Dental Cleanings Explained

Categories: Dental Cleaning

A regular professional dental cleaning is a very important pillar in maintaining oral health and your general health.

Maintaining a good oral hygiene starts with good daily home care of brushing and flossing to control plaque and calculus buildup on your teeth, and lower the oral bacterial count. But even with best regular brushing technique some plaque and bacteria will still collect under the gums and around your teeth and eventually absorb enough minerals from your saliva to become solid hard, what we call at this stage dental calculus or tartar.

Dental calculus is hard enough that it is impossible to be removed with just brushing and flossing, that’s where an in office professional cleaning every three to six months comes to play in restoring oral health.

Why is dental calculus bad?

Dental calculus is a solid hard material made up mainly of dead bacteria and other debris as well as minerals from saliva and tissue fluid. Harm from dental calculus on its own is limited but one of its main characters is a rough porous surface which makes a fertile ground for other harmful bacteria to adhere around teeth and start producing toxins that will cause gum inflammation, in other words- gingivitis.

If gingivitis is left untreated for long enough it can progress to inflammation of the apparatus that anchors teeth to the jawbone and is called periodontitis or periodontal disease. Overtime, periodontitis dissolves the bone portion that is dedicated to hold teeth solid in place causing mobility and shifting of teeth and eventually, if severe enough, to tooth loss.

With regular in office professional cleanings we aim to combat gingivitis and prevent periodontitis from happening, as periodontitis is often irreversible. But even at the stage of periodontitis a lot can be made to stop its progression and preventing tooth loss.

What to expect during your cleaning appointment:

  • Calculus (tartar) removal.
  • Plaque removal.
  • Teeth Polishing.
  • Dental exam and oral cancer screening.