How we protect the beauty and health of your smile from leading threats (like decay and gum disease!)
Too many times, patients only visit the dentist when their “teeth hurt.” This is reactive dentistry. Reactive dentistry identifies existing problems and restores oral health with time-consuming, costly, aggressive, and invasive treatments. You don’t have to go through all the hassle and pain associated with “catching up” and responding to dental problems after they occur. Preventative dentistry is a painless, affordable (frequently a “covered service” as per many dental insurance plans), tissue-preserving, and convenient way to maintain the health of your teeth, gums, and mouth.
Los Alamitos Dental Care of Los Alamitos, California, protects patients’ oral health by preventing conditions such as dental decay and gum disease – the two leading causes of tooth loss.
Your mouth contains “good” and “bad” bacteria. It’s estimated that around 20 billion microbes “live” in your “oral cavity” (mouth). They reproduce every five hours. So, removing bacteria with consistent, good hygiene is vitally important.
As certain strains of bacteria are allowed to flourish, a sticky destructive plaque forms. The harmful bacteria in this sticky film feed on the starches and sugars you consume in your diet. As these substances co-mingle, acids are produced. They persistently “bathe” your teeth and work their way through the tooth, eroding it from the outside inward.
Accordingly, the process of tooth decay may initially present as erosion of the enamel that covers and protects the tooth. Heightened sensitivity or discomfort may accompany enamel erosion. If decay is allowed to march through the tooth, a cavity or hole in the surface of the tooth may form. These holes or areas of damage can grow larger and penetrate the deeper layers of the tooth’s structure. Once decay has reached the inside of the tooth, patients will likely experience significant pain and swelling. This is because the inner pulp tissue contains nerves and blood vessels. To prevent further complications, such as severe infections (abscesses) and the loss of teeth, root canal therapy may be necessary to preserve the badly decayed tooth.
Periodontal (gum) disease
When plaque isn’t brushed off or flossed away, it builds up and hardens into tartar (calculus). Tartar is an abrasive and porous substance. It accumulates above the gum line, as well as underneath it. Tartar inflames the supportive tissues (gums) surrounding and protecting the teeth. It also releases toxins that destroy the soft tissues and jawbone. Tartar is also incredibly stubborn. That is why it is so essential to manage plaque at home with good brushing and flossing. This characteristic also underscores the need for professional cleanings. Only professionals, like our dental hygienists at Los Alamitos Dental Care, can remove plaque after it has hardened.
This blend of professional hygiene services and at-home care can prevent the development of gum disease. For patients with early gum disease (gingivitis), we may recommend proactive care with a “deep cleaning” or scaling and root planing. Patients with more extensive disease, or periodontitis, may require more aggressive treatment. Generally, gum disease can both be prevented, and its effects can even be reversed when treated effectively in its earliest stages.
Schedule your check-up today!
During your check-up, we will not only clean your teeth. But our dentists will also examine your mouth by sight and by touch. As needed, we can detect even “hidden” areas of decay or abnormalities associated with the smallest areas of the mouth by using advanced imaging and other diagnostic tools. These appointments also present opportunities for us to share tailored guidance on everything from brushing and flossing techniques to nutrition. We may even discuss professional preventive products, such as dental sealants and oral appliances, to protect the teeth from decay, excessive wear and tear, and dental injuries and trauma.
Call us at (562) 539-0011. Our team in Los Alamitos, CA, looks forward to meeting you!