How Do Extra Cleanings Help My Heart?

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How Are Gum Disease and Heart Health Related?

As it turns out, the health of your gums and the health of your heart are directly related to one another.

Periodontal Disease also known as gum disease is an infection caused by an accumulation of harmful bacteria within the mouth around the tooth and under the gums.. In order to properly manage the infection, deep cleanings known as scaling and root planing are done to remove the harmful bacteria below the gumline. 

In the case that the patient fails to receive the cleaning that they need, the bacteria accumulates and can lead to an infection.  The gum tissue has many blood vessels and an untreated infection eventually faces the risk of entering the bloodstream, which can easily and quickly transmit the infection to the heart. The bacteria in the mouth loves to affect the heart valve.This has the potential to lead to heart attack, stroke, and various heart conditions.

People who have their teeth professionally cleaned as recommended by their dentist are 24% less likely to be at risk for a heart attack and 13% less likely to have a stroke.

Deep Cleanings Explained

So, what exactly is a deep cleaning? How does it differ from a “regular” cleaning? 

Deep cleanings, clinically referred to as scaling and root planings, are designed to eliminate all signs of plaque and bacteria both above and below the gumline. 

When an individual has periodontal disease (gum disease), they have a high amount of tartar, known as calculus,  in the mouth. When plaque is not removed, the minerals in the saliva make the plaque hard and can change into calculus. Calculus is a porous material that more plaque can attach, harden, and slowly get larger and larger. This calculus is impossible to remove without the use of professional dental tools. 

If the calculus sits on the teeth and gums with no intervention, it allows harmful bacteria to eat away at the bone structure. This can lead to looseness in the teeth and eventual tooth loss.

During your scaling and root planing treatment, the dental hygienist will use a dental handpiece to remove the calculus from both above and below the gumline. After the calculus has been removed, an antibiotic solution will be placed beneath the gums to keep the area clean and to discourage the growth of bacteria. The hygienist may also use a laser to debride and disinfect  the underlying gum tissue that has been damaged by the bacteria.You will be asked to return for these cleanings every three months - rather than every six months like with a regular cleaning -  in order to properly manage your condition. This is a periodontal maintenance appointment in which the hygienist will monitor the pockets, debride and maintain the deeper pockets. Once it is under control, the hygienist will determine how often you should get a regular cleaning.

Dental Cleanings in San Jose, CA

With the information you’ve learned here, you’ll have a more solid understanding of just how important it is to maintain your oral health and receive the extra cleanings that you need. It goes far beyond keeping your teeth looking great; it’s a matter of keeping your heart and the rest of your body healthy, as well.

Here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists, we are dedicated to helping you stay happy and healthy. For more information about deep dental cleanings in San Jose or to get scheduled for an appointment with us, give us a call anytime at (408) 478-9081.

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