Occasionally, during your scheduled cleaning, Dr. Whipple or his hygienist, may find that a patient requires more than the standard dental cleaning.

When would I need more than a standard cleaning?

When your periodontium, which is your supporting gum tissue, has become unhealthy, we are able to perform a non-surgical gum treatment. This treatment is known as a Deep Cleaning, it is a more intense cleaning that goes below the gum line.

Are my gums infected?

You should be able to detect signs of an unhealthy periodontium, which in an early stage is known gum disease. This is an all too common problem in many patients. Signs that you can look for may include sensitive gums that are puffy, red and bleed easily. Some people think that it is normal to have your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, this is not true, it is a sign of gum disease. If the problem is more severe, you may be able to see that your gums receding, or pulling away from your teeth. Other signs of a severe problem include having consistently bad breath, or you may even be aware that your teeth are loose or shifting. If your bite seems to be off, or if your jaw bone is just not lining up like it used to, you need to schedule an appointment and let us help. These are all signs of a problem, but a problem that we can solve. Dr. Whipple and his dental team including the experienced dental hygienist are able to perform a deep cleaning.

What is a deep cleaning?

A deep cleaning is a dental treatment to help rid your gums of the bacteria that has infected them. We want to help establish a healthy tissue base for your teeth. Dr. Whipple does this by cleaning between your gums and teeth, all of the way down to the root, where bacteria has reached causing an infection. The red, puffy, bleeding gums is your bodies response to infection. For this dental treatment we do use a local anesthetic before performing the following procedures, scaling, root planing, ultrasonic vibrations and possibly antibiotics. Scaling is a cleaning process in which Dr. Whipple removes the bacteria that has gone below the gum line. He then begins planing, which is the process of smoothing out your dental roots, making it less likely for bacteria to accumulate again. If you choose to ignore gum disease, it will get worse, the bacteria will continue to destroy where it is. Untreated problems may lead to procedures including surgeries or tooth extraction. Gum disease is a problem that is never cured, but is maintained, and you want to maintain it to keep your healthy smile.

For more information on deep cleanings and how to maintain gum disease, contact Richard Whipple, DDS at our Tigard, OR office: (503) 620-6133