Proper Oral Health Care is Important

Your oral health affects more than just your teeth and mouth; it can also affect your physical health and overall well-being. Gum disease can cause inflammation throughout the body, resulting in health problems or additional complications brought on by systemic diseases. Regular check-ups protect your healthy smile as well as allowing for early detection of various diseases. Learn more about how periodontal care helps achieve better oral and overall health.
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Regular Professional Cleanings

Even the most diligent oral hygiene routine can sometimes leave behind build-up that we’re unable to see. Regular professional cleanings by a certified dentist or hygienist are necessary as they aid your routine in combating oral diseases such as gum disease and gingivitis. A professional, routine cleaning includes:
  • Removal of plaque build-up from the surface of your teeth to prevent the possibility of tooth decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.
  • Removal of tartar (hardened plaque) from the surface of your teeth to prevent it from spreading below the gum line.
  • The final touch, improving the aesthetics of your smile by the removal of surface stains through tooth polishing.


Prior to your cleaning, a dental exam will be performed to detect health issues you may not be aware of. Through consistent dental visits, we’re able to help prevent the development of serious diseases, avoiding the possibility of more extensive and expensive procedures down the road. A dental exam will generally include:

  • Oral cancer screening
  • Gum disease screening
  • Visual tooth decay evaluation
  • Visual gum disease examination
  • Gum pocket measurement and tracking

Depending on your oral health, we recommend individuals receive regular professional cleanings and examinations at least twice a year, as well as receive an X-ray examination at least once a year to assist in detecting tooth decay, cysts, tumors, issues below the gum line and other hidden complications.

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Oral Cancer Screenings

At South Texas Periodontal Associates, our oral surgeons do a thorough oral cancer screening, including a VizLite scan, during your comprehensive exam. Our oral cancer screening includes the examining all parts of your mouth, which consists of your lips, cheek lining, gums, front part of your tongue, and floor and roof of your mouth, continuing back into your upper throat.

Symptoms of Mouth or Throat Cancer

Should you have questions or concerns, during your dental visit we will discuss your health history as well as examine for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer that include:

  • Thick or hard spot or lump
  • Roughened or crusted area
  • Numbness, pain or tenderness
  • Sores that bleed easily or do not heal
  • Change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down

Regular dental visits can result in early detection of issues causing these symptoms, so it’s imperative that you inform us regarding any difficulty you’re experiencing when chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your tongue or jaw.

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Oral Hygiene

It’s important to maintain your oral health between regular dental visits. Proper home oral hygiene includes brushing at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed, as well as flossing at least once a day.


Soft-bristled toothbrushes are recommended as they reach more surfaces and are gentler on your gums and won’t wear down the enamel on your teeth. It’s important to note that the American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months.


Guidelines for Proper Brushing:

  • Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line. Bristles should contact both the tooth surface and the gum line
  • Use short back and forth strokes or tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Each movement should be no bigger than the size of each tooth
  • Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Gentle strokes are easy on your gums while effective in removing plaque
  • Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner and the chewing surfaces of the teeth
  • Don’t cut your brushing short! Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes


We recommend flossing at least once a day, as well as choosing floss that aligns with your comfort level. If you find it difficult to handle floss we recommend using a floss holder. While not a substitute for brushing and flossing, oral irrigators can be used to help remove particles of food around the teeth, especially for individuals who wear braces or fixed partial dentures.


Guidelines for Proper Flossing:

  • Take 18 inches of floss and wind it around the middle finger of each hand. You can use these fingers to take up floss as it becomes dirty. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the floss leaving 1-2 inches in between for cleaning.
  • Gently move the floss up and down in the spaces around your teeth. Never snap the floss down onto your gums, as it can cause damage.
  • As you move the floss down into the space between two teeth, slide it up and down against the surface of one tooth. Gently clean the gum line as well.
  • Repeat this process for all of your teeth

Mouth Rinses

Mouth rinses with fluoride can assist in preventing tooth decay, however, if you have plaque or gum disease we may recommend using an antiplaque or antigingivitis mouth rinse. If you’re unsure which mouth rinse will serve you better, we can help you choose one that will enhance your overall oral health.


As your preferred periodontist in San Antonio, TX, we have two locations that proudly serve the local and surrounding area. Our Bandera Road Office is located on the north side near US 281 and Loop 1604; our San Pedro Ave Office is located northwest just off Loop 410.