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Regardless of whether it’s been years since your last dental visit, it’s never too late to get your dental health back on track.
Poor dental health can have a big impact on your quality of life. It can affects your physical health, the way you eat, how you feel about yourself and the way you socialize with others.
Having healthy teeth and gums allow you to speak with confidence, eat with ease and smile without self-consciousness. Whether you require only routine care and need more extensive services to restore your smile, our team at Towncare Dental of Winter Park is eager to help you.
During your first dental exam at Towncare Dental of Winter Park, your dentist will look for signs of:
- Tooth decay
- Teeth grinding
- Bone loss
- Oral cancer
- Periodontal (gum) disease
We provide a comfortable, nonthreatening environment where our patients are encouraged to ask questions. Many 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 trusting relationship with you.
Teeth Cleaning in Winter Park
The majority of the calls we receive at our dental office are from people requesting to have their teeth professionally cleaned.
Nothing compares to that refreshing feeling after just having your teeth professionally cleaned. But professional cleanings also play a vital role in your dental health. They remove the plaque and calculus on your teeth that causes tooth decay.
Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that coats 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 and causes cavities, literally holes in your teeth.
That’s why you’ve been repeatedly urged since childhood to avoid candy and sugary soft drinks and to brush and floss after every meal.
However, at-home dental care can’t eliminate all of the plaque on your teeth. In less than 24 hours, plaque hardens into a substance called calculus, also known as tartar. Only a professional teeth cleaning can remove plaque and calculus from hard-to-reach places between the teeth.
In addition to causing tooth decay, the bacteria in plaque and calculus can attack the teeth below the gum, causing an infection of the gum known as gingivitis.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. If your gums are red and puffy or bleed when you brush or floss, you may have bacteria below the gum line that is causing an infection. If the infection is in the early stages, the hygienist can treat it during your hygiene visit. If it’s more advanced, the dentist may recommend you see a gum specialist known as a periodontist.
Here are some examples of the types of dental treatment for hygiene:
- Prophylaxis: People who only need their teeth cleaned above the gum line to remove plaque, calculus and surface stains should receive a prophylaxis teeth cleaning twice a year. 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. A prophy 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. The hygienist or dentist can treat it by providing additional services to remove plaque on the teeth and just below the gum line.
- Scaling & Root Planing: People who are diagnosed with an active gum infection require 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. It also may include the application of an antibiotic. SRP may take more than one office visit to complete. After the initial treatments, the dentist may prescribe a routine to help manage the disease.
Cleaning Teeth Below the Gum Line
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 number rises to 70 percent for people over the age of 65.
It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. 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 your teeth in place under the gums. Eventually, the gum tissue will pull away from the teeth, creating “pockets” where more bacteria can gather.
Some people with periodontal disease have no symptoms. Others notice bleeding gums when they brush or floss their teeth. As the infection worsens, they may have bad breath, a receding gum line and teeth that have shifted.
Scaling & root planing and other treatments can remove bacteria, but can’t repair the damage. Just like diabetes, periodontal disease is a chronic, systemic disease. It’s only reversible in the earliest stage. Once it progresses to later stages, it can be managed but not reversed.
Our dentist and hygienist at Towncare Dental of Winter Park will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Bad Breath Management
If you frequently breathe into your hand and sniff to determine if you have bad breath, you’re not alone. Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, affects 25 percent of the U.S. population.
While heavily spiced foods can cause you to have a temporary case of bad breath, it’s more commonly caused by the presence of germs in your mouth. When cells are damaged by tooth decay, they release an unpleasant odor.
This problem can be addressed with professional teeth cleanings and gum treatments. In between, brushing, flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash will help keep bad breath at bay.
Oral Cancer Screening
As part of your first visit to our office, we offer a screening that could save your life. Recommended for all adults over the age of 18, an oral cancer screening is a quick and painless test that allows the dentist to see signs of oral cancer that are not visible to the naked eye.
Oral cancer is especially dangerous because it often has no symptoms in the early stages. By the time symptoms appear, the disease has often advanced and spread. 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’re under a great deal of stress, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep without knowing it. Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a common condition that affects up to 40 million Americans. It can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
Our dentist will examine your teeth for signs of 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
Teeth grinding also can be caused by a crooked teeth or a “bad bite.” Our dentist can fit you with a mouth guard (night guard) to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Call Today to Schedule a Dental Exam
Don’t put off the chance to have a healthy smile. Call Towncare Dental of Winter Park today at (407) 901-4351. We look forward to finding a convenient day and time for you to come in for a comprehensive dental exam.