Prevention & Diagnostics
Your teeth are the window to the health of your body. Your mouth tells a story of your overall health to others. If you’re taking great care of your teeth and gums you’re probably taking good care of the rest of you! Our dental office strives to teach each patient gum disease management and cavity prevention methods. Only through prevention & proper diagnostics can you have a healthy smile for life!
Prevention and diagnostics are the two most important tools in a dentist’s arsenal. They reduce long-term costs by catching issues early when they are easy to treat!
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria. Left untreated decay can cause:
- Mouth sores
- Tender or bloody gums
- Bad breath
- Tooth loss
- Oral infections
Oral infections also can contribute to more serious ailments like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia. Which is why preventative dentistry is so important for overall health.
How Can I Avoid a Dental Emergency?
Because we cannot avoid all risk to our teeth in daily life, there are precautions we can take to eliminate some of the causes of dental emergencies.
5 Ways to Protect Your Pearly Whites from Injury
- Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports
- Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth
- Avoid chewing ice, hard candies, or popcorn kernels (these are good ways to crack a tooth)
- Always use scissors to open packages or cut things, NEVER use your teeth
- Do not use your teeth to open bottle caps
It’s a fact that regular dental appointments spot dental problems. Moreover, dental problems caught early on are easier to treat and more affordable.
When Should I See a Dentist? You should see a dentist if you have:
- Sensitive teeth
- Puffy gums
- Gums that bleed when you floss
- Crowns or fillings
- Bad breath
- Jaw pain or your jaw pops when you move it
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty chewing
- A history of gum disease or tooth decay
- A medical condition
- Dry mouth
Also, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist if you:
- Don’t like the way your teeth or smile look
- Are pregnant
- Have pain or swelling in your mouth, face, or cheeks
- Smoke, use tobacco, vape, or use smokeless tobacco
- Are undergoing medical treatment that reduces your ability to fight infection (chemo, radiation, hormone replacement therapy, etc.)
- Have an uneven bite
- Have a spot or a sore in your mouth
- Haven’t been to the dentist in the last six months
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or conditions schedule an appointment with your Ann Arbor Smiles Dentist today. Also, let your doctor know of any medical or physical condition you’re experiencing so they can provide complete care.
Prevention and Diagnostic Services
Digital X-rays reduce radiation exposure by up to eighty-five percent. They also offer immediate images for viewing during your exam. X-rays allow us to detect early bone pathology, tooth decay, periodontal disease, as well as developmental changes in your mouth.
Diagnodent, a laser-assisted diagnostic tool used at Ann Arbor smiles, helps dentists to detect if the tooth has changed density. This small shift in density can occur in all parts of the tooth and can be invisible to the naked eye. Detecting these small lesions or holes early can reduce the need for large restorations and more expensive treatments.
Gum Disease Management
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among American adults. The best way to treat this is to do a deeper cleaning, called scaling and root planing, that sometimes requires anesthesia. Our hygienists will remove the bacteria and tartar (or calculus) so that your gums can start to heal. He or she may recommend Arestin, an antibacterial medication, to help reverse the effects of this disease.
Regular hygiene treatments can help you maintain a lifetime of optimal oral health. Plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and/or periodontal disease. Our hygienists will gently remove plaque and calculus (build-up), check for periodontal health, and provide home-care tips. For your convenience, we offer prescription rinses, fluoride gels, and electric toothbrushes available for purchase.