1. Why should I see a dentist every six months?
It is important for patients to take their oral health and wellness seriously. The mouth is used for breathing, speaking, and eating. It is also the gateway to the rest of the body, so it is essential that it remains clean and healthy. Our dental practice can provide cleanings and examinations to maintain this, as well as identify possible issues before they become more complicated and expensive to remedy.
2. Should I see a dentist if I am pregnant?
It is a great idea for pregnant women to visit their dentist to ensure not only their own oral health but the health of the baby. Studies continue to prove that there is a link between periodontal disease and low birth-weight babies, in addition to pre-term labor and medical issues such as osteopenia, respiratory infections, diabetes, and strokes.
3. Do I need braces? Why are straight teeth important?
Straight teeth may improve the alignment of the bite which can reduce unwanted wear and tear on the natural teeth while also allowing the top and bottom jaw to line up properly. Straighter teeth also result in fewer areas where bacteria, plaque, and tartar can develop in hard-to-reach areas. During a consultation appointment, our team will be able to assess whether or not braces may be right for a patient, and may make recommendations such as traditional metal bracket and wire braces or even Invisalign aligner therapy as a discreet alternative.
4. Does getting older affect your teeth?
Both children and adults are susceptible to problems such as cavities and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease occurs more frequently in adults, however. This is because it takes time to build up plaque and tartar in the mouth and adult patients who are not taking good care of their smile may notice a gradual decline in their oral health. Adult patients who are noticing problems such as swollen gums or bleeding while brushing and flossing should schedule an appointment with their dentist as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. Additionally, patients should be proactive in their dental care by brushing and flossing daily while maintaining regular check-ups. This is incredibly important as patients get older, because it may be difficult to keep the teeth clean and white. This is caused by faster plaque build-up that can become a great issue as we age. Some adults may also experience conditions such as clenching and grinding their teeth due to stress from their job or personal relationships. This can cause unwanted damage to the existing teeth, resulting in chips and cracks. These may lead to further issues if not addressed as soon as possible, so older patients are encouraged to see their dentist just as often as their more youthful counterparts.
5. Do you provide oral cancer screenings?
Yes, Dr. Sameet Koppikar provides oral cancer screenings for all his patients, including those who are non-smokers. This is because oral cancer is becoming one of the fastest growing types of cancers along with skin cancer. Early diagnosis is crucial to a more successful treatment, and at each evaluation, any signs of oral cancer are examined and biopsied as necessary.
6. What causes a cavity?
A cavity is an area of tooth decay within a tooth. It is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth's surfaces that can lead to the development of bacteria. This plaque is a result of foods and drinks that are left on the enamel of the teeth and allowed to harbor bacteria that multiplies into acids that break down the tooth enamel. This is how a cavity is formed.
Thankfully, cavities can be easily addressed and prevented. Prevention includes brushing and flossing after every meal while maintaining dental appointments, and if cavities arise, they can be easily repaired with dental fillings. However, large areas of decay may become a serious problem and can result in the need for further treatments such as placement of a dental crown, root canal therapy, or even permanent extraction.
7. Why is smoking bad for your health?
Smoking, along with chewing tobacco, is a bad habit that many patients end up wanting to quit to improve their health and wellness. These habits are detrimental to one's health and have been shown to cause problems such as cancer, strokes, and heart disease. They can also contribute to the development of gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer. Additional problems experienced by smokers and those who chew tobacco also include staining and persistent bad breath. These individuals also experience slower healing after surgeries which may include root canal therapy and tooth extractions. Smokers who are serious about quitting their habits are welcome to contact Biltmore Dental Center and discuss the ways in which patients can eliminate harmful tobacco from their lives.
8. How often do I need to have dental x-rays?
The American Dental Association advised professionals in 2012 that dental x-rays should be done every 6-36 months. This is encouraged because it allows a dentist to check for any changes in the bone or teeth that have not erupted through the gum line, or to see if there are cavities and infection underneath the gum tissue that cannot be seen during a physical examination.
9. What is periodontal disease and why is it a problem?
Periodontal disease is a condition that affects approximately 80% of American adults. This may include the first stage of gum inflammation known as gingivitis to more serious stages of periodontal disease that can cause bone and tooth loss. Additionally, gum disease not only affects oral health but it has been linked to medical issues and inflammation elsewhere in the body as the bacteria is carried through the bloodstream.
Conditions that are often linked with infections of the mouth include:
- Respiratory Infections
- Severe Osteopenia
- Pre-term and Low Birth-weight Babies