Do I have to floss? Yes! Flossing removes the bacterial plaque which accumulates between your teeth. Brushing alone cannot remove this. Over time this un-cleaned bacteria can cause decay between your teeth. What if I have a cracked tooth? There are many different types of cracked teeth. Cracked teeth show a variety of symptoms, including erratic pain when chewing, possibly with release of biting pressure, or pain when your tooth is exposed to temperature extremes. In many cases, the pain may come and go, and your dentist may have difficulty locating which tooth is causing the discomfort. If you are experiencing these dental symptoms or suspect a cracked tooth, it’s important to seek treatment quickly, before the problem gets worse. Once treated, most cracked teeth continue to function and provide years of comfortable chewing. Why do my gums bleed? Your gums bleed as a result of inflammation caused by the presence of bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria when not properly cleaned off your teeth will result in an irritation of the gum tissue. This irritation called gingivitis, will result in red, puffy and bleeding gums. Gone untreated, it can progress into periodontal disease. Why are my teeth sensitive to cold? Cold sensitivity can be due a number of reasons. Some people are just generally more sensitive to temperature changes. Other causes may be due to recession of the gum tissue, abrasions of the teeth, large metal restorations or decay. Treatments for this condition can include fillings, fluoride applications or the use of desensitizing toothpastes. What causes bad breath? Bad breath or halitosis, can be caused by many things. The most common cause is the presence of bacteria in your mouth and on your tongue. These bacteria produce odorous compounds. In some cases, the cause of bad breath can be from gastrointestinal origin. What causes tooth decay? Tooth decay is caused by bacteria (plaque) in your mouth which react with sugary and starchy deposits from food you eat. This reaction produces acid which damages the enamel over time and weakens the tooth. What can be done for ulcers or canker sores in the mouth? Ulcers are very difficult to treat. There is no proven technique that will eliminate ulcers. They can occur as a result of trauma or due to a viral source. Depending on their cause there are specific medications that can shorten their duration. Left alone, ulcers will generally diminish and disappear in two weeks. Do over-the-counter bleaching products work? There is some evidence that over-the-counter bleaching products do whiten teeth, however these products are not used under the supervision of your dentist. There may be potential problems which may need attention prior to whitening in this way. Also, the trays usually sold with these products do not fit as well as those that are custom made by your dentist. As a result, damage to your gums and teeth is possible. Will a whitening toothpaste really whiten my teeth? Not entirely. Whitening toothpastes will reverse the effects of some surface stains, but not change the shade of the teeth themselves. The change is usually minimal. When I cannot brush my teeth, is there anything that I can do to slow down acid production? Rinse your mouth with water after a meal or snack to neutralize acid and reduce bacteria by 30%. Also chewing gum containing Xylotol has been shown to decrease the incidence of decay.
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