Many people today know about the importance of oral health and how it affects your overall health. Optimal oral hygiene requires a combination of proper and consistent daily oral hygiene practices at home and routine professional dental cleanings. This helps to protect your teeth from decay and keep the gums healthy while keeping your smile bright.
However, one thing that may not be clear is why the American Dental Association recommends dental cleanings every six months. Generally, brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing every day should help to remove most of the harmful bacteria from your teeth and mouth. But the small number of bacteria that remains may still pose a threat to your oral health over time if it’s not removed.
Some of the risks include:
- Excessive tooth wear and cavities from the acid produced by plaque
- Bad breath from improper teeth cleaning
- Teeth discoloration from the colored foods you consume and calcification and mineralization of plaque in the form of tartar or calculus, which attracts more harmful bacteria
- Minor gum infection or gingivitis, which is characterized by gum inflammation, swelling, and reddening. Due to sensitive teeth, you may also notice blood on your toothbrush or rinsing your mouth after brushing.
- Advanced gum infection – If there are no interventions, gingivitis can advance to a more serious case of gum disease known as periodontitis or periodontal disease. It affects the foundation of your teeth – the bone tissue connecting your teeth to the jaw.
- Exacerbated health issues – the infection can spread from your mouth to other tissues, making it harder to manage other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia
Cleanings for Optimal Oral Health
Fortunately, most of these problems can be successfully treated or managed with a professional dental cleaning and an improved oral care regimen at home. That said, periodontitis is a chronic, progressive, and episodic gum infection. If not treated promptly, periodontitis can cause severe bone loss that loosens your teeth with some even falling out. Though it’s irreversible, dental professionals can help you manage the symptoms and improve your oral health.
Please visit your dentist today to examine the condition of your teeth and gums and determine the best type of dental cleaning to improve your oral health and reduce the risk of advanced gum disease and cavities.