Your oral health is an essential aspect of your overall well being – and part of keeping your dental hygiene in great shape is getting regular cleanings. However, there are two different aspects of dental cleanings: regular cleaning and periodontal maintenance. Here are some key differences to note about each.
Regular Dental Cleaning vs. Periodontal Maintenance
A regular dental cleaning is recommended for patients who do not have periodontal disease (ie a deeper infection). There should be no bleeding, mobility of the teeth, receded areas, or gaps where the spaces around the roots of the teeth are exposed. In other words, those who get regular cleanings should have healthy gums with no obvious issues.
Regular dental cleanings, or prophylaxis, removes soft plaque, tartar, and stains from the teeth above the gum line, and only slightly below. A regular cleaning by your dentist is usually done two to three times a year, depending on how quickly stain, plaque, and tartar accumulate. It is considered a “preventive” procedure, since regular cleanings will help prevent periodontal disease.
What is Periodontal Maintenance?
If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease that has resulted in gum pockets deeper than 4 millimeters (or bleeding gums), a regular cleaning is not appropriate. This is when periodontal maintenance, or scaling and root planing, is needed by a Periodontist in order to maintain gum and bone health.
Periodontal maintenance involves a process called scaling and root planing, which essentially helps to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Rough parts of the roots are then smoothed with different tools, and inflamed gum pockets (gum pockets are deeper areas that were created by gum disease; the ‘pocket’ is formed between the gums and the tooth and collects excess amounts of plaque).
Because periodontitis can become more severe over time, it’s important to maintain your oral health with regular maintenance and cleanings.
Here at Poway Perio in San Diego, under the experience of Dr. Alireza Khansari MSD, we are happy to help you fight periodontal disease and get your teeth and gums back to good health.
If you have more questions or would like to book a consultation, we’re happy to discuss your individual situation. Just give us a call at (858) 679-0142.