Ways to Prevent Major Dental Problems

Dentists treat patients' teeth.

I am sitting here before my laptop wondering how I should initiate my postings for this new year.  While I may not know what is best I feel the need to discuss how I can assist you in preventing major dental problems.  With this information I hope to eliminate significant dental problems and expense for patients.
Obviously proper oral hygiene procedures can go a long way in preventing problems.  While many of you understand the importance of brushing and flossing, I want to provide a few different details that are important to mention based upon what I have seen in my practice.  One of the details I want to include is that many patients put a lot of force into their brushing.  They may use a medium or hard tooth brush, they may use a firm horizontal stroke as they brush, and they may use a more abrasive tooth paste.  These kind of things cause recession of the gums, they cause tooth structure to be worn away at the gumline, and they cause loss of bone support for the teeth.  These problems can then result in tooth sensitivity and the need for gum surgery to strengthen the attachment of the gum to the teeth.  In this example patients are doing what they feel is best to care for their teeth yet it can lead to many problems.  As a result we request that our wonderful patients use a soft tooth brush, a gentle tooth brushing action, a tooth paste having the ADA seal, and a brushing motion that is more circular or verticle in direction.
Another thing I would like to mention to prevent major dental problems is to assure that the teeth are not enduring a great amount of force.  It is a statistical fact that over 40% of patients nationwide grind their teeth.  There is visible evidence of this on the teeth.  This grinding may occur while sitting in traffic driving, while sitting at a computer, and while sleeping.  It may occur at other times as well.  Patients admit they find themselves either clenching or grinding at times.  Other patients may very much deny any chance of night time grinding; however, the teeth condition alone tells us if there is any clenching or grinding.  The excessive forces from this activity can lead to cracks, decay, pain upon biting, tooth breakage, and to the failure of dental work in preventing decay.  By far these forces contribute to the most common cause of dental problems in my practice.  Treatment consists of becoming aware of when these activities occur so it can be managed.  Treatment also consists of fitting patients with a precision-made night guard to protect the teeth and the jaw joint from these forces.
Other than clenching and grinding, other things may create excessive forces on the teeth.  These may include chewing on ice, unpopped popcorn, or anything else that is quite hard.  It is not uncommon for corners of teeth to break away due to eating these hard foods.
My intent is not to provide an exhaustive list of things that create problems.  However, if these listed things are monitored and well-managed, I can honestly state that you would be significantly decreasing your risks for needing major dental care.
If we can assist you with the important services of regular preventive care, with a consultation on this content, or with an opinion on whether or not you would benefit from a night guard, we invite you to contact us at (972) 250-2580.

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