Why You May Have To Have More Frequent Dental Cleanings

Throughout your childhood, your dentist may have recommended that you receive preventive oral care once every six months. However, now that you have reached adulthood, you may notice that your dentist has scheduled you to have your teeth cleaned more frequently. 

Here are a few reasons why a dentist may suggest that you receive dental cleanings more than twice a year. 

You Smoke

Smokers often suffer a decline in their oral health that can result in gum disease, tooth decay, and excessive tartar buildup. As a result, your dentist may want to monitor the health of your teeth and gums more closely. Additionally, they may need to clean your teeth more frequently to minimize tartar accumulations.

The oral health problems experienced by smokers are partially due to the reduction in blood oxygen levels. Due to the blood's lower oxygen content, gum problems heal more slowly. Additionally, smoking is associated with an increase in plaque and tartar buildup. 

Plaque is soft and can be removed by a toothbrush. However, when it remains in place for a prolonged amount of time, it hardens to form tartar. The more plaque there is in the mouth of a smoker, the more likely it is that tartar will form.

Due to the heavier buildup of tartar, dental cleanings may be scheduled more frequently for people who smoke. During the visit, the dentist can also check for other issues that could negatively impact oral health.

You Are Older And Have Periodontitis

People of advanced age have a greater likelihood of developing periodontal disease. An advanced form of the condition, periodontitis, may result in the loss of teeth and bone tissue. 

Periodontitis causes the formation of pockets or spaces between the teeth and gums. Bacteria and plaque enter these spaces and accumulate. As the pockets deepen, oral microbes and plaque have greater access to the jawbone and the roots of the teeth. 

The tartar forms as the plaque hardens. To help eliminate the infection caused by the oral bacteria and aid in the healing of the gums, the tartar must be removed, and the surface of the teeth below the gums must be smooth. Consequently, in addition to more frequent regular dental cleanings, the dentist may prescribe periodic scaling and root planing treatments.

During these special cleanings, tartar is removed from the roots of the teeth. Additionally, the roots are smoothed. 

If you have questions about the frequency of your dental cleanings, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.