Some people only go to the dentist when they’re having a dental problem, like pain or a broken tooth, and don’t see the dentist as often as they should. Patients who are referred to a periodontist for gum disease often put off making the appointment until their gum disease has progressed and is more difficult to treat.
Most dentists recommend dental check-ups and professional cleanings every six months, and there are several reasons why this time frame is important. Keeping regular appointments with Dr. Jody Harrison, your Asheville, NC periodontist, will keep your teeth and body healthy for years to come.
What To Expect At A Dental Visit
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating gum disease. Preventing gum disease starts with regular visits to your general dentist for a professional cleaning and exam. A hygienist will clean your teeth at every visit, but if your dentist decides to perform X-rays, those will be taken before the dentist comes to examine your mouth.
The visit is designed to give the dentist the opportunity to check for cavities, ensure teeth are rooted properly, and to identify and prevent small issues from becoming major problems. Even a good at-home oral hygiene regimen that includes brushing and flossing every day needs to be supplemented by a professional cleaning and exam.
Why Are Professional Teeth Cleanings Necessary?
Brushing and flossing at home are the most important parts of your oral health, so why is it important to get professional cleanings?
Over time, even with excellent oral hygiene, plaque and tartar build up on teeth and require special tools to be removed. Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria that builds up as oral bacteria break down sugars from leftover food particles in our mouths. Even though brushing and flossing remove a lot of plaque, it’s still difficult to get it all, and over time it builds up to form a hard layer on the teeth called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed with floss or a toothbrush, and is the first stage of tooth decay.
During a cleaning, your hygienist uses special tools to remove tartar and can offer you insight on areas where you might need to take extra care such as behind the teeth or in between the molars. They will also use a professional-grade toothpaste to brush your teeth and floss to make sure there is no plaque buildup.
Prevent Gum Disease With Regular Dental Checkups
Tooth decay affects everyone and if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems such as tooth loss, abscesses, and other systemic health problems. Your dentist will spot any problems before they become major, saving you money and discomfort by treating them early. Small cavities are much easier to treat than abscesses!
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Harrison in Asheville
Scheduling and keeping checkups with your dentist is essential to maintaining good oral health and will help you avoid potentially uncomfortable and expensive procedures. If you’ve noticed any changes in your smile like bleeding gums, it might be a sign of gum disease. Request an appointment with a periodontist at (828) 255-8100 or schedule online.