Obviously, just because a dentist is able to successfully resolve any sort of dental health issue that can potentially arise does not mean that their patients are interested in encountering these dental health issues as a normal part of their lives. Rather, patients wish to remain in an ideal state of dental health on a regular basis. This means that they need to work with their dentist to establish and maintain ideal dental health and comfort, and they can do so through comprehensive dentistry.
As the name suggests, comprehensive dentistry includes all of the care and treatment one may need in order to restore and maintain ideal dental health, with a heavy focus on preventative care and treatments. In order for comprehensive dentistry to achieve the greatest success possible, the individual needs to understand what problems can affect their dental health, and what must be done to prevent them from occurring.
The Main Problems that Affect Dental Health
While there are many various issues that can occur to adversely affect your dental health, they can mostly be separated into four main categories:
- Dental decay. Even a healthy mouth contains anywhere between thirty-two and thirty-seven different types of bacteria that can cause dental decay. For those individuals who take medications or have certain medical conditions, their predisposition to dental decay is even further elevated. Fortunately, proper dental care can prevent dental decay from occurring. This includes proper brushing twice each day, proper flossing once each day, and dental examinations and professional cleanings at least once every six months.
- Gum disease. Most gum disease is caused by the same thing that causes tooth decay: bacteria. And just as is the case with tooth decay, gum disease is an uncomfortable condition that can grow steadily grow worse if not addressed and resolved early on. Fortunately, proper dental care can prevent gum disease from occurring, or at worst it can detect and resolve gum disease in its earliest stages.
- Stress. Stress on your teeth can be caused by improper bite or abnormal wear. It is very important to ensure that your jaw joints and chewing muscles are healthy, that your teeth align properly and that you chew food correctly as these things can adversely affect your dental bite. An improper dental bite puts undue stress upon your teeth, which can make them more susceptible to damage and cause headaches and muscle strain. Furthermore bruxism, or tooth grinding, can wear down teeth much faster, also opening the door to various dental problems.
- Medical conditions and systemic problems. Your oral health is closely related to your overall health, so it can happen that you suffer dental health issues when dealing with medical conditions or systemic problems. In fact some conditions, like Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GERD, manifest primarily or only through dental issues such as loss of tooth enamel. Additionally, diabetes and many types of medications dry out the mouth, reducing or even eliminating normal saliva production. Saliva is actually important in maintaining ideal dental health as it helps to fight the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, so its absence is problematic.
With comprehensive dentistry your overall health condition, medical condition and dental condition are considered when designing a dental care and treatment program that is best for you. Where necessary, comprehensive dentistry includes the use of dental x-rays, periodontal measurements and probing, tooth impressions and bite registrations, analysis of jaw joints and chewing muscles and much more. The goal is not to overwhelm you with an excessive amount of dental care and treatments, but rather find the balance that works best to suit your own personal needs and establish, maintain and protect your dental health.
A key component to comprehensive dentistry is patient education, where the dentist takes the time to explain why certain care and treatments are necessary or helpful and answers all of the questions you have. If ever you have any questions about your dental health and how comprehensive dentistry can benefit you, contact your dentist, Dr. Saferin.