“Prevention is the best cure!”
The best way to ensure good oral health is to try and prevent any problems before they come about. The bacteria normally present in our mouths will at any opportunity try and cause tooth decay and gum disease. At Waverley Family Dental, we are passionate about good oral health, and our surgery, fitted with all the latest technology, assists us in ensuring you have the best care possible.
Without knowing exactly what is happening in your mouth, it is very difficult to best advise you on the best course of treatment. Dentists are trained to look for oral manifestations of diseases, oral cancer, infections, early signs of gum disease, eroded fillings and dental decay.
A check-up will generally entail:
- Taking a detailed medical and dental history (it has been shown that your general health, and dental health will impact on one another.
- X-rays which can show cavities between teeth, bone loss due to gum disease, infections at the root of teeth etc.(we use digital radiography, which ensures less exposure to radiation than regular x-rays)
- Intra-Oral Camera- which allows you to have a “dentist’s view” of your mouth
- Checking the gums, and charting (periodontal charting).
Even though you may be very vigilant with your tooth brushing and flossing at home, it does not replace a clean by your dentist. When your dentist cleans your teeth, it leaves them smooth, which makes it a lot harder for plaque to build up. When plaque is left on teeth, it hardens and becomes tartar (aka calculus). Tartar can then lead to gum disease. Once tartar has formed, the only way to remove it is with a scale and clean from the dentist.
A clean will generally entail:
- Scaling – this removes tartar from teeth
- Polishing – this will remove stains and mild discolorations from teeth (so your teeth will look better as well!)
- Flossing-this will remove food and plaque from between your teeth
- Fluoride treatment – to help prevent cavities
A filling is a plug of material that is placed into a tooth to replace missing tooth. Most teeth with a small decay (cavity or hole) can be easily restored to function with a filling. If the decay is large, more complex treatment may be needed. You may not know you need a filling. Small to medium holes in teeth can be pain free. Dental X-rays may show an early decay that does not have any symptoms yet.
Signs you may need a deeper filling (or more extensive treatment) is if your teeth are sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet food and drink, or if you have a toothache.
At Waverley Family Dental we use composite resins as our fillings (tooth coloured fillings).
Gum disease is caused by bacteria and is used to describe a range of conditions that affect the supporting tissues for teeth. Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in our population.
Risk factors for gum disease include smoking, diabetes, stress, pregnancy and some medications can all be contributing factors.
Warning signs of Gum disease include: Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, Receding gums, Sensitive teeth or gums and Loose teeth or teeth that have moved.
Gum disease can be treated. Treatment generally involves:
- regular brushing and flossing of teeth at home
- professional cleaning of the teeth above and below the gum line to remove the plaque and hard deposits (calculus / tartar)
- regular check – ups by the dentist
- removing risk factors for gum disease, such as stopping smoking and reducing stress levels.