Preventative and Gum Care

Flagstaff Dental Arts - Happy Patient

Your Dental Examination

Oral care and prevention of disease is the best option when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy for a lifetime. If you choose, Flagstaff Dental Arts will become your partner in oral health. This means we 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 and bone health, your teeth health, and an oral cancer screening. This evaluation may include radiographs and examination of the status of your existing restorations.

Oral Cancer Screening

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 your risk for 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.

Hygiene Treatments

Standard Hygiene Care:

We have skilled hygienists in our office that help facilitate your preventative oral health. We recommend for healthy patients that you see the hygienist every six months. Your hygienist will scale any excess plaque build up, examine the mouth for the doctor and take radiographs as needed. Seeing the hygienist regularly will greatly help your preventive care, this helps us have a dental history of your mouth and identify problems as they arise. Seeing the hygienist regularly will help prevent you from getting periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease Care:

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 and the 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 show that periodontitis has been associated with diabetes, heart disease and low birth weight.

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, our team of professionals can partner with you to restore your oral health and help you maintain it for a lifetime.

Initial treatment involves education for patients in the proper methods of effective oral hygiene. Scaling and root planning is performed to clean the tooth structure and removed 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 creates 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 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 and teeth include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding your teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Heart conditions
  • Pre- Term Labor
  • Tobacco use
  • Genetics
  • Overweight

Gum disease is linked with increased risk of certain chronic disease. You don’t have to loose your teeth to periodontal disease; Brush, clean between your teeth (flossing), eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.