Frequently Asked Questions
Below are 10 frequently asked questions by our clients that you may find informative!
Does the health of my mouth affect my overall health?
Definitely! This is called the Oral Systemic Health Connection. The health of your teeth and gums may have a significant effect on the overall health of your body. Recent scientific literature suggests a strong relationship between oral disease and other systemic diseases and medical conditions. The most significant areas identified to date to have a suspected oral systemic connection are: cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, fetal development, diabetes, orthopedic implant failure, and kidney disease.
How often should I get a general dental check-up?
If the state of your oral health is great then twice per year (once every 6 months) should be ideal. If your oral health is not great and requires close monitoring to get you to great health then more frequent visits (once every 3 months or less!) will be required.
Does my diet affect my oral health?
Yes, Yes, and YES!!!!!
Although many would like to believe that regular brushing and flossing is all that’s needed for healthy teeth, it’s by no means the most important factor determining your oral health. Hygiene practices are simply preventive aids that help minimize the destructive effect of a modern, refined diet.
If you want to have healthy teeth, and a similarly healthy body, you must start from the inside out, and that means cleaning up your diet.
- Find out your nutritional type and eat accordingly. This will tell you which foods are ideal for your unique biochemistry.
- Eat more raw foods
- Avoid processed foods, sugar, refined flour and all artificial flavorings, colorings, and artificial sweeteners.
- Enjoy fermented foods like natto, kefir and cultured veggies.
- Make sure you eat enough healthy fats, including those from animal sources like omega-3 fat, and reduce your intake of omega-6 from vegetable oils
All of the brushing and flossing in the world will not give you the healthy teeth that the above steps will, so if you value your pearly whites, get started eating a healthier diet today.
How common is gum disease and can it affect my overall health?
Did you know that 3 out of every 4 Americans suffer from some form of Gum disease? Next to cavities, gum disease is the second most common problem encountered and treated by dentists. Gum disease can become hazardous to your health if not treated. It has been linked to cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, fetal development, diabetes, orthopedic implant failure, and kidney disease.
Will dental insurance cover all of my oral health costs?
Depending on the state of your oral health, yes and no! If the state of your oral health is great and all that is necessary if routine oral health care, YES. On the other hand, if the state of your oral health is in a crisis, then your plan my not cover all of your costs in a typical calendar year. It is important that you understand that dental insurance is built on the model of PREVENTION. Therefore, these plans are great for covering most, if not all the costs of routine oral healthcare and not so great for covering all the costs of restorative services. Dental insurance definitely does not cover cosmetic dentistry services.
What is the standard for good oral hygiene at home?
Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Brush twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to sustain personal health excellence.
How long does it take to change the appearance of my smile?
It depends! Some clients have achieved a full smile transformation in six months or less while others take a longer time. Every client’s case is unique, therefore the first step is to engage in a consultation to first understand your goals, then assess the state of your oral health and smile in relation to your goals. Only after completing these essential steps can we give you a proper estimate of the time it will take to transform your new smile.
I have sensitive teeth, what causes it and what can I do to stop it?
Some factors that contribute to sensitive teeth may include:
- Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. This can wear down enamel, causing dentin to become exposed, or encourage gum recession.
- Gum recession. This often happens in people suffering from periodontal disease, and it exposes the dentin.
- Gingivitis: Inflamed and sore gum tissue can result in exposure of the tooth’s root.
- Cracked teeth: These can become filled with bacteria from plaque and cause inflammation in the pulp of the tooth. In more severe cases, it may lead to abscess and infection.
- Teeth grinding or clenching. This can wear down enamel.
- Tooth-whitening products. These contain harsh chemicals to remove stains, but can also remove the enamel.
- Plaque build-up.
- Long-term use of mouthwash. Some over-the-counter mouthwashes contain acids. If dentin is exposed dentin, the acids can make existing tooth sensitivity worse and also further damage the dentin layer. There are neutral fluoride mouthwashes available that might be a better option.
- Acidic foods. These can encourage enamel reduction.
- Dental procedures. Teeth may be sensitive after professional cleaning, root planing, crown replacement and other tooth restoration procedures. Usually the pain will disappear in four to six weeks.
The following are some at-home treatments dealing with teeth sensitivity:
- Use desensitizing toothpaste. There are several brands of toothpaste for sensitive teeth available. Your dentist may recommend one or you may have to try different brands until you find the product that works for you. Be sure to use fluoridated toothpaste for sensitive teeth, not tartar-control toothpaste. Try spreading a thin layer of the desensitizing toothpaste on the exposed tooth roots before bed.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Avoid highly acidic foods.
- Use a fluoridated mouthwash daily.
- Avoid teeth grinding. Consider getting a mouth guard.
There are some dental procedures that may reduce tooth sensitivity. However, proper diagnosis of the reason for the sensitivity is essential in treating sensitivity. If the reason for the sensitivity is addressed, the treatment chosen will be more successful in decreasing pain. If the dentist just treats sensitivity without addressing the reason for it the problem will continue and get worse.
Am I at risk for developing Oral Cancer?
Anyone can get oral cancer, however some factors may increase your likelihood of developing the disease. As with many cancers, the risk of developing oral cancer increases with age. Men are twice-as-likely to develop oral cancer than women, with most cases occurring over the age of 55.
Oral cancer can affect any area of the oral cavity including the lips, gum tissue, check lining, tongue, jaw the hard or soft palate and throat. It often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore or swelling anywhere in the mouth or throat.
Oral cancer risk factors include gender (men are more likely than women to develop oral cancer), age (The average age at diagnosis for oral cancer is 62, and two-thirds of individuals with this disease are over age 55), any form of tobacco use, alcohol, and HPV infection.
Can a missing tooth affect the overall health of my body?
Yes! Edentulism (missing teeth) can affect the body if it is severe enough that it interferes with nutrition. People who lose a large number of teeth may have trouble chewing solid foods and may not get enough nutrients, for example, from meats, nuts, and uncooked fruits and vegetables. Artificial teeth such as those in dentures, bridges, and dental implants can help overcome this problem.
Teeth like to be touching each other, so if you extract a tooth and do not replace it in time, the surrounding teeth will fall toward the hole and the teeth opposite the hole will super-erupt. When that happens, it can cause premature loss of additional teeth. So it’s important to replace the missing tooth as soon as possible. Missing teeth can also affect your occlusion (definition of occlusion: means simply the contact between teeth. It is the relationship between the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth when they approach each other during chewing or at rest!).
Although you lose teeth, you still have the same amount of muscles, which means that you continue to chew with the same amount of force, regardless of how many teeth you have. As a result, the exerted force will affect your other teeth in a negative fashion.
Applying more force leads to more cracks and more breakage of the remaining teeth. So it’s harmful to your occlusion. If you lose a tooth, you should see your dentist as soon as possible to discuss ways of getting a replacement, which could be a denture, a dental implant, or other method. Generally speaking, a missing tooth or teeth should be replaced as soon as possible, except wisdom teeth.
We would love to talk with you about your family’s dental needs and overall journey to health excellence.
Start you journey to personal health excellence today!
Make an appointment NOW with Contemporary Dentistry to protect your oral health:
Start your appointment online using this form or call (678) 639–0080 today.