Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions: click on the question to reveal the answer.  Click it again to close it.  If you don't see your question answered below, click here to ask it now!

Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth or floss?

Gums bleed due to a condition called Gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue).  The classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis are swollen gums, bright red or purple gums, gums that are tender or painful to the touch, bleeding gums or bleeding after brushing and/or flossing and bad breath (halitosis).

Common risk factors associated with gingivitis are poor oral hygiene levels, low dental care utilization, stress and genetic factors and pre-existing conditionsMany pregnant women also show signs of gingivitis and require more frequent visits to the hygienist for cleanings during pregnancy.  With proper care, it will not continue after child-birth.

The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed.   If not controlled by professional dental cleanings and proper home care, it can progress to the destructive level of periodontal disease with bone loss and eventual loosening & loss of teeth.

Why does the dentist recommend x-rays?

Dental Radiographs are commonly called x-rays.  Dentists use radiographs to find hidden dental problems, malignant or benign masses, bone loss, and cavities

It is possible for both tooth decay and periodontal disease to be missed during a clinical exam, therefore, radiographic evaluation of the dental and periodontal tissues is a critical segment of the comprehensive oral examination.

Our office takes all the necessary precautions to keep our patients,  doctor and staff safe by using lead protective aprons, and a clinical arrangement that eliminates the danger of radiology from one operatory to the next.

We are equipped with modern digital equipment which is inspected by the state of Washington

Why is a crown needed? Can't the dentist just do a big filling?

Crowns are recommended when the tooth has lost sufficient structure from breakage or decay so that  placement of a filling alone puts the filling and tooth at great risk of fracture.  Also, a crown is recommended following a root canal.  The root canal process removes the infected nerve from the tooth making it more brittle and subject to breakage.

While a crown does not require any special or different care from your other teeth, it does not mean it is protected from decay and gum disease.  Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing as least once a day—especially around the  crown area where the gum meets the tooth.