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16/Dec/2018

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is normally painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

The sooner you treat gum disease the better. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.

Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis affects nearly half of adults over 30 years old in the United States. It can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.


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16/Dec/2018

Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are usually placed on the chewing surface of the permanent back teeth, or the molars and premolars. These sealants help protect the back teeth from decay.

The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves — “fissures” — that make them vulnerable to decay. These fissures can be deep, are difficult to clean, and can be more narrow than a single bristle of a toothbrush. Plaque builds up in these areas, and the acid from bacteria in the plaque attacks the enamel and cavities can develop. Fluoride helps prevent decay and helps protect all the surfaces of the teeth, dental sealants provide extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas by providing a smooth surface covering over the fissured area.

The first dental sealant to be placed is usually on the fissure of the first permanent molar tooth, once the chewing surface of the tooth has erupted completely beyond the gum. This tooth grows in behind the baby teeth. If the chewing surfaces of these teeth are sealed, the dental sealant will help protect the tooth. Except for the wisdom teeth, which come through much later, the molars and premolars continue to erupt until eleven-thirteen years of age and the chewing surfaces of these teeth can be sealed after they have erupted beyond the gum.
Fluoride-

One key to good oral health is fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent caries and can repair teeth in the very early, microscopic stages of the disease. Fluoride can be obtained in two forms: topical and systemic. Topical fluorides are applied directly to the tooth enamel. Some examples include fluoride toothpastes and mouthrinses, as well as fluoride treatments in the dental office.

Professional fluoride treatments generally take just a few minutes. The fluoride may be in the form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish. Typically, it is applied with a cotton swab or brush, or it is used as a rinse or placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for several minutes.

After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic carious areas.

Depending on your oral health status, fluoride treatments may be recommended every three, six or 12 months. Your dentist also may recommend additional preventive measures if you are at a moderate or high risk of developing caries. These measures may include over-the-counter or prescription therapeutic products such as fluoride mouthrinses, gels or antibacterial mouthrinses.


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16/Dec/2018

Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your regular exam, we will:

  • Check for any problems that you may not see or feel
  • Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay
  • Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
  • Perform a thorough teeth cleaning

Your regular exam will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Each regular exam includes a detailed teeth cleaning, in which we will clean, polish, and rinse your teeth to remove any tartar and plaque that have built up on the tooth’s surface.

We suggest visiting our office every six months to give yourself the chance to talk to the doctor about any questions you may have about your oral health. Regular exams are offered by appointment only, so please contact our practice today to schedule your next dental exam and teeth cleaning.

Immediately after a cleaning, your teeth may be more sensitive than usual due to the removal of tartar and plaque that once shielded your teeth. But in most scenarios, this sensitivity will pass within a day or two.


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