The Important Role of Routine Dental Cleanings
How often do you go to the dentist for a routine checkup or cleaning? Do you go as often as you should, or do you wait for there to be a problem before you come in? If you’re like most in Lincroft, you fall into the latter category.
You may have convinced yourself that routine dental cleanings are only for people who are obsessive over their teeth. After all, who could possibly need a teeth cleaning every SIX MONTHS?
Everyone, as it turns out.
We do some funny things to convince ourselves that we don’t have to follow the recommendations of health professionals, but the recommendation for a six month cleaning really could save your life, and we want to talk about that in detail today.
Saving Your Life, One Appointment at a Time
We do many things at a routine dental cleaning, and we’ll talk about those things a little bit later, but for now, we want to focus on one thing: prophylaxis.
Prophylaxis is a term that refers to the actual cleaning you receive when you come into the office. We use special instruments to clean the plaque and bacteria from around your teeth as well as below the gumline. This is buildup that can’t be touched by your toothbrush and floss!
No matter how well you clean your teeth on a daily basis, plaque will still build, and you’ll still need to come into the office for those routine cleanings in order to prevent bacteria from working deep into your gums and causing gingivitis or gum disease.
So, How Does This Save My Life?
How could a dental cleaning save your life? It’s all about the relationship between the gum disease bacteria and the rest of your body. As researchers and scientists have been digging into some of the most deadly health concerns, like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes, they are finding links to gum disease.
These aren’t just little links, either, but major relationships that we don’t fully understand yet. For example, a recent study found that men who develop gum disease increase their risk of later developing pancreatic cancer by 64%! Did you know that pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly because it is so difficult to catch?
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most terrifying diagnoses for patients and their families. It is a long, difficult road for most. In the constant searches to discover a cause or treatment for Alzheimer’s, scientists discovered the p. gingivalis bacteria (the gum disease bacteria) in the brains of those patients who lived with this condition. It is not in a healthy, functioning brain.
These findings lead any reasonable person to see that there are clear connections between gum disease and the rest of your systemic health. By preventing gum disease, you could very well be able to lower your risk for these other, more concerning conditions.
Guess what? Prevention is easier than you might think: routine dental cleanings.
The Impact of Prophylaxis
As we mentioned above, the primary role of a dental cleaning is to remove the plaque and bacteria that are building around your teeth and gums. By removing the bacteria, we are often able to remove the beginnings of a gum disease infection, called gingivitis. We will let you know what we’ve found so that you can do more at home to prevent further problems.
While you’re in the chair, we will also check on the health of your fillings, make sure there are no signs of decay, screen for oral cancer, and take X-rays to be sure the roots of your teeth are healthy and stable.
If you want a healthy smile and a healthy body, there is no better way to begin than with a routine, six-month dental cleaning and exam. We recommend that you schedule these appointments six months in advance so that you always have the next one on your calendar!
Ready to Make a Change?
Are you ready to make a change that could, quite possibly, save your life? Contact us today to set up your next (or first in decades) dental exam and cleaning. We would love to see you, no matter how long its been since your last visit! Come see us soon!