Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells clean. If your gums are inflamed, they may hurt or bleed while you are brushing and flossing. This condition, referred to as gingivitis, can cause persistent bad breath. Any one of these issues can be indicative of a problem and our dental hygienists can help you learn good oral hygiene techniques and help point out areas of your mouth that may require extra attention during brushing and flossing.
Daily preventive care, which includes proper home care, will help stop problems before they develop. It is much less painful and expensive to keep up with proper home care, than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress. In between regular visits to our office, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing gingivitis, periodontal disease and tooth decay.
Dental check-ups should be scheduled every 6 months. There are routinely 2 parts to these visits: the oral examination, and the preventive prophylaxis, otherwise known as the dental cleaning. Both of these are important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Dr. Olgetree and our dentists will check your teeth for cavities, as well as do an oral cancer screening. They will also check for plaque and tarter to make sure it’s as removed as possible during your appointment. Plaque is a sticky biofilm that can harden and turn into tarter. Once tarter is present, it cannot be removed by brushing and/or flossing, and it can build up and cause oral diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
Your gums will be evaluated, as well, and will be done with a special tool to measure the spaces between your teeth and gums. With healthy gums, the spaces are shallow. When people have gum disease, the spaces may become deeper. If problems or gum disease are allowed to develop, bad breath, discomfort, and ultimately tooth mobility can occur.
Fluoride is commonly used to prevent cavities and reduce tooth hypersensitivity. Numerous studies have been conducted demonstrating the broad range of benefits provided by this important ingredient. We suggest every member of the family use fluoride rinses daily to combat these problems. Additionally, we provide fluoride rinses and varnishes in conjunction with routine preventive care. We also recommend fluoride home treatments for those who suffer from even mild sensitivity.
Prevention of cavities is better than treatment. With that being said, Pit & Fissure Sealants are commonly recommended to children and teens. These sealants are covered by most insurance plans and our dentists will evaluate the teeth during the examination to give proper recommendations. The sealants are placed in the grooves and pits of the back teeth to help ensure bacteria does not penetrate the chewing surfaces of those teeth, also known as the molars and premolars. They are a pain free and non-invasive preventive care option. Think of them as armor for your children’s teeth.
Periodontal disease is caused when the bacteria in plaque builds up between the gums and teeth over a period of time. When the bacteria begins to grow, the gums surrounding the tooth can become infected, which will cause, inflammation, bleeding, and pain. This is called gingivitis. If left untreated, the gums and supporting bone structure will deteriorate, which is periodontal disease. This can lead to gum recession or even tooth loss. In addition, research has shown that periodontal disease may be associated with other diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Risk factors for periodontal disease include inadequate hygiene, age, diet, genetics and smoking.
Your first line of defense against periodontal disease is home care and routine preventive treatment. If the first line of defense fails, your dentist and hygienist can give you the proper care and information to return to oral health. Periodontal disease is not reversible, however it can be managed. With the proper education, further pain and complications associated with periodontal disease can be managed with great success.
At Belmont Dental Associates we realize that more that about 60% of patients fear something about their upcoming dental appointment. So, our dentists and staff strive daily to do whatever we can to make sure your appointment is as smooth and stress free as possible.
There are many things people fear about coming to the dentist. People anticipate pain, bad past experiences, the effects of local anesthetic, and the sounds that they may hear during the appointment, and some feel as though the dentist and staff seem as though they are in a hurry and do not have time to care about their concerns. We realize that dental anxiety is very real for many patients. Our dentists and staff, from the moment you walk in until you appointment is complete, will do all they can to lower your stress and anxiety.
Our dentists, hygienists, and assistants are all trained and educated to answer any question or concern you may have no matter how large or small; whether it be about finances or your upcoming treatment. We also try to keep patients informed as to what is happening throughout their entire appointment. Many patients do not like the sounds they hear during their appointment, so we like to have our patients pick out a movie, sit back and relax to get lost in a movie with headphones to help drown out the noises. Earlier appointments are always great for patients with high anxiety about the dentist, that way you do not have to think and worry throughout the whole day about your appointment.
Give us a call today for all of your preventive dentistry needs!