How Often Should You Get A Professional Teeth Cleaning?
Having your teeth professionally cleaned is important to your oral health as well as your overall health and wellness. Dental cleanings remove plaque from your teeth that accumulates over time. Even if you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day as dentists recommend, there will still be places where plaque forms. Letting plaque remain on your teeth over time has negative effects on your oral health.
How often should you have your teeth professionally cleaned for optimal dental and oral health? Here’s what dentists and dental specialists recommend.
Dental Cleaning Frequency for the Average Patient
It is recommended that the average patient have their teeth cleaned and examined every 6 months. If you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, dental cleanings twice a year should be sufficient to remove plaque and keep your teeth and the soft tissues of your mouth healthy. It should reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, called periodontal disease in dentistry, is an infection of the gum tissue. It is caused by plaque that develops on your teeth along and below the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film made up of food residue and bacteria that clings to the teeth and settles into tiny, microscopic places in your mouth. When it remains on your teeth for too long, the bacteria mature to a point where they are capable of irritating your gum tissue and causing an infection.
Dental Cleaning Frequency for Patients Prone to Gum Disease
Patients who have advanced or recurring gum disease may need to have their teeth professionally cleaned more frequently. If you’ve had gum disease that is severe enough that you were referred to a periodontist, you may need more frequent cleanings. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in treatment of the support structures for the teeth, especially the gums.
Once your gum disease has been treated, you may need periodic cleanings to keep it from returning, referred to as periodontal maintenance. A periodontal maintenance program includes scheduled dental cleanings at a specific frequency, such as monthly, every other month, or quarterly. You may require less frequent appointments as your gum tissue heals.
What Are the Risks of Gum Disease?
Gum disease can start out mild, but it may develop into a serious condition. The early stages include red, swollen, and bleeding gums. More advanced gum disease can cause bad breath and could result in abscesses (sores) on your gums. If the symptoms are ignored and the condition goes untreated, it could cause the gum tissue and ligaments to pull away from the teeth and the jaw bone to deteriorate, resulting in loose teeth that may eventually fall out.
Why is Periodontal Maintenance Important?
If your dentist or periodontist recommends periodontal maintenance, it is for good reason. As stated above, untreated gum disease can lead to poor oral health and even loss of teeth. But more frequent teeth cleanings can keep gum disease at bay. If you have diabetes you are at a higher risk of developing gum disease because of the increased amount of sugar in your saliva. Eating a diet that is high in sugar also increases your risk, making periodontal maintenance important.
Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry Provides Periodontal Maintenance
Gum disease can be kept in check with a periodontal maintenance plan from Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry. We can customize a schedule to meet your individual needs, providing professional teeth cleaning and other periodontal services to restore and maintain your dental and oral health.