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Why Do Teeth Cleanings Hurt?
Many people dread the thought of going to the dentist, especially for teeth cleanings. Even though it is a necessary part of good oral hygiene, teeth cleanings can be painful. But why does this happen? Let's take a closer look at why teeth cleanings hurt.
1. The buildup of plaque
One of the main reasons why teeth cleanings can be painful is due to the buildup of plaque on teeth. Over time, plaque accumulates on our teeth and hardens into tartar, which is difficult to remove. When a dental hygienist uses a scaler to remove the tartar, it can be uncomfortable and even painful.
2. Sensitive teeth
If you have sensitive teeth, you are more likely to experience discomfort during a teeth cleaning. This is because the bristles of the polishing brush can be too stiff for sensitive teeth and cause pain. Additionally, the cold water used during the cleaning can also trigger sensitivity and cause pain.
3. Gum disease
If you have gum disease, also known as periodontitis, your gums may be inflamed and tender. When your dental hygienist uses a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums, it can be painful. The good news is that regular teeth cleanings can help prevent gum disease and reduce inflammation over time.
4. Inadequate anesthesia
If your teeth are particularly sensitive or if you are having a deep cleaning done, your dentist or dental hygienist may numb your mouth with local anesthesia. If the anesthesia is not effective, you may experience pain during the cleaning. It is important to communicate any discomfort to your dental professional so that they can adjust the anesthesia accordingly.
5. Jaw problems
If you suffer from jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), you may experience pain during a teeth cleaning. This is because keeping your mouth open for an extended period of time can cause discomfort in the jaw area. If you have TMJ, it is important to inform your dental professional so that they can take extra precautions during your cleaning.
In summary, teeth cleanings can be painful for several reasons, including the buildup of plaque, sensitive teeth, gum disease, inadequate anesthesia, and jaw problems. However, despite the potential discomfort, regular teeth cleanings are crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing more serious dental problems in the future. It is important to communicate any discomfort to your dental professional and work together to make the experience as comfortable as possible.
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