful. You can get tongue scrapers at a CVS or in any pharmacy, Walgreens. It can just be scraped off. I wouldn’t scrape your tongues daily. Scraping’s a little harsher. You maybe do that once a week.

Another way to help your bad breath is to use a mouthwash. Certain mouthwashes are better for actual breath than others. For example, this mouthwash right here, PreviDent, isn’t so much for your breath that is as it is for preventing tooth decay. But the good ones, Listerine is good for your gums as well as it really helps your breath smell better. Some organic ones, this is a good one, Essential Oxygen. We like this one because it uses very natural ingredients and doesn’t have fluoride in it for people who don’t like fluoride.

If you have bad breath, the best ways to kind of… Or you think you have bad breath, is to come in to the dentist. He can help see the bacteria on your tongue. This thing, that doesn’t work. You can’t smell a thing. Just come in to your dentist, and we can recommend a mouthwash, we can talk about scraping your tongue, and make sure you’re getting all the bacteria out from in between your teeth. Again, I’m Dr. Grey Kantor here at Kantor Dental Group in San Rafael, California. Please subscribe.

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Oral Cancer Screening San Rafael, CA

Hello. I’m Dr. Grey Kantor here with Kantor Dental Group in San Rafael, California. Do you suspect that you have oral cancer? I know it can be scary. However, usually what it is is just some sort of trauma to your mouth. The way you can tell is if you have… If it goes away in two weeks. Two weeks is kind of a magic number. Keep an eye on it. If you see something in your mouth, keep an eye on it. If it’s gone in two weeks, then you’re fine.

A good way to prevent oral cancer is coming to the dentist. We, at Kantor Dental Group, we do oral cancer screenings every single time you get a cleaning. We look around, we check all the surfaces of your mouth. One of the most common areas to get cancer is in your mouth, so we make sure all our patients are very safe from oral cancer.

If you suspect it or if you just would like to get a check up, definitely come see us at Kantor Dental Group here in San Rafael, California. Please subscribe.


You Deserve To Smile Confidently

When you first meet someone new, one of the first things you notice about them is their smile. You look at a bright smile and feel like you can trust the person behind that grin. A big, white, dazzling smile makes all the difference in the way we feel about others. We trust a person with a confident smile, while a reserved smile makes people cautious and unsure of the relationship.

That’s why you deserve to smile confidently. Everyone deserves to put their best foot forward with a smile that dazzles. When you feel good about your smile, you make an exponentially better impression. People look at you and feel comfortable in your presence. If you aren’t confident about your smile, you may feel pressure to hide it, which can hurt the way other people look at you. People may sense that you have something to hide. When you hide your smile, you hide an important side of yourself. No one can ever feel as confident and in control as they might otherwise without a smile that makes them feel good.

How to Achieve the Perfect Smile You’ve Always Dreamed of Having

So how can you make sure you are smiling confidently every day? You need to achieve that perfect smile. Of course, few people have the perfect smile of their dreams naturally. Some people are embarrassed by stains on their teeth. Other people feel uncomfortable smiling in public due to crooked teeth. Even more people suffer from some other problem that detracts from their shining, confident grin. Luckily, you can fix these problems with the help of a qualified dentist.

You can get the perfect smile of your dreams as soon as possible when you dedicate yourself to improving your smile. With braces or Invisalign, you can fix a gap and straighten your teeth. Whitening can make your teeth sparkle. Veneers can fix multiple issues at once, and even give you the movie star smile you never thought possible with your teeth. You can even change your whole look with natural-looking porcelain veneers for a transformation that will last for many years. In fact, just about any dental problem can be resolved, allowing you to smile more confidently.

You deserve the perfect smile. When you feel good about the way your smile looks, you are more likely to smile big and enjoy your life. You will be able to feel more confident about other parts of your life too. A smile can make the difference in almost any situation. Let your smile communicate how you feel about others–and about yourself. A confident smile can change your life for the better if you just let it.

How Often Should I Get My Teeth Cleaned By A Dentist?

Teeth cleanings are vital for our oral health. A tooth cleaning can remove plaque, prevent cavities, and even make our teeth look better. In fact, keeping your teeth healthy can improve your overall health. It’s clear that you should attend regular cleanings. Still, how often is “regular?” People ask me all the time, “How often should I get my teeth cleaned by a dentist?”

The simple answer is twice a year, but a more realistic answer would be “it depends.” You see, the standard insurance recommendation is to visit the dentist for a cleaning every six months, but how often you really need to get your teeth cleaned by a dentist will depend on your unique oral health. While some healthy patients only need to see the dentist for a cleaning once a year, patients with gum disease may need to come once every three months (or every other month in particularly acute cases).

What Factors Affect How Often You Need to See the Dentist?

So how can you know how often you will need to go to the dentist for a cleaning? There are some risk factors that will mean you need to get your teeth cleaned more often. If you smoke, are pregnant, have a weak immune system or immune system response to bacterial infections, tend to develop plaque more quickly, or have a family history of gum disease, you are at greater risk for gum disease and may need more cleanings. In addition, you may need to get tooth cleanings more often if you have previously been diagnosed with gum disease or if you are currently suffering from large amounts of stress or another illness.

If you think that list sounds complicated, don’t worry. The best way to find out how often you need to see your dentist for a cleaning is simple: ask. Your dentist will be able to evaluate your current oral health, history of tooth cleaning habits, and risk factors to suggest the regimen best for your unique needs. Your dental history will also factor into this recommendation. When you trust your dentist’s advice, you are best able to take care of your oral health and unique needs.

If you haven’t been to get your teeth cleaned in a while, now may be the time. The twice a year recommendation acts as a good reference for the average patient, but you may be different. Talk to your dentist about your cleaning needs to find out what’s right for you.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Hello, I’m Dr. Grey Kantor with Kantor Dental Group in San Rafael, California. Today, I want to talk about dry mouth. Dry mouth can be very serious for your teeth, in that your saliva protects your teeth from cavities. What causes dry mouth? Well, there’s many things. There’s some conditions that cause dry mouth, but there’s also most drugs actually cause dry mouth. About three-quarters of the drugs out there that you may be taking can cause dry mouth, or at least have a risk of dry mouth. Some of those drugs include antidepressants, anticoagulants, high blood pressure medication, heart medication. The list goes on. There are many, many drugs that cause dry mouth.

How do you protect your teeth when you have dry mouth? Well, the most important thing, which you probably already know, is keep your mouth wet. The way you can keep your mouth wet is have a glass of water by the bed. Another way is to use Biotene. Biotene is a company that makes dental products specifically for dry mouth. Some other ways are to just keep drinking water. Always carry a water bottle with you, that way you’re just able to rinse out those sugars or whatever it is you’re eating out of your mouth and not just leaving it in a dry environment where the bacteria can flourish.

If you are taking any of these medications or notice that you have dry mouth, definitely come and see us so we can talk more about it. Again, I’m Dr. Grey Kantor here at Kantor Dental Group in San Rafael, California. Please subscribe.

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