Most people have had their teeth professionally cleaned at least a few times. During a routine cleaning, plaque and tartar are removed from tooth surfaces and teeth receive a nice polishing to make them sparkle. Though this type of routine care is excellent for sustained health, there are times in which a deeper cleaning is necessary. Specifically, deep cleanings may be incorporated into gum treatment in our office near Bloomington, IL.

There is a fundamental difference between routine cleanings and deep cleanings. The point of one is to prevent dental problems like gum disease. The point of the other is to manage gum disease once it has developed.

Deep cleanings for gum disease are also referred to as scaling. Root planing may also be necessary depending on the degree to which oral tissues have been broken down by bacteria. Deep cleanings address areas below the gum line, periodontal pockets in which bacteria collect.

Bacteria live naturally in the mouth. When imbalance occurs, however, aggressive bacteria can overtake healthy microorganisms. At first, gum disease is so subtle that it will not likely be noticed outside of a professional dental exam. After some time, however, bacterial byproduct will cause infection that provokes an immune response. This natural response causes swelling and tenderness in gum tissue as well as inflammation that affects the entire body.

The idea behind a deep cleaning is to remove accumulated bacteria and tartar from tooth and root surfaces beneath the gums. Many treatments for gum disease stop here. At Eastland Dental Center, however, we understand that bacteria are part of the natural oral ecosystem and will return if not further inhibited.

Gum disease is an ongoing infection that can and will most likely recur without effective treatment. In addition to deep cleanings, our patients may also be treated with the PerioProtect system. This tray system delivers powerful topical antibiotic medication to infected gum tissues on a daily basis. Trays are custom made to fit teeth just like teeth whitening trays and, worn as directed, can significantly improve long-term prognosis for gum disease.

Dr. Mike Milligan is one of the founding members of the American Academy for Oral-Systemic Health. He uses his extensive understanding of oral diseases to promote better oral health in his patients. Contact Eastland Dental Center for your dental check-up.

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