Brush, Floss, Visit a Dentist, Repeat
“Most people are living with some kind of gingivitis or undiagnosed periodontal disease,” according to Bonifacio Guillena, D.M.D., or “Dr. Bono” as his staff calls him at Perfect Teeth in Parker.
Guillena diagnoses and treats periodontal disease.
“Periodontal means ‘around the tooth.’ When you brush your teeth, brush your tongue and gums as well. Before I became a dentist, I wasn’t flossing properly. You need to floss down into the gums. Keeping your gums healthy is the key to healthy teeth,” Guillena expounds.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning signs of gum disease include bad breath, inflamed or bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, loose teeth or a change in the fit of partial dentures. Smoking, poor oral hygiene, stress, heredity and hormonal changes are all risk factors.
“The biggest issue is educating the public,” says Guillena. “Periodontal disease is not curable. It’s only treatable. Once bone is lost, you can’t get it back. It’s only a matter of time before teeth become loose. Then all you can do is prevent further loss.”
Guillena highlights the need for regular deep cleaning.
“The purpose is to clean underneath the gums, where the patient is not able to clean at home,” he explains. “Patients with periodontal disease have deeper pockets between their gums and teeth (4 mm or more) and need the deep cleaning to keep these pockets clear of bacteria, the ultimate purpose being to reduce the depth of these pockets to a healthy 1-3 mm and prevent any further jawbone reabsorption or loss.
“I recommend brushing with fluoride toothpaste,” Guillena adds. “Some patients choose not to, but that can lead to more problems. It’s up to the individual. The action of brushing is the main priority.”
The CDC encourages the use of fluoride as an easy way to care for your teeth. Fluoride occurs naturally in soils and rocks and is therefore found in water. The Colorado Primary Drinking Water Regulations require the testing of community drinking water, to ensure that the level of fluoride remains within a range found to be beneficial to public health.
“The most important thing is to come and see your dentist every six months,” Guillena says. “Don’t wait until there is a problem.”
Operations Manager Vivian Hernandez, who describes herself more as a patient advocate than an administrator, agrees, saying: “Some adults are fearful of going to the dentist, especially if they had a bad experience as a child.
“I help our patients understand their dentistry and explain their condition,” she adds.
Many people put off visiting a dentist for financial reasons.
“Look out for special offers,” Hernandez suggests. “Promotions give patients a chance to come in, get educated and have their condition assessed, while still making it affordable.
“We take part in local events like the Douglas County Fair, to provide information to the community,” Hernandez adds. “We offer free consults for new patients, so they can come in and talk to us. The staff are very professional, but friendly and approachable. We have tight relationships with each other and our patients.”
“The best compliment is when patients refer their friends and family,” Guillena confides. “And when they bring us donuts! It’s OK. Everyone here brushes their teeth after lunch.”