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Frequently Asked Questions

What can be done to overcome the fear of dentists?

dis-hekimi-korkusu

Some people are afraid of going to the dentist. The reason for this is that in the past (especially during childhood) they may have had bad experiences or bad impressions. On the basis of these are concerns mostly relating to the fear of needles and pain.  Emerging technology offers many alternatives for patients not to feel pain. Therefore, patients today do not encounter much pain. For example, with the development of technology in dentistry, needles used for anaesthesia are manufactured with diameters less than one millimeter (0:35 to 0:40 mm).  Due to the diameter of the needle, patients often do not feel the injection.  For patients who worry or fear the needle despite this, there is a superficial anaesthetic spray that may be used to ensure the needle is not felt at all. 

Generally if the dialogue between the patient and the doctor is good and the patient’s faith in the doctor is great, they will not face any problems.  The patient must first be reminded that the damage the tooth does to the body, as well the pain must be overcome.  Once anaesthesia has been applied, there should be no pain or aching with extractions or any other treatment.  People generally like to scare other people around them and exaggerate these pressures.  Individuals should not be left under influence of these suggestions, and should forward all enquiries to their doctor.  If it is realized that these fears can in no manner be overcome, extraction may be performed under sedation or general anaesthesia.

How should we eat in order to maintain healthy teeth?

Foods that are labelled as harmful to dental health are sugary and acidic foods, and those which stick to the tooth and are difficult to clean.  Consuming such foods in a specified manner, as opposed to completely cutting them out, can help prevent tooth decay. 

Suggested nourishment tips for dental health:

  • Sugary, sticky or acidic foods should be consumed during the three main courses.
  • Between meals, rigid foods which clean the teeth and massage the gums such as apples or carrots should be consumed.
  • After consuming sugary and sticky foods, if brushing is not possible then the mouth should be washed with water, or a glass of water should be drank. 
  • Again, after consuming sugary foods, eating a piece of cheese will get rid of the sugar’s decay-preventing properties.
What disorders can grinding the teeth cause and what are their symptoms?
  • Erosion on the chewing surfaces of the teeth: Teeth grinding against each other, especially at night, may cause erosion on all of the teeth, but is more apparent in the front teeth.
  • Breaking of teeth: Squeezing and grinding teeth causes micro cracks on the corners of the front teeth and the extruding parts of the rear teeth.  These cracks are not detectable by x-rays and in time can grow and cause the tooth to break.
  • Extreme sensitivity in the teeth: As a result of erosion on the enamel layer of the teeth, sensitivity to cold foods and beverages may appear, as well as sudden aches may start.
  • Receding gums and wedge shaped abrasions on the necks of the teeth near the gums generally associated with this: Although receding gums due to old age or tooth brushing with excessive pressure are shown as causes for this, it is also known that bruxism disease can cause such abnormalities in teeth.
  • Wobbling teeth: Resorption occurs in the supporting tissues around the teeth due to lengthy grinding, and as a result the teeth loosen and begin to wobble.  Excessive pressure causes the bone support surrounding the teeth to diminish.  Extra bone protrusions develop at the root level to compensate for this. 
  • Irritations on the cheeks: Especially at the point where the teeth meet each other at the closing line, a fibrous formation may appear in the shape of a line or swelling.  As a result of this, cheek biting may occur.
  • Muscle pains: Overworking the muscles in the temple and cheek areas can lead to muscle pains.
  • Headache: Muscle pains can sometimes lead to headaches.
  • Jaw joint pains: Overworking the jaw joint can cause aching, crackling, and clinching in the joint.
  • These symptoms to not appear immediately after the start of grinding.  Depending on the pressure and duration, they may present themselves years later.  They generally do not all happen at simultaneously.  They may sometimes show very little symptoms.
Which foods can be considered tooth-friendly?

Proteins lead the list of foods that are considered to be tooth-friendly.  As these materials make up the building stones of our bodies, they are food materials which me must consume both during teeth development, and after the teeth have erupted in order to maintain dental health. 

Aside from its high protein content, its importance in terms of dental health makes cheese a recommended food, especially after sugary food consumption. 

Due to the high levels of phosphate it contains, peanuts are the tooth-friendly choice amongst snack foods.

Refined grain foods (brown wholemeal bread as opposed to white flour bread) should be chosen for the sake of dental health.

How can jaw joint disorders be treated?

The treatment of jaw joint disorders is made up of 2 phases: Reversible Treatment (phase 1) and Irreversible Treatment (phase 2).  Phase 1 treatments are conservative approaches and consist of occlusal splint therapy, physical therapy, pharmacological and psychiatric therapy. 

In occlusal splint therapy, an interocclusal splint and a night guard are used.  It is very important in this treatment that the splint occlusion be adjusted correctly.  By this the desired occlusal relation, condylar position, and vertical size can be achieved.  Muscle spasms will decrease and occlusal loads will be evenly distributed.  Furthermore, this splint therapy will allow the patient to realise their situation.  In order to prevent abrasion formation caused by parafunctional activity, there is a night guard usage indication. 

Among physical therapy techniques are massage, joint distraction, exercise thermotherapy, iontophoresis, electrotherapy, cold therapy, acupuncture, and laser therapy.

It is known that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are effective in pharmacological treatments.  Corticosteroids and muscle relaxant medicines can also be used to lessen the pain.  Antidepressants are effective on the psychiatric level of condition.  However pharmacological therapy on its own cannot provide a permanent cure for the discomfort. 

Psychiatric support therapy has taken its place among in the multidisciplinary therapy approach.

Phase 2 treatments on the other hand, are irreversible treatments.  Treatment methods in this group are occlusal healing (selective grinding, prosthetic treatment, orthodontic treatment), orthognathic surgery and jaw joint surgery.  A number of techniques are used in jaw joint surgery.  Of these, arthrocentesis is the process of freeing the sticky tissue fluids which prevent the joint from moving, and washing the jaw joint with a serum.  Arthroscopy is the process of entering the joint space with a camera through thin cannulas and treating the space.  Jaw anchylosis, joint deformations and a mass inside the joint require open surgical procedures. 

The main cause of jaw joint pains is stress faced in everyday life.  Regardless of the treatment, it is important to first stay away from stress.

What causes dry mouth?

Dryness in the mouth occurs when the salivary glands’ ability to secrete saliva decreases.  A decrease in saliva in the mouth can lead to serious problems.  Bacterial plaque and food particles can easily collect on the teeth, leading to tooth decay and sores in the mouth. 

Causes:

  • Age: this is an effective factor, even though it cannot occur individually.
  • Systematic diseases: Rheumatismal diseases (Sjogren's syndrome, systematic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma), Immune System Diseases (AIDS), hormonal diseases (diabetes), neurologic diseases (Parkinson)
  • Reduced chewing functions: Consumption of fluids and soft foods which lead to reduction in chewing can also lead to dry mouth.
  • Surgery: Surgical removal of the salivary glands for any reason.
  • Radiotherapy: Its application especially on oncology patients causes permanent damage to the salivary glands.
  • Medication: Medications such as decongestants, diuretics, blood pressure medications, anti-depressants, and antihistamines all cause dry mouth.
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
What are the symptoms of dry mouth?
  • Constant feeling of thirst
  • Cracks and dryness on the lips
  • A burning sensation on the tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty consuming especially dry foods
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Taste disorders
  • Difficulty with prosthesis use
How can dry mouth be prevented and treated?
  • Frequent consumption of small volumes of water, having a glass of water present when going to bed at night
  • Sugar-free chewing gum
  • Refrain from consuming cigarettes, alcohol, and sugary foods
  • Adjusting the humidity of the living environment
  • Bacterial plaque should be pacified
  • Toothpaste, gel, and mouthwash containing fluoride should be used
  • Vitamin C should be used
  • Artificial saliva can be used
  • Mouth and tooth care products which contain alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate should not be used

Xerostomia can lead to serious mouth diseases; it should not be neglected.

What are the causes of mouth cancer?

While the exact causes of mouth cancer remain unknown, it has been informed that factors such as tobacco products, alcohol, certain foods which contain carcinogens, as well as long periods of exposure to the sun increase the odds of mouth cancer. In individuals who use removable prosthesis, chronic prosthesis sores may also lead to mouth cancer. Aside from these, genetic predisposition may also play a role in the formation of mouth cancer.

Which areas of the mouth does cancer affect and what is its significance?

Mouth cancer (oral cancer) generally presents itself after the age of 45 and is two times more likely to appear in men than it is in women. The areas in which mouth cancer occurs is usually: the base of the mouth, tongue, soft areas of the roof of the mouth close the root of the tongue, the lips, and the gums. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, mouth cancer may spread and cause constant pain, loss of functions, irreparable face and mouth deformities, and even death. Frequent visits to the dentist are important in terms of early diagnosis of mouth cancer.

What are the possible signs and symptoms of mouth cancer?

White or red colored lesions in or around the mouth, mouth sores that won’t heal for long periods of time, sensitive, irritated, swollen or thickened areas in the mouth, recurrent bleeding in the mouth or throat, hoarse vocal tones or the sensation of a substance which cannot be swallowed, difficulty with tongue or jaw movements, chewing and swallowing difficulty, numbness or feeling loss on the tongue or other areas of the mouth, swelling in the upper or lower jaw and as a result disturbance in fitting of an existing prosthesis, may all be symptoms of cancer. Mouth cancer is painless at first, but as it progresses and causes damage to the mouth tissues, complaints of pain may start. It may be difficult for a person to notice mouth cancer on their own. Therefore it is important in terms of early diagnosis to regularly visit a dentist.

What can be done to lessen the risk of mouth cancer?

Do not consume products such as cigarettes and pipes, and do not chew tobacco. If you use alcohol, do so in moderation. The odds of developing cancer in people who consume both alcohol and tobacco products is 15 times more likely than in those who don’t. Consume foods rich in fruits and vegetables (research suggests that similar diets may reduce the risk of mouth cancer). Do not neglect to visit the dentist.

How are dental abscesses developed?

dis-apsesiSome individuals don’t see tooth decay as a serious problem.  However, if not treated on time in the correct manner, it may lead to more problematic circumstances.  Progression of a cavity allows the bacteria to access the pulp of the tooth, causing it to become infected.  Infection spreads to the root of the tooth and surrounding tissues and causes inflammations called abscesses.  As a result of the infection reaching the bone and causing swelling in the tissues, severe pain will occur and if not acted upon immediately will inevitably result in the loss of the tooth.

Should all infected teeth be extracted?

The aim of modern dentistry is to prevent as much as possible the loss of teeth and keep the natural teeth in the mouth, because the loss of even a single tooth can cause undesired changes in general dental health and aesthetics. Therefore depending on the size of the infection or cyst, an apical resection operation (the process of distancing these pathologic tissues from the root) can be performed which will keep the teeth in the mouth for a longer period of time.

What are buried teeth and do they need to be extracted?

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In situations where the bone surrounding the tooth is very dense or the gums are too thick, when the curve of the jaw is too narrow for the tooth to find a spot to erupt from, teeth that cannot find a spot to erupt from due to the premature loss of milk teeth or have remained under the gum and haven’t erupted, are called buried teeth. If these teeth lead to abscesses, cause pain, the size and position cause the jaw bone to weaken enough that it carries the risk of breaking the jawbone, if it is together with a tumor or cyst and is causing neighboring teeth to decay, then it should be extracted.

Teeth that do not erupt for various reasons even though their time has come are called buried teeth.  Wisdom teeth are the most commonly encountered buried teeth.  If the wisdom teeth cannot find a spot in the mouth to erupt and the individual has reached the age of 25, they are considered “buried”.  Occasionally these teeth erupt partially, but ever reach full height.  If your wisdom teeth have not yet erupted, you can acquire information regarding the situation and have the tooth in question extracted before problems such as pain, swelling, infection, decay and gum diseases caused by buried teeth present themselves. 

What needs to be done immediately after toothaches begin?

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  • Pain killing medicine or chemical materials such as alcohol should definitely not be applied onto the tooth.  Due to their chemical structure, such materials can cause chemical burns on the gums and surrounding soft tissues.
  • Aching teeth should be brushed and lodged food remains should be removed.
  • A painkiller may be taken before going to the dentist to relieve the pain.
  • If swelling has formed on the face, a cold compress can be applied to the region to reduce the pain.
  • If a cavity resulting from tooth decay has formed on the tooth, a cotton swab soaked in a very little amount of clove oil can be placed.  Clove oil will help relieve the pain. 
  • These measures should promptly be followed by a visit to the dentist.
What is the cause of pain in the jaw joint?

If you grit or grind your teeth while sleeping (bruxism), tiredness and sensitivity may develop in the jaw or facial muscles. You may feel pain on both sides of your face when you wake up. Tooth grinding and gritting, while generally seen at night during sleep, can also occur during the day. It is thought that jaw joint disorders have a wide psychosocial component. Increased stress can cause tooth grinding and excessive gum chewing. These habits lead to excessive use of the muscles, muscle fatigue, spasms, and as a result pain. Bruxism is mostly together with stress. Certain medications (especially major tranquilizers, alcohol, and drugs) can also cause bruxism.

Why are canal treatments necessary?

If there is an infection or permanent damage to the pulp, a canal treatment is necessary. Untreated cavities may cause pulp infections. The tooth enamel and dentin can deteriorate all the way to the root canal due to a cavity, and the bacteria formed by the cavity can cause infections in the pulp. Antibiotics are not effective in removing the infections in the inner tooth and its surroundings. Infections in the pulp may cause severe pain. If the infection is not treated an abscess will form and the bone surrounding the tooth can also be damaged. The aim of a canal treatment is to remove the damaged pulp and save the tooth by treating any infections and filling the empty canals with a special filling material. If a canal treatment is not performed, the tooth may need to be extracted. Protecting the natural tooth is always preferable. The absence of one or more teeth can cause neighboring teeth to change position and alignment. Furthermore, preserving natural teeth removes the need for expensive and deep treatments such as implants and bridges.

What is teeth grinding and what causes it?

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Bruxism (teeth grinding) is the clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth actions brought on by powerful jaw movements during sleep.  It is very common in our society.  Individuals who have this habit are usually unaware. 

There are several views on what causes bruxism.  Some researchers suggest that disfigurement in the closing relationship between the teeth cause it, while others suggest that a disease within the central nervous system causes it.  Others believe it is caused by a multidimensional problem which encompasses both suggestions as well. 

Everybody has reached a consensus that stress is the greatest cause of bruxism.  Mouth tissues are the part of the body where the first signs of stress appear.  Stress has been determined to be both the cause and the most important factor that intensifies the situation. 

Are the signs of jaw joint pains?

Jaw joint diseases’ diagnosis requires a thorough examination.  In addition to clinical and radiological examinations, serological tests may also be utilized.  For an accurate diagnosis, the patient’s inner (intraoral) and outer (extraoral) mouth inspections should be performed with utmost care.  Upon receiving an anamnesis from the patient, an oral examination may be performed.  Aside from the routine examination of the teeth and surrounding tissues, occlusal inspection should also be performed.  The following signs should be looked for:

  • A clicking or clacking sound when opening and closing the mouth
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headache
  • Limited opening of the jaw or locking
  • Pain or roughness in the neck
  • Pain while chewing
  • Facial pains
  • Pain when closing the teeth on top of each other
  • Tiredness in the jaw while chewing
  • Trouble yawning
  • Locking of the jaw or pain when eating rigid foods.
Why don’t wisdom teeth erupt correctly?

ucuncu-azilarEven though jaw bones are shrinking in evolving human beings, wisdom teeth have not shown a decrease in numbers.  As a result of this, there is often no space left in the mouth for wisdom teeth in modern day humans.  As is known, wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 15 and 25.

What types of problems can buried wisdom teeth lead to?

gomulu-ucuncu-azilarCysts and tumors may form around the wisdom teeth.  On the other hand, partly erupted wisdom teeth are a serious source of infection.  These types of teeth can lead to gum problems and abscesses as well as pain.  However not all wisdom teeth cause problems.

Couldn’t I just take antibiotics and not have my teeth extracted?

Antibiotics can only provide relief for a short period of time. As there is an uninformed and wide range of antibiotics use in our society, the antibiotics taken do not always affect the microorganisms which cause complaints. Even if they were effective, they wouldn’t get rid of the real problems. In other words, even if antibiotics are taken, the tooth that caused the problem is still in the mouth.

When should my wisdom teeth be extracted?

It is wrong to wait until the cause problems before having wisdom teeth extracted. Do not forget that as long as your dentist recommends it as well, early wisdom teeth extraction can prevent a variety of problems that could emerge in the future. For example, buried wisdom teeth could cause damage to the second molars. Recovery is extremely rapid in extractions performed before the age of 16. Once the permanent secondary molars erupt, it is possible to remove the third molars (the wisdom teeth). This takes place between the ages of 11-12. During this period, your dentist will, with the use of x-rays, determine if there is sufficient space for the wisdom teeth to erupt, and will accordingly make the necessary recommendation.

What should I do if I have wisdom teeth complaints?

Individuals who have pain, swelling or infection complaints should have their wisdom teeth extracted as soon as possible. However, even if there are no complaints, extraction of these teeth would be beneficial in terms of avoiding possible future problems the risk of crookedness. Aside from these, by having buried wisdom teeth that cause no apparent discomfort extracted at an early stage, certain risks such as jaw pains, tissue incompatibilities with removable prosthesis, gum diseases and tumor development; the causes of which are undetermined, can be eliminated.

What is prosthesis?

In teeth where surrounding tissues have been eroded for some reason or have completely disappeared, in other words lost, prosthesis is a material prepared for the purpose of restoring or replacing them.

What is the purpose of prosthesis?

In prosthesis, while the patient’s lost functions are attempted to be restored, repairing speech or attaining a better aesthetic look is also aimed. Thereby, while severely lost oral health is corrected, the psychological support of individuals who are forced to face society with missing or ruined teeth is also delivered. People who are forced to carry on their lives in this manner (even if for a short while) firstly forget how to smile. This in turn causes damaged self-confidence, as well as functional disorders. Various prostheses in these individuals aim to improve their quality of life.