As a dentist, it’s not surprising that I am hyper-focused on dental health, as I should be for the sake of my patients. However, most people have a hard time visualizing how teeth and gums are under constant attack from so many different sources — sugar, acid, bacteria, wine, sports drinks, medicine, grinding, sports… just to name a few.
Our teeth and gums are slowly getting worse unless we utilize proper prevention. Tooth decay and gum disease aren't huge issues for most of our patients, as our average patient is 42 years old. But as time goes on and we get older, our teeth and gums will definitely start to show signs of aging, just like the rest of our body. Old fillings start to fail, teeth get more brittle, gums don't heal as well as they once did and problems will start to show up where they might not have in the past. These challenges can be frustrating for both our patients and the clinical team at HPD.
Here is my analogy: a person goes to the doctor and is told they have high cholesterol, which is clogging their arteries and could eventually cause heart disease or a heart attack. This person is then placed on cholesterol medicine to help the body get rid of this molecule, hopefully preventing heart disease. But what else does the doctor do? They talk about diet, exercise and steps to lead a healthier lifestyle. If lifestyle isn’t improved, things will get worse — even with medication. Eventually, doctors may have to up the dosage of the medication or integrate multiple medicines. Even with medical intervention, the condition could worsen if the patient doesn't focus more on the daily tasks required to keep the body healthy.
The same thing happens with teeth. Flossing, brushing, rinsing, fluoride, diet, and other habits and factors are things that have to be maintained, focused on and improved. Even when patients come in multiple times a year to see us, things will get worse. Sometimes, things get drastically worse and unfortunately we end up being the bad guy.
We see our patients 2-3 times a year for the most part. That means the other 360 days are all in your hands to work on these challenges. We are a team that takes care of your dental health and the most important team member just might be you, the reader, the patient.
Fillings, crowns, root canals, bridges, and implants all have to be maintained with constant work at home to keep them healthy. People have a hard time grasping that everything in the mouth is trying to be destroyed by something every day, and as we get older, it just gets worse. Unfortunately, our bodies are not like fine wine and do not get better with age!
Everything in the mouth gets worse eventually, leading to the need for more dental intervention.
Proper follow up, prevention and treatments are necessary, whether we want them or not. Inaction in the dental world really can lead to some serious — and often very expensive — problems to correct.
If you have concerns about your dental health and would like to learn more about preventing future issues, please call us at 214-521-3730 to schedule an appointment, or visit our website to learn more about our services.
Aaron B. Jones, DDS
Highland Park Dental
Highland Park Dental
6725 Hillcrest Avenue
(next to Starbucks in Snider Plaza)
Dallas, Texas 75205