If you’re being honest, going to the dentist isn’t high on your list of favorite things to do. The fact that you should come in every six months for your regular dental cleaning has been repeated ad nauseum for as long as you can remember. However, this six-month rule isn’t some arbitrary number. Getting your teeth cleaned is essential to your health. Sure, having a pristine looking smile when you leave the office after your cleaning is a great feeling. But, the aesthetic benefits of a dental cleaning are probably the least important part. During your visit, you could discover that you have a cavity that needs filling or you’re suffering the damaging effects of bruxism. Signs of oral cancer, while not exactly common, also need to be looked for because symptoms don’t generally make themselves known until the disease has advanced.
While cancer of any kind is always a concern, statistically speaking, the real silent danger that could be putting your health at risk is actually plaque. We don’t usually think of plaque as something particularly dangerous. After all, who doesn’t have some level of plaque in their teeth? Getting rid of this plaque regularly is very important. Plaque needs to be taken seriously even if it doesn’t manifest as a problem within the next five or even ten years
Plaque build-up can lead to serious consequences over the years. Here are some things you need to know about plaque and why your regular dental cleaning is so integral to fighting it.
Plaque eventually solidifies into tartar, the hard and discolored build-up that is most visible between your teeth. Tartar is unsightly. That may be the issue that bothers you most about its development. It also can’t be removed without your dentist’s help. Not only is tartar unsightly, but plaque, the precursor to tartar, is acidic and can soften or damage the enamel of your teeth which can’t be replaced. This loss of enamel makes you more likely to experience tooth decay. It can also develop under the gum line and cause infection.
Having crooked or misaligned teeth is often considered a cosmetic issue. But when your dentist recommends braces or Invisalign, their concern isn’t strictly of an aesthetic nature. Having misaligned teeth puts you at an increased risk of plaque development. That’s because it’s much harder to clean between crooked teeth, even with regular flossing. This allows food particles to remain undisturbed and become a hotbed of plaque growth. People with crooked teeth are at an increased risk of developing gum disease. During your cleaning, your dentist can get into these hard to reach spaces to properly clean them.
Plaque development has a direct correlation with the development of gum disease.
How gum disease impacts your health
Gum disease isn’t an isolated problem that only impacts your dental health. Research has shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease. The exact mechanisms aren’t known, but people with plaque buildup and gum disease are at a greater risk of experiencing a major cardiac event. There are also connections being made between gum disease and diabetes. By staying on top of your dental health and regularly removing any plaque buildup, you’re also protecting other aspects of your health.
Plaque that is allowed to develop in your teeth and gums can cause diseases and other health complications. Even if you are diligent with your brushing and flossing, nothing compares to the thoroughness of a professional dental cleaning. While most of your dental hygiene is in your hands, visiting your dentist regularly is critical to avoiding or reversing gum disease. Many dental health issues are silent until they become major, harder to treat problems. Much like how you should check things like your cholesterol and blood pressure every year to cut heart disease off at the pass, you also need to visit your dentist regularly to get ahead of gum disease.
Contact us today to schedule your cleaning. The team at Avery Ranch Dental is dedicated to providing you with the professional dental services you need to protect your smile.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!