Generally, teeth cleanings are recommended once every six months for a patient with no serious ongoing dental needs. When you visit our Manhattan Beach General Dentist, our dental hygienist will conduct an examination to evaluate and identify signs of inflammation and disease. We will discuss the findings with you to identify underlying issues that could compromise your oral health.
A plan for treatment will then be developed based on your dental needs. Keep in mind that every patient is unique with their own specific needs and risk factors for gum disease. As a result, more frequent cleaning and a more intense cleaning regimen may be established for at-home oral hygiene.
During a routine cleaning, your hygienist or dentist will remove plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gumline. If plaque and tartar debris are allowed to build up and remain around and below the gumline, it may lead to gum disease or periodontitis. Periodontitis is more advanced than gum disease, or inflammation of the soft tissues.
Periodontal disease is caused by the overgrowth and accumulation of dental plaque, which causes disintegration of the bone around the teeth, forming pockets between your teeth and under your gums. These pockets become infected and will continue to deepen, causing the underlying bone structure to gradually disintegrate. Ultimately your teeth become loose, putting you at great risk of losing teeth.
General dentistry and a routine of regular visits to our Manhattan Beach General Dentist office or cleanings can help prevent periodontitis through the removal of soft plaque and hard calculus (tartar) during a cleaning. Over time, the cumulative staining effect of certain beverages and foods can cause your teeth to become discolored. Routine dental cleanings also include polishing of your teeth, improving the appearance of your smile by reducing surface staining.
The basic cause of all tooth decay is plaque and tartar. A combination of bacteria, food particles, and saliva collect on teeth causing the formation of plaque, particularly at the gum line. If plaque is left for extended periods on the surface of the tooth, it will harden into a cement-like substance called tartar requiring removal by our Manhattan Beach Dentist Office. Bacteria that are found in plaque and tartar create acidic byproducts that lead to cavities by eating through healthy tooth enamel.
How to Prevent Plaque and Tartar Buildup
Diligent oral hygiene is the best way to slow the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. As you brush and floss you also remove a good percentage of plaque from your teeth, preventing the buildup of tartar. The bacteria that causes teeth to decay thrives on any sugar that lingers on the teeth, so obviously avoiding sugary foods will help reduce the buildup of plaque.
Regular visits to your dentist are vital to the successful management of plaque and tartar buildup. Your dental hygienist will provide a thorough dental cleaning designed to remove the plaque and tartar that routine brushing and flossing might leave behind. During the same visit, your dentist can also monitor changes to your teeth, using x-rays or digital imaging that will reveal decay in your teeth before it becomes a serious problem.
Treatment for Plaque and Tartar Buildup
Once you have a buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth, it can only be removed by your dentist. Our Manhattan Beach, California Dentist uses tools designed specifically for the removal of plaque and tartar. These dental tools are more effective than a toothbrush at removing stubborn buildups, and will also help prevent decay from developing.
Aside from tooth decay, a severe plaque buildup can lead to periodontal, or gum, disease. The Bacteria that remains under the gum line can lead to a more serious infection in the gums, gingivitis. Left untreated, severe infection can occur which will require antibiotics to restore your oral and general health.
Our mouths require as much care as the rest of our body. Many people focus on superficial needs of their mouth without understanding that their mouth is also a breeding ground for bacteria if not properly maintained. The most efficient way to maintain your oral health is to schedule routine examinations and professional dental cleanings twice a year with your Dentist Manhattan Beach, California.
It is essential to brush and floss regularly in order to keep bacteria at bay. It is imperative that you maintain your dental hygiene by meticulously brushing your teeth. Be certain to include this important oral hygiene task into your daily routine, especially if you drink beverages that stain the teeth like coffee and red wine. Drinking coffee, tea and red wine or using tobacco products increase your risk of stains that will require bleaching treatments to correct.
Plaque build-up can lead to tooth loss. When plaque builds up over time it will harden into a substance known as calculus. This cement-like deposit seeps into the gums and gives bacteria an entry point to sub gingival structures. Without proper tools to remove this substance bacteria will continue to multiply and the colonization will lead to periodontal problems.
If left untreated, an abscess could develop. Your immune system will naturally try to combat the foreign organisms, causing an inflammatory response. The patient will notice that the area around the tooth is swollen and the abscess is likely to cause great discomfort, especially when the specific tooth is used to chew.
If this is not resolved, the bacteria may travel to the nervous tissue, maxillary sinus and in severe cases, even the brain. Your oral cavity is made up of vital tissue, and although our immune system fights off infection, it may not be enough to prevent a serious infection from occurring and spreading. Practice diligent at-home oral hygiene and make regular appointments with your Manhattan Beach Cosmetic Dentist to maintain good oral health.