How Often Do You Need A Dental Exam And Cleaning?

Dec 01, 2022

How Often Do You Need A Dental Exam And Cleaning?

Daily brushing and flossing are excellent ways to maintain a healthy, beautiful, and functional smile. However, it can’t adequately protect your mouth from oral issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Most dental experts recommend having at least two professional teeth cleanings per year. If you haven’t had a dental check-up recently, it’s about time you schedule an appointment with our dentist in Knoxville.

Is dental cleaning necessary?

Daily brushing and flossing are excellent ways to prevent bacterial plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth. However, even with a thorough cleaning, there’s still a chance of leaving behind debris, especially at the back of the mouth. This debris mixes with bacteria (naturally found in the mouth), forming a sticky film of bacteria called plaque.

Plaque forms on your teeth and along the gum line. Over time, plaque buildup in the mouth and hardens to form a yellow-brown deposit called tartar or dental calculus. As tartar buildups in the mouth, it becomes more difficult to remove.

Besides giving your teeth a yellow-brown and dull appearance, bacterial plaque and tartar deposits release harmful chemicals that irritate the gums and erode your teeth, leading to gum rem and tooth decay.

Routine dental cleanings help remove bacterial plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth and around the gum line. It protects your mouth against bacterial attacks and helps maintain a healthy mouth. Professional teeth cleaning also gives you fresher breath and a brighter smile.

How often are dental cleanings necessary?

Generally, how often you should have dental exams and cleanings depends on several factors, like oral health and age. General guidelines recommend a professional exam and cleaning every six months. Other people, like those with gum disease, require frequent dental exams and cleanings. Visit our dental clinic in Knoxville to find out how often you should see your dentist.

Why are dentists pushing deep cleaning?

While regular dental cleanings are critical to good oral hygiene and health, you might need more than a standard cleaning. If you have significant bacterial plaque and tartar, especially under your gums, the dentist might recommend a deep cleaning, also known as root planning and scaling.

Unlike a regular cleaning that focuses on removing plaque and tartar from the teeth surfaces and along the gum line, deep cleaning is more invasive, and you might need anesthesia to prevent pain. During the procedure, our dentist in Knoxville uses special tools to scrap off bacterial plaque and calculus from the teeth and under the gum line to the tooth roots.

Deep cleaning is critical if you have receding gums. It helps stop the progression of periodontal disease and allows the gums to re-attach to the teeth. If not stopped, bacterial infection would spread deep into the tooth roots, infecting the jawbone and other connective tissues, eventually leading to loose teeth, tooth loss, and bone loss.

Signs you might need deed cleaning include:

  • Receding gums (gums pulling)
  • Persistent bad breath or taste
  • Have significant plaque and tartar buildup
  • Gums that easily bleed
  • Swollen, red, tender, sensitive, or red gums
  • Separating or loose permanent teeth

Once you visit our dentist near you, they will examine your gums to determine whether you’re a good candidate for deep cleaning. The exam might include taking x-rays and measuring the gum pockets. If the infection has caused extensive damage, you might need extensive treatments like surgery to restore the health of your gums, teeth, and jawbone.

Side Effects of Teeth Cleaning

While effective in removing bacterial plaque and tartar to prevent the progression of gum disease, professional teeth cleaning can cause minor side effects, including:

  • Tooth sensitivity. When tartar is left on the teeth, it causes enamel erosion. When removed, the weakened surfaces of the teeth are exposed to air and temperature changes, which can lead to sensitivity. The dentist can provide fluoride-based toothpaste to minimize the effects.
  • Sore or swollen gums. Scraping off bacterial plaque and tartar from the teeth and around the gum line can cause gum soreness and swelling.
  • Bleeding gums. Scraping off plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums can cause short-time bleeding.

Fortunately, the effects of professional cleaning are temporary and should fade away in a few days. Our dentist in 37919 can prescribe some medications to manage these side effects and help you recover faster. Contact our emergency dentist in Knoxville if you experience severe symptoms.

Schedule an appointment today

Are you ready to schedule your next dental exams and cleanings in Knoxville? Contact TCL Dental Care to speak with Dr. Terrie Cribbs.

865-247-5570 Request Appointment