Professional Dental Cleaning
Healthy gums are the first step to maintaining your beautiful smile — that is why it’s important to practice good oral hygiene and schedule dental cleanings every 6 months, especially when early signs of gum disease begin to appear.
Periodontal or gum disease can progress into various stages if left untreated. Serious complications, heart attacks, strokes, lung diseases, and even premature childbirth can be a result of untreated gum disease. Fortunately, diagnosing and treating periodontal diseases in their early stages (like gingivitis) is a relatively simple and painless procedure that could save your smile — and your life!
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. If left untreated, it can destroy the bone that supports the teeth. This disease is caused by buildup of bacteria and plaque that continually forms on the tooth surface, as well as below the gumline. If the plaque is not removed with daily oral hygiene, it can cause an infection in the gums and the supporting bone. This can cause the teeth to become loose, fall out, or have to be extracted by a professional.
The three stages of periodontal disease include:
- Gingivitis. This is the early stage of periodontal disease, where the gums are inflamed due to plaque buildup near the gum line. You may notice slight bleeding while brushing or flossing.
- Periodontitis. During this stage, the gums begin to form pockets. These pockets trap food particles and plaque. At this point, the supporting bone is irreversibly damaged. In order to prevent further damage, proper dental treatment is needed.
- Advanced Periodontitis. This is the most severe stage of periodontal disease, where the fibers and supporting bone are destroyed. During this stage, teeth begin to shift or loosen. This change can affect your bite alignment.
Diagnosis of Gum Disease
Early signs of gum disease can almost always be spotted on your own, but it’s important to consult a professional dentist when you notice problems with your tooth roots and gums. During your routine check-up at Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry, our dentists will screen for gingivitis and caries (cavities) to prevent them from further complicating your overall health. The sooner treatment is administered, the better your chances of undoing the damage from gingivitis and preventing its spread and progression to periodontitis become.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Soft, puffy, or swollen gums
- Gums receding from tooth roots
- Tender, sensitive feelings in gums
- Gum bleeding when brushing or flossing (check for pinkness on your brush)
- Darkening of gums from pink to red
- Halitosis (bad breath)
Dental Ozone Therapy
Ozone is 3 molecules of oxygen that form ozone gas or ozonated water. Ozone therapy is a minimally invasive technique that we use in our office to clean out bacteria, fungus, and parasites that are in the mouth. We utilize this technique to resolve gum infections, fillings and other restorations, as well as for treating and disinfecting existing root canal teeth. We also utilize ozone therapy on teeth that have cavities. We first remove the cavity, then apply ozonated water into the affected area to disinfect the tooth’s surface.
Professional Dental Cleaning Process
During the dental cleaning process, our dental hygienists will perform a full physical examination of the mouth. They will examine the health of the teeth and gums for any signs of periodontal disease or other concerns. X-rays may be taken for diagnostic purposes to search for any tooth decay.
Once the physical examination is complete, the dental hygienist will utilize either an ultrasonic scaler or metal instruments to begin the cleaning. These instruments will help remove the plaque buildup on the tooth’s surface and gumline.
Finally, the teeth will then be polished using a high-powered brush. This is a great tool used for deep cleaning and removing any tartar or plaque that is left behind. Our specialists also strive to educate our patients on proper brushing and flossing techniques to ensure they maintain healthy oral hygiene.
To schedule your appointment with Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry, call (212) 581-1091.