Sometimes proper brushing and flossing are not enough to keep gums healthy. Gum disease can be prevented by practicing good healthy habits. At every new patient exam, the health of your gums will be evaluated by measuring pocket
depths between your teeth and gum tissue. Pocket depths of 1-3 mm are generally considered healthy; anything past 3 mm in the presence of plaque and calculus build up can start to show signs of gum disease or indicate the need for a deep cleaning(also known as scaling and root planing). Plaque is the soft, white substance filled with bacteria that builds around teeth when they are not properly cleaned. Calculus(also known as tartar) is simply calcified or mineralized plaque, which is sometimes visible in x-rays. Build of plaque and calculus around the teeth typically leads to deeper pocket depths, which in turn allows more build up underneath the gum line. Once buildup gets underneath the gum line, it is inaccessible to clean with regular brushing and flossing.
If you are diagnosed with gum disease(periodontal disease) your dentist may prescribe a scaling and root planing procedure. Commonly known as a “deep cleaning”, this procedure allows us to get into deep areas of the gum where food and bacteria thrive. For long-term health, it is important for a dental professional to physically remove the plaque/calculus buildup and flush the bacteria out of these sites. Normally, local anesthesia is administered to make deep cleanings comfortable for patients. Many times, local antibiotics may be recommended along with a deep cleaning to achieve best results.
At Belterra Dental we pride ourselves on educating our patients. We want each patient to know why, when and how their treatment is recommended and administered. A big part of periodontal therapy that is often overlooked is maintenance of gum treatment received.
After you receive a deep cleaning, you may find yourself thinking “alright, I’m getting a deep cleaning and this will take care of my gum disease”. Unfortunately, gum disease is a chronic, progressive, long term disease. What that means is that gum disease develops over the course of many years due to poor oral hygiene, lack of routine dental cleanings and genetic factors. Therefore, in order to fully resolve this condition, it is very important to improve your oral hygiene at home and return for you periodontal maintenance visits that range from 3-4 times a year. For more questions of periodontal therapy