About the Expert
Dr. Tammy Weyandt has 24 years of experience practicing general dentistry. In 2005, she was awarded Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry, a prestigious honor. She regularly attends continuing education to stay current on techniques, materials, and technology.
What makes a good dental expert?
A good dental expert should be able to combine clinical skills and education with practical experience to offer the patient optimal oral health options. A willingness to listen to the patient’s needs and desires is top priority. Customizing treatment plans to meet the patient’s goals for health and aesthetics is very important.
How is oral health connected to overall health?
The mouth is the entrance to the digestive tract and the airway. Bacteria in the mouth causes gum disease, the most common chronic inflammatory condition. Ongoing inflammation in your mouth allows bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream, leading to inflammation in other parts of your body. For example, there’s a relationship between gum disease and diabetes, heart disease, stroke, autoimmune conditions, and premature birth/pregnancy complications.
My gums always bleed, so what’s the big deal?
I love this question and I hear it a lot. If any other part of the body was bleeding, we would be concerned. So why not be concerned when the gums are bleeding? Red, puffy, or bleeding gums indicate a problem. It could be as common as gum disease. There are many other medical conditions that have oral manifestations such as autoimmune conditions, oral cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, or blood disorders. Dentists and dental hygienists are trained to look for these issues.
Why does my teenager have so many cavities?
Quite often I see patients with cavities between their teeth. The cavity forms where the teeth touch each other. This can be due to something the patient is drinking that is either very sugary or acidic. Athletes drink sports drinks, students carry soft drinks in their backpacks, school cafeterias serve non-nutritious beverages, and people make frequent trips to fast food restaurants and coffee shops for drinks. The teeth are constantly being bathed in sugar or acid that settles on them and causes the enamel to break down.
How can I improve my dental health?
Use an electric toothbrush such as the Sonicare twice each day and floss daily. See a dentist for a dental checkup, X-rays, and oral cancer screening. A dentist should listen to your priorities and help you make a lifetime plan to meet your goals for health and aesthetics. In my office, the first priority is eliminating pain. Then, the gums should be cared for. Gingivitis, or early gum disease, progresses over time to periodontitis, a more serious condition that destroys the bone supporting the teeth. Once the foundation is stable, restorative and cosmetic procedures can be addressed.