Dental FAQs For Columbia
Q) How do I know when it is time to come in for a checkup?
A) We recommend that patients with good oral health schedule a checkup and hygiene visit twice each year. If you need more frequent visits, we'll let you know. Checkups are important because, even if you don't notice any pain or problems with your teeth, we may find signs of potential problems. For instance, demineralization is a precursor to decay, oral cancer often goes undetected until the later stages, and gum disease can be very stealthy. At your hygiene appointment, we'll clean plaque, tartar, and hardened food particles from your teeth. We'll also make sure your gums are healthy and strong.
Q) My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
A) Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem. When gums bleed, the cause usually stems from the patient brushing too hard or from early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. We can consult with you on the proper toothbrush and pressure for safe, effective daily oral care. If your gums show signs of gum disease, we may recommend a deep hygiene treatment to stop the disease and return your gums to good health. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and it has been linked to many overall health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and respiratory problems. Untreated, gum disease can escalate to create significant damage to your health, so call for an assessment now. We will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life!
Q) Do I have to floss every day? Is it really that important?
A) Yes! Floss loosens food particles, plaque, and tartar trapped between teeth. In addition to irritating gums, causing gum disease, and promoting cavities, these three culprits cause bad breath. If you need help learning how to floss quickly and effectively, our hygienist will gladly teach you some tricks to make your daily oral care easier.
Q) What happens if missing teeth are not replaced?
A) Missing teeth can lead to a host of other problems, including additional tooth loss. Research shows that if a missing tooth is not replaced, up to 20% of adjacent teeth will fall out in the next 4 to 8 years. Missing teeth also cause remaining teeth to shift, causing spaces between teeth, food impaction, bite collapse, chewing alteration, and TMJ pain. You’re also more susceptible to gum disease, a serious health condition that can significantly shorten your life span.