Checkups and Cleanings – Northwest OKC
Keeping Your Teeth and Gums Free of Plaque
The bacteria in your mouth are constantly forming a layer of plaque on your teeth, and if it’s not removed it could very easily lead to cavities and gum disease. While you can get rid of a lot of plaque by yourself, it can be all too easy to miss some spots by accident. That’s why the American Dental Association recommends that you see a dentist in Northwest OKC regularly for checkups and cleanings. If you’re due for some preventive care, contact Bluff Creek Dental today!
Why a Healthy Mouth is Important
If cavities are allowed to form and aren’t treated, the bacteria on your teeth could easily get past the tooth’s protective enamel layer and infect the pulp. In addition to being very painful, infected pulp can abscess (meaning it forms a pocket of pus) and cause damage in other parts of the body. You can also lose the tooth altogether, which in itself can lead to further health issues.
Infected gums (a condition known as gum disease) can have a powerfully negative long-term effect on your health. Not only can it cause you to lose your teeth, but it can also contribute to severe, possibly life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, respiratory infections, and liver cancer.
The good news is that tooth decay and gum disease are most easily dealt with in their earlier stages; regular dental checkups and cleanings can help us make sure these problems are caught as soon as possible. Of course, we can also help stop them from happening in the first place!
During the checkup, we’ll check your teeth for the presence of cavities, plaque and tartar. We can help you find areas that you’ve missed while brushing to that you can adjust your oral health habits accordingly. Your gums will also be examined for signs of inflammation, bleeding and recession. Finally, we’ll perform an oral cancer screening to see if there are any signs of cancer on your tongue, in your throat, or on your face or neck. You should receive a thorough checkup at least twice a year.
Sometimes we’ll also use X-rays that give us a better look at the parts of your mouth that aren’t usually seen, such as inside the jawbone or between the teeth; this way we can look for bone loss, impacted wisdom teeth and other such issues. You’ll usually receive one dental X-ray a year.
Like checkups, you should receive at least two dental cleanings a year. You can remove plaque from your teeth on your own, but tartar has been hardened and can’t be removed with a toothbrush. We can remove this troublesome substance using special tools in a process called scaling; we’ll also polish the tooth to help remove surface stains and make it harder for bacteria to become reattached. And of course, flossing is an essential step to make sure even the hard-to-reach areas in your mouth are free of bacteria and debris!