Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What is Fluoride and Why Should I Use It?

When we think of fluoride we think of children between the ages of 6 and 15 when permanent teeth begin to come in. At those ages, fluoride is important for dental development, particularly with all of the sugars kids consume. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel by replacing nutrients that are lost over time. It can even repair small holes in your teeth caused by loss of those nutrients. It aids in dental development prior to age 6 making teeth more resistent to decay. Fluoride is found in many fruits, vegetables and juices, water and of course in toothpastes and mouthwashes. A dentist can also treat teeth with fluoride using foam, gel or varnish. These treatments are very fluoride rich as opposed to toothpastes or mouthwashes. Fluoride supplements can also be prescribed.
Many dentists also recommend fluoride treatments for adults, because believe it or not, adults get cavities too. If you drink bottled water exclusively, you may need fluoride treatment. Extra fluoride protection is warranted in conjunction with medications that cause dry mouth because reduction of saliva increases the risk of cavities. Radiation patients also experience loss of saliva. The process of aging often results in gum recession, exposing part of the root of the tooth and increasing the risk of decay. Even people with braces are exposed to a higher risk of tooth decay from the braces trapping in bacteria.
You can even buy certain fluoride gels over the counter for home use. You need only apply a little in the mouth, let it sit for awhile and rinse. The usual fluoride treatment at the dentist's office involves the dentist filling a mouthguard with flavored fluoride and putting it in your mouth for a few short minutes. The guard is then removed and your rinse your mouth.
Studies have conclusively shown that when used correctly, fluoride treatments significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay in both children and adults. Each patient is different so if you're worried about not getting enough fluoride, just talk with your dentist and he or she will be happy to let you know if fluoride supplements are recommended.

A Family Dental Care Center
2030 West Main. St.
Jeffersonville, PA 19403

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What is root planing, and why is it done?

Pain, inflammation, and swelling of the gums are the most telling signs of gingivitis and periodontitis, and if left untreated these conditions can lead to a receding gum line, loose teeth, mouth sores, and the eventual loss of teeth rooted in the affected areas. Research also suggests that poor gum health leads to additional health complications, and can affect an individual’s overall well-being. Although several treatment options are available, many patients are reluctant to seek out the proper methods for coping with gum disease that has progressed to the point of pain. Misinformation concerning treatment and recovery may be one cause for such reluctance, but there is good news for those who are hesitant to begin looking for relief.
Root planing and scaling is a comfortable, non-surgical procedure offered to patients suffering from gum disease, and is often the first option for treatment when a diagnosis is issued. The procedure involves the use of scraping instruments, an ultrasonic tool or both to deep clean and remove dental plaque and calculus that promote bacterial growth along the gum line and at the root level. A local anesthetic is generally offered to minimize any discomfort, and most patients will feel only the pressure of the instruments being used during their visit.
The risks involved with the procedure are minimal, with the possibility for infection being the primary cause for concern. For this reason, patients may have antibiotic fibers or gels inserted during the planing and scaling session, which will usually be removed about one week after the first visit. For patients who run a higher risk of infection, antibiotics after the procedure may be prescribed.
Immediately after the procedure the gums may be more sensitive than usual, and certain precautions will be advised until normal sensitivity levels are regained. For this reason, some patients may have small areas of the gum line treated over several visits to ensure minimal inconvenience and shorter recovery times. Patients may also be advised to take over-the-counter pain relief medication immediately after their visits, and to brush and floss more gently until any discomfort or pain subsides.
Root planing and scaling is highly effective, and most patients can expect to see the return of healthy pink gums after treatments have been completed. The procedure is an excellent option for patients struggling with gum pain, bleeding, and other signs of disease seeking a minimally invasive treatment option.

A Family Dental Care Center
2030 W. Main St.
Jeffersonville, PA 19403