“There is real danger in allowing dental plaque and calculus to build up on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria, saliva and food debris that gradually builds up and yellows your teeth. Calculus is plaque which has calcified with minerals precipitated from saliva. The rough surface of calculus makes it easier for dental plaque to stick to your teeth. Smoking, dry mouth conditions, and other factors make some people susceptible to fast formation of calculus and advancing plaque buildup. Any buildup irritates gum tissue and can lead to gum disease. It also puts acid created by bacteria in constant contact with dental enamel. This acid erodes dental enamel, causing dental cavities. Most heavily damaged and lost teeth are the result of too infrequent dental cleanings allowing disease to start. Benign neglect for gum disease, dental caries, and even occlusal problems lead to the need for extensive dentistry. In my practice, we pride ourselves in optimally helping our patients prevent oral health problems.”
– Dr. Jamie J. Alexander DDS, PA
Routine dental cleanings remove harmful dental plaque and any present dental calculus, clean your teeth of easy-to-remove exterior stains, and smooth your tooth surfaces so it is harder for plaque to start building up on your teeth. In healthy mouths of patients who thoroughly brush twice a day and floss once a day, a routine cleaning is usually sufficient to prevent gum disease and dental decay. Because almost all of us fail in thorough cleaning, we do need dental cleanings at least twice a year. Those of us with higher risk factors for periodontal disease need to be especially diligent in scheduling regular cleaning appointments. And those of us with active gum inflammation should have cleanings every three to four months.
During routine dental cleanings, your teeth and gum tissue will be examined for disease. Your gum tissue will be probed to measure the depth of the space between each tooth and its surrounding gum tissue. If the gum tissue bleeds or the depth indicates bacterial inflammation is deepening the pocket, you will be advised about the status of your gum inflammation. Based upon your status, improved home care and, perhaps, periodontal treatment will be recommended. This care is essential for optimal oral health and systemic health.
After probing your gum tissue and making a record of the measurements, special tools will be used to remove dental plaque and calculus. Your teeth will then be polished to make it more difficult for plaque to start sticking to your teeth. When you leave our office, your teeth will be smoother and brighter. Your breath will be fresher, and your mouth will feel healthy clean.