The best way to obtain optimal oral health and avoid the need for restorative procedures is to prevent problems. Thorough oral hygiene each day—brushing, flossing and using fluoride—and an office visit every six months for routine examinations and cleanings help you avoid most problems.
Some of the prevention services we offer are oral cancer screening, periodontal screening, cavity risk assessments, fluoride treatments, sealants and nutrition counseling.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Dr. Stewart, a dentist in Spartanburg, provides oral cancer screenings for every patient. An examination is brief and typically consists of visual inspection and palpation. He looks for new or worsening facial asymmetry, masses, skin lesions, facial paralysis, swelling or changes in your voice, as these might be symptoms of oral cancer.
All patients are screened for periodontal, or gum disease. These screenings determine your risk for periodontal disease and reveal early signs and symptoms. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the tissues surrounding a tooth and is the leading cause of tooth loss. Gingivitis is a bacterial infection of the tissues in the mouth and potential precursor of gum disease.
Communicating with our staff is essential to helping us determine your risk, and we hope you feel comfortable enough to discuss your concerns with us. Some factors elevate your risk for periodontal disease, such as smoking, family history or poor oral hygiene habits. Other complex health problems that have a known link to oral disease are diabetes, cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis. Together we can help you avoid major problems.
Cavity Risk Assessments
Cavity risk assessments are based on information you provide us about your lifestyle, habits and health history. For instance, routine visits to the dentist, consistent and thorough at-home dental hygiene, such as brushing, flossing and using fluoride toothpaste, decrease your risk of cavities. Other factors like a dry mouth, a common side effect of many prescription medications, orthodontic appliances, history of cavities and a diet high in sugary foods make you more prone to tooth decay. If Dr. Stewart thinks you are at a higher risk, he may suggest additional treatment regimens.
Sealants are a protective seal for deep pits and grooves where cavities frequently form. They are an option Dr. Stewart might recommend if a cavity risk assessment indicates you would be a good candidate. Sealants on permanent molars are often used for children who are still learning consistent and thorough dental hygiene practices.
Your mouth requires a well-balanced diet and adequate water to function at its prime. When and how often you consume certain foods and beverages affects your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, so we offer our patients diet counseling. We point patients toward resources about diet and how nutrition affects their oral health. We answer any questions you may have about proper oral health care techniques and encourage all patients to visit our office every six months for routine examinations and cleanings.
Our office offers professional strength fluoride applications to help you avoid tooth decay. Fluoride helps prevent mineral loss from tooth enamel and strengthens weak areas of the teeth. Fluoride also helps reduce acids that break down tooth enamel, such as fruit, coffee and soft drinks.