Teeth cleanings are essential not just for clean teeth, but a healthy mind and body as well. Many people see the mouth as separate from the rest of their body. But the reality is that it’s all connected — and problems in your mouth can cause or even act as an indicator of disease in other parts of your body — including dementia and heart disease. But for such a routine visit, there’s lots that people don’t know about. Here’s what you should know and what you should expect out of your next teeth cleaning.
Understand Why Teeth Cleanings Are Necessary
We need teeth cleanings for two reasons:
- To prevent diseases in the rest of the body like heart disease, dementia, and complications of diabetes
- To prevent tooth loss
The mouth is an area that’s completely different from the entire body, and it takes quite a beating from the food we eat and the talking we do all day long. And this unique environment requires special care.
Teeth cleanings remove the buildup of plaque and tartar. This buildup is for the most part natural, but too much buildup leads to gum disease.
Gum disease is when your body’s immune system is responding to this tartar buildup with inflamed and bleeding gums. The immune system response is successful at killing off invaders like infection, but at a cost: as gum disease progresses, so does the destruction to your bone and tissues in your mouth.
Your immune system is meant only to fight off infection for a short period of time — chronic activation of the immune system means it can get worn out and it won’t be as strong to fight off an illness. Chronic activation of the immune system can lead to diseases in the rest of your body.
That’s why preventing gum disease reduces risk of stroke, heart disease, and dementia.
At a certain stage, this damage is irreversible, so prevention is the best way to maintain overall health and keep beautiful teeth for a lifetime — and teeth cleanings are a critical piece of this prevention.
What Is a Teeth Cleaning and what should I expect?
A professional teeth cleaning is done by a licensed hygienist at a dentist’s office. The hygienist uses tools to remove plaque, tartar, and stain from your teeth — both above and below where the gum meets the tooth. Home care, such as proper brushing and flossing methods, will be reviewed, and products such as mouth rinses or special brushes may be recommended to you if you need them. At the end of your cleaning, the dentist will evaluate your teeth for cavities and/or broken teeth, and perform an oral cancer exam. Any further treatment you may need will be discussed with you, and all your questions answered. At Crowns Now we take the routine care of your teeth seriously and make every effort to ensure that your experience is comfortable and informative.