When A Dental ‘Cleaning’ Is A Waste Of Money.

Posted on Jul 01, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Your six-month dental hygiene appointment likely includes a ‘cleaning,’ which, among other things, removes plaque buildup that has formed around teeth between visits. This buildup typically occurs when daily brushing and flossing fails to remove bacteria accumulation in the mouth.

When bacteria multiply in the mouth, they soon form a sticky film that hardens on teeth. This hardened form of bacteria is ‘plaque.’ It eats away at tooth surfaces, gum tissues and eventually the bone that supports teeth. When plaque is above the gum line, a hygienist uses special tools to scrape it off. However, when bacteria get below the gum line, a more rigorous line of treatment is required.

To rid bacteria below the gum line, one treatment is “soft tissue management.” This is a process of cleaning below the gums where oral bacteria now thrive. Although you may not perceive the presence of gum disease, this stage requires a more aggressive form of ‘cleaning’ beyond what a standard cleaning appointment can help, yet, not so severe that a more advanced level of treatment is needed.

Untreated gum disease will worsen and lead to severe tenderness, persistent bad breath, bleeding gums, pockets of pus that form around the teeth, and eventual tooth loss. At this stage, teeth may be saved with intensive, surgical periodontal treatment.

Gum disease will not go away without treatment. Brushing and flossing cannot remove plaque, nor will a basic cleaning remove bacteria that exists below the gums. Of course, the best way to deal with this problem is to avoid it in the first place. However, if you’re dealing with the consequences, the sooner you have treatment, the less cost and treatment time will be required. Keep in mind that the resulting tooth loss creates an entirely new round of expenses and appointment times.

Early treatment also helps to reduce the risk of oral bacteria contributing to serious health problems. Through tears in gum tissues, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream. This bacteria has been associated with increased risks of heart disease, stroke, memory loss, diabetes, some cancers, impotency and preterm babies. Without a doubt, this bacteria is nothing to ignore for many reasons.

A Periodontist has specialized skills to successfully treat all stages of periodontal problems, comfortably and efficiently. Call (828) 274-9440 to learn more or arrange a consultation appointment.

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