Cleanings, Periodontal Cleanings, and Periodontal (Gum) Treatment

Even the best brushing and flossing at home will leave something behind.  After 6 months, there is some accumulation that develops on your teeth that you just can’t remove without the help of a dental professional.  We can access all the nooks and crannies in your teeth that may be hard for you to see or reach!  That is why it is important to get your teeth professionally regularly.

Getting Your Teeth Cleaned

A professional dental cleaning will remove the plaque, tartar, and surface stain from your teeth.  Plaque is the sticky colony of food and bacteria that attach to a tooth and release toxins that can damage the tooth and cause inflammation in the gums.  If this plaque isn’t removed it can harden into deposits known as tartar or calculus which cannot be removed from simple brushing and flossing.  We have special instruments we use to remove these deposits.  After all of the deposits are removed your teeth are polished to give you a nice and clean feel as well as smooth tooth surface to make it harder for plaque to stick to!

If tartar is left underneath or near the gums for a long period of time, the body’s immune system responds, and the gums get puffy and swollen. This is known as gingivitis.  If the plaque is still not removed, the immune system will respond even more, and the bone supporting your tooth will start to resorb back away from the tartar.  Once bone loss begins, the gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis. Your dentist can evaluate on your x-rays if there is evidence of bone loss.

Deep Cleaning

If tartar has formed underneath the gums, your dentist may recommend a procedure called scaling and root planing.  Some people call this a deep cleaning.  It is recommended that you get numb for this procedure to make you more comfortable.  During this procedure, the tartar and bacteria from under your gums is cleaned off.

Periodontal Maintenance

After 4-6 weeks of healing, your gums will be re-checked.  If improvements are noted in your pocket measurements, this is great news!  We will just monitor your gums with follow-up cleanings called Periodontal Maintenances which will be recommended every 3, 4, or 6 months, depending on the status of your gums.  If improvement is not noted, you may be referred to a gum specialist, known as a periodontist. The periodontist can then evaluate your periodontal condition to see what treatment is best to control your gum disease.  The periodontist may recommend periodontal surgery to eliminate infection in the bone or to regenerate lost bone.

Regular dental visits and diligent home care (flossing too!) will help to ward off periodontal disease before it starts! Ask your Energetic Smile team for more information.