Oral care and prevention of disease is the best option when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy for a lifetime. If you so choose, Dr. Buttross will become your partner in oral health. This means she will help you monitor closely the health of your complete oral system. This includes an initial complete examination followed by periodic examinations of your gum & bone health, your teeth health, your bite health, an oral cancer screening, evaluation of any necessary radiographs and the status of existing restorations.
Our office performs a thorough oral cancer screening at every routine cleaning appointment. Oral cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth. It can affect any area of the oral cavity including the lips, gum tissue, cheek lining, tongue, and the hard or soft palate. Oral cancer most often occurs in those who use tobacco in any form. Alcohol use combined with smoking greatly increases risk of oral cancer. Prolonged sun exposure increases the risk of lip cancer.
Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.
Dental fitness visits
Today it is possible to change a mouth from one that gets cavities and gum disease to one that won’t. All that is required is a slightly different approach and more knowledge and understanding on your part as to how and why dental disease occurs.
At your Dental Fitness Appointment, in addition to an oral cancer exam/cavity detecting exam, several additional evaluations will be completed which together give us more information about your present dental fitness. These tests evaluate your past dental fitness, tell us your potential for dental disease today, and help us prevent dental disease in the future.
Gum disease is the prime cause of loss of teeth in adults. Decay is a childhood disease that stops around the age of 20. From that time forward, the bacteria that form in our mouths are more involved with producing gum disease than any other dental problem for adults.
We will provide you with up-to-date recommendations for repair and replacement care to prevent loss of teeth, rather than traditional treatment, which occurs, after the destruction has taken place. Your hygiene care frequency (periodontal care visit) will be based on your diagnosis and current periodontal health.
The foundation for natural teeth, restored teeth, and implant supported teeth is healthy gum tissue and bone. We know that 90% of all adults have gum disease of various levels. Three out of four adults over the age of 50 have bone loss which is called periodontitis. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, bone and ligaments that support the teeth and anchor them in the jaw. It can be localized (one tooth) or a generalized condition (many teeth). As periodontitis progresses, more bone is lost which can lead to eventual tooth loss. Recent studies indicate that periodontitis has been associated with diabetes, heart disease, and low birth weight infants.
The main goal of periodontal treatment is to eliminate the disease from the gums, ligaments, and bone that surround the teeth. With early detection of gum disease, Dr. Buttross and her team can partner with you to restore your oral health and help you maintain it for a lifetime.
Initial treatment involves educating patients in the proper methods of effective oral hygiene. Scaling and root planing is performed to clean the tooth structure and remove bacterial plaque and calculus deposits from the gum pockets. This will allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. In less severe cases, this may be the only treatment required. Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis.
It is critical that you are seen routinely for regular periodontal maintenance appointments. This periodic maintenance, along with diligent oral hygiene, will aid in managing periodontal disease and help prevent tooth loss. In fact, many patients can keep their teeth for a lifetime. Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
Gum disease is linked with increased risk of these chronic diseases. You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can’t reach. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn’t brush, but because they’re too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. Highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth, sealants are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored “coating” is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves acting as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Children and adults can benefit from sealants in the fight against tooth decay.
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and protects teeth from cavity-causing bacteria. Fluoride applications for adults and children can be beneficial in the prevention of tooth decay. There are several options for using fluoride for tooth protection some of which are fluoride rinses, prescription fluoride toothpaste, and fluoride varnish.