Gulf Coast Dental
© Gulf Coast Dental 2014
Preventive Cleanings A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Prophylaxis is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health and halting the progression of gum disease. The benefits include: Plaque Removal – Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria, and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging build ups. A Healthier Looking Smile – Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the aesthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these otherwise unsightly stains. Fresher Breath – Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene that stems from gum infection results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus, and bacteria at our office can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection. Prophylaxis can be performed at our office by our Hygienists. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every three to four months for periodontitis sufferers. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis is one of the tools our Doctors can use to effectively halt its progress. Non-Surgical Gum Treatments The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for ones teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) may be as follows: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state. This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. If you're having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to get it treated at the first sign of a problem. X-Rays This is a focused beam of X-Ray particles through bone which produces an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not to use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention. In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take X-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional X-rays. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital x-ray technology allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns.
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