Along with daily brushing and flossing, regular and thorough teeth cleanings are an integral part of your oral health. After a comprehensive examination, we can best determine if you need a regular cleaning (prophy) or a deep cleaning (scaling and root planning). We will also educate you on the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy since every patient has different preventative needs. In between regular visits to the dentist, 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:
- Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
- Use dental products which contain fluoride, including toothpaste
- Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if advised to do so
- Make sure children under 12 years of age drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
The following are indications of good oral hygiene:
- 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
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for teeth. All of these structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of an unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Some of the bacteria normally found in the mouth enter your bloodstream through infected gums and can relocate to other parts of your body, with the potential of creating disease in organs and systems.
Much research is being done to investigate if a definitive link exists between periodontal disease and other systemic illnesses. Many of the results are inconclusive; however, research has shown some links between periodontal disease and heart disease, ischemic stroke, respiratory disease, head and neck cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, and increased risk of pre-term low birth-weight babies. With proper gum treatments, it may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state. Learn more by visiting our office or by calling (303) 307-8282.
Many people knowingly or unknowingly clench their teeth during the day or grind at night. This habit can be very damaging, causing enamel to wear away, sensitive teeth, broken fillings, bone loss, and sore muscles and joints. Clenching and grinding can be especially damaging to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). A TMJ disorder can lead to head pain, jaw pain, ear pain, a clicking sound when opening your mouth, or a “locked” jaw that won’t fully open or close. After a proper diagnosis we can better determine the best way to treat your condition if present. Learn more by visiting our office or by calling (303) 307-8282.
Sealants are used to fill narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. Sometimes, your tooth has fine grooves or pits, which make it easy for plaque to accumulate. Even if you properly brush, these areas are often too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. To avoid having cavities develop, Dr. Zenon will brush on a coating (sealant) that covers the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off plaque in order to keep your teeth healthy. Learn more by visiting our office or by calling (303) 307-8282.