Frequent questions

Dental plaque is a biofilm or mass of bacteria that grows on surfaces within the mouth. It is a sticky colorless deposit. It is commonly found between the teeth, on the front of teeth, behind teeth, on chewing surfaces, along or below the gum line. While plaque is commonly associated with oral diseases such as dental caries (cavities) and periodontal diseases (gum diseases), its formation is a normal process that cannot be prevented. Progression and build-up of dental plaque can give rise to tooth decay – the localized destruction of the tissues of the tooth by acid produced from the bacterial degradation of fermentable sugar – and periodontal problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis; hence it is important to disrupt the mass of bacteria and remove it daily. Removal of dental plaque can prevent the development of caries and gum diseases. Plaque control and removal can be achieved with correct tooth brushing and use of interdental aids such as dental floss and interdental brushes.

Tartar, sometimes called calculus, is plaque that has hardened on your teeth. Tartar can also form at and underneath the gumline and can irritate gum tissues. Tartar gives plaque more surface area on which to grow and a much stickier surface to adhere, which can lead to more serious conditions, such as cavities and gum disease. Not only can tartar threaten the health of your teeth and gums, it is also a cosmetic problem. Because tartar is more porous, it absorbs stains easily. So, if you are a coffee or tea drinker, or if you smoke, it is especially important to prevent tartar buildup.

Research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several other diseases. For a long time, it was thought that bacteria were the factor that linked periodontal disease to other disease in the body; however, more recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.
Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. The chewing of sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth. Increased saliva flow also carries with it more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth enamel.
Many different types of bacteria live in our mouths and build up on the teeth in a sticky film called dental plaque. When we eat and drink, these bacteria create acids, which can dissolve the protective layer beneath the retained plaque. The acid removes minerals from the enamel, which if left untreated can cause a cavity. Decay begins in the main portion of the tooth (the enamel) and as the enamel is broken down the decay can go deeper into the dentin and can eventually reach the nerve (pulp) of the tooth.
In most cases, bad breath is a result of poor dental health habits. Occasionally, it may be a sign of other health problems such as respiratory tract infections, chronic sinus infections, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems. The medical condition dry mouth (also called xerostomia) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco-based products. If you don't brush and floss teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease.
It is not necessary for you to get your wisdom teeth removed if they are correctly positioned in your mouth and do not cause any pain or dental problems. If they are impacted and/or cause crowding in your teeth, a dentist will recommend that you have them removed.
If you're missing one or more teeth, probably so! Nearly anyone in good health whose jaw has finished growing is a candidate, whether they were simply born without a tooth or lost one or more teeth due to injury, decay, gum (periodontal) disease, infection or another reason. Dental implants also are a great option for patients who don't want the drawbacks of, or can no longer wear, removable dentures. The best way to determine if you are a candidate is to see a dental implant expert. Be sure to mention if you are a smoker, any medical conditions you have, and any over-the-counter and prescription medications you take.
Dental implants are sophisticated dental devices that must be placed carefully to avoid complications or implant failure. For the best outcome potential, it is vitally important that you choose a dental implant expert that has the proper education, training, and competence in implant dentistry. Keep in mind that there is a significant difference between "dentists who do implants" and "dental implant experts." Your teeth are as unique as you are. It takes a skilled dental practitioner to provide a quality dental implant and experience.
Proven safe and effective at replacing missing teeth, contemporary dental implants have been in use for more than 30 years. Dental implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible material that is accepted by the body and serves as a strong and sturdy foundation for replacement teeth. Your natural bone locks the implant into place by fusing, or attaching itself, to the implant. This process, known as osseointegration, gives teeth replaced using implants the stability and strength to support replacement teeth, withstand daily use, and function like regular teeth. Dental implant surgery is one of the safest and most predictable procedures in dentistry when performed by a trained and experienced dental implant dentist. A dental implant is the strongest device available to support replacement teeth, and it allows your replacement teeth to feel, look and work naturally. In addition, dental implants are the only restoration method that stimulates your natural bone underneath the missing tooth.
Very rarely does a person's body reject a dental implant. The jawbone readily accepts the implant, and the few rejections that do occur are caused by rare allergies to the titanium alloy that makes up the implant. Another reason for implant failure comes from the patient's care after surgery. Without great oral hygiene, regular teeth fail and eventually fall out. A dental implant is no different. Taking care of your teeth, even the implants, prevents gum decay and structure failure in the long run.
Implants require the same care that your natural teeth need. Scheduling regular checkups, proper oral hygiene, and a nutritious diet are the best ways to ensure your dental implant lasts a lifetime. Flossing every day is also critical to keep your dental implant healthy. Most tooth decay and loss occur because patients do not properly or regularly floss, resulting in gum decay and disease.