Drs. Malone and Costa, and our registered dental hygienists at Knoxville Smiles will advise and guide you about the optimal frequency for your dental cleanings. Most “healthy mouth” patients have their teeth cleaned and examined every six months. This is because plaque has a tendency to build up on teeth over six months, and it is plaque that causes bacterial erosion of tooth enamel (decay) and irritates gum tissue, causing gum pockets, inflammation and infection.
For some patients, we recommend more frequent cleanings than 6 months because the patient has a history of faster plaque development, a history of dental decay, or currently has gum inflammation. Some patients enjoy having cleaner, brighter teeth and schedule their cleanings every 3 to 4 months due to personal preference.
The primary factors that speed up plaque development are incomplete brushing and flossing, unbalanced nutrition such as a diet high in sugar, and smoking. These and additional circumstances increase your risk of gum disease and make it more difficult to treat gum disease once it starts. Diabetes is one of these additional circumstances. Once gum disease gets going diabetes and other inflammatory and immune deficiency diseases make it harder for your body to fight the infection.
By coming to us for regular dental cleanings and check ups, we can treat oral health problems before they advance and require more extensive treatment. Don’t delay in scheduling an appointment if it has been six months or more since your last visit.