Dental Treatment Questions West Palm Beach FL - General Dentistry - Dental Care - Oral Hygiene Care Florida
12-year-old son likes to chew ice. Is this harmful?
Tooth enamel is very hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break
it. Try to avoid eating “hard foods” such as popcorn. Don’t
crack nut shells with your teeth or chew on ice. Opening
packages with your teeth can also damage the enamel.
Why are soft drinks bad for your
Sugar and acids are your teeth’s worst enemies. What are we
talking about? Soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juices, and
candy. Because of the acid content, Mountain Dew seems to be the
worst of the worst. Dentists even have a name for the damage it
does – they call it “Dew Mouth.” These soften the tooth enamel,
making it highly susceptible to decay. Parents, watch your kid’s
consumption of these, because young children’s enamel hasn’t
developed fully. This makes these drinks even more damaging for
kids. As well as eliminating the above (or at least reducing
their consumption), use a sugar-free xylitol chewing gum after
meals. Also, rinse your mouth with a high-quality dental
Tongue piercings seem to be a very
bad idea. How bad?
Yes, they can look cool, but they can also fracture your teeth
as well as make it much easier to get a nasty infection of the
tongue and lips. Dentists have estimated that up to 40% of
people who have metal rings or other oral piercings have had big
problems from tooth fractures and infection.
Is fluoride bad for you?
Fluoride is fine…in small amounts. Excessive fluoride can cause
tooth enamel irregularities. Young children, especially, often
swallow too much toothpaste while brushing. So parents,
supervise your young kids while they brush. Kids (and even
adults) often use way too much toothpaste (a pea-size drop is
plenty). A little goes a long way.
I think I grind my teeth at night.
What can I do about this?
Do you wake up with pain in your jaws or a persistent headache?
If so, you may be grinding (called bruxing) while you sleep.
Persistent bruxing can damage teeth and cause them to get
shorter and shorter. It can also damage your temporomandibular
(jaw) joints and even affect your hearing. If you suspect that
you are a bruxer, tell your dentist. He or she may recommend a
night guard or other oral appliance.
What’s so bad about losing a
Teeth can be lost due to an accident or other trauma, but the
most common reason people lose a tooth is because of gum disease
and/or decay. So, is it a big deal to lose a tooth? I mean you
can’t die from it, right? No, you can’t, but losing even a
single tooth can cause the other teeth to shift and move around
– not good. This can affect chewing and your ability to absorb
nutrients from your food. Other bad things can happen; your face
will change shape, often looking “sunken.” This can make you
look much older than you really are. Your speech can be
affected. Because it’s harder to chew with missing teeth, you
may find yourself favoring softer foods and more carbohydrates,
which can cause you to gain weight. The best way to treat a
missing tooth (or missing teeth) is with dental implants. An
implant can replace one tooth or many. They can be made to look
so natural that even a dentist has to look hard to tell the
Does the doctor check for oral
Yes, we do. Dentists and hygienists are your first line of
defense in detecting and treating oral cancer. Each year in the
US, approximately 30,000 people are newly diagnosed with oral
cancer. Worldwide, the problem is far greater, with new cases
annually approaching 300,000. In the US alone,
a person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day. If you
add the sub category of laryngeal cancers, the rates of
occurrence (about 10,000 additional new cases per year) and
deaths are significantly higher. However, the good news is, when
found early, oral cancers have an 80 to 90%
causes people to lose their teeth?
Many people assume that tooth loss is due to decay. It’s not.
It’s because of gum disease. And it can be completely painless
right up until you lose your teeth. Symptoms include bleeding
gums when you brush or floss and loose or shifting teeth. If
you’ve been told you need gum surgery, you will be glad to know
that it’s possible to control gum disease with a variety of
I’ve read that gum disease can
contribute to heart disease and even stroke. Is this true?
Yes. Recent medical research has caused many doctors to reach a
startling conclusion: gum disease, stroke, and heart disease are
linked. Since heart disease is usually fatal, it is clear that
gum disease is a serious matter. The American Dental Association
estimates that 8 out of 10 Americans have periodontal (gum)
disease. If this were any other affliction, such as AIDS or
tuberculosis, it would be considered an epidemic! Most dentists
think it is just that. They also knew that gum disease would
never be labeled epidemic because “no one ever dies from it.”
The worst is that you lose your teeth. Not pleasant – but
certainly not life threatening. But that’s all changed.
The American Academy of Periodontology reports: “studies found
periodontal infection may contribute to the development of heart
disease, increase the risk of premature, underweight births, and
pose a serious threat to people whose health is already
compromised due to diabetes and respiratory diseases.”
Periodontal disease is characterized by bacterial infection of
the gums. These bacteria can travel into the bloodstream –
straight to the heart.
Now the Good News
With advanced periodontal disease, the treatment is surgical.
Gum surgery is never fun, but it is almost always successful in
controlling the condition, and it’s usually covered by common
insurance plans. With mild periodontal disease, there are very
effective NON-surgical procedures which, coupled with improved
dental hygiene, can virtually halt the spread of the disease.
This, too, is usually covered under most dental insurance plans.
What is a TMJ disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, your jaw joints. The
pain, discomfort, or tenderness in or around the jaw joints is
called a TMJ disorder.
Signs that you might have a TMJ disorder are:
• Facial pain or tenderness
• Jaw pain
• Pain in or around the ears
• Neck pain
• Jaw stiffness
• Discomfort while chewing
• Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
• Jaw “locking up”
• Jaw makes a clicking sound
• Teeth that don't come together properly when eating or chewing
There are a variety of treatment options for TMJ. Be sure to ask
your dentist about these.
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West Palm Beach, FL 33406
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