Why do I need a cleaning?
Regular dental cleanings and checkups are vital to the maintenance of good oral health. Brushing twice daily and flossing once daily will help minimize potential surprises at dental checkups. Still, it is very common to have tartar/calculus accumulation on teeth even despite brushing or flossing at home, due to naturally-occurring components of saliva. Increased plaque on tooth surfaces leads to inflammation of gum tissue, which in turn promotes destruction of bone and loosening teeth; this is the progression from gum disease (gingivitis) to periodontal disease.
If you’ve had effective, routine home care, the cleaning will help remove stubborn buildup at the gumline and polish off surface stains, and regular examinations can catch small problems before they become big ones.
What if a regular cleaning is not enough?
If it’s been a while since your last dental checkup, or if your diet or oral hygiene regimen has led to gum disease, a deeper cleaning may be necessary. This will be tailored to your specific needs; sometimes only certain parts of the mouth are in need of a deeper cleaning (scaling). Local anesthesia can help make a deep cleaning more comfortable and effective. For those with more advanced periodontal disease, an evaluation and cleaning at a periodontist may be necessary. Other treatments that may be recommended include oral antibiotics, prescription toothpastes or rinses, or gum surgery.
How often do I need a cleaning?
Most people will accumulate enough plaque and stain that having the teeth cleaned twice a year is beneficial. In certain cases, more or less frequent cleanings are indicated; we discuss this on an individual basis. Even people with partial or complete dentures should still have their gums and any remaining teeth regularly cleaned and checked to help avoid future problems.
What if it’s been a while since my last cleaning?
If it’s been a while since your last dental cleaning, don’t be discouraged – it’s not too late to establish good oral hygiene habits. Give us a call at 318-869-2535 today to schedule a cleaning and checkup.