General dentistry is essential for kids and adults alike, and involves treatments to help you avoid the onset of oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease. We can also correct bite imbalance and jaw joint strain with custom oral appliances! In today’s blog, your Lake Orion, MI, dentist talks about general dentistry, and how this can help smiles young and old stay strong and beautiful for years to come.
Starting with Your Checkup
A checkup is a chance to closely examine your smile every few months. This is vital because problems that harm your smile’s health, function, and stability take several months to form. Seeing us every six months means we can catch these in the early stages. With digital x-rays and our intraoral cameras, our team can conduct a diagnosis with precision and accuracy, catching these problems before you develop painful symptoms or risk losing a tooth. For example, our team can look for tooth decay and infection, gingivitis and gum disease, and even TMJ disorder and bruxism (teeth grinding). We also screen for oral cancer once a year, and watch for the early signs of developing misalignment in little smiles.
As part of our approach to general dentistry, we also offer dental cleanings for patients of all ages. Kids and adults alike need to have the layers of plaque and tartar removed from the teeth. Doing so helps lower the risk of bad breath and teeth stains. But more importantly, this also reduces the chances of cavities forming, and for adults can keep gum disease at bay. The process only takes a short amount of time, but is crucial for keeping smiles healthy and beautiful. We use an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual pick to remove all plaque and tartar. We then polish the teeth which offers a brighter appearance and smoother finish to your teeth.
Scaling and Root Planing
Sometimes a general dental cleaning isn’t enough if you exhibit the warning signs of gingivitis and gum disease. These symptoms could include soreness in the gums, redness, bleeding, and receding tissues. To help prevent the issue from growing more severe and threaten tooth stability, we can offer a deep cleaning. Also known as a scaling and root planing, this removes plaque from both the teeth and the roots. We then polish the teeth for a brighter appearance. For more minor cases, this could take one visit, while others may need up to four. We will numb your smile to keep you comfortable. Afterward, regular cleanings every three to four months can help manage the disease and safeguard your smile.
Bruxism and TMJ Disorder
When our bite is imbalanced, this could place stress and strain on the joints connecting your jaw and skull. As a result, you could develop bruxism, TMJ disorder, or both. With bruxism, you grind and clench your teeth on a regular basis, which wears down structure and damages your teeth, leaving you vulnerable to tooth decay and infections. With TMJ disorder, you could have trouble fully opening and closing your mouth. This could lead to headaches, jaw pain, facial aches, and pain in your teeth. But with a custom oral appliance, we can use a device that fits like a mouthguard to bring relief. Worn as you sleep, this repositions the jaw to ease strain and stress, and also prevents further damage by putting a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth.
At-Home Oral Hygiene Habits
In between our general dentistry visits, you and your family can maintain good oral hygiene habits to protect your smile and limit the risk of cavities and periodontal concerns. For example, everyone needs to brush in the morning and evening for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Kids and adults alike need to floss every evening before they brush too. These actions remove stray food and drink particles to control plaque buildup and limit cavities and gum issues. Enjoying a healthy diet is helpful too, as is avoiding issues like smoking or tobacco use.
If you have any questions about general dentistry, or if you would like to schedule a general visit for yourself or for a member of your family, then contact our team today to learn more. We’re ready to help your family smile with confidence!
Do You Need to Schedule a General Visit?
Contact Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI by calling 248-693-6213 to schedule your next appointment with our team and learn more about protecting the health and beauty of your smile with general dentistry.