Many people are at fault for running straight to Google and filling the search bar with their symptoms. It is important NOT to self-diagnose at home because the results can be misleading and inaccurate. Instead, book an appointment with your dentist! A proper oral exam with X-rays at the dentist can unearth the real problem.
Here at MyDental, patients commonly book an appointment based on what they think is wrong. However, thanks to our X-rays, the correct diagnosis and treatment is provided.
Case One: Retained Root on Primary Molar
A mother brought in her eight-year-old child because she believed they had a cavity. An X-ray (photo to the left) showed that the suspected tooth was still a primary (baby) tooth and the permanent (adult) tooth was trapped underneath. In a perfect scenario, root resorption should have taken place. This process allows the root of a primary tooth to dissolve allowing the permanent tooth to surface. Alternatively, the root was retained and had to be pulled – making space for the permanent tooth to grow in.
Case Two: The Growth Of Cavities Between Multiple Teeth
Plaque is a sticky substance that forms due to poor dental hygiene and with the overconsumption of sugary foods. When sugars and starches are left behind, bacteria grow and feed on food particles forming plaque. If you do not remove plaque, it can harden creating a tartar calculus that settles below or above the gum line. Overtime, the acidity in plaque breaks down tooth enamel and forms small holes called cavities. The cavities become enlarged and deepen to the center of the tooth. It is highly important to restore the cavities, floss in between each tooth, and adequately brush to prevent future recurrence.
Case Three: Impacted Teeth
Teeth become impacted due to multiple reasons. An impacted tooth remains below the gum line unable to erupt. Genetics can be a factor or it could simply happen because orthodontic treatment was not started in time.
Retained roots can also lead to impacted teeth. As you can see, this panoramic X-ray of our patient shows she has six impacted teeth. In all four quadrants, every wisdom tooth is slanted underneath the gum. Additionally, you can see the patient has a retained primary molar and permanent premolar underneath. Neither emerged resulting in the surrounding teeth by leaning inward.
The most common reason for impacted teeth is position. The third molars (wisdom teeth) are prone to developing at an angle from lack of space. One of our patients came in with a horizontally impacted wisdom. Impaction can cause cavities and infection in surrounding gums, so many patients opt for extractions.
Case Four: Severe Gum Disease (Periodontitis)
The most common causes for periodontitis are poor dental hygiene, smoking, and hereditary issues. Studies have shown the link between severe periodontitis and systemic diseases such as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcome, respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cognitive impairment, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cancer.
The beginning stage, gingivitis, is the inflammation and infection of gums. It’s typical for the gums to bleed because of bacterial plaque byproducts. Gingivitis can be prevented and reversed. However; without the proper care it will advance to periodontitis. At this stage, patients experience receding gums and early to moderate bone loss. Advanced periodontitis is irreversible with negative and long-lasting effects.
Referring our patient’s X-ray (photo to the left), the red line demonstrates where the jaw bone level currently reside. The bacteria destroyed the bone resulting in little minimal support for the remaining teeth. Eventually, the teeth become mobile and will be lost in the future in causes with no intervention. The green line represents where the bone was originally.
Make sure to get your semi-annual check up, book an appointment now to get the best diagnosis!
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