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Answering Dental Questions We always try to always answer your questions as clearly and completely as we can, but we know that sometimes it's too easy to just forget to ask. In case that has happened to you, we hope that you'll find the answer to your question below.

HOME ORAL HYGIENE



TOOTH PAIN



DENTAL PROBLEMS



MEDICAL CONDITIONS



ANSWERS

HOME ORAL HYGIENE


How often do I need a checkup?
A double blind study completed in 1987 showed that effective maintanence against periodontal disease and decay required quarterly professional cleanings. Cleanings every six months allowed the same degree of breakdown as yearly cleanings. Copies of the complete study is available upon request. With the previous information as a guideline, we recognize that each person is unique and we will let you know if your particular situation requires being seen on a different schedule.






When should I throw away my toothbrush?
Replacing your toothbrush frequently helps reduce the transmission of bacteria which cause colds, flu, bronchitis, and upset stomach -- not to mention cavities and gum disease.

If you or anyone in your family gets sick, replace your toothbrush three times. Use a new one when you become ill, another when you begin to feel better, and a third after recovery.





I have braces. How should I brush my teeth?
Braces
Wearing braces means you must care for your teeth better than ever before. Due to their design, braces trap food particles on your teeth where plaque can start building. Cleaning those small, tight areas under and around your braces means brushing and flossing carefully after every meal. Afterwards, carefully check your braces and teeth in a mirror to make sure they are clean.






Should I watch what I eat because of my braces?
You bet. Steer clear of sticky or hard foods that can clint to your braces or damage them or your teeth as well. Avoid sweets in general. If you can do all that, you'll be rewarded with straighter teeth and a beautiful and healthier smile.





TOOTH PAIN





What happens if I get a severe tooth ache outside of office hours?
Ouch
If you're in severe pain and we're not in the office, you can call our number,
508-872-3200, up to 11 p.m. At other times, you can go to an emergency room and get a prescription for pain relief that should take you to morning.






My sister and I have been arguing about using aspirins for a toothache. My sister says you should swallow the aspirin. I say you should put it between your tooth and the inside of your cheek. Which one of us is right?
I think this time you'd better listen to your sister. Aspirin tablets contain an acid compound which can seriously burn the soft tissues of the mouth if a tablet is allowed to dissolve there. When you are suffering with a toothache, you may not be able to tell that your soft tissue is being burned until it is too late. The injury to the gums, lips, and cheeks will add to your discomfort and may take weeks to heal.

Don't forget that a toothache is nature's way of telling you that something may be wrong with your tooth. It would be wise to get in touch with our office promptly.




DENTAL PROBLEMS





Why are wisdom teeth removed even if they don't hurt?
Many times there are no symptoms of wisdom tooth trouble. But x-rays may show us that there is the potential for a serious problem, or that other teeth in Impacted wisdom teeth your mouth may be at risk for damage. About 28 percent of wisdom teeth are impacted because the jaw is not big enough to accomodate them. These impacted wisdom teeth may grow sideways, break part way through the gum, or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.

Bacteria and food can lodge under the flap of gum over the partially erupted tooth, causing infection in the gum. A cyst can form around the crown of the tooth and destroy the surrounding bone or neighboring teeth.

Because of their position, wisdom teeth are difficult to clean and are often victims of decay. The results of extensive orthodontic treatment can be ruined if your wisdom teeth crowd adjacent teeth, causing them to shift position.

If we spot a potential problem, we may recommend removing the wisdom tooth, even before it is fully developed. It is easier to remove wisdom teeth at an early stage because the roots are fully formed or strongly planeted in the jaw. This means that the sooner your wisdom teeth are removed, the easier the procedure and the smaller your risk of complications.

Please let us know right away if you have any obvious problems with your wisdom teeth. But you can rely on our expertise to diagnose existing or potential problems caused by your wisdom teeth, whether you have symptoms or not.





How long do crowns last?
Crowns can last a very long time, depending on how well their owners treat them. Remember that a crown Closeup of crown covers a living tooth. This means that the tooth is still susceptible to decay. Plaque can form at the bottom of the crown and decay can work its way under the crown. Gum disease can just worsen this problem. The way to keep your crown as long as possible is to brush and floss the crown's base carefully. Getting periodic checkups helps make sure the crown, tooth and gum tissue around it stay in good shape, too.






What exactly is a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure to remove the pulp tissue from a tooth because the pulp has become infected. The infection, or abcess, causes discomfort, swelling, and can even cause bone damage.
root canal By removing the infected pulp, the tooth can usually be saved. A hole is made in the top biting surface of the tooth just large enough to expose the pulp chamber. Once the pulp has been removed, medication may be placed inside the empty chamber to stop infection. Eventually the chamber and hole are refilled. It may be necessary, following a root canal, to crown the tooth.

more root canal information




MEDICAL CONDITIONS





Should I cancel my dental appointment if I have a cold??
Don't cancel your appointment if your only concern is masked against germs not to spread your cold. Our gowns and masks serve their function by protecting us. The only reason to cancel your appointment would be if your symptoms are so severe that you would be unable to tolerate the procedures. We ask that you give us as much notice as possible if you do have to make a cancellation.






Why do you want to know that I have diabetes?
We need to know about illnesses that you have because many illnesses manifest their symptoms in
masked against germs your mouth. Diabetics, for example, are at higher risk of oral infection and bone loss. And periodontal problems can make it harder for you to control your diabetes because they upset blood sugar levels and make it harder for you to eat properly. A further complication is that infections in diabetics heal more slowly. Because of these possible problems, once we know that you have diabetes, we'll probably want to put you on a more frequent schedule of care.



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