How often should I visit the dentist for exam and cleanings? X-rays? Twice a year for cleanings, and once a year for x-rays. A full set of x-rays are done every 3-5 years.
Are dental x-rays safe? Yes, with digital x-rays, it’s even less radiation exposure than before. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.
What is gingivitis? Gingivitis is the first stage in gum disease. The bacteria in the plaque irritates the gums making them bleed, red, tender, and puffy. Gingivitis is reversible with proper home care and regular professional dental cleanings.
What is periodontal disease and why do I need a deep cleaning? Periodontal disease is a more advanced stage in gum disease affecting the tissues and bone around the tooth. This stage is when the bacteria in the mouth is more aggressive and the inflammation causes bone destruction. This lack of bone causes gum pockets, which harbor more bacteria. These pockets will continue to be infected unless treated with a deep cleaning.
How often should I brush and floss? Why is flossing so important? It is best to brush 2 times each day to remove the plaque from your teeth and gums, and don’t forget your tongue. Flossing is recommended daily, to clean the plaque from between the teeth. If you are not a “flosser” you may want to reconsider. Not flossing leaves the gross bacteria between your teeth, which may lead to further stages in gum disease and even cavities.
Why do I have bad breath? Bad breath can be from lack of flossing and then brushing. Make sure you brush the back of your tongue, there is much bacteria that collects; scrubbing it every morning should help. If you already have a gum disease and are need of a deep cleaning, that will also help you to get rid of bad breath. Other reasons for bad breath can be gastric related, the gases release from what we eat cause odors. Bad breath can be associated with health problems: diabetes, periodontal disease, yeast, dry mouth, cavities, pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, and acid reflux.
Why do I get cavities? I brush and floss all the time.The bacteria in the plaque feed off sugars from foods and drinks and acid is produced. This acid dissolves the enamel and makes the tooth weak. When enamel surface is broken it can no longer fix itself and the cavity needs to be repaired. The bacteria in your mouth has a lot to do with genetics and then diet or habits. It has been shown that some people are more prone to gum disease and others to cavities just because of their genetics alone. Someone who eats (less sugar intake) and lives healthier (non-smokers) will be less likely to have either conditions. Dry mouths can lead to cavities. The saliva in our mouth is designed to clean and neutralize helping to prevent cavities, without enough saliva our mouth it is left with sticky plaque and acids. If you take multiple medications that cause dry mouth, you have a higher likelihood of getting cavities.
I have sensitive teeth, what can I do about it? If it’s from recession where the tooth root is exposed, try using Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive Toothpaste. We also have in office products that you can try as well. Sensitivity can also be due to cavities or the bite being off, which then should be addressed by the dentist.
Are silver (amalgam) fillings bad for you, and do they need to be replaced? No, if they are in a good shape they do not need to be replaced. Unless necessary, removing them will actually release more harmful vapor. In many instances, however, large silver filings break off and they will need to be addressed.
Why do I want to save my teeth when pulling them out is cheaper? Money alone should never be a good reason to remove a tooth. There are many who regret pulling their teeth, even though the teeth could’ve been saved. There are a lot more pros to cons in saving a tooth versus removing it.