Sometimes it is the little things that make a day feel special – like just cleaned, lickable teeth. But those smooth and sparkling teeth are also good for your health!
You see, cleanings remove the plaque and tartar from around your gumline, and that is important because your gums not only hold your teeth in place, they are direct links to the rest of your body as well! Your gums are mucous membranes, and like all other mucous membranes in your body, they are involved in absorption and secretion. If there is an infection in a mucous membrane, the infection may spread throughout your body. And that infection has been linked to a plethora of health issues, from strokes and heart attacks, to inflammation and pregnancy complications.
We have a variety of treatment options to get, and keep, your teeth, gums, and body healthy, strong, and feeling great!
Great oral health starts with keeping your teeth and gums clean and free of bacteria, plaque, and tartar. That’s why we encourage consistent and regularly scheduled hygiene visits. These visits start with an examination and evaluation of the health of your mouth, teeth and gums, measuring your gum pockets and taking x-rays if necessary. Once your examination is complete, your hygienist will use the latest techniques to clean, polish and protect your teeth. This includes use of the Cavitron, an incredibly gentle ultrasonic device designed remove calculus, stains, and plaque; delicate cleaning with a hand tool, and application of Fluoride (if needed) for remineralization or sensitivity. And of course we always use a gentle touch and anesthetics if needed to ensure that you are comfortable during every cleaning.
Even if your teeth and gums look healthy, you might still be at risk for a gum infection, or periodontal disease. Approximately 40% of all adults have chronic periodontal disease, and in recent years, evidence has shown exactly what a gum infection can do to your body. Unfortunately, periodontal disease is very elusive. Often, it is misdiagnosed or simply ignored. There may not be any obvious symptoms. Gums may recede, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay, abscesses, and loss – without any bleeding, tenderness, or other indications of a problem. The good news is that if you do have active gum disease, we can treat and heal your gums with a number of advanced technologies. Ultrasonic scalers allow for extra gentle scaling and root planing. Powerful topical antibiotics, such as Arrestin, kill bacteria under the gum line with microspheres that stay under the gums for up to 21 days. Oral antibiotics help clear away systemic infection. And lasers allow us to perform gum surgery with no cutting or stitching. If you suspect that you have any level of gum disease, or if it has been a while since your last cleaning, please give us a call. It could protect your teeth and your health.
As teeth have become healthier overall and enamel harder, cavities have also become more difficult to detect. Why? Caries lesions, or cavities, are less often seen on the surface of the enamel, and more often under it. So what is a dentist to do if a tooth looks suspicious? Drill into the tooth to check? Leave it alone until it destroys your tooth from the inside out?
Our dentists have a better solution – the The DIAGNOdent® laser caries detection aid. The device’s ability to see into your tooth enables dentists to treat subsurface cavities with confidence.
How The DIAGNOdent Works
This kid-friendly laser device glides over the tooth without any discomfort to give us immediate feedback about tooth health. If hidden decay is detected, an alarm will sound, alerting your doctor or hygienist.
Benefits of the DIAGNOdent
The DIAGNOdent allows us to be less invasive with our treatments. It lets us keep an eye on vulnerable tooth surfaces, such as areas of wear or cracking, and makes measuring changes and making comparison over time easy and convenient.
It also permits us to treat the cavity with smaller restorations, and sometimes allows treatment of the cavity with no filling at all. And since the the DIAGNOdent has been proven to be over 90% accurate, you can be sure that you and your family are are only getting the dental treatment you really need.
Have you ever wondered why Fluoride is so important to the health of your teeth? Every day your teeth lose some of their protective minerals – especially if you consume acidic foods or drinks such as sodas or sports drinks, clench or grind your teeth, or fail to brush as well as you should. When these minerals are disturbed or eroded, your tooth enamel can become damaged. One way to help strengthen teeth and reverse this damage is through remineralizing fluoride treatments.
Isn’t Fluoride Just for Kids?
Long considered mainly for children – for whom we recommend a fluoride treatment at every visit – fluoride treatments have been proven tremendously beneficial for adults as well. Fluoride stops the progress of newly formed cavities in anyone who uses it, and adult root cavities can be greatly reduced through these treatments
How Fluoride Works
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making your teeth more resistant to attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Sometimes it can even reverse early decay. It also speeds up the growth of the new surface by bringing the phosphate and calcium ions present in your saliva together to form a new, mineral surface. If you would like to learn more about whether fluoride treatments are for you, please talk to us today.
Does it seem that every time you or your child sits down in the dental chair, we find another cavity? You may have the kind of teeth that need a little more care and attention than others. Some people, for example, have deep grooves and fissures in their molars. These grooves can collect more plaque than people who have smoother teeth – and keep it there! Since the bacteria found in dental plaque causes tooth decay, the longer plaque remains on a tooth’s surface the more likely it will form a cavity.
What are Dental Sealants?
Sealants are a plastic resin that we usually paint, in a liquid form, into the grooves and on the chewing surfaces of teeth. When the resin hardens, plaque won’t stick as well and cleaning will be a snap.
My Kids Have Sealants. Should I have Them Too?
Because kids can’t always reach well into their mouths to brush those back teeth, sealants are absolutely crucial for kids – especially those who are prone to cavities. Children should typically have sealants applied to their molars and premolars as soon as they come in, and on their permanent molars between ages 6 and 14.
But if you are one of the fortunate adults who has molars without cavities, you can definitely benefit from sealants as well! Sealants will protect adult teeth in the same way and for the same reason they protect your children’s teeth.