3 Problems You Can Prevent With Regular Dental Cleanings

Every dentist recommends regular dental cleanings, and most dental patients are familiar with the teeth whitening and cavity-fighting benefits of professional cleanings. However, the importance of dental cleanings doesn't end here.

Regular dental cleanings reduce your risk of certain health conditions both in the mouth and in other systems of the body. Here are three problems you can prevent with regular dental cleanings.

1. Halitosis

Halitosis isn't a serious medical condition, but it certainly isn't one that anyone would like to live with. Bad breath is directly linked to the level of bacterial activity in the mouth. Bacteria can hide in nooks and crannies in the teeth, in the lining of the gums and dental sockets, and even on the tongue between taste buds.

Dental cleanings remove bacteria and plaque on the teeth, tongue, and beneath the gum line. In other words, a professional cleaning eliminates all the primary sources of bad breath. Your dentist can even recommend antibacterial mouthwash and other solutions to fight bad breath between cleanings.

2. Periodontitis

Periodontitis is an oral health condition characterized by redness, bleeding, and deterioration in the gums. This condition is also sometimes known as gum disease. Periodontitis is inflammation in the gums that occurs in response to acids secreted by bacteria in plaque and tartar. 

Advanced periodontitis can cause severe gum tissue recession that may lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, removing plaque and tartar buildup and maintaining good dental hygiene can reverse the effects of gum disease.

A professional dental cleaning is necessary to remove all traces of plaque and tartar from the teeth. While brushing at home can prevent plaque formation and remove existing plaque, a toothbrush is ineffective for removing hardened tartar. Your dentist must remove tartar in the office with a scraping tool known as a scaler. 

3. Cardiovascular Disease

Recent research advances have shown that poor oral hygiene could be linked to heart disease and stroke. While the mechanism of this interaction isn't fully understood, it is known that oral bacteria can infiltrate the bloodstream through the gums. Oral bacteria in the blood causes an increase in C-reactive protein levels, a good indicator of cardiovascular stress.

Regular dental cleanings are crucial for the health of your teeth as well as your overall health. Instead of waiting until a toothache or other dental issue arises to visit the dentist, you should be proactive about your dental health. Stick to regular dental cleanings so you can prevent many dental problems from occurring in the first place.

For more information, contact a local dental office, like Midtown Family Dentistry.