Providing the best opportunity for preventing dental disease
Dental diseases include gum disease (periodontal disease) and cavities (caries or decay).
Periodic cleanings, proper oral hygiene, fluoride treatments, & sealants are all ways to help prevent these dental diseases. Maintaining the health of your teeth and gums can help prevent cavities, bad breath, gum disease, and tooth loss that results from cavities or gum disease.
Caries - click to see "What Is A Cavity?
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gingiva (gum tissue). This occurs when plaque accumulates on the teeth and then on the surrounding gingiva. The gingiva becomes inflamed and then bleeds when brushed or flossed. This often deters people to brush and floss even more because the gums bleed. The more plaque sits on the tissue the more it becomes inflamed becoming a process of reoccurring inflammation.
Gingivitis can be reversed by keeping the teeth and gums cleaned by properly brushing at least twice daily, with emphasis at the gum line, and flossing daily to remove the plaque from all five sides of your teeth. If your gums are inflamed and bleed when flossed the most important thing to do is keep flossing them! The bleeding will subside within 2-3 weeks of flossing daily.
Periodontal disease involves the teeth, gums, and the bone that surrounds the teeth. It occurs when bacteria remains between the teeth and gums due to poor hygiene. This bacteria destroys what holds the teeth to the gums forming what we call a "pocket." The same bacteria destroys the bone around the teeth. In the advanced stages of periodontal disease tooth loss can occur. Probing is done to measure the depth of pockets to determine the extent of the periodontal disease.
The bacteria live inside the plaque on your teeth. When plaque builds up it turns into a cement-like substance on your teeth called calculus or tartar. This tartar can not be removed by brushing or flossing. It is removed at a professional cleaning appointment.
Scaling & Root Planing
Often, when periodontal disease is present, the cleaning can not be done in one appointment. Two to four appointments are required. We can make your appointment more comfortable by "numbing" certain areas at a time. We may start on the right side of your mouth and clean all the teeth on the right side in one appointment and clean all the teeth on the left side at the following appointment. The cleaning can also be broken up into quadrants or four appointments.
Scaling and root planing is the type of cleaning required when treating periodontal disease. It is necessary to reach into the depth of the pocket to remove the tartar and bacteria below the gum line. This controls the growth of harmful bacteria. It also helps gums reattach firmly to the teeth.