A periodontal cleaning or prophylaxis is a dental cleaning procedure that thoroughly cleans the teeth following the completion of periodontal treatment. It serves as an essential preventative measure that slows the progression of periodontal disease and gingivitis.
Periodontal disease and gingivitis develop when bacteria start to colonize in the gum tissue above or below the gum line. The bacterial colonies trigger an inflammatory response in the body. The result is that the body starts to systematically destroy the gum and bone tissues in the area, allowing the teeth to shift, become unstable or shaky, and eventually fall out. The pockets formed between the gum and the teeth will become deeper to allow more bacteria to thrive. The bacteria may travel through the bloodstream, infecting the other organs of the body.
Periodontal prophylaxis is a necessary procedure to maintain the good health of the oral cavity and slow down the progression of gum disease if it is already present. The following are the additional benefits of periodontal prophylaxis:
- Removal of tartar – the buildup of tartar and plaque above or below the gum line will lead to more serious problems if left unaddressed. The best brushing and flossing techniques are not enough to remove all the debris and bacteria deposited in the gum pockets. Specialized dental equipment in the hands of an experienced hygienist will be able to mitigate the buildup.
- Fresher breath – Periodontal disease often manifests through bad breath. When bad breath becomes chronic, seek out a specialist. In extreme cases, gangrene can develop in response to a gum infection. Periodontal prophylaxis will significantly improve bad breath.
- Aesthetics – Prophylaxis can remove unsightly stains and discoloration of the teeth that were caused by colored drinks, such as coffee and red wine.