Keeping your smile bright is about more than just repairing problems as they occur—it's about laying the groundwork for health through a personalized prevention strategy. Not only do we want to promote your oral health through early diagnostics, maintenance and corrective treatments, we want to empower you to reduce your oral disease risk and understand how your oral health and general health relate.
Protecting your oral health is a responsibility shared by you and your dental team—we will work together to make your smile the best it can be!
Let's Make a Plan:
Routine Exams and Diagnostic X-Rays
Regular checkups and diagnostics are key to identifying problems and disease risks early, when simple treatments and corrective measures are most effective.
In dentistry, one size does not fit all! People develop build-up on their teeth at different rates, have varying cavity and periodontal disease risks, as well as structural or medical challenges that may necessitate more frequent cleanings.
Small problems turn into bigger problems when left unaddressed—nothing in dentistry ever gets better by being ignored. If we repair problems when first detected, we may prevent more invasive and costlier interventions down the road.
Your individual cavity risk is a combination of many interrelated factors. We will work with you to identify and modify the components of risk under your control so you can reduce your overall likelihood of developing new cavities.
Hygiene at Home
Daily oral hygiene is critical to the appearance and health of your smile and the longevity of your dental work. Consistency and efficiency are important—we'll show you how to perfect your routine.
It's not just what you eat, but how often! Habits like snacking between meals and frequent sipping on sugared, carbonated or acidic beverages throughout the day are terrible for your teeth. Your diet can also stain and discolor your smile. We will help you identify diet modifications you can make to reduce your risk.
Medications, uncontrolled disease, eating disorders, disabilities (both physical and mental), pregnancy, and drug, alcohol or tobacco use are just a few of the whole-body factors that can have a real impact on the health of your mouth. We will work with you to strategize different ways to overcome or mitigate these effects.
Sufficient Fluoride Exposure
Fluoride builds strong teeth and can rebuild weakened areas of tooth structure—even working to reverse early cavities. Fluoride exposure in the appropriate amount is important for the growth and development of teeth in children, but also for the maintenance of healthy teeth in adulthood.
Wear and Trauma
Tooth structure doesn't grow back once it's lost or damaged. So causes of excessive wear or stress on your teeth—like grinding and clenching, misalignment or poor bite support, repetitive oral habits (nail biting, lip chewing, ice crunching, etc.), acidic foods and drinks, dry mouth, or sports injuries—can create lasting damage.
Did You Know?
Researchers are discovering more and more connections between your oral health and your overall health. Some examples are...
• Diabetes may increase your risk of gum and bone disease (gingivitis and periodontitis), and poor oral health may make it harder to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Treating gum disease may even help to control diabetes. (Click to learn more at the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes.org)
• A strong association has been found between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. Although it is too early in the research to define their relationship or to say that one causes the other, heart disease, clogged arteries, strokes and periodontal disease share many of the same risk factors (such as aging, smoking and diabetes). Researchers are attempting to determine if chronic inflammation in the body caused by mouth bacteria may be a contributing factor to poor cardiovascular health. (Click to learn more at the American Dental Association, ADA.org and at the American Heart Association, AHA Circulation Journal)
• Poor gum health during pregnancy has been linked to low birth weight and premature births. And pregnancy hormones and side effects can create oral health challenges. (Click to learn more at the American Academy of Periodontology, Perio.org)
• Abnormal and hyperactive jaw muscle habits can lead to tension headaches and some migraines, muscle and joint pain and excessive tooth wear and fracture. (Click to learn more at the MigraineTrust.org)
Many health conditions can affect your oral health, too. Here are some of the ways your body and mouth are connected:
• Diabetes can affect the body's ability to fight infections and the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. People with uncontrolled diabetes are at greater risk of developing gum and bone problems.
• Osteoporosis may increase the rate of bone loss and tooth loss in people with periodontal disease. Common medications used to treat osteoporosis may affect your ability to heal after oral surgeries.
• Many medications can affect oral health; symptoms like dry mouth, excessive gum growth and teeth grinding (bruxism) may be related to medications.
• Obstructive sleep apnea can be associated with increased risk of grinding your teeth in your sleep.
• Poor function and loss of teeth can contribute to chronic malnutrition.
• HIV/AIDS may increase your risk of oral infections, periodontal disease and some oral cancers.
• Tobacco and alcohol use can greatly increase the risk of mouth and throat cancers.
• Alzheimers disease and other mental health disorders are frequently linked to worsening oral health.
• Auto-immune diseases may decrease your saliva production and can increase your risk of developing cavities and tooth wear. Some auto-immune conditions may also affect the health of your jaw joint, or TMJ (temporomandibular joint).
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
— BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1736)