SmilesByGlerum News

Karen Glerum DDS

Laser Treatment for Cold Sores

May 23rd, 2017

cold sore by glerumWhat are cold sores?

They are little sores/blisters that usually form on your lip or around your mouth. They can be very contagious and spread easily. Cold sores spread through everyday activities like sharing chapstick, sharing food or drink, kissing, or any contact with a person’s saliva that has a cold sore. Cold Sores often appear during weather changes or heavy periods of stress. Since they are so easily spread and some people are more prone to them, many people have had or will have cold sores in their lifetime. Those that contract cold sores describe them as unattractive, painful, and a cause of unwanted attention to the area.

What about canker sores?

Canker sores are different from cold sores because of their location. Cold sores are outside of your mouth while canker sores are inside of your mouth and can also be very painful.

How do you get rid of them, and how long do they last?

Both can last anywhere from a few days up to two weeks and can be extremely hard to get rid of. You can buy Carmex, Abreva, or even get medicine from the doctor, but nothing truly stops them and helps immediately. The one thing that does stop them is laser treatment for cold sores. This laser treatment also works on canker sores! It works by putting the laser on the specific area that the cold sore is located and the energy from the laser changes the tissue in that area. If you get this done right when you feel the tingling sensation before a cold sore forms, it will stop it from forming into an actual sore/blister. Even so, if the cold sore is already present when you get the treatment done, it will help relieve the pain and make it go away faster.  The BEST part about laser treatment for cold sores is that once it is done on an area, a cold sore will most likely NEVER appear in that same area again. It can also reduce the number of cold sore outbreaks you experience once you get the treatment done.

Is it a long procedure? Does it hurt? Is it expensive?

It’s not a lengthy or costly treatment. The treatment takes roughly five minutes and most of the time no anesthesia is needed at all. It’s also affordable and your insurance may even cover the treatment. It does not hurt and most of the time relieves pain from cold sores instantly. Creams and pills can be expensive and are only temporary fixes. Laser treatment is affordable and can be a permanent cure for your cold sores.  Contact our team at 561-374-8922 for more information or to set up an appointment.

How Is Your Diet Affecting Your Teeth?

February 15th, 2017

smiles by glerum - healthy food

What you eat affects your mouth not only by building healthier teeth and gums, but also by helping prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Learn how to eat the best diet for your teeth, including the foods to eat, beverages to drink, and what to avoid.What you eat affects your mouth not only by building healthier teeth and gums, but also by helping prevent tooth decay and gum disease. While a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and unsaturated fats will benefit your overall oral health, there are a few standout foods and nutrients that can really boost it.

Teeth and Calcium

A diet with adequate calcium may prevent against tooth decay. When a diet is low in calcium, as a majority of Americans’ diets are, the body leeches the mineral from teeth and bones, which can increase your risk of tooth decay and the incidence of cavities. A study that appeared in the Journal of Periodontology found that those who have a calcium intake of less than 500 mg, or about half the recommended dietary allowance, were almost twice as likely to have periodontitis, or gum disease, than those who had the recommended intake.The jawbone is particularly susceptible to the effects of low calcium. It can weaken because of low calcium intake, which in turn causes teeth to loosen, leaving you at greater risk for gum disease.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for women younger than 50 and for men of any age, and 1,200 mg for women over 50. Calcium is found in dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt; in fish, including sardines with bones and salmon; and in some vegetables, including kale and broccoli. Eating two to four servings of dairy per day will help you meet the RDA for calcium.

Teeth and Vitamin C.

The body needs vitamin C to repair connective tissue and help the body fight off infection. No surprise then that a study at the State University of New York at Buffalo showed that those who eat less than the recommended 75 to 90 mg per day are 25 percent more likely to have gingivitis than those who eat three times the recommended daily allowance. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal diseases, and it causes the gums to become red from inflammation, swelling and bleeding easily. Eating one piece of citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruits, tangerines) or a kiwi daily will help you meet the RDA for vitamin C.

Teeth and Fruits and Vegetables

Crunchy fruit and veggies — like apples, pears, celery, and carrots — are excellent for your teeth in two ways. The crisp texture acts as a detergent on teeth, wiping away bacteria that can cause plaque. Plus these foods require a lot of chewing, which increases the production of bacteria-neutralizing saliva.

Teeth and Tea

While tea may stain teeth, studies at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry have shown that compounds in black tea can destroy or suppress the growth of cavity-causing bacteria in dental plaque, which can help prevent both cavities and gum disease.

Teeth and Water

Drinking plenty of water benefits teeth as it helps rinse away both bacteria and the remnants of food that bacteria turns into plaque. Tap water is better for teeth than bottled because it contains fluoride, which prevents tooth decay.

Foods to Avoid

Sugary snacks, especially gummy candies and hard candies that stick in your teeth, are at the top of every dentist’s list of foods to avoid. Regular soda provides a double hit to teeth, combining sugar with acids. Even foods and drinks that are good for your teeth, like milk, contain sugars. No matter what you eat, it’s important to brush and floss afterward — or at least to rinse your mouth with water. Brush twice a day using either a manual or power toothbrush, and remember to visit a dentist at least twice a year for checkups.

If you have any additional questions about your oral health, be sure to contact our team at our Boynton Beach, FL office.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

January 17th, 2017


Losing a tooth can affect a lot more than just the look of your smile. Missing teeth affect your ability to chew and can also cause problems for your other teeth. It is essential to replace missing teeth in order to maintain oral health as well as your overall well-being. Dental implants are an excellent option to replace your natural tooth and its root without affecting your neighboring teeth, and are available from Dr. Karen Glerum and her qualified team.

Why choose dental implants?

There are many reasons to choose dental implants to replace your lost or damaged teeth. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, dental implants are often considered more predictable than other treatment options and are known to provide long-term successful outcomes.

Dental implants provide many benefits over other treatments such as bridgework and dentures:


  • Unlike other treatment options for missing teeth, dental implants allow Dr. Glerum to replace your tooth without impacting the healthy teeth surrounding the space.
  • Dental implants also protect healthy bone by preventing potential bone loss and deterioration in the jaw.
  • This treatment option allows you to speak and eat normally without worrying about slippery or uncomfortable removable dentures.
  • The closest thing to natural teeth, dental implants allow you to maintain your smile and natural face shape.
  • These implants are built to last, providing you with a long-term solution to missing teeth.

Overall, dental implants are the next best thing to natural, healthy teeth. Choosing to undergo surgery to replace your lost or damaged teeth is an important decision. To avoid the issues caused by lost teeth, consult Dr. Karen Glerum or visit our office in Boyton Beach, FL to see if you are a candidate for dental implants.

How Invisalign Works & What It Can Do For You

December 16th, 2016
Our Boynton Beach patients want the best smiles possible, and we want to deliver that smile to them.
There are many aspects of cosmetic dentistry we provide, but many of our patients want to know if their smiles can be straighter. You may have gapped teeth that prevent you from smiling your fullest. You may have crowded teeth that are embarrassing and hard to clean. One treatment gives you straighter teeth almost invisibly: Invisalign.
Dr. Karen Glerum has helped many patients achieve their dream smiles. Now let’s discuss how Invisalign works its magic.

The Consultation

Dr. Glerum is a skilled Invisalign provider, she has helped patients in and around the Boynton Beach area smile bigger. We offer our patients a free Invisalign consultation to discuss all aspects of the treatment. Adults undergo regular Invisalign treatment, and teens receive some special perks with Invisalign Teen treatment. We can discuss the differences with you and your teen.

The First Steps

Dr. Glerum and her staff of dental professionals will X-ray, photograph and construct a model of your teeth. She will use these to generate a 3-D image of your smile. Dr. Glerum will use Invisalign software to show you show how your teeth will gradually shift into place, and you’ll even see your expected outcome. Every patient is different, though most adult treatment times last between a year and a year and a half. Teenage patients may take a little longer, which is closer to average length of traditional braces. That said, teens would probably be happier with removable incognito aligners than with a mouth full of metal. Dr Glerum will predict how long your treatment will last based on your current alignment.

During the Treatment

Invisalign then creates custom plastic aligners for your treatment. The plastic is clear and nearly invisible, so your friends and coworkers won’t notice they’re in place. The aligners are also comfortable to wear and BPA-free. Invisalign was designed with flexibility in mind. You can remove the aligners to eat and to perform regular oral care. During treatment your teeth will stay cleaner and healthier than they would with traditional metal braces. Metal braces make it hard for you to floss and brush, and they create many crevices where food particles and bacteria can hide. You will wear each aligner set for about two weeks, depending on your treatment plan, and then you will switch to a new set. The new set will move your teeth closer to the intended straight smile outcome. You will only need to see Dr. Glerum once every six weeks, which is generally less often than with metal braces.
The beauty of Invisalign is that you will be able to tell your teeth are moving to their ideal positions each step of the way. You can take them out to enjoy a special date or to eat a fantastic meal. But the more you wear them, the quicker your teeth will reach their desired places.

A Straighter Smile id a Healthier Smile

Straight teeth will also improve your dental health, as aligned teeth are easier for you to floss and brush. The easier your teeth are to clean, the healthier they will be. Invisalign can correct gaps, crowding, overbites, underbites and crossbites. You can top off your Invisalign treatment with Zoom Whitening in-house tooth whitening to take your smile to the next level.
Contact our Boynton Beach dental office to discuss how Invisalign can help you smile confidently.

Laser Treatment for Cold Sores & Canker Sores

November 16th, 2016



What is a cold sore?

A cold sore, also known as a fever blister or recurrent herpes labialis, is caused by the reactivation of a virus called HSV-1. It is typically seen as a cluster of small blisters which quickly rupture to form small ulcers. Over time, the ulcerations extend to the skin around the mouth and become covered with a crusting or scab.

Many lesions are commonly preceded by an itching, burning or tingling sensation. The lesions are often painful and can come back on a regular basis.

The lesions begin quickly, and can be triggered by exposure to sunlight, local trauma, stress, or a decreased immune system. The blister and ulcer stages of the infection are contagious and usually heal within 7-10 days.

What is a canker sore?

A canker sore, also known as an aphthous ulcer, is an autoimmune response which damages the skin inside the mouth. The ulcer appears as a white or yellow center with a red border, and can be seen on the inside of the lips or cheeks, on or underneath the tongue, and on the back of the throat.

Canker sores can vary in size, from small (less than half of a centimeter) to large. They are usually associated with physical or emotional stress, become painful, and commonly come back in multiple areas.

How does laser treatment work?

Without any injections to numb the area, the laser heats the lesion in order to kill the virus and stimulate your body’s healing potential. The laser does not touch the skin. The heat is controlled by keeping the tip of the laser several millimeters away from the tissue, taking care not to overheat the ulcer.

Treatment lasts about 15 minutes, and most patients feel better immediately after treatment!laser-treatment-dr-karen-glerum

What should I expect after treatment?

Most patients feel immediate relief after laser treatment, and do not require another treatment. The time that it takes for the ulcer to heal shortens when compared to no treatment.

Cold sores can come back, but laser treatment can lengthen the time in between break outs. Sores can be retreated, and over time, may not come back!

Can the laser treat other sores?

Laser treatment may be able to help similar sores in or around the mouth. Other sores in the mouth that are painful, white, or red may be treated similarly. Treatment may be indicated after a consultation with your dental provider.

What should I do if I have a cold or canker sore?

Early Treatment is the Best Treatment!

Cold sores and canker sores are best treated at the beginning stages. If treated early, a cold sore may not even create a blister or ulcer.

If you feel an itching, tingling, burning or numb sensation associated with the sore, this is the early sign of a cold sore.

We understand that early treatment is the best. If you feel that you have the beginnings of a cold sore, call our office at 561-374-8922 as soon as possible, and we will do our best to see you within 24 hours. In most cases, we can see you the same day!

If your cold or canker sore is ulcerated, laser treatment can still be beneficial to speed healing and decrease pain.

Once the sore has created a scab or crust, laser treatment is no longer effective.

If you would like more information on laser treatment for cold sores & canker sores, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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