Clínia de Periodòncia i Cirurgia d'Implants. Dra. Jorgina Estany

Preventive Treatment

The first step towards ensuring good preventive treatment for the mouth is to practise good oral hygiene. A few minutes of attention per day will ensure attractive, healthy teeth for a lifetime.

The second step is to ensure an ideal level of dental preventive treatment by regular visits to the dentist from the age of 3 years old onwards since it is at this age that the appearance of the first teeth has been completed. From the moment onwards, check-ups should take place every six or twelve months and whenever any kind of problem is detected involving caries, bad breath, bleeding of the gums, teeth in poor positions, tooth movement, mouth ulcers, saliva disorders, etc.

At our clinic we offer you a personalized service of dental treatment and preventive care, with special attention to the gums and to dental implants.   Our dental specialist will ensure that all the dental calculus and plaque that has accumulated around your teeth is eliminated so as to thus avoid the appearance of infections in the gums or around dental implants. 

GENERAL ASPECTS
Our teeth, in addition to being an important visiting card, are also the first stage in our digestive systems. Correct chewing of food, for example, prevents certain stomach problems, and this correct way of chewing can only be achieved if our teeth are in good condition.

The food we eat is also very important for the health of our mouths for various reasons. From childhood onwards we all know that milk and dairy products provide the calcium that is necessary for healthy teeth. We also learn at a very early age that the sugar present in sweets and chocolates is cariogenic and seriously harms our teeth. Acids and abrasive toothpastes also wear away constantly at tooth enamel and make teeth extremely sensitive. A final note with regard to food is to remember that teeth should not be forced or clamped down, and that it is advisable to avoid food or drink that is either extremely cold or extremely hot.

From a preventive point of view, we should also remember that tobacco is clearly damaging to a healthy mouth, since it contributes to the deterioration of diseases of the gum and hinders the integration of implants into the bone. Various studies have shown that smokers have a three times higher risk of developing gum diseases and respond worse to treatment for such disorders. Tobacco also increases the risk of suffering disorders of the mucus and even cancer of the mouth.

The state of health of the mouth has an influence on the state of health of the whole body. In particular, gum infections, in addition to the fact that they may cause tooth loss, also affect the rest of the organism.

Pregnant women have a greater tendency to suffer from inflammation and bleeding of the gums, due to hormonal changes produced by the increase in progesterone and oestrogen, which increases their blood flow and aggravates the inflammation that produces bacterial plaque. From the first trimester onwards it is very common for the gums to take on a reddened appearance and, at times, to bleed after brushing: this is known as pregnancy gingivitis. If this gingivitis is not controlled, it may develop into a periodontitis and destroy the bone and tissues that support the teeth. The  inflammation of the gums produces an increase in the levels of prostaglandins that passes into the blood. During the last trimester of pregnancy, the high levels of prostaglandins encountered may lead to premature childbirth. Various studies have shown that pregnant women who suffer from this condition have up to a 5.2% higher risk of experiencing premature childbirth or of giving birth to an underweight baby than healthy women.

The bacteria that produce gum infection may from a distance also cause infections in other organs such as the heart. In this case, the bacteria, together with inflammatory products, affect the formation of plaques of arteriosclerosis that obstruct the arteries and thus increase the risk of suffering either coronary ischaemia and a heart attack or cerebral ischaemia and a stroke (apoplexy). Risk factors that are common to both heart conditions and periodontal disease include addiction to cigarette smoking, diabetes, stress, etc.

With regard to diabetes, people who suffer from this disease have a greater likelihood of developing a gum infection and, sometimes, this infection may make it more difficult to control the glucose in the blood. This is why it is important for diabetics to have regular dental examinations.

BRUSHING THE TEETH
We should try to brush our teeth after each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), not letting more than 15 minutes go by between the end of the meal and brushing our teeth. If you can only brush your teeth once a day, it is better to do so after dinner, since during sleep the production of saliva and tongue movements diminish, thus favouring the growth of bacterial plaque if good dental hygiene has not been practised beforehand. The time calculated as being ideal for cleaning the teeth in the best conditions is approximately four minutes.

A toothbrush should be chosen with a small head to enable it to reach all teeth easily and it should also have soft bristles with rounded points so as to avoid damaging the gums. You are recommended to change your toothbrush once every two or three months.

Toothpastes with fluoride should be used, since they reinforce the structure of the enamel and reduce between 20% and 40% the possibility of caries forming. You are also recommended to use toothpastes containing antiseptics (chlorhexidine, triclosan, cetylpyridinium chloride, etc.) in order to reduce inflammation of the gums.

In terms of brushing technique, it is very important for the brush to reach all tooth surfaces. In order to achieve this, we should brush the teeth slowly and in a particular order. First we should start on the occlusal side, which is the side on which we bite, and by the upper dental arch, first on the side that touches the cheeks and/or lips, and then on the lingual side. We should then repeat the same process for the lower dental arch. The movement of the toothbrush should be gentle, since movements that are too vigorous can damage the tooth enamel and cause abrasions in the gums. In order to eliminate the bacteria in the gingival pockets that cause diseases of the gum, we recommend brushing using the Bass technique. This technique consists of holding the toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees between the teeth and the gums in such a way that the bristles are in contact with the dividing line between teeth and gums, and then performing very small rubbing or circular movements with the brush while exercising no pressure on the handle and ensuring that the bristles remain in contact with the gum. In the case of the front teeth, on the lingual side, this movement is performed while holding the brush vertically.

We should also pay attention to the spaces between the teeth, since they represent 40% of the total tooth surface. If there is little space between the teeth, we should use dental floss. If there is sufficient space between the teeth (due to tooth losses or tooth movements), it is better to use a special brush known as an interdental toothbrush. The dental floss should be moved over the sides of the teeth from the top towards the bottom, and the interdental toothbrush should be moved from the inside towards the outside of the mouth. It is important not to forget to pass the floss or toothbrush over the back teeth. After using the floss or brush, the mouth should be rinsed in order to eliminate any remains of food or dental plaque that has been displaced.

Last but not least, we should not forget to clean out tongue. The tongue accumulates a large quantity of bacteria and of dead cells in the form of scaling. In order to clean it, we should rub it gently in a forward direction using a toothbrush or a tongue scraper.

If we use electric toothbrushes, we should remember that these already have built-in movement and that we should therefore change tooth surfaces very slowly, and even hold them still in each position for about 5 seconds or so. When using an electric toothbrush, it is recommended to hold them in a perpendicular position over the surface of the tooth, dropping down to the level of the line between teeth and gums. 

 

  • Raspall de dents
  • Fil de seda
  • Raspall interdental
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