Many people come to my office saying “I need a deep cleaning” but most people don’t understand what this really means. Here is a brief description of the diseases of the gums and bone in your mouth and ways to prevent them.
As mentioned above, gingivitis is easily treated with a professional cleaning and better home care of the patients. However, if you already have some pockets around your teeth, you will need a deep cleaning (root planning). This involves scraping the diseased tooth structure and bacteria from the root surfaces under the gums to help decrease the pockets around your teeth.
When plaque is left around the teeth, it creates the right condition for bacteria to grow. These bacteria can irritate the gums and create gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). This makes the gums red and more likely to bleed easily. Gingivitis can easily be treated by a professional cleaning and polishing. Sometimes, I will recommend a medicated mouthwash and we will review how to brush and floss more effectively.
If gingivitis is left untreated, the inflammation will work its way down the tooth and form a “pocket”. This pocket is created because the bacterial are actually causing you to loose the bone around your teeth. We can measure the amount of bone loss around each tooth by doing Periodontal Pocket Measurements. Once these pockets have formed, it is much more difficult to clean the bacteria and you will need a scaling or deep cleaning of the pockets to get them clean. At this stage, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) becomes periodontal disease (disease of the bone and supporting structures).