What causes bad breath and what can be done about it?2016-04-26T17:59:09-08:00

Bad breath, or halitosis, results due to improper oral hygiene, but can also be due to residual food particles, gum problems, a draining sinus or systemic problems like respiratory or gastrointestinal problems. Correct brushing which comprise brushing of tongue, cheeks, and the palatal area will eliminate bacteria and residual food particles. Flossing kicks off the collected bacteria, plaque and food particles that have got stuck between teeth. Mouth rinses can bring about only a temporary cure to bad breath. You need to inform your dentist and/or physician if the same condition continues.

How frequently should I visit my dentist?2016-04-26T17:58:51-08:00

You should see your dentist at least once in every six months or more often to keep your teeth clean. Getting your routine dental check-up every 6 months helps your dentist to detect any new cavities or decay in its initial stage. This way you can be treated for any dental problem at its initial stage itself, instead of undergoing painful and costly treatment at the later stages. If the dentist detects some dental problem then he might ask you to come more often to get the problem fixed.

My gums bleed when I brush, what does it mean?2017-12-27T01:14:51-08:00

Bleeding gums is one of the earliest signs of gingivitis, or swollen and inflamed gums, typically triggered by plaque and/or calculus deposited below the gum level. If gingivitis is not treated, it will progress other serious conditions like loss of supporting bone and finally tooth loss. The best treatment of gingivitis is to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing and the gums recover by some weeks. If bleeding continues even after two to three weeks, you should bring that to the notice of your dentist at the earliest time possible.

What is root planing and why is it done?2017-12-27T01:14:51-08:00

Root planing is a procedure done in a dental office to inhibit the occurrence of ill effects of periodontal disease. This method is aimed at cleaning the area below the gum level and making the root surface smooth. Once the roots become smooth, the surface becomes available for the reattachment of gums thereby preventing the progress of bacteria further. In a way, root planing is done to protect the periodontium from any damage and to bring about speedy recovery of the damaged parts of periodontium.

Do water irrigation systems replace the need for flossing?2016-04-26T17:57:44-08:00

Water irrigation systems cannot replace brushing and flossing. These appliances are active in eliminating retained food from difficult-to-access areas, but do not eliminate the plaque layer. Dentists often suggest the use of these appliances along with antibacterial solutions to preserve the oral health of patients with periodontal diseases.

What causes gum disease?2017-12-27T01:14:51-08:00

Gum (periodontal) disease is the result of the action of bacteria. These bacteria initiate an inflammatory response by causing irritation to the gums when they inhabit the gumline. This leads to swelling and bleeding of gums which worsens the situation because the bacteria make their way easily into the deeper layers of gums. If the gum inflammation remains persistent, the bone gets demineralized and dissolved. If the bone around the teeth is lost, the teeth will become loose and fall out due to lack of support. The whole disease progresses in a painless way and pain develops only in the final stage unfortunately. At this point of time the prognosis gets worsened and there is very little advantage of treating the condition. If there is regular bleeding of your gums, you must get yourself checked and treated at the earliest.

What should I do if my child gets a tooth knocked out?2016-04-26T17:54:57-08:00

If the tooth that has come out is a permanent tooth, time becomes particularly critical factor. The tooth that has come out must be reinserted into the same socket immediately. You need not bother if the tooth is kept straight or is turned towards the backside. The most important point is to get it into the socket and give a call to your dentist instantly. If it is not possible for you to place it in the socket, just immerse it in a glass of milk and carry it when you take your child to the dentist. If the tooth happens to be a milk tooth, do not insert it in the socket as that might damage the underlying permanent tooth. If you cannot make out the type of tooth, keep the tooth in milk and go to your dentist at the earliest.

Is it necessary for my child to wear a mouthguard while playing sports?2016-04-26T17:53:03-08:00

It is strictly advised that children wear a mouthguard while participating in any type of contact sport. It is always a good idea to prevent damage from happening than to get treated after it has occurred. The habit of wearing a mouthguard should be initiated in the early childhood itself so that the child becomes accustomed to it as he grows up.

When can thumb-sucking cause damage to the teeth?2016-04-26T17:52:25-08:00

Normally, if the child has discontinued the habit of thumb-sucking by the age of 5 years, there is no permanent harm. If the child is a strong and persistent thumbsucker, this might result in moderate to severe tooth movement and hindrance of normal growth process of bone.

When will my child lose his/her baby teeth?2016-04-26T17:50:07-08:00

Children generally start shedding their milk teeth at about an age of 5 years. The front teeth are the first ones to go off mostly. The shedding goes on till the age of 12 or 13 years. By that time all the permanent teeth might have erupted.

Why is it necessary to restore baby teeth that are decayed? Aren’t they going to be replaced by new permanent teeth anyway?2016-04-26T17:49:18-08:00

It is very significant to preserve the baby teeth in a healthy state because these teeth maintain space for the permanent teeth that are yet to erupt. If a baby tooth gets decayed or is extracted before time, the space required for the permanent teeth is lost and orthodontic treatment is carried out to recover the lost space. Diseased baby teeth can produce malformations in the permanent teeth like stains, pits and fragile teeth.

What is the right age for my children to consult a dentist for regular dental check-up?2016-04-26T17:48:56-08:00

Usually, it is considered that the age between 18 and 24 months is ideal to start off with regular dental check-up. Few children need a little more time to be relaxed. If there is any matter of serious concern, then the child should be taken to the dentist at the earliest.

What is the difference between a cap and a crown?2016-04-26T17:48:22-08:00

Actually a cap and a crown are the same and there are no differences.

When is it ideal to get the wisdom tooth removed?2016-04-26T17:47:49-08:00

If the dentist has found it to be extremely essential to remove the wisdom teeth, they can be removed in the adolescence stage when only 2/3rd of the roots are formed. Extraction is far easier and less complicated at this time and unnecessary nerve damage is also prevented.

What is a root canal?2016-04-26T17:46:58-08:00

A root canal is a treatment procedure performed to save the diseased or non-vital pulp in the root canal of the tooth by removing out the necrotic pulp tissue and remolding the canal. The root canal is then packed with gutta percha, a rubber type material, to inhibit the recontamination of the cleansed tooth. A post and/or gold or porcelain or metal crown is placed on the tooth as permanent restoration. By this procedure the original tooth remains intact.

What are dental implants and how do they function?2016-04-26T17:46:34-08:00

Dental implants are alternatives for roots of natural teeth and derive support from the jawbone. If implants are placed in a systematic way, they can be utilized to hold permanently fixed bridges, discarding the requirement of a denture. Even though they are expensive, they are growing in demand because they give a natural feel in almost all aspects.

Can my health be affected by silver fillings, fluorides or x-rays? What can be the possible substitutes?2017-12-27T01:14:51-08:00

Dental amalgam, popularly known as silver filling is composed of mercury, a silver alloy, tin and copper. The mercury released from silver fillings is very less compared to the quantity of mercury that the patient takes in through air, food and water. There are different other restorative materials available. Noble metals like gold, porcelain and composite resins are examples of other restorative materials.

Fluoride is formed out of an element called fluorine which is available naturally in air, water, soil and most of our food products. Fluorides penetrate the enamel of teeth quite easily, particularly in the teeth of kids in process of growth. Once the development process is over, the teeth become highly resistant to tooth decay because of fluoride absorption. Fluoride has an added advantage of stimulating remineralization thereby repairing the damaged or demineralized part of the tooth before it becomes detectable.

Radiographs or X-rays are diagnostic aids that the dentist uses to confirm the existence or extent of severity of periodontal disease, abscess and other growths like cysts or tumors that are not normal. Those abnormalities or defects that go undetected during visual check-ups such as cavities or signs and symptoms of diseases can be easily detected and exactly located with the help of X-rays. The effect of x-ray exposure to the patient is the matter of concern for health providers in general. Your dentist will advise you for an X-ray only if it is extremely important and the schedule will also be customized to suit your personal needs. By bringing in use the recent advances in dentistry like digital radiography, your dentist can keep the radiation exposure at a negligible level.

Are there any alternatives to dentures?2017-12-27T01:14:51-08:00

Dentures are no longer the only solution for those who have few or no non-repairable teeth. Implants, one of the latest inventions of dentistry, are inserted directly into the jaw bone and bridges can be fixed permanently onto them, removing the requirement of denture. They are more expensive but are preferred because the implants and bridges mimic the natural teeth in looks and feel as well. Dental implants are becoming a substitute to dentures, though it is not suitable for everyone. Get consulted from your dentist to know if you are an ideal candidate for implants or not.

How can I stop grinding my teeth at night?2016-04-26T17:45:14-08:00

Teeth grinding is extremely detrimental and the habit is tough to discontinue. While sleeping in the night all our reflexes become dormant and heavy teeth grinding in the nights can wear the teeth to the gum level. Those who have teeth grinding induced due to stress can be treated successfully by the removal of the stress factor. If grinding persists after these steps, a nightguard will be the appliance of choice that has to be worn to protect the teeth from damage.

What can be done for ulcers or canker sores in the mouth?2016-04-26T17:44:53-08:00

It is tough to treat ulcers. No treatment procedure is said to have cured oral ulcers or made the recovery faster after their occurrence. Few pain medications can bring about some amount of temporary relief, but they have to be administered at the very instant the first symptom shows off. Ulcers gradually decrease in size and fade off by 7 to 10 days.

What causes tooth decay?2016-04-26T17:22:44-08:00

Tooth gets decayed as a result of the plaque layer deposited in the mouth. The starch and sugar rich foods are acted upon by the microorganisms of the plaque layer to generate acids which eventually dissolves the enamel and breaks the integrity of the tooth.

What causes my jaw to pop when I open it?2016-04-26T17:21:56-08:00

At the temporormandibular joint area, there is a pad of tissue that lies between the jaw bone and cranial base (base of the skull). The major reason for the popping is the mouth opened in an extremely wide manner. This causes the jaw bone to get displaced from the pad or disk. The condition need not be treated if the popping off or locking of the jaw is not associated with pain.

What are porcelain veneers and why are they used?2016-04-26T17:21:28-08:00

Porcelain veneers are extremely thin layer of restoration made out of ceramic and are fixed to the anterior part of the teeth. This type of treatment is best for enhancement of aesthetics of anterior teeth by covering the defects, tooth whitening and/or remolding of smile.

Do over-the-counter bleaching products work?2016-04-26T17:21:08-08:00

Over-the-counter bleaching products have shown positive results in some cases. However, most of the products contain high percentage of abrasives that can lead to tooth damage if misused or used for extended time periods. It is always safe to get your teeth whitened under the expert supervision of a dentist.

Does bleaching damage the teeth?2016-04-26T16:08:26-08:00

No. Bleaching will not lead to softening, demineralization or weakening of teeth. Carbamide peroxide, the active bleaching component, reacts with water to release hydrogen peroxide which brings about the whitening effect.