Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, form a sticky, colourless “plaque” on teeth. While brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque, what is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.
The longer plaque and tartar remain on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis. In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.
When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis, an inflammation of tissue around the tooth. In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces, called “pockets,” that become infected. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.
Currently, periodontal disease cannot be completely cured. However, City Dental Center takes a proactive approach in controlling it. This starts with a detailed examination during your routine check-ups.
The other facet of our treatment protocol includes separate periodontal therapy, where our Registered Dental Hygienists will use a combination of ultrasonic and handheld instruments to remove all hard and soft deposits from the teeth. This will decrease the pocket depths surrounding the teeth, enabling you to clean these areas at home. A maintenance program best suited for your condition, including at-home and in-clinic treatments, will also be prescribed. Our overall goal is to eliminate the progression of periodontitis to ensure positive health, comfort, function and aesthetics.
In addition to brushing and flossing, you should also have your teeth regularly professionally cleaned. This helps prevent cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis and is part of a complete program of oral hygiene.
At City Dental Center, our dental hygienists are specially trained to remove tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult for patients to reach on their own. Your hygienist will also recognize any potentially problematic areas that may require x-rays and a closer look by Dr. Berzin.
Professional cleaning can include tooth scaling, root planing and tooth polishing. If too much tartar has accumulated since your last visit, cleaning can also include debriment. This involves the use of various professional-grade instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth.