Did you know healthy gums are vital to healthy teeth? Keeping your gums healthy is just as important as caring for your teeth. Your gums offer support and protection for your teeth, and if they become infected or damaged, it can have devastating effects.
At our Herndon, VA dental office, we practice minimally invasive dentistry. We would rather prevent problems than fix them after they have become costly, painful, and damaging to your oral health. A big part of making minimally invasive dentistry work is getting a regular examination and cleaning at least once every six months.
Even the most rigorous home dental routine can't reach every spot in your mouth. Daily brushing is important, but over time, there are spots between your teeth, below the gumline, and in the back of your mouth that are perfect for bacteria to accumulate. With regular professional cleanings, we can make sure these hard-to-reach spots get properly cleaned and inspect them for signs of infection.
At your cleaning, we will review your at-home hygiene program and ensure you are using proper brushing and flossing techniques. We can demonstrate the correct way to brush and floss, and if you have questions about your home care, oral care products, or diet, we can answer them during this appointment.
Regular cleanings with a hygienist are also essential for tartar removal. Tartar is hardened plaque that builds up on your teeth, giving them a yellowish appearance, but it causes more trouble than just making your teeth yellow. If tartar is left unchecked, it can spread bacteria beneath your gums, resulting in periodontal disease.
There are two stages to periodontal disease. The early stage is called gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include sore and swollen gums, easily bleeding gums, receding gumline and bad breath. Gingivitis can be treated with a periodontal deep cleaning process known as scaling and root planing.
During a scaling and planing treatment, the hygienist in our Herndon dental office will remove the tartar that has built up between your teeth and below the gumline down to the root. This removes the bacteria causing the swollen gums. In some situations, scaling and root planing is combined with antibiotic treatment to ensure the infection is eradicated.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it progresses to periodontitis. Periodontitis causes pockets to form between your teeth and gums and can lead to tooth loss. If your gum disease has proceeded to this stage, surgical treatment may be necessary.
A healthy smile needs a strong foundation. Regular cleanings, including deep cleanings when necessary, will keep you smiling for years to come. If you are due for your next cleaning, call our office today.