No matter how diligent you are about at-home dental hygiene, you can't replace the tooth-healthy benefits of a professional dental cleaning. Unfortunately, many people aren't aware of the full scope of benefits that teeth cleaning can provide.
The reasons to schedule regular dental cleanings go far beyond improving the appearance of your smile. This guide will explain five benefits of dental cleanings.
1. Reduce the Risk of Gum Disease
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an oral health condition characterized by swelling, inflammation, and deterioration of the gums. According to the CDC, 47.2 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. Gum disease is caused by bacteria in plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth attacking the gum tissue around the teeth, so you can mitigate your risk directly by maintaining good dental hygiene.
Professional dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar that contribute to gum disease. Furthermore, tartar is so hard that it cannot be removed with normal brushing and must instead be removed by your dentist. A dental cleaning will give your dentist a good picture of the health of your gums so they can provide treatment if you have already been affected by gum disease.
2. Avoid Tooth Loss
In addition to whitening your teeth and protecting your gums, dental cleanings can help you to avoid tooth loss and reduce the frequency of cavities. Tooth loss may occur as a direct result of gum disease as the gums erode away and the teeth become looser. In other cases, tooth extraction may be required due to excessive cavity damage in the tooth. Dental cleaning removes plaque and tartar so you can keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime.
3. Eliminate Bad Breath
Bad breath, or halitosis, may be linked to hidden plaque and tartar on hard-to-reach surfaces of your teeth or below the gum line. Dentists can clean every surface of your teeth evenly and clean below the gum line to provide a solution for people who have persistent problems with bad breath even if they brush and floss daily.
4. Detect More Serious Problems Early
Gum disease isn't the only condition that may show early warning signs during a dental cleaning. Sticking to a regular schedule of cleanings helps your dentist keep track of any changes in your oral health that could point to a more serious issue. For example, dentists may recommend an oral cancer screening if they notice lumps or sores in the mouth or that their patient has swollen, bleeding gums that can't be attributed to periodontal disease.
5. Protect Your Overall Health
Problems that affect the teeth and gums can also have a negative impact on the rest of the body. People with poor dental hygiene, gum disease, and other oral health problems are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more. The same bacteria that causes tooth decay can attack the heart and lungs if it enters the bloodstream.
If you get regular dental cleanings, your dentist can monitor your oral health and warn you when your overall health may be at risk. Your dentist may recommend alternative medications if your current prescriptions are causing dry mouth. Saliva is important for rinsing bacteria off of the teeth and gums, and if you are underproducing saliva there is a greater risk of bacteria spreading to other systems in your body.
Dental cleanings are far more than a cosmetic dental service. Professional dental cleanings should be an integral part of your dental care plan. Be sure to schedule regular cleanings with your dentist so you can enjoy the many ways dental cleanings benefit your health.