Why Regular Dental Cleaning Is Essential
You probably know that professional dental cleanings keep your smile bright, but did you know that they are also good for your health? It’s true! Research links poor oral hygiene to several illnesses – some of which are serious conditions. Fortunately, a dental hygienist can remove most of the stains that dull and discolor your teeth, and in the process, help you avoid a number of health conditions.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of dental problems, including:
- gum disease
- bone loss
- tooth loss.
Dental hygienists can perform deep cleaning on teeth to remove the bacteria, plaque, tartar and acids that can cause cavities, gum disease and a dull-looking smile. Dental cleanings at a dentist’s office can brighten your smile and reduce your risk for dental problems. Professional cleanings can also reduce your risk for other diseases associated in insufficient oral hygiene.
Regular Dental Cleanings can Reduce Your Risk for Certain Illnesses
Thousands of bacteria live in your mouth – most are harmless, but a few can cause tooth decay and other dental problems, such as bone loss in the jaw and tooth loss. Some of these bacteria can even lead to problems elsewhere in the body. Regular brushing and flossing can remove these bacteria before they do harm, but many people do not brush and floss as they should; this can leave them at higher risk for illness.
The American Heart Association discusses research that shows that people who brush fewer than two times a day for two minutes had three times the risk of cardiovascular disease than do people who brush twice daily for two minutes per tooth brushing session. While researchers are still working to determine exactly how inadequate dental cleaning increases the risk for heart and blood vessel problems, it is likely that inflammation and bacteria associated with gum disease narrow important arteries.
The American Heart Association also associates poor oral hygiene with strokes. The organization discusses one study in which researchers found mouth bacteria in the brains of stroke patients. Inflammation resulting from gum disease appears to play an important role in the development and progression of atherosclerosis, commonly known as “hardening of the arteries,” affecting the arteries that deliver oxygen to the brain. The study found strokes due to atherosclerosis of the large arteries serving the brain were twice as common in people with gum disease as in people without gum disease.
Research shows that chronic infections and inflammation, like those associated with gum disease from poor dental hygiene, are associated with an increased risk for cancer. One study shows that the bacteria that cause periodontitis play a role in the development of pancreatic cancer. Other research shows an association between periodontitis and other types of cancer, particularly lung cancer and colorectal cancer.
Furthermore, professional dental cleanings provide dentists and dental hygienists with an opportunity to detect signs of oral cancer early, when it is easiest to treat. Signs of oral cancer include a sore in the mouth that never heals, pain in the mouth, a lump in the cheek, and red or white patch on the gums, tonsil, tongue, or inside of the cheek.
Regular dental cleanings also give your dental health professional a chance to detect early signs of other dental problems, such as gum disease, broken fillings and fractures.
Finally, regular dental cleanings can save you money by helping you detect simple and inexpensive problems early, before they turn into complicated and expensive issues. You’ll save money on dental expenses in the long run by taking advantage of your insurance policy
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Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.