Do your gums bleed when you brush them, even if it’s just a little “pink in the sink?” Do you struggle with bad breath, no matter how clean your teeth seem to be? You may be struggling with gingivitis or gum disease — an infection deep underneath the gum tissue in the “pockets” where the roots of your teeth sit.
A dental deep cleaning is recommended as the first line of treatment for gum disease and can help remove plaque, bacteria, and infection where your toothbrush and floss can’t reach. But does a dental deep cleaning do more than just improve your oral health?
The Link Between Gum Disease and Whole-Body Health
The American Academy of Periodontology suggests that gum health and overall health are closely interlinked. Gum disease has been associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases like osteoporosis and respiratory infections. Simply put, when your gums suffer, so does your body.
What Can a Dental Deep Cleaning Do for Your Overall Wellness?
A dental deep cleaning procedure does, in fact, do more than just give your oral health an overhaul. Your health can be impacted positively by a deep cleaning in many ways, including:
The Prevention of Tooth Loss
Untreated gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, can progress to periodontitis, or an infection deep inside the gums. If this infection remains untreated, the jawbone supporting the teeth can become weak and deteriorate. This causes teeth to become loose and may result in the complete loss of one or more teeth. A dental deep cleaning can prevent tooth loss by removing and preventing gum infections that weaken the jawbone.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Bacteria that thrive inside gum tissue can easily make their way into your bloodstream, especially if your gums bleed when you brush them. While small amounts of normally-present bacteria aren’t usually an issue, gum disease is the result of the overwhelming presence of a large number of bacteria causing a serious infection. This has a much higher chance of dumping more bacteria into the bloodstream, which can then infect delicate heart valves.
Treating gum disease with a deep dental cleaning can reduce the amount of bacteria present in your mouth significantly, and with continued care, the risk of heart disease caused by gingivitis or periodontitis lowers.
The bacteria from gum disease that enter your bloodstream also enter your digestive tract when you swallow. This can cause a whole host of digestive issues that are commonly not linked back to untreated gingivitis or periodontitis.
If you struggle with digestive problems like acid reflux, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), stomach ulcers, and irritable bowels, a dental deep cleaning may help provide relief. Your digestive system will have less work to do to kill off bacteria, meaning you’ll likely begin producing less stomach acid and have an easier time digesting your food.
Reduced Risk of Respiratory Infections
Bacteria in your mouth can also be inhaled into your respiratory system and like the digestive tract, the low amounts of bacteria present in a healthy mouth usually don’t pose an issue. In cases of gum disease where an excessive amount of bacteria is present in the mouth at all times, the amount of bacteria inhaled is inherently higher.
This increases the risk of irritation, coughing, and susceptibility to respiratory infections. In some instances, respiratory infections are the direct cause of inhaling bacteria caused by gum disease. In other cases, the presence of bacteria in the lungs from gum tissue simply weakens the respiratory system and makes it more vulnerable to viral infections.
Contact Green Dentistry to Learn More About Dental Deep Cleanings
At Green Dentistry, we understand the connection between the health of your teeth and gums and your whole-body health. We take pride in offering holistic dental care and biological dentistry services to individuals looking for a more natural approach to oral health.
Contact us today to learn more about dental deep cleanings and to determine if a deep cleaning may be the right treatment for you.
A graduate of the University of Southern California and the University of California’s School of Dentistry, Dr. Patel is a leader in the movement to bring environmental sanity and well-being into the dental world. As a trusted dentist, Dr. Patel provides her patients with more than just world-class dental care — she helps them recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health. She is also a ForbesBooks and Amazon best-selling author.