If you have a busy lifestyle, slotting annual dental cleanings into your schedule may not seem like a priority, particularly if you aren’t currently experiencing any issues with your teeth. Nevertheless, they are a crucial part of your preventative dental care and should be a priority for every patient. Here’s why.
You may not be in any pain with your teeth now or have noticed any other issues. However, this is one of the ways in which many people get caught with dental problems. Many develop slowly, and symptoms are subtle and gradual meaning that damage can occur without us realizing it. The good news is that if you attend an annual dental cleaning, your dentist or hygienist will have the opportunity to assess your teeth, spotting any problems early so that you can get treatment before they cause pain and other symptoms.
Plaque is a clear, sticky biofilm that forms constantly on our teeth. It is caused by the combination of saliva, bacteria and food debris and while invisible, it is very harmful to our teeth, causing decay and gum disease. Regular brushing helps to keep it under control, but if you miss any areas when cleaning your teeth – and let’s face it, nobody can clean them perfectly themselves – over time, the plaque that is left behind will harden. When this happens, it becomes known as tartar. Yellowish-brown in color, it is unsightly and impossible to remove using a toothbrush or floss. Only professional tools can get the job done and your annual dental cleaning is when this will happen. Left untreated, tartar will continue to damage your teeth, causing decay and gum disease.
Gum disease is the silent enemy of oral health. We say this because it starts off so mildly that it is easy to overlook. Nevertheless, this progressive condition can eventually cause so much damage that your jawbone may deteriorate, your face shape may change, your teeth may fall out and you may even develop other health problems as a result of the infection ravaging your mouth. Gum disease occurs when plaque extends onto the gum tissue and bacteria cause irritation, and, as the bacteria continue to multiply, infection. Professional dental cleans can remove plaque and tartar before this happens, preventing gum disease from occurring or reversing the early stages of the condition.
As well as protecting you from gum disease, annual dental cleanings can help you to avoid decay and a range of other dental issues too. This is because clean teeth are less likely to be affected by problems like decay, sensitivity, and fragility that could cause cracks or fractures.
Around 24 people in the United States are estimated to die as a result of oral cancer every day. Like many other cancers, oral cancer is treatable if detected early on, and the earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the prognosis for the patient. for this reason, all reputable dentists are trained in the signs of oral cancer and incorporate checking for these abnormalities into the services that they offer their patients, including annual dental cleanings.
To find out more about annual dental cleanings, or to schedule your appointment for a professional clean, please contact Castro Valley Dentistry friendly dentistry team today at (510) 674-0900.