Oral hygiene is practiced to keep the oral cavity clean and free from disease-causing bacteria. Regular brushing and flossing keep the teeth clean and healthy. However, sometimes the bristles of the toothbrush and the flossing thread fail to reach certain nooks and crannies between teeth. As a result, these vulnerable areas start accumulating plaque and harmful bacteria.
Over time, plaque hardens and forms tartar, a yellow film that cannot be removed without a dentist's help. Plaque and tartar deposits harbor bacteria, which release toxins and cause gingivitis.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It can be treated with a professional dental cleaning and deep cleaning. If ignored, plaque and bacteria seep below the gum line and start infecting the tooth roots. During this stage, gingivitis advances to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease and causes serious oral and overall health problems.
Deep cleaning is performed to treat gum disease in its initial stage to stop it from developing into periodontitis. It involves the removal of plaque and tartar from both above and below the gum line to restore oral health.
When do you require a deep cleaning?
Certain symptoms indicate the onset of gingivitis and call for an immediate deep cleaning procedure. These symptoms are:
● Accumulation of plaque and tartar around the gumline.
● Red, inflamed and swollen gums.
● Tender gums - pain while chewing and biting.
● Halitosis - persistent bad breath accompanied by a metallic taste in the mouth.
● Bleeding gums while brushing and flossing.
● Crown lengthening due to receding gums.
● Formation of abscess pockets in the gums with pus oozing out from them.
● Formation of burrows between gums and teeth that accumulate plaque.
● Change in the bite pattern and how the teeth come together.
● Sensitivity towards hot and cold foods and beverages.
● Loose teeth that are ready to fall out. (This indicates advanced stages of gum disease and requires immediate treatment.)
How is deep cleaning performed?
Deep cleaning is a professional dental treatment performed to treat the initial signs of gum disease or gingivitis. It is performed in a professional dental sitting at a dentist's office. It involves the following three steps:
Scaling is the process of removing plaque and tartar from the surface of teeth and below the gums. During the process, the dentist identifies areas of plaque and tartar films by manually feeling the surface of the teeth. Then, he uses a scaling instrument to eliminate them.
An antimicrobial is painted on the surface of teeth and also introduced below the gum line to kill bacteria.
2. Root planing
Root planing is performed after scaling.
Root planing employs dental tools to remove rough spots from the surface of the tooth roots.
These rough spots are the hiding grounds for bacteria and require immediate elimination. Smoothing of the tooth roots also helps the teeth to reattach themselves to the gums.
Periodontal lasers are often used to perform root planing. They not only remove the rough spots but also eradicate bacteria from the region and also prevent future infestation.
3. Follow-up treatment
After scaling and root planing, the dentist prescribes a few antibiotics for combating infections and pain-killers for easing discomfort.
Follow-up appointments are booked to verify healing and confirm the elimination of bacteria.
At Westwood Dental, in Draper, Dr. Reynolds and his team employ the best practices of modern dentistry to address your oral health issues. Using state of the art technology, they perform full mouth rehabilitation to provide you the finest smile makeover in Draper, Utah.
Schedule an appointment with us at 801-438-3332 or visit our dental practice at 11576 S. State St., Suite #1201, Draper 8400. You can also email us at [email protected]