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See A Family Dentist During Pregnancy For A Healthy Mouth

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Pregnancy is a complex time in a woman’s life. In addition to planning for the joys of motherhood, you have to maintain good health. Between eating right, getting enough rest, and exercise, one thing often gets overlooked.

Believe it or not, pregnancy is an important time for your teeth and gums – and it’s vital to check in with a family dentist, just as you would with other prenatal care specialists.

Pregnant? Your Family Dentist Can Help Protect Your Teeth in a Time of Change

During pregnancy, many of your body’s systems change quickly to support the new life growing inside. You know that you’re “eating for two” – or more – but did you know pregnancy can also affect your teeth and gums?

The American Dental Association has pointed out infections in the teeth and gums can influence the rest of your body. Bacteria, especially those that attack the gums, may travel through the bloodstream if they are allowed to thrive.

For a smooth and simple pregnancy that supports peak health for mother and baby, it’s vital to see a family dentist. Even a relatively simple dental cleaning can help ensure fewer inconveniences and health issues down the line.

A Top Dental Priority: “Root Out” Unnoticed Gingivitis During Pregnancy

One thing a family dentist can help with is gingivitis, a long-term infection in the gums that starts with mild inflammation and occasional bleeding. People may not realize they have gingivitis: It can progress quietly for months or even years.

Left unchecked, it develops into much more serious periodontal disease.

This is one major dental concern any pregnant woman should ask her family dentist about. Let’s face it: Pregnancy can be hectic! You might not be spending as much time as you used to on brushing and flossing. Far better to get professional help sooner, not later.

What to Expect from Your Family Dentist Appointment

Your first dental appointment during pregnancy might be a little longer than usual. It’s a good idea to get a complete dental examination, which may include x-rays if it’s been a while or you have dental concerns. A dental cleaning is also helpful.

In cases where gum infection is active, it may be necessary to perform a deep cleaning. This is a specialized procedure that helps clear out bacteria under the gumline. Using this treatment, most simple cases of periodontitis can be arrested or reversed.

To make your appointment successful, be ready to tell your dentist how far along you are in your pregnancy, what medications you are taking, and whether you have any tooth or gum symptoms.

During pregnancy, be sure to follow these dental health tips:

  • Brush teeth gently at least twice every day with a soft-bristled brush;
  • Replace brushes at least every three months as bristles become hard;
  • Use floss or a soft interdental cleaning pick on a regular basis.

A caring and trustworthy dental team makes things easier. Contact Landmark Dental Group to find out more or set an appointment.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Our Family Dentists Help Patients With Bad Breath

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Bad breath can be an embarrassing problem – but did you know family dentists have been helping patients with this issue for years?

It’s been decades since halitosis – persistent bad breath – was recognized as a serious dental issue by dentists. Although bad breath by itself does not cause any severe health problems, it can be a sign of one.

There are three main causes of halitosis family dentists encounter:

Bad Breath Cause #1: Dental Hygiene Issues

One of the most important ways to defend yourself against bad breath is to brush your teeth regularly.

If you are brushing at least twice a day, but still notice you have issues with bad breath, start by adding one more brushing session to your daily routine. If this helps, but the issue doesn’t go away completely, look at your flossing schedule.

When bad breath seems to come out of nowhere, the culprit may be food particles between teeth. Bacteria feed on these, causing odors. Without flossing, bits of food can remain in teeth for days.

As your toothbrush gets older, it’s less effective at removing bacteria and food particles. It can also start to irritate your gums more easily. Replace it regularly as the bristles get worn down.

Bad Breath Cause #2: Diet

Diet is a major factor in breath – for obvious and not-so-obvious reasons!

First, you could simply be eating things with a pungent odor, like onions and garlic. Brushing your teeth within 30 minutes of eating these foods usually resolves breath issues. However, that’s not the only thing to watch out for on the menu!

Generally, diets high in sugar are more likely to cause bad breath.

Many cases of bad breath are caused by bacteria in the mouth as it attempts to colonize the teeth. These bacteria flourish when given access to sugar, facilitating faster growth of dental plaque. Ultimately, tooth decay can result.

By cutting some sweet treats out of your meals, you may improve your breath.

Proteins, including red meat, can also provoke sour breath.

Bad Breath Cause #3: Injury & Illness

Bad breath with no other obvious cause can be the result of tooth decay or gum disease. However, these conditions rarely progress far enough to cause changes in the breath without other symptoms, including bleeding, discoloration, and pain.

Any type of injury or surgical wound in the mouth can cause bad breath during the healing process. Follow the instructions of your doctor or dentist to ensure these are taken care of so they can heal naturally.

A number of infections can cause lesions, sores, or other problems in and around the mouth. These may cause bad breath until resolved. Some conditions affect the breath even if there are no other oral or dental symptoms.

Halitosis? Contact Your Trusted Family Dentists

Bad breath can be an annoyance. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but you should look into it to rule out any serious problems. Contact Landmark Dental Group to get to the bottom of it.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

If You Grind Your Teeth Make An Appointment With Our General Dentist

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Grinding your teeth can lead to problems only a general dentist can solve.

Grinding the teeth is a common habit that can arise for many reasons. There’s no way to know exactly how many people grind their teeth, but it happens enough to have its own medical name – bruxism.

For most people, bruxism is a result of unrelieved stress and tension they may still be feeling when it’s time to go to bed. In other, rarer cases, it can be the result of joint issues in the jaw. Other underlying medical problems can contribute, too.

Here’s why you should see a general dentist right away if you suspect bruxism.

When Grinding Your Teeth Causes Problems

The human bite is powerful. When you bite down, you’re exerting anywhere between about 100 and 150 pounds of force!

The limiting factor in that force isn’t actually your muscles, but your teeth – that is, most people stop biting down when their teeth hurt, not when muscles tire.

Naturally, when you grind your teeth, you’re not putting quite as much pressure on them. Still, it could amount to anywhere between 10 and 80 pounds of force.

Not surprisingly, this can cause a lot of issues:

  • Tooth surfaces become worn down, which makes it harder to chew normally;
  • Teeth may chip or crack, and in the most serious cases can even split entirely;
  • Surface damage caused by grinding can make teeth more susceptible to decay.

If you realize you’ve been grinding, a general dentist can offer treatments that might help.

The problem? Most bruxism sufferers don’t even realize what’s going on!

Do You Suspect Bruxism? How to Find Out for Sure

Until it causes serious pain, bruxism can be subtle.

Most people have symptoms that they can easily chalk up to other issues. For example, you might notice pain in the jaw upon first waking up that quickly subsides over the course of the day. Teeth might become more sensitive to hot, cold, or pressure.

However, there’s another aspect to the problem: Sleep issues.

If you notice jaw or tooth pain coinciding with sleep problems, bruxism is a cause to investigate. People with bruxism often find that they have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep at night, or remaining asleep in the morning before the alarm goes off.

They may feel nervous, anxious, or frustrated about issues encountered during the day.

One early warning system? A sleeping partner. Chronic grinding usually makes sounds loud enough for someone sleeping in the same room to notice. This can help you confirm your suspicions even before you see a dentist.

A General Dentist Can Relieve Bruxism Symptoms Fast

Bruxism starts as an annoyance, but it can build to a serious problem. Luckily, it’s easy to treat.

Your dental team at Landmark Dental Group can help you overcome bruxism using a special night guard. This prevents teeth from coming into contact at night, so symptoms can completely disappear from practically the first evening.

To find out more, contact us.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Don’t Ignore A Toothache – Your Family Dentist Is Just A Phone Call Away!

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Worried about a toothache? Your family dentist can help.

Toothaches can come on suddenly and might have no obvious cause. If you have a toothache, you could be tempted to “wait and see” how it feels in a few days. Sadly, though, a toothache always means that there’s an underlying problem that needs to be figured out!

Where Do Toothaches Come From?

Teeth might seem like simple, solid things that don’t have very many parts. In truth, though, they are part of a complex system that interacts with everything else in your body. Beyond all the familiar enamel of your teeth is the dentin, the pulp, and of course, the nerve.

The pulp is responsible for maintaining blood flow to the tooth and is a key part of the loop between each tooth and the gums. The nerve helps you sense hot and cold, which is why people who have had a root canal procedure done do not have this sensation in the affected teeth.

Tooth decay is the most likely cause of any given toothache. You can have tooth decay even if you have been very diligent about brushing your teeth – dental caries (also known as cavities) start out microscopically and can develop over a very long period of time.

Tooth decay starts with sticky biofilm, which forms on teeth as bacteria use the sugar and other chemicals in food particles as fuel. Within a short time, biofilm that hasn’t been disrupted by brushing hardens into plaque, starting the process of tooth decay.

A toothache usually indicates that decay is progressing to a more advanced state.

Some other problems can also cause a toothache:

  • Gingivitis or periodontal disease, the infection process that attacks gum tissue;
  • An infection – caused by the same “tooth decay bacteria” settling into the tooth;
  • Trauma to the jaw, face, or even the neck, which can loosen or damage the tooth.

Toothaches can cause a wide variety of other symptoms that can range from distracting to severe. For example, toothaches in the upper teeth often lead to pain in the ear. It’s important to get any toothache checked out: Minor symptoms can actually signal the spread of a serious infection.

What Can I Do About a Toothache?

If a toothache has any of the following symptoms, it should be considered an emergency:

  • Swelling in the jaw or the face;
  • Discoloration in the gums near the affected tooth, especially if black;
  • Bleeding or other discharge in the gums;
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath;
  • Pain in the ear that persists or gets worse.

Even if the toothache is minor, set an appointment with a trusted family dentist within three days. Continue to brush daily, being especially careful and gentle with the problem tooth, or avoiding it if light brushing causes pain. Use warm saltwater as a mouthwash. You may use pain relief gel from your pharmacy, such as Orajel.

Contact your family dentist at Landmark Dental Group for prompt, caring help with your toothache!

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Gum Disease Prevention and Treatment From Your General Dentist

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Gingivitis, also called gum disease, is suffered by millions of people all over the United States. This early form of gum disease can be relatively mild – but it represents harmful bacteria beginning to colonize the gums through hard, sticky deposits of plaque on the teeth.

People can go months or even years with this stealthy disease without even noticing it. The longer there are undisturbed pockets of plaque on the teeth, the more likely it is bacteria will successfully attack and begin to colonize the soft tissue that holds the teeth in place.

The signs include:

  • Mild redness in the gums – sometimes noticeable only on one “set” of gums;
  • Occasional bleeding of the gums, typically at the same time you brush or floss your teeth.

How does gingivitis creep up on people?

Simply, it can be hard to tell if symptoms are directly related to gum disease. Bleeding of the gums can be caused accidentally by brushing too hard with a rough, older toothbrush even if your gums are healthy. The same can be true of mild, temporary gum irritation.

If you notice these symptoms for more than a day or two, it’s time to see a dentist!

Over time, gingivitis develops into periodontal disease – the form of the disease a general dentist usually means when talking about “gum disease.” During the advanced stage, the gums are eroded by the infection. If it goes untreated, it can permanently destroy bone. This leads to the loss of many teeth, and could result in a life-threatening systemic infection.

Your General Dentist Advises You on Gum Disease Prevention

Although many people do have gingivitis, it’s possible to halt the progress of the disease and even stop it for good through regular dental care. Some steps you should take to protect your gums include:

Brush Regularly

You should brush your teeth each morning, at night, and within about 30 minutes of every meal. Brushing disrupts the formation of biofilm, which ultimately hardens into plaque. Without plaque, gingivitis cannot spread and damage gums.

Floss as Much as You Can

Flossing is tough for many people. However, even doing it once in a while is better than not at all. If you’re not flossing yet, start by doing it once a week. Using a hand-held “floss wand” or a water flosser can make the process faster, easier, and more effective.

Massage the Gums

Your gums provide a constant supply of blood to your teeth. Even if you don’t have time to sit down and brush, spending two minutes gently massaging the gums with a soft, manual brush can help keep gums strong and resistant to infection.

Maintain the Mouth’s pH Balance

Your mouth naturally fights off infection through its production of saliva. If you suffer from dry mouth, be sure to see a general dentist as soon as you can to get to the root of the problem. Sugar-free gum can help promote saliva production.

For help from a trusted general dentist, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Increase Self Confidence With Help From Your Local General Dental Practice

 

Local General Dental Practice Santa Cruz

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Having a bright, beautiful smile helps you look and feel your best. There’s no single gesture or word in any language more powerful than a smile – in fact, experts believe a smile is one of the most potent ways to activate the brain’s mirror neurons, associated with empathy.

Smiling more not only makes a good impression on others, but also helps you. Science is increasingly learning that the brain is deeply keyed into the muscles of the face. Smiling can make you feel better and create a neurological “feedback loop” that leads to more happiness.

Sadly, some people don’t have the smile they want. This can make them feel shy about smiling.

Even if you work hard at maintaining your teeth, it’s still possible to run into difficulties with dental health. Although brushing is the most important thing you can do for your teeth and gums, it can’t prevent all forms of staining.

With help from a general dentist practice, you can get the smile you’ve always wanted. That will increase your confidence and help you become a more open and authentic “you.” Yes – a smile really is that important!

Here’s what you can get from your general dental practice at Landmark Dental Group:

Tooth Whitening

Many people spend lots of time and money on “over the counter” whitening solutions only to find they don’t get the results they want. OTC whitening gels are not very effective, and they can cause a burning discomfort if applied incorrectly. At Landmark Dental Group, we offer a combo of customized trays and a powerful whitening agent – much stronger than commercial ones!

Veneers

Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin that can be placed over the visible surface of teeth. These are perfect for restoring the color and shape of teeth that are permanently damaged. Both types of veneer are made to blend in with the natural look and feel of teeth. If you choose a composite veneer, it can be placed in a single visit to your general dental practice.

Crowns

When teeth are damaged, it’s important to restore them to greater strength. Weakened teeth can cause problems for surrounding teeth and jaw health down the line, even if there is no underlying infection. Crowns reinforce damaged teeth. A crown is like a “cap” that covers the entire surface of the tooth. This returns a cracked, chipped, or weathered tooth to strength and good looks.

Bridges

Bridges help when you have consecutive missing teeth – one or several. The teeth on either side of the missing ones are reinforced with crowns, strengthening them into what’s called abutment teeth. Then, a bridge consisting of artificial teeth is inserted into the gap. Bridges can be made using gold alloy, porcelain, and various other materials.

No matter your age or dental health, it’s never too late to improve the look of your smile. As a community general dental practice, Landmark Dental Group is always here to help. Call us today!

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Celebrate National Smile Month With Your Santa Cruz Dentist

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There’s a new reason to see your Santa Cruz dentist: National Smile Month!

National Smile Month runs from May 15th to June 15th every year. You might wonder, “Why would a month-long event start in the middle?” Well, it’s just that much easier to remember!

The whole idea of National Smile Month burst onto the international stage back in 1977. It started as a fun and exciting way for dentists in the United Kingdom to connect with their patients – especially those they didn’t get to see very often.

This year, National Smile Month celebrates its 40th anniversary. It has not only made the jump from the UK all the way to the United States, but is sponsored by Oral-B and a number of other top brands in the dental health field. Even your Santa Cruz dentist gets in on the act!

What Should You Do to Celebrate National Smile Month?

National Smile Month has had a number of great public events all through its lifetime, including a huge bash at the London Transport Museum. If you don’t have plans to visit London any time soon, however, you can still get in on the action with your Santa Cruz dentist.

Set a Dental Appointment

Many people avoid going to the dentist for one reason or another. The honest truth is, though, that it won’t be as bad as you think. Dental technology is now so advanced that even serious problems can usually be resolved without losing a single tooth. The introduction of lasers means that some procedures you might think of as uncomfortable are quicker and easier than ever.

Try a Dental Challenge

Millions of people around the United States forget to floss on a regular basis. Even if you only floss once a week, it can still make a huge difference in the health of your gums and teeth. Other things you could try are using anti-bacterial mouthwash, chewing sugarless gum (which helps with saliva production and mouth pH) or remembering to brush one extra time per day.

Share a Smiley

In 2012, National Smile Month introduced its mascot: Smiley. The Smiley is a fantastic way to share the uplifting message of National Smile Month with your friends and family on social media. No matter whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or even LinkedIn, you can join in and remind others that maintaining good dental health is an easy, powerful way to care for themselves.

Landmark Dental Group is Here to Share a Smile in Santa Cruz

Landmark Dental Group is the Santa Cruz dentist that wants to help people get the brilliant smile they’ve always wanted. We’re an insurance-friendly office who works with you to make sure you can get the care you need. One of the best things you can do for yourself this National Smile Month is find a Santa Cruz dentist you can trust – one that truly puts you at ease.

This month or anytime, Landmark Dental Group is waiting to help. Contact us today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Geriatric Dentists Help Improve Quality Of Life

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Geriatric dentists agree: As people age, they are more likely to experience tooth problems.

Why? The soft tissue of the gums recedes over time, so it is even more important to take care of dental health. With the right practices and help from your local geriatric dentists, however, you can prevent tooth loss at all stages of life.

Geriatric Dentistry Helps Solve Common Tooth Care Problems

Elderly people can face all the same tooth care issues others do: Things like sensitivity to hot and cold, risk of decay or cavities, and more. However, there are also some things they should be especially alert about to increase quality of life.

Elders and Dry Mouth

Dry mouth may seem like an inconvenience, but it actually has a significant effect on dental health. Saliva is necessary to maintain the mouth’s pH balance – which, in turn, helps prevent bacteria from colonizing teeth and stops acidic food from damaging enamel.

Sometimes, the issue can be resolved with medication. For most sufferers, however, special treatment may not be necessary. Chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva production. Chewing between meals can curb dry mouth and might protect against the accumulation of plaque.

Elders and Decay Between Teeth

With age, it may become more difficult to practice some dental hygiene tasks. Particularly, many older people report problems flossing between teeth. While there is no replacement for flossing, there is one thing that can complement it: Anti-bacterial mouthwash.

Like sugarless gum, mouthwash is a useful tool that can be easily overlooked. Since it can penetrate between teeth, it helps maintain dental health when one cannot floss often. A water-based flosser or interdental pick should still be used to clean debris from teeth.

Elders and Gingivitis

Millions of people suffer from gingivitis, the early form of gum disease. In many cases, the signs of this problem are so subtle, it might go unnoticed until you visit your dentist. However, it can lead to severe infection and tooth loss.

In recent years, geriatric dentists and other experts have concluded that promoting blood circulation in the gums is one of the most important things brushing does. To get these benefits, you don’t even need to use toothpaste, which many elders find irritating.

Gently massaging the gums with a wet toothbrush twice a day may be effective in helping prevent gingivitis, but you should still use toothpaste as frequently as you feel comfortable with.

Landmark Dental Group Provides Geriatric Dentists You Can Trust

At any age, seeing a dentist is essential to maintaining the health of your teeth. Everyone should plan to see a dentist at least once every year. If you’ve suffered chronic dental issues or worry they might develop, visit a dentist at least twice a year.

Landmark Dental Group is happy to help Santa Cruz patients of all ages with their dental health. We offer a comfortable, professional environment where you can get your questions answered and address to your dental needs under one roof.

To learn more, contact us.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

When You Have A Tooth Sensitivity Don’t Delay In Calling A General Dentist

Tooth Sensitivity Santa Cruz

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Ouch! When you find yourself suffering from tooth sensitivity, even your favorite meal can turn into a chore. There are many reasons why tooth sensitivity can take place, but all of them point to one thing: The need to see a general dentist as soon as you can to evaluate the problem.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

From the outside, it might seem like teeth are nothing but hard minerals – almost like rocks. But, in fact, they are living things just like all the other major systems in your body. Your teeth are nourished by the blood flow supplied by your gums and are each served by their own nerve.

With all that in mind, it’s not surprising that they can experience sensitivity.

About 40 million Americans experience some tooth sensitivity on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it can mean there’s an underlying problem with your teeth or their nerves that needs to be treated!

Some of the most common reasons for tooth sensitivity include:

Worn-Out Tooth Enamel

If your toothbrush is too hard, you could actually contribute to tooth sensitivity when you brush. It’s important to replace your toothbrush at least every six months to ensure the bristles remain their softest. You should also avoid brushing too vigorously.

Tooth Erosion Due to Acid

Some acidic foods and drinks are so powerful, they can temporarily soften tooth enamel. In fact, you should avoid brushing your teeth for 15-30 minutes after eating to prevent this from causing damage. Sugar-free gum can also help restore the mouth’s pH balance.

Tooth Decay and Bad Fillings

Of course, tooth decay can lead to sensitivity. However, that’s really only half the story. Many people who have fillings might believe they’re safe from decay – but, as fillings age, they start to break down. If you have old-fashioned amalgam fillings, they may need to be replaced.

Gum Recession

Everybody experiences some recession of gum tissue with age. This gradual process is the origin of the saying “long in the tooth.” If gum recession is accelerated by decay or other issues, gums might retreat far enough that sensitivity to cold and heat will result.

Bruxism

Some people experience tooth sensitivity because they grind their teeth at night. This condition, called bruxism, can cause microscopic damage to teeth. People often don’t know they are doing it until a sleeping partner lets them know.

How Does a General Dentist Treat Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can usually be treated by addressing the underlying problem. This usually means cleaning the teeth, treating any active decay, and replacing damaged fillings. If the discomfort is caused by bruxism, a special dental appliance can often curb symptoms.

A good general dentist will always strive to save a tooth, even if it is damaged. In extreme cases, root canal therapy can be performed to eliminate the tooth nerve. This prevents the tooth from detecting hot and cold sensations, while still leaving it structurally sound.

For help from a general dentist you can trust, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Is It Time For A Cleaning And Check Up With Your Dentist In Santa Cruz?

Checkup Local Dentist

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You already know that you should brush your teeth every day and floss as often as you can. But, even if you do everything right, you should still visit a dentist Santa Cruz trusts – at least once every year. If you can’t remember the last time you got a professional teeth cleaning, it’s probably time!

How Often Do You Need to Get Your Teeth Cleaned Professionally?

With all the hectic things that happen in life, it’s easy to forget about your dental appointment – or put it off until later. Still, you shouldn’t delay too long: Dental problems can develop between cleanings that you might not be able to spot yourself.

The average adult should plan for a cleaning at least once a year. It’s often a good idea to get two cleanings each year, though. And some people should consider visiting the dentist even more frequently under special circumstances. Additionally, some people may benefit from scaling and root planing, also known as “deep cleaning,” if it has been many years since their last cleaning and there is significant buildup on teeth.

Pencil in an appointment with your dentist if any of these apply to you:

You Have a Known Dental Health Complaint

If you’ve recently had severe tooth decay, gum disease, or another dental problem, you should schedule regular follow-ups with your dentist until the problem has completely disappeared. That may mean quarterly cleanings for a year to make sure everything is as it should be.

Your Child is Getting His or Her Permanent Teeth

Young children who are in the process of getting their permanent teeth should see the dentist more regularly, too – especially if they’ve experienced decay in their “baby teeth.” It’s important to monitor the development of permanent teeth closely to ensure they erupt on time.

If teeth are late to grow in or become crooked or crowded, the best way to reduce complications is to get treatment as soon as possible. That usually means visiting the dentist every few months as more teeth emerge. A cleaning can be performed once they’ve all arrived.

You Are an Elder Concerned About Your Teeth

Getting a regular dental cleaning can help you protect your teeth well into the golden years. While it is not uncommon for people to lose a tooth with age and normal wear and tear, this can often be prevented.

People over the age of 50 should be especially careful about seeing the dentist whenever they experience a tooth complaint. Soreness or bleeding in the gums, or sensitivity in any of the teeth, can mean that you need a new filling or tooth extraction.

In many cases, a cleaning is performed before any of these procedures to reduce complications.

Landmark Dental Group: The Dentists Santa Cruz Patients Can Rely On

Maintaining your dental health requires a daily commitment. It can be hard work, but you don’t have to do it alone! If you want professional service from the dentist Santa Cruz patients turn to, visit Landmark Dental Group. We’re always glad to help you.

To find out more or to schedule your dental cleaning, contact us soon.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz