Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for good oral health. But what if the dentist advises you need a deep cleaning to treat gingivitis or periodontal disease? Let’s take a look at why different dental cleaning types are sometimes needed and what to expect.
How Gum Disease Develops
Oral care keeps the gums healthy and firm. Healthy gums don’t bleed, fit snugly around each tooth and hold teeth in place. For healthy gums, regular cleanings are needed.
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease where plaque builds up at the gum line causing inflammation. If not treated, periodontitis can result where pockets form below the gum line. These pockets trap food and plaque to collect and build. If periodontitis advances, the disease will destroy the teeth and bone. For patients with gum disease, deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) is prescribed.
Unfortunately, gum disease is quite common and can affect the gums and bone that supports teeth. Whether a basic cleaning or a deep cleaning, dental cleanings are the number one goal to healthy gums.
Regular Dental Cleaning
Routine cleaning at the dentist office focuses on keeping everything at and above the gum line clean and healthy. You can expect a regular cleaning to take place in the dentist chair and start with an examination of teeth and gums. Assessment is done to see where plaque has built up and to check the health of gums.
Teeth are individually checked, cleaned, and plaque is removed. Scalers are used to gently work off hard bits of tartar both on and in between teeth. There may be some removal just at or below the gum line. Teeth are then polished and flossed. Regular dental cleaning keeps plaque buildup away, ensures gums are healthy and is a good practice to avoid gum disease.
Deep Dental Cleaning
If gingivitis or periodontal disease is identified, patients will need a deep cleaning of their teeth and gums. Deep cleaning is a way to treat gum disease and can also help proactively correct oral health problems. The dentist will start with a full evaluation of your teeth and gums and measure the distance of any gum pockets.
Deep cleaning is a two-step process of scaling followed by root planing. Scaling will first remove the build-up of plaque and tartar on the tooth’s surface below the gum line. Scaling will clean the pocket area between the teeth and gums using a manual tool or ultrasonic instrument. Root planing will then remove plaque and tartar build-up from the surface of each tooth’s root. Teeth roots will also be smoothed to remove spaces where bacteria can collect.
The deep dental cleaning process is straightforward and is tremendously beneficial to treat gum disease. Some cleanings require more than one visit and you can talk to the dentist about having a local anesthetic to be more comfortable. A follow-up visit may be needed to ensure everything is clean and recovering well.
At North Boulder Dental we are here to provide you the best in dental care! Regular cleanings and checkups are the best way to prevent oral health issues so contact us to schedule an appointment for you and your family.