Teeth Cleaning – Oral Prophylaxis

Oral Prophylaxis is a procedure performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. It is an important and effective dental treatment to keep the oral cavity in good health and also stop the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease (gum diseases).

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of the natural teeth. Gingivitis and periodontal disease are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a white to colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth and sticks to the teeth at the gum line and sometimes collects stains. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.                                              

Teeth Cleaning – Oral Prophylaxis

Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental plaque to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus (hardened plaque also known as tartar) in places where the toothbrush and floss cannot reach.

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition
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The benefits of Oral Prophylaxis include:
  • Plaque removal — Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Calculus that forms above and below the gum line can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • A healthier looking smile —Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Oral Prophylaxis is an effective treatment to treat these unsightly stains.
  • Fresher breath —Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gum infection, results in bad breath.
  • The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.
  • Teeth polishingRemoves stains and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing.
Preventing gum disease
  • Preventing gum disease

The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.

It is recommended that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for those suffering with periodontitis. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis can be done to effectively halt its progression.

If you are experiencing toothache, seek dental treatment as soon as possible. Less severe the disease process, more conservative would be the treatment approach!