Are you looking for a knowledgeable and trusted dentist in Lakewood to answer all of your questions about general dentistry? Luckily, the team at Lakewood Dental Group is here to help!
Dr. Mihir Patel and Dr. Shaun Sigurdson take great pride in providing comprehensive dental care that is both affordable and accessible in Dallas, TX. If you’re ready to meet our dedicated team, then schedule your appointment now by calling (214) 827-1885 or by sending us a quick message online.
Meanwhile, let our team answer some frequently asked questions about general dentistry.
What causes cavities?
According to a 2016 study, the human mouth contains approximately 600 billion (yes–billion with a b!) bacteria. But, not all of these bacteria are ‘bad.’ Many of these bacteria make up incredibly diverse microbiomes in our mouths and stomachs, which work to keep the bad bacteria at bay.
However, it’s not uncommon for bad bacteria to accumulate in our mouths (especially if we aren’t brushing and flossing properly). And, with a steady stream of nutrients from the foods we eat, these bad bacteria have a seemingly endless supply of fuel to reproduce on the surface of our teeth.
But, when these bad bacteria gather on our teeth, they begin to eat away at our thin, protective layer of tooth enamel. This leads to holes in our tooth enamel, which dental professionals refer to as cavities.
If left untreated, bacteria will bore deeper into a cavity, eventually reaching the inside of a tooth (known as the pulp). Once bacteria reach the pulp inside of our teeth, then a root canal or tooth extraction is necessary.
So, be sure to brush at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and schedule regular dental cleanings for a healthy, cavity-free smile!
What’s better–a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush?
If you ask a qualified dentist in Lakewood, then they might tell you that any toothbrush is a good toothbrush as long as you’re brushing daily. And this is true.
The act of brushing our teeth is beneficial in and of itself. However, there are some differences between manual and electric toothbrushes. For example, the vibrations from an electric toothbrush can help sweep away bacteria in tiny crevices that a manual toothbrush may not be able to reach.
But, thorough (yet gentle!) brushing with a manual toothbrush can sweep bacteria away just as well. So, really, the choice is up to you! Just be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect your tooth enamel.
I have bad breath–how can I get rid of it?
Bad breath can be an embarrassing and isolating medical condition with which to live. But, understanding the reason why you have persistent bad breath could help you fix the problem.
For some patients, bad breath may be the result of poor oral hygiene. So, fixing bad breath could be as simple as brushing, flossing, and cleaning your tongue more frequently throughout the day.
Other patients, however, may have a medical condition or medication that is contributing to their bad breath, such as:
- Acid reflux
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
These patients may need to visit their primary care physician to treat their underlying health conditions or try a new medication.
Sometimes, bad breath is the result of chronic dry mouth (also known as xerostomia). Keeping the mouth moist can help with smelly breath, but that’s much easier said than done with xerostomia. Fortunately, patients can get quick relief with over-the-counter solutions to increase their saliva (such as Biotene oral rinses).
Regardless of the cause, a skilled dentist in Lakewood (like Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel!) will be able to help you get to the bottom of chronic bad breath.
Why do my jaws and teeth feel sore when I wake up?
Jaw and tooth pain upon waking might indicate a few issues to a qualified dentist in Lakewood, including:
- Bruxism (also called tooth grinding)
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
Bruxism is the harmful and unconscious grinding of our teeth while we sleep. This behavior can put an immense amount of pressure (up to 250 pounds!) on our teeth, which can prematurely wear away our tooth enamel. A custom-made night guard can protect teeth from undue stress and prevent long-lasting dental damage.
OSA is a common sleep disorder from which nearly one billion people suffer globally. While the hallmarks of OSA are halted breathing and loud snoring, jaw and tooth pain are also common symptoms of the disorder. For some patients, a simple oral appliance is the solution to treat OSA, jaw pain, and tooth sensitivity.
Many factors can contribute to a painful TMD, including:
- Misaligned bite
Luckily, patients can get relief from achy jaws and sensitive teeth by seeking neuromuscular dental solutions, like an oral appliance for TMD.
Is it worth straightening my teeth as an adult?
Many patients believe that they are too old to straighten their teeth, but that simply isn’t true. Braces and clear aligners aren’t just for kids and teens–they’re for everybody!
Many dental professionals encourage patients to straighten their teeth while they are still young because their teeth are easier to move into proper alignment. However, this doesn’t mean that a skilled dentist in Lakewood won’t be able to straighten your teeth as an adult.
Fixing an imperfect smile as an adult might take a little longer, but it is still worthwhile. Dr. Patel and Dr. Sigurdson recommend Invisalign® clear aligners for mature patients. These clear braces shift teeth into perfect alignment without drawing negative attention to your smile.
Schedule an appointment with a dentist in Lakewood today!
If you’re ready to meet a compassionate dentist in Lakewood, then it’s time to schedule your appointment with the team at Lakewood Dental Group today. We’ll give you the quality dental care that you and your family deserve!
Have more questions to ask our knowledgeable team? Give us a call at (214) 827-1885 or send us a message online now!