4/13/2016 8:30:00 AM | Rachael Scott

Regular dental appointments are part of preventive care. The American Dental Association and other professional health organizations stress the importance of dental checkups in an effort to combat tooth decay and gum disease, and to prevent other serious health issues.

Going to the dentist on a regular basis can also help prevent costly treatment by identifying problems before they become more challenging and require extensive and expensive treatments. Dental cleanings and examinations can also head off problems before they begin.

Professional Cleanings


A regular dental includes a series of evaluations, including:

  • Overall health and dental wellbeing
  • Risk of dental caries, gum or bone disease, decay and inflammation
  • Tooth restoration or replacement
  • Bite and jaw mobility and function.

During a professional cleaning, the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar build up. The hygienist will also discuss problem areas and offer tips for cleaning teeth at home, including proper cleaning techniques and products for teeth or dentures.


Dental Examinations


Imaging helps dentists to spot problems that can otherwise go unnoticed. A detailed image of the mouth can identify bite problems and provide the dentist with a good picture of the teeth and surrounding bone structure. Depending on the reason for your exam, the dentist may utilize more advanced imaging equipment such as cone beam computerized topography,  to obtain a 3-d image of teeth spacing and the adjacent structures often used with implant patients.


Oral Cancer


Oral cancer screenings are an important part of the dental examination. More than 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, and yet many signs of oral cancer can be identified with a simple screening. The screening involves looking for signs of cancer in the mouth, and feeling the area around the jaw and neck. The dentist or hygienist will also examine the inside of the lips and cheeks, as well as the tongue.

Following the appointment, any issues are discussed and concerns addressed. It is important to discuss any changes in health or any medical conditions and medications with your dentist, in case these impact the health of your mouth and gums.

A healthy mouth is essential to overall wellness, and dental visits are an important part of any health care plan. With regular visits to the dentist, and taking appropriate preventive measures, it is possible to live a life of health and wellbeing.

Contact Northwest Family Dental in Rainier to schedule your next appointment.



3/30/2016 9:29:00 AM | Rachael Scott

When a tooth is damaged – chipped, cracked or broken – it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible, regardless of the pain level. Not all damaged teeth hurt, and if left untreated, you run the risk of infection and tooth loss. An infected tooth may reveal itself as untreatable sinus problems or headaches. Your dentist will examine the damage and determine if it will impede the health of the tooth or if a cosmetic restoration is the solution.

What Causes A Tooth to Break?

Dental trauma can result from any number of incidents, including:

  • Cavities
  • Old dental work, including fillings that have come loose
  • Being hit in the face, jaw or mouth
  • A fall or impact
  • Biting onto something hard

What Can You Do?

Sometimes, damage goes unnoticed or ignored until discomfort is consistent. You may feel pain while biting or chewing food or feel sensitivities to hot and cold temperatures. There are ways to address the discomfort that comes with trauma, but there is no substitute for professional help. With any dental emergency it is best to see your dentist as soon as possible.

Cracked Tooth

Fractures in the tooth are hard to identify with the naked eye – especially if they develop in a hard to see tooth, such as a molar. The tooth may look okay, but biting, chewing, and differentiating temperatures can cause pain. If the tooth hurts constantly, there may be a bigger problem at hand, such as interior infection attacking nerves, blood vessels and the roots. A cracked tooth cannot be treated at home, and you should contact your dentist immediately.

Broken Tooth

A broken tooth also needs professional treatment. However, to help with the process it is best to save any pieces of the tooth that you can. Rinse using warm water and stop any bleeding by applying a piece of gauze to the area until it stops. A cold compress can be used to reduce swelling and help with the pain. Depending on the severity of the break, it may result in exposed or damaged nerves which leaves the tooth open to infection. The tooth should be treated as soon as possible.

Prevention is Key

Tooth trauma cannot always be prevented, but some steps can be taken to avoid cracking, chipping or breaking teeth:

  • Mouthguard – always wear a guard over teeth when playing sports 
  • Food – avoid biting down on hard food items such as ice and popcorn kernels
  • Use Scissors – opening packaging with teeth can actually cause serious damage to the teeth. Use scissors and avoid mouth trauma.

If you have experienced dental trauma or have a consistent toothache, contact our Rainier dental office to schedule an appointment. Northwest Family Dental offers a range of general and cosmetic dental procedures to help restore function, stop the pain and return an aesthetic smile.



3/24/2016 11:00:00 AM | Rachael Scott

Patient education is an important component of preventing gum disease when combined with routine dental exams and gum disease screening. Early detection and prevention methods can help control the often silent gum disease or periodontitis. When caught in its earliest form, gingivitis improved at home care can arrest the progression and improve oral health without additional dental procedures.

What You Should Know About Gum Disease  


Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, often doesn’t have symptoms until at an advanced level. This is one reason why prevention is so crucial. Caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth, the precursor to gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have tender or bleeding gums, you might have gingivitis. When plaque bacteria accumulate on the teeth, it causes tartar. Tartar is a sticky film that attacks the gum tissue surrounding the teeth and can progress into gum disease.

Gum disease can cause:

     Tender, bleeding gums
     Pain and inflammation
     Bad breath
     Tooth decay
     Tooth loss

Preventive Dentistry Procedures


There’s a lot you can do at home to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay — such as regular daily brushing and flossing and following a healthy diet. However, it’s important to understand that brushing and flossing can only go so far. The only way to remove tartar is with a professional cleaning. Routine dental exams will remove any plaque and tartar buildup to help prevent bacteria from finding its way under the gum line. Routine exams will also provide an opportunity for cavity protection with fluoride treatments and sealants.

If signs of gum disease are spotted during your exam, we can take care of the problem before it damages a large area of gum tissue. Deep cleanings will involve scaling and planning to remove bacteria and infection from the gum pockets and along the tooth roots. This can not only save your smile but also save you money, because you won’t be subjected to more invasive periodontic procedures.

Gum Disease Education and Prevention in Rainier


If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or have not been to a dentist in over six months, contact Northwest Family Dental to schedule an appointment. We are a family dental office in Rainier, and welcome new patients from the surrounding areas of Longview, Kelso, Kalama and Castle Rock.



12/11/2015 4:11:00 PM | Rachael Scott

We're excited to announce the official launch of our Northwest Family Dental blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Northwest Family Dental, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!