Types of DENTAL CLEANINGS
Healthy Dental Cleaning
Dental cleanings and exams are essential in maintaining your oral health. Also known as a prophylaxis, a healthy dental cleaning removes plaque, hard deposits, and light stains thoroughly from your teeth. It also allows your hygienist and Dr. Shin to closely examine your teeth, gum, and bone health, and look for signs of oral cancer. Detecting cavities, periodontal disease, and other conditions early on allow for less invasive treatment options and help keep your mouth healthy for a lifetime.
When bacteria accumulate underneath your gums, your gums can become infected with periodontal disease. Periodontal disease will continue to destroy tissues and supporting bone around your teeth unless you intervene. Typically, the first step in treating periodontal disease is having a “deep cleaning” done. This allows your hygienist to clean out the bacteria embedded deep in your gum pockets, and smooth the surfaces to reduce future bacteria accumulation. Often times, your hygienist will use laser therapy after the deep cleaning to kill residual bacteria, reduce inflammation, reduce bleeding, and promote quicker healing. Other conjunctive therapies include medicinal rinses and placement of antibiotics in the healing gum tissues.
Following treatment, good oral hygiene on a daily basis is essential to preventing periodontal disease from continuing to damage your mouth. Since bacterial accumulation is the ultimate cause of periodontal disease, effective brushing and flossing is the only thing that will keep bacteria from cropping up. Electric toothbrushes have been shown to reduce plaque up to 90% better than a traditional manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are also more gentle on the gums, preventing worsening of recession. Flossing is also essential to keeping bacteria from accumulating between the teeth. Traditional string floss may not be able to get to the bottom of deep gum pockets, which is crucial in preventing disease relapse. Using a water flosser (such as a Waterpik) will clean deeper into the pockets, and flush out deep bacteria about 60% better than string floss. In addition to excellent home care, returning for maintenance cleanings every 3-4 months is important to allow us to maintain and monitor your disease state, and address it immediately if there is a relapse.
People who have had a deep cleaning or history of the periodontal disease need to come in more frequently for dental cleanings to prevent the disease from relapsing. Periodontal bacteria are aggressive and will continue to damage your gums and bone unless strictly maintained. Even with good oral hygiene at home, periodontal disease can still be actively infecting your gums and bone in areas difficult to keep clean. Additional therapies such as LANAP laser treatment in San Francisco, medicinal rinses, and antibiotics can also be used to maintain periodontal disease in the dental office and at home.
450 Sutter St., Suite 1630
San Francisco, CA 94108
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