Preventative Dentistry

Preventative Measures To Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Why Is Preventative Dentistry Important?

Preventive dentistry is oral care that involves education, treatment, and practice of maintaining your teeth and gums. Early detection of cavities According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. This equals approximately 64.7 million Americans.

Several research studies have suggested that periodontal disease is connected to a variety of other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists believe that inflammation may be the basis for the link between these systemic diseases.

What Does Preventative Dentistry Do?

Preventive dentistry prevents people from developing dental problems later on. If you use proper dental care, you can avoid or lessen the effects of these:

Cavities
Tooth decay, also known as cavities or dental caries, occurs when there is a breakdown of the teeth from the acid within bacteria in your mouth. These cavities will show up as either yellow or black spots on the teeth that are typically accompanied by pain and difficulty eating. If not treated, complications can arise like inflammation of the tissue around the tooth, an infection, abscess formation or even the loss of the tooth.
Gingivitis
Gingivitis is a non-destructive disease that most typically forms around the tooth as plaque (also called bacterial biofilms), which sticks to the surface of the tooth as plaque-induced gingivitis. In some cases, this gingivitis leads to periodontitis if not corrected through good oral hygiene.
Enamel Loss
Tooth erosion (dental erosion) is the loss of enamel as a result of chemical processes in the mouth not induced by bacteria. Enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body that is actually mineralized but can still be dissolved in a chemical environment. This erosion is irreversible and can occur from intrinsic acids like what is created when vomiting and also extrinsic acids like from acidic drinks or fruits.
Periodontitis
Periodontitis occurs if gingivitis is not effectively treated through good oral hygiene which results in the inflammation of the gums, leading to tissue destruction and bone resorption. In fact, the term periodontitis means "inflammation of the gums" and it can ultimately lead to tooth loss if not treated.
Oral Cancer Screening
It is always important to screen for oral cancer since early detection can result in improved treatment outcomes as well as avoid potential death. Oral cancer can occur in two different ways - 1) In the oral cavity like your cheeks, teeth, lips, gums the front 2/3rds of your tongue and the roof of your mouth 2) In the oropharynx, which includes the tonsils, base of the tongue or middle of your throat.

Common Practices In The Office

Dr. Fontenot is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to all her patients in helping them to achieve their optimal oral health goals and carefully addressing their dental concerns.

Dr. Fontenot sees all new patients first in order to collect necessary information to evaluate each patient’s specific dental needs. Once the data is examined, she is then able to determine the best course of treatment regarding restorative needs and the the type of periodontal therapy and /or gingival maintenance appointment necessary in achieving a state of health.

Contact us today so that we may help you achieve your best smile!

The Goal Of Preventative Dentistry

The benefits of this form of dentistry are numerous, and patients of all ages can realize its goal: keeping gum disease, sensitivity, cavities and other common conditions at bay. If early signs of cavities and gum disease can be reversed, then patients can look forward to a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Periodontal Disease Facts

The Prevalence of Periodontal Disease

According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. This equals approximately 64.7 million Americans.

The Causes & Symptoms

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums become swollen and red due to inflammation, which is the body’s natural response to the presence of harmful bacteria. In the more serious form of periodontal disease called periodontitis, the gums pull away from the tooth and supporting gum tissues are destroyed. Bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or eventually fall out. Chronic periodontitis, the most advanced form of the disease, progresses relatively slowly in most people and is typically more evident in adulthood. Although inflammation as a result of a bacterial infection is behind all forms of periodontal disease, a variety of factors can influence the severity of the disease. Important risk factors include inherited or genetic susceptibility, smoking, lack of adequate home care, age, diet, health history, and medications.

The Perio-Systemic Connection

Several research studies have suggested that periodontal disease is connected to a variety of other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists believe that inflammation may be the basis for the link between these systemic diseases. While periodontists are experts in treating oral inflammation, additional research is needed to better understand how treating periodontal disease may reduce the risk of developing other inflammatory diseases.

Diagnosing Periodontal Disease

Periodontists typically rely on a visual assessment of the patient’s overall oral condition in addition to charting pocket depths with a periodontal probe. This visual/mechanical method of assessing periodontal disease status can only tell whether or not a disease is present. There are other tests currently available that go beyond basic and subjective visual assessment to provide dental professionals with the detailed genetic and biological information required to better determine the appropriate treatment regimen for each individual patient. This information includes evaluating the inflammatory burden that is causing periodontal disease, as well as looking at the patient’s unique genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease.

Periodontal Treatments

Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planning (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement. They can also treat patients using a range of surgical procedures, for both the treatment of severe periodontal disease and for cosmetic purposes. In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the placement and repair of dental implants

Get in Touch

Have any questions or want any insight on what differentiates us from other LaFayette dentists? Give us a call and we'd love to speak.

Common Practices In The Office