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Why Teeth Cleaning Is Essential

Woman at the dentistTeeth cleaning is sometimes called dental prophylaxis, which literally means preventing a disease.  Teeth cleaning is a procedure done to remove tartar that develops primarily in spaces that are difficult to brush thoroughly.  Teeth cleaning is an important part of good oral hygiene and helps to prevent gum disease and promotes healthy teeth and gums.

Dental cleaning typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.  Most dentists recommend that this be done at least twice a year, though some patients may have situations that justify more frequent cleanings depending on the health of teeth and gums.

Thorough dental hygiene habits and regular dental prophylaxis are vital to the protecting against periodontal disease, disease of the gums.  Periodontal disease is the top cause of tooth loss in American adults and most adults have it to some extent.  Periodontal disease affects about 3 out of 4 people at some point in their lives.  It is progressive, though usually slowly, and its progress can be halted.  Some people are genetically vulnerable to gum problems and may have problems even with perfect hygiene.

Periodic cleaning, coupled with careful dental hygiene including brushing and flossing, can help get rid of plaque.  Plaque consists of a colony of bacteria, often more than 1,000 per milligram and causes decay, gingivitis and periodontitis.  If plaque is allowed to collect on the teeth or under the gum line, it can harden into a substance called calculus, which stays covered with a layer of plaque.

Process of teeth cleaning:

  • Plaque and tartar are removed from all tooth surfaces above the gum line
  • Dead cells, plaque and tartar are removed from under the gums
  • Teeth are polished
  • Hygiene habits are evaluated and recommendations are made for home care, including brushing and flossing instructions
  • Gum attachments are charted
  • The next visit is scheduled

Gum treatment options:

  1. In-office teeth cleaning – professional cleaning will remove all plaque from your teeth to protect against decay and gum disease.  This should be done twice a year by a qualified dental hygienist.
  2. Deep Cleaning – Also known as scaling and root planing, this procedure is used to treat gum infections.  Plaque is scraped away and gums are treated for infection.
  3. Laser treatment – Laser treatment is used as an alternative to surgery.  The procedure involves placing a small fiber into a pocket under the gum to fight inflammation and infection that devastate teeth and gums.  This procedure offers the same results as surgery without the pain.
  4. Surgery – Severe gum disease, called periodontitis, may require surgery if it is too advanced to treat with deep cleaning and antibiotics.  Depending on the exact situation, there are several possible options.

Benefits of a Holistic Specialist

When you see a holistic practice, you will be educated on your specific condition and will feel confident and empowered in making decisions for any treatment you may need.  A holistic dental hygienist has available a number of tools for assessment, including bacterial testing, pH testing, radiographs, ultrasound, probing, and blood testing.  Education and prevention are vital components in a holistic practice.  You will receive education on hygiene techniques, nutrition, holistic treatments and nutraceuticals.  Periodontal therapy options may include peroxide therapy, ozone, antibiotics and periodontal maintenance.

If you are in the San Diego area and have any questions about teeth cleaning or gum treatments, call (619) 640-5100 to see our Holistic Hygiene Specialist for a free consultation.

– Doctor , DDS.

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