The 9 Consequences of Skipping Regular Teeth Cleaning

Many people think that they can skip their regular cleaning teeth without any consequences. However, this is a huge mistake! 

Ignoring your regular dental cleanings with your dentist can lead to multiple issues for your teeth and gums. In this post, we will discuss the nine consequences of skipping regular teeth cleanings.

What are regular teeth cleaning?

A woman is having a teeth cleaning procedure

Regular teeth cleaning refers to preventive dental care that is recommended to be done every six months to remove plaque, tartar, and stains from the teeth.

Specialized dental tools are used to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar from the teeth, including difficult-to-reach areas. They will also polish the teeth to remove any surface stains and apply a protective fluoride treatment, leaving them smooth and shiny.

What will happen if you don't do regular teeth cleaning?

1. Plaque and tartar buildup

An image showing the buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth

Plaque, when left on teeth, hardens into tartar, which is much harder to remove and can only be removed by a dental professional.

2. Discoloration of the teeth

Over time, plaque and tartar can build up on teeth, leading to stains and discoloration.

3. Bad breath

Poor oral hygiene can cause bad breath, which can be embarrassing and affect your social life.

4. Cavities

Plaque and tartar build-up leads to excess bacteria growth, that can erode the enamel of the teeth, leading to the development of cavities.

5. Early tooth loss

A woman showing her loose teeth

Harmful bacteria can lead to the development of gum disease which is a major cause of tooth loss.

6. Tooth decay

Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

7. Gum recession

Gum recession

Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth pulls away from the tooth, exposing more of the tooth or even the tooth root.

8. Deep gum pockets

As gums continue to recede, pockets can form leading to the destruction of the bone, and connective tissues that hold the teeth in place.

9. Periodontitis or gum disease

A woman who is experiencing gum disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums and bone. 

Do regular teeth cleanings remove tartar?

Regular teeth cleaning can help remove plaque and tartar, as well as address any dental issues that need professional care.

In addition, practicing good oral hygiene habits at home, such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouth rinse, can help maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Should you go to the dentist for routine dental cleanings?

A man who sees a dentist before having a teeth cleaning treatment

Most dentists recommend routine dental cleaning every six months, although some people may need more frequent cleanings depending on their individual oral health needs. 

During a dental cleaning, a dental hygienist will use special tools to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums, which can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. The hygienist will also polish your teeth to remove surface stains and provide a deep clean that is difficult to achieve through regular brushing and flossing.

In addition to the cleaning, the dentist will also perform a comprehensive dental exam of your teeth and gums to check for any signs of decay, gum disease, or other oral health issues. Early detection and treatment can ensure healthy gums and prevent more serious problems from developing.

How long does a routine dental cleaning take?

The length of a standard cleaning will vary on a few factors including:

  • Amount of plaque and tartar buildup present.
  • Any existing dental issues.
  • Existence of swollen gums, gum pockets, or gum disease.
  • History of oral hygiene practices at home.

On average, a routine dental cleaning in San Diego typically takes about 30 to 45 minutes. 

How much do regular teeth cleanings cost at a San Diego dentist?

Stacked wooden boxes with cost inscription

In general, regular cleanings by a San Diego dentist cost anywhere from $75 - $200.  This cost can increase if X-rays or deep cleanings are needed. 

Dental insurance plans may cover all or part of the cost of teeth cleanings, so it's worth checking with your insurance provider to find out what your coverage includes.

Is regular cleaning the same as deep teeth cleaning?

No, regular teeth cleanings and deep cleanings are two different procedures with different goals. 

During a regular cleaning, specialized tools help remove plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and gum line, which prevents cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems.

Dental deep cleaning, on the other hand, is a more intensive procedure that is typically performed when a patient has more advanced gum disease.  

Also known as scaling and root planing, deep cleaning removes plaque, tartar, and excess bacteria from below the gum line, and smoothes the tooth's surface to promote healing. 

Can I do regular cleaning instead of a deep dental cleaning?

A deep dental cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a procedure that goes beyond a regular cleaning to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar from below the gum line. This is necessary when there are deep pockets of bacteria and debris that cannot be reached with regular cleaning.

If your dentist has recommended a dental deep cleaning, it's important to follow through with the procedure to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the dentist usually clean wisdom teeth during regular cleaning?

If your wisdom teeth have fully erupted the dentist or dental hygienist may clean them during your regular cleaning appointment. 

However, if your wisdom teeth are impacted or partially erupted, they may be more difficult to clean and may require additional treatment.

Why are my teeth sensitive after going to the dentist for a routine dental cleaning?

It's not uncommon to experience some sensitivity after getting teeth cleaned and this may be due to a variety of reasons, including gum inflammation, removal of plaque and tartar, enamel wear, and recent dental work. 

Can a dentist clean teeth with periodontal disease?

For patients with mild to moderate gum disease, a dental hygienist will perform a scaling and root planing procedure to remove buildup from the teeth and gums and hard-to-reach germs.

In cases of severe periodontal disease, the dentist may refer them to a periodontist, who specializes in the treatment of gum disease. 

Will regular dental cleaning make teeth whiter?

Regular dental cleanings can help remove surface stains on teeth and make them appear brighter and whiter.

Additionally, good oral hygiene practices at home, such as brushing twice a day with a whitening toothpaste and flossing daily, can also help to maintain a brighter, healthier-looking smile.


As you can see, many adverse effects come with skipping regular cleanings with your dentist, so don't delay.  Our experienced professionals can help you get back to a healthier smile!

Call Smiles By Design in Carmel Mountain Ranch today!