Your Top Questions About Teeth Answered

questions about teeth

Common Questions About Dental Health

Did you know that one third of each tooth sits below the gum line? Much like an iceberg, a critical part of your teeth lies below the surface.

You use your teeth every day to eat and speak, but how much do you really know about them? Until something goes wrong, you probably don’t think about your teeth at all. The good news is, knowledge is the best way to protect your oral health. That’s why we’ve answered your top questions about teeth.

Keep reading to find answers to some of the most common questions about teeth that people ask.

How many teeth do we have?

A full set of adult teeth comprises 32 permanent teeth. That includes a set of four wisdom teeth, although not everyone has all four wisdom teeth.

Kids start out with 20 baby teeth. As children lose their baby teeth, their mouth grows to make room for larger adult teeth. An adult set of teeth adds two sets of premolars and one set of third molars to the original 20 teeth.

When do wisdom teeth come in?

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, usually come in between the age of 17 and 21, but they may not appear until age 25. Since these teeth appear after the other adult teeth, when a person is older, they’re called wisdom teeth.

Some people only have two or three wisdom teeth, while others have an extra or supernumerary wisdom tooth. If you don’t have the usual four wisdom teeth, that’s still normal.

In some cases, wisdom teeth come in straight and function just like your other molars, but, it’s also not unusual to feel discomfort in your mouth when your wisdom teeth come in or for them to come in crooked. Your dentist will be on the lookout for any potential problems as your wisdom teeth come in.

What are the biggest dental problems most teens face?

Cavities are the most common dental issue teens face. Changing hormones, shifting sleep schedules, and diet changes can put teens at higher risk. Luckily, they can lower their risk for cavities by brushing twice a day, eating a healthy diet, and seeing a dentist regularly.

Teeth spacing problems are also a common issue for teens. If your dentist notices any alignment issues, they may refer your child to an orthodontist.

Teens and young adults can also suffer from impacted wisdom teeth. If your teen has impacted wisdom teeth, it means they’re trapped in the gums or the jaw. Your dentist might suggest removing their wisdom teeth.

Why do my teeth and jaw hurt when I wake up?

If you feel soreness in your teeth and jaw after you wake up, you might be grinding your teeth at night. This condition is called bruxism and it’s often brought on by stress. Over time, it can wear down your teeth and cause frequent headaches and jaw pain. You might also have trouble sleeping.

Luckily, a dentist can help relieve this issue by creating a night guard for you. Night guards take the pressure off your jaw so you’ll have less pain, fewer headaches, and a better night’s sleep.

Why are teeth sometimes sensitive?

You might have tooth sensitivity if you eat something very hot or very cold. You have nerve endings in each of your teeth, so this is a normal sensation. If it’s in one particular tooth, sensitivity can point to an issue with your enamel. It could also mean you have a cracked or chipped tooth or a cavity, or it could point to gum recession.

If you have ongoing tooth sensitivity, you should visit your dentist so they can check out the problem. They may even have you switch to a special toothpaste.

Is brushing and flossing really that important?

Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is a critical part of good oral hygiene. It protects your enamel, the hard coating on your teeth, from damage from bacteria and acids. Plus, it keeps your entire mouth feeling fresh and clean.

Without regular brushing, plaque can harden into tartar. While a dental hygienist can remove tartar during a regular cleaning, it’s best for your health to prevent tartar buildup in the first place.

Flossing is also an important part of oral hygiene. Bacteria and food particles can get trapped between your teeth and lead to cavities. Try to floss at least once a day and any other time you feel something stuck between your teeth.

What can I do to keep my teeth healthy?

To keep your teeth healthy, you should avoid sugary drinks like soda and juice as well as candy. If you do indulge, make sure you rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth as soon as possible.

Eating a healthy diet with lots of fresh vegetables and lean proteins can also keep your mouth healthy. You’ll nourish your body and your smile. You should also make sure to get dental cleanings twice a year. That way you can keep plaque away and your dentist can spot minor issues before they turn into bigger problems.

Still have questions about teeth? Come see us today.

If you still have questions about teeth, don’t hesitate to visit the dentist. You can ask any questions you have and get a preventative cleaning. With the right care, you can have a healthy mouth for life. If you’re looking for a dentist that offers personalized care, consider Dr. Bruce Sexton, DDS, in Wayland, MI. Contact us today to book your appointment and let us help keep you smiling.