Dupont Dental - Your Washington DC Dentist

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Archive for July 2015

Gum Disease

Treating Gum Disease with Deep Cleaning


Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease is any disease that affects the periodontal tissues that support and surround your teeth. Early detection and treatment of gum disease avoids the potential of more invasive surgery treatments if it progresses to later stages. Scaling and root planing, also called deep cleaning, is one of the most common non-invasive procedure for treating gum disease and can help you restore and protect your oral health.

The goal of deep cleaning

Your dentist performs a deep cleaning to remove the buildup of tartar and plaque that affect your teeth and other periodontal areas. Plaque is bacteria that has built up and attached itself to tooth surfaces, and as teeth don’t shed their surface as your skin does, this build up occurs constantly. Without removal, plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which is a cement-like buildup on your teeth that’s impossible for you to remove without professional dental help. Tartar and plaque are the biggest culprits in periodontal diseases including gingivitis and tooth decay.

Removing plaque and tartar

Scaling and root planing is an intensive cleaning performed by your dentist that removes plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, following a deep cleaning. Scaling removes plaque and tartar from below and around the gum line and dental professional may use mechanical or ultrasonic tools to chisel off and break up the plaque and tartar. Root planing is where the dentist smooths the tooth roots, which makes it harder for bacteria to build up there and become tartar and plaque.

Benefits and drawbacks of scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing isn’t as painful or invasive as surgical methods of removing plaque and tartar. With a deep cleaning, your dentist doesn’t have to cut or stitch your gums, and that means your mouth heals faster. However, scaling and root planing is most effective for mild cases of gum disease and won’t work well for patients with moderate to major gum disease. Following deep cleaning, you have experience short-term discomfort and your teeth may have higher sensitivity due to the removal of the plaque buildup that served as an insulating barrier.

As one of the most popular and common non-surgical treatments for treating gum disease, scaling and root planing can restore your oral health and prevent future dental issues in the future. Protecting your teeth by practicing good oral hygiene is essential for the health of your mouth, but when you encounter issues with gum disease, there are various treatments to help reverse its damaging effects. Dupont Dental wants you to have a bright, healthy smile you’re proud to share so contact our offices today to schedule an appointment.

Featured image via this dentist in NJ

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Toothaches aren’t only caused by cavities

The most common cause of a toothache is usually a cavity, but there are other lesser-known causes that patients need to know about. Along with impacted wisdom teeth, infections, and cracked or chipped teeth, gum recession can also cause a toothache. Gum recession exposes highly sensitive areas of the teeth, which can lead to pain and discomfort.

Evidence of gum recession

Gum recession occurs when the gums pull away (recede) from the enamel area of the tooth. Darker areas at the base of teeth can be evidence of gum recession as the tooth root becomes exposed. Exposed areas become sensitive without the enamel outer coat and gum recession causes aching, throbbing and/or shooting pains when consuming hot or cold food or drink. Along with sensitivity and discomfort, gum recession can increase the risk of gum disease.

Causes of gum recession

Causes of gum recession include brush too hard, eating too many sugary or acidic foods, using tobacco, and frequent use of teeth whitening products. Exposing gum tissues to irritants or treating them roughly, can cause gums to pull away. An additional cause of gum recession leading to tooth pain is teeth grinding or clenching that can move teeth out of alignment and strain gum tissue.

Gingivitis and tooth pain

The buildup of oral bacteria that occurs with gingivitis can lead to tooth pain and/or aching. This sore feeling occurs particularly around the back teeth and bleeding gums can also occur during brushing. It’s important to detect and treat gingivitis early to resolve it with a professional dental cleaning followed by guidelines for a successful at-home oral health care procedure. Without treatment, gingivitis can lead to gum disease.

Finding the cause of toothaches

The only way to know what’s causing a toothache is for the patient to visit their dentist for a thorough examination of teeth and gums. If the examination doesn’t show any visible problems with the teeth and gums, then the dentist may take X-rays to look for potential tooth damage. Once the dentist determines the exact cause of the toothache, they can treat it appropriately. In the case of gum recession, treatment can involve something simple like brushing less aggressively or require more involved procedures such as root planing and scaling, which is also a treatment used for gingivitis.

When you’re suffering tooth pain or sensitivity, it’s vital that you visit the dentist promptly to treat any oral health issues before they progress. Contact Dupont Dental today to set up an appointment and discuss treatment options.

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Sugar damages teeth

Excessive Sugar Intake Damages Healthy Smiles

Most people might not realize this, but on a worldwide scale, tooth decay is one of the most common diseases. A study of public health records from around the world conducted by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and University College London revealed that the diet of people in the United States contains far too much sugar, which is a leading cause of tooth decay.

Starting at a young age

The London study of public health records showed that nearly 90% of school-age children in the U.S. had experienced tooth decay and 92% of adults have suffered cavities. Comparing these stats to Nigeria, where there’s barely any sugar in diets and only 2% of the population has tooth decay, uncovers the disturbing truth about American’s overly sugar-filled diets.

Consequences of excessive sugar consumption

It’s easy to blame sugar for tooth decay and view it as the main villain, but in reality, it’s the reaction sugar sets in motion in the mouth. Once a person consumes sugar, and it combines with bacteria and saliva in the mouth, it begins a destructive process. Sugar is the ideal food for oral bacteria and the acids it activates in the mouth can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Along with damaging teeth, sugar consumption helps oral bacteria reproduce and accumulate, which inflames the gums and creates the initial stages of gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in America.

Recommended sugar intake

In America, it’s common for food and drink to contain loads of sugar, and they’re all readily and easily accessible, which leads to an excess intake. The recommended total calories for a person should consist of now more than 5% sugar, according to The World Health Organization. Unfortunately, sugar is prevalent in American diets and proven to be addictive. People also build up a tolerance to sugar so the more they consume, the more they’ll crave, and this is a symptom of substance dependence.

Fighting back against sugar intake

There are numerous resources available to help people reduce their sugar consumption and quitting cold turkey may not be the best course. Finding natural sugar alternatives such as honey still gives people that sweetness without creating the high and addiction of sugar. Fluoride can help, but it’s not enough to counter continued sugar consumption in American diets. Reducing or eliminating sugar intake benefits not just oral health, but overall health as well.

Protect your smile by reducing your sugar intake, but remember that it takes time to break such an addictive habit. As you’re weaning yourself off excessive sugar, make sure you maintain great oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing, drinking ample water to counter the acidic reaction of consuming sugar and keeping your regular dental check-ups on schedule.

Contact Dupont Dental to learn additional ways to protect, maintain and improve your healthy smile.

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Porcelain Veneers

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a popular option for dental patients who want a subtle change or a complete smile makeover. Advances in cosmetic dentistry enable every patient to get the beautiful smile they’ve always wanted, and porcelain veneers represent a significant advance in cosmetic dentistry. Porcelain veneers repair uneven, unsightly, decayed or discolored teeth by covering them with a paper-thin porcelain material to produce stunning, natural-looking results.

Porcelain veneers correct various dental problems

Although there are different forms of veneers, porcelain veneers are a top choice because of their thinness and natural tooth appearance. Porcelain veneers can improve your smile and correct various dental problems including:

  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Stained or discolored teeth

The dentist bonds porcelain veneers permanently to your teeth and with proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, they can last a lifetime. Made from durable translucent material and attached with a strong adhesive, porcelain veneers function and look like your natural teeth.

Porcelain veneer considerations

For the proper placement and success of porcelain veneers, you need good oral health and that means addressing any decay or other dental issues before proceeding with a cosmetic dentistry treatment. To place porcelain veneers, your dentist has to alter your natural teeth to fit them, and they’re not reversible. However, porcelain veneers are worth investigating for many patients because they offer numerous benefits including:

  • Cover nearly any imperfection such as chips, stains, and gaps
  • Long-lasting
  • Stain-resistant
  • Don’t change color with time
  • Natural appearance
  • Scratch resistant and durable

If you’re considering porcelain veneers, discuss the process with your dental professional. Before placing porcelain veneers, your dentist performs a thorough dental exam and explains the steps involved with veneers. There are several stages involved with porcelain veneers that include preparing your teeth, creating custom veneers and finally placing the veneers. The dental lab creates porcelain veneers that expertly match your other teeth to obtain a natural, beautiful appearance. Your dentist gives you advice on the long-term care of your porcelain veneers, and if teeth grinding is an issue, your dentist may recommend a night guard for you to prevent damaging the veneers.

The most important decision about porcelain veneers you have to make is choosing an experienced dentist to place them for great, lasting results. Dupont Dental offers several cosmetic dentistry services including porcelain veneers to restore, improve and maintain your beautiful smile. Contact us today to learn how we can give you the healthy, smile you’ve always wanted.


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Cosmetic Dentistry DC

Improve your Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry

These days it seems like every media personality, Hollywood star, and musician has a beautiful, flawless smile full of perfectly straight, ideally proportioned and stunningly white teeth. They smile for the camera, and their entire face seems to glow as the endless flashes from cameras amplify their bright smile.

You may think that obtaining such a smile is beyond your reach, but with today’s cosmetic dentistry, you can achieve the perfect smile you’ve always wanted. Not even celebrities are born with perfect smiles, and they’ve undoubtedly undergone one or more cosmetic procedures to obtain their perfect smiles. You don’t have to be a celebrity to have a gorgeous smile you just need to consult with your dentist about the cosmetic dentistry options that can give you a smile you’re always happy to share.

Dental “miracles.”

Cosmetic dentistry can seem like a miracle to those patients who have been embarrassed by their smiles for years. The first step toward achieving the ideal smile is having an open and honest conversation with your dentist about what areas of your smile you want to improve. The dentist can then give you treatment and procedure options specific to your unique oral structure and teeth condition, and you can begin the process of your miraculous smile transformation.

Common cosmetic dental issues and their solutions

If you have teeth that are misshapen, cracked, discolored, missing, or the wrong size, cosmetic dentistry offers various treatments that can solve those issues.

  • Veneers – correct the alignment, shape, contours and color of your teeth
  • Teeth Whitening – brightens stained, discolored or dull teeth
  • Porcelain crowns – corrects and repairs teeth that are too small or damage
  • Bonding – repairs small chips in teeth
  • Invisalign – proper teeth alignment issues
  • Dental Implants – can replace one or more missing teeth

Sometimes improving your smile is as simple as a professional dental cleaning and thorough dental exam. If you’re experiencing any pain, discomfort, or sensitivity in your teeth, your dentist can work with you to find a solution. With today’s tooth-colored composite fillings, even a cavity can’t keep you from having a beautiful smile.

Cosmetic dentistry continues to evolve with innovative techniques, materials, and treatments designed to fit any patient’s needs. Through one procedure or a combination of procedures, your dentist can help restore and improve your smile to the level of a Hollywood celebrity. Start loving your smile today by contacting Dupont Dental and asking about our cosmetic dentistry options.


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