Posts for: October, 2017
October is National Dental Hygiene Month. It’s a great time to talk about your first line of dental defense: your toothbrush.
Are you getting the most out of your tooth-brushing routine at home? Your toothbrush is the primary tool to maintain oral health on a daily basis, so here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Brush gently twice a day, every day, for two minutes each time using a soft toothbrush. Scrubbing with too much force or with hard bristles can damage gums and tooth enamel.
- Use fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a mineral that builds tooth enamel to prevent tooth decay.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or when the bristles start to look frayed, curled, or worn.
- Rinse out your mouth thoroughly after brushing to get rid of bacteria and food debris that you worked loose from your teeth.
- Also rinse your toothbrush well after each use to wash away the debris and bacteria you just brushed from your teeth.
- Let your toothbrush dry out between uses. A toothbrush that is stored in a closed container can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Keep your toothbrush to yourself. Sharing toothbrushes is a way to share disease-causing germs as well.
Follow these pointers and come in for regular dental visits to help ensure healthy teeth and a bright smile. If you have any questions about your dental hygiene routine, be sure to ask us.
All treatments for periodontal (gum) disease focus on one goal — to remove any bacterial plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) that are at the heart of the infection. Plaque is a thin surface film of food particles and bacteria that cause gum disease.
Plaque builds up on tooth surfaces due to inadequate oral hygiene. And as the disease progresses brushing and flossing won’t be enough — you’ll need our services and specialized equipment to fully remove the plaque and calculus. The basic technique is called scaling in which we remove plaque and calculus manually from tooth surfaces above and just a few millimeters below the gum line.
As the disease develops, though, the slight natural gap between teeth and gums may begin to increase to form voids known as periodontal pockets. Filled with infection, these pockets can extend below the gum line onto the roots of the tooth. If the pocket extends more than 4 millimeters, basic scaling may not be able to remove all of the plaque and calculus.
Periodontists (dentists who specialize in the treatment and care of gum tissues) can perform a surgical method to access these deeper areas. Known as flap surgery, this procedure aims not only to reach and disinfect periodontal pockets and root surfaces, but also repair damaged gum tissue and create a better environment for future hygiene and treatment.
As the name implies, we create an opening in the gum tissue with one side remaining attached to the gum structure — much like the flap of a paper envelope. Through this opening we’re able to reach areas to remove plaque and calculus, as well as install both bone grafts to regenerate lost bone and growth factors to stimulate tissue growth. Once finished, we stitch the flap back into place with sutures and, in many cases, place a moldable dressing to protect and hold the flap secure while the incision heals.
This relatively minor procedure can be performed with local anesthesia and requires only a few days of recuperation. The results, though, can provide long-term benefits — reduced infection, better bone and gum health, and a more conducive environment for future maintenance of health — that could save your teeth and your smile for many years to come.
If you would like more information on treatments for gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Flap Surgery.”
Smile problems? With options like dental crowns and bridges, your Sugar Land, TX dentist can take your smile from being so-so to simply beautiful. Dr. Stephen Lukin and Dr. Mark Lukin at Lukin Family Dentistry offer a complete range of dental services. Keep reading to find out what dental crowns and bridges can do for your smile.
Dental crowns are "caps" that are placed over damaged or weak teeth to improve their size, shape, strength, and appearance. Dental crowns can be made of ceramic, resin, metal, or porcelain fused to metal. Dental crowns are cemented onto teeth, and can only be removed by a dental professional.
Benefits of Crowns
Crowns are used to treat teeth that have decayed or broken so much that they cannot be fixed with fillings. Your dentists in Sugar Land sometimes use dental crowns after root canal therapy to seal the tooth and prevent it from breaking. Crowns are also used to improve how teeth look. They can instantly correct misshapen teeth, tooth discoloration, cracks, chips, fractures, and more.
Millions of people suffer tooth loss, mostly due to decay, periodontal disease, or injuries. A bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing dental crowns on the teeth on both sides of the gap, and attaching fabricated teeth to them. Bridges can only be removed by a dentist because they are attached to the mouth.
Benefits of Bridges
A bridge can restore your smile and improve your appearance. Bridges look great and match real teeth exceptionally well. If you have missing teeth, you may find it difficult to eat certain foods. Dental bridges will restore your ability to chew food. A bridge can also prevent your existing teeth from drifting out of place.
If you need a dental restoration why wait? Start your journey today! Call Lukin Family Dentistry at 281-265-9000 now to schedule a dental appointment in Sugar Land, TX. Remember, a better life starts with a better-looking smile.