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Dental Deep Cleaning for Periodontal Disease
A dental deep cleaning might sound like a procedure to undergo after missing a couple of cleaning appointments with the dentist. However, a dental deep cleaning is in fact a specific procedure done by the dentist for periodontal disease treatment to tackle bacteria invasion below the gum line. This article talks about the procedure and its relevance to periodontal disease.
The need for a deep dental cleaning
Dental professionals recommend that patients undergo a periodontal evaluation every year to know if a dental deep cleaning is necessary. The measurement of gum pockets is only part of the dental evaluation. When a patient visits the dental office for an appointment, the dentist will use a tool called a probe to check the area between the teeth and gums. These areas are called pockets and when the depth is more than 5mm, the patient usually requires a dental deep cleaning. Usually, a healthy pocket should not be more than 3mm deep.
The deep cleaning process
A dental deep cleaning is also known as periodontal scaling and root planing (SRP). It is like a routine cleaning but focuses more on the root surfaces and beneath the gum line. It is necessary for treating periodontal disease, a gum infection caused by tartar accumulation. The pocket is simply a result of the gumline pulling away from the tooth. As the pockets deepen, connective tissue deteriorates, causing bone loss and eventually, tooth loss.
A dental deep cleaning will stop the further infection and encourage healing. It is important to note that stopping infection and inflammation anywhere in the body, including the gums, is vital to cardiovascular health and overall wellbeing.
For scaling, the dentist will use a handheld dental scaler to remove plaque manually from the teeth and around the gums. They might decide to use an ultrasonic device with a vibrating metal tip and water spray to clean the hardened plaque. Root planing is mostly about smoothing rough areas on the tooth roots that tend to trap bacteria and cause gum disease. Planing will help the newly treated gums reconnect to the teeth.
Dental scaling and root planing can usually be completed in a single appointment with the dentist and may last for one or two hours. However, if the infection is severe or there are several points to treat, the dentist may treat one or two sections of the mouth in separate appointments. This makes the procedure less painful and overwhelming.
Aftercare following the procedure
Usually, after a dental deep cleaning treatment, the bacteria in the gum pockets will be gone. Over the following weeks, the gums will become cleaner and healthier, assuming the patient practices good oral hygiene daily. The dentist will provide instructions on how to take care of the teeth and gums properly. They will recommend brushing carefully and rinsing the mouth with antibacterial mouthwash if necessary.
Usually, dental deep cleaning and regular visits to the dentist should be enough to treat and reverse periodontal disease. It is important to take dental appointments seriously and practice good oral hygiene to prevent reinfection. Book an appointment with the dentist to learn more about the procedure.
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