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Dental Cleaning periodontal treatment


Until the 1980s, the term dental cleaning applied to cleaning away any hardened deposits from teeth and polishing the teeth with brushes and pastes. Today, a cleaning refers to a simple polishing of the teeth, and the removal of hard deposits is referred to as periodontal treatment.
There is no doubt that if you have a buildup of hardened plaque around the edges of your teeth, its removal with periodontal treatments will reduce gum irritation and offer you a better chance of regaining gum health. Dental tools are designed to scrape and dislodge this hardened, infected crust from between teeth and from above and under the gums. Most people know the areas in their mouth where this calcified deposit is likely to form. The calcified layer can irritate the gums and attract bacteria and food that easily stick to it. When your mouth becomes healthy and your mouth acidity is balanced, plaque will not be infected and you will begin to notice that these calcified deposits will be reduced in amount and may ultimately stop forming.
Today in almost every dental office across the USA, a patient has a dental cleaning at each recall visit, at least twice each year. These treatments are prescribed without any evaluation to determine if this cleaning is necessary. Very few dentists question whether their patients would have better dental health without a cleaning. Obviously, too much polishing will damage the dense and most protective outer layer of a tooth and disrupt any delicate protective plaque layer on the tooth surface. Any polishing that removes this dense layer of enamel from your tooth makes teeth more porous. In this way a cleaning may potentially cause teeth to become more sensitive and more easily stained and can possibly open the surface to infection.
In the early 1970s a study was carried out on U.S. Navy recruits that showed the protective nature of plaque. The study illustrated how healthy plaque acts as a defense against unwanted bacteria and how cleaning it away could expose healthy teeth to infection.6 The recruits were separated into two groups: those with cavities and cavity-forming bacteria in their mouths and those with healthy teeth free of harmful bacteria.
Half the recruits in each of the two groups were given a professional dental cleaning. Every recruit was asked to rinse with a liquid that contained cavity-forming bacteria. The recruits were then tested for the presence of harmful bacteria in their mouths. Researchers were surprised to find that the recruits with healthy teeth—but who had received a cleaning—were now infected with cavity-forming bacteria. The only remaining group with healthy mouths was the group of recruits who came with healthy teeth and did not receive a cleaning.
Twenty years after this forgotten experiment, a researcher named P. D. Marsh proposed in 1994 that in order for a mouth to be truly healthy, the bacteria in it need to be healthy. Marsh’s theory states that removal of plaque in a healthy mouth is not necessary.7 He looked closely at the kinds of bacteria living in plaque and believed that harmful ones multiply and cause disease only under certain conditions. Marsh was confident that harmful germs exist only when a shift in mouth chemistry encourages acid-producing bacteria to grow. Marsh believed that in a healthy mouth, bacteria do not need to be removed because they are, in fact, healthy and protective.8
The public has been conditioned to believe that dental cleanings are for the benefit of their teeth. The truth is that professional cleanings may reduce deposits, but they cannot stop the regrowth of acid-loving bacteria, and cleanings themselves cannot strengthen or protect your teeth. As you exit the dental office after a cleaning, any harmful bacteria present in your saliva will already be reestablishing themselves on your teeth. No amount of brushing, flossing, or professional cleanings can completely rid your mouth of bacteria. These treatments may remove a number of the bacteria, but no matter how well your teeth are cleaned, they will never be clean from a microbiological point of view. Some bacteria will always be left behind. Unless you remove the conditions that promote harmful bacterial problems, more harmful bacteria will grow back and any cycle of damage will be repeated.
The fewer acid-forming germs there are in plaque, the less acid will be produced and, correspondingly, the less damage to teeth. Healthy, alkaline plaque will not cause demineralization and damage, and healthy bacteria are not sticky, so they are more easily removed from teeth with simple brushing and rinsing. The best plan is to create an environment where healthy bacteria thrive. How can someone achieve this? The simplest way is to avoid mouth acidity as much as possible and to encourage healthy plaque by eating 100 percent xylitol breath mints or chewing gum each day, especially after meals and beverages. Over time, you will have less buildup of plaque, and you will notice your teeth and gums become healthier—with or without dental cleanings.
At least 6-10 grams of xylitol per day is recommended in 3-4 divided doses. Mints, gum, breath sprays or granular xylitol are all acceptable.
Also, remember to clean and disinfect toothbrushes and household eating utensils to eliminate the transfer of harmful bacteria between family members.

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