At United Dental Group, we want our patients to feel as prepared as possible for their dental treatments. To help you learn more about what different procedures entail and how we work to maintain your safety, we invite you to read through our online library. If you have any questions about the material below, and if you would like to set up your appointment with our periodontist or dentist in Burlingame, California, we welcome you to contact us today. Dr. Michael S. Tseng and our team are here to care for you!
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends that all individuals visit their general dentist at least once every six months. This is to ensure that patients maintain an optimal level of oral health. General dentistry includes an array of services, including dental crowns, dental bridges, dentures, dental fillings, periodontal care, and even some orthodontics. These are services that can be utilized to meet the needs of every patient.
To fully care for the enamel and structure of your teeth, and to efficiently prevent decay, our dentist may recommend fluoride treatments. These treatments result in an increase of fluoridated public water and fluoride toothpastes. Be aware that swallowing excessive amounts of fluoride toothpaste is not recommended. We also want parents to know that their child may develop a condition called enamel fluorosis if he or she receives too much fluoride during the years of tooth development, which can result in defects of the tooth enamel. At United Dental Group, however, our dentist will help you know when you have enough fluoride and when you could benefit from a fluoride treatment.
As a patient, you have the most control over your daily dental hygiene habits. If you maintain proper dental care for your teeth, you can prevent new cavities from forming, preserve any dental restorations, and maintain optimal periodontal health. Here are a few suggestions for daily dental habits:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, especially at night, in a circular motion with the tip of the toothbrush aimed towards the gum
- Floss daily; be sure to floss in a “u” shape around each tooth
- Refrain from smoking and excessive consumption of sugary foods
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Try to use antiseptic and fluoride mouthwash
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and other organizations of the U.S. Public Health Service continue to analyze the safety risks of amalgam, or silver, fillings. However, there is no valid scientific evidence that shows amalgam fillings cause harm to patients, except in cases of those with allergic reactions. If you are concerned about the safety of these silver restorations, there are also composite (tooth-colored) fillings available.
Medication and Heart Disease
It is common for many Americans to receive medication or prescription drugs to treat health issues; however, certain medication can interfere with the quality of your dental health care. It is important for our dentist to know any medications you are taking in order to find the safest, most suitable, and most applicable treatments for your oral health.
Medications can also lead to some oral health problems, including dry mouth, gingival hyperplasia, a disrupted sense of taste, oral lesions, abnormal bleeding, tooth discoloration, and jaw clenching/teeth grinding. The development and feeding of oral bacteria strains can cause periodontal disease to become worse, and the excess bacteria or plaque can attach to the coronary arteries, potentially contributing to the formation of blood clots and the narrowing of the coronary arteries. The American Academy of Periodontology suggests that patients whose bodies react to periodontal bacteria have an increased risk of developing heart disease.
Products made with synthetic latex materials do not contain the same proteins as natural rubber latex. As a potential risk for allergic reactions in some patients, we recommend seeing your doctor if you are experiencing the following symptoms of a latex allergy:
- Skin reactions like itching, redness, rash or hives
- Itchy nose, throat, or eyes
- Difficulty breathing, including a runny nose, sneezing, coughing or wheezing
Please be sure to inform our dentist if you suspect you have even the slightest allergy to latex products so we can provide the safest care possible
Age and Oral Health
As you age, your oral health can be compromised or challenged by many different health aspects. As a preventive action, we recommend maintaining your oral hygiene habits and seeing your dentist for regular checkups. You may also have developed comorbid conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, mellitus) and physiologic changes that are identified with aging. We welcome you to ask our dentist about how these conditions can affect your oral health. It is also important to be aware of how any mediations could affect your oral health, and some medications may determine which dental treatments are best for you. We encourage you to talk to your dentists about concerns you may have regarding your dentition and age.
Tobacco and Oral Piercings
Please be aware that as popular as piercings are for self-expression, they can also be dangerous to your oral health. The mouth contains millions of bacteria, oral piercings can often cause infection or swelling to occur. Additionally, the type of metal used in the piercing itself may cause an allergic reaction. A tongue piercing could also cause nerve damage, as well as severe swelling that could cause the airway to become blocked. Other piercings in the lip, cheek, or uvula can damage gums, teeth, and fillings if bitten or played with.
Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers, and they often require root canal treatment more than non-smokers. Smoking increases the risk of oral sensitivity, cavities, and gum recession. In as little as three to four months, smokeless tobacco use can cause periodontal disease and produce lesions called leukoplakia. Tobacco also reduces the body’s ability to fight infection, including infections in the mouth and gums. Smoking even limits the growth of blood vessels, which slows the healing of gum tissue after oral surgery or injury. Overall, we hope you have become aware of the severe health risks caused by tobacco.