What causes tooth loss?
Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Tooth decay takes place when most of the tooth’s mineral makeup has been dissolved away and a hole (cavity) has formed. While tooth decay primarily affects children, periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects mostly adults. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque, and its earliest stage is known as gingivitis.
How many times a day should I brush my teeth?
Most dental professionals recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal (and flossing at least once a day) is also a good way to maintain dental health.
When should a child have his/her first dental appointment?
A child should have his first dental appointment no later than his third birthday. Many dentists recommend a child have his first appointment when his first tooth comes in.
What causes oral cancer?
Tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) is the most common cause of oral cancer. Combining tobacco use with heavy drinking can also foster the development of oral cancer. Bad hygiene, prolonged irritation of the oral cavity, and extended exposure to strong sunlight on the lips are among other causes of the disease. Many dentists believe vitamins A and E can help prevent the acquisition of oral cancer.
What are the warning signs of oral cancer?
Early symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat that does not heal; a lump on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat; a red or white patch found anywhere in the mouth; unusual pain or bleeding in the mouth; swelling of the mouth; and any difficulty or discomfort felt in chewing or swallowing.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay describes the condition wherein the tooth, under a variety of harsh conditions, breaks down leading to the formation of a cavity. It starts with a hole/opening in the enamel. If this is not treated, it progressively reaches the deeper sections of the tooth, where the pulp and the nerves are causing the tooth to become sensitive to a variety of stimuli, a variety of gum problem such as inflammation and swelling, pain, and ultimately tooth loss.
Is it very common?
Tooth decay is a common dental ailment that may occur at any time of age. However, since the onset of tooth decay is strongly related to the unregulated consumption of sweet foods and beverages; it tends to affect the young and adolescents more than any other age. One form is diagnosed in nursing infants and is referred to as nursing caries.
What are the causes of tooth decay?
- Proper Oral Hygiene: Irregular & improper brushing, not flossing between teeth, not rinsing with water or mouthwash after meals speed up the process of tooth decay.
- Unregulated Diet of sweet food and drinks : Periodic snacking on aerated drinks, jam, marmalade, even potato chips can lead to the formation of acidic by products which damage the surface of the tooth enamel. This is the reason why most young children adolescents suffer from tooth decay.
What can I do if I have tooth decay?
If you have developed black or brown spots of decay on your teeth either in the fissures or on the smooth surfaces and it is associated with discomfort and / or sensitivity to hot and cold and / or frank pain, it is likely that you have tooth decay. Your dentist will evaluate you comprehensively and based on his clinical and radiographic findings he will do the needful. Allow your dentist to decide.
Why do I need Root Canal Treatment?
Without treatment, infection will spread, bone around the tooth will degenerate and the tooth may fall out. Pain usually increases until one is forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative now is usually extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift and weaken. Though an extraction is cheaper, an implant or a bridge to replace the tooth can be more expensive than root canal therapy. If you have a choice, it is always advisable to keep your original teeth. However, there are limitations, and the times a root canal therapy might not be possible. Allow your dentist to decide.
Do children require Root Canal Therapy?
Yes, Very often milk and permanent teeth in children may require Root Canal Therapy, though the procedure varies slightly in milk teeth.
What happens after Treatment?
After the inside of your tooth has been treated, the outside will be restored to protect your tooth’s underlying structures and give your tooth a healthy appearance. After Root Canal Therapy your tooth should function and feel like your tooth should function and feel like your other teeth. Take care of your treated tooth the same way you would your other teeth. Brush and floss regularly. It is advisable to visit your Dentist regularly for preventive check-ups. Your Dentist is trained to see hidden problems that you cannot.
What is Periodental Disease?
The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth” Health gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. Where the gum line meets the tooth, it forms a slight v-shaped crevice called a sulcus. In healthy teeth, this space is usually three millimeters or less.
Periodontal diseases are infections that affect the tissues and bone that support teeth. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket that is greater than three millimeters. Generally, the more servere the disease, the greater the pocket depth and bone loss. The enlarged pockets allow harmful bacteria to grow and make it difficult to practice effective oral hygiene. Left untreated, periodontal diseases may eventually lead to tooth loss.
How would I know if I had periodontal diseases?
Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal diseases without noticeable symptoms. That is why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Several warning signs can signal a problem. While periodontal disease may begin slowly for some patients. Others may develop a rapidly slowly for some patients, others may develop a rapidly progressive form of the disease. If you notice any of the following. See you dentist :
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, or tender gums.
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
- Persistent bad breath.
- Pus between the teeth and gums.
- Looser or separating teeth.
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
- A change in the fit of partial dentures.
How do we check for periodontal diseases?
During your dental checkup, the dentist examines your gums. This is called a periodontal examination. A periodontal probe is gently used to measure the depth of the sulcus surrounding each tooth. The depth of the healthy sulcus is usually three millimeters or less. The periodontal probe can indicate whether you have developed any pockets and the depth of those pockets. Generally, the more severe the disease, the deeper the pocket.
Dental X-rays also may be taken to evaluate the amount of bone supporting the teeth and to detect other problems not visible during the clinical examination. If periodontal disease is diagnosed, the dentist may provide treatment or may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal diseases.
What is Periodontal Surgery?
When the sulcus develops deep pockets, it is difficult to completely remove plaque and tartar even with thorough daily oral hygiene. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planning, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce the pocket depth and make teeth easier to keep clean.
Surgery allows the dentist to access hard-to-reach areas that require the removal of tartar and plaque. The gums are sutured back into place or into a new position to make tissue snug around the tooth.
Bone surgery, including bone grafts, may be used to rebuild or reshape bone destroyed by periodontal disease. Splints, bite guards or other appliances may be used to stabilize loose teeth and to aid the regeneration of tissue during healing. If excessive gum tissue has been lost, a gum graft may be performed.
After surgery, the dentist may apply a protective dressing over teeth and gums and a special mouth-rinse may be recommended or prescribed. An antibiotic and mild pain reliever also may be prescribed.
How do we prevent periodontal diseases?
Once your periodontal treatment is completed, your dentist will want to see you at regular intervals. In some cases, your appointments may alternate between your general dentist and a periodontist. Your dentist may recommend more frequent checkups. Daily cleaning helps keep the plaque under control and reduces tartar formation, but it won’t completely prevent it. Have your teeth cleaned regularly at the dental office to reduce plaque and remove calculus from places your toothbrush and floss may have missed.
If you use tobacco, ask your dentist or physician for information about how to successfully stop the habit. Tobacco contains chemicals that can slow the healing process and make the treatment results less predictable.
Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or from recurring. It just takes a few minutes twice a day to care for your teeth and gums.
When should I start caring for my child's teeth?
Good dental health is established early in life. Oral care should begin soon after the baby’s birth. Gums should be cleaned after each feeding. You can begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they appear, using a super soft toothbrush.
When should I take my child to see the dentist?
Ideally, your child’s first dental visit should be by the first birthday. Your dentist will check for decay and other problems, teach you how to clean your child’s teeth and identify your child’s fluoride needs. By starting dental visits early, you’ll help your child build a lifetime of good dental habits.
Is teething painful, can babies get cavities?
Yes, when babies are teething they often have sore and tender gums. The pain usually can be soothed by gently rubbing the baby’s gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze. Teething does not cause fever or diarrhea. If your child has an elevated temperature, it needs to be addressed as a separate medical concern.
Yes, even though they will eventually fall out, milk teeth can get cavities and may need to be treated. As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. One serious form of decay among young children is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. Babies shouldn’t fall asleep with bottles in their mouths-the sugar in juices or milk formulas can cause tooth decay, leading to cavities, dental discomfort, and even tooth loss. Plain water is usually best.
When should thumb sucking stop?
Sucking is a natural behavior for babies. Many infants begin sucking their thumbs or using pacifiers within three months of birth. Neither habit generally poses a dental problem if it is discontinued before the child’s first permanent teeth erupt.
How can the Dentist protect your child's teeth?
As a child’s permanent teeth erupt, the Dentist can prevent cavities from forming with the help of sealants and fluoride treatment. Sealants are a safe, painless and low-cost way to help protect your child’s teeth from decay. The sealant is bonded to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars, and thus prevents these teeth from decay. Fluoride application is a single sitting procedure done once every six months to make the tooth structure stronger and prevents cavities.
What is Orthodontics?
The process of straightening teeth, is called Orthodontics. It may be loosely defined as the science of moving teeth, straightening irregular, crowded or improperly placed teeth. Dentists who are specially qualified in this area of expertise are referred to as Orthodontistis.
Who require orthodontic treatment?
Anyone with malaligned or irregular teeth, buck teeth, crowded teeth, overlapping teeth, rabbit teeth or ones with gaps in between may require orthodontic treatment.
Why do teeth become irregular?
There are numerous reasons for malaligned or irregular teeth. These are briefly :
- Small Jaw.
- Bad lip and tongue habits.
- Other habits like breathing through the mouth, nail biting.
- Incompetent lips.
- Injury / accidents.
What does treatment involve?
This is done commonly by fixing braces to teeth and straightening them out.
Is the treatment very painful?
The treatment is certainly not painless, but the pain is mild and lasts from 3 to 7 days after a visit to the Orthodontist. After this, there is no pain. During subsequent adjustments or wire changes, there may be mild pain.
Recent advances in Orthodontics have made treatment far more comfortable. The braces become a part of you, just like a pair of spectacles.
Can I continue to eat my favourite foods? Do I have to modify my diet?
You can continue to eat your favourite foods but they will have to be prepared specially. Your food will have to be softened, or cut into small pieces, or be well-cooked before eating. Ice cream and colas may be had as usual but corn will have to be sliced off the cob, hard fruits will need to be sliced, nuts ground and chocolate must not be eaten after refrigeration.
Foods that are best avoided are popcorn, sticky chocolates, hard nuts and fruits, hard crusts and chewing gum. These foods can break or loosen your braces making you uncomfortable and can delay treatment.
How should I clean my teeth now?
- Brushing with braces on your teeth requires a little more effort than, if you didn’t have any.
- Use a soft bristled toothbrush or an orthodontic toothbrush.
- Brush twice a day in gentle circular motions with special emphasis to dislodge food that is lodged between teeth and the braces. Use a mouthwash to rinse additionally.
- Never allow plaque or food to accumulate on the teeth and braces.
What else do I have to do during treatment?
You may have to wear small elastic bands which you change regularly. Some treatment requires a retractor or head gear, a lip bumper and other functional appliances which your orthodontist will show you how to use. Report any untoward change or damage of the braces immediately.
Does this treatment affect my performance at School / Work / Sports?
Not at all. You will only need to take reasonable care of your braces during contact sports like boxing, football, hockey, cricket etc. to prevent damage to the braces and injury to the teeth and lips.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
Missing teeth detract from your appearance and make eating and speaking more difficult. Missing teeth, if not replaced, will cause a loss of space by drifting of adjacent teeth into this space. This gives rise to food accumulation, difficulty in cleaning the teeth and hence leads to decay and tartar formation. As the pressure of chewing is not evenly distributed because of loss of tooth, it may lead to destruction of gum and bone.
What is a Bridge?
These are tooth replacements attached to adjoining natural teeth to replace missing tooth/teeth. The adjoining supporting teeth are required to be healthy and have good gum and root support.
What are Implants?
These are artificial tooth supports surgically fixed in the jaw to replace any number of missing teeth. This procedure is best for patients not comfortable with conventional dentures but have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the Implant.
What are Dentures?
A Denture is a set of removable artificial teeth that rest directly on gums.
- Partial Dentures : Are best for people having several missing teeth and whose adjacent teeth are not strong enough to support a bridge.
- Full Dentures : To replace all the teeth in the jaw, taking support from bone and gums.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Esthetics Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth; no one will ever know that you have replacements teeth. When teeth are missing, the surrounding bone begins to shrink and eventually your jawbone will recede. Dental implants can prevent deterioration of the jawbone caused by loss of teeth, and your face will retain its natural shape.
Saving Existing Teeth Dental implants do not sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a traditional bridge. More of your own teeth are left untouched, an important long-term benefit to your oral health.
What causes tooth discoloration?
Teeth can discolour due to a variety of reasons.
- The commonest discoloration is due to smoking or tobacco.
- Food and beverages such as tea, coffee, colas and red wine can be the culprit.
- Age can cause a natural darkening of teeth.
- Certain medications such as tetracycline, taken at a very young age.
- Increased exposure to fluoridated water.
- Dental infection, faulty or old fillings, and dental treatment such as root canal treatment.
What is implant dentistry?
Implant dentistry is the branch of dentistry that involves installing an artificial tooth into a patient’s jaw in order to replace or restore a missing tooth.
What factors contribute to the long term success of dental implants?
Long-term success depends on multiple factors. Firstly, success will depend on the quality and quantity of bone. The better the bone and the more available, the greater the chance of long-term success. Secondly, the experience and ability of the dental surgeon will be a factor. As with any surgical procedure, there is no substitute for the experience and individual talent of the dentist. And finally, the quality of the restoration placed on top of the implant will play a big role in long-term success. If the design of the implant crowns or overdentures are poorly constructed, and biting forces are not balanced, even the best-placed dental implant will have a compromised survival rate.
Who can place a dental implant in my mouth?
A periodontist, an oral surgeon, or an implantologist places dental implants. The periodontist and oral surgeon are teamed with a restorative dentist. They will place the implants and then the patient will be seen by a restorative dentist for completion of the crowns or overlying appliance. There will be two dentists during the course of treatment. An implantologist is trained in both dental implant surgery and restoration of the dental prosthesis. An implantologist will do both the surgery and the restoration, and there will be only one dentist during the course of treatment.
Who can restore the teeth on top of the dental implants?
A general dentist trained to restore implants, an oral implantologist, or a prosthodontist can restore teeth. It is the choice of the patient to use a â€˜one doctor approachâ€™, whereby the oral implantologist does both the surgery and the restoration, or the â€˜two doctor approachâ€™, whereby the surgery and restoration are performed by two different clinicians.
Are there any age limitations for dental implants?
No. Any person at any age can have dental implants as long as there is enough bone available in which to place the implants.
What might be some factors that would prevent me from being an implant candidate?
There are some medical factors that might prevent a person from being a good candidate for dental implants. Some of these may be uncontrolled diabetes, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, parathyroid disorders, blood disorders, rare bone disorders or bone marrow cancer. Some physical factors may include insufficient or poor quality bone, low sinuses or nerve bundles.
How often will I need to have my implants checked?
The success of your implants will depend greatly on how well you maintain them. They will need to be professionally cleaned by a hygienist and examined by your implant dentist every three to four months. This hygienist should be trained in the specific procedure of maintaining dental implants. Also, brushing and flossing daily is absolutely necessary for long-term success.
Is dental implant surgery painful?
No. An effective local anesthetic is used during the surgery so that you do not have any discomfort during the placement of the implants. The mild discomfort you might experience after surgery can be controlled with medications.
When can I return to work after implant surgery?
You can go to work the next day, unless some particular surgical circumstance arises. Your implant dentist will discuss all postoperative instructions with you.
What is oral/ maxillofacial surgery?
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of defects, injuries, and diseases involving the head, mouth, teeth, gums, jaws, and neck.
Who needs to have their wisdom teeth extracted?
Anyone who is in danger of developing impacted wisdom teeth (third molars that only partially erupt or get trapped or stuck in the jaw) should have them removed so that they do not damage adjacent molars and cause other oral problems. In addition, anyone who is getting dentures should have their wisdom teeth removed.
Do oral surgeons treat TMJ?
Yes. Oral surgeons treat TemperoMandibular Joint disorder.
What is a periodontist?
A Periodontist is a dentist who works to prevent and treat diseases of the gums and bone around the teeth. Most periodontists are also involved in the placement and maintenance of dental implants.
What causes periodontal disease?
The major cause of periodontal disease is the buildup of plaque, which results from the overgrowth of the mouth’s naturally occurring bacteria. In order to prevent the development of periodontal disease, an individual needs to maintain sound hygiene practices by brushing his / her teeth and flossing daily.
What are dentures?
Dentures are a partial or complete set of artificial teeth used to occupy the upper or lower jaw, usually attached to a plate. Simply put, dentures are a set of false teeth.
Who needs dentures?
If you have lost most or all of your teeth, you are a perfect candidate for complete dentures. If you still have some natural teeth remaining, a partial denture is recommended to help improve chewing ability, speech, and support for facial muscles.