If you want to save your teeth and keep dental costs down, see your dentist and hygienist regularly. Patients over the age of 50 should have their teeth cleaned by a hygienist every three months to prevent gum disease and to minimize the damage bacteria can do to the teeth and gums. Gum disease is found in over 70% of the population. It not only destroys teeth and gums, but we now know that it is associated with many other conditions such as heart attacks, dementia, kidney failure, and lower birth rates. It is also important to note that gum disease can be spread from person to person, including children.
Our dental hygienist is given a full hour to ensure a comfortable and comprehensive dental cleaning. She will also take any necessary X-rays. Dr. Michael Walbom will then review the X-rays and examine your teeth and gums, checking for decay, gum disease, recession, grinding, TMJ, as well as oral diseases of the soft and hard tissue.
We strongly recommend to all our patients that they receive a Velscope exam at least once a year to detect oral cancer. This new technology shines a light in the mouth and can detect changes in tissue density that may be abnormal and may be the start of cancer. Since the rate of oral cancer has increased significantly in the last few years, this is extremely important.
Unfortunately, the death rate for oral cancer is very high because it is often not found until it has reached an advanced stage than can be easily seen. Patients that smoke are at a very high risk for oral cancer, and even those that are exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk.