If you’re like most people, you probably brush (and maybe floss) your teeth at least twice a day. And like many you most likely don’t bother seeing your dentist unless you have some serious dental problem. Let’s be honest, when was the last time you visited a dental office for a regular check-up?

What we don’t realise is that even with regular brushing, bacteria are ever present in our mouths. They mix with protein and other food residue to form dental plaque that builds up on our teeth, gum lines, and the roots of our teeth. Bacteria in plaque can damage our teeth causing dental cavities and tooth decay.Over time, plaque hardens and forms into tartar, which promotes the growth of harmful bacteria resulting in the destruction of the gum line (known as gumrecession) and causes gum disease. When left untreated, gum disease could result to teeth loss and worst, links with heart disease or other health problems.

When it’s time to pay your dentist a visit

Do your gums bleed while you brush your teeth or floss? Are your gums red, tender and swollen? Are your gums pulled away from your teeth? Do you always chew on a gum or gurgle a mouthwash to cover a bad breath?

child undergoing deep teeth cleaning

If you answer yes to any one of the above, then it’s high time you pay your dentist and oral health therapist a visit!

Your dental practitioner may find that all you need is a regular teeth cleaning or prophylaxis to remove plaque and soft tartar from above your gum line. However, you could very well have gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease often characterised by irritation and inflammation of the gums around the base of your teeth. Gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis and teeth loss. The best way to treat this is by deep dental cleaning.

What is Deep Dental Cleaning?

Deep dental cleaning is a non-invasive procedure that includes scaling and root planing. Scaling is the removal of bacteria, tartar and debris that have collected on or below your gum line. Root planing, as the name suggests, involves removal of plaque and tartar around the roots of your teeth and smoothing out the rough spots where bacteria have accumulated.

Your dentist or oral health therapist uses ultrasonic cleaners and scalers toperform the procedure. Depending on how widespread and serious the condition is, your dental practitioner may do it all in one session or may recommend performing it in a few visits. Deep dental cleaning is usually not a very painful procedure, but in many cases numbing gels or local anesthesia may be applied to reduce any pain and discomfort. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent the risk of bacterial infection.

child eating a green apple

After-Care for Healthier Gums and Teeth

If you feel a bit of soreness, tooth sensitivity, and bleeding following the procedure, don’t fret. It’s normal and the symptoms should subside in a few days.

Practice good dental hygiene to maintain healthier gums and teeth. Here are some practical tips you can follow: brush your teeth daily, eat a health diet, avoid smoking, and visit your dentist regularly. Remember, healthy teeth bring out your most beautiful smiles!