November 30, 2015
If your teeth are prone to dental decay or carries, you are likely very familiar with the process of removing and filling damaged dental enamel. You may even receive regular fluoride treatments or dental sealants as part of your twice annual dental appointments. In some cases, the solution is a change in diet or oral hygiene, but some patients are simply genetically predisposed to experience more tooth decay. There is good news. Innovation in modern dental care is making it possible from patients who struggle with decay to rebuild damaged teeth as part of their regular preventive dentistry routine. Thanks to a natural process known as remineralization, we may be able to regrow decayed teeth in the near future.
September 20, 2012
1. Bleaching damages the enamel on my teeth, right?
Not so much. A recent in vivo study (that is, study using humans) was constructed to study the effects of home and in-office bleaching inside the mouth (JADA, Vol. 143:6, pp. 580-586). The authors found no differences in the calcium and phosphorus concentrations of the teeth at any time of the study. Given that there are in vitro studies (that is, in test tubes outside of a body) that seem to demonstrate a harmful effect on mineralization, it is proposed that the buffering effect of “saliva has an important role in counteracting the effects of dental bleaching.”
2. Generic, store-bought nightguards are ok for me, right?
Probably not. “A nightguard is a good idea if you grind your teeth in your sleep, but a generic device can cause more problems than it solves” (Consumer Reports, ShopSmart, 3/2012, p. 62). A custom, dental office-provided appliance focuses on your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and its function. Generic nightguards are soft and actually are thought to promote unconscious, inadvertant grinding, with little or no focus on your TMJ and its health. A custom guard is hard and costs more than its store-bought counterpart, but the expense is worth it. “Grinding can cause dental and jaw pain and other problems.”
3. Fluoride can’t really be good for me, can it?
You bet. There are actually significant “positive benefits of fluoride and community water fluoridation” (TDA Today, Vol. 13:4, pp. 1).
Fluoride strengthens teeth and reduces dental decay. It is effective both systemically and topically.
Fluoridation of community water supplies is the single most effective public health measure to prevent dental decay. Community water fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride that occurs naturally in water to optimal levels to protect oral health.
Community water fluoridation benefits everyone, especially those without access to regular dental care. Dental decay is one of the most common childhood diseases. “Without fluoridation, there would be many more than the estimated 51 million school hours lost per year in this country because of dental-related illness.”
Call my dental office in Carrollton if we can answer any questions this blog does not answer for you.