Clean teeth are not only necessary for good oral health but also a healthy body and mind. Regular teeth cleanings remove tartar and plaque buildup. Some of this buildup comes with the territory of being teeth and is natural, but too much can lead to gum disease.

Tartar needs to be removed because your body treats it like a foreign substance. Just like with other foreign invaders, infections or viruses, for example, your body uses your immune system to fight off the infection. Because of this, there is a constant war going on in your mouth at all times. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly will keep things from getting out of control.

Gum disease is when your body’s immune system is responding to this tartar buildup with inflamed and bleeding gums. The immune system response is successful at killing off invaders like infection and flu bugs, but at a cost: like a war, there are innocent bystanders that get slaughtered. As gum disease progresses, so does the destruction to your bone and tissues in your mouth.

When you have too much tartar build up, your body’s immune system responds with inflamed and bleeding gums. This reaction is called gum disease. Your body has been successful at fighting off the foreign substance, but there is a cost. The bone and tissues in your mouth become destroyed as the gum disease progresses.

Your immune system can only combat infection for a short amount of time. If it has to work overtime, it will tire out and won’t be strong enough to fight off an illness. This can lead to disease in the rest of your body.

As a result, good oral hygiene (which prevents gum disease), reduces the risk of dementia, heart disease, and stroke.