A gingivectomy is a common procedure performed by a periodontist (a dentist who deals with gums and the supporting structures of teeth) primarily to treat gum disease. Periodontists may recommend a gingivectomy for patients that have signs of a more severe form of gum disease that may put teeth in jeopardy if left untreated. This…
Who Needs Dental Deep Cleaning?
A dental deep cleaning is a treatment done to restore one's gums to good health. The procedure is more intensive than the regular cleaning that happens during a routine dental checkup. This type of cleaning is often necessary due to poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease. Continue reading to find out why a dental deep cleaning might be needed.
The need for dental deep cleanings
A dental deep cleaning is typically done to treat periodontal disease. During a routine dental appointment, the periodontist will use a probe to check if there are pockets around the teeth. Pockets are the depth of the gap between the gums and the teeth. Ideally, a healthy pocket should not be more than 3mm deep. However, if the depth of the pockets is above 5mm, the dentist will recommend scaling and root planing.
Scaling is done to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth surfaces and gum pockets, while root planing removes the tartar from tooth roots and smooths out the rough surfaces of the root where bacteria gather. The process can take between one to two hours using manual tools or ultrasonic devices.
The mouth contains a lot of bacteria. These bacteria cause sticky plaques that are removable by daily brushing and flossing. However, when the plaques are not removed, they harden into a substance called tartar that can only be cleaned during a dental deep cleaning. If the tartar remains on the teeth, they can cause gum inflammation, a condition known as gingivitis, which may cause inflamed, swollen and bleeding gums. Patients suffering from gingivitis are likely to need a dental deep cleaning in order to remove the build-up.
Untreated gingivitis can turn into an advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. Once the infection gets to this stage, the inflamed tissues will start to pull away, creating pockets. As the pockets deepen, the area of the tooth below the gum becomes more exposed to bacteria, which may start to destroy the bone supporting the teeth.
Once periodontitis occurs, it means that the gum infection has worsened to the point of bone loss. The bone loss is obvious with the noticeable gaps that develop along the gums and the teeth can loosen. If untreated, the teeth will fall out, resulting in irreversible damage. A dental deep cleaning is typically the first step to treating periodontitis. The objective is to remove bacterial from gum pockets to allow the gums to heal and remain healthy.
Points to consider
With dental deep cleanings, patients can avoid more invasive treatments for gum disease. After the procedure, there are ways to prevent gum disease and the need for another deep dental cleaning, including:
- Visit the dentist regularly for a checkup and routine cleaning
- Avoid tobacco products
- Brush the teeth twice daily and floss
- Eat a healthy diet
The periodontist is the best person to recommend a dental deep cleaning. Although periodontal disease is a serious condition, it is treatable and preventable. Be sure to book an appointment with the dentist if anything abnormal is noticed with the teeth and gums.
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