Health Chats
Dental Health
Tuesday May 05, 2009, 03:00PM - 04:00PM (EST)
Ramin Mehregan, DMDBlank
Top 3 Dentists
Good oral hygiene is a crucial part of your overall health, but other than flossing and brushing every day, how do you ensure that you're in good dental health? What do dentists looks for in their oral exams? Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual one? Is that pain you feel a cavity? How do you prevent your gums from bleeding? Get answers to these questions and more when you join MedHelp's monthly hour-long chat with dentists from Top 3 Dentists, an invitation-only group of the top dentists in the U.S. Learn about the two most common plaque disease - tooth decay and periodontal disease - and the most common procedures including fillings, extractions, restorations, crowns, root canals, bridges, and gum therapy.
MedHelp:
Hi Everyone! Welcome to the Dental Health Chat. We'll be getting started in about 10 minutes, but in the meantime, feel free to submit your questions.
MedHelp:
Welcome Dr. Mehregan and thanks for taking the time to answer questions today,
MedHelp:
As we get started today, please remember to keep your questions within the 1000 character limit.
Thu1255:
Dear Doctor Mehregan, what is the best way to stop clenching our teeth during sleep? Both my husband and I have that, and the dentist attributes the habit with gum issues.
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
Dear Patient, first of all thank you for participating in this life chat. When you say clenching, is it clenching alone and or grinding?
heartRNccf:
Are over the counter whitening agents just as good as those provided by dentists?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
No, what you get at the dentist office is a prescription that you can not get over the counter
MedHelp:
If you have multiple questions, please feel free to submit them in separate questions.
Carol 1:
I am undergoing chemotherapy for Breast Cancer and my oncologist told me that if I can possibly avoid any kind of dental work during my chemo, I should.  Unfortunately, a tooth broke over the weekend and I'm wondering if it's OK to get it fixed?  If so, is there anything I need to do prior to visiting my dentist?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
Yes you should explain to your oncologist what has happened and take his or her advise
TommyTurbo:
I went to see dentist #1 about a pain in tooth #3 (a root canal).  He said I needed to see an endodontist.  Dentist #2 recommended an endodontist on dentist #1's list (not necessarily the one dentist #1 had recommended).  From what I can ascertain, dentist #2 said tooth #3 is ok for now but will cause me problems again.  Dentist #2 said I may need to see a periodontist and recommended a full dental exam and cleaning running me around $200.  Dentist #3, who gave me a full dental exam said he saw nothing wrong with tooth #3 but has diagnosed me with gum disease.  Dentist #3's description for the work he wants performed on my teeth is a "perio scale & root pln-4 + per quad", known as a deep cleaning using anesthesia, done in four visits.  His charge for this work is around $700.  What do you recommend?  Also, how often should one have complete dental x-rays done and if sooner, under what conditions should this rule be broken?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
Dear Tommy
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
Sorry there is always the option for second opinion, x-rays are recommended once every year in healthy situations
packers_fan_07:
I have gaps between my teeth near the gum lines and it looks like my gums have receded a bit. I don't have any gum disease now, but was wondering if there's anything that can be done to move the gums back down?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
I recommend a consultation with a periodontist and orthodontist
Thu1255:
Doctor Mehregan, our daughter -20 years old - has TMJ for the last 5 years. Do you know of any advancement in the TMJ area? We send her to UCLA for non-surgery treatment, and would like to see if there is any new methodology in this area. Thanks much.
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
Dear Thu1255    yes there is refer to www.top3dentist.com and click on TMJ and find dentist in area
Lisak007:
What factors generally determine the level of plaque deposits on a person’s teeth – i.e. diet and heredity?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
Salivary flow, type of diet, dry mouth,
Jack615:
Thanks for taking our questions today.  I am 25 yr. old and have been told I need to have my wisdom teeth removed.  My dentist said that I should have them all done at once, in the hospital.  However, i'm concerned about recovery time - I only have 5 days of vacation.  Will that be long enough to recover from this kind of surgery?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
Dear Jack....depending on the impaction of the 3rd's sometimes hospitalization is necessary, but it is on an out patient basis, you should be fine if you follow post op instructions
palo_alto_mom:
Is minor tooth decay reversible? If so what is to be done?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
If it has not entered the dentin sometimes it can be arrested but once in dentin, no
Poobah:
Can bacteria get under a crown and abscess a tooth if not cemented good?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
If there is a gap between the tooth and crown bacteria can leak in....abscess depends on the closeness to the pulp(nerve)  
packers_fan_07:
I have had ear problems after root canal and crown. I went to ENT but there was no evidence of fluid in the ear. The crown tooth is sore and ear sounds continue. What can I do?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
First I would have your dentist check your bite to see if the crown is high. Sometimes a high filling can affect a specific muscle and if it is long enough irritated it could lead to triggerpoint build up which can cause ear problems. The other thing I would have checked out if there is not infection from that tooth
Lisak007:
I had a crown put on a tooth. The adhesive was at first too weak, so the tooth fell off. After replacing it, the adhesive on the next crown was too stiff and it resulted in nerve pain under the tooth. So I had it replaced again. Upshot: I then developed a jaw problem from a slipped TMJ disk. What a mess! What advice do you give re: adhesive, so that I can avoid that particular complication with another crown down the road?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
Lisa,....a slipped disc is not a result of the adhesive that is being used to cement crowns. A slipped disc has more deeper causes. If you have a TMJ problem I would recommend consulting one of the TMJ docs on www.top3dentist.com
Lisak007:
I have elected to get a veneer on a botton front tooth. The original tooth was pared down to accomodate the veneer. How risky is it to pare down the tooth? Over decades, can the shaved-down tooth develop problems?
Dr. Ramin Mehregan:
Usually NO, but it is still prone to caries like any other tooth
Lisak007:
Is a water pic tool a good idea for everyone? Should everyone consider using such a cleaning tool even if you floss and brush well with a sonicare toothbrush?