Frequently Asked Dental Questions Part 2
Dental Q & A with Dr. Martin and Dr. Taylor Part 2
Recognized as two of the nation’s top dentists, Dr. Jeff Martin and Dr. William Taylor are frequently asked dental questions. We sat down with the doctors and asked them to share some of the most common or interesting questions they’ve been asked and of course their answers!
I’m an adult but my teeth feel loose. What does that mean?
There can be multiple causes, but most often it is a sign of severe gum disease. Dr. Martin suggests the patient should see a dentist as soon as possible to get a checkup and a deep cleaning. If a tooth is very loose and not able to be restored, it may have to be removed. This should be good motivation for an adult to see a dentist immediately if any teeth feel loose.
I have dentures. Is it necessary for me to still see my dentist?
Yes, according to Dr. Taylor. Even if you have a full set of dentures, you should see a dentist at least annually for an oral cancer screening. Additionally, since dentures do not last forever and need to be replaced, your dentist needs to monitor their fit and wear.
I am undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation for cancer treatment, how can this affect my mouth?
Dry mouth is a common side effect of chemo/radiation. Dry mouth is also a condition that can significantly accelerate tooth decay. Dr. Taylor suggests getting a checkup to make sure you do not have any cavities and also to get a good professional cleaning prior to starting chemo/radiation. In addition, there are products, such as Biotene, that can help alleviate the symptoms and complications of dry mouth.
I have diabetes. Why is my dentist concerned?
Diabetics generally have more inflammation, particularly around the gum tissue, than the general population. Also, if a diabetic does get an infection, they tend not to heal as well as non diabetics. Therefore both Dr. Martin and Dr. Taylor know to treat any infection in a diabetic very quickly. They also encourage their diabetic patients to get their teeth professionally cleaned more often in order to keep inflammation down.
What is with the recent reports in the media that flossing is not really needed?
Dr. Martin stated he found the article to be misleading. “Truth is”, he said, “we treat patients every day who floss daily and many that don’t. There is absolutely no denying the empirical evidence we see–folks that floss daily have significantly better dental health than those that don’t.”
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