Ask The Dentist – November 2022

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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.

Why Am I Getting So Much Food Stuck Between My Teeth?

There are a handful of reasons why food is getting stuck. Assuming the food itself is not one that easily finds it’s way into cracks and crevices (e.g. popcorn), the reason has to do with spacing. Excess space allows food to get stuck due to lack of adequate blockage between teeth. A few examples are, either between the teeth themselves, under where the teeth contact, or just along the gum line between teeth. The excess space is usually due to drifting teeth, improper contouring of the anatomical crown, misalignment, or periodontal disease leading to gum and bone loss. Some causes are easier to fix than others and unfortunately there is no current predictable solution to grow gums and bones between teeth.

Is Gold A Better Material Than Porcelain?

It depends on how one classifies better. Both materials are excellent to make dental prosthesis, however each type has its own pros and cons. There are many studies that demonstrate the longevity of both materials with high survival rates over 5-15 years. Gold has a longer standing history with individual reports of crowns lasting for over 50 years. Currently that cannot be said of the very popular porcelain material called zirconia, not because zirconia is an inferior material but due to the fact that zirconia crowns were not available 50 years ago. A general rule of thumb is that if esthetics is any concern at all, then porcelain will be the superior material for you. 

Why Did I Crack My Tooth?

There are numerous reasons why teeth crack but the short answer is that teeth, like everything, wears down over time. Assuming there was no single event, such as falling down, teeth may chip or fracture due to simply using them. The millions of chewing cycles that happen wear on the structure of the tooth and may eventually crack. Things speed up this process such as large fillings, clenching, grinding, or using teeth inappropriately. This is why your dentist wants to protect your teeth and recommends using a nutcracker instead of your teeth to open nuts.

Why Did My Tooth Need A Root Canal After My Crown?

When a tooth needs a crown, it is due because the underlying is weak. If not root canaled, the tooth is missing a significant portion of the crown that is often replaced with filling materials. Every time any work is done on a tooth, it irritates the nerve and eventually the nerve gives up. When the nerve gives up, the condition is called irreversible pulpitis. During this process the nerve is inflamed and is expanding inside a rigid structure (the tooth). The nerve is essentially choking itself to death and will not recover once irritated enough. If left alone, the nerve will die and then abscess. In order to prevent this and get out of pain, root canals are occasionally done after a crown is placed.

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