Most people understand the importance of good oral health. But did you know that going to the dentist regularly can do more than just prevent cavities? Here are seven ways in which regular dental cleanings can benefit you.

Prevent Gingivitis

Plaque is a sticky, white film that forms on your teeth. When it isn't removed from brushing or flossing, it hardens into tartar. Even the most avid of brushers can't remove all plaque, so the formation of tartar is inevitable.

Over time, tartar and plaque lead to gum disease. The first stage is gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums characterized by bleeding when you brush and floss. When left unaddressed, gingivitis leads to periodontal gum disease which damages your teeth.

Tartar can only be removed by a professional, so regular dental cleanings can prevent gingivitis from developing.

Prevent Tooth Loss

Gingivitis alone not affect the teeth. The problem comes when it's allowed to progress to periodontitis. During this stage, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that can trap plaque and bacteria. Toxins from the germs, combined with the body's response to this type of infection, will start to destroy the bones and tissue that support the teeth.

During the last stage, the teeth become loose, and this process cannot be reversed. Usually when teeth become loose from periodontitis, they either fall out on their own, or they need to be removed by a professional. This is why tackling gum disease with cleanings before it advances is so important.

Detect Mouth Cancers

A lot of people don't give much thought to cancers of the mouth. Maybe you assume your doctor screens for them when you go for your annual physical. But the truth is dentists and hygienists are highly trained to spot common signs and symptoms of oral cancer.

People who smoke or use tobacco products are usually at a higher risk, but dentists are seeing oral cancers rise among those who don't use tobacco products at all. This is due to the prevalence of the human papillomavirus (HPV), an STD that can affect the oral cavity.

Additionally, many dentists have special lights that can be used to spot oral cancers and problem lesions.

Improve Your Smile

Certain foods and beverages can stain your teeth, such as coffee, wine, tea, soda, blueberries, blackberries, citrus fruits, and sweets. Avoiding junk food is recommended for both overall and dental health, but many stain-causing foods are healthy to consume.

Having your teeth cleaned regularly can remove the stains, making your teeth brighter and whiter, giving you more confidence, and making your smile more attractive.

Prevent Halitosis

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, affects approximately one out of four people, and it can be caused by poor oral hygiene and gum disease. Because it can affect your self-esteem and confidence, routine cleanings are important to keep your breath smelling fresh between dental visits.

Improve Your Overall Health

Your dental health plays a role your overall health and vice versa. Certain diseases, like diabetes and even anxiety disorders, can make you more susceptible to gum disease. And moderate or advanced gum disease has been correlated with cardiovascular disease. It's believed that oral bacteria can get into the bloodstream and make its way to the blood vessels of the heart where it attaches to fatty deposits. So routine cleanings can benefit your whole body.

Save Money

Regular dental cleanings can help you save money. How, you ask? By preventing cavities, advanced gum disease, and tooth loss. All these things can be expensive to treat, even if you have insurance. So be sure to visit your dentist as often as they recommend to get the most protection for your dental and overall health. 

For more information, contact companies like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock.