We get it. Thinking about going to the dentist can be scary and it’s totally natural to worry about what might be going wrong. But at Austin Dental, we believe that every visit to the dentist should be a relaxed and empowering experience. When you meet with our dentists, we’ll talk to you about any issues we see and how you can improve both the health and appearance of your teeth and gums.

Our goal is to eliminate worry and help you feel confident about your oral health. We want you to ask any question that’s on your mind. Today we’ll share the questions our dentists hear most often — and their answers.

“Why are my teeth stained?”

The most common causes of stained teeth are coffee and tobacco products. Stained and discolored teeth may also be caused by:

  • Side effects of some medications
  • Over-fluoridated water
  • The natural aging process

Teeth whitening treatments can remove most stains. But in some cases, the stains are actually the result of discoloration within the tooth. In these situations, we may recommend internal bleaching. Veneers can improve the appearance of your teeth and protect them against sensitivity and cavities, too.

“Why are my teeth sensitive?”

Sensitive teeth are usually the result of:

  • Damage caused by tooth decay 
  • Gum recession exposing the tooth’s sensitive root

Sometimes a special toothpaste can reduce tooth sensitivity, but treating the decay or disease is often the best option.

“Is a chipped tooth something to worry about?”

Chipped teeth can be a problem and increase your risk of tooth decay. Or the sharp edges might be uncomfortable and irritate your tongue. The severity of the situation all depends on how deep the chip goes into the tooth and whether the nerve within the tooth is exposed. If you notice a chipped tooth, it’s best to come in and let us do a proper evaluation.

“What should I do if my kid knocks their tooth out?”

Many parents believe it’s no big deal if a baby tooth falls out because it’s going to fall out eventually anyway. But if a baby tooth falls out (or is knocked out) too soon, it can affect the health and alignment of the neighboring teeth.

If your child loses a tooth due to an accident or when they’re playing sports, here’s what to do:

  1. Make sure there are no other injuries and get them checked out by a doctor. This is especially important if they’ve suffered a head injury.
  2. Schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will assess the health of the gums and bone structure. In most cases, it’s best to just keep an eye on things and see if any additional treatment is needed as the adult tooth grows into place.

“What’s causing my bad breath?”

Bacteria, tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth, and poor brushing habits can all cause chronic bad breath. Unfortunately, alcohol-based mouthwashes often just cover up the problem without resolving the root cause. Many mouthwashes can also contribute to dry mouth, which leads to a vicious cycle of more bad breath and more mouthwash.

If you’re worried about bad breath, talk to your dentist to learn how to get rid of the problem at the source.

“Are root canals painful?”

Our dentists believe root canals have a bad reputation. In TV and movies, they’re often portrayed as very painful procedures. In fact, root canals are often the best way to relieve pain from decay that’s reached deep inside the tooth. Remember, our dentists will make sure you’re fully numb and comfortable before starting your root canal.

“Do those mail-order braces systems really work?”

The short answer is yes, they will reposition your teeth. But there are a few caveats.

There are a lot of things that can go horribly wrong in the process of moving your teeth around without the supervision of a dentist. If teeth are moved too quickly, it can kill the tooth’s nerve, resulting in the need for a root canal. If the realignment of your teeth isn’t closely monitored by a dentist, you can end up with something we call malocclusion. Malocclusion is where your top and bottom teeth don’t line up correctly, which can cause jaw pain, clenching and grinding, and even broken molars.

Have questions of your own? Ready to come to see us at Austin Dental?

Call us at (512) 835-1924! We’d love to hear from you. If it’s easier to set up an appointment online, click here to get started.