Why do I need a deep cleaning? What is Periodontitis?
The initial visit at Tryon Family Dentistry is a comprehensive exam, where our team gathers as much information as possible from our patients. One of the most important portions is the measurement of gum height. Here we measuring what we call the pocket depth, the distance between the level of bone and the top of the gums that surround the teeth. The measurements obtained help us determine if there is any gum disease present.
Healthy measurements are less then 4mm. At these levels an individual can successfully clean the entire pocket with regular brushing and flossing. Patients in this category will receive regular dental cleanings at the initial comprehensive exam.
If our hygienists measure levels that are greater than 4mm a regular cleaning will no longer benefit the patient. These 5mm pockets and greater indicate the presence of periodontitis, an infection of the gums that has led to bone loss around the teeth. Without this bone support, teeth can become mobile and if uncontrolled patients can begin to lose teeth. To prevent tooth mobility and loss, a deep cleaning will be required to remove the bacteria and tarter that is built up under the gums. If a deep cleaning is not preformed the deep infection will remain and continue to break down bone increasing the pocket depth.
Deep cleanings are usually broken up into two separate appointments. This allows our hygienists to thoroughly cleanse the pockets and eliminate infection. Topical anesthetic is placed to make sure patients are comfortable during the procedure, if needed dental anesthetic may be administered. It is essential to recognize the presence of periodontitis to stop bone loss before too much damage is done. If you are overdue for a cleaning or exam come visit our office and we can determine the appropriate treatment needed.