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Dental Cleanings

What are Dental Cleanings?

Periodontics deals with the gums and soft tissues of the mouth. Along with the jaw bones, gums hold teeth firmly in place and protect below-the-gum tooth surfaces, which lack protective enamel. When gums are compromised, bacteria can slip into the vulnerable area between teeth and gums. The result may be tooth decay, gum infection, or both. On tooth surfaces, we find a sticky colorless film called plaque. It contains a build-up of bacteria, which is what makes the substance sticky. Brushing and flossing regularly removes plaque before the salts in saliva act to harden it into calculus, a rough substance that irritates gums and interferes with the seal between gums and teeth.  If bacteria is left in contact with tooth surfaces too long, the result is caries (cavities). These are infections of the softer tooth material beneath the enamel. If bacteria gets a purchase in gum tissue, infection results. If that continues long enough, gums pull away so far that teeth can loosen in their sockets, and eventually there may even be bone loss.

Danger Signs:

  • Bleeding gums

  • Redness of gum tissue

  • Swelling of gums around the teeth

  • Breath odor

  • Receding gums

  • Mobility of teeth (loose teeth)

Dentist Appointment
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