Day in and day out, you brush, you floss, you try to care for your teeth. However, without adding in regular professional cleanings, you may still develop gum disease.
To keep your mouth healthy, visit your dentist for a professional cleaning at least twice per year. Otherwise, you risk periodontal (gum) disease. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. From there it progresses to periodontitis, also known as advanced gum disease.
Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are crucial to keeping your mouth healthy, but they simply aren’t enough to prevent periodontal disease. That’s because there are areas of your mouth where plaque and tartar build up that you can’t reach.
Routine dental cleanings help. Your hygienist can remove the plaque and tartar you can’t get to, stopping the bacteria that cause plaque from proliferating. Missing regular cleanings gives plaque more time to build along and even below your gum line; that’s how gum disease begins.
Once plaque infiltrates your gum line, it forms pockets around your tooth’s roots. These pockets are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which thrive on plaque and cause problems. Your gum tissue and the all-important enamel on your teeth can suffer due to these bacteria.
And though it’s obvious that gum disease affects your gums and oral health, you may not realize that it can cause other health problems. Bacteria that reach your bloodstream can have serious complications, including heart attack and stroke.
Eliminating pockets of plaque is the best chance you have of battling gum disease. Once the pockets are gone, your gums can reattach to your teeth, a seal that keeps out the bacteria.
Deep dental cleaning is a two-step process also called scaling and root planing.
Scaling, the first step of deep cleaning, removes collected plaque and tartar from the pockets under your gum line. There’s no other way to get rid of it — your toothbrush and floss just can’t reach it.
The second stage of deep cleaning is root planing, a procedure that smooths the surface of your tooth’s root to encourage your gum tissue to reattach to your teeth.
You may need more than one appointment to complete scaling and root planing and, possibly, a follow-up appointment to make sure that your gums are healing properly.
You may need pain medication for a day or two after a deep cleaning, and you may experience tooth sensitivity for a week or so. We may prescribe a special mouthwash or other medication. Your aftercare instructions depend on your situation.
Remember that scaling and root planing are aggressive treatments, but they can save your teeth.
If you’ve missed a few dental cleanings, or your gums are red and swollen, schedule an appointment today at Baton Rouge Perio to find out if a deep cleaning could help you. Call our office today or request an appointment by visiting our website at www.batonrougeperio.com.