Cleaning & Prevention
The basis of sound dental care is routine cleaning and maintenance. We customize cleanings based on your gums and bone health (periodontal health). We utilize advanced technology (digital x-ray), 3-D cone beam scans, and intraoral cameras to customize each of our patients’ needs.
Sometimes dental problems only occur at surface level; other times they are beneath the gums and can’t be seen with the naked eye. Our customized cleanings also screen for tooth decay (cavities), broken or chipped teeth, gum disease (periodontal disease), oral cancer, loose crowns or fillings, teeth grinding, TMJ dysfunction, or snoring problems.
Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get in between the small pits and grooves of your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental Sealants are a plastic resin that bonds and hardens in the deep grooves of your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Gum disease is an infection that hides in your mouth and destroys gum tissue, teeth, and bone. The early stages are often painless and mild, like swollen gums or bleeding while brushing. Regular dental checkups are vital because a professional can detect, treat, and reverse gum disease in early stages before major problems arise.
What can cause gum disease?
Several factors contribute to periodontal disease: plaque build-up, genetics, and lifestyle choices. By far the most common and controllable factor is plaque buildup on the teeth (a sticky, colorless film produced by normal oral bacteria). Bacteria releases toxins that break down the natural fibers that bond gum to teeth.
When this occurs, pockets between the gums and teeth form, and more bacteria and toxins hid, flourish, and destroy your gums and teeth. Over time, this process can affect not only gums, teeth, and bone within the mouth, but also overall health. Bacteria in your mouth will be inadvertently ingested, and t this can compromise your whole-body health.
Gum disease has two stages:
This is the early stage of gum disease when the gums become red and swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by improved routine hygiene and changes in home care.
If left untreated, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis, and the gums and bone that support the teeth will become seriously and irreversibly damaged. Treatment indicated root planning - a nonsurgical deep cleaning – followed by more frequent re-care and better home care
Keeping your smile healthy is very important for your overall health. Let our family take care of you and your family. We customize each patient’s hygiene visits to fit their needs for a healthy smile (because no two mouths are the same!) You can significantly reduce your chances of ever getting gum disease, and by practicing good oral hygiene at home, regular customized dental checkups (which allows us to keep a watchful eye on the health of your gums) will keep you smiling. See Also http://stubblefielddentalclinic.com/teeth-whitening/
Reasons for Scaling and Root Planing
- Disease prevention – The oral bacteria which causes periodontal infections can travel via the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Research has shown that lung infections and heart disease have been linked to periodontal bacteria. Scaling and root planning remove bacteria and halt periodontal disease from progressing, thus preventing the bacteria from traveling to other parts of the body.
- Tooth protection – When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth there is a greater risk of periodontal disease. As pockets deepen, they tend to house more colonies of dangerous bacteria. Eventually, a chronic inflammatory response by the body begins to destroy gingival and bone tissue, which may lead to bone loss. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the world.
- Aesthetic effects – Scaling and root planing help remove tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gum line.
- Better breath – one of the most common signs of periodontal disease is bad breath. Food particles and bacteria can cause a persistent bad odor in the oral cavity, which is alleviated with cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planning.
Certain factors can increase a patient’s risk of developing periodontal disease, including:
- Smoking or using tobacco
- Certain types of medications
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Old fillings
While it is possible to have periodontal disease and not know it, some symptoms can include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Any change in the fit of partial dentures.
Oral Cancer Screening
We emphasize that all patients receive oral cancer screenings, which is part of your regular exam. Like many kinds of cancer, oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
Our team is trained in a simple, quick screening that involves an examination of your oral cavity as a whole, not just your teeth, to detect cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment and save a patient’s life.
Oral Cancer risk factors
Oral cancer and oropharyngeal cancer are twice as common in men as in women. This difference may be related to the use of alcohol and tobacco, a major oral cancer risk factor that is seen more commonly in men than women. According to the American Cancer Society, the gender difference is decreasing among oral cancer patients as more women are using tobacco and drinking.
The average diagnosis for oral cancer is 62, and two-thirds of individuals with this disease are over 55.
- Ultraviolet light
Cancers of the lip are more common among people who work outdoors or other with prolonged exposure to sunlight.
- Poor nutrition
Studies have found a link between diets low in fruits and vegetables and an increased oropharynx and oral cancer risk.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
Human papillomaviruses, or HPV, include about 100 similar viruses. Many HPV cause warts, but some are involved in cancer. Most noteworthy, HPV is tied to the development of cervical cancer. HPV is also a risk factor for oral and oropharyngeal cancers. People with oral cancers linked to HPV tend to not be smokers or drinkers and usually have a good prognosis.
- Immune system suppression
Taking drugs that suppress the immune system, such as those used to prevent rejection of a transplant organ or to treat certain immune diseases, may increase the risk of oral cancer.
- Lichen planus
People with a severe case of this illness, which causes an itchy rash but sometimes appears as white lines or spots in the mouth and throat, may have a higher risk of oral cancer. Lichen planus usually affects middle-aged people.
- Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
This condition can occur after a stem-cell transplant in which bone marrow is replaced following cancer occurrence or treatment. The new stem cells may have an immune response against the patient’s own cells, and tissues in the body may be destroyed as a result. GVHD increases the likelihood of oral cancer, which develops as soon as two years later.
Oral Cancer symptoms
Some of the most common oral cancer symptoms and signs include:
- Persistent mouth sore: A sore in the mouth that does not heal is the most common symptom of oral cancer
- Pain: Persistent mouth pain is another common oral cancer sign
- A lump or thickening in the cheek
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
- A sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat that does not go away
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
- Numbness of the tongue or elsewhere In the mouth
- Jaw swelling that makes dentures hurt or fit poorly
- Loosening of the teeth
- Pain in the teeth or Jaw
- Voice changes
- A lump 1n the neck
- Weight loss
- Persistent bad breath