Everybody has questions when it comes to oral and dental hygiene. Here are some common questions patients ask when they come in and concerned. This page is intended to help answer some questions and point you in the right direction. For more specific questions you can contact our office read up on some topics in “Shop talk” or schedule an appointment because its time and you really should pay attention to your oral health.
Why do I have bad breath?
Bad breath is also known as halitosis, that big scary word everyone knows that word from all the mouthwash commercials.
But how bad is bad breath really? Most people have bad breath in the morning. Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and this constant cleansing reduces bacteria growth in the mouth. When the flow slows during sleep, bacteria grows and results in bad or morning breath.
Microbial deposits on the tongue are a haven for germs. Getting into the habit of brushing your tongue when you brush your teeth can greatly decrease bad breath by up to 70%.
What can I do about bad breath?
- Brush at least twice a day.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing daily removes food between teeth. You’d be surprised how much can be hidden between the cracks.
- Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue.
- See your dentist regularly.
- Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year.
- Smoking is bad and if no one has told you it causes nasty smelling breath, chewing tobacco is worse in so many ways. Not only for your breath but it affects your gums too.
- Drink lots of water.
- Use mouthwash.
If the problem persists, make an appointment with us.
How often should I brush and floss?
Lets go over some basics…
Brushing and flossing help to prevent plaque and bacteria.
Plaque is that film that builds up on your teeth and gums most of you can feel and taste first thing in the morning. The bacteria in plaque converts food particles into acids that can turn into cavities or worse.
If you do not do a good job removing the plaque it builds up and hardens into calculus that most of you know as TARTAR buildup.
This is why seeing a dentist and having a routine cleaning is important. If you were not aware, tartar buildup will begin to destroy the gums and bone. This can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. Plaque is alive and continually growing. It can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, mouthwash and other dental aids.
Now that you know the whys, lets cover brushing…
Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Yes twice. Once in the morning and once before you go to bed. You’d be surprised how many people only brush once.
There are a lot of tooth brushes out there, make sure it has ADA approved on it. We recommend soft bristles.
Brush gently in small circular motions and don’t be in a hurry. Don’t scrub! You could do damage to the gums by force or fast motions.
Brush all the surfaces of each tooth.
Brush or scrape your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Electric toothbrushes are also recommended because they are methodical and apply equal pressure. Just place the bristles of your toothbrush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Flossing, thought we’d forget?
Not a lot of people floss until it’s time to see the dentist.
Daily flossing cleans between the teeth and under the gum line. You know, that place where all the bacteria likes to live and cause problems.
Flossing clean the spaces between teeth and gums and disrupts plaque from building up. You don’t floss, you allow them to grow.
Flossing is not complicated. Get a length of floss about an arms length. Wrap the ends around a few fingers (not too tightly or you’ll cut off the circulation) and gently insert or wiggle the floss between the teeth using a back and forth motion.
Try to floss each tooth from all angles cleaning it down to the gum line.
You can also use a floss holder if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing is important to your mouth especially after meals or when you can’t brush.
There are many over-the-counter product that all claim to be superior in one form or another. It’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on whats appropriate for you to use.
At least twice a year.
Your dentist or dental hygienist might recommend more frequent visits if you have or show signs of tooth or gum disease that need more attention.
With proper care your dental and oral health will improve and have you back to twice a year.
Regular dental exams and cleaning prevent problems and help maintain your teeth and gums.
When your teeth are cleaned they are also checked for cavities and sensitivity.
Oral cancer screenings can be performed to check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any sings of oral cancer.
X-rays (radiographs) are used to detect signs of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.
Checking for gum disease and any signs of periodontal disease.
Removal of calculus (tartar), that hard whitish stuff that builds up on your teeth like cement. Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Removal of plaque. It’s there even if you don’t feel it. Plaque is a (bacteria) living thing that lives off the stuff you put into your mouth. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease and that’s something you really don’t want.
Your teeth get cleaned, polished and brought back to factory showroom new.
I heard Silver fillings are unsafe, is this true?
Silver filling or Amalgam fillings have had a lot of safety concerns over the past few years mainly because they are bounded by Mercury and that’s a word that gets people nervous.
Dentists have used metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years. The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems.
To be honest, you would need a lot of exposure from those minute particles in your mouth to become a health problem. You have more of a risk from mercury exposure by eating certain types of fish.
The American Dental Association (ADA) states that silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder.
The ADA, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA, and others support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost effective.
If you have certain allergies your dentist may recommend using composite, porcelain or gold for fillings.
We never suggest that you replace a Silver filling unless it is damaged or the tooth has decayed and needs a new filling.
What is gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it.
Face it most people have bad habits when it comes to oral hygiene. The foods eaten on a daily basis, how often you floss or brush, even nutrition and vitamins play a big part in the ecosystem inside your mouth.
Most people are unaware because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. While tooth decay often causes discomfort.
You might even have periodontal disease without any noticeable symptoms.
A regular dental check-up and periodontal examination helps detect if periodontal problems exist.
Periodontal disease begins when plaque isn’t cleaned from the teeth and gums properly. This is why your mother always told you to brush and floss!
We mentioned bad habits
Tobacco users and chewers are more likely than nonusers to form plaque and tartar on their teeth.
Daily consumption of sugary food like soda and form acids and promote bacteria.
Not seeing a dentist when poorly fitting bridges begin crowding teeth or damaged fillings are left and begin trapping plaque and bacteria.
Medications with side affects that reduce saliva.
Changes in hormone levels can cause gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacteria toxins.
Disease may also lower your bodies resistance and promote growth of the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Red and puffy gums.
Persistent bad breath.
New spacing between teeth.
Pus around the teeth and gums.
Tenderness or Discomfort.
If you suspect that you may have periodontal disease, don’t panic. Call us and schedule and appointment. From there we can find the source of your discomfort and treat it.
Do you feel self-conscious about your teeth?
Want to improve your smile? Cosmetic dental treatments may hold the answer for a more beautiful and confident smile. They can change your smile dramatically. Procedures range from restoring a single tooth to having your full mouth treated.
What kind of procedures are available?
Glad you asked. How about:
- Teeth Whitening. Teeth can become discolored for a variety of reason from the food you eat, things you smoke or even injury. There is a wide range of teeth whitening treatments available from Cregar Dental.
- Tooth colored Fillings. We use colored composite filling also known as “bonding” to repair teeth with cavities. We do not use amalgam in our office but we do fix them. We never suggest or recommend replacing a metal filling unless there is damage. These colored fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth. They can also fill gaps and protect sensitive or exposed surfaces caused be receding gums.
- Veneers are thin shells made from porcelain that match your teeth and are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful individual smile. They can help restore or hide damaged, discolored or misaligned teeth.
- Crowns are tooth-colored coverings that encase the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. They are designed to protect and strengthen a tooth that cannot be restored with fillings or restorations.
- Dental implants are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth.
What is a porcelain veneer?
Porcelain veneers are thin shells that are shaped like the tooth it will be attached to and placed or covered over the front of the tooth. Very durable and prone to stain resistance making them a good solution for restoring or enhancing a smile.
Veneers are used to correct:
- Discolored teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- When teeth are too small or large
It usually takes two visits to get a Veneer. The first visit is to get an impression of the tooth and have the Veneer made. The second visit the tooth is prepared to allow for the Veneer which is then carefully fit and bonded onto the surface.
My gums bleed, what’s going on?
There could be a number of reason why.
You might be brushing too hard.
If you smoke, this may be a cause and we suggest STOP SMOKING and see if that changes anything. But most importantly…Bleeding gums can be the signs of something serious. This is a website and we can’t look through the screen to see what’s going on inside your mouth. We suggest you call and make an appointment to come in and we’ll have a look to find out what’s going on.
My gums are receding and my teeth are sensitive. What should I do?
Most people are familiar with the fact that gums will recede a little as you get older. If your gums are seriously receding and exposing the teeth making them more sensitive…It’s time to see the dentist and stop delaying. This could be the signs of something more serious. Make an appointment!