560 Dover Center Road Bay Village, OH 44140

(440) 871-7040
Should I update my manual toothbrush to an electric?

As good as a manual toothbrush can be, we like to recommend an electric toothbrush for optimal prevention.  Electric brushes are effective at removing debri while protecting your gums from the recession that an improperly used manual brush may cause. 

Also, an electric brush is the perfect solution for people with dexterity issues, such as young children and the elderly.  Just put the brush in the right postion and the sonic speed of the head does all the work for you!

At your next vist, ask one of our expert hygienists for more details about which brush may be for you.

I’ve heard that gum disease can lead to heart disease. Is this true?

Yes. Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is, in fact, associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not been proven, scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease is responsible for the association. One theory is that the inflammatory proteins and the bacteria in the periodontal tissue enter the blood stream and cause various effects on the cardiovascular system. 

For many reasons, including its effect on our systemic health, we believe in taking aggressive action to eliminate periodontal disease. We also provide our patients with the education, tools, and techniques for excellent home care and prevention.

I’ve heard that my silver-colored fillings contain mercury. Should I have them replaced?

When choosing a material to restore your teeth in the strongest, healthiest way possible, Dr. Gravino only uses natural-colored composite material. We believe that the possibility exists for amalgam fillings to leech toxins into your body, and since we are unaware of the amount and effect of those toxins, we choose to avoid amalgam materials altogether.

Are dental X-rays safe?

Yes, dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool that Dr. Gravino uses to detect damage and disease not visible with the naked eye or dental loupes. How often X-rays are taken depends on your present oral health, your age, any signs and symptoms of oral disease, and your risk level for such disease. 

Our new digital X-ray machines limit the low-dose radiation to a beam that targets only the areas needing to be filmed, and digital sensors allow for much shorter exposure times and 75% less radiation. Stray radiation is almost non-existent with the use of modern dental X-ray machines, but the use of lead-lined, full-body aprons protect against even that possibility. Every two years, federal law requires X-ray machines to be checked for safety and accuracy.

I’m pregnant. Is it safe for me to go to the dentist?

Congratulations! Yes, it’s even more important to see your dentist during pregnancy so that changes can be monitored and addressed quickly. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase your risk for developing oral health problems like gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (gum disease). 

In addition, the increased levels of progesterone in pregnancy may make it easier for certain gingivitis-causing bacteria to grow. This may also make gum tissue more sensitive to plaque and exaggerate the body’s response to toxins that result from plaque. In fact, if you already have a significant gum disease, being pregnant may make it worse.

I think I’m grinding my teeth. How can I be sure?

Waking up with pain in your jaw is a clear sign that you are grinding your teeth (called bruxing) while you sleep. You may also be subconsciously clenching during the day, which can also be the cause of pain and persistent headaches. 

Not only is it uncomfortable, but persistent bruxing/clenching can damage teeth and cause them to wear. This wearing will eventually interfere with your occlusion (bite), which will cause harm to other teeth due to the forces from an incorrect bite. All of this may also damage your temporomandibular (jaw) joints and result in the common disorder referred to as TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder). 

If you suspect that you are bruxing or clenching, please call for an appointment as soon as possible. Dr. Gravino will diagnose your condition, take steps to restore your occlusion (bite), and most likely prescribe a custom occlusal guard to protect your teeth and gums from future grinding habits.

My morning doesn’t start until I’ve had my first cup of coffe or tea. How bad is this for my teeth?

Tea and coffee are safe to drink in moderation. However, over time, large amounts can cause staining and damage. In addition to caffeine, tea and coffee contain chromogens, deeply pigmented molecules that adhere to dental enamel. They also contain tannins, which boost a chromogen molecule’s ability to attach to dental enamel. Black tea is worse than black coffee, because coffee is lower in tannins.

At your next hygiene visit, our expert hygienist can remove some of this staining, however for stubborn and deep stains, whitening may be your best option.

We offer all types of whitening, so give us a call now for information, or ask us at your next visit.  Click here for more whitening info

When should my child receive his/her first dental check-up?

Ideally, you should seek a dentist for your child around the age of three, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as visual decay and trauma, or if you see areas of concern. We would also be happy to give your child a “ride” in the dental chair in order to build trust and help him or her feel comfortable.

How can I protect my teeth from damage?

The enamel on our teeth is hard, but as we all know, it can be chipped and cracked. In addition to following the instructions of your hygienist, here are some other ways you can protect your teeth:

  • Avoid chewing ice, cracking nut shells, or opening packages with your teeth.
  • Avoid “hard foods” such as popcorn.
  • Limit acidic soft drinks and sugary foods that stick to your teeth.
  • Decide against tongue and lip piercings, which can fracture teeth and increase infection risk.
Does Dr. Gravino check for oral cancer?

Yes, he does. As part of your new patient exam, and at every preventive visit thereafter, Dr. Gravino and our expert hygienist will perform a thorough check of your oral tissues, including the lips and tongue. We will monitor any changes and inform you if treatment by a specialist is needed. 

Dentists and hygienists are your first line of defense in detecting and treating oral cancer. Each year in the U.S., approximately 30,000 people are newly diagnosed with this disease. The good news is, when found early, oral cancers have an 80 to 90% cure rate.

Why don’t my dentures fit right anymore?

The tissues and bones of your mouth may shrink (atrophy) with the passage of time or with the gain or loss of body weight, causing a change in the fit of your dentures. A simple reline may help them fit snugly again. However, if you’ve worn your dentures for a number of years, or the bases are too far out of shape, it may be time for replacements. It is counterproductive to use more denture adhesive to try to make them hold better, because this may lead to faster bone loss and additional problems with the fit of your dentures.

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