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If you’ve recently moved to the area and are seeking a new dentist or if you’ve been putting off visiting the dentist, our team at Galt Family Dentistry is ready to help.
Your dental health can impact all aspects of your life: how you feel physically, how you eat, even how you socialize. Our goal is to help you resolve any dental problems that may affect your quality of life. It’s not too late to improve your dental health. No matter what condition your teeth are in, we are eager to help you get your smile back on track.
During your first dental exam at Galt Family Dentistry, your dentist will look for signs of:
- Tooth decay
- Teeth grinding
- Bone loss
- Oral cancer
- Periodontal (gum) disease
We strive to make our patients feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Many of our patients have been coming to us for years because they trust us to keep their mouth, teeth and gums healthy. We look forward to building that same relationship based on trust with you.
Teeth Cleaning in Fort Lauderdale
Most people call our dental office when it’s time to have their teeth cleaned. People look forward to that fresh, clean feeling after a professional cleaning. But did you know that professional cleanings serve an important role in your dental health? They remove the plaque and calculus that promotes tooth decay and causes cavities.
Plaque is a colorless coating of bacteria that adheres to your teeth every time you eat or drink. The bacteria in plaque convert the sugars in food and beverages into acids that erode the tooth enamel and cause tooth decay in the form of cavities, which are literally holes in your teeth.
This is why dentists stress the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal. In less than 24 hours, plaque will harden into a substance called calculus, also known as tartar, which is even more difficult to remove. Only a professional teeth cleaning can remove all of the plaque and calculus from the surfaces of the teeth and in hard-to-reach places between the teeth.
This basic professional cleaning is called a prophylaxis or “prophy.” It’s intended to remove the plaque, calculus and surface stains above and at the gum line. Also known as a healthy-mouth cleaning, dentists recommend that patients have a prophylaxis twice a year. This type of cleaning is most often covered by dental insurance.
Cleaning Teeth Below the Gum Line
Unfortunately, the bacteria found in plaque and calculus doesn’t always remain on the surface of your teeth. It can move below the gums, causing a chronic gum infection that can result in loosening the ligaments holding the teeth in place, and the teeth eventually falling out.
This infection is known as periodontal, or gum, disease. It affects half of Americans over the age of 30 and 70 percent over the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Often the first symptoms are red and puffy gums or gums that bleed after brushing and flossing. At this early stage, the disease is called gingivitis. This is the only stage at which the disease can be cured and the damage reversed. Gingivitis therapy includes treatments to remove the bacteria just below the gum line and halt the progress of the disease.
As periodontal disease progresses, people may notice bad breath, a receding gum line and teeth shifting out of position.
Just as the bacteria in the mouth attack the enamel, it can also attacks the ligaments, tissue and bone that hold teeth in place under the gums. As a result, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth, creating “pockets” where more bacteria can gather. This can cause teeth to loosen and fall out. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
People who are diagnosed with an active gum infection (periodontal disease) need treatment both above and below the gum line to remove the harmful bacteria. Scaling & root planing is a non-surgical treatment that removes bacteria and smooths out exposed root surfaces. An antibiotic may be applied to the gums as well. Depending on the stage of the disease, SRP may take more than one office visit to complete. After the initial treatments, our dentist may prescribe a periodontal maintenance routine, including more frequent cleanings, to help manage the disease. At this stage the disease can only be managed, not reversed.
In more advanced cases of the disease, our dentist may recommend you see a gum specialist called a periodontist.
Bad Breath Management
If you have bad breath, you’re not alone. Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, affects 25 percent of the U.S. population.
While bad breath can be related to what you ate recently, more often it’s related to tooth decay and gum disease. When bacteria cause dental decay, the damaged cells release an unpleasant odor. Fortunately, professional teeth cleanings and gum treatment can address these issues. You can keep bad breath under control by following up with the proper at-home dental care, including brushing your teeth after meals, flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash.
Oral Cancer Screening
We offer patients an oral cancer screening as part of their first visit to our office. This is a quick, painless test that allows the dentist to detect signs of oral cancer that are not visible to the naked eye.
These screenings save lives by allowing oral cancer to be detected early. Oral cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages, which makes it particularly dangerous. By the time symptoms are visible, the disease is frequently in the later stages. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of more commonly known cancers including cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, testicular cancer and thyroid cancer.
We recommend everyone over the age of 18 gets screened.
Teeth Grinding & Night Guards
In addition to being an annoyance to your spouse, teeth grinding can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
Also called bruxism, teeth grinding is a common condition that affects up to 40 million Americans.
Our dentist will look for signs of teeth grinding and may ask you if you have any of these symptoms:
- Morning headaches
- A sore jaw upon waking up
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
Teeth grinding is often caused by stress. However, it can also be the result of crooked teeth or a “bad bite.” Our dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. Since it’s worn at night, this type of mouth guard is also called a night guard.
Call Today to Schedule a Dental Exam
Call Galt Family Dentistry today at (954) 302-7410 to schedule your comprehensive dental exam. We offer convenient days and times for you to visit us.