Time To Spring Clean (Your Teeth)!
It’s that time of year again… Time to dust off the cobwebs, air out the house, and spring clean your teeth at Spokane Dental! Many people know that getting a dental cleaning leaves you with a sparkly grin and smooth feeling teeth, but there is much more to it than that. Regular dental cleanings are essential to the health of your teeth and gums as well as your whole body. Here’s how:
What’s Really Going On?
While you lay back and relax, your dental hygienist is actually using an array of tools specifically designed to safely remove plaque and tartar build up from your teeth, both above and below the gums. You may think the “cleaning” part is the spinning toothbrush like cup at the end with your pick of flavor, but that is really just the icing on the (fluoridated) cake!
Our mouths are filled with bacteria. Like the rest of the body, there is plenty of good bacteria to keep everything in balance. However, there is “bad” bacteria as well, and if it isn’t taken care of it can wreak havoc on the gums and teeth. This bad bacteria hangs out on the teeth in communities, or “bacterial colonies”. When your teeth feel fuzzy or you notice some plaque hanging around, that is actually a colony of bacteria!
This bacteria consumes carbohydrates: so all of those crackers, soda, and starchy carbs are a feast for the colonies on your teeth. The bacteria then excretes acidic waste that eats away at your enamel and causes inflammation in your gums. This is how we end up with cavities and gum disease. Gross? Maybe. Fascinating? Definitely!
Hygienist To the Rescue!
Dental hygienists are specially trained to not only know what’s happening on a microscopic level in your mouth, but also how to make a preventive plan of attack to keep your mouth healthy. The problem with those pesky bacterial colonies is they like to stick around, literally, and form hard tartar. Dental professionals call this “calculus” build up.
It’s like a snowball effect: plaque sticks to the teeth, hardens over time, then collects more. The more plaque and calculus, the more inflammation in your mouth.
At home, you can remove plaque above the gums with proper brushing and flossing. The problem is, there is a small pocket between the teeth and gums that a toothbrush just can’t reach. That’s where dental hygienists come in. They remove the hardened plaque and calculus both above the gums and under, stopping inflammation and disease in its tracks. This is why regular cleanings are essential to oral health.
High Stakes Cleaning
Not only are you protecting your oral health with dental cleanings and regular exams, but you are protecting your entire body from diseases such as diabetes, dementia, heart disease, and more. The presence of inflammation in the mouth and “bad bacteria” associated with gum disease has been linked to all of the inflammatory diseases we listed and more. The oral-systemic connection is proving to be stronger than we ever knew, and the importance of a healthy mouth is showing to be more and more important to overall health.
Finish your spring to do list with a dental cleaning and exam at Spokane Dental. We are here to assist you in being the healthiest version of yourself you can be! Call us today at (509)822-5614 to schedule the whole family.