Preventive hygiene cleanings

Your Oral Hygiene Is Vital For The Health of Your Body

All you need to know about oral hygiene and dental cleanings

Oral health provides insight into your entire body’s health.

Bad oral health is a risk to your general health because the two are connected.

That's why keeping up with good oral hygiene is vital to your health in general.

Here you will find out about what to expect when you come for a dental cleaning and what you should do before you arrive, what possible results you may get after the appointment, and what you can do to prevent oral disease.

What does it mean to have your teeth cleaned by a dentist?

Routine teeth cleanings don’t just keep your pearly whites sparkling, they’re also vital for overall health and well-being.

For something that proactive people do twice a year, you’d be surprised at how much more there is to know about your bi-annual visit.

Here is a quick but comprehensive list of how to prepare for, and what to expect at, your next teeth cleaning.

What should you do before the appointment?

The mouth is seen as its own entity that must be looked after and cared for separately from the rest of the body.

In reality, however, your mouth is intricately connected with everything else. Doctors can look to the mouth for indicators and causes of all kinds of health problems and diseases few would think to link with the mouth, including conditions such as dementia and heart disease.

Teeth cleanings are essential for keeping not only your mouth clean and healthy, but also the rest of your body.

This guide will allow you to recognize and prepare for a quality cleaning.

  • FAMILY HISTORY

    Gum disease is strongly linked to genetics, so it’s important to collect your family’s history of the issue.

    Informing your dentist of the kind and severity of your family’s gum disease can help the two of you put together a plan to keep you healthy.

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  • ANTIBIOTICS

    Everyone has bacteria in their mouth that can enter the bloodstream (then called bacteremia) with certain dental procedures.

    Normally this isn’t an issue, as people with strong and healthy immune systems can easily ward off any problems.

    However, as normal and safe as this usually is, for some there is the possibility of the bacteremia spreading and causing an infection somewhere else in the body.

    Because of this an antibiotic might be prescribed to ensure the safety of the patient.

    Guidelines for prevention of endocarditis

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  • WHY ARE REGULAR TEETH CLEANINGS IMPORTANT?

    Teeth cleanings are vital for two reasons

    • To keep teeth healthy and from falling out
    • To prevent diseases that start or show symptoms in the mouth that affect other parts of the body such as heart disease, dementia, and the complications of diabetes.

    Mouths require unique attention and care.

    While the buildup of plaque and tartar is natural, too much buildup causes gum disease.

    Regular teeth cleanings remove plaque and tartar, preventing gum disease.

    Leaving tarter buildup unchecked leaves the body to take care of the issue itself.

    The body detects the tarter as a foreigner and your gums become inflamed and begin to bleed in an attempt to rid the mouth of the tartar.

    This reaction is gum disease. As it continues, it will damage your bone and tissue.

    As your immune system is meant to fight off infections for short spurts of time, continually calling on it will weaken it, making it more difficult for it to fight off infections elsewhere.

    This is how gum disease can indirectly cause more serious ailments such as stroke, heart disease, and dementia.

    At some point, the damage done can’t be fixed and becomes permanent.

    This is why prevention is critical for maintaining a healthy body and strong teeth- and teeth cleanings are a substantial part of this prevention.

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  • WHAT IS A TEETH CLEANING?

    A professional teeth cleaning is performed at a dentist’s office by a hygienist.

    The hygienist uses advanced tools to remove tartar buildup beyond what a toothbrush and toothpaste can do.

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What's happening during cleaning appointments?

  • WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT

    Throughout the cleaning your hygienist will be talking you through what's being done and why.

    He or she will also be explaining to you what might be causing any sensitivity or gum bleeding while also recording the pockets around your teeth, gum recession, and your teeth mobility.

    During a cleaning, you might have X-rays taken to observe bone levels along with previous dental work and/or cavities.

    Soft tissue will also by looked at for any irregularities.

    If you have sensitive teeth or deep pockets that need extra attention or more comprehensive scaling and root planing a local anesthetic may be applied.

    Our hygienist at Eastport Dental Centre is trained to use a soft tissue Picasso diode laser to reduce bacteria in the gums and prevent bacteremia, which can travel through the blood from the gums and infect other parts of the body, and remove infected tissue from pockets.

    To finish off the cleaning we’ll remove calculus buildup, first using an ultrasonic machine, and then by hand.

    After the calculus has been removed your teeth will be polished to prevent future buildup and stains and then they will be flossed and treated with fluoride to prevent cavities.

    To send you off, your hygienist will demonstrate correct brushing and flossing techniques that you can use at home to prevent future decay and disease.

    Before you go you can also ask your dentist for a diagnosis of gum disease.

    Unlike your hygienist, your dentist has the authority to tell you at what stage an gum disease is and what you should do about it.

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  • WHY POCKET READINGS ARE IMPORTANT

    A small pocket around each tooth connects your teeth to your gums.

    A healthy person’s pockets range in depth from 1 to 3 millimeters.

    The depth can change, however, due to either inflation at the top, or decay at the bottom.

    The ligaments holding your teeth and gums together can be destroyed by an enzyme your body makes when it believes it's being attacked.

    A pocket reading is an important measurement because it can tell you how healthy your gums really are and whether or not they need attention.

    The best way to keep your pockets from deepening is by following prescribed teeth-healthy habits at home and scheduling regular teeth cleanings at your dentist.

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Possible results of an oral hygiene exam

  • NO GUM DISEASE

    Being without gum disease means your gums don’t bleed when your hygienist flosses them or measures your pockets.

    Bleeding at these times indicates inflammation, which can indicate gum disease.

    If it's determined that you don't have gum disease you may be able to reduce your regular cleanings to once a year.

    A life without gum disease gives you a greater chance at a life without dementia and heart disease along with fewer severe complications if you have diabetes.

    The less inflammation you have, the better your body will be able to protect itself against other intruders.

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  • GINGIVITIS

    Gingivitis is found in approximately 80% of North Americans.

    If you have gingivitis, your gums will bleed when your teeth are flossed or your pockets are measured.

    Redness along the top rim of your gums is not uncommon.

    Gingivitis is your mouths way of fighting an infection, so if you have it, your gums are diseased.

    You can tell if you have it because healthy gums don't bleed during these common procedures.

    Treatment: You are going to need to increase your oral hygiene routine at home and may need to increase your dental more frequently.

    Always remember to floss and brush every day in order to keep your teeth and gums clean and infection-free.

    You may consider replacing an old or hard toothbrush as this may further irritate your gums.

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  • EARLY PERIODONTITIS

    Early Periodontitis means gingivitis has been rooted in your gums for a while without being treated and has now moved into something more dangerous and irreversible.

    Your gums bleed often and you probably have deeper pockets than are healthy. The ligaments connecting your gums and teeth may even be damaged.

    Furthermore, your gums will have started to recede as they heal from inflammation.

    As your gums fall away from your teeth, your roots are left exposed and can become more sensitive.

    Treatment: Early periodontitis will quickly lead to bone loss around your teeth without immediate attention.

    Your dentist will want to give you a deep cleaning. This deep cleaning is also known as scale and root planing.

    A root planing is now necessary as it is impossible to remove this kind of hardened tartar and calculus buildup with regular brushing and flossing.

    Having a scale and root planing will give you the opportunity to correct your insufficient hygiene routine before your teeth degrade any furthe.

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  • MODERATE TO SEVERE PERIODONTITIS

    When Periodontitis progresses past its early phase, it becomes harder and harder to reverse.

    Treatment: Multiple scale and root planing appointments will be necessary, along with a high probability of needing surgery.

    Most importantly, you will need to learn to take better care of your teeth at home, brushing and flossing after every meal, every day, in order for the work done at the dentist not to be reversed.

    You can learn about proper cleaning techniques from your hygienist that can keep your teeth as healthy as possible.

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How can gum disease influence your life?

Gum disease is something that must be checked regularly throughout your life.

Whether you’re at a very early stage or haven’t had it at all, your mouth’s condition is constantly changing and requires diligent care.

Our brushing and flossing habits, along with the way we eat affects the health of our mouth.

The above guidelines are aimed towards gum disease from plaque buildup.

However, gum disease can be caused by other things such as medications, root canals, pregnancy, and teeth grinding.

Teeth cleanings are essential for keeping not only your mouth clean and healthy, but also the rest of your body.

This guide will allow you to recognize and prepare for a quality cleaning.

If you have gum disease, you have to keep up healthy habits and build new ones to keep your teeth, and the rest of your body, healthy.

While prevention is easy enough, once you have gum disease it's important that you see your dentist because it's a complicated issue and is unique in each person.

Your dentist can make you an individualized plan for restoring your mouth to full health.

The early stages of gum disease can be reversed, However, once it progresses past those early stages it can only be stopped from getting worse and full recovery cannot be attained.

Furthermore, once you have lost bone around your teeth from moderate to severe periodontitis, you have contracted an irreversible disease.

While determined work on your part can keep the disease from progressing any more and reduce inflammation, you will most likely need surgery and or implants and you will never regain the health and status of your teeth before the disease.

Once you have bone loss, you can’t get it back. You jaw may be permanently altered from the disease.

That's why it's imperative that you maintain proper oral health by:

  • Brushing and flossing twice a day or after every meal
  • Eating lots of veggies
  • Attending professional dental cleanings as prescribed by your dentist

Gum disease is not hard to prevent, but it's difficult, if not impossible, to reverse once you have it.

Home care is essential — regular professional cleanings aren’t enough.

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Prevent Gum Disease

Come for regular dental cleanings to prevent gum disease and other dental issues

It’s much easier to prevent than to treat or deal with the consequences of bad health habits. Come for regular dental appointments and our hygienist will check your oral health, especially your gums, and will collaborate with Dr. Alex Newman on the most effective dental treatment for you.