Preventive Dentistry in Columbus, OH
Rely on the staff at Dr. Beth Loew’s dental practice to give you the care you need! Our general dentistry options can help keep your smile healthy. We encourage patients to see Dr. Loew at least twice a year. We’ll check for gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer. Our hygienists will give your teeth a thorough cleaning, and Dr. Loew can discuss additional treatments to ensure your dental health.
Our general dentistry services include regular exams. Every six months is considered the ideal time to see Dr. Beth Loew and her Columbus dental team. During these twice a year visits, we’ll capture digital x-rays to examine the supporting dental structures, evaluate your dental health for signs of common oral health concerns, thoroughly clean teeth, and offer guidance for ongoing dental care.
We want you to have a great smile, so we always encourage our patients to create a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing for two minutes at a time at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. We also offer dental healthcare education, so you have the information you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Our skilled dental hygienists would be happy to demonstrate and explain the best ways to brush and floss, answer your oral hygiene questions, and make recommendations for the best at-home hygiene products.
Do you wake up with aching teeth or a sore jaw? Have you noticed that your teeth seem worn down or even seem to be getting cracks or chips? These are signs of bruxism, which is a condition where patients grind or clench their teeth usually during nightly rest. We offer custom-made nightguards that alleviate the side effects of bruxism. These nightguards create a physical barrier between teeth preventing potential damage from nightly clenching and grinding, and they also position the jaw in the ideal location so there is no unnecessary strain on the jaw or joints allowing patients to rest easily.
Because patients are not aware of how hard they are clenching and grinding during sleep, bruxism is a common cause of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. For this reason, nightguards often help alleviate the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction as well as bruxism. Our custom crafted nightguards offer superior comfort and effectiveness compared with over the counter varieties available from local grocery stores and pharmacies.
For the sports player in your family, we can create customized athletic mouthguards. We recommend mouthguards for all recreational physical activities, especially sports where patients’ smiles may come in contact with other players, hard surfaces, or sports equipment. Mouthguards can protect your athlete’s teeth and prevent orofacial trauma. The leading cause of tooth loss in people under the age of 25 is sports related trauma, so protecting smiles during sporting events is essential. Over the counter mouthguards are available, but they are typically less comfortable and may cause unnecessary strain on the jaw.
Oral Cancer Screenings Are Vital to Your Health
Almost 40,000 American adults will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and the likelihood of developing oral cancer increases with age. At the practice of Dr. Beth Loew, we use the latest in oral cancer screening technology. Catching the signs of oral cancer at the earliest possible opportunity is essential to the survival of oral cancer sufferers.
The risk factors of developing oral cancer include:
- HPV infection – Up to 30% of oral cancer cases are attributed to human papilloma virus (HPV).
- Tobacco- Nearly 80% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer either smoke or chew tobacco.
- Alcohol – Patients who frequently drink alcohol are more likely to develop oral cancer—about 70% of diagnosed cases.
- Sun exposure – Oral cancer concentrated on the lip area is often suffered by patients with outdoor jobs, and therefore prolonged sunlight exposure.
- Diet – Low intake of fruits and vegetables has been associated with increased risk of oral cancer.
- Gender – Men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer.
- Age – The possibility of developing oral cancer increases with age, especially for patients who are thirty-five or older.
Dr. Beth Loew uses the VELscope system to do life-saving oral cancer screenings. The VELscope looks like a big flashlight. Dr. Loew shines the special light into your mouth. Healthy tissues give off a green glow in the VELscope illumination. Darkened areas indicate problem areas, which can be signs of oral cancer, infections, or salivary gland tumors.