General Dentistry

Oral Health for Overall
Health & Wellness

You’ve heard it time and time again that prevention is the best medicine – it’s true! It’s much easier to prevent serious problems than it is to try and treat and repair the damage afterward. That’s why general dentistry and preventive dentistry are so important. Your diet, lifestyle, and oral hygiene routine, as well as regular visits with your Houston dentist, are essential if you wish to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for life. A healthy smile also plays a much larger role in your overall health than you may realize. Maintaining a healthy smile will keep your defense strong and help you avoid serious systemic health problems down the road. Prioritizing your oral health today is the first step in your journey toward overall health and wellness.

Let’s Get Healthy!

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Oral Hygiene

When your Houston dentist asks you if you’ve been brushing and flossing regularly, it’s not just some conspiracy cooked up by the toothpaste companies. The truth is, oral hygiene really is the most important factor when it comes to oral health. Thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis and seeing your Houston dentist twice a year is essential if you wish to maintain a healthy smile and a healthy body, and to avoid painful and costly complications down the road.

Here’s some advice straight from the oral health professionals at Susan Ellison Dentistry & Cosmetics on how to best keep your smile healthy at home:

  1. Invest in an electric toothbrush. Sonicare® & Oral B® are our favorites. Manual brushing can often be ineffective in thoroughly cleaning and removing the food and bacteria left on teeth. With an electric toothbrush, all you need to do is place the toothbrush at a 45° angle and let the toothbrush do all the work. Electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning your mouth and removing plaque and preventing and improving gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Studies show that electric brushes reduce dental plaque and gingivitis by 21% more than a manual brush, and 11% more after three months of use. Electric brushes are more fun for children because it’s less work, it tickles their teeth, and the timer will let them know they’re all done!
  2. Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice per day, focusing on getting between teeth and around the gum line on all sides, and all the way to the back.
  3. Brush and scrape your tongue using your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to remove bacteria that causes bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
  4. You should actually brush your teeth before you eat, not after, because the acidity in your mouth after eating or drinking, combined with brushing can damage the enamel.
  5. Rinse with water after eating or drinking and spit, don’t swallow. Rinsing with water is a decent alternative when brushing and flossing is not available.
  6. Floss your teeth or use a Soft-Pick® between teeth every day, before your nightly brushing to remove hard-to-reach plaque between teeth and around the gum line that brushing alone cannot.
  7. Eat a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet full of fruits and vegetables, and avoid consuming too much sugar (sugary beverages are the worst) and highly acidic foods or drinks.
  8. Visit your Houston dentist regularly, twice per year, for teeth cleanings and exams.

Come see us at Susan Ellison Dentistry & Cosmetics and let our friendly hygiene team take care of you. Our hygienists are incredibly gentle so you don’t leave with sore gums, and impressively thorough to take care of any plaque or tartar you’ve left behind.

Gum Disease

Did you know that the majority of the American adult population suffers from some form of gum disease? Did you know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss? How about the fact that left untreated, gum disease can significantly increase your risk for developing serious systemic diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and Alzheimer’s?The silver lining here is, rather, a minty string of floss. While gum disease can have serious consequences and is one of the most common chronic diseases today, it is completely treatable and, most importantly, preventable! Gum disease is largely caused by poor oral hygiene.

  1. Plaque build-up along the gum line hardens into tartar, which irritates the gums to the point where they begin to pull away from the teeth or recede.
  2. When the gums recede far enough, it leaves the teeth and the tooth roots exposed and at risk for infection and decay.
  3. Periodontal pockets begin to form (pockets between the gums and the teeth), providing a nice warm place for the bacteria to hide and multiply.
  4. Eventually, the gums are no longer able to support the teeth, resulting in tooth loss.
  5. Left untreated, the bacteria have a direct pathway to enter the body and wreak havoc on your overall systemic health.

Now back to that silver lining – good oral hygiene and regular visits to your Houston dentist are your best line of defense against gum disease. If you do notice signs of gum disease – the most tell-tale sign is gums that bleed when brushed or flossed – we can help you get your gums healthy again.Your individual treatment plan will depend on the severity of your case. If you are still in the gingivitis stage, we may be able to reverse the progression of gum disease with more frequent deep cleanings or periodontal cleanings. We use a technique called scaling and root planing to get below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar that’s causing irritation.

If your gum disease has progressed into periodontitis, a more aggressive treatment plan may be necessary. We may need to perform a minor surgery or tissue graft to supplement the gum tissue that has been lost in order to save your teeth. We can also prescribe antibiotics to help get the infection under control.

If your gums bleed at all when brushing or flossing, unfortunately, you have gum disease. But don’t worry. Give us a call and schedule a visit with your Houston dentist and we’ll get you back on the right track.

TAKE THE FIRST STEP

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Tooth Colored Fillings

Most of us have had a least one cavity when we were kids, and most adults will get at least one cavity afterward. We’re human. We love sugar. It happens. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. But with the metal fillings of the past, it’s hard to forget when there’s a glaring metallic reminder every time you open your mouth. Thankfully, today, we use a natural-looking tooth colored resin that blends in seamlessly with your natural teeth.Metal fillings are not only unsightly, but they also contain trace amounts of mercury, which we now know to be toxic to the human body. They also tend to expand and contract with temperature changes, causing them to crack and leave room for bacteria to enter and cavities to progress, as well as making the tooth more likely to crack over time.

Tooth colored fillings are completely safe for the human body, and won’t expand and contract with temperature changes, making them a more durable and longer-lasting than ever before.If you have an old metal filling that needs to be replaced, or you have a new cavity that needs to be filled, Dr. Ellison can help you with modern tooth colored fillings for a seamless, decay-free smile.

Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer is unfortunately on the rise in the United States. One person dies every hour from this disease, and 25% of oral cancer patients have no known risk factors. The good news is, early diagnosis can double your chance of survival. So how do you ensure early diagnosis? Simple – regular visits with your Houston dentist.

When you typically only see your regular doctor when a health problem arises, your dentist is in a unique position (inside your mouth!) to detect and diagnose oral cancer in its early stages for the best chance of survival and recovery. Dr. Ellison is always on the lookout for any changes or abnormalities in your mouth that may be potential signs of oral cancer, and you should be too.

Signs of oral cancer (can be found on the lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, throat, or any surface of the mouth) include:

  • Swelling, thickening, lumps, rough spots, crusting, or erosion
  • Velvety white, red, or speckled patches
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Numbness or loss of feeling
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Persistent sores
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, change in voice
  • Ear pain

Risk factors for developing oral cancer include:

  • Smoking – Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers
  • Chewing – Patients who dip, snuff, or chew are 50 times more likely to develop oral cancer
  • Alcohol – Oral cancer is six times more common in drinkers than non-drinkers
  • Family history of cancer
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • HPV

At Susan Ellison Dentistry & Cosmetics, we’ve invested in OralID™ oral cancer screening devices to give our patients peace of mind. OralID™ uses proven fluorescence technology to illuminate tissue abnormalities, pre-cancer, and oral cancer cells before they are visible to the naked eye, allowing for earlier diagnosis and saving lives. Unlike other oral cancer screening devices, OralID™ doesn’t require any rinses or dyes and has no per-patient cost during use because it is a simple, hand-held device that’s affordable and convenient. OralID™ oral cancer screening devices are a product of Forward Science® and are proudly assembled right here in Texas.

Come see us at Susan Ellison Dentistry & Cosmetics for an oral cancer screening today. It might just save your life.

Mouth Guards

If you are involved in any sort of contact sports or you are a patient who tends to clench and grind your teeth (bruxism), your Houston dentist is happy to provide custom mouth guards to help you protect your assets.

While, yes there are stock mouth guards you can buy at the local sporting goods store, only a custom mouth guard can provide the most comfortable fit and the highest level of protection against oral injuries and concussions.

Your smile is important for living a healthy, fulfilled life with confidence – and after your adult teeth come in, they’re the only set you’ve got! Protect your smile and invest in your future with a custom mouth guard from Susan Ellison Dentistry & Cosmetics.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about general dentistry or would like to schedule a visit with your Houston general dentist, Dr. Susan Ellison at Susan Ellison Dentistry & Cosmetics, give us a call today or schedule a visit online! We have two convenient locations in the neighborhoods of Cypress and Memorial to serve you.

Give us a call or schedule a visit online today!

Healthy Beautiful Smiles for a Lifetime

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CYPRESS - (281) 949-8560

MEMORIAL - (713) 364-0973

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Monday 8:00a-5:00p
Tuesday 8:00a-5:00p
Wednesday 8:00a-5:00p
Thursday 8:00a-5:00p

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12850 Jones Rd.
Houston, Texas 77070
2500 Fondren, Suite 200
Houston, Texas 77063
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& Cosmetics
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