Expectations VS Reality: 4 Dental Myths DEBUNKED!

Let’s have a little chat about myths revolving around dental health. Sometimes dental health isn’t treated with a high level of importance. Oftentimes we push it by the wayside. And then we completely forget to reschedule appointments. Hey, we’ve all been there…

Look, staying on top of your dental hygiene and health is necessary for both your mouth and the rest of your body. Believe it or not, your oral health impacts many different areas of your total well being. For example, did you know your oral health can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, blood cell disorders, and bacterial pneumonia? It can also cause complications in pregnant women. We’re not looking to alarm you, those are just the facts. So, of course, things like maintaining a healthy diet and showing up to regularly scheduled dental check-ups are ideal for keeping both your chompers and your body well.

We’ve found that as people gradually lose good brushing and flossing habits, they start to buy into these “quick-fix” myths. So, without further ado! Dental Myths Debunked:

Myth #1 If your mouth doesn’t hurt, you don’t need to go to the dentist.

If your car isn’t rattling do you skip the oil change? There is always the potential for underlying dental issues even when pain and sensitivity aren’t present. Calculus and tartar have no problem building and building with zero pain association. And before you know it – HELLO! gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease! Stick to your 6-month check-ups, which is the standard for routine dental care.

Pro Tip: if you DO have oral pain or a dental problem, call us. On the call, we’ll chat about the discomfort. Then we take into account your dental history and immediate needs. We are all about personalized care for your unique needs.

Myth #2 The harder you brush and floss, the cleaner your teeth and gums will be.

Brushing and flossing rough is NOT good, nor is it recommended… ever. Flossing roughly can create small lesions and cuts in your gums. This can cause discomfort as well as bleeding gums. Healthy gums should not bleed. The same with brushing. You can cause some serious damage including receding gums, by consistently brushing vigorously. Remember that receding gums can get you into some dangerous waters. In severe cases, it does cause tooth loss. This then leads to a whole new gamut of problems.

Pro Tip: Do floss daily, gently sliding the floss in a “C” shape up the sides of your teeth and down to your gums. Brushing your teeth twice a day is the recommended standard. Again, be intentional and gentle. Firm circular motions for 2-minutes gets the job done.

Myth #3 Chewing gum can replace brushing your teeth.

Chewing gum is a good trick for minty fresh breath. Not an acceptable replacement to brushing your teeth. End of story.

Pro Tip: chew sugar-free gum after meals to help loosen food particles until you’re able to brush.

Myth #4 Diet drinks are better for your teeth.

While the sugar content may be lower in diet drinks, they are still very acidic. Acid softens the enamel on teeth leading to demineralization and tooth sensitivity.

Consider that water has a pH level (acidity level) of 7. This is a neutral pH level and does not cause harm. Battery acid’s pH level is 0. This is the worst of the worst. Now consider that diet sodas can have a 2-3 pH level! That is a lot closer to 0 than it is to 7.

Pro Tip: It takes your body about 20 minutes to neutralize your mouth from the acid intake. Your safest bet is always water. Milk is also acceptable.

Consistent and proper dental health care is a must within your daily routine. Avoid cutting corners, and remember… you only have to care for the teeth you’d like to keep! So be diligent. Stick to a daily oral health routine. Strive to eat, healthy. And, be mindful to take immediate action if you’re having dental pain or sensitivity. Call us at 415-682-2368

Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368

Gum Disease: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

No doubt 2020 has made us change our way of life, and yet, our dental care needs remain the same. Your teeth, much like any other key part of your body, need special care. Bacteria and plaque build on and below the surface of your teeth and gums when oral hygiene is neglected. The longer it sits there increases your risk of developing gingivitis, which is the first stage of periodontitis.

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Stages of Periodontitis

Gingivitis is where plaque and other by-products irritate the gums. It makes them tender, swollen, and much more likely to bleed while brushing. Periodontitis is stage two. Here, the gum tissue starts to deteriorate, detaching from the teeth to form noticeable pockets around the roots. This leaves teeth exposed and susceptible to decay. Finally, advanced periodontitis. Tooth pockets get quite deep as the severe gum recession leads to bone loss. In turn, this causes loose teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss.

Periodontitis is also linked to heart disease. When the bacteria attached to your teeth loosen, it then seeps into your bloodstream. Eventually, it reaches your arteries. There the plaque hardens, restricting blood flow to your heart and other organs.

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Health Risks of Periodontitis

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Osteoporosis
  • Preterm babies

Common Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

  • Genetics – it’s hereditary and some of us are just unlucky! While you may be more susceptible to periodontitis, having a good oral hygiene routine helps keep your smile in a healthy state.
  • Health – underlying medical conditions like diabetes and Crohn’s disease, as well as lowered immunity from illnesses and treatments often affect gum tissue. New medications should always be discussed with your dentist.
  • Bad Habits – chewing on ice, inconsistent brushing, not flossing daily, using tobacco, and even vaping are the most common dental aggravators we encourage you to ditch.
  • Stress – hello 2020! In all seriousness, do keep an eye on exactly how much it’s weighing you down. Both high levels and chronic stress leads to poor hygiene habits. Anxiety can also lower your immune system from fighting the gingivitis causing bacteria.

While there’s no at-home cure, thankfully periodontitis is preventable. And in every case, it is treatable! Your dental treatment plan is always based 100% on your unique needs.

Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368

 

 

Journey of a Tooth

Everyone knows the basics of tooth development, they grow in, fall out, grow back and sometimes fall out again. What most people don’t know is that there is a system and it starts months before that first little friend pops through the gum line. Teeth begin to develop in the embryonic stage at about 3-6 weeks. There the soft tissue forms and creates small translucent tooth nubs. At 3-4 months hard tissue starts to develop around the tooth and thin translucent roots will start to grow down. By the time of birth, there are 20 fully developed teeth buried under the gums. In some rare cases, babies will be born with partially erupted teeth.

Baby’s teeth will start to erupt between 3-6 months, this stage is commonly called teething. Since every child develops at a different rate it’s hard to say exactly when and what teeth will come in, fall out, and come back in. However, the first tooth to come in is typically the lower central incisor (middle teeth) between 3 and 6 months; and is shortly followed by the second lower central incisor. Next is the upper central incisors and they come in at around 8 and 12 months. Then the upper lateral incisors (next to middle teeth) at 9 and 13 months. After that, the upper 4 molars come in between 13 and 25 months. Next the lower lateral incisors at around 10 and 18 months. Then the lower 4 molars that come in between 14 and 23 months. The last to come in are the upper and lower cuspids (commonly known as canine) come in at around 16 and 23 months.

Now, when the baby teeth are ready to fall out the brain sends special cells to eat away at the baby tooth root. As this is happening the adult teeth are slowly starting to push the baby teeth up and out! While your baby teeth typically fall out in the order they erupt in, adult teeth are more sporadic.

Permanent Teeth Upper:

Central Incisors: 6 to 7 years

Lateral Incisors: 8 to 9 years

Canine: 11 to 12 years

1st and 2nd Premolars: 7 to 11 years

1st and 2nd Molars:  8 to 12 years

Permanent Teeth Lower:

Central Incisors: 6 to 7 years

Lateral Incisors: 7 to 8 years

Canine: 9 to 10 years

1st and 2nd Premolars: 10 to 12 years

1st and 2nd Molars: 7 to 11 years

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Sometimes permanent teeth can grow in crooked, this can be caused by:

  • thumb sucking
  • pacifier or bottle use
  • tongue thrusting
  • mouth breathing
  • misaligned jaw
  • having a baby tooth knocked out too early

These can cause jaw alignment issues, to fix these problems braces or other teeth alignment equipment may be used.

Once your permanent teeth come in they aren’t supposed to fall out, however, some of these factors can cause you to lose adult teeth:

  • Periodontitis: Commonly known as gum disease is responsible for 70% of tooth loss. It is an infection in your gums that causes redness, irritation, deterioration of the tooth, and finally tooth loss.
  • Cavities: They form when bacteria infection sits for too long and causes tooth decay. If the decay has reached the root a root canal must be done, if that fails the tooth will need to be pulled.
  • Injury: Avoid using your teeth to remove caps, tops or lids, to loosen knots, tear off tags or cut thread, don’t use your teeth to chew ice, open nut shells or chew on popcorn kernels.

If your tooth falls out and is not cracked or broken, immediately put it in cold milk and call your dentist right away. The dentists can sometimes reinsert the tooth. Please do not attempt to put the tooth in yourself, you can cause damage to your gums. This can make it impossible for the dentist to successfully reattach the tooth to the root.

There are a few different ways to repair your smile after the loss of a tooth. Ask your dentist which option is best to replace those missing teeth.

Remember to brush twice a day and floss once to keep those pearly whites clean and healthy.

Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368