Your family dentist in Knoxville, TN
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Cleaning & Prevention
At Tennessee Valley Dental, we focus on prevention for our patients in Farragut, TN, Knoxville, TN and the surrounding areas. Regular cleanings and dental exams help to avoid problems and allow the dentist to identify issues early on before they gets more serious. Proper home care and regular professional cleanings help to prevent the buildup of plaque, a bacterium that sticks to your teeth, that causes decay of the teeth and gum disease.
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Professional Dental Cleanings
You should have your teeth cleaned twice each year by a registered dental hygienist. Regular cleanings helps to prevent tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontal disease. During the cleaning, the dental hygienist uses instruments to remove plaque and tartar before polishing the teeth.
Along with your dental cleaning, a regular dental exam is crucial for good dental health. We examine your teeth to check for tooth decay, gum disease, check fillings or restorations, screen for oral cancer, and analyze x-rays to detect dental problems. Early detection is the best way to maintain your dental health.
Proper Oral Hygiene
In addition to regular dental care, proper home care is essential. Plaque can deposit on the teeth quickly, so it is important to keep your mouth clean by brushing twice each day. Along with brushing, flossing is important to remove plaque, prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. Proper flossing is important because it removes plaque that the brushing doesn’t reach.
Use a piece of dental floss that is 18” long and hold one end in each hand, wrapping it around your finger and holding with the thumb and forefinger. Gently slide the floss between the teeth ad gum line and go up and down the side of each tooth. You can finish with an over the counter mouth rinse, if desired. These rinses can help to remove small remaining particles and freshen the breath.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Gum Disease
In the initial stages, gum disease is known and gingivitis. The gums become inflamed by the buildup of plaque and tartar, causing irritation and bleeding. With a good professional cleaning and appropriate home care, gingivitis can usually be reversed. If gingivitis progresses to affect the gums, bone and ligaments, it is known as periodontal disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Poor dental hygiene, smoking, diabetes, and heredity can contribute to periodontal disease.
How We Diagnose and Treat Gum Disease
Gingivitis is characterized by red, inflamed, and bleeding gums. The dentist checks for tartar above and below the gum line and uses a probe to check for periodontal pockets and bleeding. Pockets are the natural crevice in teeth at the gum area. These pockets develop and get deeper with periodontal disease and then progresses to the ligaments and bone.
The treatment involves deep cleaning to remove the deposits to prevent infection with a process that is known as scaling and root planning. The treatment is performed with a local anesthetic and may be done in sections, depending on the severity of the problem. This process is followed by more frequent cleanings to ensure that the problem is under control and to prevent recurrence.