The American Dental Association doesn’t endorse a one-size-fits-all schedule for visiting the dentist. Many people will do just fine with one or two teeth cleanings each year. Those who suffer from gum disease, severe tooth decay or other serious dental conditions may be advised to visit a dental hygienist more often.

Regardless of your unique oral health needs, you only stand to gain by scheduling regular teeth cleanings. They will not just make your teeth appear whiter. Teeth cleanings also promote greater overall health, as poor dental hygiene is associated with several chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes.

Here are just a few of the reasons why regular teeth cleaning matters!

Teeth Cleanings Make Your Teeth Whiter

Whiter teeth are the most aesthetically pleasing benefit of regular teeth cleaning. Most adults have tartar – a yellowish crust that accumulates on the teeth once dental plaque hardens. In addition to scraping away tarter, a dental hygienist also removes acidic plaque before it can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Teeth Cleanings Make Your Breath Fresher

Teeth cleaning removes a wide variety of bacteria from your mouth. Many of these bacteria, which include B. fragilis, T. denticola, P. gingivalis and P. endodontalis, are known to contribute to halitosis. Once a dental hygienist has removed the vast majority of these and other bacteria from your teeth, you are likely to notice that you have a fresher tasting mouth and better breath.

Teeth Cleanings Can Prevent Gum Disease

If they remain on the teeth long enough, tartar and plaque can irritate and inflame the gums. This condition is called gingivitis – a mild form of gum disease that can develop into more serious periodontitis when it is left untreated. Periodontitis can cause teeth to loosen and fall out, but it is entirely preventable if you practice good oral hygiene.

Teeth Cleanings Can Prevent Heart Disease

Patients who have gum disease also have a significantly higher risk of developing heart disease. This is because the same bacteria which cause gum disease are capable of traveling to the heart through the bloodstream. For example, stroke victims who are found to have S. sanguis inside their hearts also frequently have large numbers of the bacteria around their gums. By preventing bacteria from growing around their patients’ gums, dental hygienists also prevent those bacteria from reaching their hearts!

Teeth Cleanings Can Detect Oral Cancer

Approximately 30 Americans die of oral cancer every day. Many of them could have been saved had they regularly visited the dentist, as the disease’s cure rate is almost 90% when it is detected early on. Every teeth cleaning performed by Centrasota Dental includes a routine oral cancer screening exam, during which the inside of the patient’s mouth is inspected for sores, lumps and discoloration. Additional screening methods are available to confirm whether oral cancer is present.

Teeth Cleanings Can Reveal Dental Fractures

You may not even notice if one of your teeth is chipped, cracked or fractured beneath the gum line. Unfortunately, a hard-to-detect tooth fracture can easily lead to decay which eventually spreads to the jawbone and surrounding soft tissues. In addition to tooth loss, tooth decay can cause serious infections including sepsis and osteomyelitis. Regular teeth cleaning will reveal a tooth fracture before it might lead to those potentially life-threatening conditions.

Teeth Cleanings Can Reveal the Presence of TMJ

Between 5 and 12% of Americans currently suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) – and they may not even know when they have it. TMJ is characterized by pain, discomfort or any other symptom that arises when the joints which connect the skull to the jawbone aren’t functioning correctly. If your dentist detects that you have TMJ during the course of a regular teeth cleaning, they may advise applying a cold pack to your face, performing stretching exercises, or even a corrective dental treatment that restores the bite to its ideal position.

Teeth Cleanings Can Save You Money

Regular teeth cleanings can detect the presence of numerous dental issues which, if left untreated, may ultimately require costly intervention. Treating these conditions early on typically costs comparatively little, which is why teeth cleaning exemplifies the penny saved, dollar earned mentality!

Centrasota Dental provides the dental hygienist St Cloud, MN residents can rely on to keep their teeth whiter, their breath fresher, and their overall health better. If you would like to schedule a teeth cleaning, then we welcome you to contact Centrasota Dental today. Our prosthodontist Dr. Congdon and our team are always available to discuss our wide range of routine and cosmetic dentistry services.