Every day, your goal should be to keep food particles and the oral bacteria that feed on them (which combine to form dental plaque) off of your teeth. You can mostly accomplish this with responsible snacking habits and brushing/flossing your teeth at least twice a day, but some hard-to-reach plaque spots are bound to remain. Routine checkups and cleanings help prevent gum disease and dental issues that result from oral bacteria buildup, and help you stay ahead of any issues that develop between visits.
Gum disease makes its first appearance as gingivitis – an infection in your gums that results from bacteria overwhelming the tissues. The infection manifests as redness, irritation, swelling, and bleeding in your gums, and before long, it will become gum disease and cause irreversible damage to your periodontal tissues. Because the symptoms often go unnoticed, gum disease is frequently ignored until serious damage occurs, making it the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.
Used correctly and often enough, your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss can help you defend your teeth against the daily accumulation of dental plaque. When you miss a spot, however, plaque can calcify into tartar (calculus), which is insoluble and will remain on your teeth until you attend a dental cleaning.
During your visit, your hygienist will carefully and professionally remove plaque/tartar from all surfaces of your teeth, especially along your gum line. After cleaning them, your hygienist will polish your teeth for a beautiful, healthy shine, and also to make it more difficult for oral bacteria to stick to them.
If oral bacteria have already worked their way under your gums, then a simple cleaning may not suffice, and we may recommend a scaling and root planing (or periodontal cleaning). The deeper preventive cleaning allows your dentist to remove bacteria deposits, including tartar, from tooth root surfaces underneath your gums. Removing the bacteria can abate the infection, and if done early enough, may prevent gingivitis from developing into gum disease.
Schedule Your Next Preventive Visit
To improve your chances of preventing gum disease, be sure to maintain a regular schedule of visits to your dentist office. To schedule your next checkup and cleaning appointment, call Lone Star Dental Care in Frisco, TX, today at 972-335-7100.