Deep Cleaning – A Small Step to Complete Protection
Superficial cleaning of your teeth daily doesn’t necessary eliminate chances of bacterial growth. Even if your teeth look perfect from the outside most people tend to have swollen gums, bleeding gums, pain or inflammation. This is mostly due to the bacterial attack on the gums.
Like a glacier in the water, your teeth extend below your gums. The foundation and strength of your teeth cannot be seen topically. Under the gums is the root of your teeth that is embedded into your jawbone. This is where periodontal disease gets started. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that destroys the support and structure of your teeth. This is mostly due to the bacterial attack on the gums. Dentist always recommends bi-annual or at least annual visit to identify and fight such issues before it worsens.
At the dental clinic, dentist will examine your teeth and gums to find any ‘Pocketing’ between your teeth. The space between your teeth and gums are called ‘Pockets’. A healthy pocket size should range from 0-1 mm where as,2-3 mm pocket is called gingivitis. When the depth of the gum tissue between the teeth and gums is 5 mm or more this would be considered the next stage of gum recession. This is the space where the bacteria are formed, which leads to gum bleeding and swelling. Once the dentist or dental hygienist identifies any 5 mm or more deep pockets, he then advises to undergo deep cleaning. There are cases where reading is 6-10 mm. This is advanced periodontal disease which can lead to bone loss too. Periodontal disease may be caused by many reasons, mainly poor oral hygiene, diabetes, pregnancy, puberty, genetics, medications, chewing tobacco, smoking or even stress.
Deep Cleaning is a non-surgical periodontal therapy which includes a combination of ‘Scaling’ and ‘Root Planing’. It is generally done together simultaneously so it’s best termed as deep cleaning. Scaling is the process of removing any tartar deposit or plaque on the teeth and the pocket area between the teeth and the gums. Root Planning is the clearing of plaque on the surface of the root and restoring the health of the gums. Scaling and Root Planing is done using either electronic or ultrasonic instruments or manual scaling tools. It takes a maximum of two sittings for deep cleaning. Some dentist schedule it in three or four short sittings. After the deep cleaning procedure, your dentist / dental hygienist will want to see you every 3-4 months for a maintenance appointment called Periodontal Maintenance.
Find Out Your Family History
Just as your physician inquires about family history regarding diseases and allergies on your visits, it is always good and very much important to know the dental history running in your family such as any gum disease and its severity. There is a strong genetic predilection for gum disease and this information can always help your dentist when offering you dental treatments.
Is Antibiotic Necessary for Deep Cleaning?
Bacteria that attack our mouth can attack our body too. Deep cleaning procedure can allow that bacteria to enter the bloodstream called bacteremia. Generally, healthy immune system prevents these bacteria from causing any harm to our body. When you have a deep cleaning, the bacteria that are in your mouth can get into the bloodstream after the procedure. For certain groups of people, there is concern that this bacteria could cause an infection elsewhere in the body. In such cases, antibiotic is recommended post cleaning.
Why Deep Cleanings Are Necessary
Deep cleanings is very important for two reasons:
- To prevent diseases like heart disease, dementia, and complications of diabetes
- To prevent tooth loss
The reason deep cleaning is important is because your body sees the tartar and plaque as a foreign invader. As with any other foreign invader, like flu or an infection, your body used the immune system to fight off the infection. Your immune system is capable to fight off infection for a short period of time. Extreme activation of the immune system can lead to diseases in the rest of your body. This is the reason why preventing gum disease reduces risk of stroke, heart disease, and dementia.
After the Deep Cleaning
Deep Cleaning is not a permanent solution to your dental hygiene. It is the detailed professional cleaning that completes the daily oral hygiene routine, as listed below:
- Brushing and flossing after meals, or at least twice per day.
- Using an antibacterial mouthwash
- Eating a diet rich in vegetables
- Making an appointment for every three months if you have gum disease, or every six months if you don’t have gum disease.
Remember, gum disease is easy to prevent, but difficult to get rid of. With deep cleaning done, you have happy healthy gums and it will keep your teeth longer and avoid health problems associated with periodontal disease.