Good oral hygiene keeps your teeth looking clean and healthy!
A visit to the El Paso dentist’s office isn’t just about checking for cavities anymore – there have been incredible advancements in the field of dentistry, and we have responded by expanding our range of custom dental care services to suit your needs.
We all know that good oral hygiene keeps your teeth looking clean and healthy, but did you know that it’s also essential to your overall health? It’s true that poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems such as gum disease, infection, heart disease, stroke, and even diabetes. That is why dentists recommend that teeth be cleaned professionally at least twice a year. A dental cleaning is the removal of dental plaque and tartar in order to prevent cavities, gingivitis and gum disease. The average dental cleaning is a routine procedure that takes 45 minutes. During that time we will also educate you in ways to keep your mouth healthy.
A sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the permanent back teeth, premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of these teeth. The sealant then protects enamel from plaque and acids.
Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria. Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, but toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a re-application is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen.
As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. While caries might not endanger your life, they may negatively impact your quality of life.
When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, with tooth decay resulting.
Dental trauma refers to trauma to the face, mouth, teeth, lips, and periodontium (tissues that supports and surrounds the teeth to keep them in the maxillary and mandibular bones). Types of trauma inclue: tooth fractures, injuries of the periodontium, and soft tissue lacerations (most commonly in the lips and gums).
Who’s at risk?
Young children are much more at risk for dental trauma. However, as children age to become adults, the various factors increase an individual’s probability for dental trauma:
- Involvement in sports (especially contact sports)
- Piercing in tongue and lips
- Military trainings
- Involvement in changes of pressure (i.e. scuba divers, aviators)
- Class II malocclusion (severe overbite)
During high-risk activities, the most effective prevention for dental trauma is a regular use of a well-fit mouthguard.