Ask the Dental ExpertsOur philosophy is to help our patients achieve and maintain exceptional dental health. We work hard to make sure that our level of care is deserving of our patients’ respect and confidence. Our tradition of preventive dentistry is the basis for all service and care in our practice. We welcome all questions and comments regarding dentistry in the hope that we increase your dental "IQ" and help you make better dental health decisions.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Q: For the past week or so I've noticed my gums are bleeding quite badly during the night (whether I'm wearing my retainers or not). I only visited the dentist last month and everything was fine. Any ideas?
A: The first thing that I would recommend is to make an appointment to see your dentist. Explain the situation to them. There could be a many things that could be causing your gums to bleed. Many systemic diseases can cause bleeding gums. The dentist may refer you to a physician for a check up and physical. It is important that you see your dentist as soon as possible, especially since you just saw them last month and everything was fine. After explaining all of this it may be due to a lack of proper oral hygiene and your dentist can help you out with that. Please do not hesitate to call our offices at 888.790.0309 with any further questions.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
One of my front teeth is longer than the other. Is there anything I can do about it?
Yes, there are several ways to handle this problem. If it is a small discrepancy then all a dentist has to do is to shorten the tooth that is longer to give you an even smile. If one tooth is much longer than the other, then orthodontic treatment, such as applying a veneer, is a great option. The teeth can be moved into a position that matches the other tooth. Any of these options will help to give you an even and beautiful smile, depending of course on your particular situation. Should you have any firsther questions, please do not hesitate to call our offices at 888.790.0309.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Crooked Baby Teeth
My two year old's tooth is coming in sideways. A friend of mine said that this is normal and that it will probably straighten out on its own. Should I have it checked out?
Usually the first baby teeth to come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. They begin to appear when your child is about 6 to 8 months old.
The 4 upper front teeth usually follow. The remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically, usually in pairs on each side of the jaw, until the child is about 2 1/2 years old. By the time your child is 2 ½ years old, all 20 baby teeth will most likely have come in.
Do not worry if some teeth are a few months early or late. Every child is different.
There are many variations that are normal, but there are also some problems such as missing teeth, extra teeth, or teeth that are erupting out of position that can occur. We would definitely suggest that you have your child see a dentist soon. Please call our offices at 888.790.0309.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Discoloration after Root Canal
Q: I had a root canal treatment done to one of my front teeth about 20 years ago. The dentist placed a bleaching tablet inside the tooth and covered it with a temporary filling. After a week, some of the tooth's colour was restored. My other front tooth is now discoloured and my dentist says it's also dead but healthy. Is it still possible to get this tooth bleached, as it is a lot cheaper than a veneer?
A: Yes, it is possible to bleach this tooth. In this case the tooth will have to be bleached on the outside instead of doing it from the inside, as it was on your other front tooth. Both of these processes are difficult to control and the outcome can be unpredictable. I am of the opinion that you've got nothing to lose. Try bleaching the tooth and see what the outcome is. If there is a big color discrepancy then you can crown or veneer both teeth. A competent dentist and lab can do a wonderful job matching the teeth and giving you a beautiful smile. To set up a consultation at our offices, please call 888.790.0309.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Q: My front teeth have recently become very sensitive to hot and cold. I can't think of what could be the reason for this new sensitivity. Any ideas?
A: Sensitive anterior (front) teeth can be caused by several different factors:
1) You may have developed a cavity and may need a dental filling.
2) You may have an old filling with recurrent decay that is close to your nerve which is causing sensitivity to hot and cold. This may mean that you need to have a root canal.
3) You may have tiny fractures in your teeth which have become larger and are closer to your nerve. This is sometimes called Cracked Tooth Syndrome.
4) You may have abfractions which you have developed over the years. Abfractions are ditched out areas of the enamel of the tooth along the gum line.
Please call us at 888.790.0309 if you need any further information.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Q: I am considering getting braces, however I have heard of "lingual orthodontics" where the braces are on the inside of the teeth as opposed to the outside. Would you recommend this procedure for adults?
A: It is nice to hear that as an adult, you are considering orthodontics. Lingual braces is just one of the many ways to do orthodontics; however, I have heard that it can be a little rough on your tongue. I feel that Invisalign has taken over the market of lingual braces. It is a much easier process and you do not have to have brackets on your teeth. Please call us at 888.790.0309 if you have any further questions or to set up a consultation to determine what would be best for you.
Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell, and Dr. Elizabeth O'Sullivan Winslow
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Loose Teeth in Children
Q: My six year old has got his two bottom front permanent teeth since November without any problems. This evening he complained that the bottom left tooth is loose. Is this normal?
A: Children begin to lose their deciduous (baby) teeth between the ages of approximately 4 and 7 years of age. This process goes on for about 6 years, until the 12 year molars arrive. Later, the wisdom teeth arrive at approximately 20 years of age. The age of the child can vary a lot in this process, but the SEQUENCE of tooth loss is usually consistent. Your 6-year old may have some classmates who have lost several teeth and others who have not yet lost any...all normal.
One thing that we look for when your child comes for dental hygiene appointments is whether they are on schedule for their normal deciduous tooth loss and permanent tooth eruption. Your dentist will point this out at the next hygiene appointment.
The two lower front teeth are usually the first deciduous teeth to be lost, and the first sign of changes coming soon is the looseness he is sensing right now. If you will look at the other front tooth, you will probably find that it is also beginning to loosen (teeth are usually lost in pairs, one left and one right).
This normal loosening of your child's teeth will soon be followed by the loss of those teeth and that will be followed by the eruption of the permanent teeth in those positions.
Should you wish to start your child on a dental visit regimen, please contact out offices directly at 888.790.0309.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Q: I went to the dentist yesterday for a filling, and he numbed my gum, however the day after I developed an ulcer on my tongue. I never get ulcers. Could I have caught this from his equipment, if not, why did I get it?
A: The ulcer on your tongue may have occured due to trauma. This probably happened when the dentist was trying to keep your tongue away from his drill. Either the suction tip or the mirror may have caused this. Sometimes the tongue is so strong even when it is numb that the dentist has to use a lot of force to keep it away from the area that he is working in. The ulcer should go away within 10 days. If it is painful, I would suggest that you buy some Soothe and Seal by Orabase at your local pharmacy. You can buy it over-the counter. I hope this information has been helpful to you and if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at 888.790.0309.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Q: My three year old daughter grinds her teeth while sleeping. Is there
anything we can do to stop it?
A: Parents are concerned about nocturnal bruxism (grinding of teeth) in their children. There are several sleep symptoms that can occur in children of this age:
- nocturnal bruxism (tooth grinding)
- habitual snoring
- bed wetting
- restless sleeping (thrashing, hyperactivity during sleep)
- frequent ear infections (PE tubes)
Things to consider:
- airway (allergy that disrupts airway, ear infection or cold, oversized adenoids / tonsils)
- inner ear pressure (oversized adenoids / tonsils, grinding is to equalize pressure)
- psychological (stressors as a contributor)
Possible treatment options:
- most cases need no treatment - problem is usually outgrown by age 9-12
- mouth guard - might hinder growth in a young child - used in older children and adults
- pediatric ENT medical opinion about airway - some of these young children benefit from tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy. The more symptoms, the more likely your child should get an opinion from a pediatric ENT doctor.
Should you have any more questions, or to have your child fitted in our office for a mouthguard, please do not hesitate to call our offices at 888.790.0309.
Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell, and Dr. Elizabeth O'Sullivan-Winslow