Regular dental cleanings is another foundational piece to achieving and maintaining a healthy mouth.
For patients without any active gum (periodontal) disease, a professional dental cleaning every 6 months is generally recommended. These dental cleanings remove plaque and calculus (or tartar) from the surfaces of your teeth, which then gives you a "clean slate" to maintain at home with daily brushing and flossing.
For patients with active gum disease, a deep cleaning (also known as scaling and root planing) is recommended for the areas that are affected by gum disease. If the gum disease is localized, a localized deep cleaning can be performed on the affected teeth. If the gum disease is found throughout the mouth, a full-mouth deep cleaning for all the teeth is recommended. Certain factors help our team diagnose gum disease in patients, including gum pocket measurements, amount of bleeding from the gums when they are measured, bone loss seen on dental x-rays, gum recession, calculus (tartar) seen on x-rays between the teeth, and other factors. After the gum disease is treated with a deep cleaning, it is generally recommended that patients return for maintenance cleanings every 3 months to evaluate the effectiveness of the deep cleaning as well as home care brushing and flossing. This "maintenance phase" of cleanings every 3 months is recommended until marked improvement is seen in the health of the patient's gums.