Pediatric Dental Specialists of Atlanta

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Common Questions

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as caries, is a condition that can be prevented. Though it might not pose a threat to your life, it can significantly reduce your quality of life. Consuming foods high in starches and sugars regularly can lead to acid formation that starts to degrade your tooth enamel. Foods like candies, cookies, sodas, and fruit juices can leave residues on your teeth which, when combined with the natural bacteria in your mouth, create plaque. This plaque and food residue mix produces acids that attack the minerals in your teeth, leading to decay.

Sensitive Teeth

Teeth undergo expansion and contraction in response to temperature changes. This reaction can lead to discomfort or pain for those with sensitive teeth when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages. The wear and tear on tooth enamel, receding gums, or the development of tiny cracks in the teeth can expose the tooth’s interior, causing irritation to the nerves. Even inhaling cold air might cause discomfort for individuals with highly sensitive teeth.

Gum Disease

Periodontal, or gum disease, can lead to inflammation, loss of teeth, and damage to bone. It starts with plaque, a sticky bacterial film. Early-stage gum disease, known as gingivitis, can make gums bleed easily and appear red and swollen. As it advances to periodontitis, it might result in tooth loss or the need for extraction. Gum disease is largely preventable through regular brushing and flossing. Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can be signs of gum disease.

Kid smiling at birthday party

Gum Disease

Periodontal, or gum disease, can lead to inflammation, loss of teeth, and damage to bone. It starts with plaque, a sticky bacterial film. Early-stage gum disease, known as gingivitis, can make gums bleed easily and appear red and swollen. As it advances to periodontitis, it might result in tooth loss or the need for extraction. Gum disease is largely preventable through regular brushing and flossing. Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can be signs of gum disease.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Regular brushing and flossing are essential to avoid the accumulation of food particles, plaque, and bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to bad breath. Decomposing food particles in the mouth are a common cause of halitosis. While foods like garlic or anchovies can cause temporary bad breath, ongoing bad breath may indicate gum disease or another issue within the mouth.

Canker Sores

Canker sores, or aphthous ulcers, are recurrent small ulcers inside the mouth with a typical lifespan of one to two weeks. The healing time for these sores can be reduced with antimicrobial mouth rinses or topical treatments. They are characterized by a white or gray base and a red border.

Orthodontic Problems

Improper bite alignment, or malocclusion, can be either inherited or acquired. Factors such as missing or extra teeth, overcrowding, or misaligned jaws can lead to malocclusion. It can also be caused by accidents or habits like prolonged thumb sucking. Malocclusions require attention to prevent further dental issues.