Prevention is always better than a cure and this is a philosophy that we hold dear.
It is important to know that dental disease is often painless until it is in very advanced stages. Therefore, if you avoid regular check-ups and only see a dentist once you think you have a problem – the problem could very well result in requiring extensive, and often costly, dental treatment.
The key to maintaining optimal oral health is regular dental visits and we encourage all our patients to join our comprehensive Active Maintenance Program.
Your Active Maintenance Visit
Teamwork is the key to good dental maintenance. Your active maintenance visit will be tailored to your individual needs and is likely to be scheduled every 6 months.
Both the dentist and your hygienist will be involved to provide you with the best possible service.
You can expect this level of care during your active maintenance visit:
- Your dentist will carry out a thorough examination
- X-rays may be taken if appropriate
- Your hygienist will check the effectiveness of your home care and suggest any modifications
- Your teeth will be carefully and gently cleaned to remove any hard deposits (calculus)
- Plaque and stains will be polished off
- A fluoride treatment will be applied to strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity
Periodontal disease is another name for gum disease and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
How can you detect Periodontal Disease?
- This is a chronic disease which means it often progresses slowly and with little in the way of warning signs until it has reached an advanced stage
- One of the early signs of gum disease is bleeding from the gums, although if your brushing technique is incorrect then you may not notice this happening
- You may have bad breath but often others are too polite to mention this!
You may have modified the way you brush thinking that you were brushing too hard and causing the bleeding. This is a very common misconception.
As gum disease progresses it destroys the bone that surrounds the roots of the teeth. Bone loss and gum recession is irreversible. Eventually there is insufficient bone to hold the teeth firm and they might move or become loose. By this stage tooth loss may be inevitable.
Our aim is to discover and treat the disease to stabilise bone levels before this detrimental point is reached.
Oral health and your body
The link between oral health and general health and well being
Whilst losing your teeth to gum disease is bad enough, there is now increasing evidence that people with active periodontal disease are at risk of many other general health problems. This is because periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of chronic inflammation in the body.
Chronic systemic inflammation is when the body reacts to a challenge by producing substances which are released into the bloodstream and injure distant tissues and organs.
Chronic inflammation from gum disease will magnify the effect of other risk factors in many diseases.
The production of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is the bodies’ response to chronic inflammation and has been linked to many diverse health problems such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Greatly increased risk of heart attack
- Kidney failure
- Increased susceptibility to pneumonia and bronchitis
- Disruption to insulin function/diabetes
Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes is an increasingly common health problem. You may have recently been diagnosed as being pre-diabetic or having Type 2 diabetes.
The link between diabetes and periodontal disease works both ways as poorly controlled blood glucose levels will make you more likely to develop destructive periodontal disease where bone loss progresses more rapidly.
Diabetes also causes a dry mouth which in turn makes your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities.
How you can help to keep your mouth healthy
- It is important to see your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis
- You should brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day using a toothpaste containing fluoride
- Clean between your teeth once every day using floss and interdental brushes
A dry mouth is a distressing symptom which is, unfortunately, very common.
It may be caused by a number of factors such as:
- Normal aging
- Many medications
- Specific conditions such as Sjogren’s disease or diabetes
Saliva is very important in neutralising acids in your mouth. Acid attack weakens the enamel and is the start of tooth decay.
For this reason you will need to take special precautions to protect your teeth if you suffer from a dry mouth.
These may include a more vigilant tooth cleaning regimen, using a high fluoride toothpaste or Tooth Mousse™ or using chewing gum.Call your Castle Hill dentist today and see how we can help you.