With incredibly high standards of excellence and care, Dr. Marty Lindahl knows that being a great dentist in Maryville also involves educating his patients. Terms such as cavities, plaque, tartar, and gingivitis may sound familiar to most. But understanding what they mean and how they each negatively affect oral health can be the first step to improving oral hygiene.
1. Cavity- When the protective coating (enamel) on a tooth is damaged and a little hole forms in the tooth. Another name for it is tooth decay, which really means that the tooth is rotting and weakening.
2. Plaque- A clear, sticky film/coating that constantly forms on the teeth 24 hours a day. The bacteria in plaque feeds on sugars and starches found in our foods and drinks, producing acid. The sticky plaque keeps this acid against the teeth.
3. Tartar- Plaque that continues on the teeth and that is not removed eventually hardens into tartar. This tartar makes it more difficult to clean the teeth properly and can result in gingivitis.
4. Gingivitis- An early form of gum disease that results in gums that can be red, swollen, irritated, and bleed easily. If not treated, the disease can progress resulting in further problems to the gums, jawbone, tooth loss, and other health issues.
Regular brushing and flossing, along with eating nutritiously can help prevent these problems. Just as important though is scheduling regular visits to your dentist.
There can be little or no pain at the beginning stages of tooth and gum disease, so don’t be fooled by thinking that the lack of discomfort means no problems. Furthermore, the removal of tartar and the repairing of a cavity (even at the earliest stage) are also procedures that can only be performed by your dentist.
If you have questions about your oral health, or are in need of a dentist in Maryville, Dr. Lindahl and his team can provide you with the assistance to keep you and your teeth happy and healthy.