Someone who brushes and flosses three times a day and accumulates little plaque has different cleaning needs than someone with advanced, severe gum disease, bleeding gums, and bone loss.
Dental Prophylaxis – This is the routine, disease free tooth cleaning that we all strive for. Prophylaxis means to prevent, so this type of care is to prevent gum disease. There can also be different levels or types of these “healthy mouth” cleanings depending on plaque build‐up and other health issues.
Gross Debridement – We often see clients that have not been able to have their teeth cleaned in years. As a result, they often have swollen, bleeding gums that may appear to be worse off than they actually are. Sometimes the build‐up can be so thick that it hides cavities, and even teeth from plain sight. In these cases we clean the teeth above the gums as best we can and then give the body a few weeks to heal. We can then come back and get an accurate diagnosis of the extent of the gum disease.
Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleanings) –This is the initial treatment choice for active gum disease. As bacteria accumulate between your teeth and under your gums, you start to develop pockets of gum tissue that cannot be cleaned out with a toothbrush or floss. The bugs that cause gum disease thrive in these pockets and can cause you to lose bone around your teeth. To clean down into these areas, we can use a numbing solution to keep you comfortable. In some cases, we can use special irrigating solutions in these pockets after cleaning to help eliminate as many disease causing bacteria as possible.
Periodontal Maintenance – After scaling, we want to do everything possible for you to remain pocket free. Periodontitis or gum disease is a constant low grade bacterial infection. It is an infection that we can treat and you can often control, but neither of us can completely cure. Deep cleanings and antibiotics remove most of the bacteria and allow your gums to return to normal, but there are always bugs hiding and waiting for the right time to go forth and multiply. Periodontal maintenance cleanings help to make sure those bugs don’t get back in control of your mouth and cause you to lose your teeth.
These are a few of the most common types of dental cleanings. Hopefully, this has helped to clear up the common misconception of the “one size fits all” tooth cleaning. If not, drop me a note and I’ll be glad to answer any question you may have about your care at PURE Dental Hygiene Care.