Commonly Asked Questions: Megan, Your Caring and Gentle Hygienist Megan Answers

Why do we not place amalgam fillings? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

We do not place the silver material or mercury type fillings because the filling material expands and contracts at a different rate than our natural tooth does, causing cracking of teeth or breakdown around the margin where the filling meets the tooth. Instead, we place tooth-colored fillings because they are a kinder material to the tooth and bonds to the tooth instead of acting as a wedge in the tooth like the silver, mercury type fillings do.

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Can I get a recurrent decay/ cavity under fillings? Our Hygienist Megan answers.

When a filling starts to breakdown, it allows bacteria to start forming underneath the filling. Instead of the bacteria going through the enamel part of our tooth, it is already into the inside layer of our tooth, which is a softer layer. Thus, allowing the cavity to get bigger and move at a quicker rate to the nerve of our tooth.

Why Do I need to protect 6-year-old molars with crowns? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Our 6-year-old molar is the biggest chewing tooth in our mouth. Over time, when a large filling is placed, or multiple fillings are placed and start to breakdown, it puts the tooth at risk of fracturing.  When this happens, it is a great idea to place a crown on the tooth to protect the tooth from fracturing.

What is a cracked tooth syndrome?  Hygienist Megan answers…

When a tooth is cracked, depending on how deep the crack is inside the tooth, it may need a root canal and crown, or if the sensitivity does not go away, the tooth may need extracted.

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Can brushing your teeth too hard lead to receding gums, sensitivity, and decay? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

When a person brushes too hard, the gums can start receding or pulling away from the tooth.  When this happens, the root of the tooth is exposed and can be sensitive.  It can be sensitive because no gum tissue or enamel covering the root of our tooth, and hot/cold sensitivity can be experienced.  The root of our tooth is softer than the hard enamel and can be at a higher risk of developing a cavity.

What happens when I grind and clench my teeth? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Many people grind/clench their teeth at night and don’t even know it.  Some people catch themselves clenching during the day.  When the enamel of the tooth starts wearing away from grinding/clenching, it can put our teeth at risk of cracking or chipping and can cause sensitivity to the teeth or our jaw. Wearing a nightguard can help prevent the wear of our enamel and give us a cushion, which can help relieve jaw discomfort.

Can Grinding lead to recurrent decay/ cavities? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

When a person grinds their teeth and has fillings, the fillings can start breaking down or can even crack, which can cause bacteria to get underneath the filling, creating a cavity.

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What is a supra-eruption? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Teeth like to touch not only side to side but top to bottom as well.  When a tooth is missing either on the upper or lower and is not replaced, the opposing tooth can keep growing downward or upward, wherever its location is. If the tooth is not replaced, tooth loss can occur, and sensitivity can also happen because the root of the tooth will be exposed.  It is essential to have the tooth replaced so this does not occur.

Can chewing ice lead to failing fillings/recurrent decay? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Chewing ice can put teeth at risk of fracturing, especially when a filling has recurrent decay or is breaking down.  When a cavity forms underneath a filling, it can make the filling weak and put the tooth more at risk of breaking, especially if the patient is an ice chewer.

Is it important to wear a  Night Guard? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Grinding is prevalent, and most people do not even know they are grinding at night.  It can cause wear on our teeth, and over time make teeth appear “short.” Wearing a night guard can help prevent wear on our teeth and protect our teeth from fracturing.

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E-cigs better than chewing tobacco? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Chewing tobacco can cause the tissue in our mouths to change and can cause the cells to change as well, leading to cancer in the mouth.  Even though e-cigs are becoming more and more popular, it is always good to try and quit altogether because e-cigs can still contain nicotine.

Can Chemotherapy/radiation/medication lead to cavities? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

People who experience dry mouth are more prone to developing cavities because they do not produce enough saliva to act as a barrier against the bacteria in our mouths.  People going through chemotherapy, radiation, and on certain medications are more at risk for dry mouth.

Can probiotics prevent cavities? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Our mouths are the gateway to the overall health of our bodies. By taking probiotics, allows the good bacteria we have in our bodies to overtake the harmful bacteria leading to better oral health.

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Is pop as bad as energy and sports drinks for your teeth? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Drinks such as pop, energy drinks, and sports drinks can increase the risk of cavities not only because of the amount of sugar in them but also because of the acid in them.  Every time you take a drink, it causes an acid attack on our teeth, which softens our enamel, leading to cavities.

What is a Halitosis? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is very common and can be caused by bacteria on the tongue, back of the throat, in the tonsil area, or underneath the gum tissue.  Seeing your dentist regularly and having a cleaning regularly can help prevent this.

What is the most effective treatment for cold sores? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Excellent treatment for a cold sore is applying ice on the sore, using hydrogen peroxide, or an ointment such as Abreva.

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What is a  Geographic tongue? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Geographic tongue looks like a “map” on the tongue, having different variations of patches on the tongue.  Geographic tongue can be sensitive, so make sure to tell the patient to be taking their daily vitamins to prevent soreness.

What are the most common places for Oral cancer? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Common places for oral cancer are on the sides of the tongue, the roof of the mouth, or in the throat. Early detection is key, and by performing an oral cancer screen at every dental check-up, cancer can hopefully be caught early on and treated. Methods used to check for oral cancer are by feeling around the tissue, looking for lumps or bumps, clinically looking in the mouth, and looking at the throat.

What is an excellent treatment option for TMJ? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

TMJ can be hard to treat, but the discomfort can be managed by wearing a nightguard, using a heating pad, and by not chewing hard foods or gum.

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Can Mouth Breathing lead to tooth decay? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

People who are mouth breathers are at a higher risk of cavities because their mouths get very dry when they are sleeping or even during the day, which means there is less saliva produced acting as a barrier.  The bacteria can now adhere to the teeth better and cause a cavity.

Can Allergies lead to bleeding gums? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Allergies, seasonal, can cause stuffy noses, which can lead to mouth breathing.  This can lead to sore gums and sometimes can cause bleeding. By making sure to be taking vitamins can help a person stay healthy.

How to diagnose sleep apnea? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Sleep apnea can be very dangerous and sometimes even life-threatening.  Asking a patient if they ever find themselves snoring or choking while they are sleeping, those can be typical signs of a person with sleep apnea.

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What is Oil Pulling? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

Oil Pulling is swishing with coconut oil for 5-15 minutes can help remove toxins from our bodies promoting not only oral health but overall health as well.

What treatment is excellent for sensitive teeth? Our Hygienist Megan answers…

People can experience sensitive teeth for numerous reasons. Placing fluoride varnish in those areas or having the patient use toothpaste formulated for sensitivity can be an excellent treatment for them to use at home if there is no other extensive treatment needed.

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