Medical Dentist: second opinion?

  1. This may not be asked in the right place, but this is the most reliable one I could think of.

    I went to the dentist today with my father for a 6 mo. checkup.
    We both (unless his habits changed while I'm at school):
    *Brush our teeth twice daily
    *Drink soda
    *Drink virtually no milk or water
    *I drink 1-2 sodas/day, and he drinks 2-4.
    *He smokes cigars, I don't.
    *I drink copious quantities of Kool-Aid, but that's only been for the last 2 weeks.
    *He uses Listerine when he brushes.
    *He rinses his mouth (with water) after he eats.

    The dentist (I think it was actually a hygienist) said that my teeth are about to all rot out and my gums are about to just die, but that his are fine. Does this sound like quackery to anyone else?
  2. jcsd
  3. It depends on a lot more things than just diet.

    Firstly, I highly doubt your father had a diet of 2 sodas/day when he was a kid and his teeth were developing. He probably still has strong teeth after having been set off in the right direction.

    Secondly a lot of tooth rotting will come from in between your teeth and under the gums. Your father uses listerine AND rinses hiis mouth after he eats. This will help prevent any food from lodging.

    Thirdly perhaps most importantly, is how you brush your teeth. Brush from the gums down wards not exerting a lot of force. Important to use a soft-bristle tooth brush. If you brush too hard and use a hardbristle brush you will just damage your tooth enamel and gums... which is kinda necessary for strong healthy teeth.

    Forthly, something you can't control is genes. :tongue:. Now there isn't a gene as far as I know for tooth decay. But there certainly are genes that make you more predisposed to develop tooth decay.

    If you wanted to you should have just asked your Dentist for his opinion of your teeth and if it's possible for you to rectify what's going on in your mouth before it's too late. Normally though when they say there is tooth decay going on and your teeth are going to die they mean it. These people see teeth on a day-to-day basis so they surely know what they are talking about when they see it.
  4. I'm not sure, but I know he can't drink milk.

    I shall have to start doing that myself.

    That's how I brush, but possibly with a little too much force.

    Also, I was on asthma medication (the inhalers) from the time I entered 1st grade until ~6th grade. He said (in a previous appointment) that could have went a long way to damage my teeth.

    I know that dentists are infamous for quackery, and lying to patients to sell an unnecessary medicine or procedure; and this same dentist has tried to sell me some type of medicine or something every time I visit, so I have suspected Machiavellianism for a long time. I wanted an informal (read: free :) ) explanation before I got a formal (read: expensive) second opinion.

    Also, I have a friend (my age, I've known him for most of my life) who brushes ~5/week, drinks 3-4 sodas/day, drinks 1-2 glasses/milk, and supposedly (according to this same dentist!) had great teeth.
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Sounds like you may have gum disease. More people lose teeth from gum disease than any other natural cause, if I am not mistaken.

    Get to a dentist, they may need to refer you to a gum spcialist (periodontist).
  6. What causes gum disease?

    EDIT: I looked it up on Wikipedia. At the last checkup, I asked the dentist (the one with the DDS) if anything was wrong with my gums (I suspected recessive gums), and he said no.
  7. lisab

    lisab 3,188
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You didn't mention flossing; flossing is extremely important in keeping your gums healthy.
  8. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

  9. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Get a second opinion. I just recently switched dentists because all my last one wanted to do was clean my teeth (that's where they make a lot of money). I finally found one that actually worked on teeth.
  10. She (the hygienist) said that by the Dec. appointment, I'll have tons of cavities in my front few teeth. I'll go to someone different then and see what they say.

    Which I'm also going to kill my bad habits (e.g. soda, kool-aid, etc.), and nurture my good ones (e.g. brushing more, flossing more, etc.).
  11. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Sounds like she might have noticed soft or weak spots in the enamel.
  12. Is that reversible?
  13. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    No, but you can do things to prevent further loss.

    I eroded the enamel on my teeth from years over brushing and drinking too much soda at night before bed. I just had the first 6 teeth capped $4,500.00
  14. Ouch. Being a student, that would financially destroy me (I doubt my parents would pay for dental work that could have been prevented).
  15. Look into dental insurance now, just in case. (Health insurance, too, for that matter. It makes a world of difference in you ever have to go to the emergency room.)

    On the whole, though, I wouldn't trust the pronouncements of one dental hygenist, and would get a second opinion about the general state of your teeth.
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