Q: I wore braces as a teen, but now I’ve developed gaps between my top teeth. Why and is there a no-braces solution?
A: It’s quite normal for teeth to shift throughout life, so this is quite a common problem. The good news is that you don’t need to wear braces to fix it, a cosmetic dentist can bond thin, long-lasting porcelain veneers on top of teth to cover gaps and even overlapping.
For a least urgent and costly solution, Invisalign braces are the way to go, where custom-molded plastic trays that snap over your teeth and guide the into place. Invisalign is discreet and your smile will look less crooked with the first few weeks of treatment. The procedure can take up to two years to completely straighten your teeth.
Q: My front teeth are very yellow. What’s the best way to brighten them fast?
A: Over-the-counter whitening toothpaste are a relatively inexpensive way to brighten and lighten the color of teeth by about one shade. If you require now than that, powerful at-home of professional tooth-whitening treatments can help. They remove stains on the tooth surface as well as deeper discoloration because they contain high concentration of bleaching substances like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.
Q: Why do my gums bleed when I brush?
A: Bleeding gums are the first signs of gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, which happens when there’s an overgrowth of plaque, the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that’s always forming on teeth. When plaque isn’t removed properly, bacteria can irritate the gums, causing inflammation.
Gingivitis can be treated in nearly all cases by simply removing the plaque and keeping it off with better oral hygiene. We also recommend you start scheduling an appointment for an in-office tooth cleaning to remove hardened plaque (tartar). Once tartar is scraped away, gingivitis should disappear within a week or two.
Q: I have bad breath. How can I make it fresher?
A: Bad breath (halitosis) is almost caused by an excess of sulfuric gas that’s produced by bacteria on the back of the tongue. To improve your breath, you need to remove the layer of mucus that layers the back of the tongue, which will expose the bacteria to oxygen, killing and removing many of them instantly.
Use a tongue scraper to dislodge this coating of bacteria. Also ask your dentist about mouthwashes containing zinc compounds that neutralize bacteria. Your bad breath could be attributed gastrointestinal, sinus or sleep apnea if brushing, flossing, scraping and mouthwash does not improve your breath.
Q: Why do I get a shooting pain in my teeth when I eat or drink something hot or cold?
A: Exposed dentin is the most common cause for tooth sensitivity. Dentin is harden tissue located beneath the tooth’s protective coating of enamel. It contains thousands of tiny channels that transmit hot & cold sensations to the pulp, which is the nerve center of the tooth.
Tooth sensitivity is often caused by brushing your teeth too hard or using hard-bristled toothbrushes that wears down enamel. So easing up on the pressure and switching to a softer toothbrush should help if you have sensitive teeth. Also buy desensitizing toothpastes, which reduces pain by shielding the nerves under the gum line.
See your dentist if pain persists or the jolting sensations lasts more a minute. You could have a deep cavity, a dying nerve or a broken tooth. You may require treatment like a fluoride varnish or a dentin sealer to relieve your sensitivity.