Monday, April 28, 2014

Is Dental Cleaning Once a Year Enough?

Dentists say dental cleaning should be done twice a year to prevent teeth and gum problems. However, some experts suggest once a year is fine for some individuals, particularly those who are not at risk of gum disease.

The conclusion stemmed from a study in June 2013 by University of Michigan researchers, studying data from more than 5,100 adults. These people were known to have visited their dentist for dental cleaning once or twice a year for 16 years and had no history of gum disease.
They found out that the frequency of dental cleaning hinged on the number of risk factors the patient carried. Keeping a healthy set of teeth and gums allowed them to receive cleaning just once a year. The frequency increases to twice a year for people with one risk factor and more than twice a year for those with two or more risk factors.

The American Academy of Periodontology lists eight major risk factors for gum disease. These are age, smoking, genetics, stress, medications, teeth grinding, systemic disease, and poor nutrition. For instance, the frequency of dental cleaning may increase with age, given that older people become more prone to gum disease.

Despite available data, researchers say it's still almost impossible to determine whether or not a person is really at risk of teeth and gum problems. Thus, it primarily falls onto regular oral hygiene to reduce the likelihood of getting a dental or periodontal problem in the future.


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