Periodontal Cleanings & Maintenance
Without proper treatment, gum disease can lead to severe infections and tooth loss. Periodontal cleanings and maintenance help you avoid these unpleasant consequences. Your St. Peters, MO, dentist, Dr. Amanda Hillis of Hillis Family Dental, treats gum disease and other issues that can affect your oral health.
What are periodontal cleanings?
Regular cleanings clean your teeth above the gum line, while periodontal cleanings also address the areas below the gum line. Periodontal cleanings are recommended if you have gum disease. If you have signs of gum disease and don't receive a periodontal cleaning, the bacteria may attack ligaments and bone in your mouth, causing teeth to loosen. Periodontal cleanings are usually recommended if you have pockets around your teeth that are more than 5 millimeters deep. Pockets form when the gums begin to pull away from the teeth.
Also called deep cleanings, periodontal cleanings are performed once you've received a local anesthetic. After plaque and tartar are removed above the gum line, your dental hygienist concentrates on removing the substances from the hidden areas of your teeth. Root planing, a crucial part of deep cleanings, involves smoothing the roots of your teeth to make it more difficult for bacteria to grow on them. Once your roots are free of plaque and tartar, your pockets will gradually close.
What can I do to keep my gums in good condition after a periodontal cleaning?
You can improve the health of your gums by:
- Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing once every day
- Using special mouth rinses or other products recommended by your St. Peters dentist
- Giving up smoking
- Keeping your diabetes under control, as uncontrolled diabetes can slow healing
- Drinking plenty of water if you suffer dry mouth due to medication side effects
It's also important to schedule regular checkups with your dentist. Although you may only need regular cleanings after a bout of gum disease, your dentist may recommend a maintenance periodontal cleaning in some cases, particularly if tartar and plaque tend to form on your teeth quickly.
Protect your gums with periodontal cleanings. Call St. Peters, MO, dentist Dr. Hillis of Hillis Family Dental at (636) 970-7902 to schedule your appointment.