Why do we need regular professional dental cleanings?
Healthy gums are pink, firm and don't bleed as easily.
Gum disease causes your gums to turn red, puffy and bleed easily.
Maintaining regular dental cleanings is key to long-term health of your teeth. Aside from daily brushing and flossing, regular dental cleanings from your dentist is the best way to maintain excellent oral health. Missing your regular dental cleanings can be very harmful to your oral health. Without periodic dental cleanings, you risk developing gum disease. Gum disease is identified by bleeding gums, bad breath, and sensitive teeth. In its more advanced stages, gum disease can cause tooth mobility and even tooth loss. If you're overdue a dental cleaning, we recommend that you schedule one immediately. There's no way of telling how much damage has been done to your teeth and gums. The sooner you see a dentist, the better your prognosis!
What happens if you fail to keep regular dental cleanings?
If you don't maintain regular dental cleanings, you start building up plaque and tartar on your teeth. Plaque is hardened bacteria, whereas tartar (calculus) is calcified plaque. Failing to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth gradually leads to gum disease. Gum disease eats away at your gum tissue and supporting bone structure. This leads to bleeding gums, loose teeth, tooth sensitivity, and bad breath. Unfortunately, tartar is impossible to remove using over-the-counter cleaning devices such as a toothbrush or dental floss. Only a professional dental cleaning from your dentist or hygienist can properly remove tartar buildup to get your teeth and gums back to a healthy, happy state.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is infection of your gums and the supporting jawbone. Gum disease is very common among the adult population. It affects nearly half the population over 30. The risk of gum disease increases with age. Over 2/3 of the population over 65 suffer from some stage of gum disease. You should not take gum disease lightly! Gum disease is a serious oral condition which can lead to tooth loss. Sadly, it's not uncommon for patients with advanced gum disease to lose most or all of their teeth. The sooner you treat your gum disease, the better the long-term prognosis. Call your dentist to have your gums examined and clean before your gum disease gets out of hand!
What are the stages of gum disease?
Gum disease is divided into two stages, based on the progression of disease, known as gingivitis and periodontitis. Here's what you need to know about these two stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is highlighted by changes in texture and color of your gums. It causes your gums to become red, swollen, and puffy. Occasionally, you will notice pus pockets in between your teeth. Your gums will feel tender and your teeth start to become sensitive. Typically, you will experience frequent gum bleeding episodes, especially when brushing or flossing your teeth.
Periodontitis, or pyorrhea, is the more advanced stage of gum disease which involves your jawbytone. Periodontitis occurs when bacteria spread from your gum tissue to your jawbone. Highlights of Periodontitis include bone loss around you teeth, extreme tooth sensitivity, pus pockets, and eventually, teeth mobility. Only your dentist can help you determine if you suffer from gum disease. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to have your gums examined before your gum disease turns into something worse!
What are the risks of untreated gum disease?
Prognosis depends on how far along your gum disease has progressed. Fortunately, gingivitis is relatively easy to treat. Plus, gingivitis is fully reversible. During gingivitis, the bacterial damage is restricted to your gums. Typically, a good dental cleaning is all that is needed to eliminate the offending bacteria and return your gums to their healthy, happy state.
Periodontitis is a much more serious oral condition. The damage sustained from periodontits is typically not reversible. Essentially, once you lose your supporting jawbone, it's nearly impossible to replace it. Losing your supporting jawbone causes your teeth to become loose, mobile, and eventually fall out of your mouth. Periodontitis destroys your teeth and jawbone. In fact, periodontitis is the number cause of tooth loss among the adult population. What's worse, periodontitis typically causes you to lose multiple teeth, sometimes even all of your teeth.
How frequently do I need a dental cleaning?
You may need a dental cleaning anywhere from one cleaning per year to 1 cleaning every 2 to 3 months. There are many different factors that impact your gum health and how frequently you require a dental cleaning. Here are some of the factors that determine how frequently you should clean your teeth at the dentist:
Oral hygiene and diet
It goes without saying that if you brush and floss your teeth well, you don't need a dental cleaning as frequently. The same goes for your diet. If you're on a healthy diet, especially one low on processed sugars, then you're less likely to need frequent dental cleanings. Be aware that flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing them. Flossing your teeth becomes more and more important as you age.
People with crowded teeth are more likely to develop gum disease. People with crowded teeth always require more frequent dental cleanings. If you have very crowded teeth, it's best to see an orthodontist to straighten your teeth. Otherwise, you may require a dental cleaning every 3 to 4 months for the rest of your life.
Medical background and medications
Those who are suffering from serious medical issues also need to see their dentist more frequently. Medical conditions such as diabetes, Sjogren's syndrome, heart conditions, digestive issues, etc. can have a direct impact on your oral health. Additionally, the medication which you take can also affect your oral health. There are countless medications that contribute to dry mouth. The longer the list of your daily medications, the more likely you are to suffer from dry mouth which leads to gum disease and accelerated cavity formation.
Age is not an absolute factor here. There are many seniors with impeccable oral health. However, aging does make it harder to maintain proper oral hygiene. As we develop more medical problems, take more medications, and develop more bad habits, our oral health becomes compromised. Medical conditions such as arthritis, glaucoma, cancer, etc. all affect our ability to maintain proper oral hygiene and good oral health. Furthermore, the more existing dental work present in your mouth, the more difficult it becomes to maintain your oral health. As a result, most seniors are encouraged to get more frequent dental cleanings.
The average person requires one dental cleaning every 6 months. However, those with advanced gum disease require a dental cleaning every 3 to 4 months. On the other hand, those with impeccable oral hygiene may need just one dental cleaning per year. Only you and your dentist can determine how many dental cleanings you need each year.
Dental cleaning in San Clemente, Orange County
Don't delay your dental cleaning any longer! Give us a call today at (949)481-2540 or book your dental cleaning online today. Come visit us at our San Clemente, Orange County office. We will perform a thorough examination to evaluate your gum health. Dr. Jazayeri will start your dental cleaning and come up with a program to keep your teeth healthy for years to come. Give us a call today and see how easily you can rid yourself of gum disease and get your oral health back under control.
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A pus pocket containing harmful bacteria that forms around infected teeth. Teeth with abscess are considered infected and they either need root canal treatment or must be extracted.
Amalgam (silver filling)
Material used to fill dental cavities. Amalgam is silver colored and contains Mercury. As a filling material, Amalgam is durable and effective. However, there are some concerns about the safety of using Mercury to restore teeth.
Refer to premolar tooth please.
Canine tooth (cuspid or eye tooth)
A strong, pointed tooth with a single cusp used to direct other teeth as we chew side-to-side. Canine teeth are very strong and typically outlast all other teeth as we age. We have 4 total canines, teeth numbers: 6, 11, 22 and 27.
A hole inside a tooth created by harmful cavity bugs. Dental cavities can cause slight tooth sensitivity, particularly to cold and sweets. They can also be asymptomatic. If left untreated, dental cavities infiltrate the tooth pulp and cause abscess and infection.
Composite resin (white filling)
Material used to fill dental cavities and broken teeth. Composite resin is safe, effective and matches your tooth color. Cosmetic dentists prefer using composite resins to other filling restoration material due to their natural appearance.
A large restoration that replaces the majority of your tooth structure above the gum line. Crowns are used to fix teeth which can no longer be salvaged with a simple filling. Crowns are typically made from gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal or ceramic material.
Refer to cavity please.
Deep cleaning (scaling & root planning)
A type of dental cleaning which focuses on removing plaque and tartar underneath your gum line. Deep cleanings are used to treat gum disease. Most deep cleanings are performed in multiple sessions and often times require anesthesia.
Teeth cleaning performed by your dentist or hygienist. Dental cleaning focuses on removing plaque and tartar which can’t be removed by brushing or flossing alone. Dental cleanings are categorized as simple cleaning or deep cleaning.
The middle portion of your tooth which is located above the pulp and underneath the enamel. Unlike enamel, dentin has nerve endings which makes it sensitive to tooth decay.
Removable, false teeth used to replace your missing natural teeth. Dentures are made from pink and white acrylic. The pink portion secures your dentures in place and the white segment replaces your missing teeth. There are many different types of dentures including full dentures and partial dentures.
The very hard outer portion of your tooth. In fact, enamel is the hardest tissue found in our bodies. Enamel protects your tooth from cavities and provides it with the strength to cut and chew food.
Material used by dentists to replace missing tooth structure. Fillings are used to fix dental cavities and broken teeth. Fillings are made from gold (mostly obsolete), Amalgam (silver filling) or composite resin (white filling).
Full Denture (Complete denture)
A set of false teeth which replaces all of your teeth in one arch. Full dentures are held in place by the suction they provide against your gum tissue. Full dentures are typically made from pink and white acrylic.
The earlier stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is characterized by bleeding gums, bad breath and minor tooth sensitivity. If left untreated, gingivitis progresses to the more advanced stage of gum disease known as periodontitis.
Gum Disease (Periodontal disease)
Disease of the gums and jaw bone. Gum disease is caused by spread of harmful bacteria to your gum and jaw bone. Gum disease causes bleeding gums, bone loss and tooth loss. Gum disease is categorized as gingivitis and periodontitis.
A tooth which is trapped underneath your jaw bone. Impacted tooth typically refers to wisdom teeth, although other teeth can also be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth usually need to be removed. Other impacted teeth need to be removed, monitored or uprighted by your orthodontist.
The front most four teeth in your upper and lower jaw. Incisor teeth are used to cut food particles. We have 8 total incisors, teeth numbers: 7, 8, 9, 10, 23, 24, 25 and 26.
Spread of harmful bacteria into your tooth nerve. Once cavity bugs reach your tooth nerve, the tooth is now infected. Infected teeth can only be fixed with a root canal or you must remove the tooth completely.
A type of crown which is a hybrid between fillings and crowns. Inlays are essentially conservative crowns which protect teeth similar to a crown but are conservative similar to a filling. Inlays are smaller than onlays and do not encompass your outer tooth walls.
Teeth located in the back of our mouth which have four cusps. Molar teeth are large and used to crush food particles. We have 8 total molars, teeth numbers: 2, 3, 14, 15, 18, 19, 30 and 31. Additionally, some of us have 3rd molars or wisdom teeth which are teeth numbers: 1, 16, 17 and 32.
Refer to pulp please.
A device worn at nights to protect your teeth against grinding. Night guards help reduce tooth fracture, TMJ pain and headaches. There are two types of night guards, generic night guards which you purchase online or from a local pharmacy and custom night guards which your dentist makes for you.
A type of crown which is a hybrid between fillings and crowns. Onlays are essentially conservative crowns which protect teeth similar to a crown but are conservative similar to a filling. Onlays are larger than inlays and encompass at least one or more of your outer tooth walls.
A set of false teeth which replaces some, but not all, of your missing teeth. Partial dentures are held in place by anchoring to your remaining teeth as well as suction against your gum tissue. Partial dentures can be made from different material including metals, acrylic and flexible resin.
Refer to gum disease please.
The more advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is characterized by bone loss, major tooth sensitivity and loose teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis causes your teeth to loosen and fall out. Plus, the resulting infection can spread to the rest of your body and affect your overall health.
Premolar tooth (bicsupid)
Transitional teeth between our front and molar teeth. Premolars have two cusps and are used to crush food particles. They are also the teeth most commonly removed for braces treatment. We have 8 total bisupids, teeth numbers: 4, 5, 12, 13, 20, 21, 28 and 29.
The innermost tooth layer which lies underneath your dentin. Your tooth pulp contains nerves and blood vessels. When your tooth pulp becomes damaged this results in a toothache. Once this happens, you require a root canal treatment or must remove the tooth.
Pulpotomy is the equivalent of a baby root canal. It entails removing the nerve structure from infected baby teeth. Performing a pulpotomy eliminates toothache while allowing your child to keep the tooth itself in order to prevent potential orthodontic complications.
Root canal treatment
A procedure to remove infected tooth nerve to eliminate pain and infection. During root canal treatment your dentist will disinfect your tooth and replace the missing nerve with sterile material known as Gutta Percha. Root canal treatment eliminates pain and infection and allows you to keep the tooth.
Scaling & root planning
Refer to deep cleaning please.
A preventive treatment used to protect children’s teeth. Dental sealants are placed on teeth with deep groves, typically molars, to protect them against tooth decay and infection. Sealants are very effective and safe and do not require any tooth structure removal.
Techniques used to calm patients with anxiety during dental treatment. There are many different sedation techniques in dentistry such as Nitrous Oxide, oral conscious sedation, IV sedation and general anesthesia.
Refer to Amalgam please.
A dental cleaning performed in absence of gum disease. Simple cleanings typically entail basic tooth scraping and polishing, occasionally with Fluoride treatment. Most people require a simple cleaning once every 6 months, although if you’re suffering from gum disease you need one every 3 to 4 months.
Refer to wisdom tooth please.
Refer to composite resin please.
Wisdom tooth (third molar)
Tooth which is located all the way in the back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth start erupting in your late teens or twenties. Not everyone has wisdom teeth. For those that do, there’s a high probability that you have to remove these teeth. Otherwise, they will cause pain, swelling and infection.