The best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease is to brush and floss your teeth regularly at home. Harrisonburg dentists also recommend that you visit periodically for your regular dental exams and cleanings.
These important appointments are sometimes neglected. Learn more below and contact our Harrisonburg dentists today.
Causes of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Tooth decay and gum disease can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Tooth damage
- Mouth trauma
- Consuming sugary snacks and beverages
- Plaque and tartar
Plaque and Tartar
Although plaque and tartar happen to be last on the list, they are far from the least important factor in the development of tooth decay and periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease.
Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on teeth due to the presence of oral bacteria. Moreover, this sticky film allows bacteria to remain in contact with your teeth, continually secreting acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. For this reason, visiting your Harrisonburg dentists is important.
Over time, this tooth damage develops into a cavity, or hole in your tooth. This allows bacteria free entry into the tooth where it can reach the soft dental pulp.
At this point, you have a severe infection on your hands and are probably in a great deal of pain. You would likely need a root canal or extraction from your Harrisonburg dentists.
The good news is that the formation of plaque and tartar can be prevented by brushing and flossing at home, as well as keeping up with your essential dental exams and cleanings.
Let’s take a look at what goes into dental exams and cleanings.
Dental Exams and Cleanings: What to Expect
Removal of Tartar
Even if you are regularly brushing and flossing, plaque may still build up on your teeth in areas that are hard to reach. On the other hand, tartar is a hardened form of plaque. Only a hygienist or your Harrisonburg dentists can remove it.
This step involves polishing your teeth and returning them to their original smoothness using a special handpiece.
Oral Health Evaluation
During each of your cleaning appointments, we will be checking for signs of gum disease or bone loss through observation or x-rays.
Your teeth can shift over time, affecting the way that your bite functions. In severe cases of shifting, your Harrisonburg dentists may refer you to an orthodontist for appropriate treatment.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is a serious disease that is highly treatable when detected early. It is also easily detected if you keep up with your regular dental exams and cleanings.
Schedule a Dental Exam and Cleaning Today
The best way to prevent and treat periodontal disease is to undergo a professional teeth cleaning treatment conducted by your dental hygienist in Harrisonburg. To receive more information about dental exams and cleanings, contact our Harrisonburg dentists today.