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Good dental health is essential to be able to speak with confidence, eat with ease and laugh without feeling self-conscious about the condition of your teeth.
Our team at Towncare Dental of Pembroke Pines is ready to help you restore your smile and improve your quality of life. Whether it’s been a few months or a few years since your last dental visit, we offer a comfortable, nonthreatening environment where you are encouraged to ask questions and obtain the information you need to make the best decisions possible about your dental health.
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.
During your first dental exam at Towncare Dental of Pembroke Pines, your dentist will look for signs of:
- Tooth decay
- Teeth grinding
- Bone loss
- Oral cancer
- Periodontal (gum) disease
Teeth Cleaning in Pembroke Pines
Professional teeth cleanings are the one dental procedure most people don’t mind. They love the fresh feeling they get when their teeth have been thoroughly cleaned.
However, professional teeth cleanings have a more serious purpose. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque and calculus that cause cavities and other forms of tooth decay. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that’s loaded with bacteria. It clings to your teeth every time you eat or drink. The bacteria in plaque use the sugars in food and beverages to produce acids that erode the tooth enamel. That erosion process is called dental decay.
This is why dentists emphasize the need to brush and floss after every meal. If plaque isn’t removed from your teeth, it can harden into a substance called calculus in less than 24 hours. Calculus, also known as tartar, is even tougher to remove.
While good oral hygiene is essential to keeping bacteria at bay, it’s impossible to remove all of the plaque and calculus on your teeth by brushing and flossing. 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.
Dentists recommend that you have a basic professional cleaning, called a prophylaxis, twice a year. These cleanings, known as healthy-teeth cleanings, are frequently covered by dental insurance. They remove plaque, calculus and surface stains at the gum line and above.
Cleaning Teeth Below the Gum Line
Unfortunately, the bacteria in plaque and calculus don’t always remain above the gum line. It can seep beneath the gums to decay the teeth below the gum line and cause an infection of the gums. This infection is known as periodontal disease, or gum disease.
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Signs include red and puffy gums or gums that bleed when you brush and floss. Your dentist can halt the progress of the disease at this early stage by removing the plaque and calculus on your teeth above and below the gum line and treating the gum infection. Once the disease progresses beyond the gingivitis stage, it can be treated but the damage cannot be reversed.
Gum disease is a chronic, systemic disease similar to diseases like diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 percent of Americans over 30 have some form of gum disease and 70 percent over 65 have the disease.
Ultimately, periodontal disease results in tooth loss. 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.
Periodontal disease often has no symptoms. In other cases, you may notice blood when you brush or floss your teeth. As the infection worsens, you may notice bad breath, a receding gum or the teeth shifting out of position.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an active gum infection (periodontal disease), you may need treatment both above and below the gum line to remove the harmful bacteria. Scaling & root planing is a non-surgical treatment that removes bacteria and smooths out exposed root surfaces. During SRP, the dentist also may apply an antibiotic to kill the bacteria. SRP may take more than one office visit to complete. After the initial treatments, the dentist may prescribe a maintenance routine to manage the disease, including more frequent professional cleanings.
While scaling & root planing and other forms of periodontal treatment can remove bacteria, it can’t repair the damage. Periodontal disease is only reversible in the earliest stage, which is gingivitis. Once it progresses, it can be managed but not reversed.
If the gum disease is more advanced, the dentist may recommend you see a gum specialist, called a periodontist, for treatment.
Bad Breath Management
You’ve undoubtedly had conversations with people that you’ve felt like turning away from because of their bad breath. Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, affects 25 percent of the U.S. population.
While bad breath can be related to eating foods containing onions, garlic and other pungent ingredients, it’s more commonly caused by germs in your mouth.
When bacteria cause dental decay, the damaged cells release a pungent odor.
Fortunately, your dentist can address halitosis with professional teeth cleanings and gum treatment. Brushing and flossing after meals 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 offer an oral cancer screening. This quick, easy and painless test could save your life.
Oral cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages, which makes it particularly dangerous. The screening, recommended for all adults over age 18, allows the dentist to see signs of oral cancer that are not visible to the naked eye.
By the time symptoms such as a lump in the cheek or persistent mouth sore, are visible, the disease may have progressed and spread to other locations. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of more commonly known cancers including cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, testicular cancer, and thyroid cancer.
Early detection saves lives.
Teeth Grinding & Night Guards
Unless your spouse complains, you may grind your teeth in your sleep without even knowing that you’re doing it. Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, 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
- Waking up with a sore jaw
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
To protect your teeth while you sleep, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard that you wear at night
Call Today to Schedule a Dental Exam
It’s never too late to get your dental health back on track. Call Towncare Dental of Pembroke Pines today at (954) 719-6278 to make an appointment for a comprehensive dental exam.