Frequently Asked Dental Questions – Boise, ID

Answering All of Your Dental Questions

As a self-proclaimed nerd of all things dentistry, Dr. Harless is invested in educating patients on treatments that could improve their quality of life, good oral health techniques and habits, and much more. Below, our team has compiled a list of some of the most commonly asked questions from our patients for your convenience. If you still don’t have the answers you’re looking for, please give us a call!

How do I know if I have gum disease?

Gum disease can cause a variety of symptoms depending on how far it has progressed, such as:

  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing.
  • Gum recession that makes teeth appear longer.
  • Pockets that have formed between the gums and teeth.
  • Chronic bad breath.
  • Tenderness and soreness of the gums.
  • Loose or missing teeth.

What’s the difference between traditional and laser periodontal therapy?

Traditional periodontal therapy utilizes instruments like a scaler to clear all plaque and tartar from the surface of teeth, while laser periodontal therapy utilizes a soft tissue dental laser. This device emits a concentrated beam of light that kills bacteria on-contact and can precisely remove severely damaged gum tissue, leaving only the healthy tissue behind. Not only does it offer more effective results, but it also drastically minimizes post-operative discomfort and bleeding.

Do you see children at your dental office?

Yes! Our team is happy to treat patients of all ages.

What are common symptoms of TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorder, also known as TMJD, is a common condition that’s estimated to impact between 5-12% of adults, most commonly diagnosed within people between 20 and 40 years old. It often causes symptoms such as:

  • Bruxism, or the chronic grinding and clenching of teeth.
  • Jaw and facial pain.
  • Pain in the shoulder and neck area.
  • Lockjaw and jaw stiffness.
  • Popping and clicking when you open and close your mouth.
  • Headaches and migraines.
  • Earaches and tinnitus or ringing in the ears.
  • Malocclusion, or a change in the bite.
  • Flat or worn-down molars.

Can sleep apnea impact my health?

Many people don’t understand how deeply sleep apnea can impact their health. Because it limits the amount of oxygen your brain receives as you sleep and due to its ability to keep you from reaching a deep state of rest, it can increase your risk of countless medical conditions. In addition to making you more susceptible to depression and mood swings, sleep apnea can lead to strokes, heart disease, and much more. Dr. Harless offers effective oral appliance therapy (OAT) to keep your airways from collapsing as you sleep, helping improve your overall health, all while allowing you to get the rejuvenating rest necessary to carry on with your life.

Do you see emergency dental patients?

Yes! Our team offers same-day appointments for patients who call us in pain.