How can we help you?
Choosing a dentist for your family's care is a big step, and we know you probably have a lot of questions about our office, dental care, and your own health in particular.
We've taken the time to collect some of the questions we hear most often. See if your question is answered here! If not – or if you'd like more information – give us a call or send us an email using the convenient online form on our Contact page.
Periodontal Disease (Gum Therapy)
No, gum disease almost never hurts which is one of the reasons why patients who do not go to the dentist regularly end up losing their teeth.
Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory process that happens slowly over time.
Gum disease develops when plaque and tartar build up at and just beneath your gumline. The bacteria in the plaque and tartar irritate your gums and cause inflammation. This starts off a chain reaction that includes the bone and soft gum tissue pulling away from your teeth, destabilizing the foundation. If periodontal disease goes untreated, you will eventually lose your teeth.
The biggest problem with gum disease is that it rarely causes pain, so many people wind up having the disease without even realizing it. When this process is caught early on, it is easily reversible. If treatment is delayed, however, the condition becomes something that can be managed or treated but not cured.
The good news is that preventing gum disease doesn't have to be complicated. While some people are more prone to getting gum disease due to genetics or systemic conditions like diabetes, there are ways to greatly reduce the development of periodontal disease.
Brushing and flossing as directed by your dentist and hygienist will keep plaque and tartar build-up to a minimum, and twice-yearly cleanings will remove the remaining traces that tend to occur in hard-to-reach places. Being diligent about either your home care or your cleanings is not enough; both are necessary to prevent periodontal disease and other problems, like decay. If you develop periodontal disease, you will need more frequent maintenance cleanings, usually three to four per year, after your your disease has been initially treated with periodontal therapy.
Additionally, every cleaning and examination includes a screening for gum disease. Often, the first signs and symptoms are subtle, and they may go unnoticed by you. Your dentist and hygienist however, should know exactly what to look for, and thanks to technology like intraoral cameras, we can show you exactly what we see!
If you are concerned about your gum health, don't hesitate to call us today and we will help guide you through everything without any judgements!
Bad breath can be the result of a number of different factors.
Of course, eating strong- or pungent-smelling foods are likely to contribute to bad breath, but we're guessing this isn't the kind of bad breath you are talking about.
Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, is typically oral health related, and the distinctive odor is usually caused by a build-up of bacteria.
Bacteria can build up in your mouth for a number of reasons. The most common of these is periodontal disease. In this situation, your gums are actually infected by bacteria and recede from the roots of your teeth.
Another common culprit in bad breath is dry mouth. Dry mouth can occur for a variety of reasons. Older patients who may take many medications are at a higher risk of dry mouth due to the side effects. Surprisingly, mouthwashes with alcohol in them also contribute to dry mouth! We recommend using a mouthwash like ACT that doesn't have any alcohol. Tooth decay can also contribute to bad breath.
Treating Bad Breath
If you suspect or have even been told that you have bad breath, please call Groves Dental Care and schedule a consultation. Clearing up the problem could be as simple as a professional cleaning and improved home hygiene. We may also recommend periodontal therapy to help treat gum disease or certain treatments to help boost saliva production and reduce bacteria.
Flossing and tongue brushing are some of the simplest ways to get rid of bad breath. Flossing at least once a day before going to bed is recommended. Ideally, flossing after every meal would be beneficial, but we realize this may not be practical.
Many people have never been taught to brush their tongue. Ideally, this should be done in the morning after waking up and in the evening before going to bed. This is the time when most bacterial build-up occurs.
Cleaning your tongue is very important, and it's also easy to do with an instrument called a tongue scraper. These can be purchased at most stores, including Publix, Target, and CVS.
Give our office a call to schedule an appointment for a dental cleaning to get on the right track!