I had braces for around four years and that caused a lot of cavities in many of my teeth. The cavities have been filled now but now I want to get my teeth whitened. So, will those cavities allow me to whiten my teeth? And also is the back side of the teeth whitened or is it just the anterior aspect of teeth that is whitened?

Keep in mind that fillings, root canal treated teeth, crowns, bridges and veneers do not change colour with whitening; only your natural teeth do. If your fillings’ shade are a perfect match for your existing tooth colour, they may appear to be more yellow compared to your teeth after whitening. Usually, it is more noticeable for the front teeth than the back molars. It is possible to change the fillings to match your teeth after whitening if the difference is very noticeable. Whitening is usually done for the anterior aspect of the teeth since that’s the side you normally see. Bleaching the back side of your teeth will only impress your dentist or hygienist, since they are the only ones who usually get to see that side of your teeth.

My gums are red around three back teeth on bottom. X-rays and exam shows nothing. It has been like this for three months. What can I do?

There are many factors that can cause redness of the gums. Some of the more common causes are gum disease, dental infection, fungal infection, and dry mouth. External factors are sometimes a cause; these can include switching to a new toothpaste or toothbrush, changing brushing technique, eating hard and abrasive foods, chemical burns from chewing tobacco, smoking, vaping or even cinnamon flavoured candy, biting the cheek, or dental appliances (e.g. denture, sleep apnea appliance, night guard) that could be rubbing the gum. If all of above have been ruled out by your dentist, you can ask for a referral to a specialist in oral medicine or an oral surgeon and they will help you determine if a biopsy of the area is needed.

I have a swollen bump in my third wisdom tooth which is feeling extremely itchy right now and I have difficulty in eating. I did not have any fever, only some severe headache and the next day I had this pericoronitis symptom. How do I treat this symptom, and how do I know if it is in serious or mild conditions according to my statement above?

Pericoronitis could potentially become very painful in a very short time, or it could potentially go away on its own after some discomfort. Although you don’t have a fever, the bump and severe headache is definitely a concern. Please visit a dentist as soon as you can. You may need professional treatment such as prescription antimicrobial mouth rinse or extraction.