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Frequently Asked Questions

What is good oral health?

Having good oral health doesn't just mean having nice-looking teeth. A healthy mouth means that the teeth, gums, jaws, joints, and connective tissues are strong, free of disease, and functioning correctly. Your mouth's components must work in balance to achieve optimal health and comfortable function.

Why do I need a healthy mouth?

The health of your mouth can affect your overall physical health. Periodontal disease, for instance, increases a person's risk for diabetes, dementia, respiratory conditions, heart attack, and other serious systemic health problems. Another example is the bacteria that contribute to gum disease and causes tooth decay, S. mutans, can enter the bloodstream and cause endocarditis, which is a potentially fatal condition in which the heart valve walls swell. Aside from physical health, mental outlook is influenced by your appearance. A healthy, beautiful smile and fresh breath can improve your self-confidence; missing, broken, and decayed teeth, as well as bad breath, can quickly erode self-confidence.

How do I know if I have good oral health?

A healthy mouth does not hurt. Healthy gums are firm and pink, free from swelling, redness, and pus. They do not bleed when you brush your teeth. Also, healthy teeth are not decayed, broken, or cracked. Everyone's mouth is different; therefore, "normal" varies from person to person. The best way to determine what is normal for your mouth is to attend six-month checkups and cleanings and during regular daily hygiene, look for abnormalities – such as changes in the appearance of gum tissue, white or red patches on the tongue or cheeks, blemishes on teeth. Become familiar with your mouth's appearance and how it feels. Report any concerns to your Greenfield general dentist immediately.

What are symptoms of an unhealthy mouth?

Cracks, chips, or pits in teeth can be dangerous. If not immediately and properly treated, teeth, gums, or pulp tissue can become infected by bad oral bacteria. Infections require more complex and expensive treatments and may lead to tooth loss.

Red, inflamed, or sensitive gums can indicate periodontal (gum) disease. If you experience unusual bleeding of the gum tissue, or redness, swelling, or pus, call our office immediately.

White or red patches anywhere in your mouth should be checked immediately. These are often not uncomfortable, so they are easily ignored. However, oral cancer most often manifests itself as a white patch beneath the tongue or in the throat. Early detection and treatment of oral cancer significantly improves the chance of survival.

If you experience oral pain of any kind, in your teeth, gums, lips, cheeks, jaw, jaw joints, facial muscles, or connective tissues, don't ignore it. Pain in any of these areas usually indicates a problem.

How can I maintain good oral health?

The best way to ensure that you and your family maintain optimal oral health is to practice daily oral hygiene at home and attend six-month checkups and cleanings at our office. In addition, if your dentist suggests restorative dentistry to correct a problem, you should follow through with treatment. Dental problems don't subside or heal naturally. They require professional intervention.

In the long run, maintaining good oral health costs less than treating advanced conditions or emergencies. Maintaining oral health means making healthy choices. Here are some tips for keeping your mouth healthy:

Consume healthy foods and beverages. Avoid sugary foods when possible, and include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet. Limit your soda intake; sodas, citrus drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks cause tooth enamel to soften and erode.

Brush twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure to brush all sides of your teeth, as well as your gums and tongue. Replace your toothbrush every three months.

Floss at least once a day. Flossing is the only way to adequately clean between teeth, where brushing won't reach. Most dental decay begins between the teeth. If you find flossing troublesome, as your hygienist for tips.

Don't smoke. Smoking is bad for you all around, but as a habit, smoking significantly increases your chances for gum disease, oral cancer, throat cancer, bad breath, and teeth discoloration.

What if I'm afraid of visiting the dentist's office?

Studies show, nearly 10% of American adults express anxiety about going to the dentist. Overcoming these anxieties and fears is key to good oral health. At BGH Dental, our professionals are dedicated to making your visit comfortable. We offer a variety of medications to soothe anxious patients.

Make Your Appointment Today

BGH Dental have been providing dentistry to patients of the Pioneer Valley and Franklin County for over 40 years. Our office is located in Greenfield, in the Western region of Massachusetts, close to the surrounding states of CT, NH, VT, and NY. Our patients come from the surrounding towns of Deerfield, Conway, Shelburne Falls, Turners Falls, Northfield, Amherst, Northampton, and more. Call our Greenfield dental office today to schedule an appointment at (413) 223-6545.