We often hear from dentists that regular dental checkups and cleanings are necessary for maintaining optimal oral hygiene and preventing various dental problems. That is why most dentists recommend that you should visit for a checkup at least twice a year so that underlying dental problems can be treated timely.
During your routine checkup appointment, your dentist will perform a detailed clinical examination to identify any issues – such as teeth cavities, gum inflammation, or dislodged fillings – that might need their attention. Your dentist will also perform professional teeth cleaning to remove plaque deposits from the surface of your teeth.
If you miss an appointment with your dentist, you actually expose your teeth to further plaque deposition. With time, the plaque deposits on your teeth harden to form the calculus or tartar, even if you’re maintaining optimal oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing.
Both plaque and tartar offer an ideal environment for the harmful bacteria to replicate – and release harmful toxins in the process – that damage the gums and periodontal tissues. At the same time, plaque and tartar deposits also start forming on the surface of the roots, destroying the fibers that attach your teeth with the bone and the periodontal ligament. As a result, “pockets start to form between your teeth. At this stage, the gums appear swollen and bleed spontaneously on touching.
As the inflammation continues, the destruction of the periodontal tissues and jawbone causes your teeth to become mobile. If the situation is not corrected timely, the destruction of the jawbone is so extensive that the teeth start falling out.
So, how do dentists treat this situation? Through deep cleaning? But what’s the difference between regular and deep cleaning? Continue reading to find out.
A regular dental cleaning – also called professional teeth cleaning – is a procedure in which your dentist removes plaque and calculus deposits from the surfaces of the teeth. A regular cleaning procedure is normally a part of a routine checkup appointment and is mainly a preventive measure to minimize the chances of periodontal inflammation due to plaque and plaque and tartar deposition. Your dentist will use an ultrasonic scaler to clean tooth surfaces, followed with polishing to prevent future plaque adhesion.
A dental deep cleaning – also known as scaling and root planning – is more of a therapeutic treatment; aimed at reversing the damage caused by the harmful bacteria present inside the plaque and calculus deposits. A deep cleaning procedure is recommended when the pockets between the teeth and gums are more than 5mm deep.
During a dental deep cleaning, your dentist will not only clean the visible parts of your teeth but also go beneath the gums to remove calculus and damaged gum tissues. Once your dentist has cleaned all the tooth surfaces, he or she will polish them and apply a medicament, if required.
Deep cleaning is only beneficial in reversing periodontal inflammation if it is complemented with strict oral hygiene care and regular dental checkups.
Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)
- What is periodontal disease, or gum disease?
- How is periodontal disease diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for periodontal disease?
- What is a dental deep cleaning?
- How is a dental deep cleaning different than a regular dental cleaning?
- What do I do after a dental deep cleaning?
- How do I prevent periodontal disease from returning?
- What causes periodontal disease?
- What are the stages of periodontal disease?
- What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
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- The link between periodontal disease, heart disease, and stroke.
- Periodontal disease and pregnancy
- The link between periodontal disease and osteoporosis.
- The link between periodontal disease and respiratory disease.