Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do my gums bleed?

    A sign of gingivitis (inflammation, red, swollen gums); caused by a build-up of plaque at your gum line. Call your dentist for a cleaning today!

  • How can I have a cavity when my tooth doesn’t hurt?

    Cavities start on the tooth’s outermost surface and not near the nerve; therefore, you will not always “feel” a cavity until it is large and touching the inner-core of the tooth. Consequently, restoring a small cavity is better than waiting for it to become large, whereby more extensive “work” may be necessary.

  • How can I have gum disease when my gums don’t hurt?

    Early stages of gum disease may appear as red, swollen, bleeding gums but are often painless.  Many symptoms will not appear until the advanced stage of the disease, called Periodontitis.

  • Why are my teeth sensitive?

    Several factors could be causing sensitivity – recession, worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots, grinding, clenching, a cavity or cracked/chipped tooth, worn fillings, etc. Therefore, it is essential to inform your dentist/hygienist to assess the various possibilities causing your discomfort.

  • Does Tartar Control Toothpaste Work?

    Yes, it will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gum line, and these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.

  • Does My Insurance Cover Teeth Cleanings?

    Most dental insurance policies include benefits that cover teeth cleanings. After all, not maintaining good oral hygiene will most likely lead to astronomical costs down the road related to more cavities, gum infections, health problems, etc. Of course, every patient’s budgetary situation is different, so we are happy to discuss yours with you. At a consultation, we present any possible costs upfront to help you navigate your insurance benefits. Our main objective is to help you have a successful oral health experience.

  • Are There Different Kinds of Teeth Cleanings?

    • Prophylaxis (a fancy word for teeth cleaning) is the only dental procedure that involves routine teeth cleaning every six months
    • Full Mouth Debridement: a pre-cleaning for those with severe calculus build-up (whereby the hygienist is unable to check the health of the gums until after the debris is removed)
    • Scaling and Root Planing: Scaling removes all the plaque and tartar from both above AND below the gum line, and then root planing smoothes out your teeth roots to help your gums to reattach to your teeth (for those showing signs of Periodontal Disease)
    • Perio Maintenance: A periodontal cleaning for those with a history of gum disease.  Prophylaxis cleans the enamel (the tooth structure above the gum line), whereas Perio Maintenance removes from the root surface as well as the enamel
  • Does Saliva or “Dry Mouth” affect my teeth?

    Consistency of a person’s saliva makes a difference: thinner saliva breaks up and washes food away quickly. When a person eats diets high in carbohydrates and sugars, they tend to have thicker saliva, which allows more of the acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities. Lack of a decrease in salivary production can raise your risk of gingivitis, tooth decay, and mouth infections. 

If you have any questions about maintaining oral hygiene at home, feel free to call us at 508-584-6070. Our team of dental specialists are here to help.