I’m here with Dr. Rob Lipkowitz steps away from your practice in beautiful Kettle Cove in Magnolia, Massachusetts. Now, if someone struggles with bad breath, what should they do?
Well, bad breath is caused by a few different things. It can be caused by bacteria that grow on your gums, your teeth, and your tongue. Or it can be caused by the foods that you eat and it can be caused by digestive issues. So the first place we always start is by making sure a person’s teeth are clean and that they know how to keep their tongues clean. If that doesn’t help them, then we talk about the foods that they’re eating, and there are some special mouthwashes out there that tie up the sulfur compounds that actually are in the foods that are causing the bad breath. If that’s not effective, then I will suggest some probiotics or maybe even a visit to their physician to have the gastrointestinal tract issues checked out.
And now if someone has a cavity but it’s not causing them pain or discomfort, should they still have that cavity filled?
Absolutely, the longer you wait to have a cavity filled, the more likely you are to weaken the tooth. That cavity can spread to the nerve, and then the infection can spread into the jaw bone. So in terms of being preventive, you always want to take care of dental problems early. I think of it like if you’re sailing on a ship and you go off course and you correct it early on, it just takes a few minutes to get back on track. But the worst a dental problem gets, the longer it takes to fix, the more energy it takes, and frequently, the more expensive takes to it done.
What if a missing tooth is not replaced. What happens?
Well, there are a couple of things with missing teeth. In the front of the mouth, there are cosmetic issues, so a person can be really self-conscious about their appearance. In the back of the mouth, you can have difficulty chewing, and then over time, teeth will shift into the spaces that are caused by the missing tooth, and then what happens is it de-stabilizes your bite and can often lead to pain in the joints and wear in the joints. So it is important to replace missing teeth when you lose one.
Now, in the past couple of years, there’s been a lot of technological advances in dentistry, can you talk about how you’ve implemented those in your practice?
Yeah, so I’m a real fan of technology in the practice. I like to put technology in that is really beneficial to the patients and really beneficial for the practice.
The ones that I’ve put in that I think are the best are digital X-rays which have lower radiation for the patients, and also have increased our ability to diagnose problems since you can grow those little films up on a full computer screen. I also have the CEREC CAD/CAM system, which allows me to make beautiful porcelain crowns in one visit to the office. My dental hygienist has the latest in Piezo electric cleaners, which help take off all the tartar on people’s teeth with very little pain or discomfort. I have dental lasers where I can do simple surgeries and do certain types of gum treatment.
I like to stay up on the latest technology in terms of the dental filling materials and the bonding agents and things like that, because that just makes the fillings and the dental restorations that we make with people last a lot longer.
Well, thank you, Dr. Lipkowitz, I learned something today. And if you’d like to meet at Dr. Rob in person, come down to 2 Magnolia Ave in Gloucester, MA and become a new patient.