What are the benefits to getting my teeth cleaned?
Teeth are used daily and thus are always in varying levels of decay. Vulnerabilities today can be cavities tomorrow that untreated can be a missing tooth or a root canal. Fillings are cheaper than root canals, which are cheaper than dental implants, so having a dentist regularly check your teeth is a great way to take care of problems early and keep your costs minimal.
Dental cleanings also keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. When gum disease is left untreated, you may require deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), gum grafting, bone grafting, or a tooth replacement.
When should I get my teeth cleaned?
The American Dental Association recommends that both children and adults receive a professional teeth cleaning and exam twice a year. Patients with a history of periodontal disease or another recurring oral disease or condition may require more frequent treatments.
What can I do at home to maintain clean teeth?
You should brush your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed, or after each meal. You should also floss daily, and rinse with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy between dental cleanings.
Remember to change your toothbrush every 2-3 months, and avoid using hard-bristled toothbrushes, and this can cause tooth sensitivity and promote bleeding gums.
What happens if I don't get my teeth cleaned?
The human mouth is full of bacteria. Some forms of bacteria are beneficial to your oral health, while some can be extremely damaging. When harmful bacteria accumulate on your teeth, they release acids that erode dental enamel and inflame the gums, causing tooth decay, periodontal disease, discoloration, and tooth loss. Other oral diseases may also develop as a result of these conditions. Practicing good oral hygiene at home and receiving regular dental cleanings help to remove harmful bacteria, plaque, and tartar from your mouth and keep your teeth and gums healthy. Professional cleaning is great for cleaning areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush, remove tartar that may have attached itself to the teeth, and or minimize any stains that may have occurred so your smile can continue to look it’s best.
If you are experiencing dental pain, contact our dentists. Waiting could make the problem worse, and early treatment is always easier to perform, less invasive, and less expensive.
ORAL CANCER SCREENING
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, floor of the mouth, cheeks, throat (pharynx), sinuses, and hard and soft palate. While oral cancer can usually be successfully treated when detected early, most cases of oral cancer are not detected until they have progressed into a more serious, advanced stage that is much more difficult to treat. In fact, oral cancer may be life threatening. At our office, we are dedicated to doing all we can to detect and treat oral cancers and other abnormalities at the earliest possible stage. During your routine dental cleanings and exams at our office, our dentist and team will perform an oral cancer screening to check for the signs of oral cancer.
The following are common symptoms of oral cancer:
- A persistent sore throat or feeling that something is caught at the back of the throat
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- A persistent or lasting sore on the face, neck, or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal within two weeks
- Unexplained loss of feeling, pain, or numbness in the face, neck, or mouth
- Ear pain
- Lumps, bumps, or rough spots on the gums, lips, or other parts of the mouth
- Red, white, or speckled red and white patches in the mouth
- Difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing
- A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
Do I need an oral cancer screening?
While smoking is one of the best-known risk factors for oral cancer, it’s not the only cause. Human papillomavirus (HPV) has also been linked to oral cancer, and sun exposure can cause cancer to develop on the lips. Genetics and alcohol consumption can also increase your risk for developing oral cancer.
Dr. Jenny Ngai uses state-of-the-art Velscope equipment that allows us to visualize abnormalities in the mucosal tissues of your lips, mouth, and upper throat. This important feature helps us discover abnormalities before they become visible under ordinary light. The early detection of a wide variety of oral diseases, including pre-cancer and cancer, helps increase your chances of preventing a serious health situation.
Why should you get an oral cancer screening?
The American Cancer Society recommends a comprehensive oral evaluation and soft tissue exam annually, yet only one in five patients reports having an oral cancer exam in the last year. Dr. Jenny Ngai is trained to perform a comprehensive evaluation of your mouth including the associated structures in the head and neck area.
An oral cancer screening is painless; treatment for advanced oral cancer is not.
Who is most at risk for oral cancer?
People who use tobacco are six times more likely to develop oral cancer. Eight of 10 oral cancer patients are smokers. Heavy alcohol drinkers are also more at risk. 80% of people diagnosed with oral cancer consumer more than 21 drinks weekly. Finally people with a history of oral human papilloma virus infections are at greater risk to develop oral cancer even if they don’t smoke or drink.
Why are mouthguards from the dentist more expensive than at the store?
Store bought mouthguards are made by the thousands, with a one-size-fits-all mentality. If you think about it, an adult custom fitted mouthguard, if cared for properly, will outlast several of the store bought kind. But the fact is, you can’t get a better fit than with a custom mouthguard. Superior material that doesn’t release plastic into your body, time to individually manufacture them, great fit and comfort with ease of breathing and speaking all make the custom mouthguard a premium piece of sports equipment.
What is the best type of mouthguard?
As recommended by the ADA and the Academy for Sports Dentistry, a pressure-laminated, custom fitted mouthguard offers the best protection in contact sports. A custom fitted mouthguard allows for a more comfortable, stable fit that won’t dislodge during collisions. Also, breathing and speaking are much easier, and potential damage to the jaw from impact is greatly reduced.
How long will my mouthguard last?
An adult mouthguard can last several years, depending on the frequency of use, the care of the mouthguard, and if the mouthguard has been torn or bitten through, in which case it must be replaced. Loss of teeth, new restorations such as crowns, bridges or large fillings can affect the fit of the mouthguard, and a new one should be made if the fit is compromised.
A child’s mouthguard should be replaced more frequently than an adult’s due to growth of the jaw, loss of baby teeth and eruption of adult teeth. Any of these factors could affect the fit of the mouthguard and make it uncomfortable to wear and less protective.
What if I have braces or a loose tooth?
We can make a mouthguard for you if you wear braces. Usually, special wax is placed over the braces during the impression, so the impression material does not get stuck in the brackets or the wires.
Loose teeth should be removed before taking a mouthguard impression. Space will be left in the mouthguard for the adult tooth – it is especially important to wear a mouthguard at this time, because the developing tooth must be protected.
What are the risks associated with x-rays
X-ray technology has improved dramatically in the last few years. The amount of radiation in a dental X-ray is comparable to the radiation one is exposed to in a day of sunshine. This is weighed against the incredible health benefits to getting dental x-rays taken.
Dental X-rays enable Dr. Jenny Ngai to diagnose dental health issues that need attention. Left unattended, these dental health issues could cause bigger health problems that far outweigh potential exposure to the relatively low amount of radiation from our digital X-ray technology.
How safe are X-rays at Jenny Ngai DDS?
- Currently, for superior patient care and safety, we use digital X-ray technology in nearly all cases and wherever possible, which is better and safer than high-speed film.
- To provide for optimum patient safety, Dr. Jenny Ngai has all X-ray units tested on a regular basis to ensure that we adhere to industry safety standards.
- We follow American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines for X-rays.
What can a dental X-ray detect?
- Tooth decay
- Bone Loss
- Periodontal Disease
- Defects in Restorations
- Eruption Patterns of Incoming Adult Teeth
- Tooth Positioning
- Other Abnormalities