Preventative Dentistry

At Sherman Connecticut Dentistry, we believe that prevention is the best treatment. That’s why we make sure to give patients the tools they need to avoid future dental problems.

Roger E. Oppenheimer can recommend advanced preventive techniques that go beyond brushing and flossing. This can include special pre-rinses, mouthwashes and adult fluoride treatments. They are also trained to recognize the warning signs of oral cancer and other diseases, and to address sources of potential damage such as clenching, nail biting, grinding, smoking and dietary habits, along with medical problems like esophageal reflux, diabetes and eating disorders. Preventive care is a modern approach to dentistry. Preventive dentists and hygienists aim to reduce the amount of dental treatment that you need by working together with you to maintain a healthy mouth.

Tooth Decay

Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. While caries might not endanger your life, they may negatively impact your quality of life. When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, with tooth decay resulting.

Sensitive Teeth

Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.

Gum Disease

Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.

Loss of Natural Teeth

Missing teeth can lead to more serious problems including tooth decay, an uneven bite, and stress on adjacent teeth. A bridge is used to replace a missing tooth or teeth when there is a tooth on either side of the missing tooth. A false tooth is joined to the natural teeth with cement, forming a bridge that cannot be removed by the patient. When a patient is missing all of his/her natural teeth, complete dentures are used to restore function and appearance. For patients who experience lack of stability and poor chewing function with dentures, dental implants may be used. Replacing missing teeth not only improves the appearance of your smile, but it can also improve your overall oral health.

Canker Sores

Canker sores “aphthous ulcers” are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. The canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.

Orthodontic Problems

A bite that does not meet properly “a malocclusion” can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause malocclusions.