How long has it been since you’ve been to the dentist? Dentists recommend biannual dental appointments, and there are good reasons to maintain that schedule.
Without regular dental exams, you may not realize you have tooth decay, which can worsen and develop into an infection.
You could also be developing gum disease. Almost half of American adults show signs of gum disease. An early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, may lead to serious gum disease, called periodontitis, which can in turn cause bone and tooth loss.
You can avoid serious dental disease when you see your dentist regularly. At Supertooth™, our board-certified dentists can identify and treat issues before they become dire and require extensive, costly treatment.
Regular dental cleanings are just as essential as good brushing and flossing habits at home. You may need a deep cleaning if we see signs of early gum disease.
Why gum disease should be treated early
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. If you have gingivitis, your teeth have an excessive buildup of plaque, which is laden with bacteria.
Gum disease often results from poor brushing and flossing habits. However, you may brush and floss regularly and still get gingivitis. Your genes play a role, as do certain illnesses.
If you’ve been a smoker, you’re at a very high risk for gum disease. Because smoking weakens your immune system, you can’t fight inflammation effectively.
If you skip a dental cleaning or two and develop gingivitis, the condition can advance to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. The bacteria cause your gums to separate from your teeth, leaving spaces where more bacteria grow and cause more gum recession.
As gum disease advances, it can lead to bone loss, causing one or more teeth to fall out. Losing too much bone can even lead to facial deformity.
Deep cleanings help manage gum disease
If your dentist says you have pockets that are 4mm deep or greater, we provide a deep cleaning to thoroughly remove plaque from beneath your gums. Another term for a deep cleaning is scaling and root planing.
A regular cleaning removes the plaque and tartar from your teeth and around your gums. During a deep cleaning, we also remove the bacteria from under your gums. Modern ultrasonic instruments make this an efficient and effective way to accomplish a deep cleaning.
Once your teeth are clean, we smooth out the planes of your roots to encourage your gums to reattach snugly to your teeth, decreasing deep pockets. This prevents bacteria from taking up residence and causing problems.
We let you know if you need a second visit to complete the deep cleaning. You may experience some minor discomfort afterward, but over-the-counter (OTC) medication can relieve it. Your gums heal quickly once the bacteria are removed.
How to keep your teeth and gums healthy
If you’re predisposed to gingivitis, we may recommend getting a dental cleaning more often than twice a year. We reinforce how to brush and floss your teeth correctly, because good oral hygiene is your best defense against gum disease.
Our dentists with Supertooth™ can help keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. Call us at one of our locations in Bethesda, Germantown, or Gaithersburg, Maryland, or book an appointment online to keep your smile bright and white.