Prevention Is Paramount
Most dental complications and large issues can be prevented. Many oral health problems are progressive, which means that continue to get worse until treated. When treated early, most of these progressive problems can be stopped. Early treatment requires early detection. Early detection and diagnosis requires regularly visiting your dentist. Routine exams allow your dentist to identify any potential issues before they progress into something damaging. Along with routine exams, oral hygiene is another important piece to the prevention puzzle. With good oral hygiene at home and professional cleanings every six months, you reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
A periodontal cleaning is also known as scaling and root planing. It is necessary when bacteria has gotten between the teeth and gums. Gingivitis is the early form of gum disease; it is caused by the bacteria along the gum line. Gingivitis may cause red, swollen, and bleeding gums. If caught early, it can be treated with scaling and root planing. If left untreated, gum disease can progress into the serious form of gum disease, periodontitis. At this stage of gum disease, the gums may begin receding from the teeth. Without strong gums, the teeth become susceptible to loss. The infection caused by gum disease can enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc on the rest of the body. Gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Preventing Cavities or Treating Them Early
Good oral hygiene cannot always stop cavities from forming. Cavities can be caused by a lax routine of brushing and flossing, but they can also be caused by teeth grinding or injury. Cavities begin by decaying the enamel of the tooth. If left untreated by a filling, a cavity will progress deep into the tooth. A root canal treatment may be necessary. If still left untreated, the decay can progress so far that the only option is to extract the tooth.