BY ANNETTE BROOKS PHOTO BY APRIL SANCHEZ OF TAYLOR MORGAN PHOTOGRAPHY AND BETTY LUIS
Not that long ago, we’d visit the dentist annually for a cleaning and checkup. Then twice a year became the norm. Now, many dental insurance providers pay for up to three cleanings a year, and in some cases, four is recommended.
So, what has changed? It’s because we know that seeing the dentist regularly for preventive care helps ensure you maintain a healthy smile. This is especially important now that science has confirmed what most dentists suspected or knew all along — that our oral health and general health are inextricably intertwined. Plus, catching issues earlier, when they usually require less treatment, can help you avoid making more trips to the dentist and thus save money in the long run.
“Maintaining good oral health has many rewards, including a sparkling smile, healthy gums, and fresh breath. But there’s more to dentistry than giving patients a beautiful, bright smile,” Dr. Reed explains. “Your mouth is the gateway to your body and its health. Good oral health and hygiene boost overall health and help reduce the risk of serious disease. Scientific evidence also suggests that maintaining your oral health could be an additional tool to help better control chronic inflammatory diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.”
Fighting Gum Infection and Inflammation
Gingivitis and periodontal disease, which is an infection of the gums, are typically characterized by gum pain, redness, and swelling or puffiness. A major difference is that gingivitis is reversible with appropriate treatment and care, while periodontitis is not. However, periodontal disease can be well-maintained with professional treatment. Dr. Reed will help to control the infection and inflammation.
“While inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process, if it becomes chronic, as it does with periodontal disease, it can lead to more serious problems,” she says. Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, according to Healthline, include:
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth or floss
- Bad breath
- Changes in the position of your teeth or loose teeth
- Receding gums
- Red, tender, or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Buildup of plaque or tartar on your teeth and/or below the gum-line
- Pain when chewing
- Tooth loss
- Foul taste in your mouth
- Inflammatory response throughout your body
Floss, Rinse, Brush
Yes, that’s right. Dr. Reed recommends that first you floss, then rinse, and then brush, and here’s why.
“Proper at-home care is important to help reduce the chance of a flare-up and promote good oral health,” Dr. Reed says. “Rinsing after you brush can wash away good things like fluoride and minerals that help you maintain healthy teeth, which is why I recommend brushing last.”
For your rinse, she advises that you use an alcohol-free product. “You can even make your own rinse using three parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide. Or use this instead of plain water in your WaterPik, or a saltwater solution to boost the antibacterial effects.”
No Judgement Zone
Unfortunately, most people with periodontal disease either haven’t been diagnosed or are not actively seeking treatment. The sooner you get the treatment you need, the better your chances for controlling periodontitis and perhaps systemic diseases, too.
Treatment will also help prevent gingivitis from progressing to periodontal disease.
If you haven’t kept up with regular dental visits, Dr. Reed, Dr. Smith, and the team are here for you. They often see patients who have avoided the dentist due to fear that has developed from bad past experiences, often during childhood.
“We treat all patients with respect and dignity. We’re here to help you overcome this challenge in life and to show you that dentistry doesn’t have to be a painful, negative experience,” Dr. Reed says. She offers sedation dentistry, as appropriate, which gives even the most anxious new patients peace of mind.
Dr. Reed offers a variety of treatment options for gum disease, including laser therapy to address inflammation, which are spaces or openings surrounding the teeth under the gum line that can become filled with infection-causing bacteria.
Dr. Reed’s full-service practice has a perfect five-star review rating on Google and for good reason. She and her team always go the extra mile to help their patients feel well cared for and right at home.
Going to the dentist is one of my worst fears in life. Dr. Alisa Reed was recommended to me by a coworker. I had to have an emergency visit, and the staff was able to fit me into their very busy schedule. Dr. Reed is an amazing dentist. She and her entire staff are so professional and care about their patients. I never once felt fear or uncomfortable during my procedure. They keep you informed of every move they make and what they are doing to you. Never had I ever had such a remarkable experience at a dentist’s office. I highly recommend Dr. Reed to anyone looking for a new dentist.” – S.A.
I absolutely loved my experience! They were quick but thorough. Very welcoming and friendly. Everything from start to finish was simple and easy. I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Smith. Amy was so amazing at X-rays — they are typically painful, but she made them painless. I can’t thank them enough for such a smooth, friendly experience.” – M.S.
For advanced dentistry in The Woodlands by a friendly, caring, highly skilled team, make an appointment at Dental Designs by Alisa Reed today. Visit the website for more information and to read Dr. Reed’s and Dr. Smith’s bios.
- General and family dentistry
- Cosmetic dentistry
- Restorative dentistry
- Laser dentistry
- Periodontal treatment
- Sleep apnea and snoring treatment
- Sedation dentistry
- Implants, including mini-implants, implant-retained dentures, All-on-4
- COVID-19 safety measures and protocols
1001 Medical Plaza Drive, Suite 300
The Woodlands, Texas 77380
4850 West Panther Creek Drive, Suite 104
The Woodlands, Texas 77381