Regular dental care is the key to a healthy smile!
Over time, plaque and calculus build up on our teeth and gums, which can lead to a number of dental problems such as gingivitis, tooth decay, bad breath, and more. Comprehensive exams are needed to diagnose the causes of such dental problems and treatment plan the restoration of the mouth and appropriate cleanings.
What to expect:
At Southern Roots Dental, one of our dentists will perform an examination of your teeth and mouth, which may include dental x-rays and intra-oral images. These x-rays can help to detect cavities, tartar build up under the gums, recession of the bone, teeth deterioration due to an abnormal bite or TMJ, and more. We will also complete an examination of your head and neck to check for any abnormalities, as well as check for oral cancer.
Dental emergencies happen, and when they do, we can help!
While unexpected, dental emergencies are a reality that can occur at any time. No matter what the emergency, our office will see you as soon as possible to help relieve your symptoms and have you back to your everyday activities. Common dental emergencies may include:
Dental Abscess- A dental abscess is a dental emergency that should be treated ASAP. An abscess is a pocket of pus that’s caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, swelling could spread, and lead to more serious conditions.
Lost Tooth- If your tooth falls out of your mouth due to injury, you should gently clean the root. If it is still intact, try to replace it into the socket, and contact a dentist ASAP. If the tooth is replaced within 30 minutes, there is a higher chance you will be able to keep your real tooth.
Lost Dental Crown or Filling- If you lose a dental crown or filling, call us to schedule an appointment. If you can place the crown back on the tooth with Vaseline or Fixodent, this could prevent shifting and ensure that the crown can be easily recemented.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, contact Southern Roots Dental as soon as possible so that we can treat your emergency quickly.
ORAL CANCER SCREENING
Understand the signs for prevention and early detection.
An estimated 49,750 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year*. While this may sound alarming, it is important to understand the importance of oral cancer screenings, your risk factors, and ways to prevent oral cancer for a healthy you. Oral cancer screenings are a vital part of your comprehensive dental exams, and should be taken seriously.
What to expect:
It is important to always attend your regular dental check-ups to help maintain a healthy smile and detect any signs of oral cancer. During your oral cancer screening, our dentists will check for irregular tissues or bumps on the mouth, neck, or head. If we notice anything concerning, we may recommend a biopsy for further examination.
Signs of Oral Cancer:
Common signs of oral cancer may include:
Lumps or white/red patches in the mouth
Sores in the mouth that do not heal
Pain, sensitivity, or numbness near or in the mouth
Long-lasting hoarseness or changes in voice
Coughing or enlarged lymph nodes
Trouble Swallowing and/or chewing
Preventing Oral Cancer
There are many ways that you can reduce your risk for oral cancer. This includes attending your regular dental appointments, avoiding tobacco products and heavy alcohol intake, avoiding direct sunlight exposure, and wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen when outdoors.
Certain people may also be at a higher risk for oral cancer, including people age 40 and above, those who use tobacco products, heavily consume alcohol, or have viral infections, or those with a history of heavy sun exposure or those with a previous diagnosis or oral cancer. The more we know, the better chance we have or preventing and detecting an early diagnosis.
For more information regarding oral cancer screening in the Monroe, LA area, contact our office today.
Digital Imaging helps us to see what’s going on inside and around your teeth!
Digital x-rays are a vital part of any dental treatment plan. Digital x-rays can help to detect cavities and infection, allow us to examine the roots of your teeth and the bony area around the teeth, and check for periodontal disease.
Common types of x-rays used by dental professionals may include:
Bite-Wing- These x-rays offer a view of the upper and lower back teeth, and helps to determine if decay and/or tartar is present in or around the teeth.
Periapical- These x-rays offer a view of the entire tooth and can help to detect the presence of abscesses and excessive bone loss around the tooth.
Panoramic- These x-rays show a view of the teeth, jaws, nasal area, sinuses, and jaw joints.
What to expect:
Digital x-rays are safe and expose you to the minimum amount of radiation. Today, advances in technology have allowed dental professionals to focus the x-ray beam on a specific area of the mouth, and high-speed film also reduces the amount of radiation exposure.
CLEANINGS AND PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY
Regular dental cleanings can ensure a healthy mouth!
Regular teeth cleanings are essential for keeping your mouth, teeth, and the rest of your body healthy. When your teeth and gums are neglected, bacteria can build up and can result in disease in other areas of the body. Keeping your teeth and mouth clean can help to ensure a healthy and happy you!
What to expect:
At Southern Roots Dental, a teeth cleaning typically takes about 45 minutes to one hour to complete. Your teeth cleaning will begin with an exam of your teeth and gums. We will check around your teeth and gums for any sign of gingivitis or other concerns. Next, hand instruments and an ultrasonic scaler will be used to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar on your gums and teeth. When tartar builds up, it can lead to gum disease and the destruction of bone and tissues in the mouth, so this step is very important.
After tartar has been removed, your teeth will be polished and flossed. Finally, a fluoride treatment will be applied to help strengthen the enamel and prevent tooth decay.
Following your cleaning, it is important to practice proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing twice a day. At Southern Roots Dental, we will customize an oral hygiene plan to be implemented at home to maintain a healthy mouth.
BLEEDING GUMS AND GUM DISEASE
Be aware of the symptoms of gum disease for early detection!
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection that affects the tissues and bone around the teeth. Plaque, a colorless film that forms of the teeth, is full of bacteria that can cause gum disease. If plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar, which must then be professionally removed. It is important to attend your regular dental check-ups and cleanings to prevent gum disease or catch it early on, as untreated gum disease can lead to other medical conditions such as heart disease.
Common symptoms of gum disease include:
Tender, swollen, or red gums
Gums that bleed when bruising/flossing
How is gum disease diagnosed?
During your comprehensive exam, the dentist will check the pockets around each tooth. The deeper the pocket, the more serious the gum disease. Digital x-rays can also be taken to check the amount of bone surrounding each tooth. There are three general stages of gum disease, which include:
Gingivitis- This is the earliest stage of gum disease, and is defined by redness, swelling, or bleeding during flossing.
Periodontitis- During this stage, the bone and fibers that hold teeth into place are damaged. The gums will begin to form a pocket below the gum line, which can trap plaque.
Advanced Periodontitis- This is the most advanced stage of gum disease, in which the fibers and bone of your teeth are being destroyed. This can cause your teeth to shift or loosen.
How to Treat Gum Disease
Treatment for gum disease will differ depending on the type and cause of your gum disease. When gum disease is caught early enough, a professional cleaning can often treat the condition. For more severe cases, a special cleaning called scaling and root planning is often needed.
CHILDREN’S DENTAL CARE
We aim to make your child’s first dental visit a positive one!
You can expect your child’s first baby teeth to erupt between 6-12 months of age, with their full set of primary teeth visible by age three. Even before your child’s first tooth erupts, it is important to wipe your child’s gums with a gum massager or clean damp washcloth. Once teeth do erupt, you should brush them twice a day using a child’s toothbrush with water or a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste.
While it is, of course, important to keep your child’s teeth clean, be sure to also schedule an appointment for your child at the dentist within six months of their first tooth, and no later than their first birthday for an oral evaluation. During a children’s dental visit, their teeth will be cleaned, examined for decay, and any questions or concerns about your child’s teeth will be answered.
Remember, bringing your child to the dentist at a young age is vital in shaping their view of dental care. We want them to feel comfortable with the dentist, and understand that dental cleanings and check-ups are not scary!
Tips to keep your child’s teeth clean
In order to maintain a healthy smile, it is important that your child follows proper oral care. This includes brushing their teeth twice a day, as well as flossing to keep their teeth and gums in tip-top shape. For children under three years old, a small amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used along with a child-sized toothbrush. Healthy habits start at a young age, which can help to save time, money, and teeth in the long run!
Sports Guards can help keep athletes’ mouths protected!
Mouth guards help to protect the teeth and mouth from a blow to the face, minimizing risk of broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, jaw, or face. Sports guards are most commonly worn during athletic activities that involve physical contact or flying equipment such as football and baseball.
At Southern Roots Dental, we create custom-made mouth guards for the best fit. These sports guards are made from tear-resistant materials and are long-lasting. They are colorless, odorless, easy to clean, and won’t restrict your breathing, so you can focus on playing your best!
Sports guards are also important for those with braces, as physical contact can cause damage to braces, as well as contribute to other dental issues.
Tips to care for your sports guard
It is important to take proper care of your sports guard to ensure its longevity. Between sporting events, be sure to rinse your sports guard before and after each use, as well as brush it with toothpaste and a toothbrush. Store your sports guard in a dry place, such as a ventilated container, to prevent bacteria from growing. Also, never leave your mouth guard in the sun or hot water for a long period of time, as this could damage it. If your sports guard begins to show signs of wear or is damaged, bring contact us right away to have it replaced.