Dr. Dan Barrett
A Great Dentist

Periodontal Treatment in Reno, NV

You brush and floss your teeth religiously. When you chew gum, it is always sugar free.

At this moment, your smile appears to be radiant and healthy. So why should you worry about professional dental cleanings when you do such a great job of brushing and flossing at home?

At the Reno dental office of Dan Barrett DMD, we’re always pleased to hear that you are taking good care of your teeth at home. The purpose of brushing and flossing is to eliminate plaque and as much harmful bacteria from your mouth as possible. However, there are places where bacteria and plaque can hide that you cannot reach with your toothbrush.

How Professional Cleanings Help

Plaque left on your teeth will eventually harden into a substance called tartar, which adheres to the teeth above and below the gumline. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist using special instruments.

If tartar is not removed, the gums start to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets. These pockets are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that attack your gums, leading to periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is your body’s immune system responding to this tartar buildup with bleeding and inflamed gums. Without treatment, gum disease progresses – and so does the destruction to the bone and tissues in your mouth. But gum disease doesn't just affect your oral health. Recent research has suggested that a link exists between chronic mouth disease and general health issues like heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Types of Cleanings

Preventive Cleaning

Preventive cleanings are for patients with healthy mouths free of periodontal disease. It is easier (and healthier) to maintain good oral health than it is to develop problems and have to seek treatment. We recommend twice-yearly maintenance cleanings so we can stay a step ahead of periodontal disease to make sure your healthy teeth remain that way.

If your teeth feel tender and sore or bleed when you brush, you probably have gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum infection. Gingivitis can usually be treated with more frequent cleanings and changes to your home oral hygiene routine. 

Deep Cleaning

When gingivitis is left untreated, it will progress to periodontitis. Your gums continue to bleed when brushed or probed, and you will probably notice some gum recession as well. Gum recession is when the gums pull down and away from the tooth. Receding gums are unattractive, cause sensitivity, and increase your risk for decay because the root of the tooth becomes exposed.

In this case, we would recommend a deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing. Scaling involves removing tartar that has built up on the teeth and root surfaces below the gum line. Planing is a process where exposed root is smoothed, making it more difficult for bacteria to adhere to the root. We may also recommend antibiotics to get rid of any remaining harmful bacteria. Your hygienist will likely recommend a treatment plan that involves more frequent cleanings.

Please Call to Schedule Your Next Cleaning

The only way to avoid gum disease and other serious oral health problems is timely diagnosis, and timely diagnosis is only possible through regular dental exams. If you brush and floss regularly and stay current with your dental cleanings, you may never have to deal with gum disease.  

Please call our Reno dental office, and we will be happy to arrange a convenient appointment.