Gum disease is easily one of the most common forms of disease in the U.S. and the world. It’s estimated that approximately 80% of American adults are affected by gum disease. It contributes to tooth loss, heart disease, diabetes, and even stroke. So how is your dentist in Boiling Springs fighting back in favor of your oral health?
Through a process known as deep cleaning, you dentist can protect you from disease in ways that no at-home care alone can. That’s why making it to your dentist has become so imperative. With this information, you’ll be going into the dentist office with confidence that you’re in good hands.
What is Deep Cleaning?
During a typical dental cleaning, your dentist will remove plaque and tartar from your tooth that sits above and below the gumline. Deep cleaning, however, focuses on these areas but also your teeth roots’ surfaces. Patients with mild gum disease will most likely receive a deep cleaning by their dentist because it’s the best defense against more advanced forms of gum disease.
To determine if you need a deep cleaning, the dentist will use a periodontal probe to measure the depth of your periodontal pockets. These are defined as the spaces between your teeth and gums. If your pockets are deeper than 3 millimeters, they’ll perform the procedure to remove any chances of developing gum disease for the time being.
What Method Does Your Dentist Use?
Dentists utilize a technique known as root planing to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth roots. Bacteria that contributes to gum disease easily creeps inside these areas and root planing makes the surface of your gums smooth. This way, the roots can reattach after the bacteria is removed.
The process can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours over several visits, depending on the severity. They’ll use traditional dental instruments such as scalers or ultrasonic cleaners and possibly apply an antimicrobial below the gum line to kill bacteria. Your dentist may also provide a local anesthetic or numbing gel to remove any discomfort during treatment. Here’s what you can expect afterwards.
What to Expect After Your Cleaning
It’s normal to experience soreness, tooth sensitivity, and slight bleeding for a few days after scaling and root planing. Your dentist may recommend a follow-up to determine how well your gums’ pockets are healing. They’ll also remeasure the pockets to confirm the treatment is working.
Brushing a twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting your dentist twice a year is the best defense against bacteria entering your deep pockets. If you want to learn more tips to prevent the need for deep cleanings, schedule an appointment with your Boiling Springs dentist today!
About the Author
Thomas Neslund, DMD, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania. He then earned his dental degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine the following year. He’s also an active member of the ADA, the Academy of General Dentistry, and has studied extensively with the SPEAR Institute since 2000. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (717) 258-5455 or visit his website.