More people over the age of 30 lose teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease than any other cause. Do you know how deep your gum pockets are? Do you know what a gum pocket is? If your dental office is doing appropriate evaluation of your periodontal condition, you know the answers to these questions. In fact, 75% of all adults have some degree of periodontal disease. Simply polishing your teeth in a simple prophylaxis does not address the source of periodontal disease. Reflecting our understanding of these statistics, we have two Dental Hygienists in our office - we do twice the amount of gum disease treatment than we do crowns, fillings, and root canals!
Professional cleaning by a dental hygienist does a couple of things even daily brushing and flossing cannot: It removes bacterial debris too hardened to be removed by brush or floss (calculus), and it removes bacterial debris where brush and floss cannot reach (in deeper gum pockets). Since these processes occur more slowly than plaque build up, you do not need to have your teeth cleaned by the hygienist as often as you brush and floss. Depending on the severity of someone's disease state and the rate of debris build up, people may need professional cleaning every 3, 4, or 6 months.