So I finally went to see a dentist back in August to have my teeth cleaned, after an 11 year hiatus from dental work (having had no insurance).
I have worn down teeth from lifelong bruxism (thanks a lot, malocclusion), and had a hard splint made to wear at night. Both the dentist and the hygienist said that my teeth were cavity-free and in good shape for someone who hadn't had them cleaned in over a decade. The only thing they wanted me to do was floss regularly and swish with prescription fluoride to prevent caries from forming.
So I found a forum operated by a couple of dentist brothers, posted some pictures of my teeth and gave them a run-down on my diet, dental hygiene and some questions I wanted to run by them.
"You need not apologize for the quality of your photographs; they rival that of any I've seen in dental textbooks and journal articles. It is indeed fortunate that you have "...been trying to be more proactive about taking care of (your) teeth". Having been more accustomed to seeing a dentist synchronously with the sunspot cycle, you could hardly have been less proactive." (gee, thanks for the snarky comment)
If you're really serious about your new enthusiasm for oral health, I will gently offer the opinion that when it comes to effective dental diagnosis, one can't "phone it in", as they say-- neither can it be conveyed in a complete or reliable way by internet. Your teeth look superficially healthy, but to have an assessment you can hang your hat on, you will need to sit in your dentist's chair, allow him to solicit a complete health history, and allow him to assess your mouth and oral anatomy so that he may make proper use of the essential visual, tactile, and x-ray diagnostic criteria. The wear and abrasion of your teeth to which you refer is in evidence in your photographs. This amount of wear would be normal in a 60 or 70 year old, but excessive on a 29 year old. Oral appliances like night guards or occlusal splints are appropriate for guarding against additional wear. You have some unusual beliefs as regards the roles vitamin K2, legumes, and grains play in nutrition, health, and enamel formation. Suffice it to say that there is no consensus among most nutritionists and dieticians with regard to the virtue of the "paleolithic diet", which omits the whole grains and legumes that most mainstream experts regard as essential constituents of a complete diet. As far as growing new tooth enamel, any effort based on nutrition is futile after a tooth has erupted through the gum tissue, because the formative embryonic elements of enamel disappear after the eruption of a tooth. Oh-- and the grooves in the back surfaces of your upper incisors do appear normal, although a proper assessment would include the tactile exploration of those grooves for the presence of tooth decay.
EDIT: His brother replied later on today--
11 years--what's the rush?
I agree with my brother--on the photos, regarding the legumes, and regarding the significance of a long-distance diagnosis.
Yes, the wear of your back teeth is more than I'd expect for a 29 year old. However, we don't know if this wear is an ongoing process, or one that occurred years ago and is now stable. A nightguard is not a bad idea if you can tolerate it. A few notes:
-You state that you had orthodontic treatment when you were younger, and I assume that this accounts for the fixed wire lower retainer.
You don't state whether your wisdom teeth were removed, whether they are absent, or they are impacted. Your dentist should determine this.
The grooves on the palatal surfaces of your upper incisors are perfectly normal (if a bit stained).
You appear to have mild dental fluorosis. This can be seen in the whitish frosted-appearing areas near the chewing surfaces of your premolars, molars and lower canines. While fluorosis can be severe and unsightly, mild cases such as yours indicate a high fluoride content in your enamel--which may account for your relatively small number of cavities.
asked byNemesis (11157)
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on October 31, 2011
at 11:06 AM
I presented at the AHS in UCLA this summer, http://vimeo.com/27788340 with Kevin Boyd. It was a pleasure to be at the event and I learnt a great deal. You seem to have a good dentition. There is no evolutionary need to have your teeth cleaned, even brushing in not natural but helps to counter the effects of a modern diet and prolongs the heath of the gums. Consider that most of the tartar (calculus) that builds up on teeth forms on the lower front teeth, which are almost always the last to be lost from periodontal disease, so it is unlikely to have a causative association. It would be better for hygienists to teach and educate and never actually clean.
In regard to your wear, I have a working hypothesis that it is the lack of the opening force from the tongue against the biting muscles that allows excessive wear and night grinding, I attempt to explain it here http://www.facebook.com/YCrookedTeeth, under;
"Y Crooked Teeth There is an article covering the talk that Kevin and I gave at the Ancestral Health Symposium in UCLA last weekend, some of the quotes are mixed up but it is a good review; http://bigthink.com/ideas/39701"
I really don't think that guards are more that a preventative step, although they can be quite effective.
It is interesting that you have lost your wisdom teeth and the you have spacing between your front teeth that are not perfectly aligned, and that you still need a lower retainer. Less than 5% of paleo man would have had this. You would find http://www.orthotropics.com/ an interesting read. And without a proper debate on this issue we are unlikely to be able to provide you or today's children with more than symptomatic correction. So I would encourage you and others reading this site to join my campaign for a debate on http://www.facebook.com/YCrookedTeeth
I hope that this helps, remember that dentists generally fix problems, and research suggests that people who do not see dentist die with more teeth. Most interesting.
Hope to have a larger presentation next year.
on October 28, 2011
at 01:55 AM
Do you mind sharing what forum? I actually have a dental question I'd like to ask, and these people seem quite helpful.
on October 28, 2011
at 11:02 AM
You say "floss regularly and swish with prescription fluoride to prevent caries from forming". I would not use fluoride because it is really bad for your pineal gland and there is no solid evidence that it prevents caries from forming! Must say that opinions are a little bit devided on this, but I would at least look into it and from your own opinion.
on October 27, 2011
at 07:23 PM
What is that wire on your bottom teeth?
on October 27, 2011
at 02:59 PM
Well most of what they say seems quite reasonable....along the lines of here's what you got with the disclaimer of we really don't know without doing an in person evaluation.
As far as... "You have some unusual beliefs as regards the roles vitamin K2, legumes, and grains play in nutrition, health, and enamel formation. Suffice it to say that there is no consensus among most nutritionists and dieticians with regard to the virtue of the "paleolithic diet", which omits the whole grains and legumes that most mainstream experts regard as essential constituents of a complete diet".....well you already knew that right?
As for the enamel thing...I will be watching to see what others think. I know I have seen a dentist or two on this forum in the past. Hope they check in!