Periodontal disease is a major oral health issue affecting millions. The St. Paul Family Dentist has learned that The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately half of adults over 30 have some extent of periodontal disease. Preventive treatments and proper oral hygiene are very effective for eliminating the risk for gum disease. But even the most diligent oral health care can sometimes result in periodontal disease.
Dangers of Periodontal Disease
Left untreated, gum disease can cause teeth to loosen and may eventually lead to bone loss and even tooth loss. But the dangers of periodontal disease are not limited to your oral health. It has been documented that there is a direct relationship between the presence of chronic oral infections like gum disease and serious health concerns like heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Laser Dentistry, the Non-Invasive Solution
In the past, the only solution for eliminating periodontal disease was painful gum surgery. Fortunately advances in dental technology have provided us with non-invasive options like laser dentistry. Dental lasers are gentle and effective and remove periodontal infection no cutting of tender gum tissue necessary. In fact, dental lasers are actually good for your oral health because they promote the regrowth of healthy gum tissue.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
The key word here is “prevent.” Dentists have always advocated preventive approaches to protect their patients’ oral health. Brushing and flossing twice a day, along with regular exams by your dentist and professional cleanings have always been important, and the best way to prevent any oral health problems from developing or becoming serious. In light of the information we now have about the affect of gum disease on our general health, though, prevention is vital.
You can do a lot to protect your own oral health by maintaining a healthy diet and proper oral hygiene. But no matter how proactive you are in taking steps to protect your own oral health, you must have regular dental cleanings. Plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth in spaces your toothbrush can’t reach. Once tartar has developed, it can only be removed by a dental hygienist during routine cleanings.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of laser dentistry, please contact the St. Paul General Dentist so we can help you take the necessary steps to protect your oral health.
Two crucial aspects of effective oral health care are comprehensive dental exams and professional dental cleanings. This is common knowledge, and most patients at our St. Paul Family Dentist understand that these two preventive procedures are essential steps in providing our dental professional with sufficient information to treat us effectively.
But many new patients may be unaware of exactly what is involved in a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning. The following is a brief summary of the steps that should be taken:
- A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by our St. Paul Family Dentist at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays: This step is essential for detecting decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays will also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Your dentist should check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: It is essential to check the gums and bone surrounding the teeth for signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces should be checked for decay
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) should be performed by a registered dental hygienist. Appointments for cleanings include a dental exam as well as the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): When plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth it hardens and forms a deposit known as Calculus. Brushing will not remove Calculus since it is calcified and adheres to the teeth above and below the gum line; calculus can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. Plaque is actually a collection of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. These bacteria produce toxins that will inflame the gums and ultimately lead to periodontal disease.
- Teeth polishing: Polishing is the final step in the process of your professional cleaning and removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Regular dental cleanings and exams are an easy, cost-affordable method for avoiding periodontal disease and other oral health problems. Please contact our dentist office today to make an appointment for these important services.
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