Good home care is essential to the health and beauty of your smile. Even if you brush and floss exactly as instructed and never miss a day, it is impossible for you to remove all the tartar that collects on your teeth. Dental cleanings are essential to the health of your teeth and gums – even dentists need dental cleanings!
At Phinney Ridge Dental in Seattle, WA, nothing is as important as preventive dentistry like dental check-ups, cleanings, and exams. Our oral health affects our overall health in ways we may not even realize, read on to learn what health disorders are linked to our oral health. Almost half of the adults in the United States have a severe condition known as gum disease, which affects your gums and can lead to tooth loss, loosened teeth, and complications with other systems in your body. The good news is that with proper oral care, many common diseases and infections can be caught in the early stages before they cause permanent damage.
If it’s been so long since your last dental check-up and cleaning that you can’t even remember, we encourage you to call us today to arrange a visit with one of our doctors.
How Your Oral Health Is Linked To Your Well-Being
The state of your oral health can contribute to one or more of the following conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease—The same bacteria in your mouth can cause inflammation and infection in the heart and arteries, leading to clogged arteries, stroke, and heart disease.
- Endocarditis—The inner lining of your endocardium (your heart chambers or valves) is vulnerable to infection caused by bacteria, germs, or fungi that spread through your bloodstream. If not caught in its early stages, it can cause serious damage to your heart. Bacteria that live in your mouth can cause severe infections, especially if there is bleeding after brushing and flossing.
- Premature pregnancy & low birth weight—Advanced gum disease has been linked to pregnancy complications.
- Respiratory disorders—Bacteria found in your mouth can travel to your lungs and cause pneumonia and other diseases.
- Diabetes—Diabetes can affect your body’s ability to fight infection and disease and puts patients at risk for gum disease. Treating periodontal disease can help control diabetes.
- Osteoporosis—Bone loss and tooth loss are often linked with osteoporosis, and require medical treatment to treat without damage to the jawbone.
Other health conditions that can be affected by the state of your oral health and the advancement of gum disease may include Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and many others.
Some medications can cause dry mouth, which can cause damage to your teeth and gums since saliva is a necessary lubricant to flush toxins and particles. During your dental cleanings with Dr. Micah Bickel or Dr. Bryant Trinh, it’s essential to notify us of any new medications or changes to your health.
Gentle Dental Cleanings
We believe that all dentistry can be a pain-free experience! Dental cleanings are no different. Our highly skilled dental hygiene team uses precision instruments and years of experience to provide gentle, yet thorough dental cleanings that leave you with a smooth, fresh smile. We know that some patients may have had a bad experience in the past or experience dental anxiety at the thought of a dental procedure. Our dental office encourages patients to let our friendly dental team know if extra TLC is necessary.
We are happy to provide sedation dentistry to create a safe and comfortable environment. Dental anxiety not only creates stress for the patient, but it can also make it difficult for Dr. Bickel to inspect or clean thoroughly. Sedation dentistry can help ease anxiety, reduces gag reflex, and makes more lengthy dental procedures easier for everyone.
Personalized Dental Care
Every patient is different, and your oral health may change throughout your lifetime. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, certain medications, and conditions such as diabetes can all affect your oral health. Because we treat each patient at our Phinney Ridge dental practice the way we would treat our own families, we approach dental cleanings in a very individualized way. We evaluate your current level of periodontal health, update your medical history, and provide you with the type of dental cleaning that will benefit you most.
We encourage patients to discuss any new health developments, nagging pains, or dental throbbing, and even how well they sleep. Your dentist might be able to ease or treat factors in your life; you may not have realized where related to dentistry and oral health. It never hurts to talk about any issues. We love getting to know our patients, and being able to discuss your health concerns openly is part of the trust we build together.
Detecting Oral Cancer In Its Early Stages Can Save Your Life
Like many health conditions, oral cancer may not have many tell-tale signs early on. By the time pain or other symptoms are apparent, cancer has moved beyond the first stages of easy treatment to life-threatening.
While this is a scary consideration, patients can prevent this through routine dental check-ups where your dentist checks for oral cancer along with other oral health disorders and illnesses. Regular dental appointments with Phinney Ridge Dental can reduce dental complications and even save your life.
Standard Dental Cleanings
If you have good home care habits and maintain regular dental visits, you will usually just need a “prophy.” A prophy is a dental cleaning that includes removing any tartar from your teeth’s surfaces and polishing them to a smooth sparkle! We will always discuss any changes we see to your teeth or gum tissue. Often the hygiene chair is the first place where conditions such as gum disease, gum recession, and bleeding are noticed.
We will discuss ways to reach and maintain optimum periodontal health through effective home care and dental cleanings.
Mid-Level Dental Cleaning
If you have missed a few dental cleanings, you probably have some catching up to do. Tartar builds up quickly on teeth, and removing it may require some catch-up cleaning. We will remove all tartar from your teeth above and below your gum line, making sure to pay attention to any changes to your tissue.
Once we deep clean your teeth, we will also polish them and discuss a hygiene re-care plan to help you stay on track with good oral health.
If you experience bleeding, pain, tooth mobility, pocketing, or gum recession, you may suffer from gum disease and require specialized dental cleaning that gets rid of an infection in your gum tissue in order to promote healing.
Periodontal dental cleanings eliminate tartar and harmful bacteria from above and below your gum line and may require the application of a local antibiotic to promote healing. Dr. Bickel will make specific follow-up care recommendations to ensure that the infection heals properly and does not return. We will also make any product recommendations that will help restore good oral health.