Dental — Patient showing Tongue in Salt Lake City, UT


2 Reasons to Get Your Teeth Professionally Examined and Cleaned Now

If it's been a long time since you had your teeth professionally examined and cleaned by a dentist, it's time to schedule an appointment now. Even if your teeth appear healthy, problems can hide in places you can't see or detect yourself. These issues include tooth enamel damage and gingivitis.
Here are two reasons to get your teeth professionally examined and cleaned now.


1. Tooth Enamel Damage


Your tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body. But even as resilient as tooth enamel is, it's still vulnerable to cracks and decay. Tooth cracks and decay aren't always visible to the naked eye. In many cases, you won't know that you have any issues with your teeth until they become worse.


For instance, tooth cracks can be so small or thin that you don’t notice them. Other cracks can occur near or beneath the gumline. These types of cracks can allow bacteria to enter the soft tissues inside your teeth and infect them. Some infections can cause permanent damage to your teeth.


Cavities (tooth decay) can hide behind and between your teeth. Cavities may also be so small that they require X-rays to detect. Small cavities can also allow germs to spread to the tissues hidden inside your teeth crowns. This type of damage requires root canal treatment and dental crowns to repair.


A dental cleaning allows a dentist or their hygienist to thoroughly examine the surfaces of your teeth with dental probes and x-rays. If your exam does reveal cracks, fractures, or decay, a dentist can repair them with artificial tooth crowns, fillings, and other types of restorations.


If the exam reveals other issues with your teeth that may potentially lead to cracks or decay, such as mineral loss and trauma, a dental specialist can use the right treatments to strengthen them. A number of dentists prescribe special kinds of toothpaste and rinses to their patients. However, your overall treatment may vary, depending on your needs.


2. Gingivitis

Tooth damage isn't the only thing a dental exam and cleaning can reveal. An exam and cleaning can help a dentist detect signs of gingivitis.


Although gingivitis is the mildest and least dangerous form of gum disease (periodontal disease), it can still cause problems for you. Like small cavities, gingivitis doesn't always cause symptoms or reveal itself. The oral condition can take a number of years before it damages your gums and other mouth tissues. 


Gingivitis is a bacterial infection of the gums that causes a number of symptoms, including red, swollen gums. Some adults notice that their gums bleed when they brush and floss their teeth. However, a good number of other adults don't know that they have gingivitis. In these cases, the symptoms of gingivitis can subtle enough to ignore.


To keep your mouth healthy, it's important to have your teeth examined and cleaned by a dentist. A dentist can inspect all of your gums for redness, swelling, and tenderness. Gingivitis can show up in various places in your mouth, including in the gum tissue around your molars and premolars. 


The exam may also reveal a few hidden signs of gingivitis, such as tartar buildup and halitosis. When plaque becomes hard, it forms a shell-like material called tartar. Tartar usually sits along the gumline of your teeth. Hard tartar can also push beneath your gumline and cover your teeth roots.


Halitosis occurs when bacteria build up in your mouth. As bacteria feed on the plaque in your mouth, the organisms release a foul odor that smells similar to bad or rotten eggs. The odor can become worse when you have gingivitis. 


If a dental provider or hygienist does detect signs of gingivitis, they'll take action. Instead of simply cleaning your teeth crowns, a dental specialist will clean the area beneath your gumline as well. Hard and soft plaque can spread to your teeth roots. 


If the infection in your gums damaged them or made them recede, a dentist may treat your gums with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications. The treatments kill the bacteria in your gums, which allows your gums to heal or recover from the infection. 


After treatment, a dentist may request that you return to the office at a later date for a follow-up treatment or exam. Although a dentist can reverse the damage caused by gingivitis, the oral condition can return if you don't brush your teeth regularly or if you don't follow your dentist's instructions properly.


The dental problems above are just two of the reasons to have your teeth examined and cleaned by a dentist. Adults who don't see their dentists once a year for an exam and a tooth cleaning may also be susceptible to mouth sores and dry mouth. 


You can keep your mouth happy by contacting All Valley Dental for your personal exam and cleaning today.