How important is it to have my teeth professionally cleaned? What should I expect if I wait too long between dental visits?
Twice daily brushing and flossing at least once a day, is very beneficial but it doesn’t eliminate plaque between teeth and below the gum line. When plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar that can only be removed by a professional cleaning. This porous buildup is the perfect breeding ground for oral bacteria. When excessive amounts of plaque and tartar are present, the immune system kicks in and starts to attack the surrounding soft tissue. This defense response is gingivitis, early-stage gum disease. Never ignore bleeding gums.
This common inflammatory response is the result of infrequent dental cleanings and/or poor oral hygiene habits. Swelling causes the tooth to detach from the gum, forming bacteria-filled pockets. This is late stage gum disease, or periodontitis an incurable condition which can lead to tooth and bone loss if left untreated.
Every patient has unique needs; therefore, some people require teeth cleanings every six months, and others every three, and so on. Your treatment schedule is dependent on your oral health history and current requirements. An assessment will be taken to determine the best course of action for you.
If you haven’t had a professional teeth cleaning in many years, your visit may be longer than usual to get you back on track. If you have periodontal disease, it is imperative to get you on a regular treatment schedule to manage the condition.