Far to often in our current busy schedules people underestimate the importance of the regular cleaning and check up with their dentist. Regular cleanings are a very important part in maintaining the health of your teeth. Good oral health is important for maintaining your health.
The cleaning, also known as oral prophylaxis, is a process where the dentist or dental hygienist removes plaque. This plaque is a film of bacteria that accumulates on the surfaces of your teeth. These colonies of bacteria consume sugar from the food and other goodies you eat throughout the day, potentially causing serious damage to the teeth and surrounding structures.
If this plaque is not removed, over time the plaque will absorb minerals from your saliva, forming what is called calculus. The newly formed calculus provides an ideal surface for even further plaque to form, which can threaten the health of your teeth and gums.
When people neglect their teeth and their regular cleanings, they are putting themselves at potential risk for serious oral health problems. One of the most common risks of poor oral hygiene is periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth. Of the many causes of periodontal disease, plaque, that has been ignored for long periods of time, leading to inflammation and gingivitis is the vast majority. Symptoms of gingivitis include red and inflamed gums, bleeding of gums with or without brushing, gums that are tender or painful to the touch. Patients who have periodontal diseases need a deep cleaning.
A deep cleaning is also called scaling and root planning. This is a more aggressive cleaning to remove calculus from below the gums. The goal is to scrape the root surface smoothly to insure all the destructive bacteria have been removed. Either hand instruments or ultrasonic instruments, that vibrate at a frequency that break down bacterial cell membranes, can be used to perform deep cleaning. Once the root surface has been cleaned appropriately the gums can reattach, improving the health of supporting structures.
What you can expect from a regular cleaning and checkup. First, they take X rays of your teeth, so the doctor can properly diagnose any issues you might have and then the cleaning itself.
This cleaning involves the use of specialized instruments to safely and gently remove any plaque and calculus that has formed on your teeth to prevent cavities and help maintain the health of the gums, bone and periodontal ligament (attaches tooth to bone). Finally, they will polish your teeth with a special paste that leaves your teeth feeling brilliantly clean and smooth.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly, as well as regular visits to your dentist, is necessary for not only your oral health, but also can prevent other serious health problems as well. Gingivitis and periodontal disease have been linked to higher instances of stroke, heart disease and increased complications for patients with diabetes.
Pregnant women with periodontal disease have a greater instance in preterm birth. The babies born to women with periodontal disease can have multiple medical conditions including neurological deficits, cerebral palsy, developmental and growth restrictions.