Q. What causes tooth discoloration?
Certain bad habits can cause your teeth to discolor. Coffee, tea, red wine, and berries are common foods that can cause discoloration. Smoking is also a cause for discoloration. Some developmental problems and drugs, like tetracycline, taken at a young age can cause discoloration within the teeth.
Q. How can you treat discoloration of the teeth?
The first step, always, is a good thorough dental cleaning. Surface discoloration is removed like this. Teeth whitening procedures are effective in changing the color of natural teeth (not restorations). In-office, dentist-supervised whitening is the most effective method. Home whitening is effective; it just takes longer to accomplish.
Q. My teeth are getting crooked. What can I do about it?
Crooked and crowded teeth can be straightened with orthodontics. Very often there is no need for brackets and wires. INVISALIGN is a way to straighten teeth with clear removable plastic aligners worn on the teeth. Once the teeth are straightened, retainers need to be worn at night to keep the teeth in position.
Q. What if I don’t want to wear braces or do INVISALIGN?
Cosmetic reshaping is an option if the corrections needed are minimal. Sometimes reshaping and bonding can make a dramatic difference. Or porcelain veneers can be applied to the teeth after some shaping to dramatically alter the appearance of the teeth.
Q. What causes bad breath (halitosis)?
Some foods can cause breath problems, but these are short lived. If there are chronic bad breath issues, they can be caused by several possible problems such as tooth decay, heavy plaque buildup (plaque is a bacterial film on the teeth), periodontal disease (inflammation and breakdown of the supporting structures of your teeth), and plaque build-up on your tongue.
Q. My gums bleed when I brush and floss. What causes this?
Bacterial plaque that builds up on your teeth can cause inflammation if it is not cleaned on a daily basis (through brushing and flossing). The bacteria produce acids which inflame the gums. The inflammation causes the gums to bleed easily.
This process is reversible with expert dental cleanings and good oral hygiene instructions from your dentist or dental hygienist.
Q. Can the inflammation in my mouth cause any other problems?
The mouth is the entry point to all the systems in your body. Inflammation in the mouth has been linked to many serious health conditions; these include heart disease and greater chance for a heart attack and stroke, diabetes or worsening of diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, and low birth weight babies.
Q. What is the best way to replace missing teeth?
Missing teeth can be treated in a variety of ways. Fixed (attached permanently to the teeth) bridges, removable bridges, or dental implants are the most common ways to replace teeth. Implants have become the most popular modern way to replace teeth. The implant is a replacement for the root of the tooth. A dental crown can be attached to the implant once it is healed in the mouth. An implant can replace one tooth or multiple teeth supported by several implants.
Q. Why do some capped or veneered teeth look so fake?
When cosmetic or restorative dentistry is done poorly, it is often obvious. When a skilled dentist, utilizing an expert dental lab, does a cosmetic procedure the result should be a natural healthy look – not a phony too-white, too-bulky look.
Q. Is flossing really that important?
The ONLY way to adequately remove plaque between the teeth is dental floss. When you brush, you cannot get to the plaque in between your teeth. Plaque that is left on the teeth, anywhere, causes inflammation and potential periodontal breakdown.
Q. If I need a filling, should silver be used?
Silver amalgam is a material that has been used for over 100 years. Amalgam is a mix of metals (including mercury) that corrodes in the oral environment. Modern dentistry offers so many better options than amalgam.
Bonded fillings (composites or porcelain) adhere to the tooth structure and hence strengthen the tooth – as well as look like natural teeth.