Why do I need to have a professional clean?
Most of us are aware that poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath – but not brushing your teeth could also have consequences for more serious illnesses.
Proper brushing and flossing go a long way keeping gum disease at bay. However, despite the best of efforts you will still get the formation of plaque over time. Plaque turns into calculus (tartar), which becomes a rough and retentive surface encouraging further build up of plaque. The plaque produces bacteria which can infect your gums and teeth. If this is left long enough the gum tissue and bone that supports the teeth will start to deteriorate.
What is gum disease?
Gum health can be broken down into three major category:
Healthy – This is when the teeth are free from plaque and calculus. Gums are firm, pink and healthy.
Gingivitis – Early stage of gum disease. Where there is inflammation of the gums, caused by dental plaque buildup at the gum line. You may notice some redness or swelling of the gums, or some bleeding during brushing and flossing. Gingivitis is reversible if treated promptly as the bone and gum tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected.
Periodontitis – This is when the supporting bone and gum tissue that hold the teeth in placed are damaged. There will be signs of bone loss and gum tissue loss. These damages are irreversible and requires urgent professional attention. As further delay can lead to more severe consequences such as tooth loss.
The only way to remove plaque and calculus safely is to have a professional clean by your dentist or oral health therapist. An ultrasonic scaler is used to shake and vibrate off all the hard deposit that is on the tooth. This is accompanied by a constant flow of water to flush and cool down the heat generated by the ultrasonic scaler.
By scheduling regular checkups twice a year, early stage gum disease can be treated before it leads to much more serious condition.