One of the causes of bad breath is the prolonged build-up of tartar. It can also lead to inflammation of the gums, which can make teeth loose (called periodontitis). Some people are more susceptible to tartar than others. Your dentist will guide you regarding this matter and determine how often you will need to get your teeth cleaned.
Tartar usually builds up above the gum line – supragingival. This is much easier to remove and can usually be done over a single visit to your dentist. Some patients might require more than one visit, depending on the amount of tartar found. Tartar can also build up under the gum line – subgingival. Routine x-rays will pick this up and your dentist will recommend an appropriate treatment.
Using a probe, your dentist will assess the root surfaces of your teeth for irregularities and how tightly the gum adheres. The most common way to remove tartar a treatment called depuration. It involves scraping off the tartar with a specialised tool.
A newer, often more effective and gentler treatment that we provide at Snö is the Guided Biofilm Therapy (PERIO-FLOW®). It is a powerful, yet controlled, jet of water, air and fine powder that not only polishes all the surfaces of a tooth, removing plaque, discolouration and soft deposits, but also reaches deep into periodontal pockets up to a depth of 5mm. It is far more efficient than the traditional scrape-and-polish treatment at removing the damaging biofilm that develops when dental plaque is colonised by bacteria causing periodontitis and peri-implantitis. Even deeper, sub-gingival air polishing can be carried out using a PERIO-FLOW® extension nozzle. The air flow polishing procedure is completely safe to use with dental implants, veneers, crowns and bridges.
Studies have shown that air polishing is much faster at removing stains and plaque than traditional methods. This means less time in the chair for you and fewer interruptions. Teeth are cleaned in a much less abrasive manner, which results in less damage to your teeth. This can also be complemented with laser treatment. When needed, all this is included in the normal treatment at no extra cost
For more advanced stages of periodontitis there are a variety of treatments available, depending on the severity.
If your teeth are particularly sensitive, your dentist might use a local anaesthetic.
Most patients will have sore gums after depuration. The teeth might also become more sensitive to cold for a few days. This is due to the removal of the calculus and cleaning of the wound from the inflammation.
It is important to follow our instructions for good oral hygiene. This will ensure you have healthy gums after the treatment, especially since healing under the gums often takes months. When the gum is healthy, future cleanings become much less painful. If a patient has deep gum pockets before the treatment, it is likely the sensitivity will carry on for longer. In such cases, your dentist will recommend fluoride treatment to help protect the exposed root surfaces.
In cases where patients have deep gum pockets, the dentist will monitor the condition and suggest appropriate treatments. Remember to brush your teeth thoroughly and floss between the teeth.
During a routine check-up, the dentist or hygienist diagnoses the calculus and possible inflammation and bone loss (from the back of the lower front teeth). The other picture shows the work of removing plaque almost complete (the arrows show where a final PERIO-FLOW®air polishing, as explained above, will finalize the treatment).
The signs are the same as with periodontitis
- Gums bleed easily and may feel tender
- The tooth feels loose
- Gums between teeth change appearance
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Swollen gums with pus
- Occasionally no symptoms
Things to remember
- No smoking
- Good oral hygiene – even between the teeth
- Regular visits to the dentist/hygienist
If you have any questions related to your teeth, gums or health, do not hesitate to ask any member of the dental team at Snö Dental Clinic.