Deep cleanings, Gum health, and Heart Disease

Is it really necessary?

Deep cleanings are recommended when the gums are suffering from a chronic irritation that they cannot resolve on their own. Bacteria form colonies that become almost as hard as a rock, and often this occurs under our gums where we can’t feel it with our tongue. Our body cannot get rid of the hardened colonies no matter how well we brush, floss, or rinse. Over time, leaving these colonies, called tartar or calculus, causes us to lose bone and eventually our teeth become loose and are lost.

By cleaning the tooth and gum area, the body can then heal naturally, keeping us from losing more bone or allowing the problem to spread to other areas of the mouth.

Does gum health affect the rest of my overall health?

Yes, it absolutely does. Gum health is interconnected with several other illnesses, including diabetes. It is much more challenging for people to control their diabetic condition when their gum health is not under control. This is one of the best places to start if you are currently diabetic or have been told you are pre-diabetic.

New areas of study are finding that Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and heart attack risk also increase with chronic gum disease. When the body is constantly ‘inflamed’, which is when the body believes it is fighting off an infection, it will release chemicals that float throughout our bloodstream, making our blood vessel walls thicken. Over time this is a major factor in heart disease and stroke and is believed to be a factor in other chronic conditions such as dementia.

Getting your gums healthy is one of the ‘low hanging fruit’ of lowering your risk of heart disease.

Does it hurt to have my teeth cleaned?

You should know that we have the most gentle hygienists in the world!

However, deep cleanings can often involve sensitive gums, which are especially sensitive because of the bacteria around them. Our dental hygienists are very kind people by nature and go out of their way to make our patients as comfortable as possible. Sometimes this can be helped with numbing gel placed with a brush, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or a numbing injection if requested.

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