Dental Hygiene and Check-ups

Proper Dental Hygiene plays and important role in your overall health. Multiple studies show the direct correlation between the health of the mouth and the body, the oral-systemic connection. It is not commonly known that many diseases manifest themselves first in the oral cavity. By maintaining your regular cleanings and check-ups, we can monitor specific areas of the mouth prone to showing signs of irritations, swelling, or redness.   

“Don’t wait until it hurts”, is a good motto when it comes to regular dental and cleaning appointments. While daily brushing and flossing at home are important, the accumulation of dental plaque in deeper crevices is inevitable and leads to dental disease when not removed professionally. Patients who have crowns, bridges, or braces especially should not delay scheduling regular cleanings to help maintain those restorations. 

A routine cleaning is often called a “prophylaxis”. This basically means a preventative visit to clean the surfaces of the teeth and debris out of the gums surrounding the teeth. Prevention is always less expensive than reparative treatment and often more comfortable. Identifying problems early and catching potential issues can mitigate more complicated problems from occurring.

Nobody wants to lose their teeth, but we also know that in certain circumstances, it is almost impossible for a patient to clean deeper down into those deeper pockets that surround the teeth. If needed, we may suggest doing a procedure referred to as a scaling and root planing. This is typically done with anesthetic and we spend a little extra time carefully smoothing off the root surfaces, removing calculus and plaque from the teeth. Once this is done, the tissue may shrink slightly and improve the overall health of the area.

Treatment for Gum Disease vs. a Routine Cleaning

Did you know there are different levels of gum disease? The type of dental cleaning or treatment needed depends upon the gum health or presence of gum disease.

A “prophylaxis” or routine cleaning, for instance, is done on healthy gums to remove accumulated tartar above the gum line and prevent gum disease. It is technically a preventive or routine cleaning.

On the other hand, gum disease can range from the less severe “gingivitis” to the most severe “advanced periodontitis”, and other levels in between. 

The type of cleaning needed to resolve each condition also ranged from a “gingivitis cleaning” to “scaling and root planing” in conjunction for the need of antibiotics and even laser therapy. It is critical to treat gum disease in order to prevent undesirable and detrimental tooth loss.