Most dentists recommend getting your teeth cleaned a couple of times a year; however, they may recommend more frequent cleanings and checkups if you have certain medical conditions. Failing to get your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis may result in severe dental decay, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. Here are some reasons dental teeth cleanings may be recommended more frequently.
If you have thyroid disease, you may be at risk for dry mouth, increased plaque formation, and excessive tartar buildup up underneath your gums and between crowded teeth. Because of this, you may need to see your dentist more often than a couple of times a year for cleanings and examinations.
Hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, can accelerate plaque and calculus formation, so in addition to following a strict oral care routine, you'll need to schedule frequent dental visits. It is important to note that while thyroid diseases can lead to dental and gum problems, when they are well-managed by your primary care doctor, the risk for oral problems is reduced.
If you have heart valve disease, you may also need more frequent dental cleanings. It is thought that the bacteria from your oral cavity may travel through your bloodstream, settling in your heart valves. While those with healthy valves may not be at high risk, people with valvular disease may be at risk for valve infections. Because of this, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics before dental procedures to help reduce your risk.
While antibiotics are typically prescribed for gum surgeries and extractions, they may also be prescribed before dental cleanings in those with cardiovascular disease and valve problems. If you are anticipating dental surgery, make an appointment with your cardiologist. He or she may consult with your oral surgeon to develop a plan of care to reduce your risk for a postoperative valve infection.
Before your teeth cleaning procedure, your dentist may require that you use an antimicrobial mouthwash so that oral bacteria is minimized prior to your cleaning. This way, fewer bacteria will get into your bloodstream, lowering your risk of a heart valve infection.
If you have thyroid disease or heart valve problems, tell your dentist before getting your teeth cleaned. You will also need to talk to your dentist about your lifestyle habits and the medications that you take because these can also increase the need for more frequent dental cleanings.