General Dentistry

Oral Hygiene
Live Healthier, Live Happier

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is the gift of good oral health. In fact, a report in the Journal of Dental Research shows the importance of oral health as it relates to a person’s functional well-being, emotional well-being, and sense of self. Good oral health isn’t just about fixing problems, it is about increasing your quality of life. Good oral hygiene is the foundation of keeping a healthy mouth. While everyone feels like an expert at brushing and flossing, it’s important to know what the most current research says. Our understanding of the most basic parts of oral hygiene are constantly changing, and we want to make sure our patients are informed.

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Brushing, Flossing, and Bacteria

We all know brushing and flossing make our mouth feel great. But, brushing and flossing do more than freshen breath – they physically disrupt the complex network of bacteria called a biofilm. It’s important to disrupt and remove the sticky film so diseases like cavities and gum disease are less likely to happen. There are a lot of products on the market that claim they are the best. Make sure to talk about the options with your hygienist to get the best recommendation.

And as you know, it is important to brush twice a day for at least two minutes, and floss once. If you have a hard time remembering to floss, connect it with a daily activity you always do. You can floss in the shower or while driving to work!

Oral Hygiene - Floss, Brush, Rinse

What are Cavities?

How to Floss Your Teeth

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Gum Disease

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Gum disease sometimes called Periodontitis is a common and often, preventable disease. It affects the soft tissues around the teeth causing inflammation. Once the soft tissues are damaged the bone deteriorates, leading to tooth loss.

Causes

There are three usual causes of gum disease. The first and most common is chronic periodontitis. This occurs when oral hygiene is neglected and bacteria accumulate beneath the gum line, eventually turning into a hard substance called tartar. Tartar is not easily removed by brushing and flossing and requires a professional cleaning. If left untreated the gums become inflamed and damaged and bone loss occurs. The second cause is aggressive periodontitis, this is believed to have a genetic component as it shows up in a small number of families. It moves quickly and can even be seen in children. The last, and most rare cause is necrotizing periodontal disease. This can occur in people with immune issues and or chronic disease. The soft tissues and bone are compromised due to lack of blood flow to the area.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

You should talk to the dentist if you notice any of the following:

  • Your gums bleed easily
  • Sore gums
  • Bad breath
  • Gums that pull away from your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • New spaces between teeth
  • Swollen gums
  • Pus forming between teeth and gums
  • A change in your bite

The dental team can help determine how serious your issue is and what level of treatment you need.

Periodontics

Periodontal Screening

Treatment

For mild cases, sometimes called gingivitis, improving your oral hygiene will be enough to get your gums healthy again. In more severe cases you will need a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing.

Scaling and root planing

If you have chronic periodontal issues, we may recommend scaling and root planing. Scaling refers to a procedure where we scrape the build-up of tartar from above and below the gumline. Then, planing is where the tooth roots are smoothed out so the gum tissue can successfully reattach to the bone. Depending on your case, the procedure can happen in one appointment or several.

Laser treatment

Your case may benefit from laser assisted treatment. If so, a small laser is used to remove damaged gum tissue to make it easier to remove build up. Lasers are precise and is less invasive than other surgical options.

Scaling and Root Planing

Treatment of Abscessed Teeth

Gum Recession

Receding gums affect about half of Americans over the age of 50. But, young people can experience gum recession too. You may be genetically predisposed to gum recession. Some people are born with thin gums. Other times the environment might contribute to recession. Things like aggressive brushing, trauma, surgery or ill-fitting partials can cause recession.

Receding Gums Illustration

Treatment of Gum Recession

If you notice a tooth looks long or you experience sensitivity or pain when brushing and flossing, you could have gum recession. Be sure to come in and have one of the doctor’s take a look. If you have recession we can typically graft a small amount of skin from your palate and patch it over the receding area. The treatment helps protect the tooth from further damage. It is a minor procedure that can be done for a single tooth or multiple teeth depending on your need.

Oral Cancer Screenings

54,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. A staggering statistic. Early detection of oral cancer can improve chances of effective treatment. That’s why we provide oral cancer screenings at your appointments.

A special light is used to detect abnormal tissue. It is fast and painless. If you have questions about oral cancer screening, don’t hesitate to ask.

New Patient Forms

Oral Cancer Infographic

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Taking Care of Your Teeth and Mouth During Cancer Treatment

Dentist Fights Oral Cancer in Memory of Mother

Mouthguards & Nightguards

Protect your teeth day and night

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Nightguards

If you are part of the 10-15% of people that suffer from bruxism you may benefit from a nightguard. Clenching and grinding your teeth while you sleep can lead to damage to your teeth and any restorative dental work you may have. It can also contribute to headaches and jaw pain. If this sounds like you, come in for a consult. A nightguard will protect your teeth during the night.

Mouthguards

Kids in sports are prone to injury. If your child plays sports they should wear a protective mouthguard. We can create a custom mouthguard for your child that will keep their teeth protected. It is easier and cheaper to protect teeth, rather than fix them. If you want more information about mouthguards ask any of our skilled team members!

Mouthguards Infographic

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