It is ingrained in us from an early age to visit the dentist every six months. But why? Regular dental cleanings are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. And while implementing good hygiene habits at home can remove the bulk of food, debris, and plaque on your teeth, brushing and flossing are not enough to remove everything. With the help of a dentist, you can help ensure that your teeth remain free of harmful plaque and tartar. During a routine checkup, these are the things a dentist will check for.
Plaque and Tartar
Plaque and tartar are enemies to the teeth and if left unchecked and can also cause extensive damage. Dental plaque is a biofilm containing bacteria that grows on the surface of the teeth. This sticky film is usually colorless at first, but can quickly turn pale yellow or brown as it forms tartar. Bacterial plaque is a leading cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Once tartar forms, it can only be removed by a dental professional as the crusty deposit bonds to the teeth, trapping stains and contributing to discoloration. At your routine cleaning, your dentist will remove plaque and tartar buildup.
Cavities, also referred to as tooth decay or caries, are damaged parts of the hard surfaces of your teeth. Tooth decay is caused by a variety of factors, such as poor oral hygiene habits and the consumption of too much sugar. If cavities are not treated, they can develop into larger cavities that affect the deeper layers of tooth structure, causing possible pain and infection. Dentists will look for signs of tooth decay and take an x-ray of your teeth to look for possible damage to the internal tooth structure.
Severe gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a common yet highly preventable condition that is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. Learn how to improve your gun health here. This serious gum infection can damage the gums and jawbone. If not treated by a dental professional, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and become a risk factor for certain medical conditions, like lung and heart disease. If gum disease is found during a routine cleaning, your dentist will clean the pockets around the teeth to help prevent damage to the jawbone.
Oral cancer includes cancers of the tongue, cheeks, soft and hard palate, floor of the mouth, pharynx, and sinuses. If oral cancer is not diagnosed and treated early, it can become life threatening. Due to the seriousness of this disease, most local dentists make it a priority to perform an oral cancer check to detect possible signs of cancers of the mouth. Some common signs of oral cancer include persistent mouth sores that do not heal, mouth pain, a thickening or lump in the cheek, red or white patch on the tongue, gums, tonsil, or the lining of the mouth, or a persistent sore throat. The good news is that if oral cancer is found early, it can be easily treated.
Dental infections can develop suddenly and get worse quickly. Most people with an infection in the mouth will experience certain signs, such as bad breath, fever, a bitter taste in the mouth, pain, swelling of the gums, sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold, swelling in the jaw, and swollen neck glands. However, these symptoms can sometimes be mild and not very noticeable by the patient. During a routine dental cleaning, your dentist will look for signs of an oral infection. If an infection is found, treatment will be recommended. Most commonly, antibiotics will be prescribed to treat the infection and a treatment plan will be put in place to treat the underlying cause.
Schedule a Cleaning
If you are not currently seeing your dentist every six months, it’s time to make a change. Regular visits to your Clermont dentist can help ensure that your teeth, gums, and oral tissues remain healthy and free of harmful infections and disease. To schedule a routine cleaning with a Clermont family dentistry practice you can trust to care for your smile, contact Hancock Village Dental today.