You can't always tell if you have a dental problem just by looking at your teeth. X-rays give dentists a view of the interior portion of your teeth, allowing them to diagnose tooth decay, spot cra ...View Article
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Healthy gums are a critical aspect of overall wellness. These gum tissue provides critical support for the teeth while protecting the roots from bacteria and other harmful or irritating agents. Without proper care, however, gums are vulnerable to diseases that can cause pain, swelling and tissue deterioration. Studies show many major health issues stem from the presence of gum disease in the mouth. Here at the office of Dr. Kellye Rice, we utilize a variety of preventative care measures and treatments to optimize the periodontal health of our Brentwood patients.
Clean teeth naturally tend to be healthy teeth because bacterial infiltration is a leading case of dental and periodontal diseases. Food particles can gather onto tooth and gum surfaces, where they mix with saliva to form a starchy substance known as plaque. Daily brushing and flossing helps remove much, though not all, of this material before bacteria start to feed on it.
Over time the plaque hardens into tartar, which creates a rough surface that attracts yet more plaque and bacteria. The bacteria eventually penetrate the enamel to cause tooth decay, sometimes by infiltrating the tiny gaps between teeth and gums known as periodontal pockets. As this process continues, gum tissue may bleed or swell up painfully, abscesses may form, the jaw may lose bone, and the ligaments that hold the teeth in place may fail. In the worst-case scenario, the invading bacteria can even invade the heart, brain or other organs. This bacteria in your blood system jeopardizes your overall health.
We urge our Brentwood patients to have their teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Teeth cleaning at our clinic focuses on removing plaque and tartar both below and above the gum line that ordinary home hygiene cannot remove. At the same time, we perform evaluations that allow us to check for signs of gum disease, oral cancer and other ailments that may require prompt treatment.
Since gum disease can strike anyone at any age, we urge parents to teach their children -- and themselves -- proper brushing and flossing techniques. Dr. Rice is happy to advise our Brentwood patients on these practices while also helping them understand how dietary choices can affect dental health, particularly the role of sugary, starchy or acidic foods and drinks in promoting gum disease and tooth decay.
Patients who show signs of gum disease (deep periodontal pockets, for instance) may benefit from gum treatment. In this type of deep cleaning, we use a combination of modern laser technology and traditional tools to reach down to scrape tartar away from the tooth roots, removing diseased gum tissue as needed. We then smooth the tooth root, reattach the gum tissue, and place a local antibiotic to help combat bacteria and the gum recovers. This common, conservative, relatively minor treatment can make all the difference in helping you keep your teeth for life. We encourage Brentwood patients to contact our office for a consultation and evaluation so we can help them overcome or prevent gum disease.