Great dental health starts with regular office visits — at least two each year for cleaning, polishing and evaluation. These appointments allow experienced San Diego area dentist Dr. Jennifer D. Santoro to spot minor issues that can become major complications if left untreated.
Conditions such as gum disease and tooth decay can begin quietly, without obvious symptoms. With most dental issues, the later you discover them and the longer you take to address them, the more risks and financial costs rise. An issue that can initially be easily managed by the regular purchase of dental floss may ultimately grow into the much larger expense of full mouth reconstruction.
X-rays are an important preventive tool your dentist uses as an early warning system. At Village Center Dentistry, low-radiation digital imaging helps identify problems below the gum line, including the bone that anchors your teeth. It can also highlight problems between teeth, in areas that are hard to inspect.
In the office and at home, fluoride plays an important role in keeping your teeth healthy. During your visit, your hygienist will apply fluoride to your teeth to fortify them against decay. When you brush at home, ideally twice a day, a fluoride toothpaste is recommended to supplement this protection. For some patients, especially children, dental sealants may be advised to provide extra protection against cavities.
The health of your gums impacts the stability of your teeth. Signs of deteriorating gum health may be subtle at first. Continual plaque buildup on the surface of teeth forms tartar, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. This soon leads to a gum condition called periodontitis. Symptoms include inflamed gums that seem to bleed easily, especially when brushing or flossing.
Left untreated, bacteria deepen gum pockets and begin to damage the bone and destabilize the teeth. At this point, not only are you risking tooth loss, but your overall health may be affected as well. Bacteria that thrive below the gum line can migrate to other areas of the body, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and even gastrointestinal problems.
To schedule your appointment, or to learn more about dental health, call Dr. Santoro at (858) 566-8510, or email Village Center Dentistry in Scripps Ranch today.