Your oral health is an excellent determinant of your overall health. Failing to take good care of your mouth, teeth, and gums can result in serious health problems. Dentists recommend a regular cleaning routine that leaves your entire mouth clean and free of infection-causing bacteria. Additionally, you are safer if you visit your dentist regularly for general dental checkups and cleaning. These preventive measures could protect your mouth from severe infections that could eventually affect your general wellbeing.
Prophylaxis involves cleaning and inspecting your mouth to rule out any potential issues that could affect your teeth and gums. If you haven’t visited your dentist as regularly as you should, it may be time to have this critical appointment. At Washington Dental, our competent dentists will professionally help prevent the start or progression of any serious oral ailment. Therefore, if you are experiencing signs like bleeding gums or bad breath in Lomita, CA, contact us for quality and affordable prophylaxis and dental care.
What is Prophylaxis
Prophylaxis is a necessary dental procedure that a lot of people overlook. It involves the professional cleaning of your teeth by a dentist or hygienist. Dentists have designed this procedure to clean your teeth and gums as thoroughly as possible to get rid of infection-causing bacteria.
Teeth cleaning is among the daily routines that dentists recommend for good oral health. Brushing your teeth two times every day keeps away oral problems like gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing is also essential. You should do it at least once a day. It helps remove any food particles that could have stuck in between your teeth. However, these routines are usually not enough to keep your mouth safe from dental and oral problems. Sometimes professional cleaning of teeth is required to prevent gingivitis and gum disease or stop their progression.
Dentists recommend prophylaxis at least twice a year. But your dentist might require you to undergo dental cleaning more than that, based on the condition of your teeth and gums. Prophylaxis is a necessary procedure. It is a crucial defense against the start and progression of oral ailments like gingivitis and periodontitis. It is among the dental treatments that could stop an oral problem before it starts. Remember that the overall health of your mouth, teeth, and gums depends on how clean the entire mouth is.
Dentists recommend prophylaxis when you have periodontitis or gum disease. When you start experiencing signs of gum disease like sensitivity and bleeding gums, it is advisable to seek a dentist’s help immediately. Your dentist might recommend teeth cleaning as a way to stop the progression of the disease. This type of treatment involves removing plaque and calculus, which form around your teeth and eventually start destroying the tissues and bone that supports your teeth.
Periodontal disease can progress quickly without you noticing it. However, there are tell-tale signs you shouldn’t ignore, like bad breath, receding gums, and deepening gum pockets. Your gums will appear tender and swollen too, and you could experience pain while chewing. Your dentist will diagnose gum disease on your first appointment and recommend immediate treatment to prevent further progression of the harmful bacteria. Periodontal cleaning, which involves deep cleaning your teeth through scaling and root planing, is an effective way to eliminate the bacteria and restore your oral health.
When you regularly undergo prophylaxis, you could help prevent so many other oral problems that, if left untreated, could affect your oral and general health. Even without gum disease, regular teeth cleaning helps remove any plaque and tartar buildup, improve the appearance of your teeth and freshen your breath.
The Benefits of Dental Prophylaxis
As previously mentioned, prophylaxis is an essential dental procedure for preventing oral problems and maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The procedure is not only suitable for those who have gingivitis or gum disease. The deep cleaning of your teeth and gums by a professional comes with many benefits that shouldn’t be ignored, even for people whose teeth and gums appear healthy. It will keep your cavities in good health, stop the progression of gum disease, and give you a reason to smile once again. Here are some of the significant benefits of prophylaxis:
Most of the dental problems we experience are a result of the foods we consume. Sugary and starchy foods are usually not good for the teeth. Regular cleaning and flossing of your teeth help prevent the effect of these foods on your teeth and gums. However, if you fail to maintain these good oral habits, the remaining starchy and sugary foods in your mouth mix with the bacteria in the mouth to release dangerous acids that start to eat into your teeth and gums.
The result is a tartar and plaque buildup that forms below and above your gum line. This buildup is the leading cause of serious periodontal problems. Once the buildup starts to form, regular brushing and flossing of the teeth are not enough to remove the entire buildup and bacteria deposits in your gum pockets. But professional cleaning could remove the buildup, get rid of the dangerous bacteria, and stop its progression.
The advantage of undergoing prophylaxis is that dentists have skills and experience in dental cleaning. They also use specialized equipment that can catch all the dangerous buildup and bacteria. Plaque removal is an effective treatment for gingivitis and gum disease.
A Healthier Smile
A beautiful smile is mainly dependent on the look of your teeth. It could be in color, alignment, and general appearance of your teeth. Braces, veneers, and retainers can rectify misaligned teeth. Dental cleaning will take care of any discoloration on your teeth.
Prophylaxis is one way through which you can regain your beautiful smile. Stained and yellowed teeth will affect the beauty of your smile. Deep cleaning of teeth removes the yellowing and all buildup that could have formed on your teeth, leaving you with beautiful, whiter teeth.
The confidence to smile comes with the knowledge that your teeth are healthy and beautiful. Having your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year ensures that you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile all through.
A Fresher Breath
Bad breath is among the sure signs of advancing gum disease. It could be caused by the remaining food particles below the gum line, in areas where you may not possibly reach while cleaning your teeth. It could also be a result of gangrene, coming from gum infection. Bad breath will affect the way you socialize. You will always feel embarrassed, unclean, unattractive, and defensive. Prophylaxis helps get rid of bad breath to give you a fresh start. The removal of calculus, buildup and harmful bacteria from your gums and teeth will leave your mouth clean and smelling fresh. If done regularly, you’ll never have to worry about bad breath.
Could Prevent Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a dangerous disease that your dentist can diagnose during your regular dental checkups. Dentists have the skill and experience to detect even the slightest problem resulting in a significant oral health issue if left untreated. Proper management of oral cancer is possible if your dentist sees the disease in its early stages. Your dentist can diagnose it during your regular dental cleaning and checkups. Maintaining a regular dental cleaning routine with your dentist could help detect and treat oral cancer before it spreads and becomes unmanageable.
It Saves Time and Money
Early diagnosis and treatment of a health problem will save you time and money. These are the two main elements you can never get enough of in life. Treatment of advanced gum disease will take more time and cost more money than a regular dental cleaning routine. Advanced periodontitis will also result in other oral and general health issues that will cost more and take a longer time to treat. As previously mentioned, prophylaxis is mainly a preventive treatment. It will keep your teeth, gums, and bone healthy and free of costly ailments.
Helps Maintain Good Physical Health
Your physical well-being is partly dependent on your oral health. Therefore, any effort towards achieving good oral health will be beneficial to your physical wellbeing. Additionally, illnesses like heart attack and stroke have a connection to gum disease. Dental cleaning helps prevent or stop the progression of gum disease, thereby keeping you safe from ailments like these. Regular dental cleaning will keep your teeth and gums healthy, helping you enjoy good physical health.
Dental Prophylaxis Procedures
In most cases, dentists perform prophylaxis during a patient’s regular dental checkup. If you regularly visit your dentist every six months, you could have your teeth thoroughly cleaned during these visits. It helps protect your teeth and gums from unforeseen infections, helps detect the onset of dental/oral issues, and leaves you with a cleaner and fresher breath. However, if you haven’t been maintaining good oral habits as dentists recommend, your dentist might recommend prophylaxis if he/she diagnoses you with gum disease.
Your dentist will perform the procedure under general anesthesia. This will protect you from pain and discomfort during the procedure, especially if you already have severe periodontitis. Your dentist will place an endotracheal tube in your throat to protect your lungs from the dangerous bacteria that will come out through your mouth.
The procedure involves several stages, namely:
The process starts with supragingival cleaning, which entails thoroughly cleaning the area above your gum line. This is the part where plaque and calculus begin to build up. Your dentist will use scaling tools like hand scalers and ultrasonic scalers to remove any buildup and prevent it from forming again.
It is the most crucial step in prophylaxis, particularly for patients with periodontitis. Your dentist will remove calculus from the gum pockets formed beneath your gum line due to gum recession in this step. These are the areas that are usually hard to clean through regular brushing and flossing. Therefore, once calculus has built up in this area, it might be impossible to stop the spread of gum disease until you undergo prophylaxis. In this step, your dentist will remove calculus using an ultrasonic scaler.
The two previous steps are not enough if you want to be rid of the dangerous bacteria and stop the progression of gum disease. Root planing is necessary, as it helps remove any bacteria that could have formed on the roots of your teeth. Your dentist performs this process by smoothing the affected tooth root to remove any bacteria that could have formed there. The dangerous bacteria in your mouth is what causes gum disease. Therefore, your dentist’s primary task would be to remove it.
After scaling and root planing, your dentist will place medication into the infected areas. An antibiotic or antimicrobial medicine will be the most effective to treat the infection and inhibit the growth of bacteria in the already cleaned and treated areas. Your dentist will recommend a fast healing cream so you won’t have to deal with pain and discomfort much longer after the treatment. Note that this process is only necessary for patients who already have periodontitis.
Dental X-Ray and Exams
A dental examination is essential during these regular visits to the dentist. The health of your teeth and gums goes beyond what is visible from outside your mouth. There are tissues and other supporting elements inside your teeth that play a vital role in the strength and health of your teeth and gums. Their health is also essential. That is why your dentist could recommend an X-ray.
An X-ray enables your dentist to see what is happening beyond what he/she can see with naked eyes. Through these exams, your dentist can see the extent of gum recession, and the health of your bone, and any other issue that could affect your oral health and general wellbeing.
Scaling will leave the surface of your teeth feeling uneven. There will be microscopic grooves that your dentist will remove so that you can enjoy smooth-feeling teeth. Your dentist will polish your teeth also to prevent any further accumulation of plaque. He/she will then smoothen below and above the gumline to smoothen the teeth and reduce the risk of more plaque buildup.
Identification of Health Problems
Dentists can diagnose most health problems that you may not have known existed. Prophylaxis involves a thorough examination of your oral cavity, which could enable your dentist to spot even the mildest of problems that could significantly affect your oral health and general wellbeing. Prophylaxis is not only necessary for the diagnosis of oral cancer and periodontitis but also medical issues like kidney problems and diabetes. Your dentist can also recommend an oral health care routine that could lower your risks of illnesses like these.
Prophylaxis is an integral part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. If done regularly as recommended (twice every year), it could be an effective preventive measure for periodontitis. Note that dentists cannot completely reverse gum disease. However, prophylaxis can destroy and halt its progression.
Signs You Need Dental Prophylaxis
Even with the widespread campaign of maintaining regular visits with the dentist, some people still miss these crucial appointments. If you haven’t been undergoing regular dental checkups as you should, it may be time to book an appointment with a dentist for a checkup and cleaning. During this visit, your dentist will carefully examine your teeth, gums, and bone for any issue, treat any oral ailment he/she diagnoses and takes proper steps to protect you from any unforeseeable oral health issues.
However, following the daily dental care routine doesn’t guarantee safety from gingivitis and periodontitis. That is why you should always be on the lookout for signs that you might have gum disease. Here are some of the symptoms that could suggest your need for prophylaxis:
Gum recession is a severe condition that you should not ignore. It is usually one of the most common signs of advancing gum disease. Gum recession occurs when your gum starts moving away from your teeth due to a severe infection. When that happens, you’ll have deeper pockets between your gums and teeth, where calculus can continue to build up, causing more infection even to the underlying tissues. Prophylaxis is necessary once your gums start receding. Your dentists will carefully clean out any dangerous bacteria in your gum pockets and medicate the infected parts to prevent further infection.
Constant Bad Taste in the Mouth
A bad taste in the mouth is typical for everyone. It goes away with brushing your teeth or rinsing out your mouth with water or mouthwash. However, if the bad taste is constant, it could indicate a problem within your mouth. The bad taste could mean that you haven’t been taking good care of your teeth and gums. However, it could also be a sign of advancing periodontitis. Some people experience a bad taste in their mouth when they start developing gingivitis. For others, the bad taste comes way after the gum disease has advanced. It is advisable to visit your dentist’s office as soon as you experience a bad taste that doesn’t disappear even after cleaning your teeth.
A Constant Bad Breath
Just like a bad taste in the mouth, several factors could cause bad breath. You might have a bad breath because you haven’t been following through with the regular cleaning and flossing of your teeth. However, if you still experience bad breath even after cleaning your teeth, there could be a problem inside your mouth. The most likely problem is gum disease. It is crucial to have your mouth checked by a dentist and cleaned for the bad breath to go away. Prophylaxis entails thoroughly cleaning your teeth and gum to be rid of all rotten food particles and the dangerous bacteria that could be causing a foul odor in your mouth.
Tender or Bleeding Gums
Gingivitis and periodontitis cause your gums to become tender and easily injured. You experience most injuries when brushing your teeth. Your gums could also be tender, swollen, and reddish instead of healthy pinkish and firm gums. That is why it is easy to tell when you have gum disease. Do not wait for other signs when you notice blood on your brush after cleaning your teeth. You need proper diagnosis and treatment to remove the dangerous bacteria and prevent further progression of the disease.
As previously mentioned, not all onsets of gum disease start with apparent symptoms. Some cases advance without your knowledge. However, once your teeth start to loosen up or become unhinged, it may be time to undergo prophylaxis. Your teeth loosen after the gum recession. Your gum could recede so much to the point of revealing the roots of your teeth. If gum disease is left untreated, you might lose the entire support of your teeth by the gums.
Visible Pus On Teeth and Gums
Normal healthy gums and teeth will not have pus forming around them. That is why it is advisable to seek medical help as soon as you notice pus forming around these areas. Your dentist will carefully examine the inside of your mouth to determine the actual problem. The dangerous bacteria could cause pus around your teeth and gums, which could spread to other parts of the mouth and body. Prophylaxis helps be rid of the already developed gum disease and inhibits its growth in the future.
Find Dental Prophylaxis Services Near Me
Prophylaxis is a dental procedure that everyone should go for at least every year. It is both a preventive and restorative procedure that gets rid of dangerous infection-causing bacteria in the mouth. It also helps prevent any oral problems that you might experience in the future, leaving you with healthy teeth and gums and a beautiful smile. If you are looking for prophylaxis services in Lomita, CA, call us at 310-326-5183. Our team of skilled and experienced dentists at Washington Dental will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, take you through the procedure, and treat any infections you might have.