Remember the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? It’s especially true when it comes to your teeth, gums, and overall health. When it comes to preventative dental care, most visits are centered around routine professional teeth cleaning.
Why Is It Important to Get Your Teeth Cleaned?
No matter how great you are at brushing and flossing, there will usually be a little bit of plaque left behind. Whether it be just under the gum line or between your teeth, or perhaps around a restoration that’s hard to reach (like a dental bridge) there will be certain areas of your mouth that tartar more naturally builds up.
Only dental professionals are able to reach and remove the plaque and tartar buildup under your gums. Even if tartar is visible, it’s often too hard to safely clean off on your own. Special tools are needed to remove the deposit without damaging the delicate gum tissues next to it. The more routinely your teeth are cleaned, the less buildup there is from visit to visit (making the appointment gentler and helping you keep your teeth healthy throughout the year.)
Even if you don’t have overall health problems, it’s worth it to have your teeth cleaned and examined regularly. Why? Because preventative dental care reduces your chances of needing more costly treatments later. Prevention pays off in more ways than one.
Health Risks of Poor Oral Health
Research on tooth and gum health is constantly evolving and finding new links with other health conditions. To date, we know that dental health can contribute to medical problems like:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Low birth weight
If you’re currently under a doctor’s care for blood pressure problems or pregnancy issues, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is your teeth. However, your mouth is, as they say, the window to the rest of your body. So, having it looked after professionally and cleaned on a regular basis can benefit your overall wellness! You can give your body and immune system the head start that it needs to better manage secondary problems and be less susceptible to other medical issues.
How Does Oral Health Affect Overall Health?
Bacteria inside of dental plaque and calculus (tartar) has the potential to spread from your mouth into the blood vessels around your teeth — especially when the tissues are infected from gum disease. When that happens, our immune system responds, and we experience a higher level of inflammation inside of our bodies.
Actions as simple as chewing and tooth brushing can release live oral bacteria into your bloodstream, especially if there’s active swelling and infection because of gum disease. Planning a regular cleaning at periodic dates throughout the year can help reduce and prevent the number of bacteria potentially spreading during your normal daily routine.
Straining our immune system makes it more difficult to fight off other health conditions. The mouth and body are not two separate beings. Rather, they’re interconnected and should be thought of as such.
Just like a balanced diet, exercise, and regular checkups with your primary care physician help you to stay healthy, routine preventative dental care helps you reduce excessive presence of harmful bacteria inside your mouth.
Teeth Cleaning and Overall Health
Removing bacterial deposits inside of your mouth eliminates the chance of that same plaque biofilm spreading into your cardiovascular system. Studies show that people with medical issues like diabetes can actually gain better control over their health by also addressing their dental health needs. Research continues to suggest that with regular cleanings and treatment of gum disease, diabetics can see an improvement in their blood glucose levels. Essentially, treating both conditions at the same time can help you get better control over diabetes and periodontitis rather than just focusing on one over the other.
When oral bacteria spreads from the mouth and into the bloodstream, it has the potential to cause blood clots within arterial walls. In turn, this situation raises a person’s chance of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.
Again, these are just a few examples. But when you have your teeth cleaned regularly and practice good daily hygiene, you can feel confident knowing that you’re doing everything possible to prevent dental disease from developing.
Importance of Dental Cleanings
Dental cleaning visits are preventative by nature. They’re ideal for helping you avoid the development of common dental diseases like cavities and periodontitis.
Having your mouth evaluated on a frequent basis can help you intercept issues while they’re in the earliest stages. For instance, maybe there’s an area of your mouth that you don’t clean as well because it’s difficult to reach. If our Ottawa dentist notices that the enamel on that tooth is starting to show signs of erosion, you can adjust your self-care routine and supplement with fluoride to prevent the development of tooth decay. If you aren’t having your teeth cleaned and examined regularly, that same area could evolve into an aggressive cavity without you realizing it until it’s too late.
To keep your smile healthy, the Canadian Dental Association recommends seeing your dentist for routine exams and cleanings. For many people who properly practice oral hygiene, that would be every 6-9 months, while others, every 3 or 4 months, if they suffer from periodontal disease or poor dental hygiene practice.
It’s Time for a Checkup
While all these health conditions can sound scary, the good news is that keeping your mouth healthy can have a great impact on your overall wellness. The key is to practice good oral hygiene and have an Ottawa dentist on your side to provide you with quality preventative care and cleanings.
If it’s been a while since your last dental checkup, call Parkdale Dental Centre in Ottawa to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists and our friendly dental team.