General Dentistry & Hygiene

There are essentially only 2 problems in dentistry – decay (caries) and gum disease (periodontal disease). In adult tooth loss, 75% are due to periodontal disease. The junction between the gums and teeth contain a pocket (known as the periodontal pocket) and oral bacteria live in this pocket. The bacteria form a biofilm, known as plaque. If not removed, this dental plaque will harden into dental calculus (tartar). Calculus cannot be removed by a toothbrush, floss, or mouthwash, only through manual or ultrasonic removal by a dental hygienist. Left untreated, this calculus will cause bone loss, gum recession, and eventually tooth loss. Call us today to schedule your cleaning and return at least twice a year.

This calculus can also lead to dental caries. Bacteria will damage the enamel and a dentist will have to remove this soft tooth structure, and then fill the cavity with a tooth colored composite or silver amalgam filling. Teeth are poor at alerting the individual of the presence of decay. Typically, teeth will only start to hurt once this decay has worn through the enamel and into the porous dentin, allowing the bacteria into the root of the tooth. Once this occurs, the only solutions are a root canal or extraction. Regular examination and x-rays are the best defense against the early signs of decay.