Dentists often advise patients to come in at least once a year for a professional teeth cleaning that removes any potential plaque or tartar buildups. You might think the cleanings aren't necessary since you take proper care of your teeth at home. But there are some oral health conditions stemming from plaque buildups that can pose a risk to your teeth, gums, and jawbone.
Here are a few of the conditions that can stem from skipping your dental cleanings. Some of the conditions occur more than others but all suggest the importance of maintaining the professional cleaning schedule.
Periodontal disease is gum inflammation that develops due to a buildup of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Mild periodontal disease called gingivitis is common and easy and quick to clear up with a cleaning. But avoiding the cleaning and allowing the gingivitis to continue spreading can lead to periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease that can progress to the point of posing a serious risk to the future health of your teeth and jawbone. The bacteria can begin to eat away the soft tissue and jawbone. Infection can move up into teeth or throughout the gums.
If you seek treatment before periodontitis becomes too severe, your dentist can still clear up the problem with a more advanced cleaning. But dallying can allow the disease to progress to the point that teeth begin to die and fall out.
The same oral bacteria that causes periodontal disease can also cause an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth occurs when a gum infection moves up into the tooth via the central root canal. The two areas keep feeding the infection back and forth until both the gums and tooth are painful. A pus-filled lesion can even form on the gums next to the infected tooth.
An untreated abscessed tooth can eventually form a fistula, which is when the bacteria has a burrowed pathway through the jaw and out into other sections of your body. The fistula can pass the infection into your sinus cavity, further into your jaw, or out into your bloodstream.
Visit the dentist as soon as you start to feel pain so that the dentist can clear up the infection and perform a cleaning before the situation is dire.
A calculus bridge happens due to a combination of poor home oral healthcare and years worth of skipped cleanings. The plaque that continues to buildup on teeth over the years eventually hardens to form a firm bridge made of calculus. The bridge can happen between or behind teeth and is much more rigid than traditional softer plaque.
Your dentist would need to use dental shaving tools to clear up a calculus bridge rather than a simple cleaning. So it's much better to catch plaque buildup in the early stages.
For more information, contact a dentist like those at Dillon Family Dental PLLC.
I have never liked my teeth. I had a lot of dental problems, including deep staining and oddly shaped teeth. Every tooth did not have the same shape, and some were rounded while others were more square. Not surprisingly, I never smiled in pictures and not even much in real life. This left people thinking I was mean before they even met me. My dentist told me my best bet to improve the look of my smile was a set of porcelain dental veneers. He said they could make all my teeth white and the same shape. I said I wanted them without any hesitation, and we scheduled my procedures. I love my new teeth, and they really did change my life. I created this blog to help other people living with teeth they don't like realize that they do have options that can improve their smiles and their lives.