While a deep cleaning may sound like what your teeth need after you eat a big bucket of popcorn or a block of chewy caramel, it’s actually a highly effective treatment your dentist in Jacksonville uses to reverse gum disease. Also known as scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning may be just the thing to help you enjoy full smile health once again. But what actually happens during gum disease treatment? Your dentist in Jacksonville has the answer to that and other common questions in this week’s blog post.
Why Does Gum Disease Develop?
One of the main causes of gum disease is insufficient oral hygiene. When bacteria is not thoroughly removed from the surface of and between the teeth, it quickly multiplies — and the gum tissue makes a perfect home for infection. The bacteria digs spaces, or pockets, between the teeth and the gum tissue. These periodontal pockets, we call them, get deeper and deeper as the disease progresses until the gums can eventually no longer support the teeth at all.
What to Expect During a Deep Cleaning
A deep cleaning is similar to your regular six month hygiene visit, except that it is focused solely on healing gum disease. The main goal of a deep cleaning is to reverse infection by thoroughly removing bacteria from the periodontal pockets. It’s a nonsurgical treatment that is unlikely to cause much discomfort, but we still administer local anesthesia to remove feeling from the tooth roots.
Once you are completely comfortable, we begin by scaling the teeth, or removing tartar (hardened plaque) at and just below the gum line. Next, we plane the tooth’s root, or smoothing out the irregular surface that makes a perfect home for bacteria.
Several visits to the dentist may be required to completely heal the infection. Your dentist may apply a local antibiotic directly to the infection site to speed healing.
After the infection has healed, you can reduce the chances that it will return by maintaining excellent dental hygiene practices and visiting your dentist regularly. Remember to brush your teeth for two minutes, after each meal or at least twice a day, and floss your teeth daily. Be sure to attend any follow-up appointments your dentist schedules to keep your teeth and gums healthier over a lifetime.
Some additional tips you can try for reducing your risk of reinfection include…
- Drinking plenty of water, which stimulates saliva production to naturally wash away bacteria.
- Making sure you brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, which reduces the buildup of infection-causing bacteria and plaque.
- Setting a timer to ensure you brush your teeth for the full two minutes, every single time.
- Chewing sugar free gum between meals or at times when you are likely to have dry mouth.
- Quitting smoking or tobacco use.
Seek Treatment for Gum Disease in Jacksonville!
If you are experiencing the warning signs of periodontal disease, the Jacksonville Dental Specialists can help! We provide effective therapy for gum disease at every stage. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.