April 22, 2024

How Do Teeth Cleanings Contribute to Overall Oral Health?

Regular teeth cleanings help prevent plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and play a big part in maintaining your teeth and gums. Beyond the immediate benefits of cleaner teeth and fresher breath, regular cleanings contribute to long-term oral health by reducing the risk of cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of teeth cleanings and the specific ways they contribute to your overall oral health.

Understanding Teeth Cleanings

Dental hygienists perform teeth cleanings to remove plaque, tartar, and stains from the surfaces of your teeth. There are two types of teeth cleanings:

Routine cleanings:

Routine cleanings are typically performed every six months as part of preventive dental care.

Deep cleanings:

Deep cleanings are recommended for patients who already have signs of gum disease. When a deep cleaning is done, it removes plaque and tartar from below the gumline (scaling) and smooths the root surfaces to prevent bacterial buildup (root planing).

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that everyone get routine dental cleanings every six months to maintain optimal oral health. However, the frequency of cleanings may vary depending on individual factors such as oral hygiene habits, presence of dental conditions, and susceptibility to gum disease.

Removal of Plaque and Tartar

Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the surfaces of teeth and along the gumline. When plaque is not removed through proper oral hygiene practices, it can harden and mineralize, forming tartar (known as calculus), which cannot be removed by brushing or flossing alone. When plaque and tartar are not removed on a regular basis, oral health problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath can quickly set in. 

Prevention of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that negatively impacts the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It is primarily caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar along the gumline, causing inflamed gums.

Regular teeth cleanings help you maintain a clean and healthy mouth, greatly reducing the risk of developing gingivitis (mild gum disease) or periodontitis (advanced gum disease). In addition to preventing gum disease, regular teeth cleanings allow your dentist to keep track of and detect early signs of gingivitis, further helping you preserve your overall oral health.

Reduction of Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Various factors, including poor oral hygiene, gum disease, dry mouth, and certain medical conditions can lead to halitosis. Bacteria and food particles trapped in the mouth can further contribute to bad breath. That is why teeth cleanings are so important; they remove the bacteria and food particles from the surfaces of your teeth and along the gumline.

Prevention of Tooth Decay and Cavities

Plaque buildup on the surfaces of teeth can lead to the demineralization of tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay and cavities. Bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel, weakening its structure and increasing the risk of decay.

Teeth cleanings help prevent tooth decay and cavities. In addition to plaque and tartar removal, hygienists often apply fluoride during teeth cleanings to strengthen tooth enamel and provide additional protection against cavities. Fluoride helps remineralize weakened enamel and creates a protective barrier against acid erosion.

Promotion of Overall Health

The connection between oral health and overall well-being is increasingly recognized in medical and dental fields. Research indicates that oral health is truly interconnected with systemic health. Poor oral health has been linked to various systemic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. 

Periodontal disease in particular has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream, leading to systemic inflammation and potentially contributing to the development of cardiovascular problems and insulin resistance in diabetes. Regular teeth cleanings help mitigate the risk factors and the associated systemic effects of inflammation. 

Regular teeth cleanings are essential for maintaining optimal oral health and supporting your overall health and longevity. Dental cleanings contribute to healthier smiles and reduced risks of systemic diseases, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a healthy mouth and body for years to come. 

If you can’t remember the last time you went to the dentist as part of your regular teeth cleaning, contact Taylorview Dental today to schedule your appointment.