Ask The Dentist – December 2023

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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.

What Are These Bumps In My Mouth?

Lumps, bumps, bruises, or otherwise odd-looking things in your mouth could be pathologic or a variance in normal anatomy. Since there are so many different things it could be, you’d definitely want to go to your dentist and get it looked at. Rest assured that, most likely, it’s not something to be worried about – as the saying goes, “common things occur commonly.” A good rule of thumb is to wait two weeks once you’ve noticed something that doesn’t look normal or hasn’t been there before. Most of the time, they will go away; however, if it isn’t gone in two weeks, call your dentist for an evaluation.

Why Don’t All Dentists Agree On Fluoride?

I believe it has to do with a combination of influential factors such as specific training and opinions from mentors and colleagues. While I am sure those aren’t the only reasons if a dentist received training that fluoride is good or bad and believes the information, they will believe it until otherwise proven. We are all subject to various types of bias, in which confirmation bias, I believe, would also be a factor in this case. It also seems to me that there are some doctors who, despite facing a mountain of evidence, have difficulty believing something that goes against what they’ve known to be true for many years. 

Why Are Most Small Dental Offices Only Open 4 Days A Week?

Many single-doctor practices are open four days a week for several reasons. One of the primary reasons is staff hours. While most of these offices are open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the staff come in before and stay after those hours and may work anywhere from 8 to 9.5 hours a day. Doing this on a Friday also means working over 40 hours a week, which many do not want to do. Additionally, most single doctor offices are owned by said doctor. Much administrative work needs to happen, which many doctors do on that day off. Lastly, being an owner/operator of a small business can be very taxing, and many doctors do not want to work more clinical days. While there are other factors, these are some of the main reasons for small offices being opened four days a week.

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth. The gums will appear red and puffy and will easily bleed. Gingivitis is not to be confused with periodontitis as the bone is unaffected with gingivitis, but there is bone loss. The inflammation occurs from bacteria that haven’t been adequately cleaned from the surface of the teeth. When allowed to sit on the teeth, the bacterial waste irritates the gums, which leads to gingivitis. Luckily, this can easily be prevented with proper oral hygiene.

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