Frequently Asked Questions
- What causes tooth loss?
- Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Teeth are made up of minerals and tooth decay takes place when most of the tooth’s minerals have been used to break down food and a hole (cavity) has formed. Healthy, unprocessed whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains replace the natural minerals in your teeth. If processed foods are eaten regularly, the minerals in your teeth do not get replenished. While tooth decay primarily affects children and youth, periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects mostly adults. Periodontal disease is an infection that begins in the gums and affects the bone caused by the buildup of plaque. It's 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.
- Do I really need to floss?
- Yes. Flossing is important at least once a day before bed. Tooth brush bristles are too big to fit in-between your teeth and allow for food particles to remain on your teeth and cause decay between them. Most decay develops in hard to reach areas between your teeth.
- 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. If there is pain, dark areas or concern before that time, parents should schedule an appointment for their child to see the dentist.
- 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, C 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. Many patients with partial or full dentures should have annual exams due to the amount of rubbing or irritation caused by ill-fitting dentures.
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