Many of our patients visit the office of Bruce Brumm with questions about their oral health and dental care options. To help you make informed decisions at your next appointment, we have provided answers to many of these questions.
1. What should I do if I have bad breath?
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is unpleasant and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
- Saliva reduction during sleep
- Certain foods like garlic and onions
- Poor oral hygiene
- Periodontal disease
- Dental cavities
- Poor-fitting dental appliances
- Dry mouth
- Tobacco products
- Dehydration and hunger
- Certain medications and medical conditions
We encourage you to keep a record of your diet and habits that may cause bad breath. Make sure you are brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and utilizing a mouth rinse. If your bad breath persists, come see our dentist for an oral evaluation.
2. How often should I brush and floss?
To prevent plaque from accumulating on your teeth and resulting in cavities and gum disease, you should brush at least twice a day (especially at night) with an ADA-approved toothbrush and toothpaste. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and move in small, circular motions. We recommend the Phillips Sonicare Flex electric toothbrush. Rinse your mouth with water after brushing. Then take 12-16 inches of dental floss or a floss stick and curve it in a C-shape around each tooth, sawing gently up and down. Make sure you floss beneath the gum line.
3. Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?
Dentists have used amalgam fillings for over 100 years. However, recent controversy claims the amalgam emits vapor that can cause health risks. Amalgam fillings contain mercury, which can be toxin when exposed in high levels; however, your mercury fillings do not contain enough to harm your health. The American Dental Association has stated amalgam fillings are safe and that studies have not found any links between the amalgam and health risks, except in patients who are allergic to mercury, copper, tin, or zinc. If you are concerned about amalgam fillings, we encourage you to speak with our dentist about composite (tooth-colored) restoration options.
4. How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?
You should visit a dental office at least twice a year, usually at 6-month intervals, unless your dentist recommends more frequent visits. Regular dental checkups allow Dr. Bruce Brumm and our team to more effectively monitor your oral health, evaluate any fillings and crowns on your teeth, and prevent tooth decay and oral disease from harming your smile.
5. How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?
Many adult patients are living with gum disease and do not even know it. This disease is usually painless during the early stages and can often only be detected by a dental professional. Visiting our office for regular dental checkups will allow Dr. Bruce Brumm to detect any developing signs of gum disease. However, you notice any swelling, inflammation, bleeding, persistent bad breath, or gum recession, please call us immediately to schedule an oral exam. Factors such as age, pregnancy, improper dental restorations, diseases, and genetics can all increase your risk of gum disease.
6. Why is it important to use dental floss?
While brushing can remove bacteria and food particles from the surface of the teeth, it cannot reach the spaces between the teeth or below the gum line. Flossing daily can remove any leftover particles from your smile and prevent bacteria from accumulating and creating plaque. If you do not floss regularly, plaque can build up on the teeth and gums and cause decay and gum disease, which can significantly harm your smile.
7. How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?
Cosmetic dentistry targets the color, shape, size, and overall appearance of your teeth. Some of the services that we offer that the office of Bruce Brumm are:
- Teeth whitening
- Composite fillings
- Porcelain veneers
- Porcelain crowns
- Dental implants
You can schedule a cosmetic consultation with our dentist to learn which treatments are right for you.
8. What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?
Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are custom made to match your smile and address flaws such as:
- Discoloration and stains
- Gaps between teeth
- Chipped and fracture teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Unwanted size
When you meet with Dr. Bruce Brumm, he will evaluate your smile to determine if you are a candidate for dental veneers. During this visit, you are free to discuss the changes you would like to make for your smile.
9. What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?
Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic procedure available to patients, and it involves a wide variety of products and methods. Our dentist can help you find the right whitening treatment for your smile based on the state of your teeth and your cosmetic goals. We are pleased to offer in-office and take-home whitening procedures; contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
If you have a question about your oral health that was not answered here, you are welcome to contact our office at 858-453-1500 and schedule an appointment with our dentist in San Diego, California.