About the Expert
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Brad Moss has treated generations of patients at his family dental practice in Southlake. He handles all types of general dentistry combining hometown care with the latest, cutting-edge technology. Dr. Moss graduated with honors, receiving his Doctorate in Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Dental School in San Antonio. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, Fort Worth Dental Society, and Academy of General Dentistry.
Why is a comprehensive dental exam recommended during my first visit with a new dentist?
This starts with a thorough understanding of your current medical condition and the medications you’re taking. A full set of X-rays are taken along with a periodontal and oral cancer exam, so not only the teeth but the surrounding supporting structures are able to be evaluated as well. Your bite and unique wear patterns are also assessed.
By completing a comprehensive exam at your first visit, unique risk factors are connected so you have a thorough understanding of your current oral condition and a plan of action can be formulated to help you improve and maintain your optimal oral wellness for a lifetime.
Why does my dentist need my complete list of medications and allergies?
Because some medications can have side effects such as dry mouth, excessive gum growth, and increased clinching and grinding, all your medications need to be taken into account to provide you with the best possible care and optimal treatment outcomes.
What are the top risk factors affecting good oral wellness?
The top risks are cavities/decay, gum disease, and damage from clinching and grinding. You can brush and floss daily, but still have a cavity. Factors such as the dryness of your mouth, your saliva’s unique pH, and its ability or inability to buffer the acidity in your mouth, along with how hydrated you stay all play a role in the development of decay.
Why do my gums bleed?
Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation and often a sign of underlying periodontal infection or some other systemic issue. The longer certain “bad” bacteria are allowed to remain in the deeper pockets of your gums, the greater the risk they can travel into your bloodstream, increasing your risk of stroke, heart attack, difficulty managing diabetes, and other inflammatory medical conditions.
My jaws don’t hurt. Why do I need a night guard?
It’s not unusual to have an absence of jaw pain but still have other signs of clinching and grinding. Chipping along the edges of your front teeth, shortening or flatness of your teeth, or V-shaped notches at the gumline indicate the need to protect your teeth with a night guard.
How do I decrease these risks?
If you have a history of cavities, current decay, or dry mouth, in addition to your regular brushing and flossing, you need to be conscientious about staying hydrated and begin using a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste at night. If you have a history of periodontal disease, you should schedule more frequent cleanings. If you see signs of tooth wear, have jaw pain, or temporal headaches, ask your dentist to fabricate a custom night guard for you. Be proactive. Don’t wait until you have symptoms. Visit your dentist at least twice a year.