Gum or periodontal disease is an infection of the gum and bone tissues that support teeth and hold them in their position. It is primarily caused due to the accumulation of plaque and tartar on both above and below the gumline. It causes bone and gum recession and leads to tooth loss. Gum disease requires immediate dental care as it has been linked to severe health conditions like cardiovascular damage and diabetes.
Deep cleaning is a non-surgical procedure, performed by a dental hygienist or dentist to treat gum disease. It involves the removal of plaque and tartar deposits from the surface of teeth and below the gum line. Symptoms indicating the need for deep cleaning are:
● Red, swollen, and inflamed gums.
● Bleeding and tender gums.
● Receding gums, causing loose teeth.
● Persistent bad breath accompanied by tooth-discoloration.
● Formation of periodontal pockets between teeth and gums.
● Formation of abscess pockets near tooth roots.
● Pus oozing out from gums.
● A change in the way teeth fit together when you bite.
How is deep cleaning performed?
Below is a step-by-step guide to laser deep cleaning.
Step 1: Diagnosis
The treatment begins with the dentist crawling into a patient's medical history to determine his susceptibility to develop gum disease and identify key factors that could have contributed to the development of the disease.
Next, the mouth is thoroughly examined using X-rays to identify symptoms and areas of plaque and tartar accumulation.
Then, a dental probe is used to measure the depth of periodontal pockets and severity of gum disease. In a healthy mouth, the pocket depth is usually between 1 and 3 mm, while a patient suffering from gum disease has a pocket depth of 4 mm or more.
If the symptoms of gum disease are identified, the dentist moves to the next step.
Step 2: Scaling
Scaling is a non-surgical procedure that involves the removal of plaque and tartar deposits from both above and below the gumline. It is either performed manually or using an ultrasonic dental device.
While performing scaling manually, the dentist uses a mirror and touches the surface of teeth to identify regions of plaque deposits. Then, a scaling instrument is used to manually scrape off the plaque and tartar deposits. On the other hand, ultrasonic scaling uses an automated device to remove plaque and tartar. The device primarily consists of an ultrasonic vibrating tip and a water spray. The ultrasonic tip identifies areas with plaque and tartar and scrapes them thoroughly and the water spray or jet cleans the abscess pockets present below the gumline.
Step 3: Root planing
Root planing is performed to remove plaque from the deeper regions and tooth roots. It also smooths the rough root surfaces which provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Root planing also helps the gums and teeth to reattach themselves.
After the completion of the procedure, an antimicrobial is used to disinfect the treated area.
Step 4: Follow-up care
The dentist will prescribe topical or oral antibiotics to prevent future bacterial infection. A thorough deep cleaning requires two to three visits to the dentist. The mouth is divided into halves or quadrants and each section is addressed separately to ensure the complete elimination of the disease.
At Murray Dental Care of Cupertino, our entire team of dentists and hygienists is committed to providing supreme quality dental care to our patients and their families. If you are inclined towards taking the first steps to improve your dental health and hygiene, call us at (408) 253-5277 to book an appointment.