The main reason for having your teeth cleaned regularly is to help prevent gum disease. Regular cleanings, combined with good home care (brushing and flossing) will prevent most gum disease. But while dental neglect can lead to this condition, sometimes even people with good dental habits will develop gum disease.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gingivitis – this involves simple inflammation of the gums. The gums may be red and puffy, may bleed easily when you brush or touch them, and they may be tender. In most cases, a good professional cleaning followed with good home care will completely reverse gingivitis.
Periodontitis – When the bony support of the teeth begins to be affected, we use the term periodontitis. Pockets will develop around the teeth and there will be signs of bone loss seen on x-rays. There is ordinarily no discomfort at all associated with periodontitis, and with some people, they don’t notice anything wrong until the teeth begin to become loose. Unfortunately, at that point it is often too late to save the teeth.
Treatment of Gum Disease
With advanced periodontitis, surgical intervention may be needed. But with early periodontitis, usually a deep cleaning followed by diligent home care will halt the disease. This deep cleaning is done under local anesthetic and may take several appointments.
Deep Cleaning Post Op Instructions
- Anesthetic was used today – please avoid chewing until anesthetic has dissipated.
- There is a possibility of post-operative sensitivity to hot or cold. Initially avoid extremes in temperature.
- For discomfort take an anti-inflammatory as needed, typically Motrin or Ibuprofen.
- There is a need for excellent hygiene. Keep the area clean even if a little sore. Brush and floss after each meal.
- Warm salt water rinse (8 oz water, 1/4 tsp salt) 3 times daily.
Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.