You would be surprised it is not the reason that you might think. Not because they are dirty or you want them to look better or whiter, it’s not for looks. The reason for a cleaning is to maintain healthy gums, teeth and ultimately for the health of your entire body.
Why are my gums bleeding?
Everyone has bacteria in their mouth, good and bad bacteria. These bacteria produce a sticky film called plaque. When this bacterium called plaque is allowed to build up at the gumline and adhere to the teeth it causes microscopic ulcers that bleed. This toxic waste substance is harmful to the surrounding gum tissue causing inflammation in the gum tissue called gingivitis, Periodontal disease. These microscopic ulcers bleed when you brush or floss. This is what is happening when you see blood in your mouth. You would be concerned if you were bleeding other places in your body, right? Why would you ignore the bleeding in your mouth? The important thing to know here; is that these painless ulcers allow inflammation and bacteria to enter your blood stream.
What is Gum Disease?
These toxins also cause the gum attachment to the tooth to break down resulting in recession and increased pocket depth. In Healthy gums the top of the tissue does not attach to the tooth. There is a space of 2-3 millimeters around the tooth called the sulcus. Bacteria and toxins can build up in this sulcus causing the tissue to move away from the tooth forming a pocket. A pocket of 4 millimeters or more is difficult to clean and maintain at home.
Once bacteria sit there and does not get removed regularly through brushing and flossing this sticky substance begins to eat at the tissue and cause it to move away from the tooth also known as a periodontal pocket. When you hear your hygienist calling out numbers around each tooth, she is measuring the amount of tissue that has moved away from the tooth. The bigger the pocket the harder it is for you to keep it clean at home.
Why do I have bone Loss?
The deeper the pocket gets the harder it is to clean out the bacteria and consequently more bacteria collects and this process snowballs and accelerates as time goes by. The toxins produced by the bacteria also diffuse through the gum and causes the tooth supporting bone to dissolve away…painlessly, silently. So, when you hear bone loss around a tooth; that is actually what is happening. You are literally losing the bone that holds your teeth in place. The only symptoms you may notice is possibly some bleeding and or bad breadth.
Is gum disease a risk factor for Heart Disease?
Gum disease itself is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and there is a link between clogged arteries and gum disease. Studies have found that bacteria in the mouth and the inflammation associated with gum disease play a role in a variety of diseases including cardiovascular disease. There are studies that have shown; that these bacteria and toxins can travel to the heart and affect heart disease.
More recently some evidence that this inflammation in the tissue can affect the lungs with respect to Covid-19. Patients hospitalized with Covid-19 that had harmful levels of the protein found in periodontitis were at greater risk of suffering life threatening respiratory problems.
The mouth is the entry way to the lungs.
It is known that inflammation can contribute to issues with arthritis and possibly cognitive ability.
So, ignoring your hygiene visits or postponing them may not only lead to tooth loss but can also lead to general health problems.The real reason for staying on a schedule and not postponing your dental cleaning, is for your long-term general health. You could be harming your long-term health by neglecting and postponing your regular hygiene visits.
So don’t postpone your regularly scheduled hygiene visit call your hygienist today.