Maintaining good dental health is a key component in overall wellness. A dental exam performed by a dentist and professional cleaning by a registered dental hygienist is recommended twice a year. Not only will it benefit your smile, both exams and cleanings are crucial in the early detection of more serious oral health problems.
Our dental hygienist will use special instruments to remove plaque and tartar, which reduces your risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Manual instruments can remove moderate build-up, while an ultrasonic device can help scale away heavier build-up. They will then remove stains and refresh your smile by polishing the surface of your teeth.
During your dental exam, first our dentist will check for gum disease and examine the over-all health of your gums and look for the presence of oral cancer. Then they will check for tooth decay and the stability of existing fillings or restorations. Sometimes a dental x-ray will be performed to assess below-the-surface problems like decay, bone loss, tumors, cysts and abscesses. Once completed, our dentist can address any findings with you and recommend to you a treatment plan.
Regular check-ups and cleanings are essential in preventing periodontal disease. Gingivitis affects the soft tissues of the mouth, resulting from plaque build-up, tartar and bacteria below the gum line. Contributing factors include dry mouth from medications or medical conditions, mouth-breathing, and orthodontic appliances. Signs of gingivitis include inflamed, irritated or bleeding gums. Since it is the early stage of gum disease, it is reversible with regular professional cleanings and by maintaining proper oral hygiene habits at home.
Periodontitis is more serious, and affects the structures that surround, secure, and support the teeth, like bone, gums, and fibers. Periodontitis is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, but medical conditions like diabetes can also contribute to developing the disease, along with smoking. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Early signs include redness, swelling, or inflammation around the gum line. Our dentist can examine your gums and may need to take x-rays to look at your bones. Several deep cleanings requiring anesthesia may be needed, as well as special antibiotics and prescription mouth rinses. It is not reversible, but these aggressive treatments and following the recommendation for frequent professional cleanings and daily oral hygiene at home can stop its progression.