What are clear signs indicating it’s time for a visit to the dentist?

What are clear signs indicating it’s time for a visit to the dentist?

If you don’t normally plan regular dental check-ups for prevention, then your body will make sure you know when it has a problem. Your body will give you signs, letting you know that you should book a visit to your dentist as soon as possible. Some conditions can occur before you feel any symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms appear when the problem is already serious.

Here are some of the warnings you should pay attention to:

  1. Bad breath

Bad breath (halitosis) can affect your relationships and social life. In addition to the fact that it is unpleasant for those around you, it can be a sign that you suffer from gingivitis or gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. The chronic inflammation that causes halitosis may lead to total tooth loss. If bad breath persists, make an appointment with your dentist to detect the cause of the problem.

  1. Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Tell your doctor if you have difficulty chewing or swallowing. The dentist will help you determine why. This is not a healthy situation, so the sooner you treat the condition, the more likely it can be cured.

  1. Dental pain

Dental pain can indicate a serious underlying condition. Despite the fact that it is uncomfortable, we often wait a few days to see if the pain passes. Our advice is to go to the dentist, even if the pain subsides. The cause of the discomfort needs to be diagnosed and properly treated.

  1. Swollen or bleeding gums

If your gums are swollen or bleeding during brushing, it may be another sign that you have gingivitis. Inflammation of the gums occurs due to bacterial plaque that builds up at the base of the gums. If left untreated, as in the case of bad breath, it can lead to periodontitis.

  1. White spots on the teeth

White spots on the teeth are often the first indication of cavities. Acid produced by bacteria in the oral cavity dissolves tooth enamel, which can lead to decay. Regular visits to the dentist will identify and treat cavities in the early stages, before the onset of any complications.

  1. Teeth sensitivity

If left untreated, decay can advance to the center of the tooth, reaching the nerve. Once this happens, the tooth will be sensitive to air and hot or cold drinks. This sensitivity is a sign that you may have an advanced cavity. The faster you get treatment, the easier it will be to avoid other problems.

  1. Dry mouth

Dry mouth can occur for simple reasons such as aging or the administration of certain drugs. However, dry mouth can also be a sign of the presence of bacteria or disease in the oral cavity. It’s best not to ignore it. Schedule a visit to the dentist to find out why.

  1. Headache

Have you ever thought that oral problems can cause headaches? In fact, they are closely linked. If you often wake up with a headache in the morning, you may suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding during sleep). A dentist can detect the problem, and may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth, at the same time relieving the morning headaches.

In summary, early intervention will reduce the chance of diseases and further complications. It will also save you from other potentially expensive treatments in the future. At Pacifica Dental, we have experienced specialists and a modern clinic waiting for you. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment to discuss your oral health.

Dental hygiene services at Pacifica Dental

Dental hygiene services at Pacifica Dental

Dental hygiene is essential in order to maintain healthy and beautiful teeth. Lack of dental hygiene or poor oral hygiene can cause complications such as cavities or periodontal disease. These conditions may lead to infections, tooth loss, bone atrophy and more serious complications, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic and renal issues, respiratory problems, neurological disorders, and preterm birth.

Bacterial plaque and dental tartar are the main causes of periodontal disease. There are many cases in which the patient has what appear to be near perfect teeth, but can have hidden problems as a result of this relentless disease that acts slowly, without obvious symptoms or pain to attract attention. Unfortunately, when the first signs of periodontal disease appear (such as inflammation, bleeding gums, or dental mobility), the disease is already established.  In fact, the stage of evolution is advanced. The most effective approach in prevention, as well as early detection and the establishment of a quick and effective treatment plan, is to schedule regular check-ups at the dentist.

It is recommended that professional hygiene be scheduled regularly every 3-6 months. and specifically performed before starting any dental treatment, especially surgical procedures.

Good oral hygiene can be achieved and maintained in 2 ways:

  • Personal, individual oral hygiene, performed daily, both in the morning and in the evening, at home, by the patient;
  • Professional dental hygiene, performed at least every 6 months (or every 3-4 months for people who have implants, prosthetics, gum recession or other dental concerns) in the dental office, by specialized personnel using specific technology.

Professional dental hygiene includes the following services:

  • Root planing, ultrasonic scaling and hand scaling, which remove tartar deposits;
  • Polishing, which removes the small pieces of tartar left after descaling;
  • Fluoride, which protects the teeth.

What are scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing are essential procedures for the health of the teeth and gums that are performed in the dental office and which remove the deposits of tartar from the tooth surface. Although we brush our teeth daily, sometimes it is not enough to keep them perfectly clean. Depending on the food we consume, bacterial plaque is deposited on both the teeth and gums. Over time, it can mineralize, forming hard deposits, known as tartar deposits or dental calculus.

Scaling removes these deposits both above and below the gum line. Root planing specifically targets the teeth roots, smoothing them and removing any plaque build up.

With today’s advanced technology, the scaling procedure is done not only by hand, but also by an ultrasonic device. This device, used with water, cleans the teeth with ease and efficiency. An additional benefit is that ultrasound is able to effectively sanitize the wisdom teeth, which can be difficult to keep clean.

After scaling and root planing, patients may feel a slight tenderness in the teeth and gums for 2-3 days.

Teeth polishing is both healthy and cosmetic. It helps remove plaque and deters bacteria from adhering to the teeth. It is a gentle, pain-free procedure.

Positive polishing aspects:

  • Provides teeth with a beautiful aesthetic look;
  • Smooths tooth surface, so less plaque accumulates;
  • Produces the pleasant feeling of smooth teeth;
  • Helps improve effectiveness of orthodontic procedures.

Fluoride treatment

The last step of the cleaning process is a fluoride treatment. This treatment is used as a protectant for the teeth which helps fight against cavities for several months.

Fluoride varnish is painted onto the teeth with a small brush. The varnish will adhere to the teeth when in contact with saliva, so you can eat and drink immediately afterwards. The tooth surface will feel sticky- this will wear off gradually. It is recommended to leave the varnish on until brushing at the end of the day for maximum benefit.

At the end of the dental hygiene procedures, the hygienist will recommend which oral hygiene products to use daily at home – toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash and so on – depending on your specific needs.

Do not hesitate to contact us and book a professional cleaning session with your favorite hygienist here at Pacifica Dental!