You’re constantly warned by dentists about gum disease. You know the mantra: brush and floss at least twice a day to get rid of plaque-causing bacteria. You feel like you’ve done a pretty good job of sticking to that routine. But did you know that sometimes despite your best efforts, bacteria can still build up in your gums? When you have gum disease in Buckhead, you’re beyond the point where brushing and flossing can solve the problem. Fortunately, the disease can be treated in its early stages with periodontal treatment, or deep cleaning; read to learn more about when and how this procedure can help save your smile.
When is a Deep Cleaning Necessary?
Gum disease occurs when the bacteria in plaque and tartar causes your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, pockets are formed between the teeth and gums; the bacteria becomes trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing or flossing. If untreated, the infection may threaten the bone around your teeth, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, a deep cleaning can help remove plaque and tartar from the surface and roots of the teeth as well as the gum pockets.
What Happens During Deep Cleaning?
Deep cleaning is a two-step process that’s often referred to as scaling and planing. Scaling is the removal of plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line of the tooth; it’s a thorough cleaning that reaches all the way to the bottom of the pocket. This step can be performed with an ultrasonic instrument or traditional manual tools.
Planing is similar to scaling, except it specifically focuses on removing plaque and tartar from the roots of the teeth. The roots are smoothed out to make it easier to reattach to the gums and prevent plaque from building up again in the future. This can be done with dental instruments or a laser.
What Happens After Deep Cleaning?
Anesthesia is used during the procedure; afterwards, you may experience discomfort and teeth sensitivity. Your dentist will instruct you on how to take care of your mouth while it repairs itself; you may need to schedule another visit to make sure your gums are healing properly.
While a deep cleaning can help you fight against gum disease, the easiest way to keep your mouth healthy is to make sure potential health problems are stopped before they start. Maintain good brushing and flossing habits, stay away from candy and other sugary foods that encourage plaque, and keep your regular dental visits. But should the worst happen anyway, speak with your dentist about periodontal treatment in Buckhead.
About the Author
Dr. Peter Pate is a former army dentist who practiced at The Pentagon and the Walter Reed Army Hospital. In addition to general dentistry, he uses state-of-the-art technology to provide cosmetic and restorative treatments such as porcelain veneers and implant restorations. He treats patients of all ages and focuses on making their visits comfortable. If you have questions about deep cleaning, contact his practice, Dentistry in Buckhead, through their website or call (404) 266-9424.