When was the last time you had a dental cleaning and exam? If you are like many people these past two years, it’s been all too easy to let your routine cleanings slide for one reason or another. But even if you kept up with your daily brushing and flossing regimen, without those regularly scheduled cleanings, your gums may now be paying the price.
Removing Tartar Is Essential
That’s because your toothbrush can’t get rid of hardened plaque (called tartar deposits or calculus) and can’t clean beneath your gum line. Brushing and flossing also can’t get rid of bacterial plaque that has hardened into tartar, and as a general rule, it steadily collects around your gum line in-between visits where your dental team can remove it. Without removal, your gums may require extra care with a thorough periodontal cleaning! Our periodontal team performs these special cleanings when you haven’t had a routine dental cleaning in a while or find yourself with dental issues from poor dental hygiene.
As gum disease advances, your gums are inflamed and infected, as the gum tissue pulls away from your teeth, causing gum pockets. These pockets (areas of gum tissue separating from the teeth) set the stage for hardening plaque and tartar to build up below the gum line where you can’t see it or reach it to clean.
Periodontal Cleaning Benefits
Periodontal cleaning (or prophylactic cleaning) allows us to stop advancing gum disease from gaining further momentum. As we deep clean your teeth and the area below the gum line, you can look forward to the following:
- Brighter and whiter teeth without tartar deposits, so they look cleaner.
- Without the gunk of plaque and tartar, your mouth smells better as you avoid halitosis from infected gums.
- Root planing allows us to polish your teeth and tooth roots. It prevents bacteria buildup on those rough tooth surfaces, leaving you with better dental health and cleaner teeth overall.
What Can You Expect at Your Periodontal Cleaning?
- Step 1: Supragingival cleaning utilizes scaling tools and allows our team to clean plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces above and below the gumline.
Step 2: We smooth out the tooth roots with root planing.
Step 3: If needed, we may prescribe medication to fight any underlying periodontal disease.
Step 4: You will need a follow-up exam with X-rays so we can make sure your gums are healing properly.
Step 5: Depending on your prognosis, you may need to return for additional periodontal cleaning 3-4 months later.
Fortifying Your Gum Health
Be sure to brush teeth and floss between them at least twice a day as recommended by our periodontal team. It helps keep early gum disease (gingivitis) or advanced gum disease (periodontitis) from gaining a foothold and ravaging your smile. It is crucial if you don’t want to see the return of gum inflammation. But that’s not enough if you are constantly bathing your teeth in sugary foods and drinks that feed the oral bacteria leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Keep your mouth well hydrated with protective saliva levels by drinking lots of water instead of sodas, juices, or sports drinks, and eat a balanced diet that provides the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your gums strong.
Getting Gum Help
If you think a periodontal cleaning may be beneficial for your smile, or you want to learn more about what we do, we are always happy to help. Good oral health is an invaluable part of your overall health, so make taking good care of your smile a priority and let us help you do it!