Why Teeth Cleanings Are Necessary

Teeth cleanings are an essential part of keeping your mouth and the rest of your body disease free. 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.

Updated: November 14, 2017

Teeth cleaning is part of oral hygiene and involves the removal of dental plaque from teeth. People should routinely clean their own teeth by brushing and interdental cleaning.
Teeth cleaning is done to prevent cavities (dental caries), gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
Teeth cleanings are essential not just for clean teeth, but a healthy mind and body as well.
Teeth cleanings are an essential part of keeping your mouth and the rest of your body disease free.  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.

Why Teeth Cleanings Are Necessary?

When you have a teeth cleaning, the bacteria that are in your mouth can get into the bloodstream after the procedure. A healthy immune system prevents these bacteria from causing any harm. But for certain groups of people, this bacteria could cause an infection elsewhere in the body. In those cases antibiotics can be used to cure the infection.

Teeth cleanings are necessary for two reasons:

  • To prevent diseases in the rest of the body like heart disease, dementia, and complications of diabetes
  • To prevent tooth loss

Teeth cleanings remove the buildup of plaque and tartar which is natural. But too much buildup leads to gum disease. So plaque and tartar needs to be removed to prevent gum disease.
Gum disease is a serious condition which occurs when the gum tissues surrounding teeth become infected because of a buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. These are infections that harm the gum and bone that hold teeth in place. If not treated, this infection can damage the bones, gums and tissue that support your teeth. This will result you to loose teeth that your dentist may have to remove. With the proper treatment, including regular visit to your dentist gum disease is reversible.
Gum disease is when your body’s immune system is responding to this tartar buildup with inflamed and bleeding gums. A healthy immune system can fight off these infections. But in case gum disease progresses it will lead to the destruction of your bone and tissues in your mouth. Your immune system is meant only to fight off infection for a short period of time. However, chronic activation of the immune system won’t be as strong to fight off an illness and can lead to diseases in the rest of your body. So preventing gum disease reduces risk of stroke, heart disease, and dementia.

What Is a Teeth Cleaning?

A professional teeth cleaning is done to remove tartar from your teeth, both above and below where the gum meets the tooth by using tools.

Why a Pocket Reading Is So Important For Overall Health:

The depth of the gum tissue between the teeth and gums are called pockets when it is five millimeters or more. Normal healthy pockets will be no more than 3 millimeters deep.
The dental hygienist will use an instrument called a probe to measure the area around your teeth to see if you have any pocketing (area between the tooth and gum where bacteria will form).

The size of this little pocket can change in two ways:

  • Ligaments are present at the bottom of the pocket that hold the gum and tooth together. These ligaments are eaten away by the enzyme produced by the body. Enzymes are produced when the body feels it is under attack (collagenase). This makes the pocket deeper.
  • The top flap of the pocket can grow in size due to inflammation.

Pockets can get deeper from the top or the bottom which is not good for your health. Deeper pockets are indicators of disease. A pocket reading is an indicator of your health which is a measurement of the size of your pockets.
You can prevent your pockets from deepening with proper oral hygiene at home and regular teeth cleanings, which will prevent your gums from being inflamed.
Make sure you are:

  • Brushing and flossing after meals, or at least twice per day.
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables
  • Making an appointment for every three months if you have gum disease, or every six months if you do not have gum disease and are just maintaining good health.

Gum disease is easy to prevent, but a hard disease to get rid of. Therefore home care is essential.


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