Following your complete exam, a professional hygiene program of regular scaling (cleaning) and prophylaxis (polishing) tailored to your specific needs will be recommended. Scaling and prophylaxis is intended to remove build-up of plaque, tartar and stains on all surfaces of the teeth and under the gums including areas that are difficult to reach by daily brushing.
Typically, scaling and prophylaxis of the teeth should be performed every 6 months. However many patients (those with periodontal disease, smokers, the medically compromised, pregnant women, patients with braces, and seniors) require more frequent sessions such as every 3 to 4 months. If you also have not had a dental cleaning for a couple of years, you may need multiple appointments in the beginning to remove all plaque and tartar build-up.
Lack of regular professional scaling and prophylaxis can be the primary cause of:
Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums resulting in bleeding of the gums. A common concern is “my gums bleed when I brush or floss” which in most cases is present if you have gingivitis.
Periodontitis: Inflammation of both the gum and bone leading to loss of gum and bone around teeth. Periodontal disease that is left untreated can cause gums to be receded, red and swollen, form abscesses, lead to bad breath, mobile teeth and eventual loss of teeth. Periodontal disease relating to bacteria in the gums can spread into the bloodstream, and from studies this is linked to heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and low birth weight babies due to premature delivery.