Dental Dilemmas

Since past 2 years, I have noticed black stains on my teeth. One of my friends told me it is because of smoking. I had quit smoking a year back but the black stains don’t go away. I brush twice daily but it’s of no use. Please tell me is there any way to get rid of these stains.

I am very happy to hear that you have quit smoking. God job! As for the black stains, it may be due to your smoking habit. Apart from smoking, you can get stains from various other things like tea, coffee, red wine, certain medicines, etc. I suggest you to visit your dentist for scaling. Scaling is the professional way of cleaning your teeth and gums with the help of a machine. It will remove all the stains and tartar that get accumulated around your gums and teeth. Apart from scaling, you should continue your habit of brushing twice daily which will help you to maintain your oral hygiene. Also, ask your dentist to show you the correct way of brushing.

I had fallen down from the stairs and hit my front tooth five years back. A small portion of my tooth was chipped off at that time. But now I have noticed that the color of that tooth is blackish. I don’t know why this is happening? Is there any treatment to change the color and shape of my tooth? Please suggest.

Don’t worry; there are a few options to deal with your problem. In your query, you have not mentioned whether you have any pain, swelling or any other symptoms associated with that tooth. During your fall, the nerve of your tooth might also have been injured along with the fracture of your tooth which is causing the blackish discoloration. An x-ray of that tooth will reveal whether there is any infection due to injured nerve, any fracture tooth root or not. If the root is fractured, then depending upon the level of the fracture, the tooth might have to be removed, or if possible, it can be saved by root canal therapy. If only infection is there, then again, root canal therapy will be the treatment option. Only after this, cosmetic treatment can be carried out to change the color and shape of your tooth which include bleaching, veneer, crown, tooth-colored restoration. Either one of these treatment options or a combination of these are used to get the desired result.
I have one missing tooth in my upper right region. The tooth was removed by my dentist six months ago because it was badly worn off. Now I want to replace that tooth and want to know my options.

There are three different options to replace your missing tooth:

Denture: Artificial tooth is placed supported with a metal or acrylic plate. It is a removable option. The denture has to be removed at night and stored properly in a box containing water. Every morning, it should be cleaned properly before use.

Implants: A procedure where a small titanium screw is placed in your jaw bone to support the artificial tooth. It is a fixed procedure (unlike denture) which can’t be taken out by the patient. There are different types of implant systems available.

Bridge: Generally, the two teeth on each side of the missing tooth are prepared and with the help of these two teeth, the missing tooth is replaced. It is also a fixed procedure.

I am 22-yrs-old. My last tooth is giving me problem since the last two years. Every 2/3 months, the gums around get swollen and I have pain and difficulty in opening my mouth. I visited my dentist and she prescribed me some antibiotics and pain killers and my problem got resolved. But, again after few months, the pain and other symptoms came back. I am going abroad for my further studies and I want permanent solution of problem. Please help.

The problem you are facing is called pericoronitis. It is an infection of the gums around the erupting third molar (wisdom tooth). If the wisdom tooth is erupting in normal position and there is no infection, then oral hygiene should be maintained properly to allow normal eruption of the wisdom tooth. But, from your history, it seems the gums around the tooth is infected. So, taking antibiotics is just helping to reduce the symptoms at that time. And, taking antibiotics every now and then is not good for your health. Permanent solution for your problem is to remove the infectious wisdom tooth without delay. Since wisdom tooth doesn’t help in chewing, the replacement of this tooth after removal is not needed. Good luck with your studies! 

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