Ask The Dentist – August 2022 – Part 1

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Written and Medically Reviewed by

Medically Reviewed

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. Dr. Daniel Cho strives to provide unbiased and honest feedback regarding dental topics. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Can I Get A Bridge?

Depending on the health of the teeth adjacent to the gap, it may be possible to do a bridge. There are some areas where a bridge may not be a good idea such as replacing the very back tooth. This is because the bridge then becomes a cantilever bridge. Imagine someone trying to cross a gap on a wooden plank. If that plank is unsupported on one end, when someone tries to stand on the unsupported end, it will break. Additionally, bridges require placing crowns on the teeth in order to support the floating tooth. If those adjacent teeth don’t already have or need crowns, the teeth must be shaved down in order to complete the bridge. There are many factors that will influence if a bridge is the right option. However in many instances an implant is a better long term solution to missing teeth.

Why Do My Teeth Get Stained So Much?

Stained teeth most often refer to surface stains. Surface stains are primarily due to a handful of things, with diet playing a big factor. Staining foods such as berries, some spices, wine, and smoking will stain teeth over time. Additionally the staining can be more intense if the teeth are not adequately cleaned. This is because the debris on the teeth can also be stained. Lastly, if there is recession, that can also get stained more easily than the smooth enamel.

Why Do We Only Have 2 Sets Of Teeth?

That is a great question that I don’t know we’ll ever have the true answer to. We do know that baby teeth are designed to ideally make enough room for the adult teeth to come in appropriately. I will often joke that I wish humans had more than 2 sets of teeth though since the permanent set of teeth erupt at a time when we may not be mentally mature enough to understand the importance of proper oral hygiene. I have heard very frequently from patients that they regret not taking care of their teeth when they were younger. It would be nice if we got a 3rd set, but I’ve yet to hear of anyone who has 3 sets of teeth.

Why Are My Teeth Loose?

By and far the most common reason for teeth to become loose is due to periodontal disease. Over time, active periodontal disease causes bone loss. With enough time (often years to decades), the amount of bone that supports the tooth becomes less and less to the point where the tooth becomes wiggly and will eventually actually fall out if left untreated. It is the same as a fence post that’s buried 1 foot in the ground that will be looser than one buried 10 feet in the ground. Other reasons can be due to active endodontic infection or acute trauma. Luckily treating an endodontic lesion with a root canal (LINK) will typically resolve any looseness. Depending on the severity of the trauma, the tincture of time will eventually fix a loose tooth.

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