How Deep of a Dental Cleaning Do You Need?

tools for teeth cleaningThere’s more than one way to clean your teeth, and all of them are important at different steps in your dental hygiene routine. The most common is to simply brush and floss your teeth twice a day. In between brushings, the many kinds of oral bacteria in your mouth gather and form dental plaque, which can calcify (harden) if ignored, or if your toothbrush misses it. Since tartar can’t be removed with water and toothpaste, a healthy patient also requires routine dental checkups and cleanings at least once every six months. If bacteria work their way underneath your gums, inciting the onset of gingivitis, then you may need a deep dental cleaning, or periodontal cleaning, to save your smile from gum disease.

What is a Routine Dental Cleaning?

A dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, is usually performed by an experienced dental hygienist, and is designed to prevent bacteria-induced dental diseases. During your visit, your teeth and gums are evaluated for early signs of disease-development. If your smile is healthy, then a dental cleaning will suffice to professionally remove plaque and stubborn tartar from on and around your teeth.

When is a Deep Dental Cleaning Called For?

When bacteria fester along your gum line for a while, some of them produce toxins that erode the tissues connecting your gums to your teeth. As your periodontal tissue separates from your teeth, bacteria can accumulate on the teeth roots underneath it, where your dentist’s cleaning tools can’t reach. Before long, the infection can cause swelling, redness, and bleeding in your gums—precursors to destructive gum disease development. Deep cleaning, also referred to as a scaling and root planing, involves carefully removing bacteria from your teeth’s roots and underneath your gums, then smoothing the roots’ surfaces to discourage bacteria buildup in the future. If your gum disease has progressed significantly, then advanced periodontal treatment (typically with lasers) may be necessary to restore your diseased periodontal tissues.

About Your San Diego Periodontist:

To learn how to keep your smile healthy and beautiful so you can enjoy the many benefits it offers, subscribe to this blog, and visit Dr. Kania for a consultation. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to replace teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, visit our office or contact us today at (760) 642-0711.