Americans have better dental hygiene than ever before. In the past, many dentists focused on fixing oral health problems rather than preventing them. Today, we know that prevention is the best form of dentistry. From daily preventive care to regular cleanings and checkups, maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your gums and teeth. At Cooley Smiles, we can help you maintain, improve, and better understand dental hygiene.
The Dangers of Periodontal Disease
The two most common oral health problems are tooth decay and periodontal disease. Most people know about the effects of tooth decay. Less known about the true dangers of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection that targets the tissues that support your teeth, including the alveolar bone, gingiva, and connective ligaments.
The disease is broken down into two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the most common form of gum disease. The gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily during brushing and flossing. Luckily, gingivitis is easy to treat and reverse. If the disease is allowed to progress to periodontitis, some of the effects may be irreversible. Periodontitis can cause the underlying bone and surrounding tissues to deteriorate rapidly. We can stop the deterioration with a procedure called scaling and root planing. However, this procedure does not restore damaged tissues.
Professional Cleanings and Dental Exams
Periodontal disease progresses slowly and silently, meaning that most patients does not know they have periodontal disease until we diagnose them. For this reason, regular dental exams and professional cleanings are vital to your oral health.
During your appointment, our Cooley Smiles dentists will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, throat, and jaws. If we notice any abnormalities, we may order x-rays or perform further diagnostic procedures. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth and gums at home, there may be problems that you cannot see or feel. Like periodontal disease, many oral health problems do not become visible or cause pain until they progress to advanced stages. Regular appointments allow us to find early signs of disease when they are much more manageable.
Professional cleanings also help us reduce your chances of developing cavities and oral diseases. During your cleaning, our hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth. Plaque and tartar are the main culprits of tooth decay and gum disease.
At-Home Dental Hygiene
At-home dental hygiene can stop problems before they become painful and require expensive treatment. In between your regular visits, there are a few steps you can take to improve your dental hygiene. Be sure to thoroughly brush your teeth twice a day, preferably after meals. Flossing daily is also an important part of your dental hygiene. For extra protection from the bacteria in plaque, we recommend using an antimicrobial mouth rinse and fluoridated toothpaste.
A balanced diet can also limit the harmful effects of bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars and other simple carbohydrates you consume. Limiting sugary snacks and drinks can have a significant impact on your oral health.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you would like to schedule your appointment, please call (425) 249-3509 now!