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Your smile is a big part of who you are. Having a healthy smile affects how you socialize, your self-confidence, the way you talk, even the foods you choose to eat. At Palm Dental Center, we are committed to helping you to maintain the smile you have or restore the smile you once had.
Even if you’ve neglected your dental health and are embarrassed about the condition of your teeth, we can help you get back on track by correcting any dental problems you might have. Our goal is to give you a smile you’ll be proud to flash.
During your first dental exam at Palm Dental Center, your dentist will look for signs of:
- Tooth decay
- Teeth grinding
- Bone loss
- Oral cancer
- Periodontal (gum) disease
We pride ourselves on making our patients feel relaxes and comfortable. And we welcome any questions you might have. Many of our patients have been trusting us with their dental health for years. We want to develop that kind of relationship with you as well.
Teeth Cleaning in Hialeah
Professional teeth cleaning is one of the dental procedures most people don’t mind. It’s also a procedure that may hold the key to your dental health.
Professional teeth cleanings remove the nasty plaque and calculus that causes cavities. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that clings to your teeth every time you eat or drink. The bacteria in plaque transforms sugars in food and beverages to produce acids that erode your tooth enamel. That erosion process is called dental decay and the result is a cavity – literally a hole in the tooth.
This is the reason why dentists emphasize the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal. Dedicated at-home dental care helps keep plaque at bay. If left unattended, plaque can harden into a substance called calculus in less than 24 hours.
Only a professional teeth cleaning can remove plaque and calculus from the surfaces of the teeth and those hard-to-reach places between the teeth.
In addition to causing cavities, plaque and calculus can cause other damage. The bacteria in plaque and calculus can migrate below the gum line, causing an infection known as periodontal, or gum disease.
Periodontal disease is common. It affects 50 percent of Americans over the age of 30 and 70 percent over the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is also the main cause of tooth loss.
The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. It is the only stage in which gum disease responds to treatment. Although gum disease frequently has no symptoms, signs that you may have gingivitis are red and swollen gums and gums that bleed after brushing and flossing.
Just as the bacteria in the mouth breaks down sugar to create acids that attack the teeth, the 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. As the infection becomes worse, you may notice bad breath, the gum line receding, or the teeth shifting out of position. Eventually, this bacteria will compromise the foundation of your teeth, causing them to loosen and fall out.
In these more advanced stages of the disease, the dentist may recommend you see a gum specialist called a periodontist for treatment
The type of teeth cleaning you need depends on the health of your teeth and gums. Here are some examples of the types of cleanings available:
- Prophylaxis: People who only need their teeth cleaned above the gum line to remove plaque, calculus and surface stains may receive a prophylaxis teeth cleaning. This is also known as a “prophy” or a healthy-mouth cleaning and is the type of teeth cleaning most often covered by dental insurance. This type of teeth cleaning removes plaque on the teeth and at the gum line, but does not remove bacteria below the gum line.
- Gingivitis Therapy: Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and is the only stage that is reversible. In addition to cleaning the teeth above the gum line, the hygienist or dentist will provide additional treatments to remove plaque on the teeth and just below the gum line.
- Scaling & Root Planing: 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. SRP may take more than one office visit to complete and may include the application of an antibiotic. After the initial treatments, the dentist may prescribe more frequent cleanings to help manage the disease.
Scaling & root planing and other forms of periodontal treatment remove bacteria, but those cannot repair the damage. Periodontal disease is a chronic, systemic disease, similar to other chronic diseases like diabetes. It’s only reversible in the earliest stage, which is gingivitis. Once it progresses, it can be managed but not reversed.
Our dentist and hygienist at Palm Dental Center will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Bad Breath Management
Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, affects 25 percent of the U.S. population.
While bad breath can be caused by the foods you eat, it is most often the result of germs in your mouth. When bacteria causes dental decay, the damaged cells can release an unpleasant odor.
Professional teeth cleanings and gum treatment can address this problem. However, sufferers need to follow up with a strict regimen of brushing, flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash to keep bad breath under control.
Oral Cancer Screening
It doesn’t get the amount of publicity that other types of cancer receive but oral cancer has a higher death rate than that of more commonly known cancers including cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, testicular cancer, and thyroid cancer.
As part of your first visit to our office, we will offer you 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 often has no symptoms in its early stages, which makes it particularly dangerous. By the time symptoms, such as a lump in the cheek or a persistent sore in the mouth, appear, the disease is in an advanced stage and may have metastasized to other locations.
This is why we recommend everyone over the age of 18 gets screened.
Teeth Grinding & Night Guards
Teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism, is a common condition that affects up to 40 million Americans. It is often caused by stress. However, it can also be the result of crooked teeth or a “bad bite.” If it’s severe enough, it can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
Our dentist will look for signs of teeth grinding and may ask you if you have any of these symptoms:
- Morning headaches
- Wake with a sore jaw
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
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 Palm Dental Center today at (305) 921-0481 to schedule a convenient day and time for your first comprehensive exam. We’re eager to help you get your smile back on track.