You are probably aware that most dentists recommend that you get a professional dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, every six months.
The term dental prophylaxis means the “removal of dental plaque, dental calculus, and stains from the exposed and unexposed surfaces of the teeth by scaling and polishing as a preventive measure for the control of local irritants.” This is what your dentist or dental hygienist is doing during your professional dental cleaning. You also get a full set of X-rays during this appointment to ensure that you don’t have any cavities or tooth decay.
In addition to checking for and working to prevent cavities, your dentist is on the watch for oral cancer and disease during this twice yearly cleaning. He or she looks for gum disease, which could require gum disease treatment to help prevent tooth loss. In fact, your dentist looks for any irregularity in the normal anatomy of your mouth.
Now you can probably imagine why the mouth and body connection is so closely tied. Dental problems can sometimes be warning signs for other problems; something as seemingly harmless as bad breath can be a warning sign for something medically wrong with you.