How Important a Dental Check-up is to Your Overall Health in Silver Spring, MD

Maintaining good oral health by frequently brushing and flossing and regularly scheduling a dental check-up in Silver Spring, MD at least every six months is imperative to your overall health. Oral health affects both the physical and psychological well-being of people. Oral health influences your appearance and how well you chew food and speak.

Missing teeth and gum disease can lead to being embarrassed when smiling and can cause bad breath, both which can impact your self-confidence and self-esteem. Your mouth carries bacteria that grows without the proper oral hygiene of brushing and flossing along with a dental check-up by your local dentist in Silver Spring, MD.

Neglecting daily oral hygiene and failing to go for your six-month dental check-up and dental cleanings allows bacteria in your mouth to grow and get out of balance causing infections such as tooth decay and gum disease, known as periodontitis.

During a typical dental check-up, your dentist will check for tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems. You will also receive a professional cleaning by your dental hygienist. This cleaning will remove any plaque and bacteria that you have missed during your home oral hygiene regimen. The dental hygienist will also properly floss your teeth and may give you suggestions on proper teeth and gum care.

A special tool will be used to measure the space between your teeth to see if they are healthy. The spaces should be shallow; if deep, this means you have gum disease. Your check-up will also include the examination of your tongue, neck, face, and throat to check for signs of ulcers, swelling or cancer.

Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss for adults over the age of 30 years old. By getting into the habit of good oral hygiene at home along with your regular dental check-ups by your dentist in Silver Spring, MD can reduce gum disease and tooth loss.

The University of California at Berkeley conducted a study and found that women who have their regular dental check-ups have a 33 percent lower risk of heart disease. Aetna also did a study that showed both men and women that had regular dental check-ups had lower overall health care costs because many diseases were detected early at their dental check-ups. Dentists look for early signs of vitamin deficiencies, oral cancer, and diabetes during your regular dental check-ups.

Proper oral hygiene at home and regular dental check-ups in Silver Spring, MD are important and will benefit your oral health as well as your overall health.

How Your Dentist in Silver Spring, MD Can Eliminate a Gummy Smile

Do You Have a Gummy Smile?

  • Do you feel that your upper teeth appear too short compared to the amount of gum tissue you display when you smile?

A gummy smile can have an adverse affect on the esthetics of your smile. The great news is that a gummy smile can be corrected with various dental treatments by your dentist in Silver Spring, MD.

What Causes a Gummy Smile?

  • The abnormal eruption of teeth can cause an excessive display of gum tissue in your upper jaw. Your teeth will appear shorter when covered with excessive gum tissue even though they may actually be the proper length.
  • More of your gum is exposed if the muscle that controls the movement of your upper lip is hyperactive. This causes the upper lip to rise higher than normal when you smile.
  • The manner in which your upper jaw bone grew and developed can cause a gummy smile.

Your esthetic zone or smile line, which are the teeth that show when you smile, is determined by several factors including—

  • Shape and size of your lips
  • Facial muscles
  • Shape and size of your teeth
  • Gum tissue

The gum tissue that is visible when you smile should be balanced and evenly shaped in harmony with your upper lip. The smile line should reveal the least amount of gum tissue as possible.

Treatments for Gummy Smiles

  • Laser treatments in minor circumstances
  • Orthodontic braces to move the position of your teeth
  • Surgical sculpting of gum tissue and bone
  • Reposition the bone with maxillofacial surgery

A crown lengthening procedure can be done by your dentist in Silver Spring, MD to correct the appearance of a gummy smile. Excessive gum tissue and possibly bone will be removed so that the tooth’s surface is more exposed. This surgical sculpting procedure can be performed on one or more teeth creating an even gum line with a more natural looking smile.

Being treated for a gummy smile by your Silver Spring, MD dentist will allow you to see more of your teeth than your gums when you smile increasing your overall comfort and confidence when smiling, eating, speaking, or laughing.

First Visit to a Family Dentist in Silver Spring, MD

Taking care of your teeth is more than just brushing and flossing. It is important to visit your family dentist in Silver Spring, MD at least every six months for a regular checkup and professional cleaning. Your family dentist should be someone with whom you feel comfortable, and hopefully, he will be your dentist for years to come and for your family as it grows. A family dentist should be someone who has the latest technology, a dental staff who is friendly and can interact with children and adults of all ages in a professional manner.

On your first visit to your family dentist in Silver Spring, MD, the dental staff will have you complete a full health history. Each time to return, make sure to update any information to the dental staff so they can note the change on your chart. This is extremely important so that they can provide you with the safest visit possible. Certain medications that patients take can interfere with different procedures that require surgery such as cutting into your gums. Depending on the condition of your teeth and what stage of life you are in, here is what you can expect during most visits to your family dentist in Silver Spring, MD.

Thorough Cleaning

Six-month checkups always include a thorough cleaning by a dental hygienist. She will use special instruments and scrape along and below the gum line removing any built-up plaque and tartar. This prevents gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other problems. She will then polish and floss your teeth and will instruct you on proper oral care techniques that you should use at home. The dental hygienist may also recommend specific products such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes, and other products to help you in your home dental hygiene regimen.

Full Dental Examination

Your family dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth looking for signs of disease or other problems. This provides you with the best oral health care possible by being able to identify and treat problems as soon as they appear. Coming every six months is the best way to take care of your health.


Your dentist may recommend x-rays depending on your age. X-rays can diagnose problems such as damage to your jawbone, impacted wisdom teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors and decay between your teeth.

After your first visit and if your teeth and gums are in good shape, you may not have to return for another six months. If you have a cavity or two, these will need further treatment, so a return visit will be required. Cavities should be scheduled as soon as possible, so they don’t get any worse.

Get in the habit of making your next appointment before leaving your family dentist in Silver Spring, MD. This way the time won’t creep up on so that when you do get around to making the appointment, you can’t get in to see your dentist for several months which puts you behind on your regular six-month checkups.

When to Seek Emergency Dental Services in Silver Spring, MD

It’s important to know the kinds of injuries that require emergency dental services in Silver Spring, MD so you can be sure your family’s teeth are well taken care of and so you can avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room. As you know, accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. Some injuries may require immediate attention, while other could wait for your dentist’s normal business hours in Silver Spring, MD.

Some familiar types of mouth injuries include:

  • Cracked, chipped or broken tooth caused by biting on something hard, being hit in the mouth, falling, or a cavity that has weakened the tooth
  • Sports-related injury or another type of accident
  • Broken jaw
  • Knocked out tooth

A cracked tooth or chipped tooth can usually wait for a call to your dentist; it all depends on the severity of the injury. It may look fine but hurts when you eat or drink something hot or cold. You may have damaged a nerve or blood vessel.

If you broke your tooth and a large piece is missing you should seek emergency dental services. Until you get to the dentist office In Silver Spring, MD, you should rinse your mouth with warm water; apply pressure with a piece of gauze, if bleeding, for about 10 minutes or until bleeding stops. If that doesn’t work, use a tea bag with pressure on the area that is bleeding. Take over the counter pain reliever if you are experiencing any pain. Your dentist may suggest a root canal if the tooth’s nerve has been damaged.

If you have a knocked-out tooth, a permanent (adult) tooth not a baby tooth, in most cases, it can be replanted into your mouth. If your tooth gets completely knocked out, you should seek emergency dental services. These are some things you can do to preserve the tooth which will give you a better chance of having your tooth replanted and saved.

First Aid for a Knocked Out Tooth

  1. Bring the tooth to your dentist as soon as possible.
  2. Hold the tooth only by the crown (the chewing edge).
  3. Try placing the tooth back into the hole where the tooth fell out; level with your other teeth. Take a piece of gauze or a wet tea bag and place over the tooth, bite down gently to keep in place. Be careful so that you do not swallow the tooth.
  4. If you can’t place it back into your mouth, put the tooth into a container covered by a small amount of cow’s milk or saliva.
  5. You can hold the tooth between your lower lip and gum or under the tongue.

Do Nots for a Knocked Out Tooth

  1. DO NOT handle the roots of the tooth, only the chewing edge which is the top portion (the crown) of the tooth.
  2. DO NOT wipe or scrape dirt or food from the root of the tooth.
  3. DO NOT brush the tooth or clean with alcohol or peroxide.

Anytime you have a broken or chipped tooth it is best to seek emergency dental services in Silver Spring, MD to save your tooth. If you have an accident and you can’t close your upper or lower teeth together, you may have a broken jaw. You need medical help immediately. Depending on your dentist’s emergency dental services, most hospitals in Silver Spring, MD have on-call dentists, and it could be possible to have your own dentist called in for such an emergency.

TIDBIT: Add a first aid item such as Save-a-Tooth or EMT Tooth Saver to your first aid kit storage container. These tooth-saving storage devices may be available at your dentist’s office. These kits contain a travel case with fluid solution.