Preventative Dental Care
Preventative care is an integral part of our practice. Thorough examinations and regular professional cleanings allow us to identify problem areas and stop periodontal disease and tooth decay.
Victor, our dental hygienist/therapist is highly educated, experienced and trained in the latest methods of preventative hygiene. Maintaining good oral health is not only important to your appearance and sense of well-being, but also to your overall health. Cavities and gum disease can be painful and lead to serious infections. They may also contribute to many serious conditions such as diabetes, respiratory diseases, heart disease and low birth weight babies. Having a clean and healthy mouth will also give you motivation, increase your self esteem, and possibly even give you a new lease on life.
What is Good Oral Hygiene?
Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks, smells and feels healthy. This means:
- Your teeth are clean and free of debris
- Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
- Bad breath is not a constant problem
If your gums do hurt or bleed while brushing or flossing, or you are experiencing persistent bad breath, call or email us for a check up. Any of these conditions may indicate a problem.
Victor, our dental hygienist/therapist, can help you learn good oral hygiene techniques and can help point out areas of your mouth that may require extra attention during brushing and flossing.
How is Good Oral Hygiene Practiced?
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop and is much less painful, expensive, and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to advance.
In between regular hygiene visits, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:
- Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily
- Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks between meals
- Using dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
- Making sure that your children under 12, drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal or gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among Australian adults and is the most common disease in the world with 75% of people unknowingly have some form of the disease.
Gum disease is a transmissible, bacterial infection that can destroy the attachment fibres and supporting bone that holds teeth in your mouth.
It is caused by plaque, a colourless film of bacteria that forms on our teeth. A person’s reaction to the bacteria determines the severity of the resulting disease. Our ability to fight this infection can vary from day to day; week to week, depending on what else is going with our life and
What are the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?
Symptoms of periodontal disease can include:
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
- Red, swollen and tender gums
- Gums that have receded or ‘pulled away’ from the teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between the gum and tooth
- A change in the way your teeth bite together
If you have one or more of these symptoms, please see us. Our practice is specially set up to treat and prevent the symptoms of periodontal disease.
Why should I be aware of the link between heart disease and periodontal disease?
There have been multiple studies into the link between heart disease and periodontal disease. Recent medical studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are:
- Nearly three times more likely to suffer a stroke
- Four times more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease
- One to two times more likely to suffer a fatal heart attack
- Run the risk of contracting infective endocarditis if they have a heart valve
When Victor our hygienist/therapist does a periodontal evaluation, we have both your overall health and your dental health in mind. So if you value your overall health and the health of your loved ones, regular visits to our hygienist for professional cleaning represents a very good idea.
How does periodontal disease increase my risk for heart disease?
Current literature reveals that periodontal disease increases heart disease by oral bacteria entering the blood stream, attaching themselves to fatty plaque in the heart’s blood vessels and contributing to clot formation. Blood clots then obstruct normal blood flow, restricting the amount of nutrients and oxygen required for the heart to function properly. This may lead to heart attacks. Research shows that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis (inflammation of heart valves) may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. It is important that you supply us with as much information about your medical history, so as to allow us to determine if you require antibiotics prior to any dental procedures.