Daily flossing is extremely important and valuable, but only if the correct technique is used. Here is the most common mistake we see (picture on the left). The correct way to do it is on the right! Ask any of our staff to show you how.
What happened to this poor patient’s teeth? He brushed daily, but he did not just brush his teeth: he brushed away his teeth with his hard-bristle toothbrush (why do they still sell those things?) and years of high-pressure, incorrect back and forth scrubbing technique. Instead, use a gentle circular motion with a soft-bristle brush angled 45 degrees toward the gums. Ask any of our staff to show you how.
This patient previously had nice teeth. However, she abused methamphetamine for a period of time. Illicit substances can damage your teeth permanently like this! This patient was kind enough to share her experience with us so that others may learn from it.
|Front view of resorbed root||Side view of pulled tooth||Initial X-ray||2 years later (untreated!)|
The extracted tooth on the left shows evidence of root resorption. Detecting problems like this is one reason why routine X-rays are important. Having routine X-rays could have prevented this tooth from being lost, because rotting out of the root is not always apparent except on the X-ray.
Refer to the numbered arrows for the X-rays on the right.
(1) Routine X-ray shows resorption of the tooth root here.
(2) Root resorption continued without treatment and has later caused surrounding tissue damage and bone loss.
(3) There is also periodontitis (gum disease) with bone loss caused by tartar build up.
(4) This other diseased area has also not been treated and has lost all tooth support due to severe bone loss.
Another example shows why it is important to have routine dental care and not neglect simple things like cleaning! These teeth do not have any cavities at all. The root of these teeth accumulated so much tartar and pus that has eaten away the bone supporting the tooth. A diseased tooth like this will fall out by itself over time. This could have been prevented by routine cleaning and check ups.
Dentures must also be properly maintained. This patient came in with old dentures that were chipped (including missing teeth). More importantly, there was significant mold overgrowth. Don’t let dentures get to this poor shape. Check with us to ask how dentures should be cared for correctly!