Maintaining your oral health means following the advice of your Monroe, WA dentist. While this advice is something you’ve probably heard since you were a kid, that doesn’t make it any less true: Brush for two minutes at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Floss at least once a day, preferably at night before brushing. Finally, schedule regular dental exams and checkups with Dr. Travis Magelsen.
The goal in following this advice is to remove the harmful oral bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. Plaque – a sticky biofilm comprised of bacteria and food particles that linger in the mouth after eating – uses the foods we consume to produce corrosive substances that slowly erode away the surface of our teeth called enamel.
Failing to take care of your oral health can have a dramatic impact on not only your teeth and gums, but also on your overall health as well. Advanced gum disease – a condition known as periodontitis – can cause permanent tooth loss, infected gums and teeth, and problems eating and speaking.
Understand Your Risks
Research continues to find new a compelling links between a patient’s oral health and his or her overall health. In recent years, studies have found that patients who suffer from tooth decay and gum disease have a significantly higher risk of developing a range of chronic health conditions that include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia and cancer. If you suffer from a condition such as stroke, diabetes, coronary artery disease or at-risk pregnancy, you may actually qualify for additional benefits from your dental health provider. This may include additional cleanings and procedures such as scaling and root planning that scrape away harmful plaque from the roots of your teeth and gums.
It’s not uncommon that dental insurance providers will offer additional periodontal cleanings for patients who suffer from one or more of these types of health conditions. Aetna, Cigna and other dental insurance providers offer these types of enhanced benefits believing that they will save more on costs over the long-run by helping to keep patients with known risk factors from developing severe oral health problems that require costly treatments to correct.
Protecting Your Oral Health
If you suffer from a chronic health condition that increases your oral health risks, you need to schedule an appointment with our staff to see Dr. Travis Magelsen. Routine oral exams provide Dr. Magelsen the opportunity to spot the signs of dental decay and disease early on while these types of conditions remain easily treatable. The longer a patient goes without receiving care, the more permanent damage decay and gum disease can cause. In severe cases, patients may suffer permanent tooth loss due to significant damage to the underlying bone and gum structures that hold your teeth into position.
Regular dental cleanings allow our staff of gentle dental hygienists the chance to remove plaque deposits from the base of your teeth and along the gum line. When plaque is allowed to remain on the surface of your teeth, the bacteria hardens into tartar, a yellowish substance that stains tooth enamel while irritating gum tissue. When gum tissue is irritated it can become inflamed, increasing your risk of infection. Tartar can only be removed from your teeth through a professional cleaning, making regular dental cleanings an important part of protecting the appearance and health of your teeth and gums.
Your Monroe, WA dentist is here to help protect the long-term health of your teeth and gums. In order for Dr. Magelsen to protect your oral health, however, you need to schedule regular exams and cleanings. Check with your dental provider to see what types of additional coverage you may qualify for, and talk with our staff to see what assistance we can provide helping you gain a better understanding of your coverage.
The health of your teeth and gums matters. Don’t wait until it’s too late before you give your oral health the attention it deserves.