Easy Ways To Save On Dentistry

Posted on May 14, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As a Periodontal Specialist, I see many patients with various levels of periodontal (gum) disease, which is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss. Depending on the extent of their periodontal disease, the amount of time and expense to restore a healthy mouth is never a welcome expense. However, gum disease does not improve without treatment and, in addition to eventual tooth loss, can trigger an inflammatory reaction in the body. The bacteria of gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, memory loss, preterm babies and impotency.

We have a ‘no lecture’ policy in our office, which means our patients are always treated with respect. Yet, when our treatment plan and fees are presented to periodontally-compromised patients, we often hear a little voice in the back of our subconscious whispering, “This could have been so easily prevented in the first place.”

While some people are simply more susceptible to the components of oral bacteria, there are simple, inexpensive ways to prevent the majority of problems that result in dental fees. And, the steps require mere minutes per day. They include:

– Brush with a medium or soft bristle toothbrush for at least 2 minutes twice a day. Use a fluoridated toothpaste.

– Use a tongue scrapper once a day to remove embedded bacteria in the tongue. Make several swipes starting at the back and moving forward, rinsing after each pass. These are inexpensive and available in most oral care sections of your nearest drug store. Until you purchase one, use your toothbrush to go over your tongue thoroughly after brushing. Swish with water several times.

– Floss your teeth daily. This seems such a difficult task for adults, yet, once in the habit, it’s easy, fast, and you’ll notice the ‘good feeling’ it provides so much that you’ll be able to tell when you’ve missed a day.

– If you take medications that are drying to the mouth, drink lots of water and purchase an oral rinse to supplement the moisture needed. Saliva is a natural cleanser to the mouth. Insufficient amounts, due to age or drying effects of medications, make you more susceptible to bacterial buildup.

– See your dentist for a cleaning and exam twice a year. People tend to delay these visits or assume they aren’t necessary. However, you wouldn’t wait for your automobile’s oil light to go on before you schedule an oil and filter change, would you? Of course not, because you know the risk and potential expense that this delay could mean for your vehicle. Your mouth is no different. As a matter of fact, gum disease begins silently. By the time symptoms are obvious (persistent bad breath, sore gums, gums that bleed when brushing), your mouth is in immediate need of treatment.

Periodontists WANT you to NOT need them by maintaining a healthy mouth and keeping your natural teeth for a lifetime. Think of the money you’ll save by being committed to these easy, simple steps! Additionally, you’ll be enhancing your overall health through lowered risk of serious problems that oral bacteria can trigger.

Need an appointment? Call us at (828) 274-9440.

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