Cleaning vs Periodontal Maintenance

What’s the Difference Between a Cleaning and Periodontal Maintenance?

Dental examination.

This is a question that dentists often hear. Almost everyone is familiar with a professional dental cleaning. A cleaning, or prophylaxis, is the cornerstone of preventative care. During a cleaning at Woodmeadow Dentistry, your dental team inspects your teeth and mouth. They will also remove any soft plaque as well as tartar, the hard substance that results from plaque buildup.

Your regular cleaning is necessary to remove tartar and examine your oral health. However, a routine cleaning only addresses the areas that are visible and a little below your gumline. Typically, most patients need a regular cleaning every 6 months.

So, a regular cleaning is great maintenance and preventative care for patients with healthy mouths. However, patients with significant gum disease, bone loss, or other oral issues need more comprehensive and frequent care, usually about every 3-4 months.

Periodontal Maintenance

You can’t truly have healthy teeth without healthy gums. The gingiva, or gum tissue, is essential for good oral health. Unfortunately, gum infection is a widespread problem. In fact, gum disease is the top cause of all non-trauma tooth loss in the United States.

Periodontal maintenance, also called a deep cleaning or scaling and root planing, is necessary when gum disease threatens or has already begun to take hold. This type of cleaning encompasses a much larger portion of the tooth than a regular cleaning. During periodontal maintenance, your dental team cleans far beneath your gumline, down the root of each tooth. Depending on the state of your gums and overall oral health, you may need a single deep cleaning or sessions up to 4 times a year.

Symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, sore gums, bad breath, and deep pockets in the gingiva. However, early gum disease may produce no readily apparent symptoms. As gum infections have been linked to heart and vascular disease as well as diabetes complications, it’s crucial that your gums stay in excellent health.

Make your appointment today by giving us a call at (616) 957-0303.