It's an old saying, but true, prevention is better than cure!
It's never too early or too late in life to begin practicing good oral hygiene techniques. Oral hygiene is an important part of overall healthy lifestyle and we emphasise preventive dentistry to reduce the incidence of dental disease for all ages. Preventive dentistry is a term that describes dentistry that aims to prevent the damaging effects of tooth decay and gum disease generally caused by bacteria in the mouth. These problems can be dramatically reduced, if not completely prevented through proper dental hygiene practiced on a regular basis.
Preventing the occurrence of a dental problem is always better than treatment. The philosophy of preventive dentistry is based on the diagnosis and treatment of oral health problems in their early stages, minimising their affect and thereby reducing the need for complex and extensive restorative procedures.
Decay and gum disease are the two main causes of tooth loss in Australian adults. But with early diagnosis and a preventive care approach, these conditions can be treated and any ill-effects reversed, helping you keep your natural smile for the longterm.
Recent studies have also indicated a correlation between gum disease and other concerning general health conditions including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type ll diabetes and more recently pancreatic cancer. Studies are continuing to establish to what degree gum disease contributes to other health conditions. However, gum disease is an infection and like all infections that impact on your health should be treated as soon as possible*.
It includes brushing twice a day, flossing, eating a balanced diet, limiting between-meal snacks and drinks high in acids. Additional preventative methods include the application of dental sealants and exposure to fluorides in the form of fluoride drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwash, or fluoride treatments directly applied by your dentist or hygienist. If you want extra protection for your family from decay and sensitivity, you should consider a daily application of tooth mousse.
Good dental hygiene also includes regular check-ups so that we can check your mouth is maintained in a stable healthy condition. These checkups can reveal the start of tooth decay or gum disease, long before conventional drilling and filling is required. Our response to these early findings is to identify the problem and help our patients move back onto the path of dental health. Often simple adjustments to the diet and cleaning techniques can tip the balance in favour of continuing oral health.
* American Academy of Periodontology, The Mouth-Body Connection