Common dental problems,Dental Tips, Dental Doubts, Do’s & Don’ts
Why do you have bad breath?
Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor oral hygeine, dry mouth and smoking and sometimes may be a sign of other health problems. Bacteria that build up on your teeth – particularly between them – as well as your tongue and gums, can produce unpleasant-smelling gases. These bacteria are also responsible for gum disease and tooth decay. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits. Persistent bad breath is a sign of gum diseases.
If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing — even mouthwash – merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.
Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Here are some to be aware of: respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.
Bacteria can also live on the surface of your tongue. As well as brushing your teeth, cleaning your tongue can also help control bad breath.
You should have regular dental check-ups to ensure any oral hygiene problems are picked up and treated early.
What are the causes of tooth ache?
Pain in relation to tooth or gums arises from the deep cavity in the tooth, eruption of some teeth (Teething, Impaction of wisdom tooth), accumulation of food debris around gums, any mouth ulcers or cracked tooth.
For investigation purpose some may require Dental X rays. Do not use over the counter medication or clove oil to treat tooth ache. Even though it may provide some temporary relief in reality it will worsen the situation. If the etiology for the tooth ache is found at the very outset, tooth can be restored to normal function.
If your toothache is caused by tooth decay, will remove the decayed area and replace it with a filling.
If your toothache is caused by a loose or broken filling, the filling will be taken out, any decay will be removed, and a new restoration will be done.
If your toothache isn’t treated, the pulp inside your tooth will eventually become infected. This can usually lead to a swelling (dental abscess) with severe and continuous throbbing pain. If the pulp inside your tooth is infected, you may need root canal treatment. This procedure involves removing the infected pulp and then inserting a special type of filling to seal the tooth and prevent reinfection.
Your tooth may need to be removed if the toothache can’t be treated using these methods, or the tooth is wedged between another tooth and your jaw (impacted).
How do you stop sensitive teeth pain?
Tooth Sensitivity (Dentin hypersensitivity) occurs when the outer enamel layer that protects our teeth gets thinner, exposing the underlying surface -the dentin, or when gum recession occurs. Common causes – worn out of tooth structures, decay, altered gum margins, exposed root surfaces, vigorous brushing, hard clenching or grinding habit.
Initially sensitivity present for cold and sweet substances, later on even hot or normal water will produce sensitivity.
Without identifying the cause just using some sensitivity paste available in the market won’t give you a relief. We will identify the causes of your tooth sensitivity and depending on the amount of tooth wear, we suggest ultra-soft tooth brushes and recommend a specially formulated tooth paste (Potassium Nitrate, strontium Chloride, Amine fluoride, Novamin) .
If the cavity on the tooth causes that sensitivity it requires dental filling.
Sensitivity from weak gums and exposed root surface may be treated by gum augumentation /root coverage procedures.
Fluoride varnishes will be applied on your teeth to provide a protective coating.
What are the different methods of brushing?
There are 2 common techniques of brushing i.e. bass and fone’s methods of brushing. Bass technique are used by adults and fone’s is for the children.
Bass technique is for routine use; in this the brush is at 45 degree to the long axis of the teeth. The bristles are used to clean the area between the gums and the teeth as well as between two teeth. After this brushing is done with front and back strokes along with vibratory action. Posterior and anterior strokes are used for the eating surface.
Fone’s technique is very effective for children. In this the brush is placed at 90 degree on outer surface. The teeth are closed and rotary action of the brush helps to clean the teeth. This technique is easy to follow.
How frequently should we brush the teeth?
What is important is the quality of brushing rather than the number of times. But dentists recommend brushing twice a day, one time in the morning and second time at night before going to bed. Frequency of brushing depends on individual oral condition i.e. formation of plaque, gum diseases, caries risk etc.
How important is the tooth paste in brushing?
Tooth paste contains fluoride which helps to fight plaque, polish teeth, reduces decay and gives a fresh breadth. A good tooth paste fights acid attack ,when the acid is created by the bacteria present in the mouth.
Does incorrect brushing have negative effects?
Yes ,there can be a number of problems such as tooth staining, gum bleeding and infection, gums get receded which in turn makes the teeth look big and the root of the teeth is exposed, bad breathe ,wearing of teeth, teeth becomes sensitive etc.
When should a brush be changed?
Normally a brush needs replacement after every 3 months. Moreover brushes should be changed after cold or any mouth throat infection There are indicator brushes available in the market which have a color in the center, when this color fades the brush should be changed.
What causes tooth discoloration?
There are three main types of tooth discoloration:
Extrinsic discolouration — this occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods can stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.
Intrinsic discolouration — this is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint.
You can get this type of discoloration if:
- Too much exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
- Mother used tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
- You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
- Trauma that affected a tooth.
- Some rare condition like Amelogenesis imperfecta or Dentinogenesis imperfecta. This causes gray, amber or purple discolorations.
Age-related discolouration — this is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Some tooth discoloration (Extrinsic stains) can be removed with professional cleaning (scaling). Intrinsic stains require some extensive procedures. Teeth sometimes can be whitened with a bleaching gel. In some cases, if the discoloration is severe, a crown or veneer may be required to cover it.
Does losing a tooth impact people negatively in terms of aging?
Absolutely losing a tooth impacts all spheres of life. Sometimes it affects personal wellbeing and sometimes it has a direct impact on social wellbeing.
Perhaps Missing teeth have a great impact on one’s life, the effect and severity varies depending on a missing single tooth or multiple teeth.
You may have seen this scene in super markets, well and neatly placed toothpaste packs, just imagine if you remove one tooth paste pack from the middle of that.
What will happen? Yes, almost all will lean and the entire arrangement collapses. Exactly the same happens in your mouth also.
If you lost one tooth and if you don’t replace it the adjacent teeth and opposing teeth may shift.
You may think what will happen if there is only one tooth missing, but it will alter your bite, and you are more prone for tooth decay and gum disease also.
If multiple teeth are missing it could change your entire face, the face looks older. Loss of teeth leads to loss of that supporting bone and muscles also sag. You may feel difficulty chewing and alteration in your speech also.
Not only will these missing teeth affect your dental health but your mental health also. Missing teeth may affect self esteem.
Still don’t believe my words , kindly check my patients before and after pictures, you can easily appreciate the difference.
What is the best method to close the gap between the front teeth?
Treatment plan and management of the spaces between the teeth varies depending on the size of the gap , no of the teeth involved, age of the patient and the reason which causes that gap.
If the gap between the teeth is minimal it can be managed by means of restorative filling material. Usually in the front tooth region, dentists prefer a tooth colour composite filling material.
If the gaps between the front tooth formed recently in that individual then we have to evaluate the supporting structures of the tooth and gum conditions.
Gum diseases will cause flaring of the front tooth. In this condition before attempting to close the gaps, the gum issue has to be resolved and gum health should be improved. Without correcting this underlying issue, if we try to close the gaps, it wouldn’t be successful in the long run.
In some individuals lower front teeth are hitting the back side of your upper teeth that pushes the upper teeth forward. For them braces are an ideal option to move the lower teeth back and close the spaces between the upper teeth. Many people think braces are only for kids, even adults we can do tooth correction with braces and aligners.
Are Gum swelling and pain after RCT is normal?
Root canal treatment is mainly indicated to relieve the pain from a deep cavity which can not be restored by normal filling methods.
Some individuals might have a slight discomfort after RCT, which is usually bearable and less intensity than your previous complaint.
Your endodontist/Dentist would recommend antibiotic and pain killer for 3 to 5 days to manage this discomfort after RCT.
But gum swelling after RCT is not a normal phenomenon, if there is a swelling (Periapical abscess) we have to wait and after it resolves only we have to obturate (Fill and close the root canals of the tooth) and complete the RCT.
👉 kindly check this Educational video and click this to know how we perform RCT
kindly check some other myth and facts of RCT .
I have had my braces for 3 years, and my teeth are not straight. what should i do?
Clinically most of the Orthodontic braces treatment we can finish it in 1 year if it’s a non extraction case and some 18 months if it’s an extraction case . Most of the researches confirmed this ideal treatment duration schedule. But some literature shows slightly increased duration from 19 moths – 27 months.
Image source- Dental braces-Wikipedia
If it is a 2 phases of treatment like 1st phase of growth modification and 2nd phase of fixed braces ,it is almost normal.
In Adult orthodontics, this treatment duration may slightly vary.
If your orthodontic braces is a single phase fixed appliance then this 3 year is a very long time for braces. As an Orthodontist, my sincere advice is to consult an Orthodontist who is a specialist in treating tooth alignment problems.
How to dentists remove cavities?
Cavities /Tooth decay refers a hole or small openings present on the surface of your teeth. Dentist usually refers this cavities as Dental Caries. This is the most common dental problem compare to any other dental issues.
Depending on the location and type we can broadly divided cavities into 3 types.
- Pit and fissure Cavities
- Smooth surface Cavities
- Root cavity.
Image courtesy- mayo clinic.
Dentist usually refers cavity into class 1, Class 2,Class3, Class4,Class 5, Class 6 based on the type of the tooth affected and location of the surface involved.
Image courtesy- Dentistry iQ
Initially there is only a mild discolouration -Black or brown or chalky white appearance present on the surface of the tooth( Enamel-outer layer of the tooth) .Many people are unaware of the cavities in this stage, because there is no sensitivity or pain present at this stage.
Once the cavity enters into the middle layer of the tooth-Dentin, we can see an evident hole present on the tooth and food may accumulated in the tiny cavities often. people have sensitivity on cold and sweet items mostly. Some people neglected this early symptoms. Dentist will clean the infected portions of the tooth and prepare the cavity properly and fill with suitable tooth colour material. Commonly this procedure is known as dental filling. it is a simple and single visit procedure.
If the decay enters into the inner most layer -pulp , people may feel pain and sensitivity to hot substances. It requires a root canal treatment at this stage. not only the crown(top) portion of the tooth but the roots also required cleaning at this stage. It may require 2–3 sittings.
People may not aware cavity is present or not, that’s why regular dental check up is more important to identify at the early stage itself.