Twice a year dental cleanings are recommended for most people, although those with gum disease or a genetic disposition toward plaque build up should visit more often. Cleanings are essential to the continued overall health. While most home based tooth brushing and flossing help remove plaque, it cannot remove the hardened plaque also referred to as calculus or tartar. If left untreated the calculus build up can go on to cause a variety of other tooth related problems from decay to gum disease and root canal infection.
When you visit, our dental hygienists will conduct an oral examination of your mouth to determine if any further treatment is necessary. They will take measurements around every tooth surface to asses supporting bone health, then provide a thorough cleaning to remove build ups of calculus and tartar up below the gum line and in hard to access areas of your mouth followed by an extensive polishing to remove surface stains and to ensure the plaque has been removed. This is also a preventative measure to make it more difficult for plaque to resurface.
The supporting tissues that surround your teeth, show signs of inflammation/gum disease, also commonly called gingivitis, when bacteria in your mouth inflames causing the gums to become red and swollen. If left untreated gingivitis can advance into the much more serious periodontitis. Periodontitis causes the inner layer of gum and bone to pull away from teeth forming pockets leading to infection, permanent gum and bone damage, and tooth loss.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The primary cause of gum disease is plaque build up which can be brought on by poor oral hygiene, illness, and habits such as smoking. While symptoms range from severe to mild, there are several warning signs to look out for to determine if you are experiencing gingivitis or periodontitis. Symptoms include:
If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, you may need to undergo a periodontical treatment.
There are a wide array of treatments available to you depending on the stage of the disease and your overall health. These treatments range from non surgical therapies that work to control bacterial growth, to reconstructive surgeries that aim at restoring your supportive tissues. To determine which treatment is appropriate for you, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Professional Dental Cleanings. Professional cleanings are recommended at least twice a year. During a typical check up your dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar build up from above and below your dental gum line. If signs of gum disease persist, it may be recommended to have a professional cleaning more often than twice a year.
Scaling and Root Planing. This is a deep cleaning, non surgical procedure where plaque and tarter are scraped away from above and below the gum line. Rough spots on the tooth are them made smooth to prevent bacteria from building up again and to provide a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth. (you can opt to be numb for this procedure)
Frequent scheduled cleanings are the best way to ensure good continued and overall. For more questions or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today.
Your gums are an important foundation for your teeth and they provide stability for all of your dental work – so it's important to keep them healthy. In periodontal disease, a chronic bacterial infection is present. This silent infection occurs when harmful bacteria travel beneath the gum line and create "pockets". If left untreated, periodontal bacteria can lead to bone and tooth loss that threatens your foundation.
The good news is that there are effective treatments available for periodontal disease. At Birchwood Family Dentistry, we choose treatments for your infection and are dedicated to helping you fight periodontal disease. You may be treated with scaling and root planning, a common deep-cleaning procedure.
Atridox is a small amount of antibiotic gel that is easily placed into the pocket by a dental professional and releases over 14 days. Atridox placed directly into the pocket reaches the location where harmful bacteria live. Clinical studies show that Atridox and scaling and root planing are more effective at shrinking the size of infected periodontal pockets than scaling and root planing alone.