Maintaining your oral health is an important preventive measure to preserving natural teeth and gums. Preventing disease and other dental problems will ensure you can keep and utilize your natural teeth for a lifetime. Towson, MD dentists, Dr. Patrick Ousborne and Dr. Rikki Esterson provide routine and preventative dental care, as well as infection and disease treatments.
To ensure that your gums and teeth are healthy, we recommend scheduling hygiene appointments on an interval based on your individual needs. We also offer several treatments to support and restore your oral health if necessary. General dental care will prevent problems from developing or catch them quickly when treatment is most conservative.
Professional Dental Cleanings
Although brushing and flossing keep tartar away, professional cleanings are just as important. They will remove calculus and bacteria in places your toothbrush and floss cannot reach. At your scheduled dental cleaning appointments, our skilled hygienists will examine your teeth, the surrounding gum tissues, and supporting bone to target any developing problems. Then they will skillfully clean your teeth.
Our hygienists will also perform an oral cancer screening using the velscope technology. Digital x-rays and images of the teeth and gums will be taken as needed. They will scale and polish your teeth and apply fluoride varnishes, localized antibiotics, and root desensitizers. These treatments are a part of prophylaxis care or preventative care that we offer to fight periodontal disease. Prophylaxis care is just as important as routine dental cleanings.
Preventing Gum Disease
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the gum and bone surrounding teeth. If bacteria builds upon and around the gums, the tissue will become inflamed. The irritated and inflamed gums will turn red, swell, and bleed easily. Periodontitis starts as gingivitis or gum inflammation. A common sign of gingivitis is when your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.
Prolonged gum irritation can create pockets in the gums. These pockets cause the gums to separate from the teeth. This is a clear sign the gums are infected and require treatment as soon as possible. If the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate, this leads to bad breath, pain, and eventual tooth loss. Dr. Ousborne or Dr. Esterson offer several treatment options including scaling and root planing. The goal is to remove all the built-up tartar that contains bacteria and smooth out the root surfaces. This deep cleaning may be coupled with a special mouthwash to use at home to discourage bacteria from forming again.
Routine dental appointments and regular oral hygiene are the best preventative treatments against gum disease. We can provide you with many techniques and strategies to prevent gum disease from progressing. Additionally, we may recommend more frequent teeth cleaning to prevent it from developing again.
What diseases can you get from not cleaning your teeth?
Not cleaning your teeth regularly can lead to a variety of oral health problems, including tooth decay, full-blown cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. If you do not treat these conditions, they can lead to more serious issues such as tooth loss and infections. Additionally, research suggests that oral health problems may lead to other health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. It’s important to brush and floss regularly and to see a dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
How often should I visit the dentist for a dental cleaning?
The American Dental Association recommends that adults visit the dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings. In addition, you should be brushing and flossing your teeth every day. Children should typically visit the dentist every six months or as recommended by their dentist. Regular dental visits will help prevent cavities, gum disease, decay, and infection. Additionally, dentists can detect early warning signs of many medical conditions that may present themselves orally such as diabetes or cancer during routine exams.
Can dentists tell if you don’t brush or floss?
Yes, your dentist will be able to tell if you haven’t been brushing and flossing. Your dentist can observe signs of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, which indicates a lack of regular brushing and flossing. The dentist can also check for signs of gum disease, which is often the result of poor oral hygiene. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing at least twice a day, as well as regular dental check-ups and cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
How long does a deep dental cleaning take?
A deep dental cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, typically takes between one to three hours, depending on the severity of the plaque buildup and the number of teeth affected. Scaling involves removing tartar from above and below the gum line, while root planing smoothens rough spots that can harbor bacteria. Your dentist will sometimes perform deep cleaning in two or more visits for days or weeks to allow for proper healing.
What can I do at home to prevent tooth decay and gum disease?
Practice good oral hygiene every day to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. To further protect your teeth, reduce sugary snacks and drinks, limit acidic foods and beverages, and avoid smoking. You should visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and use mouthwash to flush out bacteria in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. All of these steps will help you keep your smile healthy for a lifetime!
Does dental cleaning whiten teeth?
Yes, dental cleaning can help whiten teeth. This is because the dental cleaning process can help remove stains and plaque buildup that can accumulate on the surface of your teeth over time. Professional dental cleanings include procedures such as scaling and polishing, which remove built-up tartar that often leads to discoloration. Additionally, most dental hygienists will top off their professional cleaning with a fluoride treatment to help restore enamel as well as brighten teeth for a healthier look.
Schedule a Consultation
Prevent tooth decay and gum disease with regularly-scheduled dental hygiene appointments in our Towson, MD dental office. Request an appointment with Dr. Ousborne or Dr. Esterson on our website. You can also call Dental Excellence at (410) 514-6553.