Screening for Oral Pathology

An important aspect of your regular dental visit is visual and radiographic (x-ray) screening for any pathology including dental infections and oral cancer.

Gum Disease

There are two forms of gum disease and your gums will be assessed at each continuing care appointment to determine if you display signs of either. In many cases gum disease can be ‘silent’ and therefore regular check-ups are important to detect it in the early stages.

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria build-up on the teeth. It can cause swollen, red, enlarged, tender, bleeding gums and in some cases gum recession.

Periodontitis is advanced gum disease caused primarily by bacteria build-up on the teeth and below the gums. This form of gum disease involves loss of supporting bone around the affected teeth. Signs of periodontitis may be bad breath, gum recession and tooth movement.

Treatment of gum disease involves removal of bacteria causing the inflammation and a good home care routine. At Garden Street Dental an individual care plan will be devised to ensure prevention and elimination of gum disease. In some severe cases a referral to a periodontist (gum specialist) may be recommended.

Fissure Sealants

Children generally have adult molars present in their mouth from the age of 6 years. First permanent molars are a particularly important tooth in developing good occlusion. These molars erupt behind the last baby tooth and as a preventive measure it may be recommended that the grooves or fissures of these teeth are ‘sealed.’ It has been shown that the bristles of a toothbrush are too large to truly clean the grooves of teeth and sealants provide a protective layer against bacteria.

Fissure sealants involve cleaning out the grooves of the tooth and sealing them with a plastic resin material that prevents plaque from accumulating, thereby reducing the risk of decay in these areas. As a general rule no anaesthetic is required and the procedure is relative quick and easy.
Studies have shown that the best time to fissure seal a tooth is shorty after it erupts as this is the time that the tooth is at it’s highest risk of decay. At Garden Street Dental we will assess and advise on an individual basis as to whether fissure sealants would be beneficial in reducing your childs risk of decay.

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