When it comes to your oral health, focusing on prevention will set you up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Some patients think their oral health routine is sufficient and will only visit the dentist if there’s a problem. While participating in a regular oral health routine is vital to your overall dental health, oftentimes areas are overlooked and you’ll want an extra set of eyes to ensure your smile is in the best of health.
At Warren Family Dentistry, we offer several services that will keep your mouth looking and feeling it’s best. During your appointments, we’ll be sure to inform you of the details regarding the health of your smile so there won’t be any surprises in the future.
Teeth Cleanings & Exams
Every six months, you’ll want to come into our office for a professional cleaning and exam. During this time, we’ll remove any plaque and tartar that’s hiding in those hard to reach areas. We’ll also provide you with friendly tips on ways to improve your at-home oral hygiene routine.
During the exam, we’ll perform any necessary diagnostic testing to get a better view of your gums and teeth and ensure they’re free of disease. This will also give us a chance to catch any issues before they become problematic and require more invasive procedures.
If your child is prone to cavities, you’ll want to consider dental sealants. Dental sealants are typically applied to the back molars to provide a protective barrier between bacteria and your child’s teeth. This will help prevent tooth decay at an early age when children aren’t as keen on brushing the contours of their back teeth.
Dental sealants will remain intact and protect teeth for an average of 10 years. The process is simple and pain-free:
- The teeth will be dried
- An acid solution will be applied to roughen the surface, promoting the bond between the tooth and sealant
- The teeth are rinsed and dried
- Sealants are applied to the tooth enamel and hardened
Fluoride treatments are an additional way to protect your teeth against bacteria and decay. They work by remineralizing your tooth’s enamel that has been broken down by plaque buildup over time.
Fluoride treatments are a highly concentrated solution that’s applied with a swab, tray, or mouthwash, typically at the end of your cleaning. You’ll want to avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes following the treatment to allow time for the solution to set.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are performed during your checkups to ensure your mouth is free of the potentially fatal disease. During the screening, Dr. Moureiden will thoroughly examine your teeth, tongue, gums, inside of your cheeks, face, and neck to ensure you’re free of any symptoms related to oral cancer. If caught early on, oral cancer is highly treatable and has a much better chance of a successful outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You still need to visit a general dentist even if you take good care of your teeth. Even the best of us can miss spots and require a professional’s help to keep our smiles sparkling. Our team can take care of those hard-to-reach areas to help prevent oral disease.
There are also some oral health conditions that may not be obvious to you because they don’t cause any pain or aren’t visible. Sometimes, cavities don’t even hurt until they require immediate treatment.
If you come into our office for your regular six-month appointments, we can make sure your teeth are clean and detect any issues before they require more invasive treatments.
At your dental visit, we’ll clean your teeth and examine your mouth to make sure you’re healthy. Next, we’ll remove all the plaque and tartar, which is more difficult to clean off.
We’ll also perform a full examination consisting of a noninvasive visual and physical inspection, x-rays if you haven’t had any for a while, and an oral cancer screening. These all help us to assess your oral health and catch any potential issues before they require intense treatment.
If you require any special treatment, your dentist will let you know at your appointment. Without any special instructions, all you need to do is keep up with regular oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss at least once a day, use fluoride or antibacterial mouthwash, and attend your regular dental visits.
Your oral health is best maintained by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing between meals. In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene, you’ll want to schedule bi-annual check-ups and professional cleanings at our Warren dental office.
There are a few ways you can further improve your oral health, including:
- Use oral care products that contain fluoride
- Brush your teeth before bed
- Avoid frequent snacking
- Limit sugary and acidic foods
- Eat tooth-healthy foods
Periodontal Care in Warren, MI
When bacteria from your teeth penetrate your gums, the result is an infection known as periodontal disease or gum disease. Gum disease can be the result of poor dental health, illness, or genetics. If left untreated, it can be severe enough to cause tooth loss or even jawbone deterioration.
Early intervention will help prevent gum disease from causing permanent damage.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease where the infection can be easily treated with a thorough cleaning at our Warren location. During this stage, gum disease can be reversed without any lasting effects.
Periodontitis is a more advanced stage of gum disease where the infection has spread from the gums to the jawbone. Your gums will begin to recede and form pockets, making it easier for bacteria to build up.
Without treatment, your gums will recede further, causing the pockets to deepen and become more infected. During this stage, your teeth may become loose or even fall out.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
While some patients with gingivitis may not have any obvious symptoms, it’s vitally important to seek treatment at any stage of gum disease so we can restore your oral health and prevent further damage. Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Painful or tender gums, especially while chewing
- Bad breath
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gumline
During your biannual appointments, our friendly staff will be sure to thoroughly examine your gums and teeth to ensure they’re free of bacteria buildup and infection.
Treating Gum Disease
If caught early on, gum disease can be treated with a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. During the treatment, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned along the surfaces and gumline.
The tooth’s roots will be smoothed to prevent bacteria from re-adhering and keep your mouth free of infection. If pockets have formed between your teeth, bacteria and infection are more likely to accumulate in these areas and Dr. Moureiden will recommend coming in more frequently for a deep cleaning.
ARESTIN® Gum Therapy
In addition to a deep cleaning, ARESTIN may be applied after your cleaning to help ward off bacteria and stop the infection. ARESTIN is an antibiotic used specifically to treat gum disease and is easily applied without the need for anesthesia or needles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gum disease is a serious condition that affects millions of Americans. You may be at risk if you don’t properly care for your teeth and gums by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist frequently. In addition, the following factors will increase your chances of having gum disease:
- Severe stress
- Medications that reduce saliva production
- Certain health conditions (i.e. AIDS and cancer)
- Family history
If caught early on, gum disease can be cured with the help of a deep cleaning combined with increased oral hygiene practices. Once the infection progresses to periodontal disease, the gums and bone become damaged and the effects will be lifelong.
By brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing between meals, you can improve your oral health and decrease the risk of recurring infections. In addition to a regular oral hygiene routine, you’ll want to visit our Warren office for regular checkups and professional cleanings so we can ensure your mouth is in the best of health.
There are a wide variety of antibacterial mouthwashes that can help to eliminate plaque and prevent gum disease. Two popular options that we recommend are Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash and Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield.
Using a mouthwash at least once a day after you brush your teeth can help protect them against plaque and gum disease. Mouthwash is most effective when paired with regular brushing and flossing, as well as dental appointments every six months.
After a deep cleaning, any discomfort and swelling will subside within a few weeks. The time it takes for the symptoms to subside depends on the extent of the infection. In addition to following any recommendations by our dentist, you’ll want to rinse with warm saltwater to keep your mouth free of bacteria and promote gum healing. You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers and ice to help with any discomfort and swelling.