PREVENTATIVE DENTISTRY

Preventive dental care is essential in the maintenance of a healthy mouth. But there is more to it than that. Having a healthy mouth can have a positive effect on your overall health. Preventive dentistry emphasizes the importance of daily brushing and flossing to stop dental caries and other dental diseases and conditions from developing. Preventive dentistry is most beneficial when at-home oral care is supplemented by dental remedies and consultations with professionals. Start regular tooth cleaning as soon as your child’s first tooth emerges. Once your child’s first tooth appears, or no later than 12 months of age, make an appointment with a pediatric dentist to formulate a clear oral health prevention plan. The dentist needs to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient after they have received a thorough evaluation. Suppose you want your family to be a part of a successful preventive plan. In that case, you need to have open lines of communication.

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Treatment of Gingivitis

Gingivitis Signs & Symptoms:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bright red or purple gums
  • Shiny appearance of the gums
  • Gums that are tender or painful to the touch
  • Bleeding gums or bleeding after brushing and/or flossing
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Sensitive teeth with no apparent cause

Gingivitis Prevention:

  • Regular oral hygiene including daily brushing and flossing
    Diet change
  • Regular scaling/root planning by your dental hygienist

Gingivitis Treatment:

  • Plaque removal and reduction of oral bacteria is the focus
  • Adequate oral hygiene at home
  • Periodic dental cleanings (scaling/root planing)
  • Mouth rinses

Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene. However, in the absence of treatment, gingivitis gums can progress to periodontitis (irreversible gum disease).

Treatment of Periodontitis (Gum Disease)

Treatment of Periodontitis (Gum Disease)

Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease that irreversibly destroys the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Periodontitis involves progressive loss of the alveolar bone around the teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth.

Periodontitis Signs & Symptoms:

In the early stages, periodontitis has very few symptoms, and in many individuals, the disease has progressed significantly before they seek treatment. Patients should realize gingival inflammation and bone destruction are largely painless.

 

Periodontitis Symptoms may include:

  • Redness or bleeding of gums while brushing teeth, using dental floss or biting into hard food
  • Recurrent Gum swelling
  • Halitosis, or bad breath, and a persistent metallic/metal taste in the mouth
  • Gingival recession, resulting in apparent lengthening of teeth.
  • Deep pockets between the teeth and the gums (pockets are sites where the tooth’s attachment has been gradually destroyed)
  • Loose teeth (occurs in the later stages of the disease)

 

Periodontitis Causes/Modifying Factors:

  • Poor/ineffective oral hygiene (primary cause)
  • Gingivitis
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Genetics

Periodontitis Prevention:

  • Meticulous daily oral hygiene including brushing and flossing
  • Antiseptic mouthwashes
  • Regular dental exams (including taking probing depths around each tooth)
  • Control of modifying conditions (ie. Diabetes, smoking)

Periodontitis Management/Treatment:

  • Excellent Oral hygiene (minimum twice daily brushing and daily flossing)
  • Initial scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) by your hygienist
  • Dental treatment to adjust your bite, fix old/failing fillings etc.
  • Antiseptic mouth rinses
  • Possible surgical treatment (if bone loss cannot be stopped by other methods)
  • Maintenance cleanings (scaling/root planning) every 3 months after initial successful therapy has been completed
If you suspect that you have gingivitis or periodontitis, you should request to see your dentist right away. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis (“gum disease”), which is one of the main reasons why adults lose their teeth. But the good news is gum disease can almost always be prevented. If it starts, it can be treated and can even be reversed in its early stages.

Fissure Sealants

Plastic coatings that are painted on to the grooves of the back teeth. The sealant forms a protective layer that keeps food and bacteria from getting stuck in the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay. Usually placed in children as a preventative measure while they gain dexterity and develop better brushing habits.

Night Guard/Splint

An acrylic mouthguard that protects the teeth/joints from the strong vertical forces produced by grinding (bruxism). A night guard forces the relaxation of the muscles and prevents damage to the oral cavity.

 

Sports Guards/Mouthguards

Plastic coverings are worn over teeth that are used to protect teeth from injury during sports or other activities. Our team at Westgate Dental Centre will take a simple impression and have a custom mouthguard ready for you the next day, on your Maple Ridge dental office visit. Mouthguards are custom-fitted, comfortable and available in a wide array of colours.