“The cleaning, she went through every nook and cranny, and she was gentle. I didn't have any bleeding from my gums like I used to do over in dental clinic. My mouth wasn't sore. They just they take their time. They're not rushed to do anything.”
Dental cleanings begin with a visual exam of the teeth and gums and a review of any concerns or symptoms the patient may have. Then, the dentist or hygienist uses special instruments and mild abrasives to carefully clean the surfaces of each tooth, paying special attention to the areas between teeth and along the gum line to clear away built-up plaque and tartar and remove dangerous bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease. During the cleaning, the hygienist or dentist will also look for areas where the patient may need to improve their brushing and flossing techniques, providing the patient with helpful tips at the end of the cleaning so the at-home care routine can be optimized. Once the cleaning is complete, dental x-rays may be taken to provide the dentist with important information about the health of the tooth roots and underlying jaw bone.
Both adults and children should have professional teeth cleaning performed twice each year to help prevent gum disease and to ensure the teeth stay clean and healthy.
In its early stages (called gingivitis), gum disease often causes few or no symptoms, which is one reason why having routine cleanings is so important for your oral health. As the disease progresses, it can cause symptoms like red, tender or swollen gums, tooth pain, chronic bad breath, bleeding gums, gum recession, loose teeth and tooth loss. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults, and routine cleanings are the best way to prevent gum disease and the tooth loss it can cause.
Mild forms of gum disease usually can be treated with frequent regular dental cleanings to help prevent the formation of hard tartar deposits that harbor disease-causing bacteria. More advanced forms of gum disease typically require in-depth cleaning procedures called root planing and scaling to remove pockets of bacteria that form below the gum line and around the tooth roots.
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