Frequently asked questions — saving teeth

Is gum bleeding normal?

No, healthy gums do not bleed on their own. However, gums can bleed due to injury. If you regularly have bleeding gums, you should urgently visit a dentist to see if you may be suffering from periodontal gum disease.

(Source: German Federal Dental Association)

Article 10 of the new EU Mercury Regulation specifies in detail that amalgam will be retained as a dental filling material in the EU for reasons of security of supply. The European Commission is also ordered to present a feasibility study by the end of June 2020 on the question of whether the use of dental amalgam can be phased out in the long term, preferably by 2030. Member states will have to draw up national action plans for the phasing out of amalgam by July 2019. However, the Mercury Regulation prohibits the use of amalgam in certain risk groups. For example, as of July 2018, amalgam should no longer be used in the dental treatment of deciduous teeth, children under the age of 15 and pregnant or nursing women, unless "the dentist considers such treatment to be mandatory for the particular patient due to the specific medical needs necessary". Comparable regulations have existed in Germany for years.

Depending on the size of the cavity, white fillings last as long as amalgam fillings, ie about five to 15 years. It is important for longevity that white fillings are placed with a high degree of skill.

The standard equipment is an electric toothbrush and interdental brushes and or dental floss. You can also use a tongue scraper. Patients wearing dentures should use special toothbrushes to clean the dentures. You can use mouthwash too, but it should not contain alcohol and should be approved for prolonged use.

Bad breath (halitosis) can be caused by tooth decay, periodontitis and stomach problems. The cause can be identified by your dentist or GP. 

Over the life course the gums naturally receed at a rate of about 0.1 mm per year, exposing the neck of the tooth. Just behind the surface of the neck of the tooth are thousands of tiny canals connected to the tooth's nerve. When you consume cold drinks these small canals transport the coldness, perceived as pain, to the tooth nerves. You can either leave it that way, use a toothpaste designed to reduce sensitivity or you can seal the neck of the tooth with white composite fillings.

A tooth coloured composite filling largely consists of a matrix (an acrylate) and fillers (silicon dioxide and or quartz).

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