You have likely heard that you need a dental cleaning about twice a year. This is necessary to remove all of the dental plaque and tartar from your mouth. While you may understand the basics of why this is important, you may not know about the more widespread oral health risks that are reduced by investing in a cleaning. Keep reading to learn about a few.
If you seek care from your dentist, then it is unlikely that you will suffer from tooth loss unless you have some sort of accident or incident that damages or knocks out a tooth. However, if you skip your dental cleanings, then tooth loss may be an issue. Tooth loss starts with the buildup of plaque around the gumline. The bacteria in the mouth, like the ones that cause cavities, live off the plaque. Specifically, they use it as a direct food source. As bacteria gather on top of the plaque, they cause gum inflammation.
Gum inflammation is the result of the bacteria themselves and the way your immune system works to try to fight the microorganisms. Also, as the bacteria eat away at the plaque, they start to release chemicals as they digest the matter. The acids damage and burn the gums and increase the swelling. The gums then pull away from the teeth and form gaps. The gaps are called gum pockets, and bacteria settle in the pockets and continue feeding.
Once the bacteria reach below the gum line, they can damage the jawbone. The bone tissues can be damaged by the bacterial chemicals, just like the gums. When this happens, the bone deteriorates and no longer supports the teeth. The tooth or teeth in the region may then need to be pulled.
Dental cleanings can stop this entire process from starting. However, most people will form some gum pockets as they age. This is one reason why you may see your dentist using a small tool called a periodontal probe to measure the depth of the gum pockets. The gum pockets will be considered shallow or deep depending on the size. They will be rinsed out thoroughly during the cleaning and checked during each visit to make sure they do not deepen. If they do and your dentist thinks there is a risk of future tooth loss, then a deeper cleaning may need to be scheduled.
Almost every dental cleaning is completed with you rinsing your mouth with a fluoride solution. Fluoride helps to strengthen your tooth enamel. It does this by encouraging remineralization. Over time, the teeth lose minerals and the dental enamel thins. Basically, the bonds that keep the minerals connected to one another to keep the enamel strong start to break down. The mineral loss can lead to cavities. Thankfully, the broken bonds can be repaired with the assistance of fluoride. When fluoride comes into contact with the teeth, it helps to rebuild the broken bonds. The teeth can then remain strong and healthy.
However, the formation of tartar on the teeth can reduce the enamel's ability to rebuild. The tartar creates a strong and dense layer over the enamel that prevents remineralization. Also, the tartar itself is attacked by bacteria. This means that more and more acids are produced to destroy the bonds that make up the enamel.
The cleaning you receive removes the tartar so that the remineralization can occur. Tartar cannot be removed with your own toothbrush. Your dentist will need to use scraping tools to release it. Thankfully, you can keep tartar at bay once the cleaning is over by removing plaque with your toothbrush each day before tartar has the ability to develop.
For more information about your oral health and the benefits of dental cleanings, contact a dental office in your area, such as Justice Dental.Share