Dr. Galligan will partner with you for lifelong oral health. To begin, he’ll assess your risk for dental disease, namely tooth decay (caries, cavities) and gum disease. The balance of your mouth’s pH, which is a measure of acidity, can tell us a lot about your proclivity for cavities. If you have low pH, bad bacteria can grow rapidly and kill off good bacteria. This imbalance allows dental caries, an infection, to grow, which causes cavities. In addition to cavities, imbalanced oral pH can contribute to bad breath, sensitive teeth, and dry mouth.
In an attempt to break the cycle, several new strategies can be employed to change the acidity of one's mouth and the makeup of the plaque biofilm. This strategy has proven to be a highly effective preventive measure for combating tooth decay in patients of all ages.
At your checkup, Dr. Galligan will conduct a thorough CAMBRA risk assessment by analyzing your mouth’s biofilm. The procedure is simple. Several parameters of your saliva are evaluated and the proportion of cavity-causing bacteria in your plaque is measured. Using this information as well as assessment of dental history, diet, and lifestyles, we are able to establish one's risk of developing future dental diseases. A DIAGNOdent cavity laser device is also used to determine each tooth's level of cavity onset and recorded for assessment of future changes. He’ll discuss the pH of your mouth and recommend products to balance the acids.
Many dental products contain antimicrobials, which can kill good bacteria and compromise good pH levels. Products containing fluoride, baking soda, and xylitol, and low alcohol, including those produced by CariFree, Arm and Hammer, ACT, and Epic Dental, to name a few, can be used to improve the mouth's acidity and change the makeup of the plaque bacteria. Some products include rinses, gums, mouth sprays, and gels that contain xylitol, a cavity-fighting sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and tree sap. This sugar is not metabolized by bacteria, so it won’t contribute to tooth decay. Just the opposite – it battles bad bacteria to renew harmonious pH in the mouth.