Sticking to regular dental cleanings and periodontal maintenance is key to managing your oral health.
Dental cleanings are divided into preventative maintenance and treatment for existing oral health conditions. For example, “regular” dental cleanings are considered preventative and done for people with good oral health and no bone loss or active infection.
Periodontal maintenance is reserved for those who may have advanced tooth or gum disease. Periodontal maintenance includes a more in-depth cleaning that targets plaque and tartar build-up below the gum line. It is also done to assess you for ongoing oral health issues and prevent them from progressing.
There is a link between your oral health and other conditions, such as heart disease, type 1 and 2 diabetes, and in serious cases, cancer.
What Happens During Regular Dental Cleanings?
Regular cleanings generally occur twice a year or as recommended by your dentist. During regular cleanings (prophylaxis), your hygienist scales and polishes your teeth above the gumline. These cleanings are done when your overall oral health is good and keeping up with preventative care to avoid gum disease.
What Can I Expect During Periodontal Maintenance?
On the other hand, periodontal maintenance is considered a treatment of existing gum diseases, such as gingivitis, advanced tooth decay, and periodontal disease/bone loss.
Performed to reduce any problems from progressing it involves scaling and root planing to prevent complications. Root planing is a deep cleaning that removes plaque and tartar below the gumline. Once the cleaning has been completed, the hygienist assesses your gums for pockets or infections. They also check for other conditions such as mouth and tongue cancer, loose or broken teeth, and receding gums.
Are There Links Between Oral and Physical Well-being?
Keeping your teeth healthy is vital to your overall well-being. There is a link between your oral health and other conditions, such as heart disease, type 1 and 2 diabetes, and in serious cases, cancer. However, it is especially prevalent in those affected by type 2 diabetes.
Smoking increases your risk of mouth or tongue cancer, other cancers, high blood pressure, bad circulation, heart disease, and more.
This is often because people who have type 2 diabetes often experience slow healing, bacterial infections, and compromised immune systems. Additionally, they may have certain lifestyle factors that increase their risk of periodontal or gum disease, such as obesity or eating excessive amounts of sugary or highly processed foods.
Stay on Top of Your Oral Health With the Following:
Some conditions may not be preventable based on genetics, but there are some general things you can do to stay on top of your health, including:
- Eating a healthy diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, and lean meats or tofu. Avoid sugary snacks when possible, as they affect your teeth and contribute to oral health problems and periodontal disease.
- Drinking plenty of water and stay hydrated. Aim for 90-125 ounces of water a day, and more if you engage in physical activity or live in a hot environment.
- Exercising regularly. Get 150 minutes a week of moderate to intense physical activity. This includes 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Dancing, gardening, household chores, hitting the gym, playing a sport, and taking a walk or run can help you achieve this.
- Quitting smoking. Tobacco has disastrous results on your teeth and mouth. Smoking increases your risk of mouth or tongue cancer, other cancers, high blood pressure, bad circulation, heart disease, and more.
- Go to your dentist appointments. Get regularly scheduled cleanings and periodontal maintenance appointments as recommended by Dr. Anders.
- Scrape your tongue. Scraping your tongue prevents bad breath and mouth infections. This good habit will also heighten your ability to taste flavors.
- Brush your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes (Anders Dental recommends an electric brush), and floss each night. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste and place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward your gums. Doing this eliminates plaque and bacteria at the gum line. Ensure you brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the tops, backs, and sides. When flossing, it’s vital to get below the gumline as well, to remove hard-to-reach plaque buildup.
- Manage your stress. Depression, anxiety, and other conditions can cause cravings for unhealthy foods, directly impacting oral health. Try meditating, journaling, reading, exercising, or engaging in a relaxing activity or hobby that interests you for fast stress relief.
- Get enough sleep. Restful sleep is vital to our health and happiness. When we don’t get enough of it, stress hormones, such as the production of cortisol, are increased. This affects your ability to concentrate and function effectively. It also affects our relationship with food, causing cravings for sweet or carb-filled snacks, resulting in tartar and plaque buildup, cavities, and gum disease.
How Can Anders Dental Help?
We are your Black Mountain, NC dentist! We are here for you and your tooth and gum health, and have patients from all over WNC from Tennessee, South Carolina, and Virginia. As a regional clinic, we bring holistic dentistry to everyone.
We are known for practicing a unique, mercury-free approach to dentistry and having years of experience working with adults and children, we partner with you to achieve full body health.
Our services include regular cleanings, periodontal maintenance, mercury-free fillings and crowns, cosmetic and restorative dentistry, and SAFE amalgam removal.
We firmly believe your health starts from the inside. Book an appointment today!