Oral Prophylaxis: A Key Component of Comprehensive Dental Care

Plaque and bacteria pose significant threats to oral health, often resulting in a range of dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and premature tooth loss. Oral prophylaxis, a professional cleaning procedure, targets the removal of plaque and bacteria, serving to impede the advancement of gingivitis to periodontitis.

The family dentist in Hailey, ID offers oral prophylaxis to clean your teeth and gums and prevent periodontal diseases. 

What is 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. 

What is the role of oral prophylaxis?

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. 

What are the steps involved in oral prophylaxis?

  • 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: A 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, also known as teeth cleaning, serves as a valuable method for removing plaque and bacteria, thereby enhancing oral health and revitalizing the appearance of your smile.

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