Over the years, patients ask us a lot of questions. The team at Southview Dentistry is committed to providing the best oral care and we believe in the importance of oral health education. The five common dental questions answered in this article cover a range of oral hygiene concerns.
Patients’ Top Five Dental Questions Answered
1. What Causes A Cavity?
Sugars and acids in your mouth soften tooth enamel and over time result in tooth decay. While decaying, the teeth lose vital minerals that make your teeth strong. Untreated tooth decay may cause a hole in a tooth and that hole is known as a cavity. Cavities can cause discomfort and make the tooth vulnerable to more decay. Untreated cavities may result in the loss of that tooth.
Professional dental cleanings help prevent new cavities from forming by removing plaque buildup. Furthermore, your at-home brushing and flossing routine is your first line of defense against tooth decay and cavities. After consuming sugary or acidic foods or drinks like coffee, rinse your mouth with water to help flush out and dilute the acids. Gently brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent plaque buildup. Also floss daily to clean areas in between teeth and at the gumline that brushing can’t effectively reach.
2. Where Does Bad Breath Come From?
Bad breath, sometimes known as halitosis or malodor, is a cause for embarrassment and discomfort. Root causes vary, but generally, bad breath is the result of bacteria build-up in the mouth that causes inflammation and unpleasant scents.
Good oral hygiene is the first step in treating and preventing bad breath. In addition to daily brushing and flossing, try using an antibacterial mouthwash. Sometimes bad breath is a result of diet, eat a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean proteins. While fruits are healthy, they are sugary and acidic so may contribute to tooth decay. Be sure to drink plain, still water between meals and rinse your mouth with water after consuming fruit.
If you are a smoker, that is a common cause for bad breath and other dental and health issues. Try quitting smoking if at all possible.
Most often, bad breath is related to your dental health. Discuss your concerns with your dentist to find and treat the cause. Sometimes bad breath may be a result of another health concern and your dentist may recommend discussing the matter with your primary care doctor,
3. How Do You Know I’m Grinding My Teeth?
Tooth grinding, or Bruxism, is a common stress related condition. Many people clench their jaws or grind their teeth as a stress reaction and are not always conscious they are doing it. Also, some people grind their teeth while sleeping. Research has shown that night time grinding is linked to airway issues such as sleep apnea and snoring. Patients sometimes ask how they can know if they grind their teeth.
Here are some common symptoms of Bruxism:
● Sometimes household members or partners may mention they hear grinding at night.
● The muscles in your jaw may feel tired, achy, tender, or sore from overexertion.
● Teeth may show signs of wear and dental fillings may become damaged quicker than usual.
● Teeth may become damaged, some signs are loose teeth, chipped teeth, or even broken or fractured teeth.
● You may experience facial pain or jaw aches.
● The inside of your cheeks may show damage or injury from chewing.
● You may hear a popping or clicking sound coming from your jaw.
● Earaches or headaches are common symptoms.
● Gums are receding and teeth are cold sensitive
Discuss this issue with your dentist since it does cause premature damage to the teeth as well as discomfort. Your dentist may prescribe a dental guard to prevent damage from grinding at night. Some patients find stress management techniques and cutting down on caffeinated beverages also help diminish tooth grinding.
4. Is Dental Bleaching Safe?
Most people want a bright, white smile. Patients often ask if it is safe to bleach their teeth to achieve their dream of a radiant smile. Over the years, dental professionals worked on developing teeth whitening techniques that are as effective and safe as possible. However, these techniques do have side effects. For example, teeth whitening can increase sensitivity in the teeth. If the whitening solution is applied incorrectly, it may also irritate gum tissue.
Whitening your teeth is safest when the procedure is performed by your dentist or under your dentist’s guidance.
Many of the issues come from incorrect placement, bleaching too frequently, or using too strong of a solution. Your dentist would perform a thorough examination before whitening your teeth and follow the most appropriate procedures for you. Even if you opt for at-home treatment, following your dentist’s instructions and advice will result in the safest and best experience and results.
5. What’s The Difference Between Invisalign And Other Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are a popular option among people who prefer the discreet appearance over traditional wired braces. Some also find clear aligners easier to maintain.
There are significant differences between clear aligners and their application. Mail order clubs offer some consumers the option of clear aligners without frequent dental visits. However, the mail order clear aligners are not monitored by a dentist. This may appear less expensive, but your results are typically better when a dentist or orthodontist manages the process. Your dental professional correctly fits your aligners to your teeth and also makes any necessary corrections along the way.
Invisalign is a branded proprietary type of clear aligner. Many patients appreciate the quality standards associated with Invisalign especially when their dental professional manages their treatment.
We hope you found this article on your dental questions answered was helpful. If you have any other questions, be sure to ask your dentist. Don’t let embarrassment hold you back. Your dentist is happy to work with you to achieve your healthiest smile whether you are concerned about tooth decay, bad breath, or the appearance of your smile.
Charlotte area residents have trusted their smiles to Southview Dentistry for over a decade. If you are seeking dental care, call today to schedule your examination, cleaning, and consultation. Be sure to take that opportunity to ask any dental health questions that you may have.