Cleanings are Essential
To maintain a healthy smile, every person over the age of one should visit the dentist twice a year for a cleaning appointment. Why? Plaque, a naturally occurring sticky and smelly substance, grows on your teeth. Over time, the plaque that’s not removed daily by brushing and flossing hardens into an insoluble substance called tartar, or calculus. Brushing and flossing can’t remove tartar, so over time, the bacterial plaque causes irritation leading to swollen, tender, and infected gums – a condition called gum disease. During your professional cleanings, the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar. Cleanings will reduce your potential for gum disease, gum recession, and early tooth loss.
The Progression of Gum Disease
About 80 percent of Americans have some level of gum disease. The early, milder stage is called gingivitis. You may have heard this term in toothpaste or mouthwash commercials. Over time, gingivitis turns into full-fledged gum disease and can exacerbate into periodontitis. In this late stage, gum and bone tissue die from disease, and without these supporting structures, teeth fall out. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in our nation.
Fortunately, in most cases, gum disease is preventable! Prevention starts at home with brushing and flossing every day. Six-month cleanings are also essential, and at your cleaning if you have questions about brushing and flossing or the products you use for oral care, we’ll be happy to answer them.
If bacteria cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, pockets will form at the gum line. There, bacteria will thrive and breed, and infection will spread. Should you show signs of gum disease, our dental team will recommend a deep cleaning, which may involve:
- Scaling to remove plaque and tartar below the gum line
- Root planing to smooth rough root surfaces that often harbor tartar
- Arestin antibiotic, a topical treatment for the bacterial infection
- Laser gum treatment
Keep Your Smile Consistently Clean and Healthy
With regular dental and periodontal cleanings, you can keep your smile clean and healthy for life. To schedule your next appointment, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry today at 248-693-6213. Located in Lake Orion, MI, we also proudly serve the residents of Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Clarkston, Oxford, all surrounding communities.
Our office also has charging stations for electrical car parking!