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Oral Prophylaxis or Teeth Cleaning: Purpose and Procedure

Plaque and bacteria are the leading cause of poor oral hygiene that leads to a cascade of dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and early tooth loss. Oral prophylaxis refers to a professional cleaning procedure that aims to eliminate plaque and bacteria to halt the progression of gingivitis to periodontitis. 

teeth cleanings in Buffalo Grove offer extensive procedures to thoroughly clean your teeth and prevent periodontal diseases. 

Understanding oral prophylaxis

Oral prophylaxis or teeth cleaning is a routine dental procedure that aims to keep plaque and bacteria at bay. It involves a thorough cleaning of the plaque and bacteria from above and below the gum line. 

Bacterial colonization causes severe inflammation and irritation that leads to an inflammatory response in your body. In turn, your body systematically destroys the gum and surrounding tissues. The teeth lose their attachment and eventually become unstable or completely fall out. The gingival pockets deepen, favoring bacteria to colonize within them. The bacteria gradually dislodge into the bloodstream and infect other parts of the body. 

Everything has a purpose in life!

Prophylaxis is an excellent procedure to get rid of dental plaque and bacteria. It is performed for the following reasons:

  • To remove tartar
    • Tartar (calculus) is the hardened version of plaque that gets deposited above and below the gum line. 
    • If left untreated, it can lead to periodontal diseases.
    • Regular brushing and flossing do not reach the plaque in deeper layers, thus worsening the condition.
    • Prophylaxis uses special equipment that can effectively remove plaque and tartar.
  • For cosmetic concerns
    • Prophylaxis can help get rid of unsightly stains and teeth discoloration to restore your smile. 
  • To eliminate bad breath
    • Periodontal diseases are most often accompanied by halitosis (bad breath) due to the rotting of the food particles subgingivally (below the gum line).
    • Teeth cleaning helps to get rid of bad breath by eliminating plaque and bacteria.
  • It helps detect other health issues
    • It is believed that most often, health problems first present themselves in the oral cavity. 
    • Through thorough dental examination and cleaning, dentists can detect several health issues, such as diabetes and kidney problems.
    • Dentists can detect early signs of oral cancer. 

Prophylaxis involves several stages

  • Supragingival cleaning: Involves plaque removal from above the gum line
  • Subgingival cleaning: Plaque removal from the gum pockets and beneath the gum line.
  • Root planing: Involves smoothening of the roots to eliminate residual bacteria.
  • Antibiotic medications: Antibiotic or antimicrobial cream is placed in the gum pockets to promote healing.
  • X-ray and examination: Thorough dental exam and routine X-rays can help evaluate the amount of gum and bone loss in periodontal disease patients. It also identifies areas that require special attention in the future. 

Oral prophylaxis or teeth cleaning is an excellent aid to eliminate plaque and bacteria to promote good oral health and restore your smile aesthetics. 

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