What are the benefits of having your teeth professionally and routinely cleaned?
Did you know that your oral health largely relies on two very important yet often-overlooked factors? One is your determination to brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis and two, your dedication to see your dentist twice in a year particularly every other six months to get an oral exam and to have your teeth cleaned.
You are probably wondering why there is a need to seek professional dental care when you’re taking extra care of your gums and teeth at home by religious brushing and flossing. The problem with brushing (and flossing) is there are many parts of our mouth that are considered hard-to-reach areas and these areas are susceptible to tooth decay as well as periodontal disease. This is where professional teeth cleaning come in handy. Your six months oral exam interval makes sure that your dentist sees and detects all possible problems during its early stages. Your professional teeth cleaning, on the other hand, prevents the possible occurrence of other oral conditions especially the most notorious periodontal disease.
Professional teeth cleaning is a must to prevent the incidence of periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease. This disease starts off as a plaque, a gummy biofilm that persistently forms in the mouth. Truth be told, brushing your teeth twice in a day coupled with the proper way of flossing can indeed help remove plaque before it can cause any dental problems. Unfortunately, a lot of patients complain that they are having trouble getting rid of all possible plaque especially plaque that forms near the gum line and those in between crooked teeth. If plaque is left to linger in these areas within two days after it is forms it will start to calcify and turn into tartar. Tartar is a hard substance that cannot be removed by mere flossing and brushing. But the good news is your dental hygienist possesses the necessary tools to help remove intractable deposits. Removing tartar is very important because it prevents the incidence of gum disease and prevents the progression of gingivitis to periodontitis.
How is teeth cleaning performed?
Teeth cleaning procedure is composed of three basic steps. This procedure is applicable to patients with healthy gums and teeth and patients who show early signs of gingivitis.
The first step is called scaling. The term scaling comes from the tool being used, which is called a scaler. When there is only very minimal tough calculus your dental hygienist may opt for a manual scaler to get rid of hard deposits in your teeth through gentle scraping. Apart from a manual scaler your dental hygienist can also use an ultrasonic scaler. This is a type of electronic device that creates light vibration and a constant stream of water to break down large chunks of tartar and wash them away through water.
The second step is called polishing. This step involves a tool with a rubber head that spins. The spinning action polishes the outer surfaces of your teeth with a special paste. The polishing action helps get rid of minor stains found on the surface of the enamel and it gives your teeth a smooth finish. Smooth teeth reduce the chances of bacterial and plaque buildup.
The last but definitely not the least step is fluoride. More often your dentist or your dental hygienist would recommend adding fluoride treatment after every teeth-cleaning session. This fluoride can be applied in a variety of ways such as a gel, foam, a varnish or a rinse. For those of you who don’t know, fluoride is a type of mineral that aids in toughening the enamel. The enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth and when this is strengthen it resist the occurrence of acid attack that will later on result to tooth decay.
What are the stages of gum disease?
Gum disease undergoes three distinct stages that if not stopped can lead to irreversible periodontitis.
1 The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. You see, plaque in itself harbors copious bacteria strains. Many of these bacteria cause an inflammation to the gums making it swell and bleed easily. Luckily, this stage is reversible all you need to do is to undergo a complete and thorough professional teeth cleaning performed by your dental hygienists coupled with a proper cleaning technique in your home. If you don’t know how to brush and floss your teeth the right way your dental hygienist can show you how. Through regular brushing at home and professional teeth cleaning your gum tissues will be restored back to its original, healthy state.
2 The second stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. This is when tartar is present along the gum line and breaks the connection between the gums and the teeth leading to periodontal pockets and bone loss. The openings created by the tartar that cuts through gums allow food particles to get trapped within it as well as bacteria. These elements can damage the structures that are responsible for keeping your teeth in its place. Patients with periodontitis are often prescribed with a deep cleaning performed by a dental hygienist or a dentist. This type of therapeutic cleaning involves the removal of bacteria from root surfaces and periodontal surfaces so that the gums can reconnect with the teeth and stops further damage. In cases of infection, antibiotics are usually recommended by your dentists along with antimicrobial rinses to tame down and stop the infection from spreading.
3 The third stage of gum disease is called advanced periodontitis. This is the stage wherein the periodontal ligaments, the bones and the gums incur severe damage that the teeth begin to loosen and fall off. During this stage your dental hygienists would be of no use and you need stronger and more powerful treatments from a Periodontist. Examples of such treatments include gum tissue grafts; bone grafts and laser surgery to prevent further tooth loss.
Always remember patient’s comfort comes first above anything else.
Surprisingly, a lot of patients love to have their teeth professionally cleaned by dental hygienists and some report to actually find the process quite enjoyable. In fact, if you try it out, the procedure is very tolerable. However, there are patients who have very sensitive gums who may complain of slight discomfort. If you are one of those patients who have receding gums or have sensitive gums and if at any time during the procedure you feel pain and discomfort always let your dental hygienist or your dentist know so that they can find ways to minimize your discomfort. One of the measures they do for patients complaining of discomfort is by applying a topical gel that numbs the gums so you can’t feel anything during the scaling and polishing stages.
Gum diseases are not only uncomfortable it also makes us lose our self-esteem. Even the first stage referred to as gingivitis causes us to feel self-conscious. Most people who suffer from gingivitis refrain from talking or socializing for fear that at any moment their gums could easily bleed and people might notice it. Or worse, they fear that if they come too close to people they can smell the rust that reek from their bleeding gums.
Aside from self-esteem issues, gingivitis when left untreated can lead to a plethora of health conditions especially when it advances to an infection. If you don’t want to suffer any of these you have to make it a point to see your doctors. Besides it wouldn’t hurt to take two extra days in one whole year and just a few hours within those two days to have your teeth and your gums checked and cleaned rather than suffer from periodontal diseases. It also helps if you find a dentist or a dental hygienist you trust and feel comfortable with to lessen the anxiety and any possible fear you may have. Don’t wait until your suffer from advanced stages of gum disease. While your teeth and gums are healthy and in good condition always make a conscious effort to take care of it by brushing your teeth and flossing it regularly. And also don’t forget to pencil in a dentist’s appointment every six months to ensure optimal oral health. Remember, brushing and flossing are not enough because there are areas in your mouth that are hard to reach. This is the reason why we always encourage you to see your dentist even if you think everything looks good.