Did you know that according to the CDC, more than 64 million US adults are currently living with, or have lived with gum disease? Yet in virtually every case the problem is preventable. That said, perhaps the best news is that gum disease is also fully curable and treatable. This is achieved with a combination of proper normal daily cleaning/flossing and scaling/root planing. The latter is otherwise known as dental deep cleaning.
Diagnosing gum disease
Should a dental inspection reveal one or more periodontal pockets then the diagnosis is usually gum disease. This is where the gum has shifted away from the tooth leaving a gap of 4mm or more. Once pockets are present it creates a safe haven for calculus to grow and develop as it can’t be shifted through normal brushing alone. Gum disease can affect either a fraction of the mouth, or the whole mouth. Aside from a lack of persistent or proper brushing and/or flossing, other conditions such as diabetes or lifestyle habits such as smoking can also trigger gum disease. It’s also thought that pregnant women are more susceptible to gum disease too. At Chesterfield Dentistry Dr Akinwande and the team can treat periodontal problems with a series of dental deep cleans.
So how does the process work?
Deep cleaning can either be carried out on sections of the mouth (normally one or two quarters/quadrants at a time) or alternatively the entire mouth can be treated during a single visit. When you visit our dental office, we’ll typically numb the area to be treated. At this stage patients may feel a tiny pin prick but nothing more. When the area is numb our dentist will get to work cleaning away any built-up calculus or debris which appears under the gum line. This is different from regular dental cleaning where plaque, calculus, and bacteria are removed from above the gum-line only.
Once cleared Dr Akinwande and the team will carefully reshape or plane the tooth root closing any pockets so that bacteria can no longer enter. The whole process is relatively quick taking less than 1 hour to complete and patients should feel no pain.
What about after treatment?
Recovery from deep cleaning is relatively straight forward and patients are usually prescribed a course of antibiotics. Over-the-counter pain killers may also be recommended on the rare occasion that a patient does happen to feel any tenderness. However, more often than not, this isn’t necessary. Finally patients are provided with proper after-care instructions that will enable them to better look after their teeth moving forwards; plus confirmation of when they can resume normal dental cleaning.
If you’d like to find our more about deep dental cleaning then don’t hesitate to speak to Dr Akinwande and the team at Chesterfield Dentistry. Contact us today on (314) 469 6429 to book an appointment.