Getting regular dental cleaning does have benefits that go beyond the obvious. On the surface, it can help prevent cavities, gum disease, prevent tooth loss. But did you know that it can also help you safeguard your overall health? Regularly visiting your dentist for teeth cleaning helps minimize your risk of developing chronic and potentially life-threatening health conditions.
Let’s talk about the specific medical conditions that routine teeth cleanings can help prevent.
The American Cancer Society estimates about 54,010 new cases of the oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer and 10,850 deaths from oral cancer for the year 2021.
Family history and lifestyle habits, such as smoking, are risk factors for oral cancer. But even if you don’t have a family history of cancer and don’t smoke, you can still get it. Fortunately, oral cancer is one of the most treatable cancers when caught early. It is usually detected during a routine oral exam.
When you see a dentist for regular teeth cleaning, you might as well ask about oral cancer screening, during which they will check your mouth for suspicious-looking growths that may need further evaluation. They may order a biopsy if they detect some abnormalities in your mouth.
Gum disease is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This is because bacteria from your mouth can find their way into your bloodstream and travel to your heart.
In a study conducted by Harvard scientists, rabbits that were infected with periodontal disease-causing bacteria, porphyromonas gingivalis, subsequently developed atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by plaque buildup in the arteries. Treatment to control inflammation was able to prevent periodontal disease as well as plaque buildup in the arteries. Periodontal disease is a serious gum disease that causes damage to the soft tissues that hold your teeth in place.
Atherosclerosis can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, which are life-threatening medical conditions—another good reason why you need to get regular teeth cleaning.
The same bacterium that causes an increased risk for cardiovascular disease also contributes to plaque development in the brain, which is a risk factor for dementia.
In a large study conducted to analyze the link between gum disease and dementia, researchers found that subjects with periodontal disease were twice as likely to develop dementia (a general term to describe the impaired ability to recall information or think clearly). Porphyromonas gingivalis can travel along the nerve that connects mucous membranes of the mouth to the brain. When this happens, the brain produces plaques of beta-amyloid protein, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Teeth Cleaning in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN
If you’re looking to get high-quality professional teeth cleaning within the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas in Minnesota, visit us at Hagerman Dental Care. Dr. Steven Hagerman has decades of experience in preventive dentistry, and he utilizes sophisticated dental technology, such as CariVu and intraoral cameras, to detect the subtlest signs of cavities and other oral problems before they wreak havoc on your overall health.