Patients frequently call our office asking what type of cleaning they need. We hope this post will help answer some questions and provide you with some information regarding dental cleanings.
What is gum disease?
There are two main types of periodontal (gum) disease:
- Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and to bleed easily. Although there are many causes, it is most often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. With proper dental cleanings and improvement in home oral care, gingivitis is reversible!
- Periodontitis is the more severe form of gum disease. As gingivitis progresses, plaque builds up in the space between your teeth and gums. The bacteria in the plaque produces toxins and stimulates a immune response from your body. Your body reacts to this by breaking down the tissue and bone supporting your teeth. Eventually, as the disease progresses, teeth become mobile and loose.
How do I treat gum disease?
There are two main types of dental cleanings:
- Prophylaxis - Commonly called a “prophy“- a dental prophylaxis is a type of cleaning that involves cleaning and polishing tooth surfaces above the gum line.
- Scaling and root planing, also known as a “deep cleaning”- is the removal of plaque and calculus from the root surfaces of teeth. It is recommended for patients with more advanced forms of gum disease and is considered the gold standard of treating periodontitis.
How do you determine what type of cleaning I need?
At Dayton Dental, we perform a comprehensive periodontal evaluation for all our new patients as part of the comprehensive exam. We will take radiographs to assess the quality of your tooth supporting bone and measure the depths of your gum pockets to determine if you have or if you are at risk of periodontal disease. We will explain the entire process as we go to help you better understand what exactly goes on in your mouth.
Gum disease not only leads to tooth loss, but it can also spread via bloodstream to the rest of your body! Call us today @ 720-477-1449 to take control of your gums for a healthier life!