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Our team at Sunrise Dental Group is looking forward to serving you. Whether you need a routine teeth cleaning or more extensive dental care, we provide a comfortable, nonthreatening environment in which our patients feel free to ask questions.
Even if it’s been awhile since your last visit to the dentist and you’re a bit embarrassed about the condition of your teeth, we are eager to help you get your dental health back on track and restore your smile.
During your first dental exam at Sunrise Dental Group, our dentist will look for signs of:
- Tooth decay
- Teeth grinding
- Bone loss
- Oral cancer
- Periodontal (gum) disease
Teeth Cleaning in Sunrise
A professional teeth cleaning is one of the few dental procedures our patients love. There’s nothing better than the fresh, invigorating feels you get after a thorough professional cleaning.
However, professional teeth cleanings also play a vital role in your dental health. During basic cleanings, our hygienist removes the plaque and calculus on your teeth that cause cavities.
Plaque is an invisible enemy. It’s a colorless film filled with bacteria that builds up on your teeth every time you eat and drink. The bacteria in plaque turns the sugars in food and beverages into acids that cause tooth decay. These acids erode the tooth enamel and can create holes in your teeth called cavities.
Your mother had the right idea when she used to nag you to stay away from candy and sugary soft drinks and brush after every meal. If plaque isn’t removed from the surface of your teeth, it turns into a hard substance called calculus in less than 24 hours.
Unfortunately, brushing and flossing won’t remove all of the plaque and calculus from your teeth. Only a professional cleaning can do that. Dentists recommend that you have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year. In fact, most dental insurance covers two routine cleanings per year.
This type of cleaning intended to remove plaque, calculus and surface stains from the surface of your teeth is called a prophylaxis teeth cleaning. This is also known as a “prophy” or a healthy-mouth cleaning. The procedure removes plaque on the teeth and at the gum line, but does not remove bacteria below the gum line.
Cleaning Teeth Below the Gum Line
Unfortunately, bacteria doesn’t always remain on the surface of your teeth. It can migrate below the gum line to attack unseen portions of the tooth. Eventually, the bacteria infects the gum as well, causing periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.
The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. This is the only stage of this chronic disease in which damage to the teeth and gums can be reversed. Gum disease often has no symptoms. But, for most people, the first indication of a gingivitis infection is red, puffy gums or gums that bleed when you brush or floss.
If the infection is in the early stages, the hygienist can provide additional treatments to remove plaque on the teeth and just below the gum line.
In more advanced stages of gum disease, our dentist may recommend scaling & root planing. Scaling & root planing is a non-surgical treatment to remove harmful bacteria below the gum line and smooth out exposed root surfaces. An antibiotic also may be applied to kill the bacteria. SRP treatments may take more than one office visit to complete. Following the treatments, the dentist may advise more frequent professional cleanings to help manage the disease.
Periodontal disease is very common. Half of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The amount jumps to 70 percent for people over the age of 65.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The same bacteria in the mouth that breaks down sugar to create acids that attack the teeth can also attack the ligaments, tissue and bone that hold teeth in place under the gums. Eventually, the gum tissue begins to pull away from the tooth, creating “pockets” around the tooth where more bacteria can thrive.
As the infection worsens, you may notice bad breath, the gum line receding or the teeth shifting out of position. If it’s more advanced, the dentist may recommend you see a gum specialist called a periodontist for treatment.
Scaling & root planing and other periodontal treatment can remove bacteria, but cannot repair the damage that’s already occurred. Periodontal disease is a chronic, systemic disease, similar to other chronic diseases like diabetes. It’s only reversible in the earliest stage, gingivitis. Once it progresses, it can be managed but not reversed.
Our dentist and hygienist at Sunrise Dental Group will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Bad Breath Management
If you suffer from bad breath, you’re part of a huge club. Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, affects 25 percent of the U.S. population.
While bad breath can be caused by that spicy pizza you had for dinner, it is more often related to the germs in your mouth. When bacteria causes dental decay, the damaged cells can release a pungent odor. Fortunately, professional teeth cleanings and gum treatment can 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
On your first visit to our office, we will offer you an oral cancer screening. This is a potentially life-saving screening that is recommended for everyone over the age of 18.
This quick, 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. As the cancer progresses, symptoms such as a lump in the, difficulty swallowing, a painful tongue and persistent sores in the mouth may appear. These symptoms indicate that the cancer has 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.
Teeth Grinding & Night Guards
If you’re feeling stressed, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep. Teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism, is often caused by stress, although it can also be the result of crooked teeth or a “bad bite.”
It 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. 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
To prevent further damage to the enamel, 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
We look forward to finding a convenient day and time for you or a family member to come in for a comprehensive dental exam. Call Sunrise Dental Group today at (954) 246-4871.