Routine dental cleanings are recommended to remove plaque (bacterial coating) from the surface of the teeth. Plaque may contribute to gum inflammation (gingivitis), bleeding gums, gum disease progression and halitosis (bad breath). When plaque builds up over time, it is called calculus or tartar. No matter how well you brush and floss at home, there are spots you cannot clean. The dental hygienist can reach these areas promoting healthier oral care.
A routine dental cleaning is designed to keep healthy gums healthy or reverse the mildest form of periodontal disease called gingivitis. The good news, is that after a professional dental cleaning, your gums can become healthier. Our goal is to give you a comfortable cleaning experience so you can maintain gum health at home until your next gentle dental cleaning.
Periodontal Therapy (Deep Cleaning)
Over time, plaque can spread deep below the gum lines. Gingivitis can progress into mild, moderate or advanced periodontitis. In such cases pockets around the teeth are typically greater than 4mm, bone loss becomes apparent on x-rays, and heavier plaque and tartar buildup. The toxin byproducts of the bacteria stimulate a chronic inflammatory response, which contributes to forming deeper pockets (spaces between teeth and gums), bleeding gums, inflammed gums, bone loss and in some advanced cases teeth can become loose and may need to be removed. Periodontitis can be "localized" to just a small area in the mouth, or it could be "generalized" which means it might be throughout each dental arch.
The number one factor that contributes to periodontal disease is inadequate consistent oral hygiene, throughout your lifetime. Other factors that contribute are uncontrolled diabetes (or poorly controlled diabetes), smoking, certain medication use, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic disease, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse and HIV infection. The presence of periodontal disease is associated to other serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and low-birth weight premature infants in pregnant women.
Gum disease is considered "silent" in the early stages. Typical gum disease symptoms may include:
Red, swollen or tender gums or pain in the mouth
Bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating hard food
Gums that pull away from teeth, receding gums, causing teeth to look longer than before
Pus or swelling between gums and teeth
Persistent bad breath that does not go away with over-the-counter mouthwash
A change in your bite or the way teeth fit together
A change in the fit of partial dentures
The most well-known cost effective and least invasive (non-surgical) treatment to treat periodontal disease is called scaling and root planing. This type of periodontal treatment or "deep cleaning" is done around deep gum pockets (typically greater than 4mm) to remove bacterial toxins (plaque and tartar) and to smooth the tooth root. This is done in one or two appointments.
It is recommended that patients that have undergone scaling and root planing follow up with gum maintenance visits to maintain improved pockets every 3-4 months which helps reduce inflammation. Maintenance is always less expensive than repair. If you have gotten out of the routine of regularly scheduled exams and cleanings, there may be a little repair to get you back into maintenance phase. Once you are back in the maintenance routine, we will do everything we can to keep you on schedule, and on the road to healthy gums and beautiful smiles.
We are here to make you feel comfortable and give you a great experience! Our skilled and caring hygienist and team are here to provide you a great gentle dental cleaning experience.
See the amenities at Dominion Dental Spa to make your experience even better. Call us today at 210-567-1150.