Preventive Dentistry and Oral Hygiene
Although professional cleanings and oral examinations are crucial to the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums, good preventive dental care begins at home. We instruct all of our patients in a personalized home care regimen that will help avoid dental disease and maintain their teeth for a lifetime. When necessary, we offer a variety of non-surgical general dentistry treatments to our patients that are designed to reverse or halt advanced gum and bone disease. For more information about preventive dental care contact our office today.
Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer, screenings are an essential part of our practice, each and every time you come in for a checkup you will receive a screening. Pity, because oral cancer kills. It has the worst five-year survival rate of all major cancers. With early diagnosis it can be cured, yet the disease often goes unnoticed because it is usually painless. But it can be observed, if you know what to look for. You should be alert to signs of oral cancer and check for symptoms. Avoid regular sun exposure, tobacco, and excessive alcohol intake. Smoking and drinking are the leading causes of oral cancers. Tobacco smoke combined with your own saliva has been called a recipe for cancer of the lip, mouth, tongue, gums, larynx, and pharynx. Healthy saliva contains antioxidants which afford some protections against cancer, but once exposed to cigarette smoke, saliva loses the antioxidant advantage. We are trained to detect the signs and symptoms or oral cancer and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. We have a protocol for oral cancer screenings and since most people see their dentists more often than their physicians, we are your first line of defense. We routinely preform your oral cancer screenings at the time of your initial and periodic checkups.
Dental Hygiene and Periodontal Health
Your teeth are not the only important part of your mouth. Your gums are essential to oral hygiene as well. Our office delivers the highest level of preventive service. We provide both routine cleanings and comprehensive periodontal care. To ensure that you maintain great oral health, this level of quality needs to extend into your personal oral hygiene routine as well. We can help you establish a dental hygiene routine that will keep your teeth healthy and white. If you have any questions about your current hygiene plan please call to make an appointment to come in so you are sure you understand how we can best work together to optimize your dental health.
Periodontal (gum) Disease
As the President of the American Dental Association recently put it, “It’s entirely possible to have gum disease and not even know it… especially in the early stages. Perhaps this is why more than half of dentists surveyed also cite periodontal disease as the one area their patients are not sufficiently concerned about, despite the fact that there is growing evidence of links between the disease and other serious conditions.” Gum disease will affect 75% of American adults at some time in their lives. In its early stages when treatment is simplest and most effective, it can easily go unnoticed. This silent disease is caused by bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth and gums. If the plaque isn’t removed daily by brushing and flossing, it releases toxins which cause the breakdown of the fibers that hold your gums tightly to your teeth, which in turn creates gaps called “pockets” between your teeth and gums. These pockets then fill up with even more bacteria and toxins which further weaken the gum tissue and eventually the bone. But until the disease reaches an advanced stage, it is often painless…silent, but dangerous. The earliest form of the disease is called gingivitis, which often affects teenagers. Two early symptoms are gums that bleed when brushed or flossed, and gums that are bright red and swollen instead of pink. Periodontal disease can often be reversed or at least kept effectively in check. But early diagnosis and a rigorous regimen of professional and home care are essential for success. Together we can win, so please make sure you have regular checkups and pay special attention to the state of your gums, even if you are symptom free.
Many people are affected with bruxism, or teeth grinding. Some people may do this consciously during the day, but it is a larger problem at night while you are asleep. Grinding your teeth can damage the enamel, wear down teeth, cause jaw pain, or irritate your gums. The noise from grinding your teeth can also disturb your partners sleep if loud enough. If you grind your teeth you should consider a night guard. The night guard, which is very similar to a mouth guard worn by athletes, provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. All night guards are custom fitted for comfort and allow for proper breathing. If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night set up a consultation with us today.
Sports Mouth Guards
Mouth guards are essential piece of equipment for safety in any contact sport. They should be worn by athletes of all ages who participate in sports. Wearing a mouth guard helps prevent against structural damage to your teeth and jaw and also helps prevent injuries such as lacerations to your cheeks, tongue, and lips. Mouth guards have also been shown to help decrease the risk of concussions. For the highest level of comfort and protection, you should obtain a custom mouth guard fitting. A custom mouth guard is created specially for the optimal protection of your mouth. It is created with a thin plastic that is hardened to protect your teeth. The thinness of the custom mouth guard allows for easy breathing and also allows for easy communication. According to the experts, wearing a mouth guard custom-fitted by a dentist can prevent serious injury and save pain in every sport. Each year, mouth guard’s prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries among athletes ! Come see us today for a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and ensure that you maintain the highest level of performance on the field, court, or rink.
Our dental team is proud to offer our patients the digital radiograph, which offers benefits beyond the traditional x-ray. We use a sensor that is about the size and shape of a domino instead of film. It sends signals to a computer, which are translated into large, crisp, electronic pictures of your teeth and supporting bones. The pictures can be enlarged and colored for clarification and are stored in your digital file at our office for future reference. Images are ready in seconds, and because theres no film, theres no harmful chemical waste! We know many of our patients are concerned about the amount of radiation they are exposed to. You will be pleased to know that digital x-rays emit less than 60 percent of the radiation needed for traditional x-rays.
The camera gives us the ability to view the entire mouth on a monitor so that we can get a closer look at any potential issues or problems that may arise. In addition, the patient will have the ability to share first hand the same images what we are seeing.