Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy With a General Dentist

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Visiting your general dentist every six months is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Also known as a tooth doctor or family dentist, they specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the mouth, teeth and jaws.

Even with diligent brushing and flossing, it’s nearly impossible to remove all of the plaque that builds up between your teeth and in the gum pockets. Only your dentist can do that with specialized dental instruments.

Maintaining Your Oral Health

A general dentist Fayetteville AR focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions in the oral cavity (the mouth and gums) and the maxillofacial area (the head, jaw and neck). They are also referred to as family or primary dentists.

Regular checkups can help to maintain oral health by detecting and treating issues at their earliest stages. For example, a cavity in its early stage may only require a filling, but if left untreated it could lead to a root canal or tooth loss.

In addition, a dentist can assess dietary habits and provide advice that can reduce the risk of developing oral health issues. This can include reducing sugar intake, drinking water instead of sweetened beverages, and avoiding tobacco use. This helps to minimize the buildup of food particles, which could lead to tooth decay.

Detecting Early Warning Signs of Problems

The general dentist is skilled in detecting early warning signs of problems with your teeth and gums. These signs may include bleeding gums, a change in the shape of your teeth, and bad breath. Early detection of these symptoms can prevent serious dental complications, such as gum disease and tooth loss.

A general dentist is also the best person to remove food debris, plaque, and tartar from your teeth and gum pockets. These materials are harmful to your health and can cause foul odors. Only a general dentist Fayetteville AR can eradicate them with specialized dental instruments, which toothbrushes and floss cannot do.

This dental clinic in Fayetteville provides teeth whitening, fillings, and x-rays. Its hygienists are trained to help patients maintain good oral hygiene practices. This includes teaching patients about proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a common diet-related disease that leads to the loss of hard mineral from teeth. It’s caused by bacteria that live in dental plaque and convert sugars from food into acids that can damage teeth. Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to cavities and dental abscesses.

Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings. Drinking plenty of water, limiting sugary foods and drinks, and using dental sealants on the chewing surfaces of back teeth (molars) can also help.

Treatment options for tooth decay depend on the stage of the disease. The earliest stages are often reversible with fluoride treatments, while more advanced cases may require fillings or crowns.

Preventing Gum Disease

Gum disease is not cured, but it can be prevented with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings. During a professional cleaning, your dentist or hygienist removes plaque bacteria and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gum line of your teeth. Brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, and seeing your dentist for a six-month checkup and cleaning will help keep your mouth healthy.

In addition to oral hygiene, your dentist may recommend antibiotics to reduce the growth of gum disease-causing bacteria. The most common is tetracycline. It’s available as a rinse, a tablet, or a gelatin-filled chip that’s placed in the pockets after root planing. Chlorhexidine, another antimicrobial, is also used to control bacteria. It’s available as a mouthwash or tablet that’s swished around in the mouth.

Keeping Your Teeth White

Preserving your teeth is about more than just preventing cavities. It’s also about keeping your smile bright and healthy.

A few simple strategies can help. For starters, drink plenty of water. This is the liquid that can best wash away foods and drinks that stain, including coffee, red wine, dark berries, and colored condiments. Brushing and flossing every day also helps. Flossing removes food debris that can discolor your teeth, while a daily antiseptic mouthwash kills bacteria that promotes plaque.

Getting regular professional cleanings is a great way to fight stains and prevent gum disease, too. In fact, your dentist can offer you teeth whitening treatment that can drastically improve the look of your smile. This treatment can also help restore teeth that have been damaged by decay, accidents, and wear and tear.

 
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