Dental Deep Cleanings in Fairfield, CT
Dental Cleanings and Your Overall Health
As recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), routine dental cleanings should be scheduled at least every six months. This is the recommended time frame for a patient who has no major dental issues. Professional dental cleanings help remove the soft, sticky build-up called plaque and the hardened plaque called calculus, more commonly known as “tarter.” Routine dental cleanings can remove tartar that has built-up above the gum line.
Sometimes, a routine dental cleaning cannot be done for a patient. If we see evidence of periodontal or gum disease, we may recommend a more involved cleaning called “deep cleaning.” A deep cleaning, or a Scaling and Root Planing, is necessary if you have developed hardened deposits underneath your gum line. These deposits must be removed as they harbor bacteria that will cause irreversible damage to your bone. It is important to treat periodontal disease, or gum disease, in a timely manner, as periodontal disease has been linked to other chronic health diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Lee will examine your teeth during your initial visit to determine if there is a risk for periodontal disease. If diagnosed with gum disease, we will discuss the need for and the benefits of deep cleaning, and we will answer any questions you may have. We will also discuss your home care moving forward, to give you the skills to best maintain your oral hygiene at home.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a chronic infection caused by bacteria deep in the gum pockets, causing bone and soft tissue damage over time. If left untreated, periodontal disease will cause bone loss, which leads to increased tooth decay as the softer areas of the tooth are exposed, tooth mobility, and ultimately, tooth loss. Advanced gum disease can be detrimental to your overall health as it has been linked to several systemic diseases, including heart disease, gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Periodontitis is common but is also largely preventable. Dr. Lee will provide a thorough, comprehensive exam of your teeth, mouth, gums, and overall health. We use all the information collected during your visit to assess your risk for periodontal disease, including your medical history, deep periodontal pocketing, bone loss visualized on x-rays, the clinical appearance of your gums, and gum recession. If diagnosed with periodontal disease, early intervention is important to stop the progression of gum tissue damage and bone loss.
Common Symptoms of Gum Disease:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Bright red or purplish gum tissue
- Gums that feel tender, or gums that bleed easily
- Bleeding after toothbrushing or flossing
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth, painful chewing
- New spaces developing between your teeth
- Gum recession
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when biting
What is Deep Dental Cleaning?
The goal of a deep cleaning is to thoroughly clean the pockets around teeth, removing any hardened areas of calculus and removing anaerobic bacteria at the bottom of the gum pockets. This is a non-surgical procedure called Scaling and Root Planing.
To deep clean, our hygienists will numb the area using topical numbing gel and local anesthetic to make sure that you are comfortable during the procedure. The hygienist will then be able to clean thoroughly with an ultrasonic device or hand scalers. Scaling removes any hardened tarter from your tooth surfaces and any deposits that have formed beneath your gums. Root planing smooths the root surfaces, discouraging any future build-up of bacteria, and encouraging reattachment of the gum to the tooth surfaces.
Depending on the progression of your periodontal disease, you may be scheduled for more than one office visit. Once periodontal therapy is completed, a mouth rinse may be prescribed for you to use at home. Other adjunctive therapies, such as localized antibiotic therapy, may be recommended depending on the extent of your tissue damage and bone loss. After deep dental cleaning is complete, we will re-evaluate and closely monitor you to ensure that your gum disease does not return; typically, we will schedule routine maintenance cleanings every three to four months, depending on the patient.
Periodontal surgery may also be necessary if the non-surgical methods of gum disease treatment are ineffective. Early detection and treatment is key to keep interventions as minimally invasive as possible.
Your Dental Health is Our Priority
Regular dental visits are essential to the early detection of dental problems so that our dentist and hygienists can provide early treatment to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
If you are ready to treat and prevent dental issues with the best office in Fairfield County, schedule an appointment with us today at (203) 259-7073.