Why Are My Teeth So Small? 5 Reasons Explained

teeth problems

If you have ever wondered, “Why are my teeth so small?” You are not alone. While the size of our teeth can vary from person to person, several factors contribute to their size and the overall appearance of our smiles.

Read on to understand some causes of smaller teeth and the solutions available to help improve them.

Genetics

One of the primary factors influencing the size of your teeth is genetics. Just like other physical attributes such as height or eye color, the size and shape of your teeth are largely determined by your genetic makeup.

If your parents or other family members have small or short teeth, there’s a good chance that you may inherit this trait as well. Genetics plays a significant role in shaping all of our dental features, including tooth size.

Malocclusion

Malocclusion refers to misalignment or incorrect positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed. This condition can sometimes result in teeth appearing smaller or larger than they actually are. For instance, overcrowding of teeth can make them appear smaller due to limited space within the jaw.

Conversely, if there’s excessive spacing between teeth, they may seem larger than average. Consulting with a dentist can help diagnose and address malocclusion issues.

malocclusion infographic

Tooth Erosion and Wear

Over time, teeth can wear down due to various factors such as aging, teeth grinding (bruxism), acidic food and drinks, or poor oral hygiene. As enamel, a protective layer on the tooth surface, wears away, the underlying dentin may become more exposed, making the teeth appear smaller.

Erosion of the tooth structure can lead to changes in tooth shape and size, as well as tooth sensitivity and discomfort. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups can help prevent excessive tooth wear and erosion.

Developmental Conditions

Certain developmental conditions or genetic disorders can affect tooth development and result in smaller-than-average teeth. For example, conditions like hypodontia (missing teeth), microdontia (abnormally small teeth), or ectodermal dysplasia (a genetic disorder affecting the teeth, hair, and nails) can influence the size and shape of teeth.

If you suspect that a developmental condition may be contributing to the size of your teeth, it’s essential to consult with a dental professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Excess Gum Tissue

gum tissue issues

In some cases, the appearance of small teeth may be attributed to excessive gum tissue covering the lower and upper teeth, a condition known as gingival hyperplasia or gingival hypertrophy. When there is an overgrowth of gum tissue, it can make the teeth appear smaller than they actually are, creating an uneven or gummy smile.

This condition can be a result of various factors, including genetics, certain medications, or poor oral hygiene. Fortunately, treatments such as gum contouring or gingivectomy are available to reshape the gum line, revealing more of the tooth surface and enhancing the appearance of the smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions

If the appearance of your teeth is affecting your confidence and self-esteem, there are cosmetic dental treatments available. Options such as dental bonding, porcelain veneers placed over your natural tooth, or crowns can help fix small teeth, restoring symmetry and balance to your smile.

A consultation with a cosmetic dentist can help determine the most suitable treatment option based on your individual needs and preferences.

Addressing Small Teeth

The size of your teeth can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, malocclusion, tooth wear, excessive gum tissue, and developmental conditions. While small teeth are a natural variation in the population, they can also be addressed through cosmetic dentistry procedures if desired.

If you are concerned about the size of your teeth or have any other dental-related questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the friendly Dr. Dalesandro team. We’re here to help you achieve a healthy, confident smile that you can proudly share with the world.

Dr. Dalesandro & Associates

At Dr. Dalesandro & Associates, we prioritize your family’s dental health and happiness, including addressing concerns about small teeth. As specialists in family dentistry, we offer comprehensive services tailored to all ages, ensuring every smile receives personalized care.

Located conveniently in Tucson, Dr. Dalesandro & Associates is committed to the well-being of your entire family, regardless of tooth size.

Begin your family’s journey toward healthier smiles with us by booking an appointment on our website.

When to Get a Cavity Filled? How Long Should You Wait?

One question that comes up time and time again is: “How long should I wait to get a cavity filled”, and to be honest – this really depends on who you ask and how big the cavity is or how much pain it is causing you. If you suspect that you may have a cavity, then it’s time to visit your dentist so that you can find out whether or not you need a filling. Tooth decay can have serious consequences for your oral health, especially if it goes untreated. If you do discover that you have tooth decay, should you have it treated right away? How long can a cavity wait to get filled? In some cases, if you catch a tooth decaying early enough, a simple fluoride solution will help to restore the enamel on the damaged part of the tooth. As a rule of thumb, however, if you are experiencing extreme pain or sensitivity you may need to have it treated through oral surgery. One thing remains the same in all scenarios, however. The longer you wait to get it treated, the more damage will occur. Also, the higher the cost will end up being. This is why it is important to get a cavity filled as soon as possible.

What is a Cavity?

A cavity is an actual hole on the surface of a tooth. In almost all cases they are the result of ongoing tooth decay from dental plaque that has continued to build upon the tooth surface. Through natural biological processes in your mouth, bacteria convert to sugar in food particles into an abrasive acid, which then leads to enamel erosion. You should get a cavity filled as soon as possible. Not doing so will increase the risk of further tooth decay.

How can I tell if I Have a Cavity?

You can tell if you have one through a visual inspection of your teeth, most of the time. In some cases, cavities are inside of the tooth or in between them, which can only be seen through an X-ray device. It’s important to mention that early tooth decay may not actually be painful. You don’t always experience the traditional sensitivity to hot and cold substances either. This reason specifically is why it is so important to get regular checkups. It’s best to have thorough exams from a dentist. Further decay, however, will begin to cause pain in your teeth or jaw when it reaches the pulp cavity of the tooth. This is where the nerve endings for your teeth exist and why you feel pain in the peripheral area. At this point, if your cavity is not addressed, it may turn into a dental abscess.

How Are Cavities Treated?

Knowing when to get a decayed tooth filled may be the difference in the treatment the dentist recommends. The longer treatment is delayed, the more invasive it may become.
  • Mild to moderate cases of cavities are most commonly treated with fillings or restorations. During this procedure, your dentist will use a drill to remove the damaged part of the tooth and then fill the surface with a restorative material. These materials vary in appearance, cost, durability, and color.
  • If the damage to the tooth is beyond moderate, it may require the use of a crown. This process involves drilling away the crown tooth that currently exists and replacing it with a covering. Like fillings, crowns can be made of different materials and vary in appearance, cost, durability, and color.
  • If the tooth has been left untreated for many months, it may require a root canal. This is the process in which the top part of the tooth is removed. The pulp inside of the pulp cavity is cleaned out. The remaining hole packed and then the tooth crowned to prevent future bacteria from entering.
  • If the tooth can not be saved due to long-term neglect, it will need to be extracted. After the tooth is extracted and has healed an implant or bridge can be used to restore the aesthetic appearance of the tooth.
Wondering how long can a cavity wait to get filled, the answer is not to much time can pass, it's best to do it right away.

How long should you wait before having your cavity treated?

Once your dentist has diagnosed you with tooth decay, the next matter to consider is when you will have it filled. Should you have your filling done right away, or can you afford to wait to fill a cavity? It is crucial that you have your tooth decay treated by your dentist as quickly as possible. The longer a cavity is allowed to progress, the more extensive the damage is likely to be. If tooth decay continues without professional treatment, it can cause an abscess and even lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, your dentist can easily treat tooth decay if it is in its early stages.

Getting your cavities filled is very important!

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of when to get a cavity filled. As outlined above, it is best practice to get it addressed as soon as you notice it to prevent future damages. At the dental offices of Dr. Dalesandro, we take great pride in addressing your dental health as quickly as possible to prevent future damages of your teeth. If you have a decaying tooth or you need an exam, please call our offices with our team of professional technicians.

Debunking Common Dental Myths: Insights from Your Family Dentist

tooth decay

In family dentistry, we often come across various misconceptions and myths that patients hold about dental health. These myths can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and, in some cases, oral health problems like tooth decay.

Today’s blog will debunk some of the most common dental myths to help you make informed decisions about your family’s oral health.

Myth #1: Sugar is the Only Culprit for Cavities

dental problems with sugar

One prevalent myth is the belief that consuming sugar is the sole cause of cavities. While it’s true that sugar plays a role in tooth decay, it’s not the only factor. Poor oral hygiene practices, infrequent dental check-ups, and the types of carbohydrates consumed also contribute to cavity formation. Maintaining a balanced diet, practicing regular oral hygiene, and attending routine dental appointments for optimal dental health is crucial.

Myth #2: You Don’t Need to Visit the Dentist if Your Teeth Look Fine

Many believe regular dental check-ups are unnecessary if their teeth appear healthy. However, dental issues often start beneath the surface, and early detection through dental x-rays or examination can be key to preventing more significant problems.

Routine dental checkups allow your family dentist to identify and address potential concerns before they escalate, saving you from more extensive treatments and potential discomfort.

Myth #3: Brushing Harder Equals Cleaner Teeth

tooth pain

Some people think that brushing their teeth vigorously will result in a cleaner, healthier mouth. However, brushing your teeth aggressively can lead to loss of tooth enamel, gum recession, and tooth sensitivity. The American Dental Association recommends brushing gently, using a soft-bristled toothbrush for at least two minutes, and paying attention to your technique. Your family dentist can guide proper brushing and good oral hygiene practices during your dental appointments.

Myth #4: Baby Teeth Aren’t Essential

Some parents believe baby teeth are not crucial since they eventually fall out. On the contrary, baby teeth serve essential functions, including facilitating proper speech development, aiding in proper nutrition through effective chewing, and guiding the eruption of permanent teeth. Neglecting the health of baby teeth can lead to issues affecting permanent teeth development, emphasizing the importance of early oral care.

Myth #5: Flossing Isn’t Necessary

Flossing is often underestimated in its importance, with many people thinking that brushing alone is sufficient for maintaining oral health. However, flossing teeth regularly reaches areas between teeth that a toothbrush cannot, preventing plaque buildup and reducing the risk of gum disease. Your family dentist can demonstrate proper flossing techniques and recommend the right products for your family’s dental care routine.

How to Maintain Good Oral Health?

oral health check up

Dispelling these common dental myths is crucial for promoting better oral health practices within your family. By staying informed and seeking guidance from your family dentist, you can ensure that you’re making the right choices for your dental care. Remember, regular dental check-ups, a balanced diet, and proper oral hygiene are the cornerstones of a healthy smile for you and your loved ones.

Dr. Dalesandro & Associates

Dr. Dalesandro & Associates in Tucson offers top-tier dental care for all your needs. Our skilled team provides routine check-ups, emergency treatments, professional teeth whitening, and preventive care for patients of all ages. Whether you require regular cleanings or extensive procedures, we prioritize your comfort and confidence in your smile.

Take the first step toward optimal oral health with our compassionate team. Your journey to a healthier smile starts here!

Oral Health Tips for Busy Families

Maintaining good oral health is essential for overall well-being. However, in the hustle and bustle of modern life, busy families often find it challenging to prioritize oral hygiene. With work, school, extracurricular activities, and countless other responsibilities, dental care can sometimes take a backseat. But fear not, for there are simple and effective ways to ensure your family’s smiles remain healthy and bright.

family doing toothbrush together and maintaining their oral health

In this blog, we’ll share practical oral health tips for busy families.

Stick to a Routine

The key to successful oral health maintenance is consistency. Establishing a daily routine can help ensure that everyone in your family remembers to brush and floss regularly. Make it a family affair by setting a specific time each morning and evening to practice good oral hygiene. This routine will not only promote healthy teeth but also teach your children the importance of maintaining their oral hygiene.

Choose the Right Tools

Selecting the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your family is crucial. For young children, opt for soft-bristle toothbrushes with small heads, specially designed for their little mouths. Use fluoride toothpaste, as it helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevents cavities. Adults and older children can use electric toothbrushes, which are highly effective at removing plaque.

Teach Proper Technique

how to brush? technique to brush your teeth

Proper brushing and flossing techniques are essential for effective oral hygiene. Teach your children how to brush for at least two minutes, covering all surfaces of their teeth. Please encourage them to brush their tongues gently to remove bacteria that can cause bad breath. For flossing, demonstrate the correct method and supervise your kids until they can do it on their own, as poor flossing habits leading to inadequate plaque removal can result in gum disease and cavities.

Teaching children foundational, effective oral hygiene habits early can lead to a lifelong, healthy smile.

Stock Healthy Snacks

Busy families often rely on convenient snacks, which can lead to poor oral health if sugary or acidic. Try to stock up on healthier options like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and cheese. These foods not only nourish the body but also help maintain a balanced oral environment. If sugary drinks or snacks are a must, try to limit them and encourage water intake afterward to rinse away sugar residue.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water is essential for good oral health. Water helps wash away food particles, bacteria, and acids that can lead to tooth decay. Encourage your family to drink water throughout the day, and make it a habit to rinse your mouth after meals when brushing isn’t possible.

Regular Dental Checkups

dental checkup

Despite busy schedules, prioritize regular dental checkups for the entire family. Dental visits should occur at least twice a year to catch and address any potential issues early and ensure they’re receiving adequate dental care day to day. Consider scheduling appointments well in advance to ensure you don’t forget in the midst of your busy lives.

Set a Positive Example

Children often mimic their parents’ behavior. Be a role model for your family by demonstrating good oral hygiene habits. When your kids see you taking care of your teeth, they are more likely to follow suit. Brush and floss together as a family to make it a fun and bonding experience.

Maintain Good Oral Health with Time Effective Habits

Maintaining oral health in a busy family can be challenging, but these healthy habits are essential for overall well-being. By establishing a routine, using the right tools, teaching proper techniques, and making small but impactful changes to your family’s diet and habits, you can ensure that everyone in your household enjoys healthy and beautiful smiles.

Dr. Dalesandro and Associates

Are you in search of top-notch dental care in Tucson? Look no further than Dr. Dalesandro & Associates. Our highly skilled team is dedicated to addressing all your dental needs, whether routine check-ups, emergency treatments, or preventive care.

Our exceptional team consists of compassionate Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistants who not only excel in their profession but also extend a warm welcome to patients of all age groups, from the youngest members of your family to adults.

Whether you require preventive treatments like regular cleanings and check-ups or more extensive procedures such as cavity fillings or immediate assistance for dental emergencies, rest assured, we’ve got you covered.

At our Tucson dental practice, your comfort and confidence in your smile are our top priorities. Our unwavering commitment to cleanliness and hygiene ensures a safe and inviting environment for your dental appointments.

Don’t wait any longer to take the first step toward optimal oral health. The caring team at Dr. Dalesandro’s is ready to assist you.

For comprehensive resources and information, explore our website. Your journey to a healthier smile begins with us!

How to Choose the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste for Your Family

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for a healthy and happy smile, and choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste is an integral part of that. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this article, we’ll provide some helpful tips on choosing the right dental care products for your family.

toothbrush and toothpaste

Choosing the Right Toothbrush

While toothpaste can contribute to the effectiveness of toothbrushing by providing additional benefits such as fluoride or antimicrobial agents, the mechanical action of brushing with a toothbrush is what ultimately removes plaque and debris from teeth and gums, making it a more crucial factor for maintaining good oral health.

When it comes to toothbrushes, there are several factors to consider:

Bristles

When choosing the right bristle hardness for a toothbrush, it’s important to consider individual factors such as the condition of the teeth and gums, personal preference, and brushing technique.

Soft bristles are generally recommended for people with sensitive teeth, receding gums, or a history of gum disease, as they are less likely to cause damage or irritation.

Medium bristle toothbrushes can be a good choice for those with healthy teeth and gums who want a little more scrubbing power. However, for most people, a soft bristled toothbrushes is still the safest and most effective option.

A hard bristle brush head is generally not recommended as it can cause enamel erosion, gum recession, and tooth sensitivity over time. It’s always a good idea to consult with a dentist or dental hygienist to determine the best toothbrush and brushing technique to keep your teeth healthy.

Size and Shape

Toothbrushes come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and it’s important to choose one that is comfortable and easy to use. Look for a brush with a head that can easily reach all areas of your mouth to remove food particles and plaque.

Electric vs. Manual

man using electric toothbrush

Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque and promoting good oral hygiene, but there are some differences between the two.

Manual toothbrushes are affordable, widely available, and easy to use. They require no batteries or charging and come in a variety of bristle styles and sizes. However, using a manual toothbrush requires proper technique and can be difficult for people with limited mobility or dexterity.

On the other hand, an electric toothbrush can be more expensive and require batteries or charging, but they can provide a more thorough and efficient cleaning. They also often come with features like timers or pressure sensors to ensure proper brushing technique.

Ultimately, both brushes can prevent against tooth decay and gum disease when used properly.

Choosing the Right Toothpaste

Toothpaste comes in many different types, flavors, and formulations. As discussed above, brushing technique is more important for overall oral health than the type of toothpaste used, but each comes with a variety of benefits that can include that fresh-mouth feeling.

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right toothpaste for your family:

toothpaste

Fluoride toothpaste

Look for a toothpaste that contains fluoride, as it helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. However, consult your dentist first if you prefer a natural or fluoride-free option.

Whitening

Whitening toothpastes are formulated to remove surface stains on teeth and make them appear brighter. They typically contain mild abrasives and chemicals like hydrogen peroxide or baking soda that work to break down stains and improve the appearance of teeth.

However, it’s important to note that whitening toothpastes may not be effective for deep stains or discoloration caused by factors like genetics or certain medications.

Some whitening toothpaste can be abrasive and may cause enamel erosion or tooth sensitivity if used excessively or incorrectly. It’s best to consult with a dentist before using a whitening toothpaste to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for individual needs.

Toothpaste for Sensitive teeth

If you or a family member has sensitive teeth, look for a toothpaste that is specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These formulas contain ingredients that can help to reduce sensitivity and discomfort.

Flavor

Toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors, from mint to fruit to bubblegum. Choose a flavor that your family enjoys, as this can make brushing more enjoyable and encourage good habits.

When choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your family, consider factors such as bristle softness, size and shape, electric vs. manual, fluoride, whitening, sensitivity, and flavor. And don’t forget to consult with your dentist for personalized recommendations based on your family’s unique needs. By choosing the right products and practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can help ensure that your family’s smiles stay healthy and happy for years to come.

FAQs on Oral Hygiene

Why do my teeth feel sensitive?

Teeth feel sensitive due to worn enamel or exposed roots, often caused by aggressive brushing or gum recession. Maintain gentle brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush to alleviate sensitivity.

Which areas get missed when I brush my teeth?

The most commonly missed areas while brushing are the gum line, back molars, and tongue. Use proper brushing techniques and consider a toothbrush with a small head to reach all areas effectively.

Should I be using a different toothbrush?

If you’re experiencing discomfort or inadequate cleaning, consider switching to a toothbrush with softer bristles or an electric toothbrush for improved results.

How often do I need professional cleanings?

Professional cleanings should be scheduled every six months, but some individuals with specific dental conditions may require more frequent visits.

Why do my gums bleed when I brush?

Gums bleed when brushing due to inflammation caused by plaque buildup or improper brushing technique. Maintain consistent oral hygiene and use a soft-bristle toothbrush with gentle pressure to reduce bleeding.

Do dentists recommend soft or medium toothbrushes?

Most dentists and dental hygienists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush for daily brushing. Soft bristles are gentle on the gums and teeth, and they are less likely to cause damage or irritation than medium or hard bristles.

Consult with Dr. Dalesandro & Associates

man putting toothpaste on toothbrush

Dr. Dalesandro & Associates are exceptionally qualified Tucson dentists to care for all your general, emergency, and preventative dentistry needs.

In addition, our staff of Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistants are warm and professional. Plus, we serve multiple family members, from young children to adults. Whatever your needs from preventative care, to restorative such as cavity fillings, to even emergency first aid services for accidents, we do it all. 

The Family Dental Practice Tucson Trusts

Dr. Dalesandro & Associates

At our Tucson dentist office we strive to make our clients feel safe and proud of their smiles! We keep our dental office clean and ready for your appointment. 

Contact us today and set up your first visit with the Dr. Dalesandro dental care team by continuing to explore our website.

Preventing Tooth Decay: A Comprehensive Guide for Tucson Families

tooth decay

Maintaining healthy teeth is essential for good overall health. It can be challenging to prevent tooth decay, especially for children.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children and can lead to pain, infections, and tooth loss. This guide will explore ways to prevent tooth decay and keep your family’s teeth healthy.

Brush Twice a Day

Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is the most effective way to prevent tooth decay. The American Dental Association encourages brushing for at least two minutes, focusing on all surfaces of your teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces.

Disease control is essential to preventing tooth decay, as regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups can help detect and address early signs of decay before they progress into more serious dental health issues.

Encourage your children to brush their teeth by making it fun, playing music or using a timer, and rewarding them for good brushing habits.

Floss Daily

Flossing is just as important as brushing in preventing tooth decay. Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between teeth and along the gum line, where a toothbrush can’t reach.

Teach your children how to floss correctly, and make sure they floss at least once a day.

Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks

Sugary foods and drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acid that can erode tooth enamel. Encourage your family to limit sugary snacks and drinks, such as soda, candy, and fruit juice.

If you or your child indulge in sweets, brush your teeth afterward or rinse your mouth with water.

Drink Plenty of Water for good Oral Health

Drinking plenty of water can help prevent tooth decay and by washing away food particles and bacteria in the mouth. By washing away acidic bacteria, water can also help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Encourage your family to drink water throughout the day, especially after meals.

Schedule Regular Dental Visits

regular dental visit

A regular dental checkup schedule is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and preventing dental decay. Your dentist can detect early signs of decay and provide dental cleanings and other treatments to prevent further damage. Schedule a dental appointment for your family members to receive professional cleanings every six months, or as recommended by your dentist.

Consider Preventive Dental Care Products

Fluoride is a mineral that can strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help prevent tooth decay. Your dentist may also recommend fluoride treatments for children and adults at a higher risk of tooth decay.

Consider Dental Sealants

If your child has lost all their primary teeth, or baby teeth, sealants may be a good option. Dental sealants are a thin, protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Sealants can help prevent tooth decay by sealing off the crevices where food particles can get trapped before a cavity occurs.

Consider dental sealants for your children’s teeth, especially if they are prone to cavities.

Address Dry Mouth

A dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay by reducing the saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. Address dry mouth by drinking plenty of water, using a humidifier, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol.

Preventing tooth decay requires a combination of good oral hygiene habits, a healthy diet, and regular dental checkups. Encourage your family to brush and floss regularly, limit sugary foods and drinks, drink plenty of water, and visit the dentist regularly. Following these tips can help keep your family’s teeth healthy and prevent tooth decay.

Tooth Decay in Children FAQs:

Can I reverse my child’s tooth decay?

If caught early enough, tooth decay can be reversed. Good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing, and reducing sugar intake, are necessary for a child to reverse a cavity at this stage.

What is the number one reason kids get cavities?

Bacteria is the number one culprit of tooth decay, which occurs when carbohydrate-containing foods like sugars and starches are left on the teeth. Examples of these foods include milk, soda, candy, fruit juices, cereals, and bread.

Prevent Dental Disease in Tucson with Dr. Dalesandro & Associates

tooth pain

Dr. Dalesandro & Associates are exceptionally qualified Tucson dentists to care for all your general, emergency, and preventative dentistry needs.

In addition, our staff of Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistants are warm and professional. Plus, we serve multiple family members, from young children to adults. Whatever your needs, from preventative care to restorative such as cavity fillings to emergency first aid services for accidents, we do it all. 

The Family Dental Practice Tucson Trusts

Dr. Dalesandro & Associates

At our Tucson dentist office we strive to make our clients feel safe and proud of their smiles! We keep our dental office clean and ready for your appointment. 

Contact us today and set up your first visit with the Dr. Dalesandro dental care team by continuing to explore our website.

How Common Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal DiseasePeriodontal disease affects about 20%-50% of the world’s population. And more predominantly among the older population in high-income countries. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease. It affects the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth.

Sadly, this is a very common problem among adolescents and adults alike. Therefore, it must be treated with special care by a periodontist.

This article walks you through the prevalence of periodontal disease among different populations, symptoms, causes, and more.

Prevalence of Periodontal Disease in Adults in the United States

According to a recent CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) study, 47.2 % of U.S. adults have periodontitis, a more advanced form of periodontal disease. This means that 64.7 million Americans have periodontal disease. Half of those above 30 and above have severe periodontal disease. The same study states that prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent among adults 65 years and older. These findings are based on the data collected as a part of the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

These findings suggest that more people have periodontal disease than previously thought. And there is a disparity among specific population groups. For example, at 56.4%, the disease is higher among men than women, 38.4%. In addition, the rate is highest among Mexican Americans at 66.7% when compared to other races. The other segments that see a high prevalence of periodontal disease include smokers, people living under the federal poverty level, and less education.

Is Periodontitis a Serious Disease?

Contrary to popular myth, periodontitis in adults is extremely common. It is a severe infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and other health complications, including increasing one’s risk for oral cancer.

The bacteria causing periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream affecting other parts of the body. As the disease progresses, it can lead to rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory disease, heart disease, and diabetes.

Diagnosing Gum Disease

Firstly, periodontists rely on visual assessment to check the patient’s oral health. But, this visual method of diagnosing indicates only the presence of the disease. To assess the severity of periodontitis, you need to rely on more advanced diagnostic methods to determine Clinical Attachment Loss (CAL) or Radiographic Bone Loss (RBL). The periodontist then measures the pocket depth with a periodontal probe. A depth of 4mm indicates the presence of periodontal disease. Pockets deeper than 5 mm may indicate severe periodontitis and cannot be cleaned well.

New tests offer genetic and biological information to better determine the appropriate treatment regimen for each patient.

Can You Reverse Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease is broken into four stages:

  • Gingivitis
  • Slight Periodontal Disease
  • Moderate Periodontal Disease
  • Advanced Periodontal Disease (Periodontitis)

Of these, gingivitis is the only stage that can be reversed as the bacteria has not yet had time to attack the bones. However, once a patient reaches stage 2, the infection has already spread to the bones, possibly destroying them. At this stage, the disease is only manageable and not preventable.

Hence, it is vital to catch periodontal diseases early before they move on to peridontitis.

At What Age Do Most People Get Gum Disease?

The chance of periodontal disease increases as you grow older. That is why it is most commonly seen in older adults. For example, clinical attachment loss was significantly higher among adults of ages 60 to 69 years when compared with those aged 40-50 years.

Due to the slow nature of the disease, it can even develop early in life and can go undetected until the patient is older. Unfortunately, by this time, a great deal of damage would have happened.

Causes and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the tissues and bones surrounding the teeth. The early stage is called gingivitis. During this period the gums become red and swollen, a clear sign of bacterial infection. In the more severe cases, the gums pull away from the tooth. In chronic periodontitis i.e, the advanced stage, you may witness a loss of gum tissue and bones, resulting in the teeth falling off. The disease, however, progresses pretty slowly.

Common Causes of Periodontal DiseaseCauses

Periodontal disease is quite common but preventable. The prevalence of periodontitis can be attributed to poor oral health and hygiene. Generally, oral diseases like periodontal disease start with the development of plaque.

  • Sugars and starch in your food, together with the bacteria in your mouth, form a film called plaque.
  • The plaque hardens into tartar under your gumline. It is filled with bacteria and is difficult to move at this point. You need a dental cleaning to get rid of it.
  • Plaque causes gum disease or otherwise called gingivitis which is the inflammation of the gums. Good dental care and treatment can reverse the disease at this stage.
  • Ongoing gum inflammation leads to periodontitis, a form of severe periodontal disease. This causes pockets to form your teeth and gums. These eventually fill with plaque, tartar, and bacteria. If not treated, they can lead to loss of tissue and bone, with your teeth falling off.

Symptoms

The first thing to remember is that healthy gums generally are pink and fit snug around your teeth. So even though the signs of periodontal disease are pretty subtle, it is not entirely without any warning.

The symptoms of periodontal disease include:

  • Gum Inflammation
  • Red and Tender Gums
  • Pus Between Teeth and Gums
  • Spaces Developing Between Teeth
  • Bleeding Gums (Especially While Brushing and Flossing)
  • Halitosis (Chronic Bad Breath)
  • Change in Bite
  • Receding Gum Lines
  • Calculus (Plaque or Tartar Buildup)
  • Pain when Biting or Chewing
  • Loose Teeth or Loss of Teeth
  • Foul Taste in the Mouth
  • Inflammatory Response

Risk Factors

Research shows that gum disease is associated with other systemic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Several factors increase the risk of periodontal diseases. The risk factors can be both modifiable and non-modifiable.

Modifiable Risk Factors

  • Smoking & Tobacco Use – Smoking is of the leading factors for periodontal disease. Furthermore, it also affects oral microbial flora. Smokers are three times more likely to have severe periodontal disease than non-smokers. They also have more chances of tooth loss, alveolar bone loss, and poor outcomes of all forms of treatments. Moreover, nicotine can directly or indirectly cause periodontal tissue breakdown. Smokers with periodontal disease can develop cancerous lesions in the future.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene – Poor dental health aids bacterial deposition and build-up of dental plaque, leading to inflammation in periodontal tissues. Due to this, there is a high prevalence and increased severity of periodontal disease.
  • Hormonal Changes in Females – The increased progesterone during mensuration and ovulation disrupts the repair of collagen fiber and causes the blood vessels to dilate. Similarly, pregnant women also show signs of gingivitis. Finally, estrogen deficiency also reduces bone density leading to bone loss.
  • Diabetes MellitusDiabetes mellitus can play a significant role in the initiation and progression of periodontal disease. It is also associated with periodontal ligament destruction leading to loss of teeth.
  • Medications – Medicines like tricyclic antidepressants, atropine, antihistamine, and beta-blockers can reduce saliva flow. This leaves the patient vulnerable to periodontal disease.
  • Stress – Stress reduces the flow of salivary secretions, which leads to increased dental plaque formation. People under stress can have poor oral hygiene. Furthermore, depressed individuals can have a higher cortisol concentration in the gingival crevicular fluid. And hence may respond poorly to treatment.

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

Age – Older adults have increases chances of periodontal disease than other age groups.

Heredity – Genetics, along with environmental and demographical determinants, increase the threat of periodontal disease among different racial and ethnic populations.

Can You Stop Periodontitis?

Severe periodontal disease is called Periodontitis. At this point, it starts damaging the bone and is not reversible. However, your periodontist can treat and stop the progression of the disease. Gingivitis and mild cases require non-surgical treatment by a general dentist. However, moderate and severe periodontitis requires a surgical intervention to save as many teeth as possible.

Prevent Periodontal Disease - Stop SmokingWith proper treatment and good oral health practices, periodontitis is manageable.

  • Brush twice a day, for at least 2 minutes every time.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Stop smoking and tobacco use.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Limit acidic and sugary foods.
  • Regular dental cleanings and exams can help spot the disease early.

Conclusion

According to World Health Organization (WHO), developing countries have a high prevalence of calculus and bleeding gums among adolescents. 35% to 70% of those in developing countries have calculus deposits, while 4% to 34% in the developed nations.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently working with organizations such as the American Academy of Periodontology and the American Dental Association to improve the surveillance of periodontal disease in the adult U.S. population. In addition to that, state and local authorities should implement oral health policies to reduce the burden of disease and improve the quality of life of people.

Furthermore, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends a comprehensive periodontal evaluation every year. Your dentist can perform it at your bi-annual check-up.

One of the best dentists in the Tucson area is Dr. Dalesandro, who has the experience you want to help you with gum disease or any other dental problems; call today for your next appointment.

Can Decayed Teeth Be Fixed?

Can Decayed Teeth Be Fixed?Can decayed teeth be fixed? First let’s discuss tooth decay briefly. Tooth decay is a process that happens over time. Untreated tooth decay will become cavities. There are hundreds of different kinds of bacteria in the mouth, which you can read more about in this article. In terms of treatment, fluoride is the best defense against tooth decay, and because many of us drink bottled water today, we are not getting enough fluoride in our diet.

The number one thing you should remember is that treatment cannot wait if you have tooth decay. It can take some time for tooth decay to deteriorate the teeth and cause further problems, and if left untreated, it starts getting expensive day by day.

The Causes of Tooth Decay

There is a multitude of reasons that you might have tooth decay. Plaque causes tooth decay. The spaces between teeth, areas around former fillings (especially with cracked and chipped fillings), the grooves and cracks in the teeth, and the areas close to the gum line are where plaque builds up. Prevention is almost always the answer to how can a rotten tooth be fixed.

Here is a look at the leading causes of tooth decay:

  • Poor oral hygiene is to blame for most tooth decay. Plaque begins to build up when you do not brush as often as you should.
  • Constant dry mouth can also lead to an increase in tooth decay. Saliva helps to wash away bacteria in the mouth and can prevent plaque.
  • Eating carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay as there are natural bacteria in the mouth that transforms to acid when it mixes with the carbohydrates you eat.
  • There are many medical problems, including exposure to medications and treatments that can lead to tooth decay.
  • Eating and drinking sugary foods, foods that are high in acid, and alcohol can all cause the teeth to accumulate more plaque.
  • Plaque forms on the teeth and builds up over time when not removed, which leads to tooth decay. Regular dental appointments and cleanings will reduce the risks associated with plaque build-up.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Here are the things you need to know to prevent and remedy tooth decay.

  • Fluoride – Fluoride treatments are becoming necessary as many individuals prefer bottled water to tap water.
  • Avoiding Certain Foods and Drinks – Avoiding foods and drinks that are highly acidic, high in carbohydrates, or contain sugars can help reduce the chance of tooth decay.
  • Brushing Regularly – Brushing your teeth is an essential step in preventing tooth decay and plaque build-up. You should brush when you wake up, before going to bed, and after eating or drinking foods with acid or sugar.
  • Regular Dental Exams – Regular dental exams are the best defense against tooth decay.

People Also Ask:

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Decayed Teeth?

Dental treatments are relatively affordable if caught early and answer the question can decayed teeth be fixed. The longer decayed teeth go without treatment, the more advanced the treatment becomes; consequently, the cost dramatically increases.

What Happens If Tooth Decay is Left Untreated?

Tooth decay can be expensive to fix, so many go without treating dental issues unless they become too painful to manage. The best way to know how a decayed tooth can be saved is through proper treatment. This can lead to further damage, including painful tooth abscesses that occur after untreated cavities form infections in teeth.

How Can I Remove Tooth Decay Myself?

Decaying teeth have cavities, which are small holes in the teeth. While there is not a way to fix cavities on your own, there are many ways that you can remove plaque or slow the rate of decay, which include:

  • Oil Pulling – This is merely using coconut oil to swish or pull through your teeth.
  • No Phytic Acid – Studies conducted as long ago as the 1930s have shown a connection between phytic acid (often found in legumes and cereals) and cavities.
  • Skip the Sugar – Skipping sugary drinks and foods is one way to avoid further issues with teeth. After eating sugar, always rinse your mouth with water.
  • Chew Sugar-Free Gum – After meals where brushing your teeth is not convenient, chew sugar-free gum as it helps to remove the bacteria on your teeth after eating.
  • Increase Vitamin D – Eating higher vitamin D foods will make your teeth stronger and reduce the risk of cavities.
  • Try Aloe Vera – Aloe vera naturally fights against the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Today aloe vera tooth gels are available, but the most potent form is straight from the plant.

How Can I Remove Tooth Decay Myself?

Can Decayed Teeth Be Whitened?

It is possible to whiten decayed teeth. Before you can whiten your teeth, you should have all cavities fixed. Whitening with cavities can cause sensitivity or pain. The dentist’s office is the place to go for tooth whitening, and a change that is five to eight shades whiter is possible.

It is essential to know that yes is the answer to: can decayed teeth be fixed. One of the best dentists in the Tucson area is Dr. Dalesandro, who has the experience you want to help you with your dental problems; call today for your next appointment.

How Long Do Braces Stay On?

How long do braces stay onWhether large or small, odds are if you have gaps or misalignments in your teeth, you’ll need braces. They are a corrective dental device used to realign and posture your teeth in the proper order.

Braces address several common dental issues.

Several variables go into determining whether you need braces. There’s also a lot involved with deciding which ones are right for you.

People have a misconception that braces are for kids, but that’s not necessarily true. They are for anyone that needs help correcting the shape and outline of their teeth. Underbite, crooked teeth, and overbite are all conditions that they fix.

To learn more about understanding when you need braces and how to choose the correct setup, continue reading.

How long do people typically wear braces?

Before we get into the average length of time people need to wear braces, it’s essential to understand whether you need them in the first place. To determine if you need them, speak with your dentist to get a general checkup.

If a problem arises, your dentist is likely to recommend you to visit an orthodontist. When an orthodontist and an experienced dentist like Dr. Dalesandro together decide that they are the best solution, they’ll help you to determine which ones are right for you.

There are four primary types of braces available, as follows:

  • Metal – these attach to the front of your teeth and are made from premium stainless steel. They can sometimes be uncomfortable and may require dental wax for pain management.
    Clear Ceramic – clear ceramic blend with the color of your teeth. People wear them like standard steel braces. They are less obtrusive but less durable than metal.
  • Invisible – clear and removable aligning trays work great for moderate spacing problems but are not ideal for major realignments.
  • Lingual – these attach to the back of your teeth, making them invisible from sight. They often achieve the same levels of success as conventional (buccal) braces, but they’re not ideal for certain types of alignment problems, such as an overbite.

After getting braces, regular checkups are required for maintenance purposes.

Click here to learn more about the best maintenance practices.

Each of these brace types corrects your teeth at varying speeds. The type you have will play an instrumental role in determining how long you need to wear them. Also, the condition of your teeth’s spacing determines how long you wear them. The average time people wear them is anywhere from 10 months to 3 years or more.

Check this write-up to learn more about the average time people wear braces.

Getting the most out of your braces

When wearing braces, it’s essential to avoid eating certain foods, since certain hard or gummy substances can actually ruin braces after regularly coming into contact with them.

You should avoid using chewing gum, or eating foods like pretzels, raw carrots, taffy, and popcorn. Doing so will help you maintain clean and functional braces that don’t need readjusting.

The cost of braces varies drastically based upon the type you get and how severe your mouth alignment problems are. Your dentist and orthodontist can get you an accurate estimate of how much they will cost.

People Also Ask

Q: How long do braces stay on after teeth are straight?
A: On average, people wear them for 18 months to 3 years in total. But the actual amount of time you’ll need will depend on the condition of your mouth.

Q: Can you leave your braces on too long?
A: Yes, it is possible to leave them on for too long a period. This is avoidable when under the care of a competent dentist, but neglect of this type can result in nerve damage. Always consult with your dentist to ensure you follow the proper wear guidelines and timelines.

Q: Do braces move your teeth every day?
A: Yes, braces do actually make small adjustments to your teeth every day. However, these changes are so minute from day to day that it can take a long time before you see any real results from wearing them.

Contact Dr. Dalesandro today!

To get started on your journey to a beautiful smile, contact Dr. Dalesandro to schedule a consultation. A healthier and happier you begins with a bright smile, and people will notice. Don’t waste another minute and reach out to Dr. Dalesandro today!

Does a Root Canal Hurt?

Does a root canal hurtRoot canals are commonly performed on individuals suffering from severe teeth rot due to cavities or other conditions. By the time you get to the root canal phase, it’s not an optional procedure; it’s mandatory. Root canals are also required when your teeth become infected to where natural tooth decay will occur.

How root canal pain is dealt with

If you’re suffering from any of these conditions and have been told by your dentist that you need a root canal, don’t worry. Root canals have a bad reputation for being very painful; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

All root canal procedures are carried out under local anesthetic medication, which numbs your tooth nerves. Many doctors will also apply a numbing gel around your gums so that you can’t even feel the slightest prick during the procedure.

Modern technology has made root canal procedures virtually painless for most people. The stressed individuals about getting a root canal tend to be surprised at how fast the entire process happens.

Does a root canal hurt?

As we stated before, before the procedure beginning, your dentist will apply an anesthetic medication to your mouth. After your mouth has been completely numbed, they will begin by removing the affected tooth or teeth. This is part in which the likelihood of you experiencing pain is the highest.

However, since your mouth is numbed, you likely won’t experience any pain unless your tooth’s condition is dire. Once the affected tooth or teeth have been successfully removed, your dentist will begin capping your teeth using a mold from the one that was just removed.

All of this takes about 30min to an hour max, so you will be in and out of your dentist’s office before realizing it.

Easing the pain of a root canal

After your root canal procedure, you may experience slightly increased sensitivity around the areas most affected. This minute sensation tends only to last a few days. If you experience pain that persists longer than three days, contact your dentist.

Slight inflammation is also another common side effect of root canal procedures. But if your root canal was performed by a professional, swelling should reside within a few days. Pain medications are rarely needed after a root canal procedure unless the situation is severe.

Avoid eating hard or rough textured foods after having your root canal performed, as this could tamper with your results.

People Also Ask

Q: Is the root canal procedure painful?
A: While the common conception about root canals is extremely painful, most people who undergo the procedure report feeling little to no pain.

Q: How long does a root canal take?
A: minor root canal procedures can take anywhere from 30min to 60min to complete. Complex root canals can easily take 90min or more to complete.

Q: How long does the pain last after a root canal?
A: successful root canal procedures result in pain that typically lasts for a few days. If you’re experiencing pain that lasts longer than three days after a root canal, you should contact your dental professional as soon as possible.

Understanding the answer to “Does a root canal hurt?”

After reading this article, your fears of getting a root canal procedure done should be eased. There is no reason to worry about any intense pain associated with the process as long as you go to a reputable dentist. Contact Dr. Dalesandro for your dental needs in Tucson today.

Frequently Asked Questions

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