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If you’ve recently moved to the area and are seeking a new dentist or if you’ve been avoiding visiting the dentist for years, our team at Towncare Dental of Bonita Springs is ready to help.
Your dental health impacts all aspects of your life: how you feel physically, how you eat, even how you socialize. Our goal is to help you resolve dental problems that affect your quality of life. It’s not too late to improve your dental health. No matter what condition your teeth are in, we are eager to help you get your smile back on track.
During your first dental exam at Towncare Dental of Bonita Springs, your dentist will look for signs of:
- Tooth decay
- Teeth grinding
- Bone loss
- Oral cancer
- Periodontal (gum) disease
No one enjoys seeing the dentist. But we strive to make our patients feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. We encourage questions from our patients. Many of our patients have been coming to us for years because they trust us to keep their mouth, teeth and gums healthy. We look forward to building that same relationship based on trust with you.
Teeth Cleaning in Bonita Springs
Most people call our dental office when it’s time to have their teeth cleaned. It’s one of the few dental procedures people enjoy. Nevertheless, professional cleanings serve an important role in your dental health. They remove the plaque and calculus that promotes tooth decay and causes cavities, which are literally holes in your teeth.
Plaque is a colorless coating of bacteria that adheres to your teeth every time you eat or drink. The bacteria in plaque converts the sugars in food and beverages into acids that erode the tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.
This is why dentists stress the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth after meals. In less than 24 hours, plaque that is clinging to your teeth will harden into a substance called calculus; it’s also known as tartar. Even the most rigorous at-home dental care can’t eliminate all of the plaque and calculus. Only a professional teeth cleaning can remove plaque and calculus from the surfaces of the teeth and in hard-to-reach places between the teeth.
This type of basic professional cleaning is called a prophylaxis or “prophy.” It’s intended to only remove the plaque, calculus and surface stains above and at the gum line. Also known as a healthy-mouth cleaning, dentists recommend that patients have a professional cleaning twice a year. This type of cleaning is most often covered by dental insurance.
Cleaning Teeth Below the Gum Line
Unfortunately, the bacteria found in plaque and calculus doesn’t always remain on the surface of your teeth. It can migrate to the parts of the teeth below the gum, causing a chronic infection of the gum that can result in teeth falling out.
This infection is known as periodontal, or gum, disease. It affects half of Americans over the age of 30 and 70 percent over the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Often the first symptoms are red and puffy gums or gums that bleed after brushing and flossing. At this early stage, the disease is called gingivitis. This is the only stage at which the disease can be cured and the damage reversed. Gingivitis therapy includes treatments to remove the bacteria just below the gum line and halt the progress of the disease.
As periodontal disease progresses, people may notice bad breath, the gum line receding, or the teeth shifting out of position.
Just as the bacteria in the mouth breaks down sugar to create acids that attack the enamel, this bacteria also attacks the ligaments, tissue and bone that hold teeth in place under the gums. This causes the gum tissue to pull away from the tooth, creating “pockets” around the tooth where more bacteria can gather. This is why periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
People who are diagnosed with an active gum infection (periodontal disease) need treatment both above and below the gum line to remove the harmful bacteria. Scaling & root planing (SRP) is a non-surgical treatment that removes bacteria and smooths out exposed root surfaces. An antibiotic may be applied to the gums as well. Depending on the stage of the disease, SRP may take more than one office visit to complete. After the initial treatments, the dentist may prescribe a periodontal maintenance routine, including more frequent cleanings, to help manage the disease. However, at this stage the disease cannot be reversed.
If more advanced cases of the disease, the dentist may recommend you see a gum specialist called a periodontist for treatment.
Bad Breath Management
If you find yourself popping breath mints and avoiding intimate conversation, you aren’t alone. Millions of people suffer from bad breath. The medical term is halitosis. Bad breath affects 25 percent of the U.S. population.
While bad breath can be related to what you ate recently, it’s more likely caused by bacteria on your teeth and beneath the gums. As bacteria causes dental decay, the damaged cells can release an odor. Fortunately, professional teeth cleanings and gum treatment will address these issues. Following up with the proper at-home dental care, including brushing your teeth after meals, flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash, also will help keep bad breath under control.
Oral Cancer Screening
As part of your first visit to our office, we will offer an oral cancer screening. This quick, easy and painless test allows the dentist to see signs of oral cancer that are not visible to the naked eye.
Oral cancer can be particularly dangerous because it often has no symptoms in its early stages. That is why we recommend everyone over the age of 18 gets screened. Early detection saves lives.
By the time symptoms are visible, the disease is frequently in the later stages of advancement and has metastasized to another location. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of more commonly known cancers such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, testicular cancer and thyroid cancer.
Teeth Grinding & Night Guards
If you frequently wake up with headaches and a sore jar, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep. Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a common condition that affects up to 40 million Americans. If it’s severe enough, it can wear down the enamel of your teeth. Signs include:
- Morning headaches
- Waking with a sore jaw
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
Teeth grinding is often caused by stress. However, it can also be the result of crooked teeth or a “bad bite.” Our dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. Since it’s worn at night, this type of mouth guard is also called a night guard.
Call Today to Schedule a Dental Exam
Call Towncare Dental of Bonita Springs today at (239) 494-4720 for a convenient day and time for you or a family member to come in for a comprehensive dental exam. We look forward to meeting you and helping you get your smile back on track.