Professional Teeth Cleanings in Missoula, MT

Professional teeth cleanings in Missoula, MT are an affordable and necessary practice if you want to maintain a healthy smile for life.Patient undergoing teeth cleaning at dentist in Missoula MT

If you’re like many people, you brush and floss before bed, maybe even taking care to gargle. Perhaps you do the same each morning. Unfortunately, this is not enough to combat stubborn bacteria and tartar that can lead to gum disease, cavities, and dental emergencies.

The American Dental Association recommends that you have teeth cleanings at least twice per year to maintain healthy teeth. If you’re prone to cavities or have signs of gum disease, this timeframe for teeth cleanings may not even be enough, and our Missoula, MT dentist may recommend additional dental check ups, cleanings or sealants, and fluoride rinses to help you maintain your oral health.

Did you know that your dental health also impacts your overall well-being? Your biannual cleanings also help protect you from gum disease, which can impact your overall health.

If it's time for your next dental cleaning and checkup, please call Nelson Dentistry at (406) 542-3305 to schedule your appointment. 

Why Teeth Teeth Cleanings in Missoula Are Important

Most patients need regular dental hygiene visits twice yearly to address plaque and calculus (also known as tartar) buildup that causes minor gum inflammation (gingivitis) and the development of tooth decay. 

Remember, even with excellent brushing and flossing; most patients will have a buildup of plaque and sometimes tartar. And this type of accumulation can only be effectively removed by a trained dental hygienist. If you don't keep gingivitis in check with regular dental hygiene visits, then it can worsen and progress into periodontal (gum) disease.

Consistent preventive visits with your Missoula dentist also help to detect developing tooth decay as soon as possible while also ensuring the health of your existing restorations. If Dr. Nelson can diagnose tooth decay early, it is likely we can treat it with a simple dental filling. If the decay is allowed to progress further into your tooth, it could eventually result in an infection if it reaches your nerve. Now you'll need root canal treatment and a tooth crown to eliminate your infection and rebuild your tooth. Be proactive about protecting your dental health with preventive teeth cleanings and checkups every six months. 

In our dental office, we have found that patients who follow dental cleaning recommendations have fewer instances of cavities, gum disease, tooth infections, broken teeth, and dental emergencies. Contact Nelson Dentistry at (406) 542-3305 if it's time for your next dental cleaning and checkup.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

We define gum disease as an infection of the support system for your teeth, which are your gums and jawbone. Just like a foundation supports your home, your gums are the foundation for your teeth. If your gums are not healthy, it also jeopardizes the health of your teeth.

If plaque is not being removed effectively every day with consistent brushing and flossing, it builds up on your teeth, eventually causing your gums to separate from them, which allows bacteria below your gum line. The buildup causes an infection of your gums and your bone, and will eventually destroy these support systems without adequate treatment. Did you know that gum disease is actually the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults?

Gingivitis Treatment in Missoula, MT

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. In early gum disease, the symptoms may be subtle and overlooked, which is why it is essential to have twice-yearly teeth cleanings. Our dental hygienist will always spot the telltale signs of gingivitis and alert our Missoula, MT dentist, so we can treat your condition as soon as possible.

When it's detected early on, gingivitis can often be treated successfully with a professional cleaning and improvements to your dental hygiene habits at home. For some patients, treatment even reverses their condition.

The symptoms of gingivitis, if any, may include some of the following:

  • Bad breath that doesn't go away with brushing or a mouth rinse
  • Periodic swelling or irritation of your gums
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing

Treatment for gingivitis is far less invasive than the deep cleanings that reach below the gumline that are associated with full-blown periodontal disease. See the following video for further explanation on gingivitis:


Once periodontal disease sets in, extra care is needed to prevent tooth loss. You may notice during the advanced stage of gum disease, known as periodontitis, that your gums are receding, and your teeth might feel mobile. 

Additionally, untreated periodontal disease may lead to systemic health issues because the bacteria that cause gum infections can enter the bloodstream and spread to other areas of the body. Here is more information on periodontitis:

The most significant difference in treating periodontitis vs. gingivitis, in fact, is that with early gum disease, plaque, calculus, and toxins are removed primarily from above the gumline.

On the other hand, when treating periodontitis, the focus shifts to diligently removing the infection from below the gumline. We may perform a deep cleaning that eliminates infection-causing plaque and tartar buildup underneath your gums. Dr. Nelson may also recommend antibiotic therapy to help fight your infection.

Severe cases of periodontitis require surgery to eliminate infection and protect you from tooth loss. See this video for more information:

The Oral Systemic Connection

Over the years, science has established a direct connection between the bacteria that causes gum disease and that which causes other chronic health concerns like:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Complications during pregnancy
  • Low birth weight in babies
  • Dementia

The bacteria causing your gum infection can actually enter your bloodstream and travel to other areas of your body, where it can contribute to these health concerns and vice versa.

Consider your mouth as the gateway to the health of your body and protect your oral health and your overall health with six-month teeth cleanings and dental checkups at Nelson Dentistry.

Extra Protection for Your Teeth in Missoula, MT

Couple smiling after professional teeth cleaning in MissoulaMissoula dentist, Dr. Jonathan Nelson, can help you customize a home care routine that will protect your smile and your dental health. He's happy to recommend helpful products like antibacterial mouth rinse or fluoride toothpaste that can give you added protection against conditions like gum disease and tooth decay.

If you haven't already made the switch, you might also consider investing in an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush makes brushing your teeth more simple and effective by timing your sessions and alerting you if you press too hard during brushing. Our hygienists tell us there's a noticeable difference in plaque buildup in patients who use an electric toothbrush as opposed to those who rely on manual tooth brushing.

Our Goals for Your Oral Health

It is our goal to help our patients protect themselves from periodontal disease in Missoula, MT. This starts with encouraging patients to visit the dentist regularly and scheduling and keeping bi-annual teeth cleaning appointments.

If you have not visited our dental office in a while, or if you’re new to the area, dentist Dr. Jonathan Nelson is taking new patients, and our hygienist would love to start you on twice-yearly teeth cleanings in Missoula, MT.

Contact Nelson Dentistry today at (406) 542-3305 to schedule your next dental cleaning and exam.