You’re busy. You have to take your kids to baseball practice, and you have a big deadline at work. Besides stopping at the grocery store, you also have to go to the library and the dry cleaners. You don’t have time to go to your dentist appointment.
If you have never had any significant issues with your teeth, you may be taking your oral health for granted. Perhaps you don’t brush or floss as you should. Maybe you don’t always make it in twice a year for your cleanings. Continue reading to discover the ramifications of ignoring your teeth and the importance of plaque and tartar removal.
During your twice-yearly dental cleaning, the hygienist will clean your teeth above and along the gum line. He or she will remove the plaque, which is a sticky, bacteria-laden substance that coats your teeth. Your hygienist will also remove tartar, a calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and contributes to tooth decay. Your teeth will also bepolished during this appointment, and you will leave vowing never to eat sugar or drink coffee again.
But after a few hours, you decide to eat a piece of cake after dinner. And then you don’t show up to your next dental cleaning because you are too busy.
What happens then?
Calculus isn’t only the name of that hard class you avoided in college. When you don’t clean your teeth regularly, bacteria and hard deposits called calculus build up on your teeth. These calculus deposits can release harmful toxins that can lead to gingivitis or problems with your gums. These problems can also spread to the jawbone. The infection is caused by periodontitis.
If your oral health has deteriorated to this point, your dentist may recommend that you undergo a specialized procedure called scaling and root planning.
Scaling is performed with an ultrasonic cleaner and a hand instrument. The ultrasonic cleaner uses high-frequency vibrations to remove the calculus from the tooth. The doctor or hygienist removes the calculus from deep beneath the gumline.
Also during this procedure, uneven areas of your teeth will be planed or smoothed out, to keep new bacteria from attaching.
Depending upon the severity of your periodontitis, you may have to have several appointments to complete this procedure. Not only is the procedure time consuming, but your dentist may also want to spread out the treatments to make sure the process is as comfortable as possible. Once the calculus has been removed from your teeth, and the teeth have been smoothed, the periodontitis should not continue to spread. Your dentist will create a maintenance schedule that promotes continued healing of your gums.
Next time you think that you don’t have time to make your dentist appointment, ask yourself if you would rather have multiple appointments later to treat the issues that were caused by not taking care of your teeth.
Ask a friend to pick up the kids. Grab a pizza for dinner instead of cooking. Make your oral health a priority.
Schedule your Dental Cleaning & Checkup appointment today!
NYC Dental Office | Marina Liberchuk, DMD
19 West 34th Street, Suite 1209
New York, NY 10001