expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. Brenda D. Berkal

Dentist

Dr. Brenda Berkal is a Dentist practicing in Derry, New Hampshire. Dr. Berkal specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases and conditions associated with the mouth and overall dental health. Dentists are trained to carry out such treatment as professional cleaning, restorative, prosthodontic, and endodontic procedures, and performing examinations, among many others.
Dr. Brenda D. Berkal
  • Derry, New Hampshire
  • Tufts University
  • Accepting new patients

Is tooth whitening safe?

Most lightening products, including all those available from your dentist, are safe.

Is it possible to brush my teeth way too much?

If you are using a brush with soft or extra soft bristles, a minimal amount of a non-abrasive toothpaste (or none at all), and not scrubbing hard, you should be fine. Brushing READ MORE
If you are using a brush with soft or extra soft bristles, a minimal amount of a non-abrasive toothpaste (or none at all), and not scrubbing hard, you should be fine. Brushing too forcefully can damage the teeth and gums. The gums can be scraped away. Exposed root could then be abraded. Some electric toothbrushes let you know if you are using too much pressure. I see more people with disease from inadequate cleaning.

What is the best whitening toothpaste?

Basically, no toothpastes actually lighten the color of teeth. Toothpaste can remove surface stain from teeth, as can a visit to your dentist. Custom fitted trays to hold a dental READ MORE
Basically, no toothpastes actually lighten the color of teeth. Toothpaste can remove surface stain from teeth, as can a visit to your dentist. Custom fitted trays to hold a dental lightening solution on the teeth is the most effective way to lighten teeth. Avoid coarse, abrasive toothpastes. They can thin the enamel. That allows the darker internal dentin to show.

How can I tell if I'm grinding my teeth?

Waking with aching jaws is a strong indication that you are clenching or grinding your teeth. Prolonged grinding does tend to wear down the teeth. The edges of the teeth may look READ MORE
Waking with aching jaws is a strong indication that you are clenching or grinding your teeth. Prolonged grinding does tend to wear down the teeth. The edges of the teeth may look flat, or they may have a very translucent appearance if just the back of the tooth is worn. Clenching may not appear as obvious. However, the teeth may eventually crack, develop notches by the gum line (which can cause sensitivity), or they get loose. We now know that some people grind their teeth in an attempt to open the airway. A sleep study may be a good first step. The jaw hinges open. Store bought mouth guards are the same thickness front and back. As the back teeth do not open as widely as the front teeth, store bought mouth guards can cause further jaw problems.

My child accidentally ate toothpaste. What should I do?

The question is: how much toothpaste did she eat? If she placed no more than the size of a baby pea on her brush, and neglected to spit that out, I would not be overly concerned. READ MORE
The question is: how much toothpaste did she eat? If she placed no more than the size of a baby pea on her brush, and neglected to spit that out, I would not be overly concerned. If she took the tube of toothpaste and started eating, that would not be good. As with almost anything, including water, too much is toxic. The toxic dose for regular toothpaste is fairly
high. At lower doses, mottling of developing enamel can occur if the overexposure is frequent.or prolonged. No more than a baby pea-sized drop of toothpaste should be used each
brushing.

When should I consider porcelain veneers?

Veneers may be one possibility. Why have your teeth moved? If the gums are healthy enough, it is possible you would be better off having the teeth moved into alignment with aligners READ MORE
Veneers may be one possibility. Why have your teeth moved? If the gums are healthy enough, it is possible you would be better off having the teeth moved into alignment with aligners or braces. Are you happy with the color shape of your teeth? If so, you may not need veneers.

Does an impacted tooth require surgery?

Leaving an impacted tooth often leads to problems. Pressure from an impacted tooth trying to grow into the mouth can damage neighboring teeth. A partially exposed tooth is impossible READ MORE
Leaving an impacted tooth often leads to problems. Pressure from an impacted tooth trying to grow into the mouth can damage neighboring teeth. A partially exposed tooth is impossible to clean, so it is prone to gum infection. A completely impacted tooth can develop a cyst, or rarely cancer. Most impacted teeth should be removed.

Do cavities ever need to be refilled?

Fillings do wear out. However, a tooth in a lot of pain may have more involved needs. A tooth can crack, that would hurt during biting and chewing. If the decay was deep, the nerve READ MORE
Fillings do wear out. However, a tooth in a lot of pain may have more involved needs. A tooth can crack, that would hurt during biting and chewing. If the decay was deep, the nerve or pulp of the tooth can deteriorate and develop an abscess. See a dentist soon, immediately if there is any swelling in your mouth.

Can my silver fillings be replaced with white fillings?

As long as the roots of the teeth are healthy, better looking (mercury-free) fillings could probably be placed. If the fillings are very large, or if the teeth have cracks, something READ MORE
As long as the roots of the teeth are healthy, better looking (mercury-free) fillings could probably be placed. If the fillings are very large, or if the teeth have cracks, something stronger might be recommended. The stronger restorations would also be tooth colored.

How often can I use a mouthwash in a day?

Mouthwashes containing alcohol should not be used frequently. When was your last professional dental cleaning? If it was within the last three months, you might want your primary READ MORE
Mouthwashes containing alcohol should not be used frequently. When was your last professional dental cleaning? If it was within the last three months, you might want your primary care physician to rule out any metabolic or digestive disorders. Daily flossing is a big help for bad breath. Xylitol containing mints or gum do not cause decay, and freshen breath. Do NOT use hard candies with sugar!

How often do you need your teeth cleaned?

If your gums are very healthy, twice a year is enough. Your dentist can determine how healthy your gums are. Some people need cleanings every 3 months. Floss and careful brushing READ MORE
If your gums are very healthy, twice a year is enough. Your dentist can determine how healthy your gums are. Some people need cleanings every 3 months. Floss and careful brushing make a big difference.

Is it okay to swallow the gel applied for a mouth ulcer?

With a product meant to be used in the mouth, small amounts are okay to swallow.

What is the treatment suggested for treating dental plaque and soreness in the gums?

Hardened deposits cannot be removed safely, except by a dental professional. They should be able to keep you comfortably numb. Once the deposits are removed, daily flossing READ MORE
Hardened deposits cannot be removed safely, except by a dental professional. They should be able to keep you comfortably numb. Once the deposits are removed, daily flossing and brushing are the answer.

Can using mouthwash frequently negatively impact the health of my teeth?

Many mouth washes contain alcohol. Alcohol is drying. Gums should be wet. Rinsing does not replace brush and floss. A non alcohol rinse should not be damaging, as long as it READ MORE
Many mouth washes contain alcohol. Alcohol is drying. Gums should be wet. Rinsing does not replace brush and floss. A non alcohol rinse should not be damaging, as long as it is not replacing plaque removal.

Can brushing my teeth with salt whiten my teeth?

A professional cleaning would have better results with less damage to your teeth and sodium levels.

How should I select my toothpaste?

Fluoride is the proven active ingredient. Low abrasiveness is also ideal. Most other claims are questionable.

Is higher or lower pressure better with water flossers?

Mid way sounds good. Excessive pressure could be damaging.

What are the early signs of dental trouble?

Healthy gums do not bleed! I recommend seeing a dentist.

What is causing the white layer on my tongue?

Bacteria typically form a coating on the tongue. However, if the coating is developing that quickly, see your physician to rule out a yeast infection.

My son's teeth are discoloured. Why?

I'd recommend taking him to the dentist. There it can be determined if the is stain on the surface of the teeth, possibly from juice; or if the stain is inside the teeth, possibly READ MORE
I'd recommend taking him to the dentist. There it can be determined if the is stain on the surface of the teeth, possibly from juice; or if the stain is inside the teeth, possibly from a high fever as an infant.